Originally Posted by ADKX1
Thanks for the great post. I just ordered the same hitch for my X1. I also ordered the Curt 56146KIT taillight w/converter hardware kit in hopes I can make it work. Have you already figured out a wire harness option for your X1?
I have a small utility trailer and very light (<500 lb) boat and motor I'm hoping to be able to tow, so trailer lights will be a must.
I completed my hitch and wiring harness install on my 2013 X1 280i. This job is not for the faint of heart. Although the hole pattern lines up perfectly to bolt on the hitch, I had to liberally take the angel grinder to the hitch to notch out areas where the hitch interfered with the frame in the inner angles of the hitch supports. I wanted to install the hitch without removing the exhaust solenoid, but could not. When removing the solenoid, you will need to do damage that will be hard to reverse on the linkage to basically cut the pin that holds the actuator arm from the top of the valve with a dremel. You will need to secure the butterfly valve (I suggest open position) or it will rattle like crazy! I simply used some copper wire, but solder or tack welding would be the best option. I'm not sure the BMW service shop will be too happy about you doing this and I have no idea what it does to the warranty.
I was however able to install the hitch without removing removing the bumper (just removing the screws holding it securely in place and the plastic under trim). I did need to drop my exhaust down from halfway back on the car to fit the hitch in place, and trust me, those exhaust hangers are not fun to deal with. I think mine were actually bonded onto the metal hangers! Overall, I would not rate this as a DIY job for those without good mechanical aptitude the right tools (angle grinder and dremel, strength and patience). For those that have the tools, skills and patience, go for it. The hitch will work, but if you have the luxury of time, I'd wait until Curt or BMW puts out an X1 specific model.
The wiring harness was pretty easy and with the trunk mounted battery, routing cables is a no-brainer and allows for a very clean install. The Curt kit is universal and comes with wire splicing crimps. I took my time and was very careful, but this can easily be done in less than 1 hour. The harness simply lays coiled up in the sub floor trunk compartment tray unless I want to use it, then I can pull it out and let it hang out the bottom of the trunk door when it is connected to a trailer.
Overall, now that it is installed, the hitch looks good and is very clean and minimal in appearance. I do still need to work on the rattle from the exhaust valve bracket against the hitch, but that shouldn't be too challenging.