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Old 06-20-2022, 07:52 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Georgia
Posts: 190
sidneyj is on a distinguished road
OEM trailer hitch removal

If I was to pull an OEM factory hitch off a junked E53 2006 3.0 or 4.4:
-Exactly what all tools will I need?
-What are ALL the parts I should grab?
-Basic instructions on removing it?
-Is it a one man job?
-Can I do it without a lift and on the ground?
-What are some challenges I might encounter ie frozen (rusted) bolts? I do have an impact wrench.

I know it's asking a lot above for details but I'll be driving a couple hours and don't want to not have all the tools I need. I did research but not finding complete info.
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Old 06-20-2022, 08:18 PM
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 667
Bdc101 is on a distinguished road
I would find one of the install threads on this forum and just consider doing the job in reverse.

You will need some big Torx bits to get the bumper off, some that most people won't have in their toolbag.

You also need to make sure to get the pieces that go into the frame rails and bolt inside the trunk and under the car, and the fasteners. Those ones can get forgotten and the hitch is useless without them.
2003 3.0 5MT
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Old 06-20-2022, 09:33 PM
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 601
Effduration is on a distinguished road
Remember to take the OEM wiring harness and module ( module is mounted near the

Remember you need the long bumper steel insert as well as the steel brackets that replace the stock bumper pistons - both are OEM Hitch specific.

I have removed 6-7 OEM E53 hitches, all in rusty New England. Each time I had the heavy tow bar and bumper insert sandblasted and repainted and they looked new.

Save ALL hardware and plastic grommets

Good idea to look on eBay or elsewhere and see ALL the parts that are included in a complete kit it’s like 8-10..many on EBay are missing important pieces, which can’t be bought separately.

You need
A large torx socket…I think it’s t-50 for bolt that holds bumper to brackets
I bring a map gas torch to heat up rusty fasteners
A breaker bar
Impact wrench 3/8 is fine
A 3/8 universal joint or wobble
Metric sockets particularly 15,16mm but 10 also
SAE sockets which might fit better on a rusty corroded fastener.
Penetrating fluid
And a sawzall if there is any chance you might want to cut a fused bolt..

Take the bumper off first. remove small bolts from each of the rear wheel liners. You can then either remove the T-50 bolts holding bumper to bracket, OR remove the 15 or16mm tow bar nuts at 3 and 9 o'clock from inside the car near the spare tire well. Be sure to remove the long steel OEM-hitch- only insert from the bumper cover....its a lot of plastic grommets...keep those.

On each side of the tow bar, there are three of the bolts/nuts holding the heavy tow bar to the X5 are accessible from inside the trunk..they are never rusty and come right off.. the 4th nut on each side is under the car, exposed to road salt and can turn the job into 5 hours…you can always cut them off but that is the last resort.

Good luck. Well worth the effort.

Last edited by Effduration; 07-01-2022 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 06-21-2022, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 686
X5chemist is on a distinguished road
Take a battery pack. You'll need to open the rear hatch and tailgate. Both can be opened manually, but push button will be easier. A few bolts need come out the spare tire area. I found an OEM instruction booklet on how to install it. I can't remember if it's in PDF or printed format. Let me look for it.
'06 X5 3.0i - bought @143,123 miles (12/26/20)
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Old 06-21-2022, 05:12 PM
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 686
X5chemist is on a distinguished road
Ok, found it. Mine is a hard copy manual. Do a quick search for BMW F 53 71 001 WW. The manual link will be found to down in PDF format. It has pictures. Instructions are short. It states, specialized knowledge must be known.
'06 X5 3.0i - bought @143,123 miles (12/26/20)
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Old 07-01-2022, 07:42 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 450
Russianblue is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by X5chemist View Post
It states, specialized knowledge must be known.


2005 X5 3.0i - 71k mi (9.2018) -> 81k (9.19) -> 100k 9.21
SOLD : ( 2003 X5 3.0 - 177k mi (9.2018) -> 186k (9.19) -> 205k (9.21)
SOLD : ( 1997 328is Coupe - Hellrot Red
SOLD : ( 1988 528e w/ Bullseye s256 / MS2 Extra / GC Coilovers / Yukon Coils ~ 300+ HP
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Old 07-01-2022, 10:22 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Georgia
Posts: 190
sidneyj is on a distinguished road
Thanks everyone for taking the time with your input!!
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