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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
The X5 SAV Forum

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  #1  
Old 12-26-2003, 02:15 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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X5 Hitch installation...

A bad pun would be that it went off without a hitch...

No surprises. Given the miniscule size of my garage and that the X5 was backed in to < 24" of my tool cabinets, there are NO PICTURES.

Upside: tools were close
Downside: NO #%@*&$ ROOM!

Even at that, installation took less than four (4) hours.

The X5 bumper is a lot easier to R/R than the M Rdstr.

Still have to run a wire for the electric brake actuator and "populate" the harness connector on the vehicle's side. Also need four (4) M5 X .80 X 15 mm s/s buttonhead screws to secure the trailer plug's recepticle (I guess those don't come with the kit. Duh?).

All in all, easy job.
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1957 Austin-Healey 100/6 Wine Red
1961 McCulloch R1 go-kart Screaming Yellow
1995///M3 Coupe Dakar Yellow Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Rdstr Cosmos Black Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Coupe Estoril Blue Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
2001///M Rdstr Steel Gray
2011 X5 35i Sport Deep Sea Blue/Cinnamon

Last edited by Randy Forbes; 12-26-2003 at 02:27 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2003, 04:37 PM
SupraRZ SupraRZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Forbes
A bad pun would be that it went off without a hitch...

No surprises. Given the miniscule size of my garage and that the X5 was backed in to < 24" of my tool cabinets, there are NO PICTURES.

Upside: tools were close
Downside: NO #%@*&$ ROOM!

Even at that, installation took less than four (4) hours.

The X5 bumper is a lot easier to R/R than the M Rdstr.

Still have to run a wire for the electric brake actuator and "populate" the harness connector on the vehicle's side. Also need four (4) M5 X .80 X 15 mm s/s buttonhead screws to secure the trailer plug's recepticle (I guess those don't come with the kit. Duh?).

All in all, easy job.
One of the dealers told me that it was a "complicated" process so I never bothered looking into it. Did you need to remove the exhaust or anything of that sort to install the hitch? Seems very tempting now
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2003, 07:39 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupraRZ
One of the dealers told me that it was a "complicated" process so I never bothered looking into it. Did you need to remove the exhaust or anything of that sort to install the hitch? Seems very tempting now
Yes, I got the same story...

You can get by with only "dropping" the exhaust (I just unbolted the rearmost and intermediate hangers and propped it on a 6" long piece of 4x4).

Really an easy job for even a so-so weekend mechanic.
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1957 Austin-Healey 100/6 Wine Red
1961 McCulloch R1 go-kart Screaming Yellow
1995///M3 Coupe Dakar Yellow Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Rdstr Cosmos Black Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Coupe Estoril Blue Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
2001///M Rdstr Steel Gray
2011 X5 35i Sport Deep Sea Blue/Cinnamon
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  #4  
Old 12-27-2003, 11:58 AM
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virtualrain virtualrain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupraRZ
One of the dealers told me that it was a "complicated" process so I never bothered looking into it. Did you need to remove the exhaust or anything of that sort to install the hitch? Seems very tempting now
Although I agree with Randy, that the job is doable by a weekend/backyard mechanic, it is a long job and can be frusrating at times. I would say it's borderline worth the few hundred bucks to have someone else do it. I did it myself and in my day I've also dropped trannies and done head-gasket jobs and while the hitch install is relatively simple by comparison, it is not a piece of cake.

Some particular things to note:
- As Randy mentions, you can limit exhaust work to simply dropping the mufflers - this is a good shortcut.
- Check out the DIY on www.x5world.net
- Many of the pieces are heavy and ideally require a bit of help to mount or align properly
- Make sure that when you remove your bumper, to protect the painted side - especially when fighting with the plastic fasteners to remove the old bumper carrier. I got a paint chip in mine as it slipped off the stand I was using.
- Be prepared to break at least a couple of those damn plastic fasteners in the process of replacing the bumper carrier. IMHO I find it rediculous that BMW could not have engineered a solution where the bumper carrier was a common part - very poor design adding unnecessary cost and complexity to the hitch install.
- There is no mention in the instructions on how to align your bumper when mounting it so most people (including me) probably finish the job before contemplating the size of various gaps once reassembly is complete (bumper height at the rear and therefore the gap between bumper and tail-gate is controlled by how the replacements for the old bumper shock absorbers are aligned). Fortunately, my gaps were fairly even from left to right but that was pretty much luck.
- The trailer electronics module does not fit properly within the plastic prongs that are supposed to hold it next to the batter compartment requiring some slight jimmying

Overall, I would say that the most disgusting element to the whole project is not the install, but the apparent lack of consideration given to installing a hitch by the vehicles designers. The sheer amount of metal that gets thrown out in the end is a real testament to the lack forethought given to the fact that many X5 owners might want to tow something with their expensive SAV's. This is one of the few instances where rather than applaud BMW for its engineering I must say "shame on you BMW!"

