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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #126  
Old 10-29-2013, 08:49 AM
PAX5 PAX5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainman3520 View Post
Wow, that's great Daryl! Thank you!
My X5 tow package came with a Pollak adapter that looks just like the Tow Ready TR20141 but its a 7 pin circular to 4 pin row adapter and it didn't disable the rear proximity alarm when I tested it. I guess the one provided by BMW doesn't include the resistors.

Tow Ready describes the TR20141 as "7-Way Flat Pin to 5-Flat Adapter w/LED Lamp Out By-Pass for European Vehicles" and "For Vehicles with Trailer Lamp-Out Sensors, such as: Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen vehicles with a Factory Tow Package."

I've got to get one of these TR20141's and test it out. If it works as you describe, and even disables the rear gate open button, you will be my new biimmerfest hero. I've been trying to figure out what to do about that rear gate open button since my very durable steel bike rack would cause nasty damage to the rear gate if someone pushed that button. I'm not okay with having a kill car button conveniently located on the dash so I've been using a long extender to hold my bike rack away from the gate to give enough space. This was a bad solution but I didn't know what else to do. Now maybe I've got a great solution.

Thank you
I've had one of these for 2 years ... and it works great. Needed it because my boat trailer has LED lights. Not sure about the "rear gate open button", because it doesn't interfere with my trailer setup. I believe the car needs to be programmed for this ...
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  #127  
Old 10-29-2013, 10:39 AM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAX5 View Post
I've had one of these for 2 years ... and it works great. Needed it because my boat trailer has LED lights. Not sure about the "rear gate open button", because it doesn't interfere with my trailer setup. I believe the car needs to be programmed for this ...
That coding *should* get added as part of adding the hitch module. However, like the rear-camera zoom mode, it might or might not. If it didn't get properly added with the original hitch coding, a coder can fix it for you -- assuming you *want* the rear gate button disabled when your trailer (or Tow Ready emulator) is plugged into the harness.

Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com
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  #128  
Old 10-29-2013, 01:18 PM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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Originally Posted by finnbmw View Post
Hi suspensio,

Can you update us on what was the outcome?
I realize this is a couple of months old, but I always wished Suspensio would have posted his response. As it turns out, he did... but in a different forum. I am not sure what the policy is on linking to a different site, so I will say that a search on the terms suspensio towing execuhitch leads to Suspensio's post.

Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com

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  #129  
Old 10-30-2013, 11:13 AM
Neon01 Neon01 is offline
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Is there a reason all of the hitches designed for the X5 are rated class III? Doesn't this limit them to 5000 lb weight capacity? Wouldn't class IV hitches be more appropriate for a platform that can tow 6000+ lbs?

Is there any place i can get a class IV hitch for the E70 X5?
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  #130  
Old 10-30-2013, 02:18 PM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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I've never been a fan of the "Class" designations for hitches. Too often, it seems to cause confusion, and it can be dangerous. I prefer instead to state the vehicle manufacturer's maximum tow rating of the vehicle and then simply state that the hitch's tow rating exceeds that of the vehicle. Only in the case where a hitch's rating is less than the vehicle's maximum tow rating do I like to state the hitch's rating. That way you know, in either case, how much you can safely tow with a particular vehicle equipped with a particular hitch.

The X5 chassis is tow rated for up to 7,700 lbs by the manufacturer. After extensive testing, we can very safely say that the towing capacity of the invisihitch for the X5 significantly exceeds 7,700 lbs. So you are limited by the vehicle, not the hitch.

If forced to assign it to a Class, I generally say it is a Class III+ hitch because it greatly surpasses the Class III specs (a hitch that is rated for towing "up to 5,000 lbs"). As much as I like the marketing sound of "the invisihitch is a Class IV hitch", I fear that if we actually called it a Class IV hitch (which is a hitch that is rated for "up to 10,000 lbs"), then somebody might think they could safely hook up 10,000 lbs to the back of their X5. You can't do that. But you can safely tow up to the full 7,700 lb towing capacity of the X5 when it is equipped with the invisihitch.

Daryl
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  #131  
Old 10-30-2013, 04:49 PM
Neon01 Neon01 is offline
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2013 BMW x5 - Trailer hitch recommendations?

Thanks for the clarification. Don't know why I thought it was advertised as a class 3 before. I know the oem hitch advertises class 3, which does fall short of the vehicle capability, as you said.


