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Thread: +'12 Curt Class 1 hitch install on <’10

  1. #16
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    The back of the car is not that strong to support required weight safely.
    So no one designed a 2 inch. you can get an adapter if you need to fit a bike hitch but you will still be weight limited.

  2. #17
    2012 CR Mazda5 Touring 90210's Avatar

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    Thank you

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasy View Post
    The back of the car is not that strong to support required weight safely.
    So no one designed a 2 inch. you can get an adapter if you need to fit a bike hitch but you will still be weight limited.
    Yep, that's what I figured out when I put the hitch on mine 4 years ago. Could only find a class 1. It has held up well though.

  4. #19
    Registered Member Silentnoise713's Avatar

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    -Class rating is a dummy/quick reference/101 guide. Tongue is calc as exactly 10% tow but up to 15% should be safe (there are ways to measure this individually)
    -The car's hitch rating is determined by the lowest/weakest link, which is always the car itself (weak chassis, transmission, suspension, brakes, 'what the mfg says', etc.), not the hitch. Fitting a Class 5 hitch on a subcompact car does not automatically increase it's tow. The Mz5 is build on a "compact" car chassis. While it looks bigger and sorta, kinda like a minivan - it is not. They are typically build on mid to full size sedans and are much heavier/stronger framed.
    -Keep Archimedes' lever principle in mind! Extenders/Converter/Adapter are ok for tow but I would avoid them for tongue.
    -Not all hitches are created equally.


    I use this to carry 3 bikes, plan to fit 4 once the youngest bike can fit tube top; it looks like a tight fit. Also, the provided 2--> 1.25 adapter is not desirable. Have to invert it, which leaves very little departure angle. I'm working on making an adapter. It is the only bike on the market that has the unique parallelogram design to allow access to the hatch (with or without hydraulics to assist in lifting). Note the rack itself is 42 lbs! I would recommend the 3 bike aluminum version b/c it is lighter. There's also the "swing away" type racks but they too are really heavy and really aren't meant for Class 1.
    http://www.softride.com/rack-product...sist_bike_rack
    Last edited by Silentnoise713; 12-01-2017 at 08:39 PM.
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  5. #20
    2012 CR Mazda5 Touring 90210's Avatar

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    Thank you

    Will order the rack

    Then figure out hitch and inversion as you note

    Quote Originally Posted by Silentnoise713 View Post
    -Class rating is a dummy/quick reference/101 guide. Tongue is calc as exactly 10% tow but up to 15% should be safe (there are ways to measure this individually)
    -The car's hitch rating is determined by the lowest/weakest link, which is always the car itself (weak chassis, transmission, suspension, brakes, 'what the mfg says', etc.), not the hitch. Fitting a Class 5 hitch on a subcompact car does not automatically increase it's tow. The Mz5 is build on a "compact" car chassis. While it looks bigger and sorta, kinda like a minivan - it is not. They are typically build on mid to full size sedans and are much heavier/stronger framed.
    -Keep Archimedes' lever principle in mind! Extenders/Converter/Adapter are ok for tow but I would avoid them for tongue.
    -Not all hitches are created equally.


    I use this to carry 3 bikes, plan to fit 4 once the youngest bike can fit tube top; it looks like a tight fit. Also, the provided 2--> 1.25 adapter is not desirable. Have to invert it, which leaves very little departure angle. I'm working on making an adapter. It is the only bike on the market that has the unique parallelogram design to allow access to the hatch (with or without hydraulics to assist in lifting). Note the rack itself is 42 lbs! I would recommend the 3 bike aluminum version b/c it is lighter. There's also the "swing away" type racks but they too are really heavy and really aren't meant for Class 1.
    http://www.softride.com/rack-product...sist_bike_rack

  6. #21
    2012 CR Mazda5 Touring 90210's Avatar

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    Mine arrived today

    Will install tomorrow

  7. #22
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    Came upon this thread while searching for a hitch mounted bike rack and wanted to share a couple things to Silentnoise713's comments re the installation of the Curt hitch on our cars. Definitely more than 45 minutes, I estimate I spent closer to 2 hours, mainly because I had to modify the heat shield a couple times for a proper fit. I didn't remove the exhaust, but I did lower it from 4 hangers instead of 3 giving more access. I did remove the driver side rear wheel. I rough marked the heat shield then removed it to cut out the opening; I had to do this a couple times for a proper fit. My 'second set of hands' was a jack to help with the marking and then the actual mounting of the hitch. Solid piece of kit.

