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Discussion Starter #1
After a false start and two wasted hours yesterday with a different shop, finally had the Torklift Invisi Hitch installed today by Leading Edge Auto Body here in Baltimore. As I learned the hard way, an auto body shop is the best place to go for this kind of work, as removing the bumper is something they can do with ease.

Here are a few photos:









More photos in the next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Last photos









Tomorrow I'll try to post some photos of my bike rack and bike mounted on the hitch. But couldn't be more pleased with the results.
 

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Great photos, and the finished job looks great. I guess you didn't see them doing the work, but any idea of the spot in the disassembly that they had success, where the first guy couldn't figure out? I'm no body shop man, so it will be a challenge for me.
 

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coolness.

Is the flip-up plate bracket included with the hitch?

How hard is the wiring since you need an adapter to convert LED to trailer wiring?

What is the load rating on the hitch? I'm guessing class I (1,000lb trailer with 100lb tongue weight max.)

Suggestion: I would put some sort of protective edging on that hole in the metal. Wouldn't want to bleed all over your Volt. A manufactured trim ring would be nice.

It'd be good if they had a holder/bracket for the trailer wiring as well. (or do they? I don't see it in the pics.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The problem the first guy had was unhooking the bumper at the tabs under the taillights -- he got everything else loose but couldn't figure that one out. Evidently there are some plastic tabs on the bumper that slip into attachment points under the tail lights. They slide out.

Great photos, and the finished job looks great. I guess you didn't see them doing the work, but any idea of the spot in the disassembly that they had success, where the first guy couldn't figure out? I'm no body shop man, so it will be a challenge for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, the bracket is included as are quite detailed installation instruction, with photos. The hole for the receiver is cut out of the bumper, which is plastic, so no metal there, although I will line it anyway just for appearance's sake. The hitch is Class 1, rated for a tongue weight of 500 pounds, I think. With the necessary receiver extension for a bike rack, that's cut in half but still way more than necessary for hauling bike around.

No wiring was done on mine -- I don't plan to install lights on the bike rack, just reflectors.

coolness.

Is the flip-up plate bracket included with the hitch?

How hard is the wiring since you need an adapter to convert LED to trailer wiring?

What is the load rating on the hitch? I'm guessing class I (1,000lb trailer with 100lb tongue weight max.)

Suggestion: I would put some sort of protective edging on that hole in the metal. Wouldn't want to bleed all over your Volt. A manufactured trim ring would be nice.

It'd be good if they had a holder/bracket for the trailer wiring as well. (or do they? I don't see it in the pics.)
 

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Love the photo series!
 

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I've seen reference to class 1 hitch tongue weight as 100lbs, but I more often see 200lbs as the tongue weight. I've been using my class 1 hitch for my scooter, which along with the carrier, comes in around 200lbs. No problem at all on a Hyundai Elantra. The Volt 6 bolt installation looks to me like an even stronger installation, so 200lbs. should be no problem.
 

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Why does the cut hole need to be that big?

I answered my own question. You need enough clearance for putting in the hitch pin.
 

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Oh I love it. Thanks for sharing! Are you going to have to get an LED light for the license plate, a frame-like kind? It seems as though this pops it out quite a bit. I saw the detailed picture with the lights on. Was it well lit from the light housings on the bumper? I am ordering this for sure now. Side note, I ordered the flashback front LEDS. I also ordered LEDs for my license plate that ended up not fitting. Which ones did you go with? Thanks, -Brad
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I stand corrected. The TorkLift hitch is rated for 200 lbs tongue weight and 200 lbs carrying weight, more than enough for a bike rack and a bunch of bikes.

I've seen reference to class 1 hitch tongue weight as 100lbs, but I more often see 200lbs as the tongue weight. I've been using my class 1 hitch for my scooter, which along with the carrier, comes in around 200lbs. No problem at all on a Hyundai Elantra. The Volt 6 bolt installation looks to me like an even stronger installation, so 200lbs. should be no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The license plate frame does extend out about 2" but the plate still remains well lit with the existing light (upgraded to LEDs months ago). I installed the license plate LEDs recommended by Top_Speed1 in his helpful posts on the topic. Can't remember which # it was.

