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  #191  
Old 02-04-2015, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzx View Post
Anyone had luck recently finding an OEM hitch? Ebay shows nada thus far :-(

Check this out

http://www.xoutpost.com/1025733-post10.html

I just fitted my E53 with an aftermarket Class III hitch from eBay costing about $110 but the tricky parts are the trailer module and wiring harness.

My posts show the Westfalia wiring Pn that you seek for seamless connection to the factory wiring block.

Ebay has quite a few serviceable trailer modules that can be bought from ~455 to $95 or so.

Mike
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  #192  
Old 02-04-2015, 05:25 PM
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Mike, if you bought a putatively Class III hitch that mounts like the Draw-Tite and Curt versions for the E53 that sell for $130-150, I'll quote another Texan, Duke Wayne's Ethan Edwards in "The Searchers:" "Its your funeral." That is, if you plan to pull Class III weight [three tons, 600 lb tongue weight]. If instead you are carrying bikes or occasionally pulling a one ton trailer, no worries ..... good luck!
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  #193  
Old 02-04-2015, 05:33 PM
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Mike, I assume this is your hitch: same as Draw-Tite, Curt, etc.:

Pro Series 51093 Class III Pro Series Trailer Hitch | eBay
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  #194  
Old 02-04-2015, 05:33 PM
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Hi,

Thanks for the watch out.

It's this one:

Pro Series 51093 Class III Pro Series Trailer Hitch | eBay



The welds and materials look quite stout to me and I haven't heard of a plethora of aftermarket E53 hitch failures reported by the NTSB or various DOT agencies



PS: Maximum ever imagined me pulling would be like 2 tons and about 300# tongue weight.

Mike
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  #195  
Old 02-04-2015, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riggodeaux View Post
Mike, I assume this is your hitch: same as Draw-Tite, Curt, etc.:

Pro Series 51093 Class III Pro Series Trailer Hitch | eBay
Yup!

You have any recall data on that one or NTSB accident reports?

Mike
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  #196  
Old 02-04-2015, 05:38 PM
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Recalls or NTSB for an aftermarket hitch mounted on, at most, a few thousand [probably hundreds] of vehicles? I know we live in an era of government intrusiveness, but we haven't gotten that far. . Good luck and drive carefully when towing!
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  #197  
Old 02-04-2015, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riggodeaux View Post
Recalls or NTSB for an aftermarket hitch mounted on, at most, a few thousand [probably hundreds] of vehicles? I know we live in an era of government intrusiveness, but we haven't gotten that far. . Good luck and drive carefully when towing!
Will do!

Thanks again for the watch out.

Mike
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  #198  
Old 02-05-2015, 02:01 AM
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I'd get in on the factory hitch group buy.

These aftermarket ones have had issues tearing up the unibody of the X5. Not a good thing. They just don't mount as securely to the vehicle as the stock one does. The stock one really integrates to the body of the X5 well.
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  #199  
Old 02-05-2015, 10:57 AM
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Having mounted an OEM, I'd be leery of the aftermarkets I've seen. I don't recall whether e30cabrio, who removed an aftermarket to install a salvaged OEM, saw damage on his. I expect its one of those things where the aftermarkets are fine until you try and haul closer to the limits, which may be pretty rare given the use most put the E53s to. The most I have hauled to date is approx. 4800 lbs of trailer and hay on the OEM. I have pulled horse trailers for 10+ years, always behind a Ford superduty diesel, and don't recall ever seeing an BMW SAV pulling a trailer at horse events ....
Our 3.0s, even with a manual tranny, are tested [performance wise] hauling that much weight. That said, the OEM hitch appears to be a very hardy design.
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  #200  
Old 02-05-2015, 04:08 PM
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This issue has been going on for about 14 years now.

The early (circa 2001) aftermarket hitches that failed caused separation of the rear pan (bodywork) along the seams. They tore the seams, and allowed water ingress. They did that because they levered down on the pan. The fix the aftermarket hitch suppliers applied was to start including a strut running fore and aft. I don't think they had failures after that, but I am not sure. Most of us stayed a long way away because we just didn't want any part of it. But then, we had an OE option.

The failures that I did look at pictures of involved either heavy towing (a boat in one case) or a load carrier instead of a trailer. That load carrier bent the receiver down at a 30 degree angle or so. There was $15k worth of bodywork to replace the rear sheet metal. Recall that the factory hitch has a 600 lb tongue weight limit, but also a specified limit of a maximum of 8" to the load (the hitch ball) from the pin. If you put the load out 24" as many carriers do, that is the same resultant bending moment as a 200 lb net load on a carrier (and the carrier involved weighed 75 lb empty). A carrier can be fine if you are carrying a 20 lb bike, close in and right over the receiver. But lever arms work against you if you push the load back (apart from the obvious degradation of vehicle handling).

For aftermarket hitches, if I couldn't obtain the OE hitch, I would not purchase a hitch that attached across the rear pan as the photo does above. IMO, at least look for one that attaches to the reinforced plates where the bumper struts are, even if it doesn't include the OE stiffeners that tie in to the longitudinal unibody sections. And you would still want the longitudinal strut running up to near the diff, but at least you wouldn't be applying a vertical load on the sheet metal pan.

And if you are concerned, make sure you inspect both the hitch mounting points, and the area around the body seams, regularly.

Jeff
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