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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 01-11-2013, 03:58 PM   #1
bmwporschefan
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My Ride: 2001 330xi
Latest on my XI

So I don't know about you guys but I enjoy seeing pictures of what other people are spending their money on.

In the picture I have new Lemförder lower control arms and inner ball joints. Powerflex fcabs which many people on the board recommended. I didn't see until after I purchased them that some including Kubica recommended the E36 M3 bushings but I think I will be all right with the XI model. Performance Friction z rated pads, highly recommended by Kubica, and z-man rotors. Also pictured are some other misc items like outer axle boots for the front etc.

I will be doing my shocks and struts at the same time and decided to go ahead and get the eibach springs but not sure which model shocks and struts to go with. I saw someone recommend the bilstein HDs even though the sports are for a lowered car. This is where I was hoping Kubica or someone else can enlighten me on why the HDs over the sports.

After all that is done I am switching back to my stock wheels, style 79 I believe, and new summer tires. Thinking Hankook Ventus V12 in 225/45 17. (No snow in Florida and why I have a xi in Florida is another story.)

Anyways just thought I would share what I am doing and any input is appreciated. I will post some progress pics on this thread as I perform the work. My car just clocked 140k miles and I have owned it for almost 100k of that. I have never replaced the brakes in almost 100k miles!
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:53 PM   #2
e46alfonso
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Nice to see an xi getting some love with great parts.

Koni or bilstein HD struts with e36M3 sport shocks is what most of us recommend here. Both work very well with eibachs.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by e46alfonso View Post
Nice to see an xi getting some love with great parts.

Koni or bilstein HD struts with e36M3 sport shocks is what most of us recommend here. Both work very well with eibachs.
Cool thanks for the reply. The e36m3 sport shocks I'm guessing are an exact fit for the rear of my 330xi?
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:27 PM   #4
e46alfonso
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Yes they fit.
There was a huge thread about xi bilstein HD shocks leaking and the solution was to replace them with e36 m3 shocks.
I went with koni adjustables & eibach and i'm very happy with them. I also have PF e36m3 CAB's and RTAB's.

Last edited by e46alfonso; 01-11-2013 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:05 AM   #5
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Hey I think you will be fine with xi powerflex fcabs. I just haven't used them since they are a farly new product. I do really love the e36 m3 version however the newest xi powerflex bushing looks easier to install correctly.

My setup is eibach springs, bilstein hd xi struts, and bilstein e36 m3 rear shocks. The Konis are a bit smoother and adjustable, but I prefer the feel and predictability of the bilsteins. If you want to use the lower HnR springs, then use bilstein sports (but not with eibach springs,imo). I havent tried e36 m3 rear bilsteins with HnR springs. I highly recommend against HnR springs for the street.

Nice choice on pads. Don't forget to change the brake fluid. I would personally spend a few extra bucks on genuine BMW rotors.

Don't forget new strut pinch bolts and check the condition of your rtabs too.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:25 AM   #6
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Ok, bilsteins are ordered along with eibach springs. I purchased all new hardware just in case including the strut pinch bolts. One thing I did screw up is I was planing on taking the advice of the two recommendations on getting the bilstein HDs up front. After researching what to get and where to buy for like 3 hours,lol, somehow I ended up buying the bilstein sports for the front. I think I fried my brain over doing it on the computer last night. I did however made sure I got the e36M3 rear shocks.

I have already received my new zimmerman rotors. I didn't see much negative feed back on them. Brake fluid was done not that long ago and is still good to go. Thanks for the reply, I will check out my rtabs while I am in there.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:18 PM   #7
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E36 M3 rear shocks arrived today. Waiting for the front struts and all hardware. Just went ahead and ordered the powerflex rtabs today. My passenger rear wheel has movement when I grab it with both hands and shake it. Not positive its the rtab but at 140k miles, I am going to guess they need to be done anyways.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:20 PM   #8
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Nice order to start a suspension mission. Whatever struts you go with, please follow-up with your road test impression.

Zimmerman rotors are great by the way. Use 'em on two cars. They have factory quality and the hubs don't turn into instant rust.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:54 PM   #9
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Let us know how the front control arms and ball joints go. I'm getting ready to do mine but I have to fine a way to get out my FCABS first!
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:28 PM   #10
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I have done the fcabs before on this car. I replaced them with oem style. I went to a local shop and asked them to press them out and press the new ones in for me. Didn't cost too much.

I received the struts today and the eibach springs. I also got some reinforcement plates for the rear shock mounts from turner motorsport. Those things have got to be close to 1/4" thick! Not sure how thick they compare to the Z3 style. Still waiting on the hardware, strut and shock mounts, and powerflex rtabs. Then the fun begins.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:10 AM   #11
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So I get just about everything I ordered in and I get a phone call from work. They need me in Oregon for 12 weeks. Lol Looks like this project just got put on hold. Was really looking forward to installing all this next week.

