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      02-15-2016, 08:02 AM   #1
Bushellj
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Question X1 E84 Fitting Tow Bar Question - Rear Bumper Removal

Hi Guys,

UPDATE: Tow Bar now fitted - See photos below

I need to fit a European Tow Bar to my 2011 X1 and I had some questions which I was hoping someone who has already fitted a Tow Bar could help me.

I plan to fit the Westfalia Tow Bar - Either the Swan Neck (cheaper) 303393 or the detachable model 303394. I understand the BMW branded Tow Bar is the Westfalia.

Unfortunately all the European Tow Bars require the Rear Bumper to be removed which adds a lot of time to the instal !! It is much easier with the US style Tow Bars which appear to be able to be fitted with the Rear Bumper in place.

The wiring kit from BMW (Part #71602209945) is over 280 here in the UK. Westfalia offer a Wiring Kit (Part #303460300113) available for about 130 but it might have a problem dealing with the Rear Parking Sensors from some of the reports I have read. Anybody got any experience as I don't want to spend the money with BMW if the Westfalia kit is perfectly adequate. Original Equipment wiring tends to just plug in whereas aftermarket tends to requiring splicing into the loom which I hate !!

UPDATE : The BMW wiring harness requires taking wires to several positions behind the dashboard which of course requires a lot of internal trim to be removed !! The Westfalia wiring harness has all its connections in the boot as long as you have the parking sensors fitted as it shares the CAM bus wiring !! So the Westfalia wiring harness is the way to go !!

New the main question - Does anyone have any instructions for removing the rear bumper as I just don't seem to be able to find anything - Video or instructions on any of the normal sites. UPDATE : Now located thanks to d1saster (see below).

Many thanks for your help.

All the best, James

Last edited by Bushellj; 03-16-2016 at 06:07 AM.. Reason: Updated with new information
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      02-15-2016, 12:44 PM   #2
Carlin/14/E84
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Check this video it might help.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=TZB7NwPlLUM
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      02-15-2016, 12:48 PM   #3
Santiago B.
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Hey,

I was able to install a tow bar without removing the bumper in about 1 hour, but this type of tow bar only fits if you have the A frame underneath.
I hope this helps some.

http://www.amazon.com/13140-Class-Re...rds=curt+13140
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      02-15-2016, 01:41 PM   #4
Bushellj
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Hi Guys,

Many thanks for your replies.

Unfortunately the European Tow Bars require you to remove the whole of the plastic bumper/fender assembly (including the rear lights). You then remove the original metal bumper and replace this with the Tow Bar assembly.

So I need to find a video that cover the removal of the whole plastic rear Bumper/fender trim.

All the best,
James
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      03-02-2016, 12:06 AM   #5
d1saster
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If you haven't found instructions yet I am attaching them
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Removing rear bumper panel.pdf (133.0 KB, 3049 views)
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      03-14-2016, 06:58 AM   #6
Bushellj
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Many thanks D1saster for the Removing Rear Bumper Panel details - Most useful.

The hidden screws under the wheel arch trim are not very obvious and difficult to get to !! One each side that releases the Bumper Panel.

I will try to post some pictures once I finish the job.

Last edited by Bushellj; 03-14-2016 at 02:14 PM..
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      03-14-2016, 02:02 PM   #7
Bushellj
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Tow Bar fitting E84 - European style

Hopefully the following text and photos will help anyone trying to remove the Rear Bumper on the E84 (X1) to fit a Tow Bar or just replace a damaged bumper.

Also before you start check out this video which covers all the main points and I wish I had found this before I started !!

http://torkliftcentral.com/rving-and...ohitch-stealth


First we removed the rear lights to give access to the plastic clips at the top corners of the bumper. The lights are held in place with three 8mm Nuts - Don't drop them or they disappear inside the body !!

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Then we removed the plastic rivets holding the wheel trim in place as well as all the bolts / clips along the bottom edge of the bumper and removed the mud flaps.

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Carefully pull out the wheel trim to the side to expose the bolt that is nicely hidden underneath !! One lug at the bottom and two clips along the edge. This is quite stiff to pull and you might find that a trim removing tool is helpful to release the clips.