    Anyways, have been searching for a solid bike rack (4 bikes) to get. I did try an older Thule but did not like all the bouncing and swaying on a test fit. A challenge is the receiver is about 5" recessed. Any suggestions or recommendations?

  8. #23
    Registered Member Silentnoise713's Avatar

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    You'll need to shop around and look carefully at the 4 bike carrier racks. Some come with longer attachment arms than others. Since this car only have Class 1 hitch avail, it uses a 1.25" receiver. The bike rack's 1.25" bar will be solid piece of metal to carry weight. Unlike Class 3+, which uses a hollow 2" square bar, you cannot insert an anti-rattle kit (really just a nut and bolt that allows you to screw it tight) on less than Class 3. If you gearing towards the higher end of weight limit, it is important to keep it from bouncing around. I don't like the idea of using a push pin for tongue weight.

    The reason why I went with the Softride rack is b/c the 1.25" bar is THREADED so you secure it with a bolt (it comes with a lock bolt with key) to make it anti rattle. I just noticed Softride stopped making bike racks... One of the few American made stout options but alas I don't think they can compete with the mass manufacturers. I'm glad I have my rack and will be keeping it as long as it lasts.
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  9. #24
    Registered Member Silentnoise713's Avatar

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    Went to a local metal fabricator to inquire about making an adapter (shorter attachment arm) for my bike rack. Guy runs a solo shop and doing metal fabrication for auto and truck work for over 25 years.

    He went under the car on a creeper to look at the Curt hitch to see how it is installed. I have little knowledge on this so had little expectations. His comment's were very enlightening and I think may help fellow Mazda 5 with +'12 Curt hitch installed. I'm also using a Rola 59519 adapter (b/c the receiver is recessed) with a helicoil in it to make it anti-rattle https://www.etrailer.com/comparison....59519&pc2=HT5R



    His comments: the way the Curt hitch is mounted is SOLID. With the Rola 59519 inserted, he stepped on the protruding receiver and jumped up/down hard. He wanted to illustrate that the Curt hitch attachment points and the Rola adapter are both SOLID and can carry a lot of weight. He reaffirms to me that he knows metal and constructions and he assure me what I have is very strong, will not break, or fall off. I told him this car is not rated to tow but my intentions are to use the adapter (adds leverage that I want to avoid) with my bike rack to carry 4 bikes in the rear. I went with the intent of getting a custom 'shorter' adapter made to lessen the leverage. Curious, I asked how much tongue weight he think this this hitch can realistically handle. His response surprised me. He said, this hitch can safely carry up to about 1000 lbs (tongue) so four bikes will not be a problem at all. Even with the extra leverage is no trouble. I have no intentions to tow. Regarding not-rated to tow, his response: it's the transmission. There's nothing you can do to and trying to pull too much weight will strain and beak.


    I'm not saying you can safely go out and do something unadvised but figure this experience may be enlightening to some as it was for me. Note, this is with regard to the +'12 Curt hitch ONLY. Curt makes a different one for <'10 model years with different attachment points. I can't wait to take all 4 bikes to some trails this summer!
    Last edited by Silentnoise713; 05-03-2019 at 11:26 AM.
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  10. #25
    Registered Member Silentnoise713's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentnoise713 View Post
    ...adapter (b/c the receiver is recessed) with a helicoil in it to make it anti-rattle...
    Found pics some may find useful.

    How to make your 1.25" accessory anti-rattle? = Helicoil. Instead of thread repair, you create new thread. Note this kit uses bolt size 1/2-13.

    NAPA 770-3048. You will need a heavy duty tap T handle, cutting oil, and optional thread lock. I broke a cheap smaller Craftsman (it was cast but lifetime warranty covered it) b/c you need a lot of torque to cut through the metal.
    Last edited by Silentnoise713; 09-09-2019 at 04:13 AM.
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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentnoise713 View Post
    -Class rating is a dummy/quick reference/101 guide. Tongue is calc as exactly 10% tow but up to 15% should be safe (there are ways to measure this individually)
    -The car's hitch rating is determined by the lowest/weakest link, which is always the car itself (weak chassis, transmission, suspension, brakes, 'what the mfg says', etc.), not the hitch. Fitting a Class 5 hitch on a subcompact car does not automatically increase it's tow. The Mz5 is build on a "compact" car chassis. While it looks bigger and sorta, kinda like a minivan - it is not. They are typically build on mid to full size sedans and are much heavier/stronger framed.
    -Keep Archimedes' lever principle in mind! Extenders/Converter/Adapter are ok for tow but I would avoid them for tongue.
    -Not all hitches are created equally.


