Making a custom trike rack.

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Today I did some final bits of welding and got the trike rack to a state where a trial loading of the trike could take place.
It went surprisingly well and was far easier than trying to get the trike inside the vehicle itself.
Here it is after loading. This is the trike + 2 batteries (20AH & 10AH) on-board so the weight is far heavier than the bare trike.
In practice, the wheels will be lashed into the basket-frames with heavy-duty toe-straps.

I think lashing the frame/wheels from their upper edge to the bumper with simple webbing straps will make the mounting less susceptible to any twisting around the axis of the main rack tube.

 
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I managed to put some paint on the Trike-Rack parts today.
1st coat on cleaned metal. It's Hammerite Hammered Black finish. Allegedly, an 8-year lifespan.

I will do the trike in the same finish.

 
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This turned out very nice!
Is there any special primer / prep for Hammerite?

Brad
Thanks Brad!
No special preparation required.
The prep required is to wire-brush off any loose/flaking metal (rust) or paint (already painted surfaces) OR, Remove all grease with a water/detergent wash and dry thoroughly (new metal).
Sadly, some of the steel (the 30 x 30 tube sections seemed to have been impregnated with the most pernicious sticky oily grease I have ever encountered. :eek:
But, I managed to remove it eventually and today the 2nd coat of paint has been applied and that's it.
They claim the finish is good for 8-Yrs.
 
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OK, the trike rack is finally finished as a welding/metalwork project and all that remains is for me to wire in the trailer socket and buy a light-board.
The central "Thule" tow-ball clamp and frame form a firm foundation for the rest of the rack.
Here it is (and my young grandson assistant). I also took a picture of the rack loaded into the boot/trunk of the car (as it will be when the trike & the trike trailer are unloaded and the car is left in the parking compound while the trike-fun is enjoyed). The outriggers that contact the actual bumper/fender at the rear of the car are sheathed in some sections of an old tyre/tire to protect the car from scratches.
Costs so far :
Thule clamp £18.65
Steel for the rack £30
Sundries for the rack £10.
So, basically, it has met all of the goals that I set for it and at <£75 I am fairly pleased with the outcome.



 
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Dan

Excellent and meets the design brief nicely
 
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5 pairs purchased 2 weeks ago (bulk-buy savings). :D
 
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Can I join this party ?

The new Python rear end is 5" longer than the Mk1 and so will not fit inside my vehicle.

Like Dan I want to carry it on a rear towbar mounted rack.

So I bought a s/h 4 bike rack.

Both the towbar and the rack have a 60kg limit , as the trike weighs 35kg I have 25kg left for the rack ?



This part fasten's to the car , the catch being at the top. The bolt is used to pivot the rack should you want to get access to the boot and the black knob clamps into driving position.

The second part of the rack carries the 4 bike racks , I have removed all but one.



I have tried the Python on the rack and the front wheel fits into the carrier I left fitted , so with the front wheel in the left hand slot the rear wheels are on the right.

Again the car is at the top of the picture , each rack bolts on with 2 bolts so I intend making a plate to pick up all the bolts [ each pair holds a 15kg bike ] then I will weld 2 large door hinges the the plate.

to the hinges I will bolt or weld the 2 horizontal bars , these will then hinge down to the right to allow the trike to be wheeled on.

So I will build a trough the same length as the 2 spars and mount it between the bars allowing the trike to ride up it and over the main frame.
Then I will add 2 bars at righ angles on the right hand end to capture the rear wheel.

Having a full length trough and 2 bars at right angles will allow for different wheelbases and different tracks [ slightly :) ] as the trike is already slightly wider than the car and there is little space between the back of the car and the light bar that bolts onto the lower end of the rack [ in above picture ]

Any better ideas before I plunge in ?

regards Paul
 
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Better ideas?
No, not really. An observation or 2 though.
The rack will be attached to a point that is on the centreline of the car. Your load is going to be horribly off-centre and severely biased to the one side?
Rather than have the wheel cup/carrier so close to the centre, cut it in half and weld a new section in/on, so the cup for the front wheel is further to the left and your rear-wheels will be moved closer to the centreline too?
I looked at utilising a tilting ramp but....
  1. For me the slope was too steep.
  2. It was more to go wrong/fail.
  3. Without the tilting arrangement, once my rear wheel was in the guide trough pushing it backwards and lifting the 2 front wheels up and into the cups was a simple lift for me.
What will stop the python from pythoning while you are trying to load it (the rigidity of the tadpole was a bonus in this regard)?
What will hold the tilt-ramp closed once it is all loaded (esp if the load is all lop-sided), what forces will be applied to this locking mechanism on normal UK roads (bumps & potholes)?
I found my rack wanted to swivel around the ball of my tow-ball and the bumper stand-off's and webbing lashings were required to hold it rock-solid, your tow-ball/plate may be a totally different arrangement though.
Will your design dismantle for secure stowage inside the car while you are parked up at the ferry terminal?

