Please read these installation instructions thoroughly, 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 a 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. Protects threads when clamping.
• 4 washers, 2 nuts, and 2 wing nuts for HBA / TBA options.
• 1 set of Installation Instructions with large figures.
• 1 prepaid return shipping label.
Figure 1 – Figure 2
TOOLS NEEDED FOR WHEELWALLY ASSEMBLY AND INSTALLATION
• Tape measure
• 2 small adjustable wrenches
• Awl, nail, or pen for marking
May be required:
• Vice grips
• Small mill file
• PVC or tubing cutter
• Cordless power drill/driver
• Small dia. drill bits ranging from 3/16″ to 5/16″
ASSEMBLING YOUR WHEELWALLY
Lay down some scrap cardboard to protect the plastic WheelWally boards. Next, identify your parts. 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”.
Attach the toe-board to the wheel-board to form a tight dado joint. For a “standard” toe-board orientation, keep the “X” marks adjacent to each other. (As discussed later, you may decide to re-do this connection and spin the toe-board 180 degrees.) 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: If you have a Nissan “utili-track” (or other track system) on the front rail and on the floor of the bed, your WheelWally location is somewhat predetermined. You will be attaching your tba’s directly to your bed tracks. Your toe-board has two sets of tba holes which gives you two possible WheelWally locations. See our homepage photo showing “utili-tracks” on the front rail and on the floor of the bed. Please skip down to: FOR TRACK SYSTEMS.
If you’re carrying one bike, I suggest locating it on the driver’s side. This gives great visibility while driving. Bike attachment also seems easier on this side of the truck. A disadvantage is that you’re more exposed to traffic when loading and unloading your bike. For two bikes, make sure to avoid “handlebar interference”.
You can strap your wheel to either side of the wheel-board. It’s easiest to stand outside your truck and strap your wheel to the outside of the wheel-board. If the sides of your truck are too tall for this, you can climb into your truck bed and strap your wheel to the inside of the wheel-board.
Your truck probably has “ridges” and “depressions” in the bed. I prefer to have my tire rest in a depression, rather than on a ridge. 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.
Position your WheelWally left and right along the front truck rail. Find the location that works best for you. For standard (non-track) hba’s, notice that the hba’s will slightly space your WheelWally away from the front truck rail. Also, for standard hba’s, there may be some front/back adjustability, as shown in fig. 2, “variable length”.
Now look down at your toe-board. There are 8 holes, 4 on each side. 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 to find the widest hole location layout possible. Later, you’ll attach tba’s to these 2 holes. Please see the homepage photo showing how the tba’s attach to your toe-board and to your truck bed.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is acceptable to remove your toe-board, spin it 180˚, and then re-attach it to the wheel-board (forming a dado joint) if this results in better under-the-bed tba locations. Read more about this below.
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. Now is the time to verify that truck bed hole drilling and tba installation won’t damage or interfere with any structural channels, support fins, mechanical or electrical parts, or anything else located below your truck 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. 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”. Once you’ve found your best WheelWally location, mark it on your front rail.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have a Toyota, Nissan, or other track system on your front rail, 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.
DRILLING THE HBA HOLES FOR STANDARD (NON-TRACK) INSTALLATIONS
For a “standard” installation, you will need to drill two 1/4″ diameter hba holes through your front truck rail. Don’t drill any holes if you find that your truck rail is flimsy, flexible, weak, loose, or otherwise inadequate. Instead, return your WheelWally using your return shipping label. Please see our “Site Policies” page.
If your truck rail looks good, set up to drill two holes that will penetrate the front and back part of the rail. Holes need to be exactly 5″ apart (in width) and equal (in height). Make sure holes are not too close to any sheet metal edges and allow space so that your small hba washers can rest flat on your truck rail. Mark your hole locations. 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 truck window! After drilling, remove metal burrs with a small file.
Is your front truck rail “open” or “closed”? 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. Fit should be snug.
Figure 8 – Figure 9 – Figure 10
INSTALLING YOUR HBA’S
Remove the backup wing nut and one small backup washer from the end of each head bolt assembly. Insert the hba’s through the drilled holes and crush blocks (if any) then replace the washers and wing nuts. If the holes are too tight, ream them slightly with your 1/4″ dia. bit. Snug down the wing nuts by holding them stationary while rotating the fixed washer. Do not over-tighten! Rails without crush blocks can crush! Tighten moderately. Never use vice grips to clamp the threaded stud as this will destroy the threads.
Make sure your hba’s show a little extra thread beyond the backup wing nut. If there’s too much thread showing (and you are fairly capable with tools) remove the hba’s, saw off the excess threads with a hack saw, and then lightly file off any burrs. Another option (that does not require any sawing) is to loosen the wing nut a few turns then tighten-up on the “adjustable nut” a few turns. Caution! This adjustment will change your tba hole locations! Finalize this adjustment before tba drilling! Now check to make sure your “no-slip” nuts are vertical…so they’ll fit inside your height adjustment slots.
