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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 11-21-2005, 12:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New owner, and Towing an E36

Hi,
New here, as I've recently bought a 328 coupe, which is great to drive!
It's a 95 and has massive mileage, but it's had a new engine and is really a good solid car apart from a few small niggles, and one BIG problem!

Right firstly the relatively small niggle. The alternator died today. It had been funny over the weekend so I replaced the battery which seemed to cure it, but then it died again today. But that was only the start of my troubles...

Since I was not far from my house, and my dad was around with his Land Rover I got him to give me a tow back. I put the towing eye in and set off, all was fine for a couple of miles and then there was this almighty CRACK. The kind of noise you dread when towing! The front bumper was hanging off, and the car looked a real mess.

Basically the towing eye is held onto the car by 4 10mm bolts, and a sort of aluminium bracket which I guess is meant to spread to load. The aluminium bracket had shattered. WHAT ABSOLUTE RUBBISH!!!! Why is something that is meant to take the weight of the car so weak? All it would need are some bigger bolts and a steel plate.

Has anyone else had this?! Also for future reference, what is a better way of towing these cars?


Many thanks!
Alex
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Old 11-21-2005, 01:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've never heard of that happening. There must have been damage to it before, or the parking brake was on or the car still in gear. As far as other ways to tow the car, that is it. If you do not have the tow hook, then you have to connect to the tie rods or anything else you can find. This is a terrible idea and will break things and give you a nice big repair bill.
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Old 11-21-2005, 01:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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you can try the rear towing eye...

then again, if your front broke, i wouldn't try it with the rear.
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Old 11-21-2005, 01:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I suppose the aluminium casting could have been broken anyway. It just seems like a really weak way of towing! Ah well, it shouldn't be too hard to put back together.

thanks
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Old 11-21-2005, 02:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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wait the twoing eye is the little area in the front right? where u screw that little metal thing in and pull the car right?
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Old 11-21-2005, 02:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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yes....

That should'nt have broke... those are made to be able to pull the car under more than its own weight... in case of a wreck at the track... thus the reason for track rules making you have it...

Good Luck on the repair...

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Old 11-21-2005, 03:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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when my car was towed for the blown motor the tow trcuk hooked the underneath of my car with the hooks they have, i thought that that little metal thing was only suppose to pull a car up onto a flatbed, not use it to tow to a location...
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Old 11-21-2005, 06:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If they put the hooks underneath the car, then they were attatched to your tie rods or something simliar. There is nothing good for those hooks to attatch to. Once again, those hooks being attatched under your car is very bad.
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Old 11-21-2005, 07:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well I'm sure that's right - it would have been fine for winching the car onto a tow truck. In fairness it did tow fine for a couple of miles. But then how on earth can you tow these cars any distance without ripping the front off?!

Even hitching onto the anti roll bar (which itself is not a great idea) would mean pulling on the plastic front.


Alex

PS, since my bumper is also bent right out of shape, does anyone have a spare metal bumper off an E36 in striking range from Northumberland? The plastic cover is ok, but the metal bit is bent and I can't get it back on the car!

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Old 11-21-2005, 07:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well... the Bentley manual says this:

"The cars covered by ths manual should be towed with a low truck using wheel lift or flat bed equipment. Do not tow the car on all four wheels except for very short distances to move it to a safe place."

"When towing the car from the front with the rear wheels off the ground, a maximum distance of 20 miles is acceptable."

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Old 11-23-2005, 07:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Yeah, so I see.
Gotta say I'm disappointed though! I mean, for all the hype about what well built cars they are, and for cars that get a lot of track use especially that is terrible. What if it's stuck in a gravel trap, or with a wheel pointing the wrong way after a bump?

Anyway, it's nearly back together again! Hopefully it won't need a tow for a while.


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Old 11-23-2005, 11:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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to be honest, that wouldn't have broken without prior stress to it. that shouldn't have broken.
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