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E82 / E88 1 Series (2008 - 2013)
BMWs throw back to the iconic 2002, with a renewed form and function. The smallest car in BMW's line up but still packs a punch. Available in coupe or convertible, powered by either an inline 6 in the 128 or the twin turbo rocket sled 135.

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  #1  
Old 09-07-2013, 05:00 PM
particlenparcel particlenparcel is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 128i
OEM roof rack and bike holder install

I've seen some chatter at various times about the OEM roof rack and the bike holders. I thought I'd chime in with my experience, ask a few questions, and see if anyone has some advice on this process.

Background: I ordered the rack install kit (part no 82710403104) and the racing cycle holder (part no 82720393083) from getBMWparts.com. If you want the OEM and are in the U.S., you should totally look into this. Even without the sale they were having, it would've been $100+ less than Fields BMW was going to charge me here in Orlando.

Final assessment: The rack looks really good. Better than a non-OEM, because the crossbar is more or less exactly the right width. (It's not quite the perfect width, but I think that's probably just my perfectionist designer's eye.)

But here's what I learned:

1. It takes a ridiculous amount of effort to get the roof racks on.

The install went fairly smoothly until I couldn't thread the screw on the far side, the one that wasn't already mounted. Even after several adjustments to the widths of the racks, it was a gigantic pain.

I'm seriously considering whether I really want to take these off and put them on again... maybe I'll leave them on in the Florida winter, when we do our real biking.

2. There's a gap between the roof rack and the roof, where you can see the door covers for the mounting points on the roof. Is that normal?

3. The instructions for the bike holder are seriously written in hieroglyphics. I mean, the diagrams are worse than an Ikea manual, and there are two pages of English that include no explanation of how to put it on. If I didn't already know how a roof rack worked, I probably wouldn't have ever figured it out.

Does anyone want to see photos?
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2013, 08:33 AM
1zamboni 1zamboni is online now
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I had the OEM rack & Thule rail and installation was easy without any problems, I don't like the BMW rails since the design was not that great. For removal all you need to unscrew the four screws and that is all quite simple and there is a gap between the rack roof itself this to prevent scratch & damage to your vehicle.
Please post the photo's.
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  #3  
Old 09-08-2013, 08:39 AM
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johnsock johnsock is offline
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I'd also be interested in seeing the pictures and hearing any useful tips you might have regarding the installation.
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  #4  
Old 09-08-2013, 12:33 PM
particlenparcel particlenparcel is offline
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OK, I got some photos today as I was taking the rack off. It's the same process, just in reverse, so I've reversed the order of the photos. I also captured a photo of the gap that strikes me as odd. (And may actually contribute to the whistling over 45-50 mph...)

My apologies for the poor lighting. I park under cover, thank god, but it was super-bright outside the covered parking area and mixed light is tricky with the iPhone camera.

I don't have the carrier install photos yet. It was incredibly annoying, so I'd like to document it for everyone's benefit, but I didn't have the energy in this heat.

Photos:

First you install a "channel protector," which sits around the screw:



You only have to do this once; it "sticks" on using some sort of 3M pad. I think this is to keep the rack from scratching your car, even under the little doors, which is a nice touch.

Next, on the side you aren't going to tighten first, you put this blue foam cover on:



Another nice touch to protect your car. However, it has no, uh, carrying case or anything like that, so that's a bit annoying.

Then you pull open the door on the side. Next, pull up the little channel door on the roof and sit the rack inside, and begin to tighten using the Torx wrench (max 8 Newton-meters of force):



This is what it looks like "installed":



Next you do that on the other side: Lift a little to open the channel door, remove the little foam thing, and screw it in. Lather, rinse and repeat on the second rack.

And this is the whole roof:



It looks really nice, but it howls at around 50 mph. A fairing would help. I don't use the rack often enough to merit keeping it on in any case.

