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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)

F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 01-25-2013, 08:14 AM
sportlineguy sportlineguy is offline
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Mein Auto: 2-13 328i
tow hitch for 2013 328i?

Is there a tow hitch setup available for the 328i - and what is the max towing capacity? I would like it to be available for once in a while use and hidden if possible.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2013, 10:24 AM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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If it's not available yet it will be in the near future. Have you Googled? A hitch is almost certainly available from European suppliers, because trailer towing is very common in Europe.
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2013, 02:22 PM
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SergioK SergioK is offline
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http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...76&hg=51&fg=95
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2013, 03:02 PM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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The invisihitch is available for the F30 328i. The hitch is a class III hitch with a 5,000 lb capacity (but BMW gives the 328i itself a lower tow rating, 2,500 lbs I believe, so that would be your limiting factor for towing).

Full disclosure: my company recently purchased the North American rights to the Execuhitch product line, which we have rebranded as the invisihitch. In other parts of the world, our hitch is the BMW Original Equipment hitch on both the E90 and the newer F30 3 Series. Here in the U.S., we offer the same hitches as "aftermarket" hitches.

The invisihitch is completely hidden. The hitch beam mounts behind the bumper skin, where it literally cannot be seen at all. Ball mounts & bike-rack connectors are designed to insert upward into the receiver from below.

I don't have installed photos of the F30, but I am attaching some photos of the invisihitch installed on an E90 3 Series sedan. The look on the F30 is the same.

Cheers,
Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com
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  #5  
Old 01-26-2013, 08:11 AM
sportlineguy sportlineguy is offline
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Great news! I will pick one up after my car arrives as it is now awaiting shipment from Germany.

Fantastic way to be able to tow and not have the hitch ball in sight when you do not need it. Great minds at work!
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2013, 09:24 AM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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Thanks Sportline. Very much appreciate your compliments on the invisihitch.

I do wish BMW offered a factory tow-prep package in North America on more than just the X3 and X5. They do so elsewhere. Admittedly the towing culture is different in the U.S. (very SUV centric), but still a LOT of U.S. owners want to attach a bike rack or ski rack to the rear of their sedans...

Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com

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  #7  
Old 01-29-2013, 01:01 PM
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DZeckhausen DZeckhausen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invisihitch View Post

I do wish BMW offered a factory tow-prep package in North America on more than just the X3 and X5. They do so elsewhere. Admittedly the towing culture is different in the U.S. (very SUV centric), but still a LOT of U.S. owners want to attach a bike rack or ski rack to the rear of their sedans...]
I have a new F30 328i and would like to be able to transport my recumbent cycle. What is the difference between the BMW3S12 and the BMW3S30-BR?

I have a SportRack for my recumbent bike that requires a Class III receiver. It might be nice to have the capability of towing a utility trailer at some future point in time. Is the 3S12 simply the 3S30-BR plus a wiring harness?

Here is the SportRack attached to my 1996 Impala SS:


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2012 BMW F30 328i Luxury Line 8-Speed
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade

2001 BMW E39 540i 6-Speed (Traded-in for F30)
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade
M5 Limited Slip Differential, Front Swaybar
Dinan Stage 3 Suspension, Strut Tower Brace
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2013, 01:44 PM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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You are absolutely correct... item BMW3S12 on our website is the same hitch as item BMW3S30-BR. 3S12 just adds the wiring harness.

With either one, you will also need a bike-rack connector or a ball mount. The 2 inch detachable bike-rack connector would be perfect for the rack in your picture. Here is a photo of the bike rack connector. It pushes up from below into the hidden invisihitch receiver and it latches securely in place automatically without a pin. Carrying capacity is way above what you will need for your SportRack and bike.

Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com

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  #9  
Old 02-12-2013, 12:26 PM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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For anyone else interested in a hidden rack-mounting hitch for the F30, a Group Buy is now in effect. Here is a link:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=675950

Cheers,
Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com
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  #10  
Old 02-12-2013, 12:39 PM
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DZeckhausen DZeckhausen is offline
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Just placed an order. Thanks!
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Owner, Zeckhausen Racing



------
2012 BMW F30 328i Luxury Line 8-Speed
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade

2001 BMW E39 540i 6-Speed (Traded-in for F30)
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade
M5 Limited Slip Differential, Front Swaybar
Dinan Stage 3 Suspension, Strut Tower Brace
Rogue Short Shifter, Transmission Mounts
European Dash Conversion
CDV deleted
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  #11  
Old 03-05-2013, 02:42 PM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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For those interested, the invisihitch Group Buy just got extended to the end of this week. It's a nice, undetectable support for a bike rack on the back of the F30. Details of the Group Buy are at the following link:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=675950

