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Old 12-04-2018, 02:56 PM   #1
ehunter
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Location: Pacifica by San Francisco 5sp Engine rebuild with the help of people here at 177K due to 500mi/qt oil consumption. After 2yrs I am back to 40mpg+ after discovering the refirb head I used was bad. Car runs better than a top. Now at 214k.
Posts: 1,459

1996 SL2
Default Hitch for Bike rack

Hi Gang,

This is new territory for me.

I want to buy a bike rack and am unsure how to go about making my 96 SL2 conform to its mounting options:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...2KCKEQV4&psc=1

I want this rack type because it is most friendly on my $6k carbon fiber bike.

My options seem to be:
1) Take the car to a business and they install what I need. Can you guys recommend who I should be looking at to do this and a rough guide of the money involved?
2) Buy some parts recommended by you guys here... and install on my own. Which parts do I need, what kind of work is involved, and how long shoud it take?

Thanks !

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Old 12-04-2018, 03:20 PM   #2
Waiex191
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1999 SL2
1998 SC2
Default Re: Hitch for Bike rack

Years ago I bought a Hidden Hitch 1.5" receiver and installed it myself. It is 4 holes and 4 bolts. It basically bolts onto the spare tire well IIRC. Add wiring if you want to pull a trailer.

I think I got the brand right, but it was SL1/2 specific.

...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018

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Old 12-04-2018, 03:30 PM   #3
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Hitch for Bike rack

That rack mounts to an existing 2" or 1 1/2" square receiver hitch. There is a Saturn hitch that requires drilling 2 holes each side of the trunk and cutting away part of the muffler heat shield.

There are several designs of this style of carrier that clamps to the deck lid, see the link. The company makes a couple of different styles. As to receiver hitches for a Saturn trailer places sell them (about $100) and do the install and you can buy just the hitch and drill your own holes.

I would look for a carrier that clamps onto the trunk lid instead of the receiver hitch, if you can make that work.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Someone should come buy with other options as carrying a bike is a common issue.

Last edited by OldNuc; 12-04-2018 at 03:36 PM..

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Old 12-04-2018, 03:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hitch for Bike rack

I really like my 1.5" receiver. Used it for towing and hauling bikes on a plug-in rack. Tough to beat!

...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018

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Old 12-04-2018, 05:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hitch for Bike rack

Nothing to add other than;
  • rustproof around wherever you drill (even if rust is not normally an issue where you are), and
  • your bike is worth a lot more than your car

...
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:28 PM   #6
ehunter
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Pacifica by San Francisco 5sp Engine rebuild with the help of people here at 177K due to 500mi/qt oil consumption. After 2yrs I am back to 40mpg+ after discovering the refirb head I used was bad. Car runs better than a top. Now at 214k.
Posts: 1,459

1996 SL2
Default Re: Hitch for Bike rack

OK, I figured out all I need to do is buy the hitch and install it... That's is it!

Richpin has a video for this !
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKOSbXRhiBU

Amazon, Ebay, RockAuto and other independents sell either a Draw-Tite or Curt model hitch and Everyone is out of stock. So I called a couple of places and they can get either part in the next few working days. That is...

$160 for the hitch and
$90 to install. I think I will have the shop do it as there are too many Xmas things hanging over my head.

OldNuc - The reason I don't go for the type of bike carrier you showed is the bike vendor does not recommend any compression against the Carbon Fiber structure of the bike and that is how those "Bones" carriers operate.

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Old 12-04-2018, 08:06 PM   #7
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1999 SC2
Default Re: Hitch for Bike rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehunter View Post
OK, I figured out all I need to do is buy the hitch and install it... That's is it!

Richpin has a video for this !
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKOSbXRhiBU

Amazon, Ebay, RockAuto and other independents sell either a Draw-Tite or Curt model hitch and Everyone is out of stock. So I called a couple of places and they can get either part in the next few working days. That is...

$160 for the hitch and
$90 to install.
I prefer this type of rack as well. However, I only use the hitch for this purpose (no towing). I also add a strap hooked on the forward part of the trunk lid (by the window) to the rack itself to prevent it from "bouncing" when you hit bumps in the road with a bike on the rack.

Check U-Haul in your area they install more hitches than anyone else and have great prices.

...
1999 Saturn SC2 (automatic) 23,000 orig miles (9/10/16)
1996 BMW E36
1971 Holden Monaro GTS 350
1908 Buick Model 10

Its official Saturn Night has removed all doubt.

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Old 12-04-2018, 08:12 PM   #8
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Hitch for Bike rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehunter View Post
OK, I figured out all I need to do is buy the hitch and install it... That's is it!

Richpin has a video for this !
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKOSbXRhiBU

Amazon, Ebay, RockAuto and other independents sell either a Draw-Tite or Curt model hitch and Everyone is out of stock. So I called a couple of places and they can get either part in the next few working days. That is...

$160 for the hitch and
$90 to install. I think I will have the shop do it as there are too many Xmas things hanging over my head.

