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2003 530i
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody have a good source on an OEM rack system for an 03 530i? I checked out Yakima and Thule but believe there is an OEM version as well.
 

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Purple Label
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694 Posts
dealer. some of the site sponsors might have them as well. Bav Auto also has some.
 

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I wouldn't rule out the Thule 753 if you have the mounting lugs on the roof (under the flip up covers)...that's what I use and it is SOLID...have carried a lot of weight up there and it didn't blink...also, I think Thule might make the OEM racks for BMW (that's what I've heard anyway)...all the OEM stuff I've seen from BMW is a little ugly (with too much silver/gray on it) and overpriced in my opinion.
 

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+1 Thule 753.

Solid installation and I think the bars are longer than the OEM BMW racks that I've seen, so they're a lot more flexible . Avoid anything with an oval bar. Stick with rectangular (Thule) or round (Yakima.)
 

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I had the same issue as yours. Last month I bought the Thule rack system from REI for my 2003 530i. The whole system costs me $350 (foot base $150, fit kit $55, locks $45, cross bars $100). But what a pain to get it installed. After trying and fitting for an hour, I gave up and still couldn't get it completely secured on the roof. There are many fitting parts. That's the first time I tried to put on a roof rack system. So I gave up and went to the BMW dealer and bought the rack system for $175 (MSRP is $195). This rack system is customed made for the 3 & 5 series. Wow, they look really nice on the Bimmer. It only took me 5 minutes to install and 2 minutes to take down. No loose parts, and easy to store them away. The wrench designed for the tightening bolts are unique to each roof rack, so that people can't easily steal them. I took the car to camping with a cargo box mounted on the top. The whole system works great. The cross bars have large diameter; get the Thule cargo box if you need one. The Yakima cargo box won't fit well on the BMW roof rack because of the large cross bars.
 

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Heads up to the people who want a Thule fairing: I went with the recommended fairing 870. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME! It is tiny, and did very little in terms of reducing wind sounds. I traded it in for an 871 which is 5 inches wider, and my goodness, it's as if there were no bike and surf rack atop my car. I have a wagon, though it should not make any difference because we use the same size cross bars as the sedan and I am told our A-pillars are identical as well.

hope this helps!
 

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I have the OEM base system and OEM ski rack (stupid cold weather package with NO SKI BAG/ NO FLIP DOWN REAR SEATS!!!), and so far so good. Got it new on E-Bay for about 2/3 the price from dealer. Only problem is, BMW doesn't offer a kayak rack attachment. I plan to use bungies/towels for that (hopefully) future endeavor.
 

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2003 530i
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the input.
I ended up going with the factory set up as it was designed for the car. I looked at Yakima and it was about $300.00 for everything needed vs the dealer system was $159.00. I am going to look for a deflector to quiet it down a little.
I'll be hauling the frame for my kick boat/pontoon boat on it. Thought about putting the whole boat up there but the drag would probably be too much. Pontoons are 8' long and inflatable so no issue to just pull them off and put in trunk deflated.

Montana fly fishing here I come.
 

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2003 530i
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well another update, I went out at lunch looking for an air deflector to quiet the new rack down. Neither Yakima or Thule have one that will fit the bars on the OEM rack that I could find. It seems that the bars are too big in diameter for the standard air deflector to fit.

Anybody else experience this and have a possible solution? I really like the factory rack and ease of install/removal.
 

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Well another update, I went out at lunch looking for an air deflector to quiet the new rack down. Neither Yakima or Thule have one that will fit the bars on the OEM rack that I could find. It seems that the bars are too big in diameter for the standard air deflector to fit.

Anybody else experience this and have a possible solution? I really like the factory rack and ease of install/removal.
Tik, what are the cross bars like on the factory setup? Are they square? There is a new thue system called aero bars, and they are trying to sell these to upscale customers; i.e. they look shiny and snazy but they are HUGE. Thule has released adapter parts to get regular thule accessories to fit the aero bars. This is a picture of the aero bars:



If it is similar to your factory bars, by all means give this a shot. If all else fails, give racksolid a call, their number is 1.866.450.RACK they have a website, but not sure if I can post it in this forum.

Hope this helps!
 

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I have the BMW factory version of the roof rack and two bike racks. All BMW accessories from BMW.

They pop into the slots on the top of the roof. If you are interested, mine are for sale. I just bought a 335i Coupe, and don't want the racks on that one. These were on my 2006 325i.
 
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