VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I installed the Ecohitch on my 2015 GTI and just wanted to share install tips that don't appear in the installation instructions.

First off, this hitch is a very simple bolt on part. The challenge is gutting the rear of the car to get to the mount points.
You'll need to remove the rear tails, bumper skin, and very likely the rear wheels, especially if you have OEM mudflaps installed.

There is one (torx) screw on each rear quarter panel that screws into the rear bumper cover. This is very hard to see and almost impossible to access with the rear wheels mounted. You may be able to get at it with a flexible bit extension.

When you pull the rear bumper cover off, start at the drivers side, when you get over towards the middle start keeping an eye on the rear plate lighting wiring. Unplug this wiring where it attaches behind the bumper beam (see photo). This is much easier than disconnecting at the lamps...unless you're doing led lamp conversion at the same time that is.

I was originally concerned about tossing the foam bumper beam cover, but when I saw how unsubstantial it is, and that euro GTIs don't even have this piece, I had no problem getting rid of it.

Make sure to loosely assemble all botls before torquing any down. Speaking of torque, the recommended 30ft-lbs on the bumper beam bolts felt excessive. I went closer to 25 as I was concerned with stripping the frame mounted threads with the grade 8 hardware. Be your own judge on that one.

The instructions call for cutting the valance. Not an issue, but you don't need to cut as wide as they recommend (3.5") for an 1.25" receiver. 2.5" wide is plenty. You also don't need to cut out the 1x1 squares they depict. Perhaps for the 2" receiver you will.

The overall quality of the ecohitch is great. Solidly reinforced and everything lined up perfectly. Mounted my bike rack and went for a ride today. There is plenty of ground clearance and tons of room around the exhaust (see photos).

http://imgur.com/a/gJQTi
 

· Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Appreciate the notes, I'm looking to purchase a hitch soon and this is looking like the best option. One issue I've had on other cars is that they don't reduce the ground clearance on level ground, but do as your approaching or leaving a steep incline like my driveway. Any idea if this would significantly impact the clearance in that way or going over speed bumps or anything like that. Any issues since your install? Thanks.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Appreciate the notes, I'm looking to purchase a hitch soon and this is looking like the best option. One issue I've had on other cars is that they don't reduce the ground clearance on level ground, but do as your approaching or leaving a steep incline like my driveway. Any idea if this would significantly impact the clearance in that way or going over speed bumps or anything like that. Any issues since your install? Thanks.
The hitch receiver tube is higher than the lowest point of the stock muffler by an inch or more (1-1/4" receiver). The receiver tube is also about 1" inboard from the outermost bumper skin point. The hitch itself would not hit anything you would encounter on the street/road or your driveway no matter how steep. You'd take your muffler out before you had a chance to scrape the hitch. I'm not sure what you're intending to mount on the hitch, but if it's a bike rack, I can tell you the 1Up USA rack offers plenty of road clearance since it rises up just after exiting the hitch receiver. Poorly designed hitch racks (like the original Saris Cycle-On http://www.sicklines.com/review/saris/flipped_out.jpg) would be a problem for any car with minimal ground clearance. Look how far that cam rod extends straight out! I've used a bunch of bike racks, and nothing comes close to the 1Up USA in terms of design, or build quality.

No issues at all with the Ecohitch install or since I've put it to use (a dozen times or so). It's a great product! Do be careful of the torque on the bolts that thread into the stock recesses on the back of the body. I felt the specified torque was too high and backed off to avoid stripping those threads. Best of luck!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
That's great news. I use a bike rack every once in a while but mostly tow a small utility trailer or boat. Just 500-1000 lbs total so it shouldn't be a problem. I was just so annoyed with the hitch on my previous car always hitting things even though it wasn't actually lower than the car, just low and back. Looks and sounds like that won't be a problem here.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
2" Review

I just finished the install of a 2" Ecohitch on my GTI.

Like you said, the bumper is quite an adventure removing it. Things went a lot smoother once I committed to jacking up the wheels for the wheel well screws.

