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I like to haul my mountain bike different places and was wondering what kind of bike rack would be best for the GTO. I was thinking of installing a small Reese hitch type to avoid any problems from a trunk mount one. Any suggestions?
 

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Great question! I'm in the exact same boat. I'm planning on riding this Sunday and am debating putting on the trunk mounted rack I have. The thought of this gives me chills though...

I thought about looking into a Yakama roof rack possibly, but that doesn't excite me much either. May be a good option though.
 

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For those interested in hauling items like bikes, I installed my frame mounted hitch last weekend so I can carry a bike rack. I specifically wanted to avoid trunk or roof racks and the potential to damage the finish. The hitch was a unit built by Curt that I got at drophitch.com for $120 plus shipping.

http://www.drophitch.com/index.asp?PageAction=ViewProd&prodID=79

Its a good quality hitch but you will need some extra tips to install. To extract the GTO's plastic clips, pop the center section out first with a small screw driver, then they pop off in your hands. You need to do this to remove the rear plastic fairing under the car. There are two bolts that hold the hitch up under the car. I don't believe it is necessary to cut out the fairing material to get the hitch frame to fit. Try the install the two bolts without trimming first, then trim if it doesn't fit to your liking. Not all the install parts were correct for me. The lock washers for the two aft studs were too small for the stud that the larger 19mm bolt went on, and too thick to allow the 17mm nut to engage the threads on the other stud. This smaller stud needs a very thin washer or none at all to get all the threads to engage. All torque to over 60 pounds but this small 17mm nut. It is supposed to be torqued at 32 pounds but I felt that 30 was pushing it.

I got this Delta bike rack at nashbar.com for $109 - more than 50% off. The rack holds the wheels and seat post and is one of the best types of rack to carry a bike securely and minimize knock-around damage.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=11798&srccode=1140

I had to trim a bit off the rack to ensure it would not touch the back bumper cover because the hitch is tucked up well underneath the bumper. Also, I did have to trim 2.5" off the support that holds the rear wheel to get the bike seats and bars to clear and to keep the bikes in the Goat's slip stream.

This is a great set-up.



 

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Here are some close ups. Sorry, been raining here in TX and I'm getting home late so had to take pictures with a flash. The hitch is a 1.25 inch reciever to help you gauge the size. It's tucked up under the rear bumper and there is 7.5 inches of ground clearance. I haven't been getting any scraping of the hitch going in an out of driveways unless they are real steep and the rack I've got steps up about 4 to 6 inches so have not had a real problem with it.



This set-up is pretty non-obtrusive and it gives me the flexibility I need in my primary driving machine. I would not recommend cutting the plastic fairing around the forward bolts at first like others have suggested. I'd try to fit it first unmodified. GTO must be a pretty slippery car because with the bikes on the back the mpg is running in A4 territory on the highway. I'll be happy to take more picture request.
 

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Don and Xman- thanks for the replies. I may go with the hitch although it has long been against my will. My 96 Formula had one on it when I purchased it and removing it was the first thing I did when getting home with the car. :) With the hatch and fold down rear seat it had enough room for two bikes. BTW, I'll give the f-body hitch to someone if you pay shipping. It's been in the basement for over eight years!

I need to figure out what I'm going to do for this Sunday as I'm already planning on riding. :confused I really don't want to use the standard trunk rack in fear of ruining the paint.
 

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Find a friend and ride in their vehicle to the rally/race for this event.
 

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Xman-

I ordered the same hitch and bike rack you recommended. To my surprise the hitch arrived around noon on Saturday. I had it on my 2:15pm or so. Went well though I had a little trouble threading the small nut (passenger side) onto the stud due to limited stud length. Also, the washers provided didn't fit the larger diameter stud (driver side).

It looks great and is exceptionally well hidden. The bike rack should be in any day. Is it easy to lock your bike to the rack? I worry a little about mine getting plucked off the rack while I'm at work...

Thanks again.
 

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I'm on a trip right now with my bikes and this concerned me also. It doesn't take 10 seconds to get a bike off this rack. I got a cable bike lock and now loop it through the bike frames and then under the rack when I'm parked and have to leave the car unattended.
 

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Xman-

I got the rack today. Needing to trim back for bumper clearance is an understatement. I can't even get it far enough on the hitch to pin the rack in. What did you grind yours down with? Were you able to still use the plastic bumper after grinding? I don't have the tools to do something like this.

I was thinking the trimming you did was just to get a little extra clearance, but there's no way my rack will work without taking off a good amount of material.
 

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Well, finished modding the rack so that I would fit on my car (chamfered corner with a 4" disc grinder/cutter. It was my first time doing something like this but it worked out fine. Seems to work great but the seat post clamp is a little too small to go around my seat post without unthreading the clamp fastener all the way first. Not a big deal really.

I have pics but they're too large to post here. Can I change my maximum size file? Or compress my images?
 

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Sorry, I've been out of town. I used a hack saw to cut mine and don't reuse the plastic insert. I have a thick post also. I drove 700 miles this last week and the bikes did fine!
 

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Bike rack problems

Well I followed your advice on the Hitch and rack. I had the same small problems that you all had with a few extra.

1. The holes did not line up perfectly and I had to file them out a little on the Hitch.

2. I cross threaded the lug on the bumper end on the passenger side. I tried to use the washer provided and there was not enough threads on the lug to get a good bite. I had the file the groves back to normal because i could not retap the threads. I used lock tight and a nut on this lug. No washer.

3. I used a sawsall to cut for the bumber clearance and did not reuse the plastic cap.

4. A two way trip of 30 Miles. The connections on the rack a loosening on their own. On the way there it was the knob that holds the pole in the verticle or horizontal position. On the way back it was the knob that is at the top of that pole that holds the seat post clamp. Also the Pole extension clamp was loose. I made sure everything was tight on the way back because of the problem on the way there. The only thing that i can think of was the short spurts of 110 mph on the expressway. Probably not to smart with bikes on the back.

5. complaint: The rack is big and is not the easiest thing to store.

All in all, I will be very happy with the set up as soon as a figure a solution to number 4.

Thanks
 

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Alpine-

My hitch holes were close, the drive forward bolt was the toughest for me to get in, not to mention the passenger aft stud thread issue.

FWIW, I emailed Nashbar and told them their rack does not work without modification on the 2004 GTO. They replied by thanking me for my input and warned to not cut the rack! :eek:

I went ahead and stuck the cap back in mine but it may then be close to rubbing the bumper so I may go without it as the rack will then not hit.

I've loaded my bike on it and went for a two or three mile drive to test and it seemed fine. 110mph with a bike on back???!! :eek: There are so many things to tighten I'm sure it's easy to forget to crank one down.

I used a couple of those rubber-coated hooks that you can hand screw into a bare 2x4 stud in your garage. I turned mine so that the hitch goose neck faces towards the indented spaces inbetween studs. This seems to stay out of the way pretty well.

How about the six clear stickies....did you put them on the seat post claws? I don't think they'll last long at all. Directions with this unit were a little vague as well. I do like that they threw in a little tool kit also.
 

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I did not figure out what the 6 stickies were for. I figured they were for the posts but I haven't seen the need to use them. Trimming the bike rack as we did does nothing to reduce its integrity. I drove 700 miles last week with two bikes on back and had no issues or anything loosen up.
 

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cutting the rack

you have to cut the rack to clear the bumper because of the little bit of bounce that it has in the hitch receiver. It will hit!!! I don't think that cutting a half inch on the top of the tube down to nothing on the bottom willl reduce any of the structural integrity.
 
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