Cheers,
Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com
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  #12  
Old 02-26-2014, 01:47 PM
will2sail will2sail is offline
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Tow Hitch - Curt 11367

I posted my install info here: Trailer Hitch on 328i M-Sport
Curt hitch is available for under $120.
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  #13  
Old 05-06-2014, 11:41 AM
bmwtobi bmwtobi is offline
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I also installed the curt hitch last year on my 2014 F31. I was wondering if anyone had luck finding options for wiring installation to get hook-up for pulling trailers?

Last edited by bmwtobi; 05-06-2014 at 12:13 PM.
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  #14  
Old 05-06-2014, 02:21 PM
will2sail will2sail is offline
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I have not yet tried to wire my car, but found this link:
http://www.amazon.com/Curt-56146-Tra...ews/B006DD99HS
Since the Battery is located at the back of the car running a wire to it should be no problem. There is also a 12 volt socket in the truck on my car and I suspect you could tap off that. There is another model mentioned in the link, but it's main advantage seems to be including the wire to run to the engine compartment.
There is one BMW specific comment: "Curt trailer wire kit # 56146 Fit BMW 323 Ci just fine. My son installed in 1.5 hrs. Works great."
This shows the installation instructions. https://www.curtmfg.com/masterlibrar..._56146_INS.PDF
The adapter is available on ebay for $25.48 with free shipping. Please post if you have success
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  #15  
Old 05-06-2014, 09:03 PM
bmwtobi bmwtobi is offline
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i am not convinced that this one will do on the F30/31 but I guess it might be cheap enough to try ... I found the Jaeger one which they sell in Germany and it looks like this might be what they use at the dealer there. The installation looks a lot more difficult though and I am a bit reluctant to go for that. h

ttp://www.aukup.de/-ELEKTROSAeTZE-fuer-AHK/Hersteller/Jaeger-Automotive/Elektrosatz-BMW-3er-F30-F31-F34-F32-F10-F11-F25::3233.html
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  #16  
Old 05-06-2014, 09:31 PM
will2sail will2sail is offline
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I have ordered the Curt 56146. Will post once I try it.
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  #17  
Old 05-07-2014, 08:17 AM
bmwtobi bmwtobi is offline
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Great! Looking forward to hearing about your experience!
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  #18  
Old 05-14-2014, 10:12 AM
will2sail will2sail is offline
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Success! Note this is on an F30, 2012 335i. I spent a lot of time pulling taillights and panels to chase wiring since I did not have a good wiring diagram. Hopefully you won't need to do that. Everything is installed in the battery area behind and under the access panel at the right rear of the trunk. To use it you just tilt the panel and pull the pigtail out and slip it under the rear of the trunk avoiding the latch. There as a fairly sharp bend when the panel is installed so I may notch a bit of the liner to make a straight shot for the wiring. I just coiled up the pigtail wiring and dropped in the well behind the battery for storage. If you are careful running wiring you should be able to avoid any sharp edges that might damage the wiring.

I used the Curt 56146, less than $26 delivered on ebay. It comes with everything needed except a few more cable ties, a fuse and holder and a lug for the positive connection, plus a bit of electrical tape and/or heat shrink insulation. Purchase a lug that will fit the bolt next to the positive battery terminal and a fuse holder. I chose a 15 amp fuse since the tail lights are rated up to 6 amps and each brake/turn is rated up to 3 amps - total 12 amps max.
If you need to check your wire colors pull the taillights and use a meter to verify what is what. This involves removing the small plastic piece next to the taillight and then taking off two 10mm nuts. Carefully pull back until the ball guide in the front pops out.
Note: For safety it is always recommended to disconnect the battery negative terminal during install, although I did not. Just loosened the bolts at the battery terminals and slipped the lugs under and retightened. This required snipping the end out of the ring so they slip on. If you do not disconnect the ground while working DO NOT let the wrench handle touch anything metal while working on the positive connection.

