Saturday project ... towbar

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ChrisF
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Sat Oct 15, 2016 8:58 pm

Bit of background -
towbar-1.jpg
I want to cycle to work. Nice short 4,2km trip. BUT, I need my car at work during the day to drive to sites .... Aaaahhh, I can leave the car in the secure basement parking at work. But dropping the car at work, and getting home to use the cycle .....

Okay, easy solution - bike in the car, drive to work on Monday. Cycle to and from work a couple of days, then drive home again with the bike in the car.

Bike wont fit in the car ....

I do have a Thule back rack that fits on a towbar. But surely a towbar is an expensive item ....
towbar-2.jpg
So I go looking for one of those bikeracks that fit onto the back of a hatchback .... NOPE :naah: Cant get one as the car has a full width glass pane ....

Okay, so how much would a towbar cost ? Nope !! Not about cost ... NO towbar for an Etios ....

Now if you know me, then you know I dont give at that easily !!


The Etios is too light to tow a trailer, thus no towbar on the market. BUT, I just need it to mount a bike rack ... Nice light-weight structure. I dont even need a trailer plug for this project.

But if I am going to build something I might as well try to make it look nice.

And so the search starts for "swan-neck" towball. The typical "goose-neck" bolts on with two bolts, out in clear sight ... Finally, LUCKILY, found one at a tire fitment outlet. And as it was in the spares box I got it for an absolute steal. :thumbup: :cooldude:
towbar-3.jpg
Off to the steel shop in search of a short piece of rectangular tube to serve as the receptor for the towball. Finally found a piece of about 27cm in their scrap bin. :thumbup: :thumbup:
towbar-4.jpg
towbar-4.jpg (27.38 KiB) Viewed 1338 times
Cutting, grinding, welding, some more grinding .... and finally the project takes shape.

WOW, time flies when you are having fun !! Much later in the day -
towbar-5.jpg
towbar-6.jpg
And then it was time to finish it off neatly, and to apply some Hammerite paint
towbar-7.jpg
towbar-7.jpg (27.67 KiB) Viewed 1338 times
Final fitment tomorrow :celebrate: :celebrate:

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ChrisF
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Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:05 pm

Costs for this project was surprisingly low.

R250 for the towball
About R40 worth of steel (mostly left overs from previous projects)
Maybe R15 worth of bolts and nuts
Had to go buy a new tin of Black Hammerite (I do have about 5 different colours, but out of the black..) Used about R10 worth of paint.
Few welding rods, etc ....


It gets bolted to the tie down hooks - strong enough for this light load. And then a support at the back under the sparewheel, for this I will drill 2 off 6mm holes.

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Froll
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Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:30 pm

Baie mooi gedoen Chris. N man kan altyd n plan maak. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

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Mud Dog
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Real Name: Andy

Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:58 am

Well done Chris! :thumbup:

Have you checked it for excessive flex (vertical and lateral) with the weight of the bike attached?
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Dirka
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Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:50 am

Pragtig Chris!
Ek is mal oor daai bakstene onder die wiele.
Van jou foto kom ek nou eers agter hoe moet ek altyd sukkel met die creeper tussen die axle stands deur.
Vlge projek? High lift wheel supports? :idea: :thumbup:
I got arrested for driving naked. I guess I shouldn’t have put four wheels, an engine, and a steering wheel on my bathtub.
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ChrisF
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Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:06 am

Dankie Roger

Andy I am treading a thin line .... trying to move away from the "I-beam" approach .... Thick enough where needed, thinner where not. I have added in a bottom strap for extra sideways support. Considering a stiffener in the arm to the back .....

I have picked myself up on the towball, so it really should be strong enough for the static loads of a bike.

And then, this will only be used for 4km at a time, and only on tar.



Dankie Dirk. Ek het blokke gesit weerskante van die voor wiele, geneek met die bakstene is dat die voertuig maklik kan afloop. Wel die voordeel is dat mens nie die kar hoef af te-jack nie, ry dit net af. :mocking: Ek kan onder die voertuig lê wanneer dit op die grond staan, dus geen risko met die benadering. Die ekstra hoogte is net handig om te kan werk onder die voertuig. Sou daar enige risiko wees dat mens ge-pen kan word onder die voertuig is bokkies steeds die enigste veilige opsie. Natuurlik nie n probleem met n tipiese 4x4 nie :twisted: :twisted:

ROOFER
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Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:47 pm

:thumbup: Nice little project Chris had the same questions Mud Dog had but you answer them in your post :clap:

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Haboob
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Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:39 pm

Looks good Chris...
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ChrisF
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Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:11 pm

Towbar fitted.

Standing on it and jumping on it has not broken it.

Bike is strapped on. Tomorrow afternoon I am cycling home.

Home = mostly downhill :cooldude:

Tuesday morning will be the fun part .. :o: :twisted:

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Froll
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Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:34 pm

:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

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