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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 04-30-2012, 06:11 PM   #61
jagir03
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Thanks for the replies, I think the tech said he set the camber to -2 or -.2 (the guy who did initial alignment/assessment after I bought the car)

Ya, the wear was on the inside of the front passenger tire. Do you guys think just getting an alignment (from a credible shop) will fix the issue?....I'm beginning to think that tech didn't know what he was doing.

Edit: I meant the front drivers side tire (inside)

Last edited by jagir03; 04-30-2012 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:23 PM   #62
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bump^, any input?
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:11 PM   #63
White_Knuckles
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Yes, the tech's input is questionable at best. Alignments and opinions are best served from qualified independent shops not your local "all makes" service centers. My son works at a large West coast tire dealer (Les Schwab) that will not align BMW's or any lowered cars due to policy, warranty and liability reasons. He points out their computer provided alignment data is often wrong where they maintain "cheat sheets" of correct specifications. A proper 4-wheel alignment should run about $150 and they should identify your tire issue if alignment related.

You should clearly know if you're so low that you're scraping the fender liner from obvious scraping sounds and gouge like wear.

I had a cupping issue on the front, outer edges with brand new tires. The dealer explained it was a "common BMW issue due to the camber specs". I fought hard to get this resolved. Turns out it was the tire (Yokohama S Drives) where after the same size tires (Toyo Proxes 4) were installed, the problem disappeared. The car was inspected at no charge for alignment. The dealer was truly puzzled as they've installed Yoko's on many other cars without this occurring. My point is, most dealers are not purposely idiots or out to chase away business with incompetence, they just don't have vast experience with our cars.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:10 PM   #64
Dan99
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:39 PM   #65
jwbeck17
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This is a great thread, and would love to see more updates! Looks like the most popular options for the e46 xis are stock, KW V1 Coilovers, Bilstein/Koni + Eibach/H&R combos. Dinan maybe less so.

Personally I would love to lower the car-on-tippy-toes appearance, while increasing road handling yet not sacrificing comfort too much. Living in PA, we get snow and potholes a lot and my 2005 330xi is my daily driver.

Looks like KW V1s are a great choice to have something so adjustable from stock to slam, but at a cost. But they are designed for bad weather like the xi. Sounds like the spring/shock combos may lower at a lesser cost, but would love to see more photos of those along with the details provided. My guess is that you can lower your car somewhat and still keep it comfortable if you don't go too low and don't go with low profile wheels.

The ride height is my main negative with the car, and would love to address that in the future!
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:19 PM   #66
mikedubb5
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This thread has been very helpful, does anyone recommend buying any other parts to go with the new springs/struts? Im not going with the coilovers but with H&R sport springs and either Bilstein or Koni struts and I cannot find a solid answer either way if other parts need to be refreshed while I'm in there. Any suggestions?
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:57 PM   #67
TheModdedXI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nachos23 View Post
Year and body style: 2004 330XI
Setup being rated: H&R Sports Kit with Bilstein Sports shocks and struts
Additional aftermarket components: ACS Strut Bar, ECIS Cold Ari Kit, AA Stage 2 tuning, SS Brake lines, Angel eyes, upgraded lights @ all corners, M3 Steering wheel with Paddle Stift kit, M3 Sports seats, upgraded all wood trim to Carbon Fibre, running M6 rims.
Additional info: car has about 20,000 miles on this setup and 170,000 miles total.
Intended use of car: Daily Driver
Preferred ride style: I prefer a ride that feels connected to the road, firm and predictable, yet still suitable for daily use and road trips.
Would you recommend this setup? Handling, Yes. Comfort, Yes. The setup feels tight but not overly aggressive. Not "coffee friendly" for first few sipps.....
Price paid, including installation (if applicable): $ never kept track. do my own work, so no installation charges.....
Rider Comfort: 7
Handling: 10 - Flat and on rails in the hardest of turns and no understeer. Phenomenal handling!
How much did it lower I want to get this kit but Ive heard that it can lower more than advertised.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:16 PM   #68
SamDoe1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedubb5 View Post
This thread has been very helpful, does anyone recommend buying any other parts to go with the new springs/struts? Im not going with the coilovers but with H&R sport springs and either Bilstein or Koni struts and I cannot find a solid answer either way if other parts need to be refreshed while I'm in there. Any suggestions?
Yes. All new hardware (nuts/bolts), new upper shock/strut mounts, and new front perch bushings at the very least. Also a good time to do your front sway bar endlinks if they've never been replaced.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:51 PM   #69
FcBarcelona
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So the only coilovers available for the XI are the KW V1, the Fk Silverline, and the H&R's?
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:29 AM   #70
MR2NoVA
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in for more
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:06 PM   #71
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good thread, good info.
nobody here sporting the eibach's?
In SamDoe1's thread he says they're much more comfortable but I'm curious if the sacrifice in handling (I'm assuming) is worth the comfort versus the H&R's.
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:11 AM   #72
zoompastu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CK325 View Post
good thread, good info.
nobody here sporting the eibach's?
In SamDoe1's thread he says they're much more comfortable but I'm curious if the sacrifice in handling (I'm assuming) is worth the comfort versus the H&R's.
I just ordered the Konis from tirerack for $565 ($607 shipped) before the sale ends this week. I almost ordered the Eibachs but didn't want to spend the extra $$$ right now. I'm going to pair the koni sports with my OEM sport springs and see how that goes for now, but Eibach springs will likely be installed within the next year unless I love the Koni/OEM pairing.
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1993 325is Moded Sold