1) Remove the panel that holds the tool kit and covers the battery area. (Quarter turn of one lever at top right of trunk area and tilt in)
2) The taillight wires (and others) come through a rubber elbow fitting just to the right of the positive end of the battery and go up to join other wires. This bundle is wrapped with cloth tape. Remove the plastic tape holding the bottom and unwind the cloth tape from this section of wires. If your wires are the same as mine you will need to identify the following 4 wires:
Black with White Marker - Left Turn
Black with Gray Marker - Right Turn
Black with Blue Marker - Brake Light
Gray with Yellow Marker - Tail Light
Note: One turn signal wire is long, anticipating having to run it across the car. Just cut it off even with the others.
3) I used some of the sticky foam provided to stick the control unit to the top of the battery just forward of the battery hold down bar. Probably not needed, but keeps things steady during install. Put the pigtail end toward the back left and the car connections right front.
4) Use cable ties to secure the adapter wiring on top of the battery hold down bar. I think it will just swing out of the way with the bar when changing the battery. Note - the battery ground lead needs to be doubled back along the bar toward the back of the battery.
5) Connect the four control wires to the car wiring using the plastic clips provided.
6) Connect the hot and ground leads. I used the nut on the battery ground for the negative and a nut next to the positive clamp for the positive.
7) Test everything and fix any problems, perhaps having to identify different wires on your vehicle. (it is possible to remove and reuse the wire clips)
8) Once everything works secure loose bits of wiring. I wrapped the factory tape around the bundle above the clips and taped it, then put a cable tie around where the clips are installed and another on the bundle below the clips. I used a Velcro strap to secure the excess wiring to other stuff on the right side so it could be removed when the battery has to come out, but cutting a cable tie loose is almost easier.

I can email photos if you like. Just contact me at will2sail@yahoo.com
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  #19  
Old 05-14-2014, 10:23 AM
bmwtobi bmwtobi is offline
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Awesome! I just order one and will try the install on my 2014 F31. Much appreciated.
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  #20  
Old 05-14-2014, 10:50 AM
will2sail will2sail is offline
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You should not have to remove the plastic boxes behind the wheel wells. Hardest part was getting front edge of bumper cover back in position. Another set of hands and a lever helps with that.

Be careful removing the tail lights. They have a plastic ball on the front that snaps into a rubber fitting. Pull back and work loose or you can break off the ball. It is possible to repair, but best to avoid.
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  #21  
Old 05-15-2014, 07:15 AM
Amati Amati is offline
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Thanks for this post.
I ordered my F30 diesel wagon (F31?) yesterday and I was agonizing the hitch issue.
I just called Invisihitch and they do carry the correct one for my car. What a relief!
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  #22  
Old 05-15-2014, 02:14 PM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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^ Yes, there is now an invisihitch for each of the following:

F30 sedan, gas or diesel
F31 sports wagon, gas or diesel
F32 coupe
F33 convertible
F34 gran turismo

Each is available as a Rack-Only version (hidden hitch beam + removable square tube receiver) for $419. And each is available as a full Tow&Rack Capable package, which includes the rack adapter plus a BMW-tested wiring harness and ballmount for $548.

All are completely undetectable on the vehicle when not in use. And all respect the rear crumple zones as is required by BMW of all their OE hitch providers. We are BMW's OE hitch provider in some regions of the globe where BMW markets the F30/31/32/33/34 as tow vehicles and provides a factory hitch option.

For more information or to order an invisihitch please call the sales office at (678) 400-0121.

Cheers,
Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com

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  #23  
Old 06-20-2014, 08:29 AM
Speedvagen Speedvagen is offline
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Invisihitch for 4-Series Gran Coupe (F36)?

Hello, Any word on timing for the other recent 4-series variants like the F36 / 435 Gran Coupe? It may be blasphemy, but the new M3 / M4 is right around the corner too I'm getting tired of the wind noise with the bike load bars and rack on my roof, so considering one of these... thx
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  #24  
Old 06-21-2014, 01:02 AM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedvagen View Post
Hello, Any word on timing for the other recent 4-series variants like the F36 / 435 Gran Coupe? It may be blasphemy, but the new M3 / M4 is right around the corner too I'm getting tired of the wind noise with the bike load bars and rack on my roof, so considering one of these... thx
It looks like, for hitch-fitment purposes, the rear of the new Gran Coupe (F36) is supposed to be the same as the Coupe (F32). So we probably already fit the F36; just need to get the vehicle into our shop for confirmation. Even if it should require a modification to our hitch design, we will support the Gran Coupe.

The new M4 will likely be an entirely different beast for us. The M3 certainly was. We did end up fitting the M3, but it was a challenge with the performance exhaust, and there was only a small bike-rack market for it. We'll see....

Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com
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