Please read these installation instructions from start to finish BEFORE beginning your WheelWally truck bed bike rack installation.
FIND THESE ITEMS ENCLOSED IN THE BOX
• 3 WheelWally boards.
• 3 WheelWally Omni straps.
• 7 Delta PT screws and T25 torx bit.
• 2 toe bolt assemblies (tba’s), see fig. 1.
• 2 head bolt assemblies (hba’s), see fig. 2.
• 1 Rear wheel tie down kit or 1 Off-road kit.
• 1 long piece of crush block material. For “open rail” installations.
• 1 short piece of crush block material if needed for thread clamping.
• 4 washers, 2 nuts, and 2 wing nuts for HBA / TBA options.
• 1 set of Installation Instructions with figures.
• 1 prepaid return shipping label.
Figure 1 – Figure 2
TOOLS NEEDED FOR WHEELWALLY ASSEMBLY AND INSTALLATION
• Tape measure
• 1/4″ nut driver or drill
• small adjustable wrench
May be required:
• Small mill file
• PVC or tubing cutter
• Vice grips or additional small wrench
• Drill & small bits ranging from 3/16″ to 5/16″
ASSEMBLING YOUR WHEELWALLY
Find a good assembly location. A garage floor works great. Lay down some scrap cardboard or a moving blanket to protect your floor and your WheelWally parts. Open the box. Identify your WheelWally boards. The smallest board is the toe-board. The mid-sized, rectangular board, is the head-board. The large piece with multiple small slots is the wheel-board. See fig. 11.
Attach the toe-board to the wheel-board to form a tight dado joint. Keep the “X” marks adjacent to each other. Make sure the dado joint is perfectly flush on both ends. Use your cordless screwdriver and the T25 torx bit (provided) to install 2 Delta PT screws. Do not forcibly drive the screws into the plastic surface, just snug them down!
Now fit the head-board and wheel-board together to form a tight dado joint. Keep the “Y” marks adjacent to each other. Install 5 Delta PT screws. Once your WheelWally is assembled, leave it assembled. Repeated dis-assembly and re-assembly of your WheelWally will weaken the dado joint connections.
Figure 3 – Figure 4 – Figure 5
LOCATING YOUR WHEELWALLY ALONG THE FRONT RAIL
IMPORTANT NOTE: For track systems located on the front rail of your truck and on the floor of the bed, your WheelWally location is somewhat predetermined (with just two toe-board locations to choose from). Refer to the homepage photos showing a typical (utili-track) installation. Skip down to: FOR TRACK SYSTEMS ON THE FRONT RAIL AND ON THE FLOOR OF THE BED.
If you’re only installing one WheelWally, I suggest locating it on the driver’s side of your truck. This gives you the best visibility while driving with your bike loaded. Bike attachment for right handed people is also a little easier on this side of the truck, believe it or not! A disadvantage to this location is that you’re more exposed to traffic when loading and unloading your bike on the street.
If you’re installing two WheelWallies, plan your layout to avoid handlebar interference. See fig. 6. Do not, however, position your WheelWallies so far apart that your handlebars stick way outside the bed where they could be snagged by tree branches, for example. Also, if you plan to use Off-road kits, keep in mind that the closer your WheelWallies are to the side walls of your truck, the less effective these “struts” become.
Consider that, though it’s possible to strap your bike to either side of the wheel-board, the easiest method is to stand outside your truck and strap your wheel to the outside of the wheel-board. See figs. 4 and 6.
Hold your WheelWally against the front rail (or front rail track) with the toe-board (or toe-board screws) contacting the bed of your truck. Test various locations, left and right, along the rail. Consider your “front-to-back” WheelWally location as well. See figs. 8, 9, and 10. Notice that the hba’s (once they’re installed) will slightly space your WheelWally away from the front rail (or front rail track).
Your truck bed probably has ridges and depressions. Plan your layout so that your tire rests in a depression, rather than on a ridge. See fig. 7. Do not position your WheelWally so that when your bike is installed the tire rests on the transition between a ridge and a depression (it just looks dumb).