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  #132  
Old 10-30-2013, 07:57 PM
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finnbmw finnbmw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invisihitch View Post
I realize this is a couple of months old, but I always wished Suspensio would have posted his response. As it turns out, he did... but in a different forum. I am not sure what the policy is on linking to a different site, so I will say that a search on the terms suspensio towing execuhitch leads to Suspensio's post.

Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com

Daryl, thanks for the update. His post is over on the XBimmers site if anybody is interested, very complimentary!

Thanks for your great contribution to this forum
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  #133  
Old 10-31-2013, 04:04 AM
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"The X5 chassis is tow rated for up to 7,700 lbs by the manufacturer. After extensive testing, we can very safely say that the towing capacity of the invisihitch for the X5 significantly exceeds 7,700 lbs. So you are limited by the vehicle, not the hitch."

Are you confusing this with something else like the Jeep? The max number I have seen for the X5 is 6000 lbs. Your hitch may have that theoretical capacity, but, most critically, does the X5? When the load towed exceeds the vehicle weight, you are creating dynamic imbalances that diminish safety. The trailer starts to tow the car---simple physics.
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  #134  
Old 10-31-2013, 07:57 AM
thackl thackl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcharnet View Post
"The X5 chassis is tow rated for up to 7,700 lbs by the manufacturer. After extensive testing, we can very safely say that the towing capacity of the invisihitch for the X5 significantly exceeds 7,700 lbs. So you are limited by the vehicle, not the hitch."

Are you confusing this with something else like the Jeep? The max number I have seen for the X5 is 6000 lbs. Your hitch may have that theoretical capacity, but, most critically, does the X5? When the load towed exceeds the vehicle weight, you are creating dynamic imbalances that diminish safety. The trailer starts to tow the car---simple physics.
Read the rest of the thread. I'm a newbie here and have even done that. The BMW USA approved hitch is rated for 6000lb. The european hitch is rated for 7700. The vehicle is rated for 7700.
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  #135  
Old 10-31-2013, 08:26 AM
Neon01 Neon01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thackl View Post
The BMW USA approved hitch is rated for 6000lb.
This is why I posted - what you've said here isn't strictly true. It's apparently a class 3 hitch (see http://www.getbmwparts.com/partlocat...catalogid=4462 ), so technically it's capacity is 5000 lbs, not 6000 lbs. I found it strange that the OEM hitch sold by BMW has a lower capacity than the truck it's built to fit.
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  #136  
Old 11-05-2013, 09:39 AM
x6wl x6wl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAX5 View Post
I've had one of these for 2 years ... and it works great. Needed it because my boat trailer has LED lights. Not sure about the "rear gate open button", because it doesn't interfere with my trailer setup. I believe the car needs to be programmed for this ...
Hi Pax - do you still get the lamp out warming when using the adapter? i ordered the 20141 and i get the warning MOST of the time.

i contacted etrailer and they're sending me a 20142 which they say is specifically for the lamp out warning. but i had a conversation with tow ready and they said the internal circuitry is identical.

i'm hoping i just have a bad resistor in the 20141.

thanks!
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  #137  
Old 11-05-2013, 10:09 AM
PAX5 PAX5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x6wl View Post
Hi Pax - do you still get the lamp out warming when using the adapter? i ordered the 20141 and i get the warning MOST of the time.

i contacted etrailer and they're sending me a 20142 which they say is specifically for the lamp out warning. but i had a conversation with tow ready and they said the internal circuitry is identical.

i'm hoping i just have a bad resistor in the 20141.

thanks!
Now that you mention it ... when I first plug it in, there is a "lamp out" warning and the LED lights on the trailer don't work, but it goes away after a couple of minutes ... almost like the system needs to interpret the settings ... after that everything works fine and no more warnings.

Let me know how the 20142 works. I may have to exchange mine ...
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  #138  
Old 11-05-2013, 10:26 AM
x6wl x6wl is offline
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mine always goes off when i first start up the car...then it goes away sometimes

when i kill the car i often get a ping and a warning. i guess i shouldn't really expect much from a $15 piece of plastic and some resistors. i should have the 20142 tomorrow and will test it then.

the guys at tow ready said i should reach out to them if the 20142 doesnt work
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  #139  
Old 11-07-2013, 07:50 AM
x6wl x6wl is offline
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so i got the 20142 last night...same problem

the guy's at tow ready were obviously correct that the circuitry is the same

i have to imagine there is a fix for this!!
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  #140  
Old 11-07-2013, 09:09 AM
PAX5 PAX5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x6wl View Post
so i got the 20142 last night...same problem

the guy's at tow ready were obviously correct that the circuitry is the same

i have to imagine there is a fix for this!!
So what exactly is happening? You plug in the 20141 or 20142 adapter, start the car ... and then?

