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Cupholder comment (archive)

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Posted by jcarey on April 18, 2002 at 17:40:31:

In Reply to: 1999 740IL Armrest posted by Gerry Collins on April 18, 2002 at 09:40:29:

I have read about many members frustrated with the BMW E38 cupholders, and I share the opinion that they are weak and poorly located, yet there are some things we can do to increase their usefulness and life that are easy.

1. The rubber rings inside the cup openings are way to tight for most standard wax paper cup sizes used by fast food places. When you pull up on the cup, the rubber grips the cup so hard, the pressure is transferred to the cupholder mechanism, and over a short time, it fails. Solutions include twisting the cup while lifting up to reduce the force applied on the sliding drawer. And or cutting away some of the rubber to make the openings slightly larger can eliminate the problem. If you use one cup all the time, cut the rubber to fit it. A gentle holding pressure is OK not a death grip!

2. The drawer mechanism when opened is asked to hold the weight of the drink(s) while completely extended. Simple physics shows the force appied to a lever is multiplied by the length of the lever beyond the fulcrum. That's the principle used to break stuff with a crow bar etc... The weight of the fluids in our cups is pressing down against the lever (cup holders) onto the drawers internal mounting points. The car goes over a bump or two with two large drinks in it, and guess what? It breaks, big suprise!

place a support under the cup holder drawer's front edge to support it against the the console. I also use my wallet placed under the drawer in that small tray below it and it works really well (until I get to a toll booth!). A piece of paper wedged under the front edge of the cupholder will do fine as well.

3. I have trained my passengers to twist their drinks from the cup holders front and back, and after 1.5 eyars of ownership and using the cupholders somewhat, they are both still working fine.

I hope this post may help some of you to recapture the use of the cupholders you paid for when you bought these great cars!!

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