Look at your toe-board. There are 8 holes, 4 on each side. See fig. 13. In each 4-hole group, choose the one hole that is furthest from the wheel-board and also above a ridge. These 2 holes do not need to be equal distance from the wheel-board. Shift your WheelWally slightly left and right to find the widest hole layout possible. (Later, you’ll use these 2 holes as a template for drilling your 2 truck bed holes.)
Now balance (or lightly tape) your WheelWally in place and take a few steps back. Do a visual check from behind your truck and from both sides. Make sure your WheelWally sits squarely in the bed and looks good from every angle.
Figure 6 – Figure 7
CHECK BELOW YOUR TRUCK BED
What seems like a great WheelWally location may not be so great when you consider what’s underneath your truck bed. Caution! Verify that truck bed hole drilling and tba installation won’t damage or interfere with any truck parts located below your truck bed! (This includes mechanical, electrical, and structural parts like tanks, hoses, wires, channels, etc.) Crawl under your truck and determine where the two toe bolt assemblies will penetrate the bed. Keep in mind that your tba’s will project about 5/8″ below the bed.
While you’re at it, check to see if you’ll have access under the bed to attach washers and wing nuts to the projecting toe bolt threads. This is a nice option if you plan to keep your WheelWally installed full-time.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is acceptable to remove your toe-board, spin it 180º, and then re-attach it to the wheel-board (forming a dado joint) if this results in better under-the-bed tba locations. Please see the home page photos showing both toe-board orientations. Decide if you should spin your toe-board 180º to improve your layout.
Your WheelWally should now be located. Use a pen to mark the center of each height adjustment slot where it crosses your front rail (or front rail track). See fig. 12. Your marks should be exactly 5″ apart. (If you could not find any good locations for your WheelWally, please discontinue installation! Re-box and return your WheelWally to your local FedEx shipping location. Use the return shipping label provided. Please see our Legal page.)
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have a Toyota, Nissan, or other track system on the front rail of your truck, but not on the floor of the bed, you’re ready to attach your hba’s, locate and drill tba holes in your truck bed, and install your WheelWally. Please skip down to: FOR TRACK SYSTEMS ON THE FRONT RAIL BUT NOT ON THE FLOOR OF THE BED.
DRILLING HBA HOLES FOR STANDARD (NON-TRACK) INSTALLATIONS
For a standard (non-track) installation, you will need to drill two 1/4″ diameter hba holes at the locations you marked on the front rail. (If your front rail is flimsy, flexible, weak, loose, curved, dented, or otherwise inadequate, please do not drill any holes! Instead, re-box and return your WheelWally to your local FedEx shipping location. Use the return shipping label provided. Please see our Legal page.)
If your truck rail looks good, get ready to drill the two 1/4″ dia. holes. Each hole will penetrate the front and back part of the rail. Verify that you won’t damage any truck parts (lights, wires, your rear window, etc.) while drilling the hba holes. Holes need to be exactly 5″ apart (in width) and equal (in height). Make sure the holes are not too close to any sheet metal edges and allow space so that your small hba washers can rest flat on the rail. See fig. 2. Double check your layout.
Drill slowly and carefully. Measure repeatedly. Keep your drill square to the truck rail. Use light pressure. Do not bust your rear window! After drilling, remove any metal burrs with a small file.
Is your front truck rail open or closed? See figs. 8 and 9. If your rail is open, carefully measure and cut two crush blocks. Use PVC cutters or tubing cutters. Don’t use a knife or a saw. It’s dangerous and probably won’t work! Insert the crush blocks into the rail cavity. If they just barely remain in place, by friction, that’s a good fit!
Figure 8 – Figure 9 – Figure 10
INSTALLING YOUR HBA’S
Remove the backup wing nut and the small backup washer from the end of one head bolt assembly. See fig. 2. Insert the hba through the drilled hole and crush block, if any. (If the hole is too tight, ream it slightly with your 1/4″ dia. drill bit.) Replace the washer and wing nut. (If there isn’t enough space for your wing nut, between the cab and the rail, replace it with a regular nyloc nut.) To tighten, hold the wing nut (or regular nyloc nut) stationary while rotating the large fixed washer by hand. Tighten moderately. Do not over-tighten! Rails without crush blocks can crush! Install the other hba.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Never clamp directly onto the threaded stud with vice grips. This will destroy the threads. If, for some reason, you need to hold the threaded stud stationary, twist on the short piece of crush block material (included) then clamp down on the crush block material. Your threads will be fine.
