Retrofitting Power liftgate, Glimmer of Hope or Lost Cause? - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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  #1  
Old 09-02-2014, 01:52 PM
BMWBig6 BMWBig6 is offline
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Retrofitting Power liftgate, Glimmer of Hope or Lost Cause?

So I've been really giving the power liftgate idea a lot of thought. It's the only major feature I think I'll miss on the X1.

According to Stabilus, the standard BMW X1 liftgate strut is part number 012158. At first I thought substituting different struts (with different ratings) might achieve most of what we want ("automatic" popping up of the liftgate through increased force with damping at the last 10-15% of travel to avoid banging, but no way to automatically lower and close it). But alas nothing is ever that simple and this kind of workaround would have negative side effects. According to 1engineer on another forum:

Quote:
There are only three ways you can make a rear lift gate gas shock "Heavier Duty:"

1. Increase the gas pre-charge pressure.
The result would be (without adding any weight to the lift gate) it would open quicker and it would be harder to close. It would also increase the stress on the mounting points. If you did add weight to the lift gate, it would operate closer to "normal" but the increased stress would still be there. Would it cause something else like the mounting points to fail? Impossible to know without all the data.

2. Keep gas pre-charge the same but increase the inside diameter of the cylinder.
By doing this, you would be able to lift a heavier load also, but it would still stress the mounts more. In this case it would still open at the same rate of speed as the stock shocks but be harder to close.

3. Keep the bore and the pre-charge the same but add better components, like seals, rod wipers, tubing and rod material, etc. This will add longevity to the cylinder life but it would not be able to lift any heavier loads.
So using different struts won't really solve the problem, at least not elegantly without introducing other problems. Back to power liftgates. I examined my Audi but their power liftgate systems are very de-centralized, with the motors and wiring scattered inboard of the headliner and all over the place. But looking at my mother-in-law's Dodge Durango and the compact, outboard power liftgate system gave me hope.





It appears the newer Jeep Grand Cherokees use the same system:





Their "self-enclosed" system is made by Stabilus and is called the Powerise system. According to their press release:

Quote:
We now produce our POWERISE drive units for customers worldwide; these include Ford, Chrysler, BMW, the PSA Group and the VW Group."
So I emailed the company to see if one of their existing systems could be retrofitted or adapted to the BMW X1 and they basically advised against it and added that they only deal with OEMs. Are there any other aftermarket power liftgate manufacturers that are worth asking (perhaps those companies that specialized in converting vehicles for disabled drivers, etc.)?

Does anybody think this kind of retrofit is not only possible but worth pursuing? Or should I just give up now? I love my Stabilus EZ Down product, which is basically a damper that slows down your pickup truck's tailgate from banging at the end of its travel. Granted, that is a much simpler product, but I have to think with some clever ingenuity, we can figure something out together!
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Last edited by BMWBig6; 09-02-2014 at 02:00 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2014, 10:03 AM
vbbuilt vbbuilt is offline
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I've never had a problem with opening/closing the liftgate. It's pretty small and light compared to other SUVs, so why are you going through all this trouble trying to find a solution?

Vince
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  #3  
Old 09-03-2014, 01:30 PM
vbmx vbmx is offline
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I think that it's one of those things where once you've had it, it's tough to downgrade. I have it in my car but we don't have it in my wife's x1. It's a feature that she really wanted.

However, we have comfort access on her car and mine doesn't and I can promise you that my next car will have it. I love not having to take my keys out when holding a baby in hand and groceries in the other..


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  #4  
Old 09-04-2014, 07:35 AM
Yggdrasil Yggdrasil is offline
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In the meantime, have you considered adoption?
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2014, 07:45 AM
vbmx vbmx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yggdrasil View Post
In the meantime, have you considered adoption?
This seems odd and somewhat off topic.. but actually yes, since you ask..
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  #6  
Old 09-04-2014, 07:48 AM
Yggdrasil Yggdrasil is offline
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Oh dear - my humor appears to have been only funny in my head...

I was saying that would resolve your problem of opening the liftgate while holding both groceries and a baby. Since then you'd only be holding groceries and would have a free hand.

But jokes that need to be explained probably weren't that funny in the first place, my pardons.
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  #7  
Old 09-04-2014, 09:01 AM
vbmx vbmx is offline
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Actually I was going to to joke about I'm waiting for her to grow up so that she can open and close the tailgate for me but I wasn't sure if you were kidding..

You've got to love how sarcasm flows over the internet
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2014, 12:55 PM
BMWBig6 BMWBig6 is offline
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So I see that ECS Tuning sells a "hatch pop kit" for the VW Golf that will help automatically raise the liftgate. (See installation video.)





