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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2008 BMW x5 - Curt

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2008 BMW x5

Today on our 2008 BMW X5, we'll be installing the Curt hitch, part number 13077. Here's what our hitch looks like installed on our vehicle. Now we'll go ahead and give you a couple of measurements in helping you choose some accessories for your hitch, such as a bike rack, ball mount or cargo carrier. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outermost edge of the bumper is approximately 3 1/2 inches and from the top of the opening in the receiver to the ground is approximately 14 inches. Now let's go ahead and install our hitch. To install this hitch, we're going to need to remove the lower fascia off the rear of the vehicle. To begin with, we'll need to drill out two pop rivets that are in the inner fender well on each side.

Once we have both of the rivets removed from each side, we'll need to gently pull back on the molding that goes around the wheel well. You'll notice that once you pull up on the trim, there's one small 8mm nut on the lower side. We'll need to remove this as this is part of the lower fascia. We did find that the directions are a little off for this particular vehicle. It says that you need to remove the tail lights by removing three 8mm nuts. You do not need to remove the tail lights on this particular model because the lower bumper fascia is not connected high enough up.

Next we're going to need to go ahead and remove the two reflectors that are in the lower bumper fascia. To do this, you'll need to go from underneath the vehicle and there's a small silver tab towards the center on each of the reflectors. You'll push this in, gently slide the reflector out. When you slide it out, you'll want to push it towards the center of the vehicle. Once you have both the reflectors out, there's, again, another 8mm screw underneath each one that will need to be removed. Now that we have these done, we'll go ahead and remove underneath the rear bumper fascia and we'll need to take a total of six screws out, one on each outer edge and then two clusters of two towards the middle of it.

Because this particular vehicle has back-up sensors that do not unplug from the rear bumper fascia, we're going to need to support the bumper fascia before we pull it off. It's a good idea to get someone to help you do this. It's so you do not damage the back-up sensor wiring. In this case, we we're able to use a cart to help support it, but anything that keeps the tension off the wire will work fine. Now that we have this down, we need to remove the eight bolts that are holding the existing bumper structure into place. As you will see, there are four on each side.

To get to the top two on each side, you may need to lower the tail gate or the lower portion of the rear hatch just a little bit, to about a 45-degree angle, to allow you to get your socket, as well as an extension, in there and not scratch the paint. Once you have all eight bolts removed, go ahead and set the bumper structure, or the steel structure, aside. You will not reuse it, nor will you reuse the factory hardware. Next, go ahead and get someone to help you raise the hitch up into position. With the hitch raised up into position, we'll go ahead and use some M12 hex nuts, as well as some 1/2-inch conical tooth washers. You want to make sure that the teeth on the conical tooth washers are facing the hitch when you install them. All eight locations use the exact same hardware. Once you have the hitch up into place and all the conical tooth washers as well as the hex nuts installed, go ahead and tighten them down and then torque them to the manufacturer's specification. Now we're ready to go ahead and work the lower rear fascia back in place. You will notice that you're going to need to trim just a little bit to make the lower fascia clear the trailer hitch. In this case, we use a rotary tool to just trim a small little section out so that it clears the hitch. With the fascia trimmed, now we're ready to go ahead and put it back on. The final thing we need to do, since we drilled out the pop rivets that we're in there, the kit comes with four push pins that we'll be installing where we drilled out the pop rivets earlier. A quick tech tip: We found that you need to use a drill bit to just slightly enlarge each of the holes to allow the push pins to go in properly. That'll do it for the installation of the Curt hitch, part number 13077, on our 2008 BMW X5. .

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