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XBimmers | BMW X3 Forum BMW X3/X4 Forums (2018 - 2024) BMW X3M (F97) and X4M (F98) General Forum (2018+) Roof Rail Deletion Thread

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      12-17-2020, 08:53 AM   #1
Max Well
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Roof Rail Deletion Thread

Much appreciation to larsmin for all of his research and completion of his project, as well as his PM communication with me (in which he also stressed not to forget sealing the 6 holes from the rails during the install to prevent leaks). I've been wanting to get a quote for having this done on our F97s, so have compiled different posts from many threads to have one central location to reference so multiple searches can be avoided.

His main post for sharing the part numbers was at: https://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showp...postcount=1185 . In that he indicated:

51137399025 x 1
51137399026 x 1
51319481236 x 1
51319481241 x 1
51137441016 x 14


I have attached images of his great-looking F97 with views of comparative high-performance offerings from other elite Mnfrs in this class. Most, if not all, provide for a no-rail option finished off with a paint-matched seam (unlike the F97). A few years ago I shared images of European F97/98 builds with and without rails, something we can't do in the US, which shows how the F97 is relegated to a utilitarian black rubber look whereas the F98 line gets paint-matched strips (image attached). This same concept applies to the F95/96 series as well. Larsmin was able to paint his, so will be interested in reading how he did this given it's rubberized surface (adhesion issues or not a problem?). Look forward to him adding comments which would be helpful for those of us considering this modification.
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      12-17-2020, 02:25 PM   #2
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So glad my X4MC didn't come with rails from the factory.

The build code was...
3MC High Gloss Black Roof Rail

Delete from build please, thanks!


Last edited by 2kaccordocoupe; 12-17-2020 at 02:33 PM..
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      12-17-2020, 02:41 PM   #3
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I think it looks cleaner without the rails, the argument against it would be less utility etc but if you never plan on adding a roof rack anyway it seems moot.

That's odd you can't modify the build to remove that option code in the states, no issues here in Canada.
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      12-17-2020, 03:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2kaccordocoupe View Post
I think it looks cleaner without the rails, the argument against it would be less utility etc but if you never plan on adding a roof rack anyway it seems moot.

That's odd you can't modify the build to remove that option code in the states, no issues here in Canada.
Thanks for sharing your image, 2kaccordocoupe - was hoping some of you without rails would post some views.

I agree about the aesthetic, and since we have never (not once) needed the top carrying capability for added cargo in any of our previous seven X3 models, I'm looking forward to the cleaner lines as well.

Still disappointed about the lack of paint-matched seam in the F97 (and F95 for that matter), yet the F98 (and F96) get that higher-end, finished look. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me, so not sure how the reasoning went during their design discussions. None of the other Mnfrs' offerings are coupes yet they still have a painted seam.

I priced the parts today at our Parts Dept - less than $400. Next up is to get a quote for the installation and painting of the strips like larsmin did as we're not planning on a DIY. Hopefully he didn't find any issues with paint adhesion given that it is a rubberized type material?

Hoping others share some images of their versions sans rails as well.
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      12-17-2020, 04:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Well View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2kaccordocoupe View Post
I think it looks cleaner without the rails, the argument against it would be less utility etc but if you never plan on adding a roof rack anyway it seems moot.

That's odd you can't modify the build to remove that option code in the states, no issues here in Canada.
Thanks for sharing your image, 2kaccordocoupe - was hoping some of you without rails would post some views.

I agree about the aesthetic, and since we have never (not once) needed the top carrying capability for added cargo in any of our previous seven X3 models, I'm looking forward to the cleaner lines as well.

Still disappointed about the lack of paint-matched seam in the F97 (and F95 for that matter), yet the F98 (and F96) get that higher-end, finished look. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me, so not sure how the reasoning went during their design discussions. None of the other Mnfrs' offerings are coupes yet they still have a painted seam.

I priced the parts today at our Parts Dept - less than $400. Next up is to get a quote for the installation and painting of the strips like larsmin did as we're not planning on a DIY. Hopefully he didn't find any issues with paint adhesion given that it is a rubberized type material?

Hoping others share some images of their versions sans rails as well.
It will look sharp and clean. Good luck with the project.
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      12-17-2020, 06:14 PM   #6
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I'd be interested in this for sure but it's hard to imagine paint holding up on those rubber pieces long term.
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      12-17-2020, 06:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allinon72 View Post
I'd be interested in this for sure but it's hard to imagine paint holding up on those rubber pieces long term.
My only concern as well. If the F98's trim piece is made of the same material as the F97's though, then there must be a way to apply a permanent paint surface. It would seem an inefficient production process to have two different material lines running to produce these similar seam pieces, but I'm not an Engineer... Perhaps larsmin can comment on this aspect.
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      12-18-2020, 08:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Well View Post
My only concern as well. If the F98's trim piece is made of the same material as the F97's though, then there must be a way to apply a permanent paint surface. It would seem an inefficient production process to have two different material lines running to produce these similar seam pieces, but I'm not an Engineer... Perhaps larsmin can comment on this aspect.
I checked my trim and it's a hard plastic, it's definitely not rubber.
It has the same feel as the other exterior plastics like the bumpers, if the F97 is the same you should have no issues with paint adhesion. If the F97 is indeed rubber it maybe a challenge.

