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So far, we have had 3 members purchase the torklift hitch (brownian, Jchag, and mboni). Brownian had a poor experience with installation.

Can the other two comment on their installation experience, or all three on apparent strength/stability?
 

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Discussion Starter #143
I purchased the option of a 1.25" hitch for my new Bolt, to be installed (bolted on) by the dealer, for use with my Thule 2-bike carrier. I am not happy at all with the performance of the hitch. It is flimsily mounted, and the bike(s) sway backwards and forwards severely on hitting the slightest bump in the road. So much so that after 1 use with 2 bikes, I am not confident to use it with 2 again, and am not comfortable going far, or above 45mph, even with only one bike. I have also noticed that the hitch tube has already sagged slightly, so it is no longer horizontal (parallel to the road surface), and am concerned that it will sag further with continued use. I use this same bike carrier on my Ford C-Max Energi, and it is really stable even with two bikes, so the problem clearly is with the Chevy supplied hitch on the Bolt. Has anyone else got experience with this hitch they can share with me?
Yep, the Curt hitch does that. Here's mine all bent/sagging:

Untitled by tk_1971, on Flickr

Here it is after my buddy and I pulled up on the rack to straighten it out:

Untitled by tk_1971, on Flickr

There's a post somewhere in the middle that chronicled my experience with the Curt Hitch. The very first person here (Bro1999) with a hitch also didn't install it and ending up buying another hitch with a better design.

The fix? Simple, I bought the Drawtite hitch and have been happily using it since without any issues.

Bottom line is that the Curt hitch goes under the rear bumper support beams bolts. The problem with that is that's all on one vertical plane. The Drawtite hitch has additional supports counteracting the leverage movement of the hitch as weight is put on.

Untitled by tk_1971, on Flickr

So, I'm going to ask... the Torklift Central hitch is also of the same design as the Curt (single plane of attachment). How's that holding up? Anyone experienced any bending?
 

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The fix? Simple, I bought the Drawtite hitch and have been happily using it since without any issues.

Bottom line is that the Curt hitch goes under the rear bumper support beams bolts. The problem with that is that's all on one vertical plane. The Drawtite hitch has additional supports counteracting the leverage movement of the hitch as weight is put on.

So, I'm going to ask... the Torklift Central hitch is also of the same design as the Curt (single plane of attachment). How's that holding up? Anyone experienced any bending?
When you pulled the curt hitch, could you tell where the hitch was bending? There should have been cracks or deformation in the paint that would indicate where it was failing.

I suppose it might have been the mount point on the car that was deforming, but that should have been visible too.
 

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So far, we have had 3 members purchase the torklift hitch (brownian, Jchag, and mboni). Brownian had a poor experience with installation.

Can the other two comment on their installation experience, or all three on apparent strength/stability?
Like Brownian, I found the torklift hitch didn't fit quite right. As he observed, the slots for the screw holes seemed to be too close together, so they didn't fit across the bolts as needed. I managed to get it installed with the assistance of a rubber hammer, I think there's just enough flex in the structure to get it over the bolts without a major grinding operation or damage to the bolts.

After the difficult installation, I've found the hitch is very good. With my heavy electric bicycle on a hitch carrier, there's no side-to-side or rotation movement, and just a tiny bit of vertical bouncing as I go over bumps (which could be within the bike carrier itself).

My previous Torklift hitch was on a Ford C-Max, and it installed without any issues at all. I think Torklift just screwed up the measurements on this one, and really needs to re-measure. And extra 1/16" might be all they need to get a perfect fit.
 

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Like Brownian, I found the torklift hitch didn't fit quite right. As he observed, the slots for the screw holes seemed to be too close together, so they didn't fit across the bolts as needed. I managed to get it installed with the assistance of a rubber hammer, I think there's just enough flex in the structure to get it over the bolts without a major grinding operation or damage to the bolts.

After the difficult installation, I've found the hitch is very good. With my heavy electric bicycle on a hitch carrier, there's no side-to-side or rotation movement, and just a tiny bit of vertical bouncing as I go over bumps (which could be within the bike carrier itself).

My previous Torklift hitch was on a Ford C-Max, and it installed without any issues at all. I think Torklift just screwed up the measurements on this one, and really needs to re-measure. And extra 1/16" might be all they need to get a perfect fit.
Thanks for the report. Is the problem lateral, or vertical? I'm guessing lateral, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Are all the hole pairs off, or just 1-2 of them?

