jray3
Posts: 1584
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Trailer Hitch Installation

Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:51 pm

bobakka wrote:Any idea if this will fit an European 2011 model iMiev?


I know that Torklift has sold at least one to a customer (in the Netherlands, IIRC), so you might just ask Matt or Katie at Torklift Central if they received any user feedback.
support(at)tlcentral.com
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 96,000 miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3581
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Trailer Hitch Installation

Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:51 pm

Finally got around to hooking up the trailer lights.

First off, in order not to affect the existing i-MiEV lighting system and to also not bother bringing separate turn signal and brake lights out of the car, I decided to use an electronic buffer/combiner called a Powered Taillight Converter. I bought a CURT p/n 54146 which is good for 3A brake/turn signals and 6A taillights and comes with a standard trailer four-pole flat connector. I picked mine up on Amazon for less than half that listed price.

Next, where to find 12v? My trailer-hitched i-MiEV is installed in Mitti which has the high-power audio amp and thus supplies the amp directly with 12v. The amplifier is located inside the car under the plastic cover above the left rear wheelwell. Simply tapped into one of the two fat red wires (fused by the car at 20A).

While I had that left cover removed, I tapped into the green left turn signal wire. I also noticed a common ground point towards the aft end on the left side so I attached to it using an eye on a length of black 12 AWG wire. Made a neat bundle and zip tied it and brought the three wires over to the right side of the car underneath the threshold at the bottom of the hatch opening.

Removed the right side aft panel and picked up the light green (right side) taillight, the violet brake light (not sky blue like I thought was in the wiring diagram), the blue right turn light, and hooked up all the wires to that converter (the converter comes with wire taps). Attached the converter to the car body above the wheelwell with the supplied sticky foam tape and zip-tied all the wires. Everything nicely located behind the cover plate on that right-side aft panel and the wire is plenty long to bring out from behind that panel and under the tailgate to the trailer connector. Sorry, forgot to take pictures.

Edit:
Photo here: http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=26303#p26303
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

ChaplainBill
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:27 pm

Re: Trailer Hitch Installation

Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:00 am

I mounted the same trailer hitch product on my Hawaii car, and use it for installing a bicycle carrying rack on the back of the car. Very light load, and no scratches on the roof racks from trying to carry bikes on the roof. Surfboard racks were installed for my kayak, surfboards, etc. I bought a Thule baggage carry bag to attach to the Thule racks, to handle luggage for airport runs. It makes the car so much more practical for my lifestyle.
My only problem now is the range going down on my batteries. I have a sound from the front wheel, driver side that the local tire shop says is a bad bearing. Will take the car to the dealership next week for their investigation, hopefully a warranty item!?
Aloha!

nikalex
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:03 am
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

My new trailer hitch

Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:57 am

Just thought I would share my experience with the Torklift Ecohitch for the I-MiEV.
Just installed my 2" receiver hitch that I preordered and picked up from them.
Great quality product. Heavy - yes but solid.
Bolts to sub-frame (one bolt per side - 1/2" UNC on one side and 3/8UNC on the other) plus uses the 4 x 10mm shank diameter rear bumper assembly bolts (2 per side) as well.

This is not my first trailer hitch installation.
Their instructions are terrible, written by a non installer I would guess.
But if you are reasonably mechanically inclined and have basic tools (including torque wrench) one person can do it safely in an hour.

I had to grind down the large rectangular backing washer a fair bit to get it to fit through the sub-frame access hole.

All in all a great product. An aluminum version would be fantastic. My cost was US$290.00



Cheers, Roman
2014 i-MiEV

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3581
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Trailer Hitch Installation

Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:42 am

I discussed my trailer light hookup here: http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=22683#p22683

Here's a poor quality photo showing where I mounted the Powered Taillight Converter:

Image

The long wire leading to the trailer nicely tucks in aft of the wheelwell. If I had to do it over again, I would route the wire bundle going into the Converter up from in front of the wheelwell, as the plastic wheelwell cover presently pushes slightly against those wires coming up and might eventually chafe through.
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3581
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Trailer Hitch Installation

Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:36 am

For completeness, here's the link to Ben Nelson's great video about installing the trailer wiring harness into his i-MiEV:

http://300mpg.org/2016/09/12/imiev-trailer-wiring-installation/

For my own installation, for +12vdc I picked up the already-fused high-power wiring going to the audio amplifier located above the left wheelwell (two fat red wires fused by the car at 20A) in my SE Premium, as for me it was easier than stringing a wire all the way to the battery.
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV


jray3
Posts: 1584
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Trailer Hitch Installation

Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:56 pm

Check your bolts from time to time. That big vertical frame bolt on the passenger side loosened up on me; it must not've been torqued tight enough due to the spinning nut up inside the frame. I'll see about welding a nut on top of a rectangular washer that's better-sized for the slot.
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 96,000 miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3581
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Trailer Hitch Installation

Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:36 pm

jray3 wrote:Check your bolts from time to time. That big vertical frame bolt on the passenger side loosened up on me...
Jay, how did you notice it?
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

jray3
Posts: 1584
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Trailer Hitch Installation

Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:07 pm

JoeS wrote:
jray3 wrote:Check your bolts from time to time. That big vertical frame bolt on the passenger side loosened up on me...
Jay, how did you notice it?


Uh, when removing the hitch prior to pursuing a warranty claim for drivetrain vibrations... :roll:
You just had to ask! :oops:

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