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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 07-13-2012, 03:39 PM   #181
pifane
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Province of Quebec, Canada
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Update : After one year, front HD have failed too. Will never buy bilstein again ! (No track, no lowering, oem mount, oem control arm, no hard corner, only daily drive on normal roads)

They give me 2 E36 m3 for rear. After 6 month they are still in good condition. Front have 1 year and 30 000 kilometer on it.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:19 PM   #182
Astrapilot
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Well, THANK YOU all very much for your insight and sharing your experiences with me on this site. I received the Bilstein M3 shocks for my wifes 2002 330xi today. Along with the shocks I ordered the Rogue Engineering RSM (Rear Shock Mount) kit. It took me 45 mins to replace the right shock and 30 mins for the left shock. With 83,000 miles on the car, the right shock was flat and the left had 20% pressure left. Here in the Northern Virginia area I have yet to find cheaper prices for oil changes. To keep our operating costs down, I'll work on 5000 mile oil changes here at home. Again, thank you all for your patience to explain, document and post pictures of your work here. It certainly shows that you have a passion for your BMW. Cheers! Keith
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:52 PM   #183
Steven747
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I have had my bilstein sports for almost 2 and a half years with no leaks and they feel great!
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:43 PM   #184
Kubica
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Update:

The Bilstein e36 M3 rears have replaced Bilstein xi rear shocks.

There is just one rear xi Bilstein shock now. They can be paired with either the Sport or HD. It's the exact same part number as the e36 M3. Other RWD e46 also got an updated 46mm rear shock, but it's a different part number.

The bilstein rep said they tracked all of the failures and that they occurred almost exclusively in the northeast from Virginia up though Canada.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:09 PM   #185
pjaneiro
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Mine are still installed, but i still have my reservations, they are 2 inch shorter than stock oem, where am i going with this you might ask ? Since then i've gone through 2 sets of coils because they are more compressed...

Bilstein shouldlook into this, having the same system but with stock lenght
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:21 PM   #186
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjaneiro View Post
Mine are still installed, but i still have my reservations, they are 2 inch shorter than stock oem, where am i going with this you might ask ? Since then i've gone through 2 sets of coils because they are more compressed...

Bilstein shouldlook into this, having the same system but with stock lenght
They are 22mm shorter than stock. See post #39.

Last edited by Kubica; 01-19-2013 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:08 PM   #187
pjaneiro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
They are 22mm shorter than stock. See post #39.
Then i had different stock ones, the original bilstein hd were about 1 inch shorter than the stock oem ( i have the performance sports option, if it means anything) and when i received the M3 ones i noticed they were shorter than the hd ones, when i had compared them fo the stock ones i had, i need to check if i still have a stock one, i need to replace my coils again, and finding sport oem coils that are the same that came with my car is hard, (thicker coil 1 green stripe)
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:34 AM   #188
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
Shocks are installed.

They feel very similar to the HDs before they blew out- only drove about 20 miles so far but my initial impression is positive.

A few notes on the install:

-I believe they are the same piece as the E36 M3 sport shocks
-Top nut is 17mm, instead of 16mm
-The top of the piston accepts a hex bit or allen key, which makes securing the 17mm top nut much easier than the xi HDs
-The 'experimental' shocks are 10mm shorter then the HDs when fully extended (HDs are 12mm shorter than stock shocks).
-I transfered the lower cup, RSM, and top cup from the old assembly- that's it.
-I did not transfer the small washer that sits below the lower cup (I need to confirm this is correct).
-No need to transfer the boot, the M3 shocks come with a blue boot
-Shock body is approximately an inch shorter than the HDs or stock

Photos compare OEM, Bilstein HD for xi, and Bistein Sport for E36 M3 (not sure why they posted upside-down):
Soooo...the e36 M3 rear Bilsteins lasted 28k miles and just under 2 years.

Both have failed, but in different ways. One had an internal oil leak and the other had a gas/oil mix (tested on Bilstein's shock dyno). Neither was visibly leaking, but performance had degraded substantially.

Here's the good part...the replacement shocks that they sent me have a new heavy duty valve stack installed which should improve their reliability. As you know, the rear shocks that Bilstein sells for the xi are now the same as the e36 M3 rear shocks. If the M3 shocks fail, Bilstein will ship the new heavier duty shocks as replacements. Currently, new Bilsteins are still shipped with the older valve stack, but that may change if there are a lot of failures. I did confirm that compression and rebound dampening remains unchanged with the updated valve stack.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:41 AM   #189
pjaneiro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
Soooo...the e36 M3 rear Bilsteins lasted 28k miles and just under 2 years.

Both have failed, but in different ways. One had an internal oil leak and the other had a gas/oil mix (tested on Bilstein's shock dyno). Neither was visibly leaking, but performance had degraded substantially.

Here's the good part...the replacement shocks that they sent me have a new heavy duty valve stack installed which should improve their reliability. As you know, the rear shocks that Bilstein sells for the xi are now the same as the e36 M3 rear shocks. If the M3 shocks fail, Bilstein will ship the new heavier duty shocks as replacements. Currently, new Bilsteins are still shipped with the older valve stack, but that may change if there are a lot of failures. I did confirm that compression and rebound dampening remains unchanged with the updated valve stack.
That 's odd mine failed this week also..., both are blown, no oil leaks, they just rattle and i can bounce the car with one finger....last bilsteins for me, i will get replacement ones under warranty,but will sell them, thinking of getting monroes.....
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:47 AM   #190
pjaneiro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
Soooo...the e36 M3 rear Bilsteins lasted 28k miles and just under 2 years.

