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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.

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Old 03-03-2011, 07:08 PM   #1
bnigam
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Need some Horsepower

Hi all,
I have an '02 325xi sport which is a blast to drive, but feels very slow compared to other cars I guess due to its extra weight. I take really good care of it and it has low miles so I do not want to upgrade to a 330xi.
I do, however, need some advice on some "fun" factor upgrades for this car. Like I said it is a SPORT version so don't know how much I can get out of exhaust and/or suspension. Are any upgrades different for xi's than just the i's?
Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:27 PM   #2
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everything about the car is different. don't expect these cars to be fast or quick in any sense of the word.
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:46 PM   #3
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coilovers+wide summer tires can really help with handling so you can zip around turns, but any exhaust/intake/software mods won't really yield a big difference in power.
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:58 AM   #4
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Nope, nothing will yield a big power increase on these cars. Just do suspension, some sticky summer tires and enjoy the handling.

For more power, the only real option is a supercharger. But economically it is not worth dropping ~$5 grand into a super charger kit on this car. Then you'll need brake upgrades etc.

For more power, just pickup a cheap e46 M3. That's what I did. XI for everyday, M3 for fun car Fridays.
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:12 AM   #5
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Light wheels, 3.46 diffs, pulleys, and a light flywheel will make the car much quicker.

Intake and a custom tune don't hurt either.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:11 AM   #6
bnigam
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Nope, nothing will yield a big power increase on these cars. Just do suspension, some sticky summer tires and enjoy the handling.

For more power, the only real option is a supercharger. But economically it is not worth dropping ~$5 grand into a super charger kit on this car. Then you'll need brake upgrades etc.

For more power, just pickup a cheap e46 M3. That's what I did. XI for everyday, M3 for fun car Fridays.
I would love to buy a "cheap" M3! It's kind of an oxymoron don't ya think?
Anyway I test drove a 2001 Z3 and loved it. It was really sporty and fun to drive. I thought they shared the same engine as the XI. THe XI feels smoother while the Z3 felt tough and powerful. I wish I could make my car "sporty" like that or just buy that car!
Then I would have to upgrade to a bigger house for a bigger garage!
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:31 AM   #7
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everything about the car is different. don't expect these cars to be fast or quick in any sense of the word.
When you say "these cars" are you referring to XI's or 325's? If you are referring to Xi's what is so different about them? Thanks!
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:05 AM   #8
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I would love to buy a "cheap" M3! It's kind of an oxymoron don't ya think?
Anyway I test drove a 2001 Z3 and loved it. It was really sporty and fun to drive. I thought they shared the same engine as the XI. THe XI feels smoother while the Z3 felt tough and powerful. I wish I could make my car "sporty" like that or just buy that car!
Then I would have to upgrade to a bigger house for a bigger garage!
Technically for the type of car the e46 m3 is, its pretty cheap seeing you can get one for 15-25k. My sisters 2007 honda civic cost 21k new and its nowhere as nice as an e46 m3.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:43 AM   #9
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When you say "these cars" are you referring to XI's or 325's? If you are referring to Xi's what is so different about them? Thanks!
All xis and anything that's not a ZHP or M3. They're heavier with the same or less bhp as the RWD counterparts. That makes the xi cars slower. Always.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:08 AM   #10
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When you say "these cars" are you referring to XI's or 325's? If you are referring to Xi's what is so different about them? Thanks!
A lot of things are different...

Suspension
Transmission
Transfer case
Front drive shaft
Front Axles
Steering column
Floor mats even.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:28 AM   #11
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From BMW training literature:
Note that they leave out the obvious drivetrain differences (Front axle assemblies, Front Diff, Front Driveshaft)
Quote:
Changes from the standard drive version are:
• A specially designed body pan with a widened transmission tunnel and modifications on the driver's side to accept the transfer case. (Hence the different floor mats)
• Modified oil pan and engine mounts to provide access for the front axles.
• A completely new front engine carrier.
• Re-reinforcements for the front strut bearings.
• A compact new transfer case (NV 124).
• New transmission cross-member.
• Cast steel front control arms (Versus Aluminum on 2wd)
• Bosch DSC III 5.7
Weight differences are there but really not as significant as some try to say. Really no more than having a good sized passenger in the non AWD.
Taken from 2004 model information
325i w/ AT vs 325xi w/ AT = XI is 220lbs heavier
325i manual vs 325xi Manual = XI is 242lbs heavier
330i w/ AT vs 330xi w/ AT = XI is 176lbs heavier
330i manual vs 330xi Manual = XI is 198lbs heavier


