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Photo

Installing The Torklift Central Hitch

Hitch Install TorkLift

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50 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   ArizonaEnergi

ArizonaEnergi

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:32 PM

I installed, with the help of my wife, a 2" Torklift Central hitch on our Energi today. http://shop.tlcentra...Hitch-p1080.htm It was fairly easy to do for us 60-somethings, and took about 1.5 hours, with some of that correcting a mistake I made.  The hitch costs $250 delivered within a few days of ordering.  The short instructions were good, although the pictures could have been a little clearer.  (The Prius instructions were also included and their pictures were better.)

 

Here's how it arrives, wrapped like a mummy.  Takes awhile to unwrap.  The hitch is well-made and painted nicely.

Attached File  Hitch 1 New.jpg   40.19KB   165 downloads

 

The hitch behind the car.

Attached File  Hitch 2 Behind.jpg   50.08KB   273 downloads

 

I rolled my car onto some leveling blocks I had from my RV days, and also used a jack to make holding it up easier as the wife wasn't up to much weight lifting and holding.  The jack could have made it a one-person job.

Attached File  Hitch 7 Jack.jpg   50.38KB   365 downloads

 

The hitch bolts into six threaded holes on the car.  No drilling required.  This is what makes this an easy install.  This is the driver's side attachment, with the muffler plate on top of the hitch plate.  Note: Two of the bolts are bit longer and are for the center plate. (Thank you Wife-Unit!)

Attached File  Hitch 9 DS.jpg   49.06KB   456 downloads

 

Here was my only problem.  There's a "tab" on the passenger side that is in the way.  It must be bent down.  Well, don't bend it toward the rear of the car as it will likely still be in the way.  Bend it toward the front to fit into the notch in the hitch frame.  As I bent this twice, along with some ballpeen adjusting, the paint came off so I touched it up with Rustoleum after I was done.

Attached File  Hitch 13 Tab.jpg   53.28KB   478 downloads

 

And here's the final result.  Very neat and tidy.  And the foot-activated door still works (when it works!) - just kick to the right of the hitch.

Attached File  Hitch 15 Final.jpg   40.56KB   417 downloads

 

I installed my bike rack and tested the door opening.  Some foam on the vertical frame covered with black duct tape will prevent damage, and the door automatically reverses, but doesn't entirely re-close, upon striking it.

Attached File  Hitch 17.jpg   73.16KB   296 downloads

 

So, very happy with this hitch, and we'll now be able to take our bikes along with us, and I plan to also buy a small platform from Harbor Freight for other hauling we might have. 


Edited by ArizonaEnergi, 15 March 2013 - 10:05 AM.

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#2 OFFLINE   67gtcougar

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:29 PM

Thanks for sharing.  I can't make up my mind which way to go.  I've heard that roof top carriers can significantly reduce MPG.  I wonder what effect a hitch mount box would have on MPG.  We are planning a long trip through the Southwest this summer, and need cargo room.  I thought about the getting the hitch carrier that you bought, but I think I will need a box to protect our stuff.  About a year ago I saw a slightly used Thule hitch box on sale at REI for less than 1/2 price, but I didn't have the need then. 



#3 OFFLINE   ArizonaEnergi

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:39 PM

I think roof-top boxes will be a significant MPG hit, while a box on a hitch would be little or none but might interfere with opening the hatch.  There are probably analyses of the MPG impact of roof-top storage options somewhere on the web.



#4 OFFLINE   mtb9153

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:16 AM

I installed, with the help of my wife, a 2" Torklift Central hitch on our Energi today. http://shop.tlcentra...itch-p1080.htm  It was fairly easy to do for us 60-somethings, and took about 1.5 hours, with some of that correcting a mistake I made.  The hitch costs $250 delivered within a few days of ordering.  The short instructions were good, although the pictures could have been a little clearer.  (The Prius instructions were also included and their pictures were better.)