FOR TRACK SYSTEMS
For Toyota “deck rail”, Nissan “utili-track”, or other track systems, slide or “dip” your hba’s into the front rail track. Orient the “track washers” vertically if you’re using a Nissan “utili-track” system and horizontally if you have the Toyota “deck rail” system. Locate your hba’s 5″ apart. Starting with one of the track hba’s, hand tighten the “no-slip” nut and lock washer. Make sure the round washer on the outside of the track is centered vertically. Now finish tightening the 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 “no-slip” nut is vertical. Tighten the second “no-slip” nyloc nut until it touches, or very nearly touches, the first nut. Make sure this second nut is also vertical. Both nuts will now fit through the “height adjustment slot”. Secure the second hba.
IMPORTANT NOTE: For track systems located on the front rail and on the floor of the bed, secure your tba’s using the same method as described above for the hba’s. Your installation is now complete. Please skip down to: ATTACHING YOUR BIKE TO YOUR WHEELWALLY.
Figure 11 – Figure 12
LOCATING THE TBA HOLES IN YOUR TRUCK BED
Now is a good time to verify (once again) that hole drilling and tba installation won’t damage or interfere with any parts located under your truck 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.
Position your WheelWally so that the hba’s project through the height adjustment slots. The toe-board should be flat on your truck bed, or a bit higher if it is resting on the 2 Delta PT screw heads. Your head-board should be flat against both of the fixed hba washers. To ensure that it is, add the 2 “active washers” and snug everything down with wing nuts. Make sure your WheelWally is square with your truck in all directions. Use a tape measure for this, but also, do a visual check. Stand back. Look at your setup. Make sure your WheelWally sits square in the bed.
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. Mark your hole locations on the 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?
DRILLING THE TBA HOLES IN YOUR TRUCK BED
Using a 1/4″ bit, start drilling the first hole. Use light pressure, so you penetrate the bed but nothing else! Check your layout using the toe-board and the first drilled hole as your template. When it looks right-on, remove the WheelWally and lightly start the second hole. Check your layout again! It should be perfect. Finish drilling the hole.
ATTACHING TBA’S TO YOUR TOE-BOARD
Thread a tba cap screw (with one small washer under the head) completely through the appropriate toe-board hole. You may need to use a small wrench to do this. Add a small washer to the projecting threads and then add the nyloc nut. 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. If the toe bolts don’t quite align with the truck bed holes, it’s best to adjust the toe bolt locations slightly, rather than enlarging the truck bed holes! Remove the tba’s. Slightly enlarge the toe-board holes. Re-install the tba’s. Tap them lightly to improve alignment. If the alignment looks perfect but the toe bolts still do not penetrate the bed, it is acceptable to ream the truck bed holes lightly with your 1/4″ bit until the tba’s penetrate. Caution! Keep the truck bed holes as small as possible so your WheelWally will 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. 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.
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 hardware, 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
Roll your bike forward, into your truck bed. Position your wheel flat against your WheelWally wheel-board and as far forward as possible. If necessary, rotate your wheel slightly so your spokes don’t interfere with the strap locations. For each strap location, select two slots that match the width of your bike tire and rim. Now go ahead and thread on your 3 Omni straps.
Locate the buckle in the forward position (toward the cab of your truck) and close to the wheel-board. This gives the maximum amount of contact area for the hook-and-loop connection and allows you to use a rearward motion when tightening the straps. This buckle location also prevents damage to your rim.
Loop each Omni strap around the rim and tire. Thread it through the plastic buckle and back onto itself. 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. This keeps your bike wheel 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?”
We make “Off-road kits” for both track and standard (non-track) installations. Track hardware for your “Off-road kit” slides easily into your side rail track. Standard (non-track) installations require drilling a 1/4″ dia. hole in your side rail.
Start by installing your bike in the WheelWally. Next, adjust your “Off-road kit” to approximately the correct length. Now determine where your “Off-road kit” side rail hardware should be located. Keep in mind that the “J end” can attach at different locations along your saddle rail. Also, the “L end” can point forward (towards the cab) or backward (towards the tailgate). For standard (non-track) installations, plan your layout carefully and make sure there are no lights, wires, etc. in the side rail of your truck that could be damaged by drilling the 1/4″ dia. hole.
Once your side rail hardware is installed, make final length adjustments to your “Off-road kit”. Our standard “Off-road kit” adjusts between 20 1/2″ and 30 1/2″ in length. Custom sizes can be ordered at no extra charge.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Your saddle rails must be made of metal, not carbon fiber, and must have a round cross section that is about 7mm or 1/4″ in diameter.
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 slide easily into your bed track. Standard (non-track) installations require drilling a small hole in your truck bed behind the rear wheel of your bike. Caution! Check under the bed to see where you’re drilling! Drill the bed only! Do not drill any truck parts located below the bed. Drill slowly. Use light pressure. For metal and spray-on beds, drill a 3/16″ dia. hole. Thicker composite beds may require a slightly larger hole and “hook projection” may need to be increased by one or two turns. If you have many bikes, try to find a “universal” hole location that works for all of them.
FOLLOW THESE SAFETY RULES WHEN USING YOUR WHEELWALLY
For bikes weighing up to 25 pounds, use the “Off-road kit” or the “Rear wheel tie down kit” in combination 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, only use the “Off-road kit” in combination 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.
Keep your tailgate closed (unless you’re using a truck bed “extender”). Whenever possible, keep your bike gear in the cab of your truck, not in the bed.