Check the space between the cab and the rail. If you feel that too much thread is showing you have a few options. 1) You can ignore it. 2) You can remove the hba’s, trim the excess thread on each hba with a hack saw, file the burrs to restore the threads, then re-install the hba’s. 3) You can “shift” all the hardware on the “threaded stud” toward the cab of your truck, but then you’d have too much thread showing on the other end … so what’s the point! 4) You can remove the hba’s, move the “adjustable nut” on each hba toward the excess thread, then re-install the hba’s. See fig. 2. Caution! Moving the “adjustable nut” will change your tba hole locations! If you use this method, verify that your under-the-bed layout still works!
Now check to make sure your no-slip nuts are vertical, so they’ll fit inside your height adjustment slots. See fig. 12.
FOR TRACK SYSTEMS ON THE FRONT RAIL AND ON THE FLOOR OF THE BED:
Insert your hba’s into the front rail track and your tba’s into the bed track. See fig. 10. (For Nissan “utili-tracks”, make sure that the “long side” of the track washer is perpendicular to the direction of the track.) Position the tba’s at the front of the bed. Hold your WheelWally above the tba’s and observe that there are two toe-board locations to choose from. Choose the location you prefer. Using your WheelWally as a template, carefully position your hba’s and tba’s.
To tighten the hba’s, hand tighten the regular hex nut and lock washer. Make sure the large round fixed washer on the outside of the track is centered vertically. Now tighten the regular hex nut with a small wrench. Do not over-tighten! This could possibly damage your track or strip the hba threads. Tighten moderately until the hba is secure and the regular hex nut is vertical. See fig. 12. Now tighten the nyloc nut until it touches, or very nearly touches, the first nut. Make sure the second nut is also vertical. Both of these no-slip nuts will now fit through the height adjustment slot in your WheelWally head-board. Tighten the other hba. Spacing should be 5″ apart. Proceed to tighten your tba’s. Now you can attach your WheelWally with the washers and wing nuts provided. Congratulations, your WheelWally installation is complete! Skip down to: ATTACHING YOUR BIKE TO YOUR WHEELWALLY.
FOR TRACK SYSTEMS ON THE FRONT RAIL BUT NOT ON THE FLOOR OF THE BED:
Insert your hba’s into the front rail track. See fig. 10. (For Nissan “utili-tracks”, make sure that the “long side” of the track washer is perpendicular to the direction of the track.) Locate the hba’s on the your marks.
To tighten the hba’s, hand tighten the regular hex nut and lock washer. Make sure the large round fixed washer on the outside of the track is centered vertically. Now tighten the regular hex nut with a small wrench. Do not over-tighten! This could possibly damage your track or strip the hba threads. Tighten moderately until the hba is secure and the regular hex nut is vertical. See fig. 12. Now tighten the nyloc nut until it touches, or very nearly touches, the first nut. Make sure the second nut is also vertical. Both of these no-slip nuts will now fit through the height adjustment slot in your WheelWally head-board. Tighten the other hba. Make sure to maintain 5″ spacing.
Figure 11 – Figure 12
LOCATING TBA HOLES IN YOUR TRUCK BED
Position your WheelWally so that the hba’s project through the height adjustment slots. The toe-board (or toe-board screws) should contact the bed of your truck. The head-board should be flat against the fixed hba washers. (If you’d like, snug everything down with active washers and wing nuts.) See fig. 2. Make sure your WheelWally sits square in the bed. Use a tape measure for this (see fig. 11), but also do a visual check. Stand back. Look at your setup.
As noted previously, you will need to select 2 tba holes. These holes act as a template for locating and drilling your 1/4″ diameter truck bed holes. Choose hole locations on opposite sides of the wheel-board, choose hole locations that are above truck bed ridges, and choose the widest hole locations possible. Holes do not need to be equal distance from the wheel-board. See fig. 13. Mark your hole locations on the truck bed.
