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

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  #26  
Old 10-13-2009, 05:05 PM
vrooom3440 vrooom3440 is offline
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Here is the way I see this problem. First a question: Do you need trailer lights?

The BMW hitch includes the plug and play wiring harness for lights. This is a bigger deal than you might think because it includes an adapter module to translate between the digital BMW wiring signals and the analog trailer lighting (so to speak). If you add the cost of wiring widgets to after market hitche prices... then add a factor for convienience... the BMW hitch does not seem quite so over-priced.

It also may not matter to you now, but the BMW hitch has provision for the tow screw eye. Most if not all after market hitches will not have that.
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  #27  
Old 10-14-2009, 04:52 AM
kenza kenza is offline
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Vroom, thanks for the info.
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  #28  
Old 10-14-2009, 08:28 AM
kenza kenza is offline
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Vroom, just one more question: the wiring harness connector is an international standard or not? If I buy the kit in US, would it work with non-US trailers? Thanks
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  #29  
Old 10-14-2009, 10:55 AM
vrooom3440 vrooom3440 is offline
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Never having been out of the US, that is gonna be tough to answer. The BMW harness in the US comes with a 7-way connector on the vehicle side, I believe it is a round bladed connector. It also includes an adapter for the "flat 4" connector common to US lights-only trailers.

So the question becomes: what kind of connector do most trailers in Chile have?
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  #30  
Old 10-14-2009, 11:15 AM
kenza kenza is offline
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Vroom, here is the "12N" connector that most trailers use down here. Thanks!
Attached Images
  
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  #31  
Old 10-14-2009, 11:20 AM
kenza kenza is offline
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And here is a nicer diagram....
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  #32  
Old 10-14-2009, 01:42 PM
kenza kenza is offline
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I just got an answer from a BMW dealer that sells hitch kits on eBay - according to them the US trailer kit will not work on non-US X3-s?! I am trying to figure out why but either I'm stupid or they are bs-ing me. Any ideas?
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  #33  
Old 10-14-2009, 05:19 PM
vrooom3440 vrooom3440 is offline
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Likely different tail light setup and wiring on non-US X3s would be my guess. That socket will require an adapter too. Don't have much more helpful info...
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  #34  
Old 10-15-2009, 05:09 AM
kenza kenza is offline
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Modifying the trailer socket is not a problem, I can always buy a local one and replace the US one. The problem is that STEALERS are selling hitch kits for almost 1.400 US$ down here . It is much more expensive than in US and I suppose the $$$ difference is worth of trying to fit a US hitch kit on my X3. Anyway, I will keep you posted. Thanks for your help!
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  #35  
Old 11-03-2009, 02:06 PM
vrooom3440 vrooom3440 is offline
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For Kenza and others, another avenue to look down... eTrailer.com shows the Tow Ready Modulite 119190 as a wiring option for BMW X3 and X5 trailer lights. This is an electronic converter so the trailer lights are powered off a seperate battery feed wire, NOT the vehicle light wiring. The documentation also claims that this converter correctly processes/converts PWM digital light signals from the tow vehicle into the basic 3 wire trailer lighting. Both of these are critical features for a BMW electrical system. The trailer outputs are wired into a pretty typical (for the US) flat 4 trailer connector. Even with full wiring kit, which is not needed for the BMW X3, these converters are about 1/2 the cost of the BMW wiring kit purchased seperately. I believe that this converter could be wired entirely into the BMW OEM trailer light controller plug X609. This converter will NOT have a data cable connection into the car! Use your judgement if that is a good thing or bad ;-) On one hand definitely no reprogramming required, on the other nothing to disable the PDC sensors with a trailer connected.

Also somewhat of note is that the Curt 13573 is the most inexpensive hitch option out there. It is built very much like the BMW OEM hitch and replaces the bumper beam. It does preclude use of the towing eye in the rear however and does not have the contoured plate on top like the BMW hitch. A little bit more expensive are the Draw Tite 75371 and Hidden Hitch 87403, both manufactured by Cequent Towing Products. These mount under the OEM bumper beam so the towing eye remains functional. Interesting that while BMW does not allow weight distribution with their hitch, ALL of the aftermarket units do allow and specify limits for weight distributing use.

So the plot thickens... $316 for a BMW OEM accessory hitch with plug and play wiring that some claim required a trip to the dealer for computer adjustments or $212-248 for an aftermarket hitch and wiring converter?
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  #36  
Old 11-05-2009, 12:26 PM
kenza kenza is offline
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Vroom, I got a BMW OEM hitch kit. Will try to install it over the weekend and see if it works...
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  #37  
Old 11-07-2009, 09:06 AM
kenza kenza is offline
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Unhappy

Well, for the moment I do not have good news. I was able to install the hitch itself without any problems (I already took off rear bumper once, so it took me 10 minutes to do it). I followed the X3eme's DIY from xoutpost and everything was going ok until I realised that THERE IS NO HITCH WIRING ON MY CAR. So, I do not know where to connect the wiring harness and the adapter module

I am attaching pics from DIY, what is circled in RED is missing on my car.

