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skiingyac 04-07-08 10:50 PM

drill to fix hidden hitch and yakima big horn incompatibility?
I recently put a class I 1 1/4" Hidden Hitch on my Kia Rondo, and got a 1 1/4" Yakima Big Horn 4 bike rack to use with it.

However, it seems that the hidden hitch has a small "tab" near the back of the receiver, making the receiver deep enough to put the hidden hitch branded drawbar in, but about 3/8" too shallow to put the Big Horn 4 in enough to line up the pin holes. The "tab" is basically just a 1/4" circle of the square receiver tube that was cut out on about 3 sides and punched inward.

So from a load bearing perspective, the "tab" already weakened (obviously not significantly) the receiver since its only attached on roughly 1/3 to 1/4 of the circle. Does anyone see any reason why I can't just drill out the "tab" and turn it into a hole in the receiver, so that the Big Horn 4 can be slid in all the way? I can't imagine it will weaken the hitch much if at all, and putting the bike rack 3/8" further into the receiver will only reduce the leverage on the hitch/frame/suspension, right? I don't understand any technical reason why this "tab" would be there in the first place.

RE:Todd 04-08-08 04:17 AM

Drill it. I wouldn't worry about it, sounds like it's designed as a stop, not a structural member.

skiingyac 04-08-08 09:07 PM

Yes, I would describe it as a stop. Thanks for the input, I'm assuming you have more knowledge about that than me since you at least know the correct terms. Should be fun to drill it out with my wimpy cordless drill.

RE:Todd 04-09-08 12:28 AM

sharp bit, slow speed is how I usually drill thick metal. Use some oil also.

skiingyac 04-14-08 10:29 AM

Drilling through wasn't much of a problem, the hard part was getting rid of the little pieces of metal left over... A hand file, using an old screwdriver as basically a chisel, and trying to grind a little with the side of the bit (the bit was already pretty chewed up) took a little while. I'd recommend using a dremel or regular drill with an aluminum oxide bit or something if you don't want to spend about an hour on this.

Photosmith 04-15-08 11:30 AM

Apparently I found this post a bit late.. I was in Moab last weekend and am just now catching up on things. I have the exact same setup; 1 1/4" Hidden Hitch and the Yakima Big Horn. I used a pneumatic cutoff wheel to grind down mine to a perfect fit. It only took maybe 2-3 minutes going this route. Just curious, but how would you achieve the same effect with a drill? Do you have any pictures of what you did? Here's the end result of my grinding with a cutoff wheel:

skiingyac 04-21-08 07:49 AM

I used a 5/16" drill bit that was supposed to be able to drill through steel (I don't think any drill bit under $5 is going to fare very well against steel). Where the stop tab is in the hitch receiver, there's an indentation on the outside of the receiver. Instead of modifying the bike rack, I drilled a hole through the hitch right at this indentation, basically grinding down the stop tab from the outside in. As I mentioned, drilling didn't quite get the entire stop out, maybe a 3/8" bit should be used, but I was nervous about doing any damage to the hitch. Either way grinding down anything sticking out on inside edge of the freshly drilled hole is probably necessary, since you're unlikely to be perfectly centered over the stop when you drill.

If that doesn't clear things up, let me know and I'll post a picture when I get a chance.

Photosmith 04-21-08 09:36 PM

No, I understand now, you drilled the hitch receiver, not the bike rack part. Now it makes sense! I didn't want to modify the hitch on mine because that is what aids the easy alignment of the holes for the ball hitch and with careful enough grinding, the bike rack as well. I admit that without a powerful grinder though, it wouldn't be practical to go this route.

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