I contacted them and they claim none of their customers have complained about any additional resistance closing the liftgate after this modification. I also suggested that they consider offering a similar kit for the X1.

I also ran across this BMW thread about popping Z4 trunk lids and found reference to this E36 bump stop with a built-in "ejector."




ECS also sells these parts:
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E36-323..._2.5l/ES92303/
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E36-323..._2.5l/ES92303/






Just more brain fodder to keep the gears turning in our heads...
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:35 PM
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spydrz spydrz is offline
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I had that kit on my Golf R, and it was definitely more difficult to close. But not impossibly hard.
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2014, 10:52 AM
NumberSix NumberSix is offline
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BMW Big6 keep up the good research.
The manual lift gate is the only negative I have with my car.

You'd be on a pedestal if you come up the with the answer.
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  #11  
Old 12-09-2014, 07:07 PM
atomicfront atomicfront is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWBig6 View Post
So I see that ECS Tuning sells a "hatch pop kit" for the VW Golf that will help automatically raise the liftgate. (See installation video.)





I contacted them and they claim none of their customers have complained about any additional resistance closing the liftgate after this modification. I also suggested that they consider offering a similar kit for the X1.

I also ran across this BMW thread about popping Z4 trunk lids and found reference to this E36 bump stop with a built-in "ejector."




ECS also sells these parts:
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E36-323..._2.5l/ES92303/
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E36-323..._2.5l/ES92303/






Just more brain fodder to keep the gears turning in our heads...
Well if you have to use the key fob to open it what problem. Does it solve. If this is so important to you buy another car.
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2014, 09:29 AM
NumberSix NumberSix is offline
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Maybe if you've never had one, you won't miss it. But, I've always had a power hatch door (opens and closes via power) and I didn't think I would miss it. I do miss it, though!
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2014, 12:52 PM
atomicfront atomicfront is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NumberSix View Post
Maybe if you've never had one, you won't miss it. But, I've always had a power hatch door (opens and closes via power) and I didn't think I would miss it. I do miss it, though!
A poster said it solved problem of holding a baby and groceries well if you have to get the key fob out of your pocket it doesn't solve that problem. I believe all the other auto's with this feature you can use your foot to open the door. The key fob seems absolutely pointless to me as the trunk will open without a key or fob. To me it is harder that way so you are searching for a solution that is worse than the problem?

Seems like someone is trying to keep up with the jones.
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  #14  
Old 12-11-2014, 03:19 PM
BMWBig6 BMWBig6 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicfront View Post
A poster said it solved problem of holding a baby and groceries well if you have to get the key fob out of your pocket it doesn't solve that problem. I believe all the other auto's with this feature you can use your foot to open the door. The key fob seems absolutely pointless to me as the trunk will open without a key or fob. To me it is harder that way so you are searching for a solution that is worse than the problem?

Seems like someone is trying to keep up with the jones.
Foot detection would be nice too but if you pick up your key in your hand before picking up the baby or groceries, pressing the trunk release button is not difficult. But raising the liftgate with your hands full is a more awkward motion. I don't care about the joneses, they don't understand "wagons" anyway.
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  #15  
Old 06-02-2016, 01:01 AM
60Driver 60Driver is offline
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Check out this thread. The guy just installed a system for about $450 US.

http://e84.xbimmers.com/forums/showt...1114407&page=4
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  #16  
Old 06-02-2016, 08:29 AM
vstolpner vstolpner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 60Driver View Post
Check out this thread. The guy just installed a system for about $450 US.

http://e84.xbimmers.com/forums/showt...1114407&page=4
Thanks for posting on this thread as I'm sure someone on here will find it interesting. I've also got the review posted on this forum.

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=915214
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Old 05-31-2017, 04:20 PM
Archer Hood Archer Hood is offline
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Aftermarket Power Tailgate Kite

