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Discussion Starter #21
I must agree with Skeeter97. Standing still, the hitch fit very well. I had no idea the exhaust swung around so much!
Trying to brainstorm on a way to fix this as I really don't wanna get a roof rack. Either a way to reduce the excessive movement in the exhaust, relocating the muffler a bit or getting a smaller muffler. Any thoughts? At this point taking the hitch off just means time off the bike which is no bueno


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Trying to brainstorm on a way to fix this as I really don't wanna get a roof rack. Either a way to reduce the excessive movement in the exhaust, relocating the muffler a bit or getting a smaller muffler. Any thoughts? At this point taking the hitch off just means time off the bike which is no bueno


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How pliable are the exhaust hangars? Part of me wants to suggest getting higher-durometer exhaust hangars while the other side is questioning why Ford made it this way; does there need to be room flex in the exhaust upstream?
 

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Discussion Starter #23
How pliable are the exhaust hangars? Part of me wants to suggest getting higher-durometer exhaust hangars while the other side is questioning why Ford made it this way; does there need to be room flex in the exhaust upstream?
Seems very pliable, more than I've ever seen on a car. I think I'll take it to an exhaust shop that I use next week to see what they think.


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Discussion Starter #24
Victory! Exhaust shop welded up a firmer hanger and all is well. Cost 40 bucks. Had to go celebrate with a ride.



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Victory! Exhaust shop welded up a firmer hanger and all is well. Cost 40 bucks. Had to go celebrate with a ride.
Awesome, man! Can you take some pictures of what they welded when you get a chance please? I thought you were just going to get higher-durometer hangers; they actually had to weld something on?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Sorry for the poor pic. He bolted the hanger to the frame and welded it onto the muffler. Probably could've been done better or cleaner, but hey it worked so I will take it. Tightened things up a lot down there



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Discussion Starter #27
Update: taken a few trips with the bike on and noticed it seems to bounce a little on the freeway. After some searching I found that the receiver hitch itself is actually flexing. When I push down on the bike rack I notice the hitch is flexing down a small amount under pressure. Uhaul says it's "normal" but that doesn't seem right that a hitch rated for 200lb tongue weight flexes under the weight of one bike. Any thoughts or ideas?


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Update: taken a few trips with the bike on and noticed it seems to bounce a little on the freeway. After some searching I found that the receiver hitch itself is actually flexing. When I push down on the bike rack I notice the hitch is flexing down a small amount under pressure. Uhaul says it's "normal" but that doesn't seem right that a hitch rated for 200lb tongue weight flexes under the weight of one bike. Any thoughts or ideas?
That doesn't sound good, have you inspected the hitch for any cracks in the welds? My fiance used to have a Curt hitch on her 2011 and I don't remember this being an issue; I think you said yours is a Draw-Tite but they should be nearly identical.
 

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Update: taken a few trips with the bike on and noticed it seems to bounce a little on the freeway. After some searching I found that the receiver hitch itself is actually flexing. When I push down on the bike rack I notice the hitch is flexing down a small amount under pressure. Uhaul says it's "normal" but that doesn't seem right that a hitch rated for 200lb tongue weight flexes under the weight of one bike. Any thoughts or ideas?


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Hey there. I empathize with your frustration. I'm very keen to get a receiver hitch going on my car for my mountain bikes (Stumpjumper and Big Hit). Sounds like the flat piece of the hitch is causing the flex/bounce (even though it shouldn't with one or two bikes given the 200lbs tongue weight). On the bright side, did bolting/welding the hanger solve the issue of the exhaust hitting the receiver hitch while driving/cornering? I think I might do this to mine.

Maybe the slightly different designs of the Curt, Draw Tite, and Hidden Hitch translate to more rigidity of the hitch....?
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Hey there. I empathize with your frustration. I'm very keen to get a receiver hitch going on my car for my mountain bikes (Stumpjumper and Big Hit). Sounds like the flat piece of the hitch is causing the flex/bounce (even though it shouldn't with one or two bikes given the 200lbs tongue weight). On the bright side, did bolting/welding the hanger solve the issue of the exhaust hitting the receiver hitch while driving/cornering? I think I might do this to mine.

Maybe the slightly different designs of the Curt, Draw Tite, and Hidden Hitch translate to more rigidity of the hitch....?
Yeah the new hangar fixed the exhaust issue for sure. Overall happy with how things worked out


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I'm worried about the distance from the hitch to the ground - can somebody with that Curt / Hidden Hitch measure from the bottom of the receiver to the ground?

