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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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Old 04-24-2012, 11:00 AM
melomaniac melomaniac is offline
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Location: SoCal
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 50
Mein Auto: e60 530i; e38 740i sport
door cupholders?

not sure if there are threads on this, but what do people do for aftermarket cupholders, given that most don't have working center console ones on their e38? I just got one of the pricey door-mounted ones, but a neighbor got a kmart one that's almost as good...

so, pointers?
new ride: e60 (06 530i), matte black/auburn, 20" giovanna rims

gone but not forgotten: e38 (99 740i sport), cosmos black/sand, staggered MPars, tinted rear windows, USAspec iPod
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:51 AM
QSilver7's Avatar
QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Location: Northeast Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 9,172
Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Since the e38/e39/46 were the first generation of BMWs that had factory cupholders (as standard equipment) the BMW engineers had to be dragged kicking and screaming into actually designing/incorporating them into the interior of the car...and add the difference in culture that dashboard dining (& drinking) is not something that is common & mundane as it is to us here in the States...these 1st gen cup holders are more of a problem than they are useful.

This has been a long running discussion since the e38s first hit the shores back in 1995...some have mfg'd their own, or used vendors such as even copied the ultimatecupholder by using an inexpensive plastic holder from Walmart (etc). The problem with dash & door cupholders is that if you have a more than likely will have to clean up an important electrical switch. The module on the door controls a lot of functions (more than just lowering & raising the windows)...and the switches on the dash can become inoperative if they get gummed up by sugary drinks. Cleaning the outside of the switch does nothing about the liquid that gets inside the switches...then when the sugar dries...the switches stop functioning properly.

Here's the ultimate cupholder in my e39 (my DD) with a 32 oz. cup & ink pen to show perspective. The metal can be made wider or narrower to fit whatever size container (I can even squeeze a half gallon container of milk in the holder), and by sitting on the floor...your drink stays secure (I've never had a drink tip over). And if the drink did would fall into the rubber mat (or carpeted mat if that's what you have)...which is much easier to clean up than the electronic switch on the dash or door.

Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

Last edited by QSilver7; 04-25-2012 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:08 PM
omnibus88 omnibus88 is offline
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Location: Orland Hills, IL
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 27
Mein Auto: 1998 740iL
I just bought used center oem cupholder from Poland for $28 shipped couple months ago. Only downside was waiting 2 weeks for my item. So far works with no problems.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:15 PM
omnibus88 omnibus88 is offline
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Location: Orland Hills, IL
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Mein Auto: 1998 740iL
EBay has this BTW
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:49 PM
cgstelle cgstelle is offline
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Location: Chicago
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 28
Mein Auto: 2001 740il
I have that cupholder and dont care for it much at all. The bottom is not flat (sloped) so whatever you put in it tilts 5-10 degrees in any direction. Purchased off Bav Auto for $35. The cupholder that started the thread is'nt very good either. I guess it all depends on what your putting in the holder. The one pictured has a snap on lid that is completely sealed so thats pretty safe from leaking or drips. Anything else is a somewhat poor fit-leans against center column/floor for stability. The cupholder that resides over ashtray/door lock is probably the best however use at your own risk. An unfortunate spill will most likely result in electrical damage of some sort. You must be pretty freakin thirsty to want to risk that! Ahhhhh....Us Americans and our amenities! I can see how the Europeans look at us sideways sometimes... I have decided to just "get over" the whole drinking and driving thing until one day the car has run it's course and time to get a newer model. Just not meant to be for this car..Just my two cents...
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:14 PM
setconstr setconstr is offline
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Location: los angeles
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Mein Auto: 2001 740i spt 2008 cl550

I have this one works Great :

Last edited by setconstr; 04-27-2012 at 02:17 PM.
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