A question for the (metal or car) engineers out there

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Chockswahay, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    I have been wondering about mounting a bespoke design bike rack directly on to the rear number mounts. It would be along the lines of 'tow hook' type carriers but this way I could purpose build the rack to suit my own specific needs.

    This would carry two large Hybrid bikes and need to be demountable.

    Any thoughts anyone? :Smile:
     
  2. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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    Don't think you will be able to as all tow bars, bike racks etc. have to be CE approved?
     
  3. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    I think we would need a lot more information before anybody could answer sensibly. Like what do you mean by "number mounts" and what vehicle and chassis you have. If you mean number plate mounts then I suspect the answer is "no chance".
     
  4. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Leaving aside any insurance issues (if it fell off and caused an accident) the problem is how strong are the mounting points? If you mean number plate mounting points the answer is almost certainly not unless you can add some sort of reinforcing behind which is attached to some part of the vehicle strong enough to take the load. You would then end up with (roll of drums) a tow bar!:BigGrin:
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    new towbars, yes.
    but im not sure about bike racks...that would also mean sat dish, tv aerial, solar panels, swing-out door security bars/hand rails etc would need CE approval
     
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  6. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    Bl**dy spell correction……. sorry, I meant Bumpers….

    As for CE approval surely as this is private it would not be required??

    The van is Fiat Ducato Panel Van (2013). I could use (and have considered) a tow bar and a proprietary rack but if possible I would prefer something to my own spec (wishful thinking I know :Blush:)

    A few years ago I did a similar thing for my Landrover. I had a frame made up that mounted on to the rear bumper to carry a small hot air balloon basket (3ft x 3ft) and it worked very well indeed.

    I just can't help but think this has to be possible (?)

    Thanks for the replies, all input is welcomed :Smile:
     
  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    im sure that was a typo and should have read BUMPER mounts.
     
  8. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    LOL, crossed over on posts! :Smile:
     
  9. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    Ahh... please ignore this post - I have had a senior moment.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  10. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    I'm thinking something like this but non swing out….

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTNCFQdsvJc"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTNCFQdsvJc[/ame]
     
  11. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    I have the same van and the Witter towbar is attached to the chassis member just above the rear spring hangers. It just has two holes drilled through and the towbar mounting plate is fixed with two bolts either side. You could easily do the same and fabricate a bar of your own design. PM me your email and I can send you some pictures if you want.
     
  12. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    Well, my wife has just reminded me that I do have a propensity towards 're-inventtin the wheel' so I think I will stick to convention for the time being. However the tow bar is something I can work on.

    DevonBeeKeeper………….yes please, PM on the way :BigGrin:
     
  13. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Cheyne is the man to speak to. He made the custom racking on the back of my van. Really great job and very reasonably priced.

    I can't remember his forum name sorry but I am sure someone on here can provide contact details.
     
  14. Geordies

    Geordies Funster

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    The insurance bit you mention, ie bits falling off. Would that not also apply to any bikes falling from a bike rack manufactured by a boni-fidi company ? In other words the bike rack OK, but you forgot to secure the bikes correctly ?

    The MH we're getting has no spare wheel nor mounting for one, but I think it would be no big deal to weld up some metal to make a mounting for one above the rear bumper. As this in no way could be classed as a tow bar I'd assume it was free of CE approval and it would be up to me to design and build it to meet the task required of it ?
     
  15. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Assuming the fine print in your insurance policy covers bike racks (not all do in the same way some don't cover towing a trailer) the answer is yes. However, if it fell off because of duff welding by you probably not.
     
  16. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    as you say, youre reinventing the wheel :Rofl1:

    there have been racks and replacement bumpers with racks attached about for years. a great many commercial fleet operators have after market bumpers fitted. some of these come with the option to clamp on rails to secure loads etc.

    what youre suggesting is easily done but care needs taking with regard to impact safety. not sure if ALL additions to a base vehicle built after 2012 need to be CE marked and approved as with tow bars
     
  17. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Here are some piccys of the Witter towbar on my van. The first shot is just a general view from the outside. It used to have a rubber cover for the tow ball but some low-life pinched it.

    [​IMG]

    The second shot is from underneath. What you can't see is the big beam running inside the bumber from side to side which these connections support.

    [​IMG]

    On each side a plate stretches back and bolts to the chassis member to prevent the beam rotating. This is the RH side.

    [​IMG]

    And the LH side.

    [​IMG]

    This is on the RH side as well.

    [​IMG]

    Another view of the RH side. Note the bolts into the bodywork/cross member which the bumper is attached to.

    [​IMG]

    The electrics are connected to this box - attached to the fresh water tank. This switches off the parking sensors when anything is connected to the sockets and I am guessing also sends signals to the ESP module on the vehicle. I am sure they can be bought in the UK but a quick Google found this: http://kupplungs-profi.de/Anhaengersteuermodule/UFC-Modul-52400542N.html And a rummage on their website finds this (again there are UK suppliers but these kits include the electric bits so look good value) http://kupplungs-profi.de/Anhaengerkupplung-Einbau-Kits/Fiat/Ducato/

    [​IMG]

    So in summary, it is connected in quite a few places, which I didn't realise until I crawled underneath. Unless you can make it yourself and can do the measurements needed to get it to fit accurately I would suggest buying one off the shelf or second hand if you can find one. Compared to the cost of the van it isn't a lot of money.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  18. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    Wow………comprehensive selection of piccies there ! thank you. I think that a ready made tow bar is indeed the answer:Wink:

    On a separate note……….. I see you have the fridge covers on. Do they make much difference?
     
  19. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Not so we've noticed, but we haven't been out when it has actually been freezing yet but the instructions said to fit them if the average temperature goes below 10C, so we have dutifully done so. My understanding is if they are not fitted and it gets very cold your 'fridge just becomes a freezer. Not great for salads.

    We are using it as an overflow fridge for Christmas at the moment!
     
  20. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Cheyne is "upmarkethippy", not been around much since he moved to Hull I believe it was. He is still a subscriber.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
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