Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tow bar Mazda 3

Mazda 3 towbar

With the Mazda 3 being the one the best selling cars in Australia we get to fit lots of towbars to them. Mostly this is so that the owners can attach a bike carrier. There are several Hayman Reese towbars applicable to the various body styles and model years of Mazda 3. However, externally they all look very similar as the majority of the hardware is hidden up behind the bumper. Tow bars for Mazda 3s are what is known as a tongue style or standard towbar. This means that the ball is attached by an 'S' shaped lug to the rest of the towbar. The lug can be removed when not in use by undoing two bolts. This may be necessary on the some models because due to the position of the number plate there is a risk of falling foul of traffic laws by obscuring the vehicles rego.

Using a spanner to remove the towbar lug

See our tow bar finder for current pricing.  You will need to know the month/year of manufacture of your vehicle which will be shown on the VIN plate. There are different bars for hatch, sedan and SP models. If you are in Sydney and want a professional install please give us a call to schedule a fitting.We will need your car for a couple of hours.
Steve Shop1auto

Mont Blanc - Scott, bike carrier

mont blanc scott bike carrier
Today we had a look at the Mont Blanc Scott which is a new product to Australia. Scott my fitter attached the unit (his name sake) to a square profile roof rack. He tells me it went on easy and looked like a good unit. The older Mont Blanc bike carrier we had was a budget unit at $150 and to be fair it had the look and feel of a budget unit. The new Scott has the look and feel of a quality bike carrier but we are able to offer it at least to start with for $150. It is key locking and I think it is going to be successful. I don't think it is up there with the Rhino Barracuda or the Thule ProRide which are both exceptional bike holders but it is around $70 cheaper so offers excellent value. The Scott (the bike carrier not my fitter) will go onto any euro/square profile cross bars or any aero bars with a T-slot in the top face (except for Rola sports where the T-slot is too small). This includes Rhino Rack, Thule, Prorack Whisper and Rola APX racks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hyundai iload roof racks

Hyundai iLoad vehicle picHyundai iLoad roof racks in sydney

Today Scott fitted a 3 bar, heavy duty Rhino track mount roof rack to a new Hyundai iload. The guys at Rhino have done a really good job with this one. The tracks are purpose made for the vehicle so they fit flush into the channels on the roof and look really neat. Rhino list their standard track mount leg for this vehicle but we have found the pigmy leg works just fine saving a crucial few centimetres on vehicle height. The Rhino track system is a fairly expensive way of fitting racks to the vehicle. We charged about $875 including a couple of hours for assembling all the bits and installing to the roof. It is however by far the best method allowing the cross bars to be positoned along the track and giving a whopping 125kg load rating spread over 3 cross bars. It can also be supplied with the same track and leg but using an aerodynamic cross bar which looks a bit more sporty (good option on the imax) and saves another centimetre which could make the difference on an underground carpark.

I like what Hyundai have done with the iload. It looks stylish and is not a slab of a vehicle like the HiAce. They seem well put together and being a Hyundai offer excellent bang for your bucks. I have been thinking about getting a van and I will certainly look at these.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Welcome to the Shop1auto blog. We will be using this blog to give some insight into the world of auto accessories. Not really sure how its going to go so we thought we would just dive on in and get blogging. So I guess this first one is just to get some words on the page so we can have a looksee at what we are dealing with. Hopefully our blog will grow into something that provides a useful but informal resource for people who are looking for solutions to get more use out of their cars, utes etc. with tow bars, roof racks, bike carriers and the like.