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And here is the screw that needs to be removed on both sides to release the bumper.

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Now carefully pull the top edge out to release it. Came out easier than I was expecting.

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Once the edges are free you can then carefully free the clips on the corners under the rear lights. A trim removing tool is almost mandatory to get these clips undone without damaging them. The bumper will now pull off away from the car. Don't drop it !! Two people would be useful !! I put a cardboard box under the bumper so it did not drop to the ground. If you have reversing sensors, don't forget to unplug the wiring from the sensors as you pull the bumper away from the car.


Name:  6 corner released.jpg
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And it's off !! Note that you should retain the old gasket (white bits) to protect the paint on the body when fitting the Tow Bar. This is with the Crush Bar already removed.


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Next challenge is to release the exhaust rubber. Stick a small screwdriver down the side of the pins and squirt WD40 into the hole to lubricate the rubber. It should then come off without too much trouble !! Obviously you need to do this before you can remove the old Crush Bar !!


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New Tow Bar in place. The Westfalia Tow Bar requires the removal of the Crush Bar and this is not re-used as is the case with some models. Make sure you Torque these nuts up to the right setting. 108 Nm or 80 Ft pounds.

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Close up of Right side. For the new wiring you will need to make a hole in the body just to the left of the current hole (only if you have reversing sensors fitted otherwise you can use the existing hole).

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Close up of Left Side with Exhaust Rubber.

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Tomorrow we will do the wiring and hopefully have it all back together !!


Electrics :-

First drill a 39mm hole in the rear panel for the wiring to pass through to the inside of the car !! - Hate drilling holes in my car !!!!!

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Route the wiring from the socket and through the hole to the interior of the car.

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Very happy I decided to go with the Westfalia dedicated wiring harness for the BMW as this was surprisingly easy to fit and attach to the car's existing Loom. It is really easy if you have the rear parking sensors fitted as the CAN BUS wiring is already at the back of the car.

If you have no rear parking sensors fitted then you have to run some wires forward to behind the dashboard which is ten times more time consuming !!


Finally a picture of the new Tow Bar all fitted and working. The only issue I had was inserting the BMW plastic rivets in the trim as they don't fit any of my Rivet Guns !!

Name:  14 All Done.jpg
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Last edited by Bushellj; 03-19-2016 at 09:43 AM..
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      03-14-2016, 03:18 PM   #8
vstolpner
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Oh interesting, this one replaces the existing crush bar... I just installed an EcoHitch (see my review post in the general X1 forum) and it fit alongside the existing crush bar (there was also a very nice video showing exactly how to remove the bumper - believe someone linked to it here already).

Very nicely photographed BTW!
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      03-15-2016, 01:38 AM   #9
Bushellj
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Hi vstolpner,

Many thanks for the details about the EcoHitch which is the american style hitch that requires the bumper to be removed but retains the crush bar. Some European style Tow Bars also retain the Crush Bar but not the Westfalia Tow Bar that I fitted.

I was a little surprised that you had to cut some of the bumper to provide clearance as most Tow Bar kits for the E84 / X1 this is not necessary.

Many thanks for the video which can be found at :-

http://torkliftcentral.com/rving-and...ohitch-stealth


I noticed in your thread that there was a discussion about the Towing capacity of the Tow Bar. Most Tow Bar manufacturers provide two numbers. One is the weight that the hitch will take vertically down which is normally the maximum weight that the front hitch of the trailer applies to the Tow Bar when stationary. This also applies to other loads such as bicycle racks. The other number is the rated towing weight of the trailer (including load) that the Tow Bar can pull which is much larger and can often be increased further if the trailer has its own brakes.

Last edited by Bushellj; 03-15-2016 at 02:03 AM..
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      03-15-2016, 02:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushellj View Post
Some European style Tow Bars also retain the Crush Bar but not the Westfalia Tow Bar that I fitted.
possible.. dumb question... isn't the crush bar part of the rear impact projection, and therefore should be retained?

Seems like a bad trade off to remove that to get a tow bar?

