Instructions for using T-Hooks -- Read Everything!!
Look under the side of vehicle at each jack point trim panel cover and find the vehicle lifting pad. If the pad is still there (they often fall out over time), remove it by prying it off with a screwdriver*. Above these pads are slots (holes) in the chassis--the "T-hook" fittings. Place the pads in the trunk and reinstall after you're finished towing, if you like. (*On some cars, such as Z3 Coupes, the pads are held in place by two Phillips screws.)
>> If you are securing the car to the trailer by tiedowns or ratchet straps at all four corners, follow steps A1, A2, and A3. (This is the preferred method.)
A1 - Insert a T-hook into one of the front fittings.
A2 - Attach one end of a suitable tiedown or ratchet strap to the T-hook and the other end to the tiedown point on the opposite side of the front of the trailer.
- Repeat for the other three T-hook locations so that the front
and rear of the car are secured cross-wise at each end for added
>>If you are securing the car to the trailer by a center attachment point (such as a winch cable) in the front or rear, follow B1, B2, and B3. (This method should only be used on one end of the car. The other end should be secured by method "A" above.)
B1 - Prepare a chain exactly six (6) feet long with a T-hook secured to each end. (A shorter or longer chain may cause vehicle damage.)
B2 - Insert the T-hooks on either end of the chain into the front fittings.
- Attach the winch cable to the center point of the chain and
secure the car to the trailer.
Regardless of the method you use, these two things are critical:
1) Check the T-hooks at the fittings continually as the car is being secured. Make sure the T-hooks are being pulled inward sufficiently to prevent them from falling out of their fittings.
2) Never--ever--leave slack in your tiedown straps or chains. Any slack left in a tiedown may allow the T-hook to rotate slightly and fall out of its fitting.
tiedown and ratchet straps have a 90-degree twist at the hook
(see photo below) which may contact the gas tank (this
is bad!). One way to solve this is to install a split link or
quick link between the T-hook and the strap hook to rotate the
hook away from the gas tank. Before you take your first trip using
T-hooks, check to be sure your rear straps do not contact the
gas tank. If you need a link, they are available from most large
Final Note: T-hooks are the only method authorized by BMW for securing an E36 chassis to a trailer or flatbed and much of these instructions were copied directly from their 1992 Service Card Towing Instruction manual. However, the final responsibility for the suitability of these T-hooks and their proper use is up to you. Use at your own risk.