Your marks should be the exact same distance apart as the two pre-drilled toe-board holes you selected. Position your WheelWally on the hba’s once again. Sight through the pre-drilled toe-board holes to make sure your two marks are dead center. Is your WheelWally still pushed firmly against the fixed hba washers? Is your WheelWally still square with your truck? Are your marks on ridges?
IMPORTANT NOTE: Now is a good time to verify (once again) that hole drilling and tba installation won’t damage or interfere with any truck parts located under the bed. Crawl under your truck and determine where the two toe bolt assemblies will penetrate the bed. Keep in mind that your tba’s will project about 5/8″ below the bed.
DRILLING TBA HOLES IN YOUR TRUCK BED
Using a 1/4″ bit, start drilling the first hole. Use light pressure. Penetrate the bed but nothing else! Check your layout again using the first drilled hole and the WheelWally toe-board as your template. When it looks right-on, remove your WheelWally and lightly start the second hole. Check your layout again! It should be perfect. Finish drilling the second hole.
ATTACHING TBA’S TO YOUR TOE-BOARD
See fig. 1. Thread one of your tba’s (with a small washer under the head) completely through the appropriate toe-board hole. You may need to use a wrench to do this. Add a small washer and nyloc nut to the projecting threads. Snug down the nut. Repeat this process for the second tba.
INSTALLING YOUR WHEELWALLY
Insert the projecting toe bolt threads into the truck bed holes. Caution: If the toe bolts don’t quite align with the truck bed holes, it’s best to move the toe bolts rather than enlarging the truck bed holes! To do this, you’ll first need to remove the tba’s from the toe-board. Next, ream the toe-board holes (laterally, in the desired direction) with a 1/4″ bit. Re-install the tba’s. Check the alignment. If it’s not quite right, tap the tba’s laterally and check again. Repeat this process until both tba’s are perfectly aligned. If the toe bolt threads still do not penetrate the bed, you can lightly ream the truck bed holes with a 1/4″ bit until they do. Caution! Keep the truck bed holes as small as possible so your WheelWally does not “rattle” during transport.
You should be able to insert the tba’s into the truck bed holes and rotate your WheelWally truck mounted bicycle rack onto the hba’s. See fig. 14. Your WheelWally should rest flat against the fixed hba washers. Add the active washers and wing nuts. Tighten. The entire assembly should be very secure. Congratulations, your WheelWally installation is complete!
If you plan to add washers and wing nuts to the tba threads that project underneath your truck bed, we’ve included additional hardware for this purpose. For your hba’s, we’ve included two extra nyloc nuts. Use these to replace your hba backup wing nuts if you’d like.
ATTACHING YOUR BIKE TO YOUR WHEELWALLY
For first-time bike attachment, use the strap layout that came with your WheelWally. Undo the “tail” of each strap and pull it to the “far side” of your WheelWally. See fig. 15. Now roll your bike into your truck bed, all the way up to the buckle of the middle strap. Make sure your wheel is flat against the wheel-board. Attach the middle Omni strap first. Withdraw the tail, loop it around the rim and tire, through the plastic buckle, and back onto itself. Attach the upper and lower straps the same way.
Now that your bike is well supported, adjust each strap, one-at-a-time, to more closely match the width of your tire and rim. This is your final strap layout. It should never change unless you change to a different bike.
The Omni strap buckle should always be close to your wheel-board, on the tire side. This buckle location prevents damage to your rim, allows you to use a rearward motion when tightening the strap, and gives the maximum amount of contact area for the velcro connection.
Strap tension only needs to be “snug”. There is no reason to cinch down tightly on the straps. “Massage” the velcro connection briefly to ensure that the hook-and-loop fibers are thoroughly engaged.
Your straps come extra long (for fat bikes). Experiment for a while before you decide to trim the tails with scissors.
LOADING POSITION SLOTS
For quicker loading, try using “loading position” slots. A loading position slot is any slot that keeps the tail of the strap on the far side of the wheel-board while you are loading your bike. See fig. 15. This prevents your front tire from pinching loose straps against the wheel-board. Once your wheel is in position, you can withdraw the strap tails from the loading position slots and fasten as described above.
You are required to use the “Off-road kit” or the “Rear wheel tie down kit” in combination with your WheelWally. Please see the F.A.Q., “What’s an Off-road kit?” and watch the Short Video.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Your saddle rail must be made of metal (not carbon fiber) and must have a round cross section that is about 7mm or 1/4″ in diameter.
