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Old 01-15-2015, 09:20 AM   #15
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The real question is, can your transmission and rear end stand being flat towed. Just because you can stick it neutral doesn't mean you can tow it. Most RWD vehicles need a drive shaft disconnect - have your found a vendor for that yet?

Your best bet is a trailer and you may want to consider a closed one to protect the car. Flat towing is great and convenient but if you have to spend more than an and arm and a leg and get a questionable result, it isn't worth it.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:10 PM   #16
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We have a Z3 that we tow on a dolly sometimes when DW wants her car instead of the Jeep. I too couldn't find any towing information on the BMWs. I talked to the service manager at my dealer and he said that the 5 speeds were good to tow but the 6 speeds would not lube without the input shaft turning, therefore the six speed was not towable flat or on a dolly. Take it for what it's worth.
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:26 AM   #17
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Thanks for the info on 5 vs 6 speed transmissions

This is worth checking into. In an earlier post "Monroe" cited pulling his BMW and with no adverse effect. I do not know if his is a 5 or 6 speed perhaps he can answer if still following this post.
As for lubing the transmission, The Terrain pulls just fine but does require you run the engine at every gas fill-up 350-400 miles to lube its transmission, so perhaps there is still hope for the BMW if your service manager is correct. I'll be checking closer into how the 6 speed transmissions operate and where the oil level resides for lubing the outlet shaft and seals.
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:30 AM   #18
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Driveshaft uncouplers were investigated. REMCO seems to be the main source and maintains there is insufficient space within the BMW unibody frame to install its uncouplers. For American Cars with automatic transmissions the uncoupler is a great option.
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:00 AM   #19
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I suggest you get over to a BMW dealer and talk to the transmission specialist. Not all manual transmissions are self-lubing and unless you get some kind of reassurance from BMW, I'd let this flat tow dream just drop.
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:11 AM   #20
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If you get any good information on towing your beemer and a towbar source please post it here. I want to flat tow my 6 speed 128i. The owners manual shows the manual transmission car being flat towed and lists no speed or maximum mileage limits.
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:22 AM   #21
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I know a lot of people do not like it but we haul our 2011 Mustang GT convertible on a 17' Big Tex trailer. I tie it down properly and have not had any problems. It also saves on those expensive GT tires. We have yet to not be able to find a place to park with the trailer attached. I have been told that some state parks do not have the parking spaces big enough for my 40' DP and the 17' trailer but we mostly use private campgrounds anyway. Backing with the trailer is just as easy as backing a boat or my former RV which was a 37' 5er
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:11 AM   #22
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Wisdom from a 40 yr BMW Service Center

I had an opportunity to visit a local Eurocar service shop and talk with the manager who knows of several customers who pull their manual transmission BMWs both 5 and 6 speed also one who pulls a Jag again manual transmission. Non of them have had any issue pulling from Canada to Fl and back each year. This thread is not dead by any means. I have enough engineering background to investigate how the 6 speed transmission is built and manages its lubrication. But that is all for another forum for BMW Service and will report back once I get the information.
Incidentally the same shop has and can attach base plates. All I need to do is come up with fittings that can be MIG welded to the master front engine and suspension support tube. It's easy to see and access once you drop the front under-skirt / pull the nose off. It serves as a central jack point should you wish to lift both front wheels at the same time.
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:30 AM   #23
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That's good to know Geosman. I can see a newer drop top Beemer in my wife's future when we can finally retire. Although her 97 only has 40,000 miles on it.
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Old 01-17-2015, 01:58 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geosman View Post
This is worth checking into. In an earlier post "Monroe" cited pulling his BMW and with no adverse effect. I do not know if his is a 5 or 6 speed perhaps he can answer if still following this post.
The M Coupe is a 5-speed. It has 150,000 miles on it, plus the ~60,000 towing. We go through a lot of tires.

There's a solid rock guard (Ultraguard) on the back of the coach and I'm honestly not sure if it helps or hurts the toad. It was on there when we bought the coach, so we just left it. Claims on whether rock guards help or harm are all over the map.

The nose of the car, especially way down low, has tons of rock chips, and some extend farther up the hood. But this car also sticks out on the side, over the rear wheel wells, and there are lots of chips on that, which I don't think are caused by normal driving.

That said, you have to get close to see them, which I do when I wax it. But most people don't notice them.

If the car wasn't already beat up by rocks, I'd get one of those vinyl shield things that goes over the V shape of the tow bar, figuring it can't hurt. But it's so low to the ground that I think there's going to be consequences no matter what.

The only towing parts that are permanent are the two receivers at the front, and they're not really noticeable, but if you do notice them, they look like rocket launchers so I kind of like them. Adds a sinister flair. But the car gets a LOT of looks when the tow bar is attached.
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