Bike rack installation on car

Bike rack installation Guide | February, 2020

So you decided to set up a bike rack. Here’s a quick guide about how to install bike rack on car. Understandably, everyone is not knowledgeable with a bike rack, as some of us are more artistically than mechanically oriented. However, you are going to have to get a bike rack installation process.

In today’s guide, we’ll be covering everything that you need to know about how to install a bike rack on the car, so you won’t have to do it alone. We’ll also discuss some of the material that you need to know. 

Tools for putting a bike on a bike rack

There are a few tools that will come in convenient throughout your bike rack installation:

  • Multi-head screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Mallet

Types of Bike Rack

There are various types of bike racks on the market. Let’s take a look at some of the main varieties of bicycle racks.

  • Roof-mounted rack
  • Hitch mounted rack
  • Trunk mounted rack

All types of bike racks have a particular way of installing on the different types of cars. It is easy, and you will be fine. Before you install your bike rack, you will need to think about what kind of bike rack you have or need to purchase, as not all of them are created the same. Before we get into the details, we will describe the different bike rack types and then give you instructions for installation processes. 

How to install a roof bike rack on car

Firstly, you’ll need to settle which type of roof rack is best for your needs. If your car already has manufactured tracks on the roof, you’ll need to install a roof rack that has to the existing side rails. These roof racks might take on more parts but are still legitimately easy to install.

The second thing to consider is the decoration you’ll combine to the roof rack. The true outdoors man might opt for a universal roof rack, no matter what the season, they’ll be good to go.

Tips for roof bike rack installation:

This is a super easy process. The process is the same whether you have SUV or car. We’re going to be installing it on the car as well. Again this is a super easy process, so let’s go ahead and get started. 

Step 1: The first step after you get everything un-boxed is to lay all of the parts out and begin to assemble the rack. Now you’re going to want to join the rack upside-down only because this is going to help you attach the crossbars to the side rails a little later on once you have everything laid out. 

Step 2: Next, you’re going to install the side light brackets. So as you can see here, the first step is to insert the carriage bolts into the extruded crossbar and then you’ll place the sidelight bracket on top of those and then thread on the nylon nuts. 

Step 3: Once you have all 8 of the sidelight brackets installed into the crossbars, then you can go ahead and start assembling the rack. You do this by attaching the crossbars to the side rails with the two fasteners included per crossbar. 

Once you have the KC M-Rack completely assembled, you’ll then need to remove the factory weather stripping from the roof of your Tacoma. You do this by pulling the weatherstripping straight up, starting from the front of the windshield working your way towards the back.

Step 4: Then you’ll locate the factory mounting locations, which are often covered by a piece of painted tape that you’ll need to remove or poke holes in. Then lay your weather stripping next to these and transfer marks onto it to know where you need to make openings in the weather stripping to fit snug around the included spacers. 

Step 5: One thing to note here is that there is a small metal bar in the weather stripping that runs lengthwise, so it’s best to use a drill or a Dremel, rather than a utility knife to make these openings. Next, add a Hersheys kiss sized amount of silicone over the factory roof holes where you will mount the KC M-Rack onto your Tacoma. This adds a little bit of extra protection to ensure no water gets in the cab. Then put the included spacers into position and reinstall the weather stripping. 

Step 6: Now, it’s finally time to place your rack onto the roof and bolt everything down. If you’re not using a regular Allen wrench and are using a driver as I was, some of the crossbars will need to be loosened and swiveled out of the way to make room for the longer driver. Because this was a prototype version that we were using to film, you’ll notice a few things that are different in the final production version. 

Step 7: Most notably, the finish on the final version is a matte black powder coat, rather than this gloss black finish that you see here. After the rack is bolted to the roof, and the crossbars are tightened, you can then install the four sidelights and the forward-facing light bar. To install the windows, they should first be bolted to the brackets then the brackets and light should be slid into position all as one unit.

Step 8: After the light bars are installed, the only remaining step is to do the wiring. Connect your wiring harness for your front light bar and run the switch into the cab. Right now, we recommend having the installation for the sidelights professionally installed.

How to install Hitch Mounted bike rack on car

Step 1: The first step is to determine what size receiver. You have a 2-inch receiver that is most common. So the frame comes with an adapter for a 2-inch receiver already installed. If you have a smaller one in one quarter inch receiver all, you need to do remove the black adapter.

Step 2: The next step is to insert the bike rack into your car’s receiver and pushing it in far enough to make sure that the hole in the frame lines up with the hole in the receiver. Once you’ve got the hole on your receiver lined up with a threaded hole in your rack. 

It’s time to insert the bolt. Make sure you’ve got a lock washer on just below. The flashes head followed by the flat washer. You’re going to take those and thread them all the way. After you’ve screwed, the bolt in as far as possible with your fingers. You want to go ahead and tighten it down the rest of the way with the wrench provided. 

Step 3: the final step is fitting the cotter pin through the hole at the end of the bolt. So now you’re ready to go ahead and install bike rack as you want to move it from the stored position into a position for carrying bikes. So go ahead and remove the top pin from the frame. Raise the upper bar and reinstall the bolt. So now you’re ready to mount a bike that you want to do is open up the velcro straps. 

Step 4: Install the bikes on the rack with the provided bike arm straps. Make sure you have picked up the cross-post and seat post to the frame. It is essential to know that when pulling more than one bike, you need to alternate the way to the bikes are facing on the cover.


Trunk mount bike rack installation

Step 1: let’s talk about installing a trunk rack on your car. so the first thing you want to make sure that you get a trunk rack that fits your car. The rack that you’re picking out will work with the car that you have once you get your new rack to rip it out of the box and throw it on the car. It is essential to read the directions first. Every rack is different as we mentioned the strap setup. It’s going to be a little bit different for every rack, even the demonstration.

Step 2: so make sure that you learn the specifics of your rack. the first thing you want to do is you want to adjust the feet. so the feet sit against the trunk. the upper feet should rest up. here on the trunk down here at the bottom, the feet should rest just below the license plate. 

Step 3: in this case, we’ve got a solid bumper. So we can sit against the bumper if you have the option. Make sure that your bikes are sitting out away from the car as far as possible so that the bikes themselves don’t swing against the car. 

Another thing you’re going on does as you’re installing. Your rack is to check the bottom of the feet of the rack. As well as your strap ends here and to check your car. so the next step is to take your top straps. First, there’s going to be six straps on this rack. Three on each side, two of those straps are going to go towards the top. So take one of your top straps to poke it. 

Step 4: At the top of the trunk and go ahead and pull it tight. Do the same thing with the other side of the rack. Then you can go ahead and get the rest of the strap set up without having to hold the rack. 

The bottom strap and the side strap is one strap that moves back and forth within the rack. Sometimes this will be two straps but frequently. It’s just one like this either way the next strap to attach is the bottom strap. So this strap goes here to the bottom of your trunk. Then you can attach one strap over here on the side of the trunk.

Step 5: If your rack doesn’t have a little strap like that you can use some use tape or string or whatever you have. You want to make sure that those straps aren’t flapping all over the place. Just better for safety and creates an excellent clean look, that’s it. Everything’s just going to settle in place. Make sure again that every strap is tight. It’s a good idea to when you’re on your first drive with this thing.

So, here is everything that you need to know about how to install a bike rack on car. Happy Bike, Happy Life. Let us help you find the right fit for your car.

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