Date: Mon, 25 Dec 2000 00:14:55 EST
From: RFKoby@aol.com
Subject: D'Lan Hitch for E36 M3

I have installed 3 of these hitches on 2 E36 M3's,
and 1 E36 325i(is).

The lower rear bumper facia on the 325i(is) does NOT need to be trimmed.

The lower rear bumper spoiler on the M3 does have to be trimmed.
The area that you trim is the front edge of the spoiler
after you remove it from the car. This edge and surface
is almost parallel to the ground. This is the edge that is closest
to the spare tire well. You will have to trim approximately a 1/4"
of this edge off, a 3" piece near the center section.
The trimmed area is NOT viewable from the rear of the car,
it is only seen from UNDERNEATH the car.
So don't worry about it.

About strength..............
I tow a small enclosed trailer 4' X 6' to the track.
It easily holds 12 tires, tools, jacks, spare parts, chairs, cooler, etc.
I did have a strength issue with the hitch.
Due to the tongue weight (approx. 80-100 lbs) and
the rear of the car moving rather abruptly because of the stiff shocks and springs,
I have broken the sheet metal in the spare tire well.
I strongly suggest reinforcing the hitch before you install it.

Examine the hitch, you will see that it mounts on the rear most, vertical
portion of the spare tire well with a reinforcing plate on the inside.
The hitch also mounts to the bottom - rear portion of the spare tire well.
When the hitch is heavily / suddenly loaded, this horizontal can be forced
upwards into the spare tire well, deforming, tear, and crack the spare tire well.
I had to repair damage to mine when the spare tire well fractured.
The spare tire well in only very thin sheet metal, and you can deform it
by leaning on the center. Reinforcement is strongly advised.

I have reinforced the hitches that I have installed by extending
the square receiver tubing underneath the car. The square tubing is
extended and another load bearing plate welded to the extension so
that the additional plate distributes the load to the FRONT of the spare
tire well. This extension and additional surface area in the front add
significant strength to the hitch. Both the front and rear plates have a mating
plate that fits INSIDE the spare tire well, and bolts thru the sheet metal to
the lower plates on the square tubing of the receiver.
The factory supplies a long thin bar for the internal load bearing plate in
the rear.
Replace this thin bar with a plate of equal size to the plate underneath.

For those of you interested in this hitch,
I have the factory instruction sheet / drawing.
I also have digital pictures available of the hitch modifications for strength.
Email me privately, picture will be available after X-mas.

Bob
1995 M3 track car w/ hitch
1992 325i daily drive w/ hitch
1998 Pace trailer 4' x 6' (with 16 wheels inside)
1996 SeaDoo XP800 on a trailer
1998 Honda CBR600
1995 Yamaha KT100 powered go-kart (in the trailer also)

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