Categories: Towing hitch

Retrofit removable towing hitch BMW X5 (E53) ECE

EBA – 01 29 0 017 414
BMW Installation Instructions

Specialist knowledge required.

Table of contents


1. Important information
1.1 Parts overview
2. Retrofit removable towing hitch
2.1 Preparations
2.2 Connection overview for additional wiring harness
2.3 To install the removable towing hitch
2.4 To install the additional wiring harness
2.5 Function test
3. Circuit diagram

1. Important information

These installation instructions describe the BMW X5 (E53) towing hitch, from stage 2.

For stage 1 cars the towing hitch retrofit kit 71 60 0 017 290 must also be installed. (Only for use within the BMW dealer organisation) The installation time is approx. 225 minutes.

The installation time may vary depending on the condition of the car and the equipment in it.

The body sealant and underseal is to be removed with a spatula from all the body contact points for the towing hitch.Then clean the areas with benzene. Coat bare metal areas with body anti-corrosion paint.

Care and maintenance instructions are given in the owner’s manual for the towing hitch. The details supplied by the vehicle manufacturer regarding the trailer load and nose weight and must be observed for towing – do not exceed the tested values.

The weight data for the towing hitch set out in the EC licence are listed on the model plate. The trailer loads set out in the vehicle documents apply for all types of trailers. Depending on the model, higher trailer loads are possible with certain trailers (for example boat trailers, glider transport trailers, car transport trailers and horse transport trailers for sports purposes); further details are available from your BMW dealer.

Target group

The target group for these installation instructions comprises personnel trained on BMW cars.


All servicing, repair, installation and adjustment work on cars is completed on your own responsibility.

All work is to be completed with the help of the latest BMW

  • Repair instructions, – Circuit diagrams,
  • Servicing manuals, – Work instructions
  • Diagnostics manuals in a rational sequence and using the prescribed tools (special tools) and in compliance with current health and safety regulations.

Installation instructions

If the specified pins or chambers are occupied, bridges, double crimps or parallel terminal leads are to be used. Use the installation routes shown in the car to avoid possible faults.

Never use so-called ”Scotchlock quick release connectors” since they may cause faults in the vehicle’s electrical system.

The installation work is shown for a left-hand drive model. In some cases the installation work will have to be completed the opposite way round on a right-hand drive model.

Keep to the tightening torque values for screw connections.The required tightening torque values are listed in the part information system (TIS).

Screw connection instructions

Position all nuts and screws by hand, first tighten them loosely and align the towing hitch.

Tighten the nuts and screws in the following order:

  1. Flanged nuts for the towing hitch/rear panel
  2. Hexagonal screws M10 x 30 and M10 x 85 side members / underside of the car
  3. Hexagonal screws M10 x 30 side members / boot
  4. Hexagonal screws M8 x 20 ball hitch holder / boot

1. Important information

Ensure that the cables are not kinked or damaged as you install them in the car since otherwise they may also cause faults, which will later require a great deal of work to localise them.

The costs of this work will not be reimbursed by BMW.

Tools and equipment required

  • Straight slot screwdriver
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Reversible ratchet with hexagonal sockets sizes 8 mm, 10 mm, 13 mm and 16 mm
  • TORX screwdrivers T20 and T55
  • Torque wrench

1.1 Parts overview

Item Description Quantity
a Additional wiring harness 1
b Base section of removable towing hitch for the BMW X5 (E53) ECE 1
c Left support 1
d Right support 1
e Spacer plate 2
f Bumper mounting 2
g Hexagonal screw M8 x 20 – 8.8 2
h Hexagonal screw M10 x 30 – 10.9 6
i Hexagonal screw M10 x 50 – 10.9 4
k Hexagonal screw M10 x 85 – 10.9 2
l Hexagonal screw M10 x 130 – 10.9 4
m Washer 10.5 x 25 x 3 8
n Nut M10 with integrated washer (alternatively flanged nut M10 with washer 10.5 x 30 x 3) 8
o Nose weight label 1
p Information label for using the ball hitch 1
q Ball hitch 1
r Ball hitch holder 1
s Ball protection cap 1
t Stopper 1
u Felt underlay 1
v Socket, 13-pin 1
w Trailer module AHM, 13-pin 1
x Cheese-head screw M5 x 35 3
y Cable tape 292 mm 2
z Cable tape 200 mm 3
aa Installation instructions 1

The spacer plates under item e have been eliminated from the series.The design of the base part (b) has been adjusted accordingly.

2. Retrofit removable towing hitch


Refer to the safety instructions in section 1.

The installation work for the accessory is based on the conventional workshop information.