Last edited by zoompastu; 06-25-2013 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:22 AM   #73
CK325
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Originally Posted by zoompastu View Post
I just ordered the Konis from tirerack for $565 ($607 shipped) before the sale ends this week. I almost ordered the Eibachs but didn't want to spend the extra $$$ right now. I'm going to pair the koni sports with my OEM sport springs and see how that goes for now, but Eibach springs will be in purchased within the next year.
Yeah I've been really tempted to get them by tomorrow too, the adjustable factor almost wins me over but turner has the bilstein sports for $538.80 and the kit with H&R springs for 743.75, which is tempting as well...
Most vendor sites advertise the same drop for both the eibach and H&R springs though..
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:10 AM   #74
zoompastu
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Yeah I've been really tempted to get them by tomorrow too, the adjustable factor almost wins me over but turner has the bilstein sports for $538.80 and the kit with H&R springs for 743.75, which is tempting as well...
Most vendor sites advertise the same drop for both the eibach and H&R springs though..
I've driven BMW's with various spring/shock combos (Bistein sport HD Koni yellow orange vogtland tein eibach h&r) and while the Bilsteins are a quality shock and are priced better then the Konis I feel that as a daily driver the Konis are worth the extra money for there reliability warranty adjustability comfort and sportiness. The difference in price is small compared to other things. (right now the price difference is $27 till the sale ends Sunday)

As far as the Turner kit goes it is a good deal but as it mentions the H&Rs are 40% stiffer then OEM. The Bilsteins aren't very forgiving either. Turner is a performance company and performance is their focus so if that is your focus as well and you track your xi but don't want to spent over a grand on KW's then the Tuner kit is a good way to go. For me street sport/comfort is more my goal for my xi. I'll get another E36 to tune and track in the future.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:21 AM   #75
athayer187
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XI Suspension Poll / Guide......

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoompastu View Post
I just ordered the Konis from tirerack for $565 ($607 shipped) before the sale ends this week. I almost ordered the Eibachs but didn't want to spend the extra $$$ right now. I'm going to pair the koni sports with my OEM sport springs and see how that goes for now, but Eibach springs will likely be installed within the next year unless I love the Koni/OEM pairing.
Konis and OEM springs are what I run. Reason is I don't want to compromise ground clearance for the winter, but the Konis let me run slightly over damped in the summer (which firms up the ride nicely).


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Old 06-25-2013, 10:40 AM   #76
CK325
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Originally Posted by zoompastu View Post
I've driven BMW's with various spring/shock combos (Bistein sport HD Koni yellow orange vogtland tein eibach h&r) and while the Bilsteins are a quality shock and are priced better then the Konis I feel that as a daily driver the Konis are worth the extra money for there reliability warranty adjustability comfort and sportiness. The difference in price is small compared to other things. (right now the price difference is $27 till the sale ends Sunday)

As far as the Turner kit goes it is a good deal but as it mentions the H&Rs are 40% stiffer then OEM. The Bilsteins aren't very forgiving either. Turner is a performance company and performance is their focus so if that is your focus as well and you track your xi but don't want to spent over a grand on KW's then the Tuner kit is a good way to go. For me street sport/comfort is more my goal for my xi. I'll get another E36 to tune and track in the future.