(trying to figure this out myself so I can get a bicycle carrier on the rear of our X1..)
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      03-15-2016, 02:15 AM   #11
Bushellj
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Hi Nicknaz,

Yes I would agree with you and if I had a preference then I would like to see the original crush bar retained. That said, you are replacing the original Crush Bar with a substantial bit of steel which should be more than enough to take any rear impact.

Having been hit in the rear while stationary in another vehicle fitted with a similar style Tow Bar on a Volvo XC90 the downside would appear to be that the Tow Bar is so strong that any damage to the structure of the vehicle is moved forward which may defeat some of the original crush areas designed into the vehicle.

One of the reasons we chose the Westfalia Tow Bar is that Westfalia manufacture the original equipment Tow Bar fitted by BMW.
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      03-15-2016, 02:33 AM   #12
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@Bushellj
Yeah the two weight ratings you're talking about are the tongue (200 lbs) and tow (2000 lbs) weights that there was a discussion about in my thread.

What have you heard about the towing capacity of our cars? BMW doesn't really post this stuff freely over here. I found 1,500 lb figure but not sure it's accurate
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      03-15-2016, 03:06 AM   #13
Bushellj
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Hi Vstolpner,

The Westfalia Tow Bar I fitted is rated at 80Kg for the Tongue and 2000Kg for the Towing Weight (braked trailer). 1 Kg is about 2.2 lbs.

Other than small Box Trailers, most Trailers and Caravans in Europe are braked which means that the towing weights provided are much higher. The tongue weight limit is going to be much the same. I am guessing the US Towing Weight quoted is for an unbraked trailer ??

If you go on to the BMW site and build your BMW when it offers the option of a Tow Bar I think you will see the weights they provide. Doesn't seem to be in any BMW brochures or other descriptions. Most of the Tow Bar Companies do publish weight limits for their products.

I also found this page from a Car Leasing Company :-

http://carleasingmadesimple.com/busi...-weight-limit/
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      03-15-2016, 04:46 PM   #14
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Yeah those weights are off of the tow hitch and they're for an unbraked trailer, not sure what it would be for a braked trailer.

I haven't seen the tow hitch as an option in the build you BMW section on the US or Canadian sites (and plus our model is no longer available for build)
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      09-12-2017, 09:03 AM   #15
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Sorry to bump an old thread guys...

What is everyone doing for a trailer brake controller in the US? Is it all handled via the OEM wiring or are you adding aftermarket brake controllers?
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      01-07-2018, 03:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicknaz View Post
Sorry to bump an old thread guys...

What is everyone doing for a trailer brake controller in the US? Is it all handled via the OEM wiring or are you adding aftermarket brake controllers?
I'm glad you bumped this! I can't answer your question about the brake controller... but....
I do have a question myself.

Great tutorial btw but regrettably the connections to the existing wiring are skipped. I am thinking about a vehicle specific kit myself but looking at the quite confusing instructions i have found online, it still looks like wires need to be identified, the loom cut and new wires spliced in using those plastic connectors? I was under the impression that the vehicle specific kits plugged into existing OEM connectors?
Can anyone help with this please?
Thanks.
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      04-19-2021, 01:59 AM   #17
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Hello , hope you are doing well . please tell me where you bought your tow bar . I need one
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      07-20-2022, 06:48 PM   #18
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Hi BMW nerds, I'm going to attempt this over the weekend. Thanks so much for making such a great post. I purchased a Hayman Reese towbar which is a great brand here in Australia. Along with this I also bought the Erich Jaeger plug & play towbar wiring harness.
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      07-31-2023, 03:09 PM   #19
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Bumping this thread again!
I've just joined the forum as I've bought my wife an X1, a 2011 model, and we want to tow our small (850kg MTLP) caravan and a small trailer.
So I need to fit a tow bar. I made my living as a mechanic for most of my working life, I have the tools, and have learned enough over the years that the only dumb questions are the ones you DON'T ask.
It seems apart from making a 39mm hole everything is clips, screws and plug in? Presumably a grommet comes with the wiring harness? I intend to use a dedicated harness, and the car already has parking sensors.
I'll update on progress, it might take a while, I'm having chemo and radio therapy right now, so I'll just work when I'm up for it.

Roger.
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