OldNuc - The reason I don't go for the type of bike carrier you showed is the bike vendor does not recommend any compression against the Carbon Fiber structure of the bike and that is how those "Bones" carriers operate.



I thought that might be the reason for the wheel support rack.
Make sure the shop sprays undercoating on all those new bolts so the don't leak water or rust. Cutting the muffler heat shield was postulated here by one poster as a contributor to the mcro spare blowup problem. The evidence was very inconclusive.

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Old 12-04-2018, 10:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Hitch for Bike rack

I prefer the roof mounted bike rack attachments that clamp the bike down in similar fashion. I'm pretty tall so getting them up there isn't an issue for me. I have it set up for 3 bikes but could likely put a 4th if really needed. The base rack system I use is a Yakima and the bike attachments are Thule.

We have some on our Suburban too and that is quite the one handed lift while standing on the rear tire and holding on the the roof rail. On the Suburban we use a 4 bike hitch mount and put 2 more on the roof. When pulling a trailer I'm move some over from the Saturn.

...
1999 SL2 MT (287,130 km @ 10/2019)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

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Old 12-04-2018, 11:19 PM   #10
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1999 SW2
Default Re: Hitch for Bike rack

Draw-Tite, easy self install.
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:46 PM   #11
ehunter
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Pacifica by San Francisco 5sp Engine rebuild with the help of people here at 177K due to 500mi/qt oil consumption. After 2yrs I am back to 40mpg+ after discovering the refirb head I used was bad. Car runs better than a top. Now at 214k.
Posts: 1,459

1996 SL2
Default Re: Hitch for Bike rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by trottida View Post
I prefer the roof mounted bike rack attachments that clamp the bike down in similar fashion. I'm pretty tall so getting them up there isn't an issue for me. I have it set up for 3 bikes but could likely put a 4th if really needed.
My brother toted with one of those racks and one day he drove into a parking structure where his bikes (his and his wifes) proceeded to get torn off the top of the car (not to mention the car damage).

Turns out it is easy after a few moments to forget the bikes are up there... then whammo ! your expensive bikes are no longer even worth a song. LoL.

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Old 12-05-2018, 07:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Hitch for Bike rack

Very few people have the innate ability to remember how high the vehicle is and how high the place they want to enter is and mentally do the math correctly. There is a round RR underpass here that is 11'0" at the edges 3' from the center line in either direction. I have seen multiple 11'2" trucks stuck in it. It is higher in the center than the sides and it is the sides where you hit.

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Old 12-06-2018, 09:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: Hitch for Bike rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehunter View Post
My brother toted with one of those racks and one day he drove into a parking structure where his bikes (his and his wifes) proceeded to get torn off the top of the car (not to mention the car damage).

Turns out it is easy after a few moments to forget the bikes are up there... then whammo ! your expensive bikes are no longer even worth a song. LoL.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Very few people have the innate ability to remember how high the vehicle is and how high the place they want to enter is and mentally do the math correctly. There is a round RR underpass here that is 11'0" at the edges 3' from the center line in either direction. I have seen multiple 11'2" trucks stuck in it. It is higher in the center than the sides and it is the sides where you hit.
Yes, that is a risk if you frequent covered parking and/or low clearance bridges. Clearance isn't an issue for me other than low hanging branches and because we travel gravel roads the bikes stay cleaner up high.

For me I'm typically running from home to where we're biking or I'm picking up kids from school/work/friends. We live on an escarpment (~400' elevation) and the kids will bike downhill to get places and I'll pick them up so they avoid the dreaded 7% uphill climb. They'd never leave the house on bike if I didn't offer that up. Biking into town is rather fun though.

I guess with the hitch mount the risk is being rear ended by someone or backing into something. It also obscures other drivers view of your brake lights and turn signals. I find them a pain to get into the rear access of the Suburban; even more so with bikes on. I remove the hitch mount but roof mounts are always on and ready.

I also have a trunk mount for the Saturn that I will throw on if I need to take more than 3 bikes. It obviously deters one from using the trunk with a bike on. With a bike off I've cracked my head a few times when closing the trunk by miss judging the swing of the arms on the rack. It is pretty quick and convenient to install once it is set up. You can throw it in the trunk too when not in use.

When it comes down to it, they all have their quirks, faults and benefits. You just have to weigh everything and decide what is best for you.

...
1999 SL2 MT (287,130 km @ 10/2019)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

Last edited by trottida; 12-06-2018 at 09:28 AM..

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Old 12-08-2018, 04:10 PM   #14
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Default Re: Hitch for Bike rack

The fact that your bike is worth triple the car really makes me wonder what the priorities here are.....



:P

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Old 12-08-2018, 04:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Hitch for Bike rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlinebiker View Post
The fact that your bike is worth triple the car really makes me wonder what the priorities here are.....
:P
I'd say he got it right! People spend too much money on cars. That's why I'm here.

...
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'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018

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Old 12-08-2018, 05:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: Hitch for Bike rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
I'd say he got it right! People spend too much money on cars. That's why I'm here.
Agreed, a vehicle is a wasting investment until well aged.

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