I mean I'm looking to get into autox, but I definitely will use the car as a daily as well. I don't mind sacrificing a bit of comfort but I can see how it'd get annoying rather quick.
On the other hand, the sports and the H&R's are cheaper than the cheapest koni+H&R combo I found, which would come to ~$835 which is about 90 bucks difference...which now seems small when looking at the big number..
Damn it I can't make up my mind
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:02 AM   #77
zoompastu
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Originally Posted by athayer187 View Post
Konis and OEM springs are what I run. Reason is I don't want to compromise ground clearance for the winter, but the Konis let me run slightly over damped in the summer (which firms up the ride nicely).
Perfect. Thank you for your input. Are you running them full soft or a different setting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CK325 View Post
I mean I'm looking to get into autox, but I definitely will use the car as a daily as well. I don't mind sacrificing a bit of comfort but I can see how it'd get annoying rather quick.
On the other hand, the sports and the H&R's are cheaper than the cheapest koni+H&R combo I found, which would come to ~$835 which is about 90 bucks difference...which now seems small when looking at the big number..
Damn it I can't make up my mind
Here's my .02 (putting on my practical hat)
Autocross is fun. It's all about fun. If you run the car stock or moded you will have fun. However, since this car is a daily driver first and an autocross racer second we have to be cautious about overbuilding are daily drivers (I've learned this lesson the hard way). I know it snows in PA and if this XI is what you drive in the winter then I would turn my nose at the Bilstein/H&R combo. While you could still drive it in the snow and ice, you'll be sorry that you went this stiff. The spring rate and dampening is too stiff to absorb bumps and chunks on the slick stuff resulting in less traction and vehicle control. The eibachs will still be a great improvement over the OEM springs during the year and would be the best compromise as far as springs go for comfort and performance dry/rain/snow. If you've never had Konis before you won't be disappointed for spending the extra money. Besides being a TERRIFIC dampener they are adjustable so you can run the front soft and the rear medium or hard to tune how the car handles when autocrossing, then dial them back to full soft during the winter. To me $100 is a lot of money and I would rather not spend it, but in this case it's well worth it.

Athayer187 says he runs Koni/OEM springs and loves it in the winter. Honestly, the OEM shocks aren't the best. BMW while building EXCELLENT handling cars still has to keep in mind it's market range. BMW knows that the enthusiasts will custom mod the cars aftermarket to their liking cause that's what we do. I think BMW has found the best balance of comfort, style, and performance to keep the market happy as a whole. Hands down the best cars on the road.

Bottom line, buy the shocks before the sale ends and get springs later. you'll kick yourself for not buying them on sale and won't want to pay full price or wait a year for them to go back on sale so you'll buy the turner kit and (IMO) smile at the track but frown on the street and cry in the snow Hope I've helped....
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1993 325is Moded Sold

Last edited by zoompastu; 06-26-2013 at 03:14 AM. Reason: long winded
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:55 AM   #78
CK325
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Haha alright alright I'm convinced. Time to waste some moneys!
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:27 PM   #79
zoompastu
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Haha alright alright I'm convinced. Time to waste some moneys!


UPS just delivered my rear Konis and FedEX will drop off the fronts tomorrow.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:40 PM   #80
bikesandcars
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My Ride: 2002 325xi-sport pkg
ar and body style: 2002 325xi
Setup being rated: Bilstien struts with Eibach pro springs
Adjustments: none but alignment
Additional aftermarket components: Fresh control arm bushings
Additional info: car has about 10,000 miles on this setup.
Intended use of car: Daily Driver
Preferred ride style: I prefer a ride that feels connected to the road, firm and predictable, yet still suitable for daily use and road trips and not a "crack counter."
Would you recommend this setup? Handling, Yes. Comfort, No. The setup feels fine around town, a bit firm, but no issues. However, the car just feels like it is too stiff. Whenever I hit a bridge transition or even pavement cracks / bumps it seems the car is jarred noticably. I really can't tell if it is overly sprung or overly compression dampened, or under rebound dampened. Either way, for NorthEast roads it is a bit too stiff. sharp cracks or unevenness in pavement is very jarring, undulations or slower-impacting bumps are not bad at all. The rear now "klunks" after 10,000 miles

My impression: The struts are way too stiff in high speed bump. The struts need less compression dampening, more rebound, and lighter fluid with a better shim stack to handle high speed bumps better.

Handles good, not like a race-car or 2" drop but certainly enough for a commuter

Price paid, including installation (if applicable): $600-ish
Ride comfort: 6
Handling: 8

Last edited by bikesandcars; 06-26-2013 at 03:44 PM.
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