I don’t know if the post face lift X3 F25 in the US & Canada was offered with a Powered tailgate option or if, as it is now in the UK offered at all trim levels as standard.
But when I purchased my X3 in Sept. 2013, this optional extra cost an additional £385.00. Unfortunately I opted not to have this option only to regret this decision later. So I decided a couple of mouths ago to see if there was a viable aftermarket system I could install my self. I found one sold by a Chines company called 'Autoease Technology Ltd.’ After making enquires via a their sale manager by the name Tao, I decide to purchase their system. The system cost me $399.00 + $69.00 p+p, I was reimbursed the p+p under a scheme the company operates under the name “Review Award Plan”
I have completed the stallion of this Aftermarket Power Tailgate system. The equipment supplied is manufacture to a high standard and works just as though it had been fitted by BMW. It operates via the key fob, the tailgate latch switch by the number plate, a switch (supplied) I installed in the tailgate trim 3” left of the gate latch hoop and a switch (supplied) I installed in the internal kick trim on the drivers side. I am very pleased with the system and got a lot of pride and pleasure installing the system. The only downer was the somewhat lack lustre installation manual which could only be described as very basic.
I have created a video of the installation process of the system and posted it on Youtube the URL address is .
They make up versions of the one I installed on My X3 for X1 and other makes of car.
Hope you all who view it enjoy it.
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  #18  
Old 06-01-2017, 10:27 PM
Carlín96/M44 Carlín96/M44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWBig6 View Post
So I've been really giving the power liftgate idea a lot of thought.
The wife's biggest complain was how hard the gate would lift and the same to close in our 2014 sDrive...So I change the struts using the 2015's X1, sDrive struts. The 2014 X1 oem P/N is 51242990136, the 2015 x1 oem P/N is 51247402695. Wife very happy now!
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Old 06-02-2017, 06:54 AM
Archer Hood Archer Hood is offline
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Aftermarket Power Tailgate Kite

From what I can see of the system insalled by 60Drive, purchase for around $450.00, is that he had to drill holes into his tailgate to route the power strut cables through.
Unlike the system I fitted which utalisies the holes in the cars tailgate body frame where BMW route their power strut cables through. The powern struts in my kit had corrigated rubber trunking fitted to them that the supply cables passed through. These corrigate rubber trunking had the strut power cable going through them and one the cable had been passed trough the existing hole the the car body work the corrigted trunking end locted into the hole with a snug fit creating water tight seal.
Plus unlike the kit I used, there dosn't seems to be any mecanisime suppled/fitted, that draws the tailgate in when the the power struts have closed the Tailgate. This may result in the talegate not closing securlily and spring oped to the secondary security latching point.

I apriciate that the fitting procedure I posted on Youtube seems to be long winded in time span, but it was ment as a guide for anyone intending to fit this system.
The best way to view it to get a flaver of what is involved is to just skip trough it to view relevent stages of the installation and to watch the final commissionin.

I also ment to mention the system in fitted is not load during operation, as 60Driver says his is. Wish I had left the sound on the video I posted on Youtube now. IfI can work outor someone can tell me how to post a short video of it on this forum, I will get it on here for you guy;s to lessen to.

Last edited by Archer Hood; 06-02-2017 at 07:02 AM. Reason: Needed to add some more info.
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Old 06-03-2017, 04:27 AM
BMWBig6 BMWBig6 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlín96/M44 View Post
The wife's biggest complain was how hard the gate would lift and the same to close in our 2014 sDrive...So I change the struts using the 2015's X1, sDrive struts. The 2014 X1 oem P/N is 51242990136, the 2015 x1 oem P/N is 51247402695. Wife very happy now!
So BMW changed the struts between model years? But what did they change if they made it easier to open AND close? (A weaker strut might be easier to close, but wouldn't lift as easily, and vice versa.)

[Also, what do I do if I already have the updated strut design on my 2015 X1?]
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Last edited by BMWBig6; 06-03-2017 at 04:29 AM.
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  #21  
Old 06-03-2017, 08:48 AM
Carlín96/M44 Carlín96/M44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWBig6 View Post
(A weaker strut might be easier to close, but wouldn't lift as easily, and vice versa.) [Also, what do I do if I already have the updated strut design on my 2015 X1?]
I don't know if the strut is weaker, only that if you compare the body of the 2015 strut is larger and the functionality of the strut it is lighter to handle when you open/close the gate.

Now if you have the strut mentioned above live with it, until BMW comes out with another update. (Like the thermostat issue.)
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Old 06-04-2017, 09:23 AM
YLT YLT is offline
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FYI I 've checked out some Chinese x1 forums and it seems like there are "3rd gen" aftermarket power lift kit available that are much quieter. I couldn't find a specific brand tho. Might require some digging on taobao or alibaba.
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Old 06-04-2017, 11:23 AM
Archer Hood Archer Hood is offline
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Aftermarket Power Tailgate Kite

YTL, all I can say I am happy with the kit I fitted to my X3 and don't consider it to be noisey. I purchased the kit from "Autoease Technology Ltd."
It does every thing I requier of it, is in my openion well engineered has a 3 year warrantee on it, was perchase through Paypal and as such is covered by the Paypal perchasing security, plus I
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