F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

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F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

Post by mulaz » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:37 pm

Hello I am a new owner of a 118i sport 2017 and love driving a rear wheel drive car again after many moons of front wheel drive. :D

but I have come up with a major problem as I want to fit a tow bar to tow our small camping trailer and as far as I am aware the rear exhaust back box has to be swapped at a BMW dealer for a smaller unit to enable a tow bar to be fitted

Can anyone shed any light on this and possibly give advice if I could fit a smaller back box myself to save money? :idea:
Thanks Mulaz

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Re: F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

Post by marco_polo » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:50 pm

For a genuine BMW tow-ball, it does seem that's correct: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showpar ... Id=03_1046

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showpar ... 8308632566

Have you exhausted all the aftermarket tow ball options, or is that always the same story?
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Re: F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

Post by mulaz » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:58 pm

Cheers for the Links
I have spend hours and all tow bar suppliers on the net here in the UK and in Germany and Poland say the tow bar will fit all F21 except the M version and the 118i because of the larger rear back box

Going to get prices of the BMW dealer :?

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Re: F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

Post by marco_polo » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:08 pm

mulaz wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:58 pm

Going to get prices of the BMW dealer :?
Ouch! https://www.online-parts.co.uk/bmw-spar ... uffle.html £444 + shipping. :(

I'd be inclined to see if you can give the current back box a little 'percussive maintenance'?!

I bet the fancy one is the same, except with a couple of dents in it!
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Re: F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

Post by mulaz » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:20 pm

I am inclined to have one made as I have looked online for the one listed 18308632566 is £500 without fitting :shock:
will also ask at my car parts shop if the have a listing for that part?

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Re: F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

Post by mulaz » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:17 pm

One other thought is I have to buy a Towbar anyway and after looking around I can get a full Towbar kit inc electrics for £120
I can then see what I have to do to make it fit without spending £500 on a exhaust box . I am a Engineer so cutting and welding the tow bar bracket to fit maybe the way to go :?:

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Re: F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

Post by marco_polo » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:19 pm

I'd be far happier cutting / welding / modifying the non-load bearing back box personally.

People are always cutting up and modifying their back boxes on here, for example:

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Re: F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

Post by mulaz » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:52 pm

Good shout cheers will look at that too

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Re: F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

Post by Ogb666 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:52 pm

I have the factory fitted one on my 120d f20 and it’s just a rebranded westfalia detachable.says on the Ebay description:WESTFALIA 303317 FITS SPORTS MODEL - NOT 135i WITTER DETACH FITS M SPORT BUT NOT WITH LARGE EXHAUSTS

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Re: F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

Post by ReGenesis » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:35 am

Get the Westfalia detachable - make a small offset towards the rear in the electrics mounting bracket.
Thats it - don't forget the extra heatshield and two nuts from BMW though.
It does fit the M135i with the above.
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Re: F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

Post by mulaz » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:25 am

i did look last night late on and it does look like the back box will have to be changed or altered to get any tow bar to fit
So this morning i have emailed WESTFALIA uk supplier ( info.uk@westfalia-automotive.com ) and asked them to confirm if the WESTFALIA 303317 will fit MY 2017 car.
i also have a local supplier of WESTFALIA tow bars and may call around to see them for advice

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Re: F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

Post by msej449 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:49 pm

I was considering fitting a towbar for cycle carriage to my M235i and got involved in the convoluted issues around what is possible to fit vs what is certified to fit. Just worth checking your V5C to make sure that your spec' can legally have a towbar fitted. Because my car's V5C is blank for towing weights (O.1 and O.2 below) it means that it's illegal to fit a towbar.

Image

I had people on various forums say I should ignore this as it's possible to fit one and I was only carrying. But the independent fitter said there's no way he could undertake an illegal fitting - his liability would be huge if there was an accident and/or it was sold onto someone unknowingly and traced back to them and my insurance would be completely invalidated. And I had checked with my insurer (who offered me a discount!) so you can't rely on the insurer to make the connection between your V5C and a towbar.

So worth a quick check.
Last edited by msej449 on Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

Post by marco_polo » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:55 pm

118i can definitely legally accept a tow ball.
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Re: F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

Post by mulaz » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:13 pm

Cannot mod the rear box or fit another after market as my m8 who works at the dealership says it would invalidate the warranty ...dam blast
so i am going to take to a local tow bar centre who sell and fit the Westfalia detachable as they say they can fit one for around £400 finger crossed
if not its the genuine BMW smaller box fitted and a cheap tow bar off ebay = guesstimate £650 :(

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Re: F21 2017 118I Towbar advice

Post by marco_polo » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:17 pm

It would indeed invalidate the warranty on the exhaust system, but not for the rest of the car.

How about a roofbox for your camping gear instead? If you bought the box and roof bars 2nd hand, they could be re-sold when you're done with the BMW for similar money, zero long-term net cost.
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