Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Allen 304ST Bike Rack - Replacing the worn out fabric straps

Yes, you can do it at home.  I did two of these straps in under a half hour while the world was going crazy here around my ears.

Standard internet warranty applies - is not responsible for any damage or injury created by your following these instructions.  I am doing my best to give as complete instructions as possible, but if I did you wouldn't read them anyway.  Read them twice before you do this.  Go have a cup of coffee or tea, then be careful, don't burn yourself with Fire, Beavis.  I'm not responsible.  I run with scissors.  In fact I skate with scissors.  This is AYOR, at your own risk.

On the other hand, comedy aside, this really is pretty easy and safe if you can use basic hand tools.  I've been using the rack with my bike multiple times  a week on the repaired Bike Mounts on a 17 mile round trip drive.

There is a list of things you need:

1.) - 1 inch wide Fabric (nylon?) Lashing Straps.  I got mine online, they are very common.  You probably have a place in mind, and that's probably where I got mine.  Named for a big river in Brazil... Get more than you need so you can make mistakes.  The ones I ordered were 4 units of 10 feet long by 1 inch wide black straps.  I figured once I finish cutting 6 straps of 18 inches long, heat treating the ends, and installing them I could use the rest to make the long straps that hold the rack to the tire.

2). - Scissors - to cut the Lashing Straps to 16 inch or longer strips

3). - Lighter - to "finish" the ends of the straps so they don't fray.

4). - Ruler - to measure out 16 inch plus lengths of Lashing Straps.

5). 3/16 inch Allen Wrench, Size is not guaranteed!  My own set of hex wrenches had a guide on the side of the set implying that there were 9 wrenches in the set - and there were only 8.  To loosen the screws in the ends of the caps so that you can get at the mounts to install the Lashing Straps.

6). - Staple Gun - The lashing straps are actually stapled to the vinyl mounts on the place where you hang your bike.  You can reuse the staples you have but that will take a LOT longer - trust me, I did that for the first three and the last three were done in the time it took for me to locate something to punch a hole in the strap in the precise location and ... just get a staple gun okay?

Process is fairly simple:

  1. Remove the rack from the car and bring it where you will work with it.
  2. Cut up to six straps from your supply.  Each should be a minimum of 16 inches (40cm). I left one end "square" and put an angle on the other end for the outside.  It is not required, you can even put that handy angle on after you have installed the straps.
  3. Finish the ends with a lighter to make sure they won't fray in the weather and by use.  See, I promised you Fire, Beavis.
  4. Using the (approximately) 3/16 inch Allen Wrench, remove the retaining screw from the end caps on the rack. 
  5. Slide out the black tubes and bike mounts from one side of the rack.  Only do one side because you don't want to confuse yourself as to how they go back.  That would be like baking a cake from a mix and throwing out the box only to have to go back to the trash can to remember that most cakes bake at 350F/175C/Medium Oven... oh just never mind.
  6. Un-thread the existing old strap from the first bike mount retaining the plastic latch.
  7. When you get to the point where you have the strap held on by the staple, take note of where it is stapled.  You will be stapling your new strap in the same way.

  8. Beginning to assemble the new strap, you insert about 1 1/2 inch (a bit longer than your thumb from tip to first joint) into the hole of the bike mount toward the end where the old strap was stapled.
  9. Staple your strap approximately in the same place as the old one was fastened.
  10. Thread the new strap up through the bottom hole of the bike mount.
  11. Slide the plastic anchor clip onto the end of the strap while making certain that the indentation for the clip is facing the inside of the bike mount.
  12. Thread the strap back into the second hole of the anchor clip.
  13. Now that the strap is facing to the spot where the staple is anchoring the strap, thread the end through the hole where the tube goes to the opposite side of the bike mount.
  14. Thread the strap through the hole on the non-stapled side. 
  15. At this point the Bike mount is threaded and can be mounted on the tube where it came from.
  16. Repeat this weave for any other Bike Mounts that you feel need to be re-strapped.

    The instructions I am giving for weaving the strap may be a little vague to someone who is not actively doing it with a bike mount in front of them.  After you do one, you'll know, but do reference your existing bike mounts while doing this if you can't wrap your mind around what you're going to do.

    You've got this.  I believe in you.

No comments:

Post a Comment