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Old 13.08.2020, 14:32
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hitch bike rack / anhängerkupplung

Hello all,

Anyone knows a car mechanic specialized installing trailer hitches (anhängerkupplung)? I don't want to pull anything, it's just for bikes. Among the bike rack and 2 bikes, it's 50-55 kg max, most commonly rack + 1 bike = 30 kg.

I know this is a specialty job. I already asked the car dealership and they told they don't offer it for my model (BMW M4). The problem is there's little space among the car muffler (silencer on this side of the ocean?), a metallic heat shield for the muffler and the rear bumper.

Yes, Google's is the answer to almost anything but the shops I found in Switzerland only offer standard products and installation services. Since the product is not on the catalog, they said no The only shop that claims to be able to do it is in Germany like 500km away from here. https://www.kupplung-vor-ort.com/kup...-bmw-m4-cabrio

After looking below the car, my guess is that the heat shield for the muffler needs to be modified (cut and welding once again) to free 1 or 2 cm, and then any standard hitch for the 4 series fits. Or maybe substitute the wide metal part in the hitch by a thinner one (thicker metal to keep the strength), so it fits in the reduced space. So, does someone knows a mechanic that does custom jobs and has experience with hitches? Thanks in advance.
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Old 13.08.2020, 14:47
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Re: hitch bike rack / anhängerkupplung

Look for Fahrzeugumbauten. Like this one in Visp VS:
https://www.garage-christophe.ch/die...rzeugumbauten/

here one which is more into BMW
https://www.auto-derungs.ch/dienstleistungen

I think it is not a coincidence that both are in the alpine region.
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Old 13.08.2020, 15:00
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Re: hitch bike rack / anhängerkupplung

Fahrzeugumbauten, that's the keyword for search, thanks a lot
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Old 13.08.2020, 23:45
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Re: hitch bike rack / anhängerkupplung

Have you tried asking BMW dealers across the border? If they won't do it, maybe they know a specialty garage near them.
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Old 14.08.2020, 08:55
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Re: hitch bike rack / anhängerkupplung

You can get after market roof mounted bike racks for the M4, but as your dealer said there's zero possibility of a towing hitch due to the massive exhaust system and rear diffuser. If you look at your car's data page in the manual you'll find it has a braked towing capacity of 0kg i.e no towing hitch. It was the same for Mrs Parkers M2.


The only M car that you can have a hitch fitted is the M5 plus the M SUVs.

Last edited by GParker; 14.08.2020 at 09:13.
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Old 14.08.2020, 09:22
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Re: hitch bike rack / anhängerkupplung

If you fit a tow bar it will need approval and inspection, if BMW list the towing capacity as 0kg then you will need engineering approvals for exhaust ect ect. A better way to approach this is buy a bike rack and get a metal worker to build you a custom bracket to attach it (which can't have a tow ball attached). If you use a BMW made/labelled bike rack you will not draw undue attention. A selection is available on ricardo, try to get one with a load capacity of 25/30kgs per bike so e-bike transport is possible.

https://www.ricardo.ch/de/c/fahrradt...C3%A4ger%20bmw

http://i.imgur.com/hGSv0RH.jpg image example.
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Old 14.08.2020, 09:53
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Re: hitch bike rack / anhängerkupplung

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. If you look at your car's data page in the manual you'll find it has a braked towing capacity of 0kg i.e no towing hitch.
No towing capacity does not mean no tow hitch. It just means you can not tow anything. But AXA does not want to tow something, but mount a bike rack on the hitch. This is possible. Like with the Yaris Hybrid which has also 0 kg of towing capacity https://www.auto.de/magazin/toyota-h...odelle-bereit/

As RTN says, it possibly must be a "tow hitch" where you can not easily attach a trailer but only a bike rack.
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Old 14.08.2020, 10:43
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Re: hitch bike rack / anhängerkupplung

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You can get after market roof mounted bike racks for the M4, but as your dealer said there's zero possibility of a towing hitch due to the massive exhaust system and rear diffuser. If you look at your car's data page in the manual you'll find it has a braked towing capacity of 0kg i.e no towing hitch. It was the same for Mrs Parkers M2.
Thanks for the lead. I'll check with the insurance about a custom attachment point for a bike rack. Will they cover everything after the modification (umbau) or not is the question.

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If you fit a tow bar it will need approval and inspection, if BMW list the towing capacity as 0kg then you will need engineering approvals for exhaust ect ect. A better way to approach this is buy a bike rack and get a metal worker to build you a custom bracket to attach it (which can't have a tow ball attached). If you use a BMW made/labelled bike rack you will not draw undue attention. A selection is available on ricardo, try to get one with a load capacity of 25/30kgs per bike so e-bike transport is possible.

https://www.ricardo.ch/de/c/fahrradt...C3%A4ger%20bmw

http://i.imgur.com/hGSv0RH.jpg image example.
Thinking about this but there's nothing to attach the hitch. All in there is the exhaust system and the heat shield protecting all the plastic from the heat. Better not mess with the heat shield. I'll take a photo later.

What I learned last night is that the rear diffuser is held in place only by two screws, installing a new one takes 10 min. Maybe get a diffuser with a hole like this one (https://www.ssdd-motorsport.com/f80-...-brake-lights/), remove the ridicule brake light and have access trough it to the metal parts below all the plastic without making any cut to the exhaust heat shield.
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Old 14.08.2020, 13:31
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Re: hitch bike rack / anhängerkupplung

Is the car leased? If so you will invalidate your lease and will need to buy the car outright. Why don’t you go the roof route? Thule do excellent bike mounts for the roof. I actually have one for my X5. I was also looking for a solution like you were for the X5, but this was a much simpler solution. And yes, it is suitable for expensive bikes with carbon frames

https://www.thule.com/en-ch/bike-rack/roof-bike-racks
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Old 14.08.2020, 14:36
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Re: hitch bike rack / anhängerkupplung

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Is the car leased? If so you will invalidate your lease and will need to buy the car outright. Why don’t you go the roof route? Thule do excellent bike mounts for the roof. I actually have one for my X5. I was also looking for a solution like you were for the X5, but this was a much simpler solution. And yes, it is suitable for expensive bikes with carbon frames

https://www.thule.com/en-ch/bike-rack/roof-bike-racks
Concur. IIRC, any hitch attachment must also support trailer wiring (lights) so now you are installing an aftermarket tow bar and splicing into the electrics.

OP - I had the same issue with a Thule rack and my leased Volvo (XC-90). (even more fun - the Thule rack was for an american style receiver). Volvo did have parts to retrofit a non tow equipped vehicle, so I bought the parts in the US but had the dealership who leased the car to me in Basel do the install and recert. In hindsight*, I should have just done roof mount.

*Typical Swiss - even though they did the install and I worked witht eh dealer every step of the way, they still tried to jack me when I turned the car back in.
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Old 17.08.2020, 12:21
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Re: hitch bike rack / anhängerkupplung

Talked to a mechanic last Saturday. One thing is what the car is able to do and a whole different thing what the car has been tested and approved to do So, the fahrzeugausweis/carte gris, it says zero weight for a hitch.



While modifications are possible since the cars has 6 cyl, large cooling system and even larger brakes, I would need to prove to strasseverkehrsamt that it's safe. Usually car manufacturers do this job, but not for this model. It's not impossible to do the modification but everything has a cost.

Time to look for an alternative. Maybe choose a nice place for the rest of the summer, leave the bike in a storage place over there and just ride during the weekends. After all, I don't need a 180mm rear travel bike in the Swiss plateau during the weekends
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