Did the hitch instructions come with the proper torque settings for the nuts, or did you have to figure that out another way?
 

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Like Brownian, I found the torklift hitch didn't fit quite right. As he observed, the slots for the screw holes seemed to be too close together, so they didn't fit across the bolts as needed. I managed to get it installed with the assistance of a rubber hammer, I think there's just enough flex in the structure to get it over the bolts without a major grinding operation or damage to the bolts.
In my case, the rubber mallet only contributed to the problem. I'd really discourage its use.
 

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Curt hitch

When you pulled the curt hitch, could you tell where the hitch was bending? There should have been cracks or deformation in the paint that would indicate where it was failing.

I suppose it might have been the mount point on the car that was deforming, but that should have been visible too.
I haven't removed the Curt hitch, but when I inspected it in place after it had visibly sagged, strangely I couldn't see see any cracks or paint lifting at any of the welded joints that would indicate where the hitch had deformed, nor could I see any deformation of the mount points on the Bolt. So I was left with the impression that it was the horizontal tubular bar that had twisted gradually along its length, as unlikely as that seems!
 

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Yep, the Curt hitch does that. Here's mine all bent/sagging:

Untitled by tk_1971, on Flickr

Here it is after my buddy and I pulled up on the rack to straighten it out:

Untitled by tk_1971, on Flickr

There's a post somewhere in the middle that chronicled my experience with the Curt Hitch. The very first person here (Bro1999) with a hitch also didn't install it and ending up buying another hitch with a better design.

The fix? Simple, I bought the Drawtite hitch and have been happily using it since without any issues.

Bottom line is that the Curt hitch goes under the rear bumper support beams bolts. The problem with that is that's all on one vertical plane. The Drawtite hitch has additional supports counteracting the leverage movement of the hitch as weight is put on.

Untitled by tk_1971, on Flickr

So, I'm going to ask... the Torklift Central hitch is also of the same design as the Curt (single plane of attachment). How's that holding up? Anyone experienced any bending?
Thanks for sharing your similar experience with the Curt hitch, and recommending the Drawtite with its superior mounting geometry. Did you take up the degradation due to the design flaw with Curt and/or Chevy, and did you get a refund of the cost of the hitch and its installation?
 

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Discussion Starter #150
Thanks for sharing your similar experience with the Curt hitch, and recommending the Drawtite with its superior mounting geometry. Did you take up the degradation due to the design flaw with Curt and/or Chevy, and did you get a refund of the cost of the hitch and its installation?
I contacted Curt about the receiver being about 2" lower than it needs to be. They originally stated that they had a redesign coming and that maybe we can do a swap, but I couldn't wait.

I bike every weekend and needed a solution sooner rather than later. There was also the discrepancy of the 100lbs tongue weight limit stated on the hitch despite what Curt apparently states in their website, which is 200lbs.

Around that time, the very first person to ever buy a hitch for the Bolt (Bro1999) bought the Drawtite hitch and posted pics up (he also had the Curt hitch but hadn't install it yet). The Drawtite was clearly a superior design so I bit the bullet and bought one too.

As for the Curt hitch, it's sitting in my garage and I've been trying to sell it locally for $50 with zero takers. Then again I fully disclose why I don't recommend buying a Curt hitch in those ads.
 

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Discussion Starter #151 (Edited)
When you pulled the curt hitch, could you tell where the hitch was bending? There should have been cracks or deformation in the paint that would indicate where it was failing.

I suppose it might have been the mount point on the car that was deforming, but that should have been visible too.
It's hard to say what actually got bent. I bent it back before removal, but I've observed no telltale signs of bending like cracked paint, etc.

Looking at pictures of the Curt and Torklift Central hitches, the Curt still lacks something to counter the leverage imposed upon the receiver by the load on the tongue.

Here's the Curt hitch:

Untitled by tk_1971, on Flickr

I've been looking at the Torklift Central hitch and it looks beefier, with additional metal welded at the bottom of the plate that would serve to counter that leverage from the load on the receiver (triangular pieces at the bottom of the plates with the mounting holes and the plate that holds the horizontal backbone of the hitch). Also the Torklift Central hitch mounts with 3 bolts per side vs the Curt, and the Torklift installs under the aluminum bumper reinforcement instead of on top where the steel can dig into the softer aluminum metal.



If the Ecohitches are not bending, then I'm inclined to believe that Curt hitches are actually bending.
 

