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1987 230GE
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Looking for a dual bike rack that could mount to my stock hitch. It looks to be a smaller size ball at the end of the 'J', non-removable. I have not seen anything that could adapt to fit. I would like to keep the original hitch to keep my truck stock as possible but with my SWB it's tough to put a couple bikes in the rear. I have the cabrio top, putting my spare on the right side, it's tough enough to fill up w/gas never mind putting a rack over the spare!

On another note, I thought the buzzing sound I heard on the first start of the day was normal,, a 'self-test' thing. Well, one day it just wouldn't start! I can change fluids and tires but when it comes to electric I'm done before I get started. Turns out it was my starter. My nice German mechanic gave me a replacement cost of about $200 which I thought was fair, but when he saw where my starter was located I wound up paying $385!! The manifold had to be removed, what a job. Glad I didn't attempt that one.
 

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300GE Cab, 6.9
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556 Posts
For the bike rack, you could use a roof-style rack and mount it to the gutters over the doors. Otherwise you are pretty much stuck with the spare tire mount, I think.

As for the starter, I'm not sure about your 230GE, but on a 280 the starter can be replaced in about 20 minutes without removing any exhaust components. It takes some creative use of ratchet extentions and u-joints, but it can be done. To be fair to your mechanic, the federalizers can be pretty haphazard when retrofitting a DOT legal exhaust system. Mine was cobbled together with straight tubing chopped and welded to make the bends. It could have been that because of the way your federalizer did the job some components would have to be removed to put a starter in. Worst case though, I'd think all that would be necessary is to loosen the header from the manifold.
 

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00 g500
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2,289 Posts
i don't know...

i don't see how a spare tire rack is going to be in the way. Sure, when the bike is on there, but with my rack, i can put the rack and bike on (or off) in about 3 minutes. I bring it up just becuase i can't think of anything better and i love my spare tire rack made by hollywood racks.
 

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'82 300 GD Cab STT ('02 G270CDi/'85 300 GD SWB)
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473 Posts
The M102-engine has the starter on the inlet manifold side (left side) of the engine and would therfore be very different from the M110 on this point.
 

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300GE Cab, 6.9
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RE: i don't know...

ewalberg - 2/25/2005 4:41 AM
i don't see how a spare tire rack is going to be in the way. Sure, when the bike is on there, but with my rack, i can put the rack and bike on (or off) in about 3 minutes. I bring it up just becuase i can't think of anything better and i love my spare tire rack made by hollywood racks.
That sounds pretty convenient to me. There might be a downside though - on the Cabriolets the spare rides much more outboard, and bikes on a rack would hang out beyond the right hand edge of the truck, just waiting to clip a pedestrian or parking meter or something.

Here's another alternative. [:)]
 

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RE: i don't know...

i think many spare tire racks (mine anyway) have the center cross member (or equivalent) adjustable so you can keep the bike pretty centered on the back of the truck even when the tire isn't. If you want i can check how far it's adjustable. depending on how the bike sits on the rack, they usually stick out more to the left or right from the center of the tire. you might be able to use that fact to your advantage too. RUnning it off center though you probably have to pay a little more attention initially to make sure the rack isn't going to rotate on the tire. That would suck.
 

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1987 230GE
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Forunately (or un-fortunately) my truck is bone stock from Germany,, no federalization. Lights, gauges, mechanical and electric, untouched. I don't know if that makes much difference to the starter positioning but my mechanic lifted my hood and showed me by reaching down and under the right side of the beast (where I could still not see the whole thing) just to pat the top of the starter! He had indicated the starter was similar to those used in 190's but because of the framework of truck was not accessible from underneath.

Even if could mount bike rack to the roof (full folding softtop) I would rather have it on the back, or the front for that matter. I may wind up having to unbolt the original tow bar and replace w/class 3 type receiver. If so I would like a bolt on. As you might tell I don't want major modifications anywhere on my truck. In fact, I'm still looking to purchase a new original cabrio top from a company in Germany I once contacted (lost their info[:(]) as their price was 1,500 Euro's as I remember.

Thanks for all yous guys (two yutes) great input!

Sal
 
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