Both have failed, but in different ways. One had an internal oil leak and the other had a gas/oil mix (tested on Bilstein's shock dyno). Neither was visibly leaking, but performance had degraded substantially.

Here's the good part...the replacement shocks that they sent me have a new heavy duty valve stack installed which should improve their reliability. As you know, the rear shocks that Bilstein sells for the xi are now the same as the e36 M3 rear shocks. If the M3 shocks fail, Bilstein will ship the new heavier duty shocks as replacements. Currently, new Bilsteins are still shipped with the older valve stack, but that may change if there are a lot of failures. I did confirm that compression and rebound dampening remains unchanged with the updated valve stack.
How do you get to have the new heavy duty ones ?

I just ordered these ones

BE5-2453-H2
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:31 PM   #191
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjaneiro View Post
How do you get to have the new heavy duty ones ?
Return the blown e36 m3 shocks to Lisa at Bilstein and she will send you the e36 m3 shocks with the upgraded valve stack. You can't buy the ones with the upgraded valve stack new right now- you only get them once the e36 m3 rears blow out.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:56 PM   #192
Lou3viLL3sLuGGa
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Wow. Sorry to see me many bilstein troubles. I appreciate all the info here because I had the bilstein sport shocks here to pair with eibach pro kit and sent them back for the koni yellow. I hope I made a good choice for my 02 xi.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:19 PM   #193
pjaneiro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
Return the blown e36 m3 shocks to Lisa at Bilstein and she will send you the e36 m3 shocks with the upgraded valve stack. You can't buy the ones with the upgraded valve stack new right now- you only get them once the e36 m3 rears blow out.
Could you pm me her info....

Thanks
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:23 PM   #194
congeewong
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Just changed to my summer rims and tires today and both rear bilstein sports blown and leaking. What's worse is this is already my second pair which I replaced with the warranty last winter. I will request the e36 m3 rears and hopefully they will allow me to swap. I requested last year and they stated on the phone that only identical models could be shipped as warranty replacements.

Pretty disappointed in bilstein.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:30 PM   #195
Lou3viLL3sLuGGa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by congeewong View Post
Just changed to my summer rims and tires today and both rear bilstein sports blown and leaking. What's worse is this is already my second pair which I replaced with the warranty last winter. I will request the e36 m3 rears and hopefully they will allow me to swap. I requested last year and they stated on the phone that only identical models could be shipped as warranty replacements.

Pretty disappointed in bilstein.
Wow. Surprising because turner motor sports was well aware of the issue and said bilstein was now shipping the e36 m3 rears as standard? That is disappointing.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:51 AM   #196
Tele
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My Ride: E46 330XIT MTech II
Ok, two years later the KW 1's are still performing perfect!
Now with:
TMS adjustable rear camber arms.
M3 rear lower trailing arm ball joint.
TMS rear trailing arm bushing limiter kit.
H&R adjustable rear sway bar.
TMS Rear adjustable length sway bar end links.

And I'm happy with the rideheight.
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:31 PM   #197
Sgtbean
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Bilstein Sport -rear shocks continually FAIL - Replace with E36 M3 shock??!

Reviving a old thread. With an xi if my shocks are blown and I have the receipt of purchase from the previous owner can I get the updated ones? Also can you mix m3 ones in the rear with sport fronts? Running Bils and H&R sports on an 03' xi for your information.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:05 PM   #198
Busy
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Location: Guys, stop spraying your wheels black; it looks awful.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ega2081 View Post


Hey, I have a question; Can I have your wheels? Those are just perfect. I'm going to guess the answer is 'no', but I wouldn't be able to sleep if I didn't ask.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:39 PM   #199
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
Soooo...the e36 M3 rear Bilsteins lasted 28k miles and just under 2 years.

Both have failed, but in different ways. One had an internal oil leak and the other had a gas/oil mix (tested on Bilstein's shock dyno). Neither was visibly leaking, but performance had degraded substantially.

Here's the good part...the replacement shocks that they sent me have a new heavy duty valve stack installed which should improve their reliability. As you know, the rear shocks that Bilstein sells for the xi are now the same as the e36 M3 rear shocks. If the M3 shocks fail, Bilstein will ship the new heavier duty shocks as replacements. Currently, new Bilsteins are still shipped with the older valve stack, but that may change if there are a lot of failures. I did confirm that compression and rebound dampening remains unchanged with the updated valve stack.
Left rear shock blew out today. Looks like I got a solid 14 months out of the updated updated rears. This is pathetic.

I am not happy. This is three weeks after I went to do a spring change and found out my front struts were blown too! So I took them apart to change the springs, took them apart to swap in warrantied struts, and now have to take them apart to swap in Konis.

Do yourself a favor and buy Koni
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:41 PM   #200
Busy
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Location: Guys, stop spraying your wheels black; it looks awful.
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Kubica: thanks for the update. I'm in the market, so this is pertinent.
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