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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo GT (F07) Forums General 5-Series GT (Gran Turismo) (F07) Forum How do you take rear bumper off? I'm fitting a towbar.
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      09-17-2012, 06:50 AM   #1
Stingray2
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How do you take rear bumper off? I'm fitting a towbar.

Hi,
Can anyone shed some light on how to remove the rear bumper on my 530d GT?
BMW won't release the info to me.
I'm fitting a towbar so that I can carry a bike rack. My plan is to use a Westfalia detachable bar and Westfalia dedicated electrics. The electrics look simple enough having checked it all through already, but I just need to know where all the bumper mounts are and how to get to them.
Can anyone help?
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      09-17-2012, 01:16 PM   #2
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You can download Westfalia's instructions from their website and it shows how to do it.

FWIW, I bought an Invisihitch. They're based in SA, but also have a factory in the USA, but I'm sure they market worldwide. It isn't quite as slick as the Westfalia's auto-retracting hitch, but it still becomes invisible if you pop out the receiver. Not sure if they have a UK website, but the USA one is www.execuhitch.com.
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      09-17-2012, 03:28 PM   #3
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Hi,
Thanks, but I've already downloaded the Westfalia instructions. However, they do not tell you how to remove the bumper, only how to change the metal bar for the new towbar. What I need to know is how to remove the actual plastic bumper.
I am fitting the detachable towbar, not the retractable as BMW wanted silly money to fit a towbar!
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      09-29-2012, 03:12 PM   #4
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Small bolts under the arches, some along the bottom of the valance and remove the rear lights there are some blots in there ( I think, I did mine around 8 months ago and am sure i found 2 blots either side under the lights). Job done.
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      09-30-2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for the response Paulmc. Jadnashaunh actually sent me a manual with photographs of the process and yesterday I bit the bullet and had a go at fitting the towbar.
DISASTER!!!!!!!!

Removing the bumper etc was no problem. The disaster came when I bolted the towbar to the car. There are 4 threaded studs that protrud from the chassis to which the towbar bolts onto. The instructions state that the bolts need to be tightened to 108nm + or - 10%. 108nm is approx 79 lb feet. So I initially tightened all 4 nuts to 50 lb feet and then proceeded to try to tighten to 70 lb feet. Unfortunately my torque wrench must be faulty and failed to indicate anything over 59lb feet and I broke one of the studs off!
I can't believe now easily it sheared!

So now I have a major problem!

Don't know the solution to this as the stud is actually part of the car and is not removable. I can only guess it would be EXTORTIONATLY expensive to have put right by BMW.
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      09-30-2012, 02:36 PM   #6
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that is a disaster.

Is there no way you can drill it out and just replace with nut and bolt? I cant remember how it looks it is maybe a captive nut inside the chassis box. Not so easy if that is the case.
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      09-30-2012, 06:23 PM   #7
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I really don't know. It looks like it just comes out of the body. I don't think you can get behind it as it seems to go inside a solid beam. I'm hoping it's possible to weld the broken stud back onto the stump, but I will have to find someone who can do it.
This is becoming a very expensive bike rack for a car, that much I do know!
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      09-30-2012, 10:29 PM   #8
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That is a bummer! Normally, I'm willing to do most anything, but when it came to the towbar, I was a little leary about maybe breaking a tab when removing the bumper cover, and I decided to bite the bullet and pay the dealer to do it as the consequences were lots more than I was willing to risk. I never would have thought that would be a problem. Wonder how much torque you actually applied. Considering what it is holding, and that the factory bar attaches there, one would expect that it should be quite robust. Be especially careful of rustproofing, as if you can weld it back, that heat will burn off the factory applied layer, and you'll need to re-apply some.
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      10-15-2012, 05:53 PM   #9
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I've got the stud fixed!

BMW told me it needed a new chassis rail and floor pan
A few independants felt that they could do something for a couple of hundred pounds. Eventually I managed to find a local company that specialises in car and large vehicle restoration. They took one look and said it was only a couple of hours work.

Today they succesfully managed to remove the old stud and replaced it with a new bolt. It took an hour and a half and only cost 40.

The towbar is now fitted and I've only got the electrics left to do.
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      10-16-2012, 07:35 AM   #10
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Result. Bet you wont try that in a hurry again
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      10-23-2012, 05:28 AM   #11
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I finally got around to wiring up the electrics over the weekend. I am using the Westfalia dedicated wiring pack as this interacts with the car to turn off the PDC sensors and the car mounted foglight etc.
It was a bit of a struggle as you have to run cables from the boot/trunk compartment to the drivers footwell. This involves the removal of various bits of trim which, unless you know how to remove them, can cause some head scratching.
You have to run 4 wires to the drivers floor well, 2 are for the CAN bus, 1 is for the switched ignition supply and the last is for the high level brake light feed. NOTE: you should not pick up the brake lights from the boot/trunk area of the car as this can cause some strange faults due to the way the car electronics work.

As my car is a UK spec it is right hand drive. The Westfalia manual is written for left hand drrive vehicles. This is not a problem as you just run the cabling to the drivers position for either spec. The problem comes when connecting the brake light and switched live feed. This is because the manual shows a unit with cables at the top and at the bottom with the brake light connection to the black/yellow on the bottom connector and the switched live to the green/white of the top connector. This is wrong for right hand drive because the box has been turned upside down to fix to the car the other way around. So the switched live feed goes to green/white on the BOTTOM connector and the brake light feed goes to the black/yellow of the TOP connector.

Just to make things worse there are TWO BLACK/YELLOW wires in the top connector. If you connect to the wrong one you will find that your running lights also turn on the brake lights. You will need to test which black/yellow ONLY becomes live with the brakes on. One of them becomes live with the side lights turned on or the brake lights on.

Its all good fun but I got there in the end!
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      10-23-2012, 08:55 AM   #12
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Lot of work that. Sound like a proper job.

I did it the lazy way. Tied in a relay in the boot. No issues with CAN all worked fine. As for the rear sensors I just turn them off, they only come when in reverse anyway.
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      11-11-2012, 01:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmc View Post
Lot of work that. Sound like a proper job.

I did it the lazy way. Tied in a relay in the boot. No issues with CAN all worked fine. As for the rear sensors I just turn them off, they only come when in reverse anyway.
I also fitted a hitch ( not to GT, yet, but will be doing it early 2013) and used a simple relay based box on a VW can-bus LED lighting system and it worked fine, it's a small box in the boot (4cm x 6cm,1.5cm) and as a bonus it generates a beep, just audible in cabin, when indicators activated. Also, it allows a "latched" activation of trailer fog lamp by an on/off sequence of car fog lamp, just avoiding glare from car fog lamps.

No errors on Can BUS, worked 10% and just turn off the parking beeps. Cost: 25

Hugh Dublin
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