 

Here's how it arrives, wrapped like a mummy.  Takes awhile to unwrap.  The hitch is well-made and painted nicely.

attachicon.gifHitch 1 New.jpg

 

The hitch behind the car.

attachicon.gifHitch 2 Behind.jpg

 

I rolled my car onto some leveling blocks I had from my RV days, and also used a jack to make holding it up easier as the wife wasn't up to much weight lifting and holding.  The jack could have made it a one-person job.

attachicon.gifHitch 7 Jack.jpg

 

The hitch bolts into six threaded holes on the car.  No drilling required.  This is what makes this an easy install.  This is the driver's side attachment, with the muffler plate on top of the hitch plate.  Note: Two of the bolts are bit longer and are for the center plate. (Thank you Wife-Unit!)

attachicon.gifHitch 9 DS.jpg

 

Here was my only problem.  There's a "tab" on the passenger side that is in the way.  It must be bent down.  Well, don't bend it toward the rear of the car as it will likely still be in the way.  Bend it toward the front to fit into the notch in the hitch frame.  As I bent this twice, along with some ballpeen adjusting, the paint came off so I touched it up with Rustoleum after I was done.

attachicon.gifHitch 13 Tab.jpg

 

And here's the final result.  Very neat and tidy.  And the foot-activated door still works (when it works!) - just kick to the right of the hitch.

attachicon.gifHitch 15 Final.jpg

 

I installed my bike rack and tested the door opening.  Some foam on the vertical frame covered with black duct tape will prevent damage, and the door automatically reverses, but doesn't entirely re-close, upon striking it.

attachicon.gifHitch 17.jpg

 

So, very happy with this hitch, and we'll now be able to take our bikes along with us, and I plan to also buy a small platform from Harbor Freight for other hauling we might have. 

Nice that it seems to bolt right up.  I love when aftermarket designers do that.  I had one of those on an S-15 Jimmy I had years ago.  Those things are heavy, I don't need a boat anchor tied to the tail of my C-Max



#5 OFFLINE   mtb9153

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:20 AM

Thanks for sharing.  I can't make up my mind which way to go.  I've heard that roof top carriers can significantly reduce MPG.  I wonder what effect a hitch mount box would have on MPG.  We are planning a long trip through the Southwest this summer, and need cargo room.  I thought about the getting the hitch carrier that you bought, but I think I will need a box to protect our stuff.  About a year ago I saw a slightly used Thule hitch box on sale at REI for less than 1/2 price, but I didn't have the need then. 

Hope your summer plans include driving through Michigan?  If we ever hear anything more and some dates?



#6 OFFLINE   ArizonaEnergi

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:32 AM

Nice that it seems to bolt right up.  I love when aftermarket designers do that.  I had one of those on an S-15 Jimmy I had years ago.  Those things are heavy, I don't need a boat anchor tied to the tail of my C-Max

I measured it at about 40 pounds.  I don't think the 3,800# C-Max notices!



#7 OFFLINE   mtb9153

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:51 AM

I measured it at about 40 pounds.  I don't think the 3,800# C-Max notices!

true...enjoy it



#8 OFFLINE   Hatchman

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 05:16 AM

Very nice write up arizona!  Thank you for taking the time and the pics are great.  Looks easy.  This looks like a great option for carrying bikes!  

 

Just curious, did the instructions say you would need to bend that tab?  I wonder of the manufacturer knows the design is a little off. 


Edited by Hatchman, 15 March 2013 - 05:16 AM.


#9 OFFLINE   TxWally

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:03 AM

@ArizonaEnergi: Do you have a sku for that hitch? I can't seem to find it on that page, and the linkis broken. Maybe they don't sell it anymore :(

 

Do you have the automatic gate lift? If so did you have to do anything to compensate for it? 



#10 OFFLINE   ArizonaEnergi

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:21 AM

Yes, the instructions say you have to bend the tab and show a picture of the tab - they just don't suggest a direction and I concluded toward the front of the car would be best to take advantage of a "notch" they have in the hitch frame.