My thinking: the adapter by itself should not cause any errors and/or pinging, it's just an mechanical extension of the existing plug, with some circuitry/resistors, but without any electrical load ... Then the BMW trailer module "wakes up" when you plug in the wiring harness for the trailer, because it now senses a load ...

Does your trailer have LED lamps? Newly re-wired? Bad ground somewhere (especially if it is a boat trailer)?
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  #141  
Old 11-07-2013, 09:12 AM
x6wl x6wl is offline
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when i start up the car i get the bulb out warning. i am actually not pulling a trailer, but am trying to use the adapter to bypass the PDC for a hitch mounted bike rack. both etrailer and tow ready suggested that the resistors should have enough draw to prevent the lamp out warning.
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  #142  
Old 11-07-2013, 09:34 AM
PAX5 PAX5 is offline
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Aahhh! My belief is that either adapter by itself does not put enough load on the system ...

These adapter are designed to put an "incremental resistor load" on the trailer lamp system if they were equipped with LED's. Together the "new" load wakes up the module.

But, by itself, the adapter simply doesn't have enough resistance built in.

You should also have the trailer module (AHM) checked for proper programming. Who did it originally when the hitch was installed? My understanding is the PDC in the trailer module can be custom programmed to be turned off under certain circumstances ...

Check with your dealer or contact Okee in NJ:

TRIPL3_O Coding
(585) 496-4648
https://www.facebook.com/Tripl3OCoding
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Twitter: @TRIPL3_OCoding
Email: codemycar@gmail.com
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  #143  
Old 11-07-2013, 09:53 AM
x6wl x6wl is offline
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spoke to tow ready...they suggested plugging in the LED tester into the adapter to create more draw...hope this works

i do realize i am trying to solve a stupid problem, but i keep my bike rack on most of the time and the bulb out drives me batty
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  #144  
Old 11-07-2013, 11:32 PM
mountainman3520 mountainman3520 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAX5 View Post
Aahhh! My belief is that either adapter by itself does not put enough load on the system ...

These adapter are designed to put an "incremental resistor load" on the trailer lamp system if they were equipped with LED's. Together the "new" load wakes up the module.

But, by itself, the adapter simply doesn't have enough resistance built in.

You should also have the trailer module (AHM) checked for proper programming. Who did it originally when the hitch was installed? My understanding is the PDC in the trailer module can be custom programmed to be turned off under certain circumstances ...

Check with your dealer or contact Okee in NJ:

TRIPL3_O Coding
(585) 496-4648
https://www.facebook.com/Tripl3OCoding
TRIPL3_O Coding - YouTube
Twitter: @TRIPL3_OCoding
Email: codemycar@gmail.com
Darn. So I also ordered one of these 20141 plug adapters and it does nothing as far as I can tell. I get zero warnings and see no sign of change when I plug it into my 2012 X5 with the OEM trailer package. I am looking to have the rear backup alarm and rear hatch button be disabled so I can install my hitch bike and ski rack without having these problems.

A few possibilities:
(1) The dealer who programmed my X5 during install of the hitch could have screwed it up. I guess the only way to check this is to get a tester or try it with a trailer. It's totally possible that the screwed up the programming.

(2) The 20141 could have resistors wired across/between one or more contacts, for example between pin 3 (tail/running lights) and pin 1 (ground). But maybe the resistors are the wrong value to fool the X5 into thinking a trailer is attached?

(3) The 20141 could have resistors wired in series on one or more contacts, for example in series on the pin 3 (tail/running light) circuit. This would have the effect of increasing the overall circuit resistance when a trailer with LED lights is plugged in, thus performing the function the unit was intended for. Note that this would also have the benefit of not causing current to constantly flow through the resistor whenever the unit is installed without a trailer. On the other hand, it seems like the way the BMW would look for a trailer present would be to expect higher current flowing out the light pin (3) rather than lower current which is what would occur with a resistor in series.

