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Old Mon, Jan-10-2011, 11:37:21 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Age: 42
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Default Re: Westfalia Trailer Hitch install on E46 M3 DIY

Voila no bumper:

Now put it aside for later:

I did end up removing the black plastic liner in the back of the trunk. You will need to do this to install the backing plates used to mount the hitch bar. This is held in my pop rivets, except for these small ones, which are actually screws with plastic caps:

Mounting the hitch is easy, just mount it like the instructions, insert the mounts into where the bumper stops were, then put the backing plate inside and bolt it all together.I don't know if it is obvious how it mounts, but it is an incredibly robust method.and well thought out. Two bolts tie the feet into the frame, then with a retaining spacer inside the three bolts are used tying it all up.
(there is another bolt just out of sight on the top of this pic)

It fits just like as if it was designed by the BMW engineers to pull 3500lb caravans around (oh yeah, it actually was!) and is incredibly beefy... makes the American "drill into sheet metal in the spare tire well" cheap class 1 type hitches used, seem like the flimsy afterthoughts that they are. Oh and no clearance problems with Borla exhaust, and there is even more clearance with the stock exhaust (I have stock on now, after pictures were taken and there is even more room):

Shown here with ball hitch:

The ball is easily removed and installed.

Even if not used as a trailer hitch it is solid uni-body reinforcement! I mean I was seriously impressed with it, almost seemed like an upgrade like installing a stiff strut bar. LOL I was so pleased with it and surprised at how easy it was to install. And the way the hitch detaches is very solid with a positive detente and lock. But quickly the joy of adding an F150's utility to my M3 was extinguished by the realization I had no idea how I was going to reinstall the bumper. I figured I would cross that bridge when I got there, but now I was standing on the water's edge and needed to build a bridge...

Last edited by wilmar13; Tue, Jan-11-2011 at 02:05:35 PM. Reason: fixed confusing wording
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