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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all :byee55amg

I'm considering purchasing BMW's "large" roof rack for my M5. Does anyone have it? I assume it's a pretty easy installation on the existing mounting points on the roof? How hard is it to get on there? How heavy is the rack? Let's see some pictures and hear personal feedback if you have any.

Thank you :M5launch:
 

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I have the "Thule rack for BMW 5er". It fits nicely & screws to factory roof rack mounting bosses. It does not touch the roof panel...only contact is inside the car's rack mounting recess. I can't imagine the OEM rack working, looking or fitting much better.

I think this rack fits more than one BMW, but the BMW-brand unit probably does too. The BMW roof mounting system is fairly standard across their product line. I think only the width varies, so the crossbar on my rack can be set to fit E46 or E39 etc. The crossbar does look a little long, so it may fit 7er. This extra couple inches of width might come in handy if you're putting lots of kayak's and/or bikes on the roof. It won't help for attaching a cargo box, since they are generally 38" wide or less.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. My plan was to, er, carry some wheels and tires up there for now ;) If anyone has experience with the factory unit, please let me know.

Lscman, where did you get the Thule and how much did it cost?
 

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I also have the Thule rack, just had it on this past weekend with the kids bikes, i took some pics of it and the mounting. I'll try to post tonight.
My buddy at the dealer parts dept told me to not bother with the factory bmw rack back when i had my e46, he referred me to the thule dealer, said the parts are the same, and more flexible. He was right, as that same rack also works on the e39.
I'm planning on getting the "large basket attatchment" to carry track tires too, i've know of a guy with an M coupe who does this with the thule rack.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If anyone has the proper part numbers for the rack itself and the basket, I'd love to have those! I need to get everything here by Friday.
 

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Redshift said:
If anyone has the proper part numbers for the rack itself and the basket, I'd love to have those! I need to get everything here by Friday.
Thule has a very extensive factory web site with pics and literature. I recall visiting it, so try a search.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Did that last night and found only a generic BMW rack system. Do you happen to know what the weight limit of the system is, also? Unless I can fit four wheels and tires up there, or at least 2-3, it will be useless.
 

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Is this 753-BMW rack what you're referring to:

http://www.thuleracks.com/thule/instructions/501_5274_02,753.pdf

This rack only fits E39 and E46, so it isn't exactly a universal or generic rack. Sounds like Motatti has this same E39/46 rack.

I think most auto roof gutter racks are rated for 150 lbs or less. Even a heavy factory OEM Grand Caravan roof rack that hauls a 25 cu ft cargo box is rated less than that. One tire & wheel weighs about 50#, so it'll be a bit overdutied.

Some folks carry four tires on the roof.....especially those in little sports cars. I transport race tires in the trunk and rear seat area in 36gal garbage bags....although my car does have a trunk well that holds one tire & another tire will fit in the trunk above it. I have not tried to fit three tires in the rear seat, as may be necessary in an M5. The seatbelts restrain 2 tires nicely.

Good luck either way.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, the 753 is the one. I saw it referred to as a BMW generic (or something like that) rack on their site, and looked at the installation PDF and it didn't seem to note application.

Thanks.

I usually use the back seats folded down, but I'm driving to DC first, with my wife and dog and luggage, and need to carry all four track tires and wheels plus the OEM fronts that I'm selling to a guy up there. Hard to get everything in one car, even with the roof rack :)
 

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IIRC, the roof limit is 200kg, so maybe 3 wheels/tires on the roof is ok. In my M5, in the past, i'd throw one wheel in the trunk, one on the back seat floor (with the pass seat fully forward) and the other 2 on the seat itself (all in trash bags, of course!).
Mike
 

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mottati said:
IIRC, the roof limit is 200kg, so maybe 3 wheels/tires on the roof is ok. In my M5, in the past, i'd throw one wheel in the trunk, one on the back seat floor (with the pass seat fully forward) and the other 2 on the seat itself (all in trash bags, of course!).
Mike
Redshift, you might look at Sears' plump, black 15 Cu ft cargo box. It costs $160 & fits the Thule rack and may be fat enough to stow 2 tires...plus other stuff. I can't see hauling 6 spare wheels in an M5 without packing the rear seat though (lol). A cargo box may deter theft & protect the roof from scuffing or dents while manhandling 50# wheels. It resolves some tiedown issues too...fits Thule like a glove. It is the same length as the 5er roofline and about 36" wide. It's height may be adequate for two 28" dia tires of approx 10" wide. Sears has different models of hard plastic cargo boxes at stores in my area, in-stock & on display....you could throw two tires in one to see!

Here's a link to their biggest SUV-ish box. It will surely mount to the thule, but it will overhang both the front and rear M5 windows by a good 6". It's too big, IMO...about a foot longer than their slightly cheaper 15 cu ft model (designed for sedans):

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=AUTO&pid=02872000000
 

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I considered the factory Profile 2000 system. After a lot of web research, I came to this conclusion: if you've got an E39, then you gotta go Thule!

Their 753 rack is the best integrated option on the 5er. I don't know how transferrable it is between vehicles, however, as the load bars and attachment apparatus are integrated.

I also have a Thule rack for the family E38 7er (Thule 369). We used it to go to the beach this summer: two V2 bike racks, plus a bullet-shaped cargo box (Cascade 1100) for beach-going goodies!

I bought my stuff from varied sources, as availability was limited and time of the essence. I found that Thule does a pretty good job of controlling prices, so most of the dealers offered the same discounts. I used:

www.rackwarehouse.com
www.carracksdirect.com

and I visited my local REI store for the cargo box (to avoid exhorbitant shipping charges).

I think the mounting apparatus, load bars, and large cargo basket would work wonders for track gear.

Finally, not sure what kind of requirements your dog has, but I've taken to removing the bottom of my rear seat when going long distances to track events, and then I can load all four tires in the back seat, oriented parallel to the ground.

-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you, everyone, for the replies and help. The cargo capacity (weight) seems to be causing some hassle. I would still not be able to swing the trip with my wife, the dog, our luggage, AND 6 wheels and tires (4 track plus 2 OEM fronts that I'm selling halfway through the trip). The cargo solution sounds good for other uses, but for now I think I will just drive on street tires and hope I don't trash them too badly.

Normally if I am only taking the M5 to the track and my wife goes with me (she always co-drives), then we can *just* fit all four track wheels/tires plus luggage and track gear in the car, but the dog doesn't come with us. I think this trip will be impossible unless I either have someone bring the wheels with them or ship them, which I'd rather not do.

I will definitely investigate the Thule rack for the future, though.

Once again, thank you to everyone. :cheers:
 

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Sounds like it's time for a trailer hitch and trailer!

Here are a couple of pics of the thule with bike attatchments on my car. There's still room for a third bike attatchment in the middle.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
No hitch for me, thanks! I already do actually have a nice tire trailer that I custom built to carry 8 wheels and tires to the track (4 for Z06 and 4 for M5). It works great and is easy to use. I just don't want to have a silly hitch on the back of my M5. That is what the Z06 is for hiha
 

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the ultimate suv

here's the other pic, the ultimate suv, with emphasis on Sport...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Re: the ultimate suv

Looks great (well, as great as a roof rack can look, anyway!).

Thank you again for the information and pictures.
 
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