We make Off-road kits for both track and standard (non-track) installations. Track O.R.K.’s attach to your side rail track and can be relocated easily. If you have a track O.R.K., go ahead and loosely attach it now. Adjust as needed until you find your preferred location then snug it down.
Standard (non-track) installations are more permanent. They require drilling a 1/4″ dia. hole in the side rail of your truck, then attaching your side rail hardware. Layout tips are discussed below.
Start by installing your bike in the WheelWally. Next, hold the “J end” of your O.R.K. close to your bike saddle rail and the “L end” close to your truck side rail. Adjust your O.R.K. to approximately the correct length. At the “J end”, decide which saddle rail you’ll attach to. Usually, you’ll choose the one closest to you. Next, decide whether you’ll attach to the front part, or the rear part, of that rail. At the “L end”, determine the best location for your side rail hardware. Decide if the “L” should point forward (towards the cab) or backward (towards the tailgate) and think about how this affects right-handed (or left-handed) attachment of the wing nut. If you have other bikes, consider your layout for them as well. Mark your preferred hole location on the side rail.
Check that there are no lights, wires, or other parts in the side rail that could be damaged by drilling! Using light pressure, drill the 1/4″ dia. hole. Lightly file off any burrs and install your side rail hardware. Make final length adjustments to your O.R.K. (Our standard O.R.K. adjusts between 20 1/2″ and 30 1/2″ in length. Custom sizes can be ordered at no extra charge.) Connect your O.R.K.
REAR WHEEL TIE DOWN KIT
You are required to use the “Rear wheel tie down kit” or the “Off-road kit” in combination with your WheelWally. Please see the F.A.Q., “What’s a Rear wheel tie down kit?”
We make Rear wheel tie down kits for both track and standard (non-track) installations. Track R.W.T.D.K.’s attach to your bed track and can be relocated easily. If you have a track R.W.T.D.K., go ahead and loosely attach it now. Adjust as needed until you find your preferred location then snug it down.
Standard (non-track) installations are more permanent. They require drilling a small hole in your truck bed behind the rear wheel of your bike. See fig. 17. Layout tips are discussed below.
Start by installing your bike in the WheelWally. See fig. 17 and the home page photos showing R.W.T.D.K. positioning. If you have multiple bikes, try to find a universal R.W.T.D.K. location that works for all of them. Mark your preferred hole location on the truck bed.
Check that there are no truck parts below the bed that could be damaged by drilling! Using light pressure, drill the bed. For metal and spray-on beds, drill a 3/16″ dia. hole. Thicker composite beds may require a slightly larger hole and the “hook projection” may need to be increased (unscrewed) by one or two turns. Connect your R.W.T.D.K.
FOLLOW THESE SAFETY RULES WHEN USING YOUR WHEELWALLY
Always use your Off-road kit (or your Rear wheel tie down kit) in combination with your WheelWally.
For bikes weighing up to 25 pounds, use either the Off-road kit or the Rear wheel tie down kit with your WheelWally. (We highly recommend choosing the Off-road kit since it resists lateral bike movement during transport.) For bikes weighing between 25 and 50 pounds, you are required to use the Off-road kit with your WheelWally. (This setup provides superior lateral stability.) WheelWally products should not be used to transport any bike that weighs more than 50 pounds.
Periodically inspect your WheelWally. Make sure it is in good condition. Do not use a WheelWally that has been modified or altered. Verify that the two dado joints are tight, with no gaps. Make sure your hba’s and tba’s provide a secure connection between your WheelWally and your truck. Discontinue use if your WheelWally fails to perform as intended. If you need replacement parts of any kind, contact us and we will assist you.
Make sure that your front wheel is flat against the wheel-board and fastened snugly with all three straps. Your Omni straps should be replaced immediately if they begin to show signs of wear. Please contact us. We’ll send you a new set, free of charge.
If your tailgate is open (or removed completely) make sure you’re not carrying any loose items that could fall out of the bed. Also, keep in mind that open tailgates can sometimes bounce around (or even become detached) during transport on rough roads.