Also if #3 is the true situation. what is the explanation for people who say the 20141 causes their BMW to change to trailer mode even with nothing plugged into it?? If #3 is correct, this 20141 unit would never cause any BMW to think there was a trailer unless an additional external jumper or a trailer was installed.

Here is a website with some decent diagrams of the wiring for these various hitch connectors:
http://www.etrailer.com/faq-wiring.aspx

Does anyone know what the BMW wants to see to go into trailer mode? Which pins connected where? Through how much resistance?

I'm going to use a multimeter to buzz out this 20141 and figure out what is connected where and with how much resistance.

Why do these things never turn out to be simple? I thought I had a great and easy answer when people said this thing worked for them.
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  #145  
Old 11-08-2013, 12:28 AM
mountainman3520 mountainman3520 is online now
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Originally Posted by mountainman3520 View Post
Darn. So I also ordered one of these 20141 plug adapters and it does nothing as far as I can tell. I get zero warnings and see no sign of change when I plug it into my 2012 X5 with the OEM trailer package. I am looking to have the rear backup alarm and rear hatch button be disabled so I can install my hitch bike and ski rack without having these problems.

A few possibilities:
(1) The dealer who programmed my X5 during install of the hitch could have screwed it up. I guess the only way to check this is to get a tester or try it with a trailer. It's totally possible that the screwed up the programming.

(2) The 20141 could have resistors wired across/between one or more contacts, for example between pin 3 (tail/running lights) and pin 1 (ground). But maybe the resistors are the wrong value to fool the X5 into thinking a trailer is attached?

(3) The 20141 could have resistors wired in series on one or more contacts, for example in series on the pin 3 (tail/running light) circuit. This would have the effect of increasing the overall circuit resistance when a trailer with LED lights is plugged in, thus performing the function the unit was intended for. Note that this would also have the benefit of not causing current to constantly flow through the resistor whenever the unit is installed without a trailer. On the other hand, it seems like the way the BMW would look for a trailer present would be to expect higher current flowing out the light pin (3) rather than lower current which is what would occur with a resistor in series.

Also if #3 is the true situation. what is the explanation for people who say the 20141 causes their BMW to change to trailer mode even with nothing plugged into it?? If #3 is correct, this 20141 unit would never cause any BMW to think there was a trailer unless an additional external jumper or a trailer was installed.

Here is a website with some decent diagrams of the wiring for these various hitch connectors:
http://www.etrailer.com/faq-wiring.aspx

Does anyone know what the BMW wants to see to go into trailer mode? Which pins connected where? Through how much resistance?

I'm going to use a multimeter to buzz out this 20141 and figure out what is connected where and with how much resistance.

Why do these things never turn out to be simple? I thought I had a great and easy answer when people said this thing worked for them.
I mapped out the circuits inside the 20141 adapter:

The 20141 has 5 of the 7 contacts populated and wired through to the trailer side:
1, lower right, white, ground [WIRED]
2, lower left, blue, brake controller output [no connect]
3, upper right, brown, tail & running lights [WIRED]
4, upper left, black, 12V battery power [no connect]
5, right, yellow, left turn & brake [WIRED]
6, left, green, right turn & brake [WIRED]
7, center, purple, reverse lights [WIRED]

First I tested for series resistance through from the vehicle side of the connector to the trailer side:
7 pin 5 pin
7 -> upper pin = 0 ohms
6 -> adjacent to upper pin = 0 ohms
5 -> middle pin = 0 ohms
3 -> adjacent to exposed pin = 0 ohms
1 -> lower exposed pin = 0 ohms

Then I measured resistance values pin-to-pin:
7: > 1 Mohm to 6, 5, 3, 1 (no connections to other pins)
1: 100 ohms to 3, 5, 6
3: 200 ohms to 5, 6
5: 200 ohms to 3, 6
6: 200 ohms to 3, 5

So I have concluded that there is no series resistance in the 20141.

There is resistance of 100 ohms installed between ground and each of the three main light circuits (running, left turn, right turn).

Pin 7 is wired straight though and isolated from everything else.

The readings of 200 ohms between 3, 5, 6 are actually just reading two of the 100 ohm resisters (3 to 1 to 5, 3 to 1 to 6, 5 to 1 to 6). So there are no additional resistors between these pins.