 

This is the link to the C-Max version of the hitch (I also fixed it in the OP.): http://shop.tlcentra...Hitch-p1080.htm

 

Yes, I have the electric lift and its very easy to trigger it while installing the bike carrier or the bikes, so having a padded area for the door to hit is a MUST.  As I said, I used some pipe insulation foam covered with black duct tape and you can see it in the picture.


Edited by ArizonaEnergi, 15 March 2013 - 10:06 AM.


#11 OFFLINE   Hatchman

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:26 AM

Dumb question, is there any way to turn the auto lift gate off?  What if you are not holding the key/have it on you? 



#12 OFFLINE   ArizonaEnergi

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 09:15 AM

I don't see any way to turn off the hands-free liftgate feature, other than not having the key (intelligent access transmitter) anywhere near the liftgate while you are near it.  The manual says within 3'.

 

Everyone should have an "intelligent access transmitter" for their car at least once in their lifetime!



#13 OFFLINE   mtb9153

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 09:42 AM

I installed, with the help of my wife, a 2" Torklift Central hitch on our Energi today. http://shop.tlcentra...itch-p1080.htm  It was fairly easy to do for us 60-somethings, and took about 1.5 hours, with some of that correcting a mistake I made.  The hitch costs $250 delivered within a few days of ordering.  The short instructions were good, although the pictures could have been a little clearer.  (The Prius instructions were also included and their pictures were better.)

 

Here's how it arrives, wrapped like a mummy.  Takes awhile to unwrap.  The hitch is well-made and painted nicely.

attachicon.gifHitch 1 New.jpg

 

The hitch behind the car.

attachicon.gifHitch 2 Behind.jpg

 

I rolled my car onto some leveling blocks I had from my RV days, and also used a jack to make holding it up easier as the wife wasn't up to much weight lifting and holding.  The jack could have made it a one-person job.

attachicon.gifHitch 7 Jack.jpg

 

The hitch bolts into six threaded holes on the car.  No drilling required.  This is what makes this an easy install.  This is the driver's side attachment, with the muffler plate on top of the hitch plate.  Note: Two of the bolts are bit longer and are for the center plate. (Thank you Wife-Unit!)

attachicon.gifHitch 9 DS.jpg

 

Here was my only problem.  There's a "tab" on the passenger side that is in the way.  It must be bent down.  Well, don't bend it toward the rear of the car as it will likely still be in the way.  Bend it toward the front to fit into the notch in the hitch frame.  As I bent this twice, along with some ballpeen adjusting, the paint came off so I touched it up with Rustoleum after I was done.

attachicon.gifHitch 13 Tab.jpg

 

And here's the final result.  Very neat and tidy.  And the foot-activated door still works (when it works!) - just kick to the right of the hitch.

attachicon.gifHitch 15 Final.jpg

 

I installed my bike rack and tested the door opening.  Some foam on the vertical frame covered with black duct tape will prevent damage, and the door automatically reverses, but doesn't entirely re-close, upon striking it.

attachicon.gifHitch 17.jpg

 

So, very happy with this hitch, and we'll now be able to take our bikes along with us, and I plan to also buy a small platform from Harbor Freight for other hauling we might have. 

Was wondering how loose fitting the rack fits into the reciever tube on the hitch?  I had a Smitty Built hitch on another vehicle and it was a sloppy fit when the rack was mounted and pinned in with the hitch pin.  When my bike was mounted there was a bit of play left and right, not much maybe 3/8" at most.  But I could see it moving in the rear view mirror everytime I made a turn the bike would move back and forth with it because of the slop.  Curious what you were experiencing. 



#14 OFFLINE   67gtcougar

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 09:58 AM

Hope your summer plans include driving through Michigan?  If we ever hear anything more and some dates?