I've got a TIG welder at home, but after reading all this mess I'm leaning toward roof rack. Plus I need to carry skis and snowboards.
 

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Yeah the new hangar fixed the exhaust issue for sure. Overall happy with how things worked out


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Well that's good. At least it's not a total loss. I think I will go this route. Do you mind posting some more pics of hitch/bumper/underside? Thanks.
 

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Has anyone else tried the Curt hitch? I'm wondering if it's sturdier than the Draw-Tite one that Skeeter97 is experiencing (flex issue). Has anyone else added a hitch yet? I'm trying to place an order while AutoAnything has a "President's Day Sale" going on. eTrailer lists the Draw-Tite and Hidden hitch as 'compatible' with the ST model why curt says theirs is specifically ST-excluded.
 

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I just installed the Hidden Hitch that I ordered from E-Trailer. Both the Hidden Hitch and Draw-Tite hitches have listings for ST and non-ST, however they are both the same part number. I expected issues with the exhaust banging against the hitch from the previous poster's install, and there was. I made sure to center the hitch laterally to give equal clearance between the muffler and the hitch on both sides. The problem was actually between the top of the muffler and the hitch. The hitch elimates at least an inch of clearance to the top of the muffler. I didn't want to rigidly fix the muffler, so I looked for a way to lengthen the last muffler hanger and make it a bit more rigid in the vertical axis. Luckily, the hanger is open between the two mount points. Starting with soda bottle caps, I tried a few different items to stretch the hanger and keep it from compressing as much. The bottle caps weren't enough, so I tried some large fender washers. Still not enough, so I cut a length of 1" wide plastic that I had laying around. I bent it into a U shape to fit into the hanger. This seems to have taken care of it. I just drove 30 miles of various quality streets without a single thump from the muffler.

Bottle Caps:
image.jpg

Fender Washers:
image.jpg

Plastic Strip:
image.jpg
 

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I just installed the Hidden Hitch that I ordered from E-Trailer. Both the Hidden Hitch and Draw-Tite hitches have listings for ST and non-ST, however they are both the same part number. I expected issues with the exhaust banging against the hitch from the previous poster's install, and there was. I made sure to center the hitch laterally to give equal clearance between the muffler and the hitch on both sides. The problem was actually between the top of the muffler and the hitch. The hitch elimates at least an inch of clearance to the top of the muffler. I didn't want to rigidly fix the muffler, so I looked for a way to lengthen the last muffler hanger and make it a bit more rigid in the vertical axis. Luckily, the hanger is open between the two mount points. Starting with soda bottle caps, I tried a few different items to stretch the hanger and keep it from compressing as much. The bottle caps weren't enough, so I tried some large fender washers. Still not enough, so I cut a length of 1" wide plastic that I had laying around. I bent it into a U shape to fit into the hanger. This seems to have taken care of it. I just drove 30 miles of various quality streets without a single thump from the muffler.

Bottle Caps:
...

Fender Washers:
...

Plastic Strip:
...
Excellent findings, thanks. I thought it was more of a side-to-side swaying issue but good to hear it's solvable w/o welding an additional hanger. I wonder if that plastic strip will eat into the hanger after some miles are put on it. Time to research higher durometer hangers. =)

Also, would you mind taking a photo of how the hitch looks from the rear please? I purchased a Curt hitch and it arrived this past Saturday but I was too busy this weekend to install it. I'll get some photos/video up when I get it installed.
 

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Im having no no luck with rotating these pics on my phone! Anyways, here's a (upside down) shot of the hitch in relation to the bumper. Doesn't hang down too far. Without squatting down to see it, all you can really see is the receiver.

hitch.jpg
 

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Im having no no luck with rotating these pics on my phone! Anyways, here's a (upside down) shot of the hitch in relation to the bumper. Doesn't hang down too far. Without squatting down to see it, all you can really see is the receiver.

View attachment 1254
Nice, I like how that one is pretty much hidden just like the Draw-Tite one. I'm curious to see how the Curt looks; from all the photos on regular Fiestas I've seen it looks like it's fairly visible, hmm.
 

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@TerryB: Didn't measure the ground clearance, but would guess its reduced by ~2", given the receiver is 1.25" plus clearance and wall thickness.

Here are a couple pics from this morning in bright sunlight. Can't even really see the hitch.
ST Hitch 1.jpg ST Hitch 2.jpg
 
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