In Reply to: Where to find roof rails/racks? posted by Tim H. on March 28, 2000 at 21:28:23:
Well, I thought the T's came with the tracks standard, but maybe only the later years... my 95 525iT has the factory tracks.
I looked into the BMW rack accessories, and they were very expensive. I think the cross-pieces were about $400... the other accessories were similarly high-priced.
If you have the factory tracks, then you can go with a Yakima-based system. Total setup with the towers (fit onto the tracks) and cross-bars would be under $200... maybe $150-$160. Then you can add any of the Yakima accessories you want for canoes, bikes, cases, etc.
The tracks on my roof have rubber strip inserts covering the channels (4 total, 2 small ones in front, 2 longer ones in the rear). To mount the Yakima towers (RailRiders?), you just pull up these strips and slide the towers into the channel.
If you don't have the factory tracks, then you have different options:
1) Pony up for the factory tracks - probably expensive, but they look nice.
2) Have after-mark tracks installed - cheaper but don't look good.
3) Use the Yakima system that clamps onto the roof over the door opening edges - when the racks are not mounted, you have a nice clean roof-line, but sometimes the doors wont seal tightly.
Disclaimer: I only mentioned Yakima because it is the only system I'm familiar with. Thule also makes a quality product, but I'm not sure of their fitment offerings. Other brands may also be available.