2.1 Preparations

Print out the error memory.
Disconnect the battery. 12 000
Raise the floor flap.
Remove the spare wheel.
Remove the boot trims on both sides. 51 47 151
Remove the boot trim on the rear panel.
Remove the rear bumper. 51 12 000
Carefully remove the exhausts and heat shields on both sides. 18 10 031

2.2 Connection overview for additional wiring harness

Item Design / Description Connection location in the car Abbreviation / Slot
a Additional wiring harness
A1 Black 12-pin socket casing Connection plug X393s
A2 13-pin trailer socket Socket support plate / towing hitch X630

2.3 To install the removable towing hitch

Insert the left support (c) into the left side member.

Insert the right support in the same way into the right side member.

Tighten the left support (c) by hand with the screw M10 x 85 (k) and washer (m) and screw M10 x 30 (h) and washer (m). Do the same with the right support.

The supports differ for the left and right. The positioning bolt on the supports must point inwards.

Insert the screws M10 x 50 (i) into the base section (b) and insert the screws M10 x 130 (l) into the bumper mounting (f).

Bend the lugs on the screw cages with a hammer to secure the screws.

Before continuing with the installation of the towing hitch, first install the additional wiring harness as described in 2.4 To install the additional wiring harness.

See the note on spacer plates e in section 1.1.

Secure the base section (b) by hand from the boot using the spacer plates (e), bumper mountings (f) and nuts with integrated washers (n).The long end of the U-shaped section must point downwards on the bumper mountings (f).

Secure two screws M10 x 30 (h) and washers 10.5 x 25 x 3 (m) on each side by hand through the side members at position I from the boot. The screws and washers are essential for safety reasons.

Align the towing hitch

Tighten the nuts and screws in the following order (see the TIS for details of the tightening torque values).

1.Tighten the nuts (n) with integrated washers (four on each side, see Figure F 53 0005 WW) for securing the towing hitch to the rear panel.

2.Tighten the screws (h and k) in the side members (see Figure B).

3.Tighten the screws (h) in the boot.

Affix the nose weight label (o) on the inside of the tailgate between the section strips.

Before installing the bumper, refit the exhausts and the heat shields on both sides. Install the bumper.The Torx screws (1) you previously removed are now to be bolted to the towing hitch. Torque: 55 Nm.

Bolt the ball hitch holder (r) to the left-hand side member in the boot using screws M8 x 20 (g)

(see the TIS for details of the tightening torque values).

Affix the label (p) giving details of how to use the ball hitch (q) to the underside of the load floor. Affix the felt underlay (u) to the position at which the ball on the ball hitch comes into contact with the boot floor in position II.

If the ball hitch is needed, the following instructions must be followed to install the towing hitch:

Owner’s manual for the ball hitch

Instructions on the label for how to use the ball hitch

If the ball hitch is not needed it is to be placed in the ball hitch holder in the position shown in the figure. Close the ball hitch holder and check that the ball hitch is secure.The ball hitch must be inserted firmly to ensure that it cannot come loose accidentally (for example if the car brakes hard).

2.4 To install the additional wiring harness

Remove the blind stopper (1).

Thread the cables on the additional wiring harness (a) through the hole (2) and insert the rubber grommet (3) on the additional wiring harness (a) into the hole (2).

The rubber grommet (3) must be inserted firmly into the hole (2) to prevent the ingress of If necessary seal it with silicon.

Lay the cables on the additional wiring harness (a) along the standard wiring harness to the 12-pin plug casing X393s (4) at the rear right. Connect the 12-pin socket casing (A1) on the additional wiring harness (a) to the 12-pin plug casing X393s (4).

Secure the additional wiring harness (a) to the standard cables in the car using cable ties (z).

Position the socket (v) with the intermediate section (5) on to the trailer plug A2 and secure it in position (III) on the socket holder plate for the towing hitch using the cheese-head screws (x). Secure the additional wiring harness (a) to the cross tube using cable tape (y).

Remove the spare wheel holder (6). Remove the four screws (7) to do so.

Move the holder to the rear.

Remove the plastic cover plate (8).

Remove the three screws (9) to do so.

Remove the plastic support plate (10). Remove the three screws (11) and only loosen the screw (12) to do so.

Carefully take out the plastic support plate (10).

Ensure that the connected cables are not damaged.

Clip the trailer module (w) on to the plastic support plate (13).

Clip the black 15-pin socket casing X609 (14) on to the trailer module (w).

Ensure that the black 15-pin socket casing X609 (14) is engaged in position.

2.5 Function test

Replace all the parts you have removed in reverse order.

Install the ball head as described in the enclosed owner’s manual and ensure that it moves easily and can be secured properly.

Check the light signals on the trailer socket.

3. Circuit diagram

A3 Light module
A6 Trailer module
A48 Fuse holder III
E16 Tail light, left
E17 Tail light, right
X12 Light module A
X38 Light module B
X318 Tail light, right
X319 Tail light, left
X393 Body trailer module
X494 Earth VII
X498 Earth VIII
X609 Trailer module
X1986 Body ground post 30 < fuse 205
X10017 Fuse holder III A48
X10117 Light module C


This article was last modified on April 13, 2018, 10:47 pm

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