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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

View Poll Results: Have you experienced a subframe failure in your XI?
No failure, more than 60k miles. 15 18.99%
No failure, more than 80k miles. 25 31.65%
No failure, more than 100k miles. 37 46.84%
Failed by 60k miles 1 1.27%
Failed by 80k miles 0 0%
Failed by, or after, 100k miles 1 1.27%
Voters: 79. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-30-2009, 10:19 AM   #1
MileHiXi
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XI subframe failure?

Have you experienced a subframe failure in yer XI?

I don't have any symptoms of a failure at 104k miles. I've heard XI's are less susceptible to failure b/c we have less torque going to the rear wheels than regular 330's and 325's.

The reason I ask, is b/c I just put an aftermarket suspension on, I don't have any symptoms of failure, and I'm wondering if it's is worth putting the stock suspension back on to get the subframe inspected as part of the class action settlment.

Last edited by MileHiXi; 07-02-2009 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:49 AM   #2
sna77
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Just had mine checked for free at my local dealer (all US dealers are doing free inspections). 2004 325xi with 75k miles. All was fine. This car was not driven hard at all.
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:01 PM   #3
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I'm guessing we won't see any.
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:10 PM   #4
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Yeah the load is spread more evenly throughout the car so all of that twisting moment isn't concentrated on those two rear subframe joins.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:30 PM   #5
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Bump for more votes from the night crowd.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:25 PM   #6
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Did you guys ever read the numbers of incidents reported to BMW? 2000-2001 was .1% of all E46's produced. 2002-2006 was .01%.

That's one car in every hundred. Chances are ... we'll slip through XI or not.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
Did you guys ever read the numbers of incidents reported to BMW? 2000-2001 was .1% of all E46's produced. 2002-2006 was .01%.

That's one car in every hundred. Chances are ... we'll slip through XI or not.
2001-2001 was 1.0% or 0.1% ?

You wrote .1% then said 1 in 100 which = 1.0%. I am now officially confused.
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:29 AM   #8
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2001-2001 was 1.0% or 0.1% ?

You wrote .1% then said 1 in 100 which = 1.0%. I am now officially confused.
Apparently I was confused (or decimal challenged)

That would be 1.0 for the early cars and .1 respectively.
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
Apparently I was confused (or decimal challenged)

That would be 1.0 for the early cars and .1 respectively.
Well, if you do a little more detailed analysis, a 1999-2000 328Ci has a 2% failure rate on this site alone. A 1999-2000 323ci has a 1.5% failure rate on this site alone. That is only those reported here. The numbers keep climbing...
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cwarner View Post
Well, if you do a little more detailed analysis, a 1999-2000 328Ci has a 2% failure rate on this site alone. A 1999-2000 323ci has a 1.5% failure rate on this site alone. That is only those reported here. The numbers keep climbing...
What the stats from the lawsuit don't take into account is mileage and transmission type. An auto is way easier on the subframe mounts because it engages the drivetrain pretty smoothly. Even brake dumps or whatever its called when you burn out in an auto is probably not as harsh as accidentally letting out the clutch a little too fast. So say 90% of all failures were manual transmission and 20% (no idea just made this number up) of e46's are manual then your now looking at a 4% failure rate. Ok, so now what percent of early e46's are still under 100k miles? Lower mileage = less wear on it so it hasn't failed yet. A lot of these failures are higher mileage vehicles and as all these e46's are getting up there in mileage that means the % of failures will continually increase. And of course factor in spirited driving makes things worse, etc. etc.

I believe on early manual e46's its a matter of when not if. Now depending on your driving style, luck, etc. etc. it could be 100k miles when it fails or 500k miles when it fails. But it will tear eventually. Anyways thats my thought on it.

Back to the topic. Xi's. I personally wouldn't worry as there is 40% less torque on the rear subframe. If I were in the OP's shoes I'd take the car in with aftermarket suspension on and just see if they do the inspection. If they don't oh well but if you get lucky and they do then you don't have to worry.
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Old 12-05-2010, 02:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cwarner View Post
Well, if you do a little more detailed analysis, a 1999-2000 328Ci has a 2% failure rate on this site alone. A 1999-2000 323ci has a 1.5% failure rate on this site alone. That is only those reported here. The numbers keep climbing...
Okay, forget the exact percentage numbers for a minute. My original post was before they enlisted the free inspection when speculation and crazy talk was breaking out on this site. I called BMWNA and had an interesting talk with a representative who quoted the low numbers. The point is, I think we can agree something changed after 2001 where cars are less prone to fail. I was questioning all E46's not XI specific data. It seems XI's are even less effected but let's get back to exploring possible reasons why.

The theory about less applied torque is interesting but could there be something more? Are XI rear drive mounting points, linkage, sway bars, etc. exactly the same as non-XI cars? The gearing is different but consider all rear geometry effects on sub-frame stress. I spoke with Turner Motor Sports about their "kit" which is a weld-in plate solution. When I mentioned I had an XI, he said, "you shouldn't be concerned as they don't have that problem". I was relieved and didn't think to question why.

I wonder why random reports of tweaked front shock towers or torn sub-frames appear where the car bodies are the same across the line. Therefore this plague should effect the XI as well. Perhaps it's due to not lowering or driving the cars hard but I still suspect something else plays into this. I sure hope it's not due to XI drivers putting around like grandma's 'cause, I drive mine like a stolen bicycle!
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:51 PM   #12
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I heard that it was 1%, but I could be wrong
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:03 AM   #13
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The rumor machine begins...
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:55 AM   #14
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I have an '05 330Xi with about 35k on it. ~15k could probably be classified as "very hard miles". I haven't yet had the rear subframe inspected, but it's on the list to get it done soon.
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:26 AM   #15
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So who's xi's subframe failed? Someone voted yes. . . .
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:17 AM   #16
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So who's xi's subframe failed? Someone voted yes. . . .
Yeah come on! Fess up.

I bet its some disgruntled 330i owner.
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:24 AM   #17
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Details on the one that failed please.
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:46 PM   #18
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Can a mod tell us who voted yes?

I say ban if no xi. . .
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:11 PM   #19
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Had both mine 04 @ 44k & my son's 05 @29K checked this week & both were OK. You wonder how hard these dealers look though....
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:38 PM   #20
MileHiXi
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I just realized I could have made the votes public when I set up the poll. Oops.

IF YOU DONT OWN AN XI, PLEASE DONT VOTE!!!!!!

(I have a feelin it was some punk voting)
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