Tips and tricks:
  • So far, I've discovered that the little side doors are a big help. You think you can do it blind, but you'd be wrong.
  • The instructions are terse to the point of almost being unhelpful. They don't always seem to understand when you should be doing what. I found this funny because the German instructions are at least two pages longer than the English instructions.
  • The bike carrier comes with no instructions of any consequence. Just diagrams.
  • Also, the E82 is low enough to the ground that even someone short like me can install without a footstool. (I need the footstool to get a bike on the carrier, however.) That surprised me because I needed a footstool to install on my old Mazda, but I think that's because the rack had an old-style channel-grip mount.
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2013, 05:43 AM
david in german david in german is offline
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I can't see why you are having problems. I can install the OEM rack on mine in about 3-4 minutes total. If I want to put it on my 3 series i have the bars marked "3" or "1", I loosen the top srews and slide it to my marks and tighten it up. putting it on either car is just the same, open the little doors, lower it into one side then the other and tighten it up.

Tips;
-open the little doors on both sides first, do not use the little blue pillow but line up the drivers side first with the passenger side in the air and lower it into the channel. If you leave the blue pillow on and then tighten the one side you are bending the frame of the rack and that is a bad thing.
- once the passenger side has been lowered into the hole tighten up the screws.. Done!

Adding the bike rack is easy, loosen the lock down clamps ,make sure the clamps face out (passenger side bike will face forward and drivers side mounted bike will face rear) slide them on then look from the front or rear of the car to see if they are straight and lock them down.
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  #6  
Old 10-18-2013, 12:49 PM
Geekapoo Geekapoo is offline
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I had put a bike rack on a Jetta Passat I had in 2001. Damn if those things aren't noisy as hell! Would never put such a system on another car and so the question for you is why the roof rack vs a trailer hitch rack or trunk rack for bikes?

Geekapoo
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  #7  
Old 10-18-2013, 12:49 PM
Geekapoo Geekapoo is offline
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Last edited by Geekapoo; 10-18-2013 at 01:12 PM. Reason: Duplicate post
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  #8  
Old 10-19-2013, 12:16 PM
particlenparcel particlenparcel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david in german View Post
Tips;
-open the little doors on both sides first, do not use the little blue pillow but line up the drivers side first with the passenger side in the air and lower it into the channel. If you leave the blue pillow on and then tighten the one side you are bending the frame of the rack and that is a bad thing.
- once the passenger side has been lowered into the hole tighten up the screws.. Done!

Adding the bike rack is easy, loosen the lock down clamps ,make sure the clamps face out (passenger side bike will face forward and drivers side mounted bike will face rear) slide them on then look from the front or rear of the car to see if they are straight and lock them down.
Perhaps the 3 Series rack model is different. Mine has no markings, front, side or bottom, on either of the racks that would distinguish which one is which. It's odd.

I appreciate your advice about the blue pillow! I tried it today your way and it did make a big difference. I wasn't so worried about the bending -- assuming BMW's manual wouldn't tell you to do it this way if it caused a significant mechanical issue -- but it's much easier.

That being said, the real annoyance is getting the bike holder on. I'd be curious to know if you have a different part -- this is the "racing, touring" bike holder, and the mountain bike holder could be different?

The clamps I have on the bike rack don't "lock on," per se. You loosen the screw-clamps on the metal tongue until it's loose enough to fit into the channel in the rack, and then slide the metal tongue into the channel -- and that's the hard part. After that's done, you have to redo the screws by hand. I'm contemplating having my local Thule dealer look at it and see if their racks would fit in it, the manual suggests they'd be much easier to install.

I've got it down to installing the roof rack in about five minutes, but the bike racks are still taking me about ten minutes each to install, mostly by fiddling with the metal tongue.
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  #9  
Old 10-19-2013, 12:24 PM
particlenparcel particlenparcel is offline
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Location: Orlando, FL
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geekapoo View Post
I had put a bike rack on a Jetta Passat I had in 2001. Damn if those things aren't noisy as hell! Would never put such a system on another car and so the question for you is why the roof rack vs a trailer hitch rack or trunk rack for bikes?
I've had both...

The trunk rack left pretty sizable paint scratches on my last car, so I'm not doing that again!

And a trailer hitch is fine if you're only carrying bikes, but a roof rack is more long-run versatile for a very small car. With a roof rack I can carry skis, a surfboard or a kayak, or even a roof box for a cross-country trip.
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