For the 2" hitch you should definitely go with the depicted diagram (3.25" main square with the 1" squares on the sides.) I did around a 3" square with around 1" side squares and I had to trim a bit more off of the top of the 3" square and even a little more on the 1" squares. I still need to find a deeper 3/4" socket to get my 75 ft-lbs, as my socket could not grip the nut anymore as the bolt extended out.

Now I just need to figure out why my tail light main bulb doesn't want to light up after I reconnected it...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Serious install option for bike hitch

This Torklift looks to be the best.
However, calling the manufacturer on the West Coast asking for references for installers on the East Coast (I'm in NJ), they gave me 2 or 3.
None have done a 2016 GTI.
MY concern is the involved process of removal and installation of the bumper, the possibility of any damage because if mine was the "guinea pig" I don't want remorse.
Obviously, a body shop might be the best installer, IF there was one that would and could, unless I could see the install process of a qualified installer.
Also, I have a Thule EasyFold 9032 bike rack with 2 e-Bikes that are about 50 lbs. each.
Is it worth it, or will the back end bottom out over bumps, as the rack is 42 lbs. so 142 lbs. total.
THIS EcoHitch looks the best, but has anyone installed one, use it, have any feedback, and are there any alternatives that offer the same somewhat concealed look?
 

· Registered
2019 AllTrack
Joined
·
194 Posts
Installing Torklift Hitch

Installed mine on my 2016 GTI this morn. Straight forward installation. Hardest part of job was prying the bumper cover off the car but careful screwdriver work did the trick. Took 3 hrs including jacking and pulling wheels off. The latter task made the removal of wheel well screws easy.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
2017 GTI & Torklift Ecohitch

Hi,
new to vwvortex and appreciate all the shared info here

Really happy to have just gotten my 2017 GTI Autobahn and hope to be able to fit an ecohitch soon. Haven't been able to find any definitive info on whether the 2016 fitment will be identical yet, so am waiting on Torklift to do a test fitting. Hopefully soon. Will report back when I hear from them again.
KM
 

· Registered
2019 AllTrack
Joined
·
194 Posts
Torklift

Good luck. If you have any questions about the process, let me know. I found the process fairly simple. Note that a printout of a PDf (online) instructions are a lot clearer than the instrctions they send with the traiker.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Had the 2" receiver installed last week on my GTI. I'm impressed, it has more ground clearance than the hitch on my old MK4 wagon

I had it installed by the local Ecohitch retailer, which is also the VW dealer I bought the car from. They did a good job trimming the bumper.





 

· Registered
Too Much Electronics!
Joined
·
2,440 Posts
Hello,

Bumping this to ask a question rather than create a new thread. What are people using to trim the bumper? I know a hack saw will easily cut the plastic. But how do you achieve a tight square cut toward the back of the bumper? I'm on the verge of buying a 1.25" EcoHitch.

Thanks!

Scott
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Same question

Hello,

Bumping this to ask a question rather than create a new thread. What are people using to trim the bumper? I know a hack saw will easily cut the plastic. But how do you achieve a tight square cut toward the back of the bumper? I'm on the verge of buying a 1.25" EcoHitch.

Thanks!

Scott
I'm also planning on installing this hitch to my 2017 GTI and curious about how to achieve a clean square cut on the valance.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I'm also planning on installing this hitch to my 2017 GTI and curious about how to achieve a clean square cut on the valance.
I installed the ecohitch on my '17 GTI this weekend, so I'll answer my own question in hopes that it helps others. The installation instructions provide the measurements for the cut on the valence. I just made the measurements, marked the cut lines in pencil, and free-handed the cut with an oscillating tool. Forklift provides a trim piece included with the hardware that comes with the ecohitch that covers the cut edges for a finished look. Cutting the valence was the easy part.

As others have mentioned, the hard part is dealing with the screws in the wheel wells. A 3 mm long handled hex wrench, helped with some screws. For the trickiest one, I had to use a T20 torx head connected to a 1/4" universal joint on my ratchet. I could only turn it one click per stroke.

I also found that the passenger side brake light harness is more easily disconnected from outside the car after removing the lens. It was difficult doing from inside the vehicle due to the small access hole.

I hope this helps.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top