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Managed to finally get the Torklift Ecohitch installed. This required a special trip to Torklift's installation facility, and to Torklift's credit they did not charge for this step. To their fault, however, this process was an enormous pain in the ass, and the installers needed to grind out the slots on the mounting plate to extend them in order to fit properly. I do not have the machining capabilities to do this at home. Given the mounting bolt damage noted above, it remains unclear whether or not the hitch will remain stable over the long term.

I would still strongly advise against purchasing the Ecohitch and attempting to self install, because Torklift did not actually produce a hitch which fit the Bolt EV without modification. Working with an installer would at least place the onus on them to solve any problems which are likely to occur.

Caveat emptor.
@brownian,
First-time poster, taking delivery of a 2017 Bolt next week.

Questions: what brand/model of bike rack is that in the picture? Do you like it? I'd like to get a rack that does not obstruct the view out the back window when not in use, and that one fits the bill.

Thanks.
 

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Mine was also a tight fit. I also use a rubber mallet, because it was so close. Any further off I would have drilled a little. Over all the install was easier than I expected. Solid receiver after install
 

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Mine was also a tight fit. I also use a rubber mallet, because it was so close. Any further off I would have drilled a little. Over all the install was easier than I expected. Solid receiver after install
I'm wondering if the fit issue has something to do with the cold weather? I'm speculating that if you used a blowtorch or a paint stripper to heat up the hitch it might expand enough to slip on fairly easily...
 

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I'm wondering if the fit issue has something to do with the cold weather? I'm speculating that if you used a blowtorch or a paint stripper to heat up the hitch it might expand enough to slip on fairly easily...
No. The Torklift is designed with slots instead of circular holes to extend the fit tolerance, but the frame bolts in my case touched the outer edge of the slots. Torklift needs to modify its slot placements/widths. I used a rubber mallet to mount it as much as was reasonable but was not fully mounted. Boiled up a gallon of water and applied along the full center bar - did not allow full mounting, although it did make it easier to remove the hitch.

Again, while the hitch is very stable, I'd highly recommend purchasing via local retailer with an install option to avoid all the headaches of reordering parts and refitting when necessary. Let someone else deal with it. My first order was a clear manufacturing defect. The second order was a design defect/deficiency.
 

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@brownian,
First-time poster, taking delivery of a 2017 Bolt next week.

Questions: what brand/model of bike rack is that in the picture? Do you like it? I'd like to get a rack that does not obstruct the view out the back window when not in use, and that one fits the bill.

Thanks.
1Up - https://www.1up-usa.com/

Despite the Torklift installation headaches, the final result is very stable, and the rack is great. Have had experience with the same model on friend's vehicles and was convinced to purchase it instead of Yakima, Thule, or Küat. Have an XL frame sized bike, and while it dwarfs the car, it's very secure in the rack.
 

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Are there many accessories made for a 1.25 inch receiver? (And I don't want to use an adapter that moves the accessory farther back). Is it preferable to buy a 2 inch receiver for a bike rack or cargo platform?
 

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Are there many accessories made for a 1.25 inch receiver? (And I don't want to use an adapter that moves the accessory farther back). Is it preferable to buy a 2 inch receiver for a bike rack or cargo platform?
There are three weight/strength ratings..Class 1, 2 and 3. The hitches available for the Bolt are all the lightest: Class 1, which is a 1.25" receiver. The Class 2 is the same size but carries more load. 2" receivers are Class 3.

And indeed, Class 1 will limit what you can put on your Bolt. IIRC, all bike racks that carry more than two bikes are Class 2 and up. A cargo shelf will be limited to 200 lbs cargo less the weight of the shelf itself.

Technically, you can FIT Class 2 equipment into a Class 1 1.25" receiver and load it up....but you would then be in danger of the hitch failing on the road, voiding your warranty, loss of life and limb, etc. 2" Class 3 equipment would be right out.
 

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Are there many accessories made for a 1.25 inch receiver? (And I don't want to use an adapter that moves the accessory farther back). Is it preferable to buy a 2 inch receiver for a bike rack or cargo platform?
My own personal preference is to use a 2" hitch receiver because it's more universally compatible with stuff that's out there, and there's very little cost difference between that and a 1.25" receiver. And what cost difference there is usually seems to go into increasing the load rating of the hitch. I'd rather mount a 100-lb load on a hitch rated for 200 lbs than 100 lbs.
 
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