Thule Rack Fitting for BMW Fixpoint Installations- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Thule Rack Fitting for BMW Fixpoint Installations

    This is for those of you who already have or are thinking about purchasing roof racks for newer BMWs ( 2006 and newer) with factory fixpoints. The 3028 fit kit is for 3 series sedans, but this procedure will work with th eother BMW fit kits for different models.

    I don't know about Yakima but since they are going to have to use the fixpoint they might be similar.

    My set-up: Thule 460 Podium Fixpoint Footpack w/3028 Fit Kit with the older LB50 Load Bars

    *Note that the installation and fit will be the same whether you are using the 460 Podiums or the 460R Podiums. I do not know about the BMW racks but as they are made by Thule for BMW I can only assume this will apply to those as well.

    Out of the box, I found the fit to be aesthetically unacceptable . There is a large gap between the bottom of the podium and the vehicle roof. While I understand that it is desireable to have a certain space there to avoid paint damage, the 1/2" gap looks poor.

    After examination I decided to modify the 3028 Fit Kit. I measured 3/16" up from the bottom of the fit kit legs and marked the location on both sides. Using masking tape as a guide, I simply used my bench grinder to grind down the legs until they were flush with the tape. Voila a super simple and fast solution to my problem. If you do not have a bench grinder, you can use a power sander and simply sand down the legs or even use a hacksaw. The material is not that hard and will sand or saw off very fast. All bolts and hardware work perfectly w/o any other modifications, only the fit kit legs need shortening.

    After removing 3/16" there is still a gap so the paint does not get damaged. Additionally, there is still 1/4" gap above the cars fixpoint door/cover, so that this cover does not get crushed (it sits vertically when open for access to the fixpoint).

    Take a look for yourself, I find the modification to be well worth the extra 15 minutes it takes to complete. I have included pictures so it should be self explanatory. I use my rack for skis, bikes, and a travel box and all fit great (although only two attachments fit on top at the same time-BMW 3 series are not the biggest vehicles). They all work great and are totally secure - even at BMW highway speeds.

    I hope this helps as I found the factory fit fairly cheesy.

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  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: longman's Avatar
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    or

    you could have just waited until the new 3028 kit is available on May 10th. Hopefully you put a curve on the bottom when you sanded the foot so that it doesn't point load on the roof(no warranty for the rack or damage to the car). Thule has known about the problem since the fit kit was designed and beacause you BMW owners are so anal they have redesigned the kit so there is less/no gap.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    The original feet do not curve. Inside the fixpoint does not follow the contour of the roof. And yes, BMW owners expect things to be precise and function that way. I have no idea about any new footpack as I have owned these for months and thought BMW owners might appreciate it.

  4. #4
    hippster
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    Thanks man that's totally awesome. I think I'm picking up a shiny almost new 2006 330i this weekend, can't wait! Please post a pic or two of your car with rack! I personally think a nice subtle rack can make a nice German car look awesome. If anyone has any info on the Yakima (my personal preference) version of this I would be very grateful, I just never understood the whole square load bar thing?!?! Thanks!

  5. #5
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    Yeah actually, I think the rack does give it a bit of a cool look. But definetly wait to check on the May 10th update mentioned by longman if you go Thule. Load bars are the cheapest part of the rack system anyhow, but Thule does offer newer bars that are oval now (they at least look more aerodynamic than the Yakimas).

  6. #6
    More Torque
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    That's a well documented and creative mod you came up with.

    Can you shorten (cut) the cross bars so that they are almost flush with the towers? I did that with my Yakima round bars and it really cleaned up the look on my last car.

  7. #7
    hippster
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    I just picked up an '06 3 series, how do the fixed point access doors open? it seems like they flip up, but they're not opening too easy. I don't want to hurt anything forcing them open so I thought I'd ask here. Thanks for the help.

  8. #8
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    There should be a little notch in the slots that pop open. I just stuck a screwdriver in the notch and flipped it open. Don't worry, you won't break anything. I'm glad that Thule has finally gotten their act together and started selling the racks for the E90's. When I bought my BMW in 2006, Thule did not import the racks for the E90 to the USA. I had to order mine from a UK website and had it shipped to the US.

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