Last edited by 2kaccordocoupe; 12-18-2020 at 08:45 AM..
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      12-18-2020, 03:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2kaccordocoupe View Post
I checked my trim and it's a hard plastic, it's definitely not rubber.
It has the same feel as the other exterior plastics like the bumpers, if the F97 is the same you should have no issues with paint adhesion. If the F97 is indeed rubber it maybe a challenge.
Thanks for checking - sounds encouraging for us with F97s. I know brunofernandez in Europe has an X3MC without rails, so maybe he and/or larsmin can comment on the material and suitability for painting before a number of us order.
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      12-28-2020, 04:03 PM   #10
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Parts ordered today, uncertain how long it will take for them to arrive. Am using a BMW-Certified Paint and Body shop and will share images when completed.
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      12-28-2020, 05:37 PM   #11
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      12-28-2020, 06:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Well View Post
Parts ordered today, uncertain how long it will take for them to arrive. Am using a BMW-Certified Paint and Body shop and will share images when completed.
Max, can you PM me the price you paid for all these parts?
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      12-29-2020, 07:04 AM   #13
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Max, can you PM me the price you paid for all these parts?
Greetings, AlexFL - I tried sending you a PM but it states your stored messages are full so it won't let me send it.
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      12-29-2020, 07:28 AM   #14
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Greetings, AlexFL - I tried sending you a PM but it states your stored messages are full so it won't let me send it.
Sorry about that. Could you please try to re-send? Just cleaned up the inbox
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      12-29-2020, 08:02 AM   #15
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Sorry about that. Could you please try to re-send? Just cleaned up the inbox
Done
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      12-31-2020, 08:47 AM   #16
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I think the X4M looks better without them but I prefer the more utilitarian look of the rails on the X3M
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      12-31-2020, 11:35 AM   #17
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Done
Max, I must admit, this picture scares me a bit. It seems we would need to rip the interior out to remove the rails.
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      12-31-2020, 04:52 PM   #18
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Yep they aren't really made to be removed so I figured it be a process to get them out.
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      12-31-2020, 09:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexFL View Post
Max, I must admit, this picture scares me a bit. It seems we would need to rip the interior out to remove the rails.
Anything that requires taking apart our X3MCs scares me, which is one reason I haven't pursued much in the way of mods as many of you do. But it seems replacing systems (suspensions, pipes, turbos, ...) with non-OEM designs doesn't hinder many from pursuing them and most turn out great.

I don't think it should be much of a stretch for a Multi-Mnfr certified paint and body shop to gain access to the rail system and replace with OEM parts. I wouldn't want to perform a DIY (as I didn't even enjoy the BavSound upgrade), but on a complexity/difficulty scale from 1-10, esp for what these shops have to replace/repair on a daily basis in the accident realm, I can't imagine it'll pose a major issue for them, but we'll see (and keeping my fingers crossed it turns out well). r33_RGSport and others who do this for a living would be in a better position to comment on how big a job this might be, but didn't larsmin indicate he did it himself, or did I misunderstand him?
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      01-01-2021, 10:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Well View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexFL View Post
Max, I must admit, this picture scares me a bit. It seems we would need to rip the interior out to remove the rails.
Anything that requires taking apart our X3MCs scares me, which is one reason I haven't pursued much in the way of mods as many of you do. But it seems replacing systems (suspensions, pipes, turbos, ...) with non-OEM designs doesn't hinder many from pursuing them and most turn out great.

I don't think it should be much of a stretch for a Multi-Mnfr certified paint and body shop to gain access to the rail system and replace with OEM parts. I wouldn't want to perform a DIY (as I didn't even enjoy the BavSound upgrade), but on a complexity/difficulty scale from 1-10, esp for what these shops have to replace/repair on a daily basis in the accident realm, I can't imagine it'll pose a major issue for them, but we'll see (and keeping my fingers crossed it turns out well). r33_RGSport and others who do this for a living would be in a better position to comment on how big a job this might be, but didn't larsmin indicate he did it himself, or did I misunderstand him?
Based on knowing where its position and how it is mounted.
I would say it is 5-6 hours job besides painting.

Not hard, just a lot of parts that need to be removed so you don't damage the roof liner.
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      01-14-2021, 06:56 PM   #21
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All parts have arrived and painting to be done next week then install when time allows. I dropped by briefly today to view the cap strip - definitely not rubberized. Didn't take an image, but it feels like the stippled hard plastic just above our X3M Competition logo as you enter the front cabin, just above the soft rubber seals. The Staff didn't feel there would be any issue in painting it.

Will be interested to see how it turns out and will share images when completed.
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      01-14-2021, 07:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Well View Post
All parts have arrived and painting to be done next week then install when time allows. I dropped by briefly today to view the cap strip - definitely not rubberized. Didn't take an image, but it feels like the stippled hard plastic just above our X3M Competition logo as you enter the front cabin, just above the soft rubber seals. The Staff didn't feel there would be any issue in painting it.

Will be interested to see how it turns out and will share images when completed.
That's fantastic news! Looking forward to the results.
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