There are three 100 ohm resistors inside the 20141 adapter:
3 to 1, 5 to 1, 6 to 1 (ie they each have a resistor to ground).

This provides some current to constantly flow whenever the BMW energizes the contacts. With 12V, the current will be 120mA per path.

Now I'm curious how much current the light circuit in a typical trailer draws. Anyone know?

Last edited by mountainman3520; 11-08-2013 at 12:30 AM.
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  #146  
Old 11-09-2013, 09:59 AM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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A typical incandescent trailer bulb draws 0.5 amps. So, if my distant memory of Ohms law is still intact, it would seem that the resistors should each be 24 ohms, not 100 ohms, since the goal is to simulate the load of a simple trailer having two rear lamps and no additional running lights.

Using 100 ohm resistors, the simulated current draw would be just 0.12 amps, right? Perhaps the idea was that that was enough, when used in conjunction with the draw of LEDs, to fool the harness. Without enough (or any!) LEDs, the symptoms that you guys describe sound like its teetering at the threshold of what the harness is looking for.

I get asked a lot about simulating a trailer load on the harness, and I just assumed the TR20141/TR20142 would be a nice, off-the-shelf and inexpensive solution, since that is what it is marketed for. I apologize if I led anyone down the wrong path. I will get our shop to run some tests using different resistor values and see if we can propose a solution that works 100%... maybe even just a minor modification to the TR20141/TR20142.
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  #147  
Old 11-09-2013, 12:57 PM
mountainman3520 mountainman3520 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invisihitch View Post
A typical incandescent trailer bulb draws 0.5 amps. So, if my distant memory of Ohms law is still intact, it would seem that the resistors should each be 24 ohms, not 100 ohms, since the goal is to simulate the load of a simple trailer having two rear lamps and no additional running lights.

Using 100 ohm resistors, the simulated current draw would be just 0.12 amps, right? Perhaps the idea was that that was enough, when used in conjunction with the draw of LEDs, to fool the harness. Without enough (or any!) LEDs, the symptoms that you guys describe sound like its teetering at the threshold of what the harness is looking for.

I get asked a lot about simulating a trailer load on the harness, and I just assumed the TR20141/TR20142 would be a nice, off-the-shelf and inexpensive solution, since that is what it is marketed for. I apologize if I led anyone down the wrong path. I will get our shop to run some tests using different resistor values and see if we can propose a solution that works 100%... maybe even just a minor modification to the TR20141/TR20142.
Yeah, I was thinking along the same lines, ie that the resistor values in the 20141 are too high causing the current flow to be too low to put the BMW in "trailer installed" mode. Your math is correct that only 0.12A will flow.

Some easy experiments will confirm if this is true. Current to a typical trailer light could be measured to confirm if the value is 0.5A or something else. And additional resistors could be added between the trailer side pins to allow higher current flow to match the amount drawn by a typical trailer.

It would be great if your shop ran some tests and shared the results!

I've not examined the 20141 closely enough to see if the internal components can be easily accessed. Replacing the resistors with different values would be ideal, but its also possible to use a customized 7 pin connector harness with resistors wired into it. Just less clean.
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  #148  
Old 11-09-2013, 01:31 PM
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Daryl,
Let me know if you need a X5 to test the resistor solution with. I can swing by when I am in the area.
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  #149  
Old 11-13-2013, 07:00 AM
x6wl x6wl is offline
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Originally Posted by x6wl View Post
spoke to tow ready...they suggested plugging in the LED tester into the adapter to create more draw...hope this works

i do realize i am trying to solve a stupid problem, but i keep my bike rack on most of the time and the bulb out drives me batty
so as it turns out, the LED tester doesn't do much when attached to the 20141. instead of the car warning that the left turn bulb is out, now i get warned that the license plate light is out.

i thought it worked at first, but now i get a bulb out warning. what's strange is that even before i tried the tester, sometimes i wouldn't get the warning at all.

back to the drawing board
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  #150  
Old 11-19-2013, 01:12 PM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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Daryl,
Let me know if you need a X5 to test the resistor solution with. I can swing by when I am in the area.
Finn- I was planning to borrow a dealer X5, install the harness (only the CANbus and fusebox connections from inside the hatch area), code the harness, and then test. But if you are going to be in our area and could drop by, I would be most pleased to take you up on your offer!
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