unplugged
Posts: 435
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:53 pm
Location: Orange County, California

Re: 2012 FFE Trailer hitch

Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:58 pm

WattsUp wrote:This looks really cool, but...what was all the fiddling around with what looked like "strings" at the beginning?

I also don't quite understand what the product information means when it says "completely stealth and hidden when not in use".
It looks as if the installer feeds thin guide wire through the holes in the existing frame and then wraps the guide through the washer and ties it around the bolt. Then he pulls the wire back through the frame using a pen/pencil or punch to guide the bolt straight so that it goes back through the existing holes. Then he unties the wire. (You can see this on a large monitor at the full screen 1080 HD setting. You might want to use the "stop" button so you can see him tie the wire around the bolt.) This is necessary because of the full box frame, so there is no way to drop the washer and bolt into the hole without a guide wire.

Well, maybe not "completely stealth," but if you look at the hitch receiver at a normal upright angle, it does actually come out nearly flush with the very bottom of the under-bumper trim. You might be able to see it if you were in another car behind the FFE, but even then, it's very hard to see the bottom of the under-bumper trim. You would not be able to see it if you were walking behind the FFE. Get behind your FFE and see if you can find the bottom of the under-bumper trim. This is where the hitch receiver box would be placed.

And yes, it looks like they need to do a bit of web page editing and remove the duplicate info.
May 2013 Ice Storm once leased and currently a 2017 White Platinum

WattsUp
Posts: 2113
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:58 am
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: 2012 FFE Trailer hitch

Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:31 pm

Thanks unplugged... I sort of understand. I'm having a hard-time visualizing... but I think what you're saying is that there is no way to push the bolts through the desired mounting holes in the box frame, but you can "pull" them through via some other opening (assuming there's another, bigger hole, where you can insert the bolt)?

My next question then is, how does the bolt get tightened if the head is left inaccessible within the box frame? Or, is the washer some kind of special locking one that allows the nut to be tightened (outside the frame).

I guess if I end up getting one of these things, and install it per the instructions, I'll eventually see how it works.
2013 FFE, Platinum White, Delivered January 2013
2017 MS, Midnight Silver Metallic, Delivered February 2017
Use my referral code (http://ts.la/matt4377) to save $1000 on your next Tesla AND get free unlimited Supercharging!

TorkliftCentral
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:24 am

Re: 2012 FFE Trailer hitch

Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:11 am

Thanks for the clarification unplugged.
You are correct, the techs are fishing bolts through the frame, this allows the hitch to attach without drilling new holes and uses existing holes in the frame.

We do use special locking washers to allow the nut to be tightened.

The only part of the hitch that is visible is the receiver. The crosstubes are completely hidden behind the bumper to keep a clean and simple look.

Feel free to contact us if you have any specific questions about the install.

piu_mosso
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:33 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 2012 FFE Trailer hitch

Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:16 am

I checked today with the dealership and they told me that adding a hitch for the purpose of attaching a bike carrier is fine and will not void the warranty. They said that as long as there isn't a wiring harness attached to suggest it's used for towing, it's ok. I think I might want to get that in writing. I'm considering ordering the hitch from Torklift and seeing if a local shop can do the install. Has anyone else done this? I would assume any place with experience attaching a hitch would have no trouble installing this one, especially given that no wiring harness is needed.

piu_mosso
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:33 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 2012 FFE Trailer hitch

Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:28 am

Looked up the Focus EV on the uhaul website and got this result:

"Your vehicle requires a custom-built hitch which we will gladly fabricate for you. If you are able to bring your vehicle to our Tempe, AZ Research & Development facility we'll provide you with a free U-Haul custom trailer hitch, including free installation, and a lifetime unlimited warranty in exchange for the use of your vehicle to fabricate the trailer hitch. We'll need the vehicle for two to three days. If you are interested in this offer please complete the form below and we'll contact you to schedule your appointment. This offer is only valid until one customer per vehicle can fulfill our requirements."