The flip up plate does, of course, block the view of the back-up camera when it's flipped up. The top of the plate when it's flipped down does touch the backup camera, but as the camera is rather loosely mounted, this actually keeps it more stable. It has no impact on the rear view from the camera.


Oh I love it. Thanks for sharing! Are you going to have to get an LED light for the license plate, a frame-like kind? It seems as though this pops it out quite a bit. I saw the detailed picture with the lights on. Was it well lit from the light housings on the bumper? I am ordering this for sure now. Side note, I ordered the flashback front LEDS. I also ordered LEDs for my license plate that ended up not fitting. Which ones did you go with? Thanks, -Brad
 

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Artsci, Great job of collecting pics and adding comments. It is a great solution for a bike rack on the VOLT. I will definitely being thinking this way since I'd like to add a rack to mine at time.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That we ended up with this product is the result of incredible support from the Volt community; the assistance of a top-notch manufacturer, TorkLift Central; and the communication with other owners made possible by this web site and the Internet.

When I first bought my Volt in late October, as a serious cyclist I immediately started searching for a bike rack, to no avail. They didn't exist. But many owners had made comments on the various posts that led to important design considerations, the most important of which regarded the hope for a hitch that wouldn't have the receiver under the back up light, where it would scrape the ground on transitions into sloped driveways and the like.

When I started searching for a manufacturer that could design a custom hitch for the Volt that would meet our standards, another owner led me to TorkLift Central. As I'm on the East Coast and TorkLift in Washington, we needed volunteers to take their Volts to TorkLift for measurements and fitting. Here again this site made it possible to communicate with owners in the Seattle area.

TorkLift was a pleasure to deal with. It's a top-notch, high-quality outfit, with incredible experience doing this kind of thing. In about a month they went from the first measurements to development of a prototype, then final production and online sales.

So this was a community effort through and through, and it wouldn't have been possible otherwise.
 

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I like it! Thanks for taking this on, Artsci...

Watching the video of this installation on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJpTHIbdv9g, I noticed the bumper is reinstalled on top of the hitch mount, which must space the bumper out by the thickness of the mount (3/16"?). Seems the fasteners are long enough, but what does this additional thickness do to the bumper fascia once it's reassembled? Do you have any noticeable deformation of the fascia or bigger gaps around the perimeter? Or is there enough flexibility in the fascia that it conforms with no noticeable difference?
 

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artsci.... Did you get the 1 1/4" or the 2"? I'm going with the 1 1/4" since the only 2" carrier I have is to carry my larger scooter, which a class-1 can't handle anyway.
Also, how hard is it putting the hitch pin in? Did you try it yet? I'm still undecided whether to enlarge the access hole.

As far as Jimmy's previous post, I think Torklift designed it to perfectly fit under the existing bumper. I'd bet there was easily enough clearance to allow for the hitch plate, which is probably no thicker than 3/8".

BTW, I noticed it their video, although it may have been off camera, they didn't put any thread lock (Loctite) on the nuts before installing. I will definitely add that before I tighten those nuts. It won't be easy to get in there should they ever require tightening.
 

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Another question, and hopefully you will answer before I do the installation tomorrow.

Did you use the LED light that came with the hitch? I'd like to leave well enough alone, and use the existing plate light. Do you think it will illuminate the plate, considering the flip plate bracket puts it farther back?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No, didn't use it. I've found that the plate is lit just fine with the stock light.

Another question, and hopefully you will answer before I do the installation tomorrow.

Did you use the LED light that came with the hitch? I'd like to leave well enough alone, and use the existing plate light. Do you think it will illuminate the plate, considering the flip plate bracket puts it farther back?
 
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