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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 04-12-2006, 07:26 PM
F1 F1 is offline
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06 X3 Trailer Hitch Question????????

Apparently to install a trailer hitch on an X3 2006 you have to cut the rear bumper. Have anyone done this or have installed a hitch. Please if you can post a picture to see how it looks.
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2006, 08:51 AM
chameleon02 chameleon02 is offline
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1 week today (thursday) i have my '06 x3 being fitted with a trailer hitch. If you like, i can post pix afterwards.
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2006, 09:58 AM
Rick480 Rick480 is offline
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cutout

I installed a hitch a year ago. Yes there is a small area of the bumper, under the removable door, that needs to be trimmed out. There are guide lines on where to trim, and it is not unsightly after it is done. Unlike many other cars most of the hitch is concealed behind the bumper with just the receiver visible where it projects.
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  #4  
Old 04-13-2006, 12:48 PM
JamesB2k JamesB2k is offline
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I'm needing one as well. Will the dealer generally install it before delivery? Or is that something you take it back for at a later date?
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2006, 07:54 PM
F1 F1 is offline
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Chameleon02, please post some pics. I would like to see how it looks before I install mine (my wife's car actually).
I took delivery of it today. Great car or SUVor SAV.

The dealer quoted me $ 800 for the hitch. I think that I'll install it by myself.

Rick 440, Do you have a 2006 model or pre-06 model?? Because 2005 and 2004 models have a different rear bumper than 2006. That one comes with a window for the hitch. If you can please post picture.
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  #6  
Old 04-19-2006, 12:02 PM
petren petren is offline
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I have my trailer hitch on and yes, they need to cut the bumper.
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2006, 05:20 PM
Richard in NC Richard in NC is offline
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Petren, is it the BMW factory hitch. Can you post a good picture?
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  #8  
Old 04-19-2006, 05:39 PM
F1 F1 is offline
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we need pictures of that bumper after been cut. PLEASE!!!!
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2006, 10:31 AM
chameleon02 chameleon02 is offline
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Well... my X3 is in for service as we speak. It should be done by about 3:00pm PST. I probably won't get a chance to post the pix on here until tomorrow... BUT if you wan't to check it out sooner, you can see the pix I'll be taking with my phone at http://homepage.mac.com/justin.carlson
Look under "Phone Pix" on the right hand side of the page and they should be posted within seconds of me taking the picture. Hope that works for ya.
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  #10  
Old 04-20-2006, 06:26 PM
chameleon02 chameleon02 is offline
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Here are the pix i took of the bumper.

Last edited by chameleon02; 04-20-2006 at 06:31 PM.
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  #11  
Old 04-20-2006, 06:30 PM
chameleon02 chameleon02 is offline
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2006, 07:36 PM
F1 F1 is offline
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Chameleon02, Thanks for the pics. By the way you have a really nice X3. I think that is the nicest color cobination. Mine is white-tan because my wife like it this way. I wish it were like yours.
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  #13  
Old 04-20-2006, 08:43 PM
chameleon02 chameleon02 is offline
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F1, thanks.
I'm very happy with it so far. Haven't had any problems yet and best of all... my wife's happy. So the home is safe for yet another day.
As for the trailer hitch install, I was very impressed at how hidden it is. Now when I walk up to the truck, I look at it just to admire how subtle it is.
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  #14  
Old 04-25-2006, 01:43 PM
petren petren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard in NC
Petren, is it the BMW factory hitch. Can you post a good picture?

Yes, it is original BMW. I think Chamelon's pics are extremely acurate. My installation looks identical.
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  #15  
Old 05-24-2006, 07:37 AM
JamesB2k JamesB2k is offline
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I just picked up my X3 on Friday and had the dealer install the hitch package. I was under the impression that there was a molded part that would be installed to cover some of the rough edges around the recepticles. My dealer initially thought the same, but later told me they can't find that part for the standard '06 painted bumpers. Anyone have any insight on this?

chameleon: Thanks for posting the pics! Do you have a pic taken directly from the rear? My installation looks a bit rough around the edges and I can't tell if yours looks the same. Anyone else have pics to share? I'll get some up this weekend.

Thanks so much!
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  #16  
Old 05-24-2006, 08:52 AM
chameleon02 chameleon02 is offline
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Sorry, I don't have any 'head-on' pix. I tried to take one but the camera phone I used didn't have enough light to make the bumper show up.
As for a rough edge, I can't say that I've noticed one. The 3 cuts made in the bumper are all very straight and clean.
No complaints here.
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  #17  
Old 05-25-2006, 08:10 AM
JamesB2k JamesB2k is offline
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This is how mine looks. The dealer admits it looks horrible and is going to correct that cut, but is still not sure if a trim piece exists to dress up the entire opening.

