My Other Web
Previous bike hauler, overloaded Accura TL with room for slightly less than two bikes
New bike hauler target, ready for conversion
Baby got new shoes to start, E39 Style 42 wheels, 17x8 w/ 235/45-17 tires
First step is to remove the rear bumper to prepare for the new hitch
Next, fabricate and weld the center bracket to fit the center shock mounting holes
The side brackets were tack welded in place on the car in order to provide a proper fit.
Testing after fabrication showed that the hitch was not as stiff as desired so two additional brackets were added
All done! It was late so the picture is a bit fuzzy. The bumper required a one inch notch on each side
Fully loaded with the new Swagman rack and ready to head for the trail
Any good project needs a bit of branding
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.