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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 04-27-2013, 02:16 PM   #1
Mannydog
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My Ride: '02 330Xi 5spd
XiT project

Hi all

When I got my 330xi in 2010, I wanted to get a touring, but couldn't find a decent one with a 5 speed.
The 330's been awesome, I love the car, but may have a work related need (rationalization? ) for a wagon.

What I've been thinking about for a while, is getting a touring and converting to a 3 liter/6 spd.

I'd like to do lite mods to go with it, tuning, suspension, brakes, ZHP bumpr(?), etc.

An AWD car is mandatory, I regularly cross a mtn pass that gets 450" of snow per year, and for that reason, am not interested in any lowering mods.

It seems like I've seen discussions of this kind of swap in the past, but a quick search in the Xi forum didn't turn up much.

If anyone can point me towards some juicy threads, that would be great, but I'm also looking for suggestions from like minded touring/xi fans.

One question: if I am shooting for a 6 speed, I would assume its still a lot easier to find a base car that was a manual than an auto: true? If so, what are the factors?

If this comes to fruition, I would be trying to do it this summer, before the snow flies on Snoqualmie.

TIA
Michael
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:34 PM   #2
redbull 325is
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325xit 6 speed lowered on h&r coil overs (adjustable) headers, sport cats, afe intake, ltw flywheel, 330i brakes, etc etc... might be getting a m54b30 soon
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:22 PM   #3
Kubica
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Originally Posted by redbull 325is View Post

325xit 6 speed lowered on h&r coil overs (adjustable) headers, sport cats, afe intake, ltw flywheel, 330i brakes, etc etc... might be getting a m54b30 soon
Might be faster than me with those headers. Doubt it though!
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:41 AM   #4
Benny Minn
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I actually just bought a 325xiT 5-speed with high miles based on the expectation that I will put an M54B30 in it once I find an affordable rear-ended 330xi to pull the drivetrain from. Based on my research, the 3 litre engine will bolt right up to the stock 5-speed and will connect to the same harness, hoses, etc., but the 325 computer will have to be flashed in order to properly operate the larger engine. I don't know if the 6-speed transmission is the same length as the 5-speed though. Somebody else will have to address issues that might arise with that part of the swap.

The 325xi runs smoothly right now, but I will post my progress if/when I pull the trigger on my swap. If you dive in first, I would love see the results. Keep us posted.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:36 AM   #5
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You will need the updated transfer case for the 6spd if the car is 03 or older (I think those are the years). Other than that, swap in the engine, trans, transfer case, and if you have access to the DME and the LCM, those too. The only differences that you should have to worry about between the 3L and the 2.5L are the intake manifold and the MAF sensor.

Also, Benny where you at in Minneapolis? I'd love to help out with a swap if you need an extra set of hands.

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Old 04-29-2013, 10:59 AM   #6
Benny Minn
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I heard that swapping the DME would require a lot of recoding or swapping of other parts like key cylinders and gauge cluster, etc. because they all have to match. I guess the DMEs between the two cars are physically the same, so it's just bits of the firmware that have to be edited.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:32 PM   #7
Kubica
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You will need the updated transfer case for the 6spd if the car is 03 or older (I think those are the years).
No, Redbull de-bunked this mystery. The bolts that hold it to the tranny will need to be changed and a metal grommet removed to make an early TC work with a 6-speed.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:44 PM   #8
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I heard that swapping the DME would require a lot of recoding or swapping of other parts like key cylinders and gauge cluster, etc. because they all have to match. I guess the DMEs between the two cars are physically the same, so it's just bits of the firmware that have to be edited.
Maybe. You'd for sure have to get new keys and gauge cluster but other than that it should be a good swap.

The gauge clusters are different from MT to AT cars though, just remember that. Not like an AT cluster won't work on an MT car, but it'll still have the gear select part.

Quote:
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No, Redbull de-bunked this mystery. The bolts that hold it to the tranny will need to be changed and a metal grommet removed to make an early TC work with a 6-speed.
Good to know! Thanks for the update. If my car ever gets rear ended, the drivetrain will be going into an Xi wagon...maybe with a supercharger...

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Old 04-30-2013, 12:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
Maybe. You'd for sure have to get new keys and gauge cluster but other than that it should be a good swap.

The gauge clusters are different from MT to AT cars though, just remember that. Not like an AT cluster won't work on an MT car, but it'll still have the gear select part.



Good to know! Thanks for the update. If my car ever gets rear ended, the drivetrain will be going into an Xi wagon...maybe with a supercharger...
you just need to recode your automatic DME to manual by change the sa code or vo (depending on vehicle year) and then let the computer recode the rest of the car (very easy to do w/ autologic). it will turn off the auto portion of the cluster, fix the flares between shifts etc. I also reprogrammed my car with new software just to be safe, not 100% sure it's needed.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:34 PM   #10
Mannydog
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Definitely sounds like it will be easier if I could find good touring that's already a manual. Of course, that's not so easy.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:35 PM   #11
redbull 325is
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buy mine and pay me to drive cross country!
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:50 PM   #12
Mannydog
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buy mine and pay me to drive cross country!
I might be tempted if it were a different color.
I would say I'm not big on gold cars, except I had a Ceylon gold tii, which was an awesome color. To each his own.
As a matter of fact, I'm gonna have a hard time doing any other color besides red after my 330.

Also, I just started a part time gig in Durham and look to be visiting a week a month, so, no need for a driver.
What part of NC are you in?
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:10 PM   #13
redbull 325is
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mannydog View Post
I might be tempted if it were a different color.
I would say I'm not big on gold cars, except I had a Ceylon gold tii, which was an awesome color. To each his own.
As a matter of fact, I'm gonna have a hard time doing any other color besides red after my 330.

Also, I just started a part time gig in Durham and look to be visiting a week a month, so, no need for a driver.
What part of NC are you in?
Charlotte.. the color will grow on you
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:03 PM   #14
rudycoop
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Also consider differential ratio if swapping to a 5 or 6 speed. If an auto the gears are going to be shorter. Some people like that some don't.
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