Anyone has any ideas?
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  #38  
Old 11-08-2009, 03:48 PM
kenza kenza is offline
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Anybody? This is what I found on realoem.com : http://www.realoem.com/bmw/partgrp.d...04&hg=71&fg=10

But I still do not know which part is missing on the car side....
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  #39  
Old 11-09-2009, 11:14 AM
vrooom3440 vrooom3440 is offline
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I have read that the first connector you picture can be hard to find and not where you expect it.
The second connector is typically wrapped in a foam tube.

But then those DIYs were based on US spec vehicle so yours could be different. Those diagrams on realoem look totally different, look like the European spec parts. Might be time to post what yours does look like.
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  #40  
Old 11-09-2009, 11:45 AM
kenza kenza is offline
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Vroom,

Yes, I know that the first connector can be hard to find and that's why I removed everything from the right end of my car (including the plastic basket in the corner). No sign of the connector

And the other one is definitely not there. I see the place where adapter goes, but the connector is not there and there is no foam wrap. Any ideas on where to find any info for European vehicles? I tried asking a dealer, they looked at me like I am coming from Mars....Of course, they have no idea about anything. My kit looks exactly like the one in DIY...

If I do not find a solution in a couple of days, I will have to buy Modulite 119190 from eTrailer, just as you suggested. If that happens, I will use only the hitch itself from BMW OEM kit, and the rest will be money thrown away...
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  #41  
Old 11-09-2009, 04:40 PM
vrooom3440 vrooom3440 is offline
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Yeah I figured as much... but it was worth a try ;-)

So this may or may not help... but in poking around it seems that, at least for the US spec parts, the hitch kit has a part number X. The electrical kit has part number X+1. And the hitch hardware part number X+2. Some places actually list the hitch hardware seperately (in case you are using it for bicycle carriers or other non-trailer stuff). Perhaps it might be worth checking if the South American (European?) spec works the same way? Looks like they do not... but wiring kit appears to be part #71-60-0-304-162 with an impressive price tag and an installation time of 5 HOURS! With a time/price like that it would seem that you are replacing a whole lot of wiring compared to the US spec kit which is about 1.5 hours. But I see that the hitch kit is listed as 5 hours for the European spec too. Either way a lot more time and $$$ than the US models.

Well I think I would be looking very seriously at a Modulite in your situation...
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  #42  
Old 11-11-2009, 05:06 AM
kenza kenza is offline
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Well, as you already know , I will go with Modulite. The only problem is it does not support reverse light ....
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  #43  
Old 11-11-2009, 10:47 PM
vrooom3440 vrooom3440 is offline
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You may find this helpful: http://www.socalbavarians.com/wds/us/e83/index.htm

In particular connector X1276 looks to be a 4-wire located in the right rear of the car with a couple of fused power drops, a reverse light drop, and a data cable to the light control module. But it also sounds like it may plug into another "smart" module as there is discussion of disabling the vehicle reverse lights when a trailer is connected.
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  #44  
Old 11-26-2009, 04:00 PM
kenza kenza is offline
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Guys, I installed the modulite last night. The installation took between 90 and 120 minutes. One question: as modulite is always turned on, should I worry about that and put a switch on the cable between the battery and the modulite? Thanks
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  #45  
Old 11-26-2009, 09:02 PM
vrooom3440 vrooom3440 is offline
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My impression is that the modulite draws miniscule power until a light is turned on... probably on the order of a few milliamps. You likely have more draw than that just in the BMW electronics :-)

You could put an ammeter in line with the modulite and measure it, then you would know for sure.

I just finished up my installation this AM. Looks like the Hidden Hitch (or Draw Tite as both are made by same company) sits up maybe an inch higher than the BMW hitch and extends out maybe 1/2" further back.
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  #46  
Old 01-07-2010, 10:15 PM
x3drive x3drive is offline
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Snowbud, or other that have done this

For the brake feed. Where exactly is the Brake Box controller up behind the dash? A3/X38 in your scanned pdf. I cannot get in there other than from below, by removing the lower plastic trim panel. What am I looking for?

Also how does the Prodigy output signal then get to the back of the car to hook into the trailer plug wiring?
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  #47  
Old 01-15-2010, 09:49 AM
SnowBud00 SnowBud00 is offline
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Kenza, I'll do what I can to help you. Where are you in your installation. Hitch installed? Wiring harness installed? Is the harness factory? Is everything plugged in? What kind of trailer do you have? Are you using a 7 pin plug? Also, what's the tongue weight?

Snowbud
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  #48  
Old 01-19-2010, 12:19 PM
vrooom3440 vrooom3440 is offline
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Last I heard Kenza had everything installed and functioning as expected. He ended up with a US-spec BMW hitch and aftermarket wiring harness. Got it all in just before Thanksgiving when he needed it to tow his new boat.
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  #49  
Old 01-21-2010, 12:33 PM
kenza kenza is offline
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Thanks Vroom, that's right. My hitch works like a charm
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  #50  
Old 01-24-2010, 10:34 PM
x3drive x3drive is offline
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I understand that the wire to use as 12v brake feed into TO the prodigy is there under the dash...I've nearly even found it :-)

Now I just need to fully understand how to get the controller's output feed back to the trailer plug fitted at the back of the car. I'm guessing the wire runs under the carpet/sills somehow, but I really need to know which module PIN in the rear does it connect into?

Last edited by x3drive; 01-24-2010 at 10:40 PM.
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