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Yesterday's TN

Bayerischer Fahrradschlepper

Overloaded Accura

Previous bike hauler, overloaded Accura TL with room for slightly less than two bikes

Ready to start

New bike hauler target, ready for conversion

New shoes

Baby got new shoes to start, E39 Style 42 wheels, 17x8 w/ 235/45-17 tires
This gets us away from the old TRX solution with a better handling, lower cost solution.

Bumper off to start

First step is to remove the rear bumper to prepare for the new hitch

Step 1

Next, fabricate and weld the center bracket to fit the center shock mounting holes

Step 2

The side brackets were tack welded in place on the car in order to provide a proper fit.
The adjustable brackets on the Curt receiver hitch made the adjustment to fit our geometry a snap.
After tacking, the hitch was removed from the car for full welding of the brackets.
Some weld flash is visible but this was easiliy removed with soap and water.

First trial after fabrication

Testing after fabrication showed that the hitch was not as stiff as desired so two additional brackets were added
between the three brackets shown here. The additional brackets were drilled and bolted through the rear subframe.

All done

All done! It was late so the picture is a bit fuzzy. The bumper required a one inch notch on each side
in order to clear the hitch but the installation is very clean.

Haulin'

Fully loaded with the new Swagman rack and ready to head for the trail

Bayerischer Fahrradschlepper

Any good project needs a bit of branding

notes

These pictures show my effort to develop a reasonable solution to hauling four people and four bicycles to riding venues. My new Trek bikes didn't work too well on my old strap on rack for my Acura TL. I found the new Swagman platform racks and really liked them. I decided to add them to my 1987 E28 535I BMW.

This was not an obvious choice since there aren't any commercial receiver hitches available for this model. I got a few ideas from Google searches and set out to complete my conversion.

I started with a Curt 2" universal receiver hitch for motor home application. This gave me a strong hitch with a long straight tube that I could adapt to my situation. The adjustable mounting brackets made it easy to fit to the bumper mounting points.

I fabricated five brackets to mount the hitch to the original bumper mounting brackets and two additional points on the rear subframe. I found that I needed five brackets to get the necessary stiffness for the four bike rack.

The hitch fits in the space behind the safety bumper for a very clean looking installation. I had to trim two 1.5 inch notches on the underside of the aluminum bumper bar to clear each end of the hitch.

As you can see from the pictures, it works! We have used it now for about six months with really great results. It is a pleasure to use the new Swagman racks vs the old strap on solution.

The only issue that we have is that we are slightly over the E28 load limit at an estimated 1130 pounds. We are working on a rear suspension upgrade to reduce the bottoming out on rough roads.