We do plan to visit friends and relative in Michigan some day, probably after the kids are grown, but this summer we are headed south to visit Phoenix and the Grand Canyon.

 

I guess you probably didn't mean Michigan, since you are living in the Bay area.  We will swing through Sacramento on our way to visit old friends, but don't have time to hit the coast. 

 

@ArizonaEnergi: Do you have a sku for that hitch? I can't seem to find it on that page, and the linkis broken. Maybe they don't sell it anymore :(

 We just now ordered this hitch from Torklift Central.  We could have just driven down there and picked it up, but Seattle traffic isn't that much fun.  I didn't try the link, I justed googled torklift central cmax and it came up.


Edited by 67gtcougar, 15 March 2013 - 10:00 AM.


#15 OFFLINE   ArizonaEnergi

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 10:00 AM

Was wondering how loose fitting the rack fits into the reciever tube on the hitch?  I had a Smitty Built hitch on another vehicle and it was a sloppy fit when the rack was mounted and pinned in with the hitch pin.  When my bike was mounted there was a bit of play left and right, not much maybe 3/8" at most.  But I could see it moving in the rear view mirror everytime I made a turn the bike would move back and forth with it because of the slop.  Curious what you were experiencing. 

Good question.  My Wal-Mart bike carrier is a 1.25" with a plastic sleeve that allows it to fit a 2" hitch.  It came with a threaded bolt that when tightened prevented any movement.  However, to make the carrier easier to take on and off I decided to use a combination-lock hitch pin on the C-Max which required me to drill the hole in the carrier to 5/8".

 

After doing this I found the carrier to be very loose when mounted.  So I took some heavy duty velcro I had, and used a couple of the fuzzy pieces to reduce the spacing.  I put one in the bottom of the receiver and another on the top of the carrier insert.  That seems to have worked based on the one trip we have made with it so far.  Someone else mentioned some bike carriers come with anti-wobble devices but those probably aren't sold by Wal-Mart!


Edited by ArizonaEnergi, 15 March 2013 - 10:03 AM.


#16 OFFLINE   macmic6

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:19 AM

Arizona, thanks for the pictures!! I am debating whether to do the roof rack or hitch. I already have a hitch bike rack so may just stick with that. I do like the idea of a roof rack for luggage and such. Decisions, decisions, decisions. It's been a long time since I've had a car that wasn't quite a bit taller than I am. Thanks again for the great pictures. 



#17 OFFLINE   67gtcougar

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 02:21 PM

Installed the hitch receiver this morning.  Removing the plastic wrap packaging was the first big challenge.  Second was trying to bend the tab enough.  Thanks for the advice. 



#18 OFFLINE   JBShoopman

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:36 PM

Purchased the torklift hitch four months ago and it has been great for my Thule 4 bike carrier.  I have even pulled a small Harbor Freight type trailer(a foldable 4x8 single axle) to Lowes for a fews items with no noticeable impact on performance or MPG.  Installation went rather easily considering I installed it laying down in the garge by myself using hand powered tools.  Holding it up so the bolts could be started was the most difficult task for me.  So far it has been a great add on for the C-Max. :dogwalk:



#19 OFFLINE   sixtyeightmk2

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:38 PM

Has anyone had any problems yet with the warranty and having this trailer hitch installed on their vehicle?



#20 OFFLINE   ArizonaEnergi

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 03:51 PM

Has anyone had any problems yet with the warranty and having this trailer hitch installed on their vehicle?

I've pointed out my hitch to the service people at Ford and they've had no comment.  And then there's this.....

The Magnuson-Moss warranty act is a federal law enacted in 1975 that makes it illegal for auto manufacturers (or any manufacturer of consumer products, for that matter) to void a warranty simply because the owner of the vehicle adds an after-market product to a vehicle. The law states that manufacturers have to repair a vehicle problem UNLESS they can prove the problem was caused by an after-market part.

http://www.tundrahea...s-new-warranty/








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