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SteveG31

Retro fit swivelling tow bar

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Hi

just wondered if anyone here had retrofitted a swivelling towbar on there G31? I’ve just got a quote from the main dealer and it was £3000!

I fitted my last one (westfalia detachable towbar) on my F31 so I’ve got some idea how it goes but would like some guidance on procuring the electric kit and coding.

TIA

 

steve

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1 hour ago, SteveG31 said:

Hi

just wondered if anyone here had retrofitted a swivelling towbar on there G31? I’ve just got a quote from the main dealer and it was £3000!

I fitted my last one (westfalia detachable towbar) on my F31 so I’ve got some idea how it goes but would like some guidance on procuring the electric kit and coding.

TIA

 

steve

 

Stick with a detachable one so that there are no motor electrics or mechanicals to go wrong. The price from BMW includes a radiator fan upgrade along with underbody battery cable replacement and potentially a rear fuse box replacement hence the high price.

PFJones.co.uk for the Westfalia detachable towbar and make sure you specify the dedicated towbar wiring module. 

Edited by Matthew Ashton

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My better half & I are just starting to look for a G31 540i I’m guessing the chances of finding one with a towbar are slim so I’m interested in this also. 
 

I fitted a detachable westfalia towbar to our E39 myself so would be looking to do the same with the G31. 
 

We had a Passat estate for a few years that had an electric folding towbar, seemed a great idea when ordering the car but actually it turned out to be a bit annoying because you can’t put a cap over that one as it ends up almost upside down when folded back so the cap would fill with water. When using the towbar for bike racks or other hitches that clamp on tight the ball can’t have any grease at all. So I was forever either cleaning rust or grease off the ball before hitching anything up! 
 

I see there are a few used electric folding setups & new westfalia detachables on eBay. 
 

I guess the electric kit is best got from BMW parts, but I’m wondering about coding too! 

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32 minutes ago, Andyrt200 said:

My better half & I are just starting to look for a G31 540i I’m guessing the chances of finding one with a towbar are slim so I’m interested in this also. 
 

I fitted a detachable westfalia towbar to our E39 myself so would be looking to do the same with the G31. 
 

We had a Passat estate for a few years that had an electric folding towbar, seemed a great idea when ordering the car but actually it turned out to be a bit annoying because you can’t put a cap over that one as it ends up almost upside down when folded back so the cap would fill with water. When using the towbar for bike racks or other hitches that clamp on tight the ball can’t have any grease at all. So I was forever either cleaning rust or grease off the ball before hitching anything up! 
 

I see there are a few used electric folding setups & new westfalia detachables on eBay. 
 

I guess the electric kit is best got from BMW parts, but I’m wondering about coding too! 


Buy a Westfalia detachable with dedicated electrics. PFjones.co.uk is a good place to look. They say no coding is needed but they also say you need to use the button on the centre console to disable the PDC while using the towbar. Haven’t yet worked out how to code this. 

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3 hours ago, Matthew Ashton said:


Buy a Westfalia detachable with dedicated electrics. PFjones.co.uk is a good place to look. They say no coding is needed but they also say you need to use the button on the centre console to disable the PDC while using the towbar. Haven’t yet worked out how to code this. 


Ah thanks yes found that now. I did have a quick look after seeing your last post but thought they only fitted them, didn’t realise they sold them too. 
 

The electric kit sounds cheap, I wonder if its the proper one that I assume just plugs in, if it’s anything like the E39. From a very bad memory I think just electric the kit for the E39 was more like £250, I thought it sounded like far too much money till I was halfway through stripping out the back end of the E39 to try to find the correct cables to connect the generic kit up to, by which point I was wishing I’d bought the correct kit! 
I have to override the parking sensors manually in the E39 too. I think there’s a cable I noticed in TIS that’s meant to connect to the general model to let it know you have connected up trailer lights, the 13 sockets certainly have a breaker connection for that purpose. But yes would likely need coding to work even if connected. 
 

From the picture on that site looks like it maybe fits underneath the bumper, the E39 sport needed a different rear diffuser panel with the removable section, £300 odd on top of the cost of the tow bar! 

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8 hours ago, Andyrt200 said:


Ah thanks yes found that now. I did have a quick look after seeing your last post but thought they only fitted them, didn’t realise they sold them too. 
 

The electric kit sounds cheap, I wonder if its the proper one that I assume just plugs in, if it’s anything like the E39. From a very bad memory I think just electric the kit for the E39 was more like £250, I thought it sounded like far too much money till I was halfway through stripping out the back end of the E39 to try to find the correct cables to connect the generic kit up to, by which point I was wishing I’d bought the correct kit! 
I have to override the parking sensors manually in the E39 too. I think there’s a cable I noticed in TIS that’s meant to connect to the general model to let it know you have connected up trailer lights, the 13 sockets certainly have a breaker connection for that purpose. But yes would likely need coding to work even if connected. 
 

From the picture on that site looks like it maybe fits underneath the bumper, the E39 sport needed a different rear diffuser panel with the removable section, £300 odd on top of the cost of the tow bar! 

 

The wiring is circa £150 and needs tapping into existing wiring in the car - not plug and play but very easy to install. The only coding needed is for the PDC deactivation. Once fitted and without coding the car does acknowledge the module and will adjust its behaviour as if a factory loom was fitted. Look on that site for the installation instructions as you'll find the module is mounted INSIDE the car with just the wiring for the 13pin plug installed through a grommet to the outside behind the bumper panel.

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1 hour ago, Matthew Ashton said:

 

The wiring is circa £150 and needs tapping into existing wiring in the car - not plug and play but very easy to install. The only coding needed is for the PDC deactivation. Once fitted and without coding the car does acknowledge the module and will adjust its behaviour as if a factory loom was fitted. Look on that site for the installation instructions as you'll find the module is mounted INSIDE the car with just the wiring for the 13pin plug installed through a grommet to the outside behind the bumper panel.


Ah thanks, sounds like a more specialised generic kit then, I see they also have the much cheaper one I regretted getting last time! 
 

BMW have a wide range of different options for just the 540 https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=JM12-EUR-06-2017-G31-BMW-540iX&diagId=03_1098

 

The extra fan & battery cable you mentioned is on there. 

 

Glad to see the G31 is available on that site for parts, way too new to be on TIS or WDS for repair or wiring instructions though...

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3 hours ago, Andyrt200 said:


Ah thanks, sounds like a more specialised generic kit then, I see they also have the much cheaper one I regretted getting last time! 
 

BMW have a wide range of different options for just the 540 https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=JM12-EUR-06-2017-G31-BMW-540iX&diagId=03_1098

 

The extra fan & battery cable you mentioned is on there. 

 

Glad to see the G31 is available on that site for parts, way too new to be on TIS or WDS for repair or wiring instructions though...

 

All the workshop repair information is available within ISTA. G31 has been around since early 2017 so well served by the aftermarket fraternity

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8 minutes ago, Matthew Ashton said:

 

All the workshop repair information is available within ISTA. G31 has been around since early 2017 so well served by the aftermarket fraternity

Ah very useful to know, thanks!

 

Jimmy did send me a copy of ISTA when I got the last cable from him but I never managed to make it work & forgot about it as the older programs worked fine with the current cars. I’ll have to pester him again. 

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On 5/6/2021 at 5:44 PM, Saftlad said:

Bavarian  Coding will retrofit the electric towbar - https://www.facebook.com/Bavarian-Coding-1404502282915941

 

You would need to ask him about the cost, but workmanship wise, he does a lot of retrofits and gets nothing but praise

Szymon is outstanding and highly recommended. There are several electric swivelling towbars shown completed on his Facebook site.

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