I did however, just discover the Dynavin D99+. I know, I am behind the times but that thing looks pretty sweet. I might just have to order that while I am gone. Will do some more research on it first.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:29 PM   #12
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So I get back in town this week. Getting everything set up for my long overdue suspension overhaul. Was driving last night and engine just died. Tried cranking and engine turns over buy not starting. 15 minutes passes and I am able to restart the car and drive a few miles and dies again. Happens 3 more times before I make it home. I had the exact same situation happen to me a few years back and it was the fuel pump relay. I did a quick swap while stuck on the side of the road with the horn relay but that didn't fix it. I have no codes but I am guessing the fuel pump might be going out. I will add that to the list of what needs done this week as I am still going to do the suspension starting tomorrow morning.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by bmwporschefan View Post
So I get back in town this week. Getting everything set up for my long overdue suspension overhaul. Was driving last night and engine just died. Tried cranking and engine turns over buy not starting. 15 minutes passes and I am able to restart the car and drive a few miles and dies again. Happens 3 more times before I make it home. I had the exact same situation happen to me a few years back and it was the fuel pump relay. I did a quick swap while stuck on the side of the road with the horn relay but that didn't fix it. I have no codes but I am guessing the fuel pump might be going out. I will add that to the list of what needs done this week as I am still going to do the suspension starting tomorrow morning.
I don't quite remember if I got a code every time I stalled but this happened to me for both the Intake camshaft position sensor and the exhaust camshaft position sensor. Maybe Crankshaft sensor too. With the intake one I stalled like ten times on my way home; utterly ridiculous.

On another note I'm doing new front control arms and new powerflex fcab's tomorrow and I did do the rear M3 shocks about three weeks ago. I did the front xi hd's as well at the same time. One thing to notice is that the rear M3's sit a tad lower than the front hd's now . . maybe 1 inch? Same stock springs front/rear and I don't know if the piston travel changes ride height. Hasn't settled to an even level after all this time. The dampening on all four is absolutely a dream for me. Nice and tight. Less roll and dive from the front. I still get jarring from small craters and manhole covers but that's to be expected. The original front Delphi's held up well after 170k but they had lost most of their dampening effect excessively to say the least.

Last edited by djbradle; 04-14-2013 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by djbradle View Post
I don't quite remember if I got a code every time I stalled but this happened to me for both the Intake camshaft position sensor and the exhaust camshaft position sensor. Maybe Crankshaft sensor too. With the intake one I stalled like ten times on my way home; utterly ridiculous.

On another note I'm doing new front control arms and new powerflex fcab's tomorrow and I did do the rear M3 shocks about three weeks ago. I did the front xi hd's as well at the same time. One thing to notice is that the rear M3's sit a tad lower than the front hd's now . . maybe 1 inch? Same stock springs front/rear and I don't know if the piston travel changes ride height. Hasn't settled to an even level after all this time. The dampening on all four is absolutely a dream for me. Nice and tight. Less roll and dive from the front. I still get jarring from small craters and manhole covers but that's to be expected. The original front Delphi's held up well after 170k but they had lost most of their dampening effect excessively to say the least.
My intake and exhaust camshaft position sensors have been replaced not too long ago. The intake side was done within the last year.

Working on the suspension right now, just taking a quick lunch break. I was intending on taking pictures as I go along but kind of got into what I was doing and forgot lol. Passenger rtab looks like it might be cracked so good thing I decided to replace them. Passenger side shock and mount don't look too bad but with 140k miles, it's probably due. Drivers side shock is blown but haven't done that side yet. Not too many problems as of yet except getting the powerflex rtab bushings in. Particularly the inner one.

My springs are actually in good shape. I think if this setup seems a bit too harsh for me I can switch back to an oem setup. Might hurt the wallet a bit but got to learn by experience.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:40 PM   #15
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Finally finished. Couple of lessons learned:

1. Yes, the oem FCABs are filled with oil. I forgot about this and got a good splash of oil in the eyes when I was drilling some holes to fit my sawzall to cut out the old FCAB.

2. I put one of the powerflex FCABs in backwards! What an idiot, but if you are careful, you can get it back out the same way you got it in without damage. I used a vise and some wood for this.

Just need to get the alignment done now.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:38 PM   #16
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Got an appointment tomorrow with Vortex in Tampa for alignment and wheel balancing. I did end up going with the Hankook Ventus V12 in 225/45 17. I took the car for a quick 15 minute drive and it did not stall this time. I replaced the fuel filter so hopefully that was it. I think I replaced it about 4 years ago give or take so it was due.

From reading alot of the suspension threads here on the site I was expecting the ride to be super harsh and was afraid I was going to hate it. Not near as bad as some made out. Maybe I'm not as sensitive to it as others. Will need to drive it more before I can make a better opinion but it was nice and tight.

Hopefully all is well with the xi so I can start concentrating on the 911
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:57 PM   #17
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Well my engine stalling problem was my fuel pump. No more problems now and the car rides nice! I'm happy.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:27 AM   #18
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It's been a long time since I posted. Fresh suspension is still very nice, not harsh at all. I still have a slight vibration at or above 70 mph but thats not why I am writing today. Yesterday while driving everything was fine. Then all of a sudden while turning into a parking lot shifting was hard especially for 1st and 2nd gears. I get a lot of vibration while taking off in first unless I rev the engine higher than I normally do. Looked at the mount in my xfer case and the rubber is all cracked and looks bad to me, but would that cause shifting in my transmission to get sloppy and hard to get into gear? I didn't see anything else obvious yet but maybe some ideas what to specifically look at would help. Merry Christmas to everyone!
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Old 12-27-2013, 12:04 PM   #19
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Hmmm, not feeling anymore vibration while taking off in first, but sometimes its still a little hard to get into gear. I really have no clue where to look as I checked motor mounts and they appear to be ok. I know the transmission/xfer case mount looks cracked. I am going to check the fluids while down there. It's been a couple of years since I changed them and of course everything leaks. These cars are getting old and it's time to move on.
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