I have got mine to work, all I need now is to do the electrics to support my light-board.
Please do keep us all posted on your progress.
 
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Better ideas?
No, not really. An observation or 2 though.
The rack will be attached to a point that is on the centreline of the car. Your load is going to be horribly off-centre and severely biased to the one side?
Rather than have the wheel cup/carrier so close to the centre, cut it in half and weld a new section in/on, so the cup for the front wheel is further to the left and your rear-wheels will be moved closer to the centreline too?
No - unlikely and no ?

The trike is in the centre of the vehicle and that is where the front wheel ended up [ about 2"-3" stick out one side ].

The shown carrier was only used to determine where the front wheel would end up , I shall not be using it I shall have a trough for the wheel.

I looked at utilising a tilting ramp but....
  1. For me the slope was too steep.
  2. It was more to go wrong/fail.
  3. Without the tilting arrangement, once my rear wheel was in the guide trough pushing it backwards and lifting the 2 front wheels up and into the cups was a simple lift for me.
You may be right on all accounts if so I will weld the hinges up


What will stop the python from pythoning while you are trying to load it (the rigidity of the tadpole was a bonus in this regard)?
There is a specially shaped piece of wood with a slot in it that goes over the pivot bolts , it stops the front end from pivoting and lifts the front wheel off the floor for getting it out to mend punctures etc.
If it is inserted the other way up it just inhibits the turning.

What will hold the tilt-ramp closed once it is all loaded (esp if the load is all lop-sided), what forces will be applied to this locking mechanism on normal UK roads (bumps & potholes)?
Faith ?

no idea till further into the build

I found my rack wanted to swivel around the ball of my tow-ball and the bumper stand-off's and webbing lashings were required to hold it rock-solid, your tow-ball/plate may be a totally different arrangement though.
If mine does I will go down the same path as you have.

Will your design dismantle for secure stowage inside the car while you are parked up at the ferry terminal?
Nope my vehicle is considerable shorter than yours and probably only the same length with the rack fitted ?
Hope not to park at ferry terminals , however if I do there is plenty of out of the way spots ?

I have got mine to work, all I need now is to do the electrics to support my light-board.
Please do keep us all posted on your progress.
Thanks.

This afternoons progress :-



Car at top again , 3mm plate cut and bolt holes drilled hinges cleaned and clamped in place.



Bolt in front of left hinge is for locking the tilting function of the rack.
I have made all this bolt on so the rack can be reverted to a 4 bike carrier if need be or to be sold on Ebay when no longer required ?
 
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Thanks for the update Paul, it makes it a lot easier to imagine and the pictures clarify a lot.

I wasn't sure about your "ferry-terminal" parking and/or the light-fingered brigade being able to remove it while you were away and leave you unable to load the trike up and go home after all your touring fun.
How many days till "off"? 21? ;)
A man of your calibre will have at least another 100 miles on the trike and 5 Rack-test-journeys around Mansfield under your belt by then I reckon.
 
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Thanks for the update Paul, it makes it a lot easier to imagine and the pictures clarify a lot.
Hard making it up as I go along ... now that's new ;)

I wasn't sure about your "ferry-terminal" parking and/or the light-fingered brigade being able to remove it while you were away and leave you unable to load the trike up and go home after all your touring fun.
There are holes for a padlock to the clamping handle slowing down the light fingered lot a bit ?

Trike can still be split in 2 and will then fit into car especially as there should be no trailer in there 😁 however with brake cables and levers being on separate halves of trike it does make it a longer process than is ideal - hence the rack ?

How many days till "off"? 21? ;)
No counting that way there are still plenty , and York before it !

A man of your calibre will have at least another 100 miles on the trike and 5 Rack-test-journeys around Mansfield under your belt by then I reckon.
Miles yes , test well at least 1 ?
 
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Trike can still be split in 2 and will then fit into car especially as there should be no trailer in there 😁 however with brake cables and levers being on separate halves of trike it does make it a longer process than is ideal - hence the rack ?
This is the real benefit of QR axles. 3 turns of the adjuster and the hub slips off and the cables can be just un-clipped from the hubs by operating the actuating lever to get lots of slack cable.
Putting it all back is exactly the opposite and equally painless. No spanners, bolts, nuts or harsh language. ;-)

You can do the same by screwing the adjusters slack by more turns to get enough slack cable to slip the barrel out of the actuator arm. 6 turns in and 6 turns out on re-assembly.
When they are bedded-in they are nice brakes to be honest.

Good Luck with the rack. At least there is a final fall-back plan-B ;-)
 
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