Don't think I can make it there from Philly...
:lol:

piu_mosso
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:33 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 2012 FFE Trailer hitch

Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:58 am

I watched the torklift install video again, and it looks like a pretty simple install. Unless I'm missing something, it looks like you just fish wire to pull 6(?) bolts into place. Then just put the hitch in place and tighten the nuts. I might try doing it myself before paying someone else.

eeafp
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:13 pm

Re: 2012 FFE Trailer hitch

Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:54 pm

I got a FFE 2014 a couple of weeks ago for my birthday and just put on the ecohitch today. It looks like a class III hitch, pretty overkill, rock solid and will definitely last the life of the car. Weighed 33lbs. Great quality, craftsmanship, and finish on it. It fit perfect. I got two extra 7/16 washers, an extra 7/16 lock washer, and no 1/2 washers(required 4) or putty tape, had to run to Home Depot. Not so impressed with whoever packaged the hardware. There are two wires, one for 7/16 and one for 3/8 with a coil on the end that the bolts thread on to and allows you to fish the bolts through the frame. It uses plate washers in the holes in the frames, so you have to fish the plate washer and bolt into the frame and drop the threaded end of the bolt through the hole in the frame. The threads are left hanging down from the frame. The plate washer needs to be inside the frame to stop the bolt from coming through the hole. No drilling or modifications. If I took it off you wouldn't be able to tell it was ever on there. The instructions go bolt my bolt with pictures and is pretty clear. The class 1 hitch on my other car flexes with two bikes in the hitch rack and even though it is just over half the tongue weight it is rated for I alway worry about it snapping off if I hit a bump. This ecohitch doesn't budge a bit. I thought it was $249.00 because nobody else made one, but it is actually a fair price. Nobody at Ford or the Ford dealership knew if it voided any warranties. They said they don't think so, I don't imagine it would, ask Ford, ask your local dealership. I got a response in writing that a bike rack should be fine and the hitch shouldn't void any warranties as long as I don't tow anything before I ordered it. He said to follow the hitch manufacturers tongue wight capacity that Ford does not put one out. So I'm assuming 200lbs max like most small cars. You can see the receiver below the bumper and that is it. The crossbar is hidden. I never would have found this thing if it weren't for this forum. THANK YOU for creating this forum. I was not going to be a happy camper if I couldn't use my 1upUSA hitch bike rack on my brand new car. Piu-mossso it took me less than an hour, would probably be less than 20 to do a second one now that I know how to do it. Very simple. I used my knee to hold it in place while I bolted it up myself. My pay scale would have to triple before I would consider paying somebody else to do it.
Last edited by eeafp on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

WattsUp
Posts: 2113
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:58 am
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: 2012 FFE Trailer hitch

Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:57 pm

eeafp wrote:I got a FFE 2014 a couple of weeks ago for my birthday and just put on the ecohitch today.
Cool! Photos please? :D
eeafp wrote:Weighed 33lbs.
Probably won't affect range much, but is like driving around with a small kid (or big dog) all the time. :)
2013 FFE, Platinum White, Delivered January 2013
2017 MS, Midnight Silver Metallic, Delivered February 2017
Use my referral code (http://ts.la/matt4377) to save $1000 on your next Tesla AND get free unlimited Supercharging!

piu_mosso
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:33 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 2012 FFE Trailer hitch

Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:02 am

Thanks, eeafp, that's great to hear. Glad to know the install was relatively simple. Did you have the back of the car on ramps to give more room underneath?

I second WattsUp's request for photos. Would love to see how it turned out!

piu_mosso
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:33 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 2012 FFE Trailer hitch

Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:32 pm

Finally installed the Torklift hitch on my FFE. Here are a couple photos:

With the bike carrier attached:
Image

The only downside is that without the bike carrier attached, it looks like I have a tailpipe now:
Image

Return to “Modifications & Accessories”