Last edited by virtualrain; 12-27-2003 at 12:03 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2003, 12:56 PM
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Emission Emission is offline
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Were these installs the BMW kit? How much was it?

There is also an aftermarket kit - I don't plan on towing anything, just a bike rack mounted in the hitch.
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2003, 04:12 PM
SupraRZ SupraRZ is offline
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Does anyone have the retail price of the BMW hitch kit off hand? I'm wondering how the car will feel if I tow my Supra (3400lbs) + trailer (1300lbs). I know that the X5 can "supposedly" pull 5000lbs and I've seen X5's tow Z06's before at track events. But, I never had a chance to talk to him in person.
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2003, 04:15 PM
SupraRZ SupraRZ is offline
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So... Assuming that I can tow 4500 lbs without breaking the X5, does it mean I'll get 4 miles to the gallon?
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  #8  
Old 12-27-2003, 05:13 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupraRZ
Does anyone have the retail price of the BMW hitch kit off hand? I'm wondering how the car will feel if I tow my Supra (3400lbs) + trailer (1300lbs). I know that the X5 can "supposedly" pull 5000lbs and I've seen X5's tow Z06's before at track events. But, I never had a chance to talk to him in person.

So... Assuming that I can tow 4500 lbs without breaking the X5, does it mean I'll get 4 miles to the gallon?
List price is $495.00

Talk to your parts agent, I got mine for "considerably" less.

The 4.4 is conservatively "rated" at 6000 Lbs/600 Lb tongue weight. If you read the other thread I started prior to this one, you'll know that Bill Auberlen uses his 4.6 to tow a catamaran (1600 hp, btw) that weighs somewhere between 9-10k Lbs.

I'd say you'd have no problem towing a Supra. As yet, I can't give you an estimate for mileage.
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1957 Austin-Healey 100/6 Wine Red
1961 McCulloch R1 go-kart Screaming Yellow
1995///M3 Coupe Dakar Yellow Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Rdstr Cosmos Black Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Coupe Estoril Blue Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
2001///M Rdstr Steel Gray
2011 X5 35i Sport Deep Sea Blue/Cinnamon
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  #9  
Old 12-28-2003, 04:44 AM
SupraRZ SupraRZ is offline
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[QUOTE=Randy Forbes]List price is $495.00[QUOTE]


Hmmm... very tempting... I can get it for 20% off thru my local mechanic, and one of my gf's clients is a manager in a bmw parts distribution center... So no more than $400... very tempting...

Maybe I'll do the PDC at the same time... what does PDC cost?
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  #10  
Old 12-28-2003, 02:05 PM
MGR8 MGR8 is offline
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I got an aftermarket hitch kit for my X5 installed for $210.00. That doens't include wiring harness. The hitch shop that I had install it said on the front end they wouldn't wire it ... to complicated!

Fit and finish is excellent! I would save $300.00 and go aftermarket. That money could be spend on another mod!!!

Randy ... is your friends boat a Skater? 1600HP ... must run in the 150+ mph range. I had a 30' fountain that I pulled with my expedition ... you knew there was a boat back there with it .... can't imagine pulling a boat that size with an X5. Bet it is a killer looking setup.

MGR8
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  #11  
Old 12-28-2003, 02:20 PM
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Emission Emission is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGR8
I got an aftermarket hitch kit for my X5 installed for $210.00. That doens't include wiring harness. The hitch shop that I had install it said on the front end they wouldn't wire it ... to complicated!

Fit and finish is excellent! I would save $300.00 and go aftermarket. That money could be spend on another mod!!!

Randy ... is your friends boat a Skater? 1600HP ... must run in the 150+ mph range. I had a 30' fountain that I pulled with my expedition ... you knew there was a boat back there with it .... can't imagine pulling a boat that size with an X5. Bet it is a killer looking setup.

MGR8
Bavarian Autosport has this one for the X5 for only $179.95. It is rated 5000/500 (trailer/tongue) which should easily support my bike rack. The hitch wiring kit is an additional $199.


Part Number: 757234

Description: Trailer Hitch - Receiver style - Class 3 Frame Mount

Price: $179.95

http://www.bavauto.com/
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__________________
I am fortunate to have unique press cars delivered weekly, but I own:

'13 Audi Q5 2.0T Quattro 8AT
'15 Volkswagen Golf TDI 6MT
'86 Porsche 911 Turbo 4MT


Gone, but never forgotten... my E70 X5 35d, E90 335i, E46 330i, E36 328i, E70 X5 3.0si, E53 X5 3.0i.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Read my work as Editor-in-Chief for Autoweb!
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  #12  
Old 12-28-2003, 03:45 PM
SupraRZ SupraRZ is offline
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There's a hitch kit for $350 on eBay, the wording suggests that it's an aftermarket kit..

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...tem=2450666797

Can probably pay an extra $50 to buy it at a local dealer tho.
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