    I use this to carry 3 bikes, plan to fit 4 once the youngest bike can fit tube top; it looks like a tight fit. Also, the provided 2--> 1.25 adapter is not desirable. Have to invert it, which leaves very little departure angle. I'm working on making an adapter. It is the only bike on the market that has the unique parallelogram design to allow access to the hatch (with or without hydraulics to assist in lifting). Note the rack itself is 42 lbs! I would recommend the 3 bike aluminum version b/c it is lighter. There's also the "swing away" type racks but they too are really heavy and really aren't meant for Class 1.
    http://www.softride.com/rack-product...sist_bike_rack
    We bought our '09 Mazda 5 in 2013, and I bought and installed a Class 1 tow bar within a couple of weeks, with the intention of using it only to haul our bikes around. I don't remember the hitch manufacturer (and the car's not home as I write) but think it was a Reese. In any case, it has the square 1-1/4" receiver. Installation was quite easy. I dropped the exhaust system at the back only, and had good access. No drilling was required. The fit was perfect.

    We did a family bike trip that summer, and had to carry four bikes. Our bike rack is a Thule, with 4-bike capacity. However, Thule warns that the rack is not to be used to carry more than three bikes when used with a Class 1 receiver. This confirms to me that it's either the the vehicle or the tow bar, not the bike rack, that's the limiting factor. Given that the Mazda 5 is not rated to tow, I figured the limitation was the vehicle. (Per the 'net, a Class 1 hitch is rated for up to 2000# towing and up to 200# tongue weight.) I can see how the bike rack itself (40# or so?) plus four clunky department store bikes, could exceed the rated tongue weight. I'm sure there's a safely margin built in, but why play with fire? There were lots of horror stories online of people breaking hitches off with heavy package shelves and other plug-in accessories. And as another poster said, the multiplying force due to leverage, with the 4th bike being way behind the vehicle, is significant. (Archimedes and all that.)

    My solution was to reduce the effective tongue weight by running a tie-down strap through a couple of bolted-on loops, and tightening the strap to take the slack out of the bike rack and the weight off the hitch. I got the straps at a bike shop. They don't seem to carry them any more, but one could have them made. (The tail has a hole and heavy grommet. I removed the bolt where the hatch strut attaches on each side, and bolted the loop on there. Make sense?

    However, there's an easier way; there are purpose-designed straps for this application. There's a big loop at one end, and a bent metal fastener on the other that hooks onto the top lip of the hatch or the trunk lid (depending on what style of vehicle you have). I'm pretty sure this is it (1 picture > 10^3 words ...):

    https://www.curtmfg.com/part/18050

    I don't have any photos of the Curt strap in use, but photos of the tie-down method are attached. The pipe insulation was to protect the paint on the car.

    PdB 2013 05 22 272 - Copy.jpgPdB 2013 05 22 271 - Copy.jpg

    We've used the bike carrier many times since, but typically only for two bikes at a time. Regardless, it's pretty fast to throw the Curt strap on, and provides me peace of mind.

  12. #27
    Registered Member Silentnoise713's Avatar

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    Stabilizer straps are a doable alternative but you do need to be very careful, especially for GT owners. The rear spoiler on the GT is one piece with the hatch door. We*ve had owners in the past who used the trunk (via strap mount, similar to stabilize strap setup) bike racks which lead to cracks on the top of rear hatch. 1st gen rear hatch is made of mostly composite. 2nd gen uses steel (unsure if parts or some). Look for past posts with pics. This was one reason why I look for alternatives (also have roof mounted bike trays that I don*t use anymore).
    Last edited by Silentnoise713; 09-11-2019 at 11:06 PM.
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentnoise713 View Post
    Stabilize straps are a doable alternative but you do need to be very careful, especially for GT owners. The rear spoiler on the GT is one piece with the hatch door. We*ve had owners in the past who used the trunk (via strap mount, similar to stabilize strap setup) bike racks which lead to cracks on the top of rear hatch. 1st gen rear hatch is made of mostly composite. 2nd gen uses steel (unsure if parts or some). Look for past posts with pics. This was one reason why I look for alternatives (also have roof mounted bike trays that I don*t use anymore).
    Good information, thanks! I've recently installed a Rola roof rack. Could tie the strap to it instead.

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