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  #18  
Old 05-25-2006, 08:30 AM
chameleon02 chameleon02 is offline
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You're right. The dealer really messed it up.
I'm glad to hear that he's going to fix it for you though.
And, I too have not heard of a face plate to cover it up.
Although, when it's cut right, you won't even really notice.
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  #19  
Old 05-25-2006, 08:40 AM
JamesB2k JamesB2k is offline
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Yeah ... I think they were embarrassed about it and honestly they should be. They even offered to come to my house and fix it.

Thanks for your replies. I'll post again if I find something new.
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  #20  
Old 06-05-2006, 02:54 PM
zion zion is offline
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I just picked up the BMW trailer hitch for a MY06 X3. The instructions say that bumper trim part # 51 12 3 417 077 is required as part of the install. Looks like it is a complete replacement for the black trim at the very bottom of the bumper. So you end up with a finished look and no cutting to any visible parts so no rough edges. I had to order this part and I'll take a picture of it when it arrives. The install instruction now have several steps that are unique to MY06. There's even some minor triming that needs to be done to the hitch itself.
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  #21  
Old 06-05-2006, 03:59 PM
JamesB2k JamesB2k is offline
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Thanks for the info. I definately want to see what yours looks like when finished.
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  #22  
Old 06-06-2006, 04:12 AM
dcashion dcashion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zion
I just picked up the BMW trailer hitch for a MY06 X3. The instructions say that bumper trim part # 51 12 3 417 077 is required as part of the install. Looks like it is a complete replacement for the black trim at the very bottom of the bumper. So you end up with a finished look and no cutting to any visible parts so no rough edges. I had to order this part and I'll take a picture of it when it arrives. The install instruction now have several steps that are unique to MY06. There's even some minor triming that needs to be done to the hitch itself.

Looking forward to any pictures of that new part and the installation if you can assist. My new 2006 X3 3.0 Diesel is being delivered this week or early next week and i want to instal a tow bar/hitch.

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  #23  
Old 06-06-2006, 06:39 AM
JamesB2k JamesB2k is offline
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I just talked to me dealer about that part number. Apparently, it's called a "diffuser" and I already have it. That's the black, full bumper width trim piece with the cutout for the hitch. Even with it, there's painted plastic underneath that still needs cut. I would be completely happy with the black piece, but it looks like the install tech took a crack at cutting it too.

I'm going Thursday to have the cutout cleaned up. Hopefully they'll be able to give me additional insight.
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  #24  
Old 06-06-2006, 11:22 PM
X3eme X3eme is offline
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I just installed the hitch in my 2006 and it went, ahhh, without a hitch.

Anyway, I am going to write up a complete DIY, but that will take a little while. In the meantime, here are some picks regarding the bumper cutting. I looked for a "cutout" but there was none.

Just started small and worked my way out so I didn't make the hole too big. I almost made a huge mistake by cutting above the lower lip line, but luckily decided not to.


The inside middle of the 06 bumper. Not cut-outs or indications of where to cut or nuttin.


Started marking the small starter hole, working my way out.


Started using a Dremel cutting wheel. Good way to get hot melted plastic in your eye.


Graduatuated to using a jig saw set to a very low speed. Worked great and made nice clean cuts. Here is where I just about blew it by almost cutting above the crease line (see red arrow) The upper cut is not very clean because I was convinced I would need to cut above this line. Glad I didn't. Also, I decided to keep a strip of plastic at the bottom to tie the lower part of the bumper together. That seemed to work well (see green arrow).


You also have to cut the inside white plastic a bit. Here is what I ended up with. Arrows mark the final cuts.


Here is the final outcome. Top line is a little jagged, but you can't really see it under normal conditions.


I forgot about leaving room to get a locking device in to lock the pin that holds the hitch assembly in the receiver (see arrow pointing at pin hole). I am just using a cotter pin that slides in the small groove now. I may just try to cut more white plastic on the inside with the dremel and reach in from behind to fasten the pin lock. Other wise, I might have cut a bigger hole to the right of the receiver.


Anyway, the trailer lights worked and the trailer didn't fall off so overall, I am happy!

Last edited by X3eme; 06-06-2006 at 11:31 PM.
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  #25  
Old 06-13-2006, 05:09 PM
zion zion is offline
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Here's some pictures of the diffuser before installation. Yes there is a piece of plastic at the bottom to hold the opening in place during shipping that needs to be cut out. But it's a small cut. Installation is scheduled for tomorrow and I'm taking a trip after that so I'll post the finished install next week
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Retired |2006 X3 White w/ Terracotta
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