Not sure why the 330s come in so much lighter than the 325s

Last edited by GCoop; 03-04-2011 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:31 AM   #12
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Someone said it best in another thread.

You can spend about 4k on N/A mods to add 35whp at the most, or supercharge for actual power increase.

Bimmerbrakes headers for best bang for buck mod short of supercharging.
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:53 PM   #13
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Someone said it best in another thread.

You can spend about 4k on N/A mods to add 35whp at the most, or supercharge for actual power increase.

Bimmerbrakes headers for best bang for buck mod short of supercharging.
What are Bimmerbrakes? Is that oem? Which headers are most performance oriented?
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:21 PM   #14
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What are Bimmerbrakes? Is that oem? Which headers are most performance oriented?
Can't do headers if you want to stay emissions legal or are environmentally friendly.

If you have a manual, the best thing to do is swap in 3.46 ratio diffs from a car with an automatic transmission.

Light wheels and nice tires make you accelerate/stop quicker.
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:48 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bnigam View Post
What are Bimmerbrakes? Is that oem? Which headers are most performance oriented?
http://shop.bimmerbrakes.com/p2076/B...duct_info.html

Best performance bang for buck mod short of F/I.

People have dyno sheets with 12WHP around here do a search.

And yes, you will not pass emissions and you will kill trees if you care about that sort of thing.
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:49 PM   #16
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Can't do headers if you want to stay emissions legal or are environmentally friendly.

If you have a manual, the best thing to do is swap in 3.46 ratio diffs from a car with an automatic transmission.

Light wheels and nice tires make you accelerate/stop quicker.
+2 on the diff swap and lightweight wheels, good advice
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:09 PM   #17
bnigam
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Originally Posted by Romanian View Post
http://shop.bimmerbrakes.com/p2076/B...duct_info.html

Best performance bang for buck mod short of F/I.

People have dyno sheets with 12WHP around here do a search.

And yes, you will not pass emissions and you will kill trees if you care about that sort of thing.
Just a set of headers can get you that kind of performance(12hp)? Would a CAI help also? (like AFE or K&N)
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:19 PM   #18
Romanian
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Just a set of headers can get you that kind of performance(12hp)? Would a CAI help also? (like AFE or K&N)
CAI would be negligible. Go for it if you want, but don't expect too much.

And yes that's 12WHP. To the wheels.

Search headers and you'll find some dyno sheets, our stock headers are notoriously restrictive.

Only downside is if you go this route you'll need a guy at the smog shop that will pass you or swapping in your old headers to pass.

Id get friendly with the smog workers

Last edited by Romanian; 03-04-2011 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:30 PM   #19
bnigam
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CAI would be negligible. Go for it if you want, but don't expect too much.

And yes that's 12WHP. To the wheels.

Search headers and you'll find some dyno sheets, our stock headers are notoriously restrictive.

Only downside is if you go this route you'll need a guy at the smog shop that will pass you or swapping in your old headers to pass.

Id get friendly with the smog workers
Dumb question probably, but what makes a new header non compliant for emissions? Aren't the o2 sensors connnected? Ithought they just help the exhaust gases flow out better.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:37 PM   #20
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Dumb question probably, but what makes a new header non compliant for emissions? Aren't the o2 sensors connnected? Ithought they just help the exhaust gases flow out better.
The stock headers is where the catalytic convertors are located. If you replace the headers you no longer have cats. Which means you will throw a fault code because the second O2 sensor will read exactly the same as the first one. There are ways to fix that, but you will still fail a sniffer test if you live in a state that requires one to pass inspection.
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