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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 05-06-2014, 12:17 AM   #21
White_Knuckles
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Well, mine has the HID and cold package which was not a must-have consideration, more of a bonus. The auto dimming mirror, rain sensing wipers, auto heat, auto headlights, electric everything were at first viewed as a "more to break" fear. But now I consider these luxuries a treat and they don't break. The problem with any of these forums (and I've been a member of many) is, they all read as endless problems and fixes. Sometimes enthusiastic comments show up but mostly you'll find troubles and remedies. That doesn't mean they're a problematic car, look at any fan forum - you'll see the same thing.

These cars are now becoming cheap enough to attract the younger buyer. They want to make 'em race cars, slam the suspension and stuff fat tires under rolled fenders. I guess that's fine but there are limitations. I suggest you look at your budget realistically and plan to spend maintenance cash going forward. To convert an XI into an M3 rocket is not realistic. Making it look like one may be some owners desire but there are concerns. First, the forged bottom end with twin cams with a timing chain based engine is factory maxed out. 180+ HP is all you're gonna get out of this baby. Is it fast? Well, fast enough for most of us. No chips or headers will wake up hidden ponies, you're basically stuck. Now look at the benefit of a 50/50 weight distributed car with all wheel drive that's rear drive biased. This yields summer fun tossing it around and winter safety and reliability. The thing goes like a snow cat in the slippery goo and ice. I'm a bit of a fuddy-duddy and leave the factory engineering intact as not to toy with what I contend is a well engineered car. Personalizing it is something I enjoy as the car is worthy to spend a little to make it unique. The auto trans is made by GM, is rock solid where the die-hard, 3-pedal guys will argue it's a bad option. I like the auto, really don't miss shifting all the time and don't really care about the die-hards.

It's all about what you desire and knowing the facts. With your interest in being a BMW mechanic you have spotted a great platform to play with. Should you become displeased later, you can always get out from under it without too much drama. To each his own and I hope you'll seek your choice through information not emotion.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:39 AM   #22
dcminiman_43
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Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
Well, mine has the HID and cold package which was not a must-have consideration, more of a bonus. The auto dimming mirror, rain sensing wipers, auto heat, auto headlights, electric everything were at first viewed as a "more to break" fear. But now I consider these luxuries a treat and they don't break. The problem with any of these forums (and I've been a member of many) is, they all read as endless problems and fixes. Sometimes enthusiastic comments show up but mostly you'll find troubles and remedies. That doesn't mean they're a problematic car, look at any fan forum - you'll see the same thing.

These cars are now becoming cheap enough to attract the younger buyer. They want to make 'em race cars, slam the suspension and stuff fat tires under rolled fenders. I guess that's fine but there are limitations. I suggest you look at your budget realistically and plan to spend maintenance cash going forward. To convert an XI into an M3 rocket is not realistic. Making it look like one may be some owners desire but there are concerns. First, the forged bottom end with twin cams with a timing chain based engine is factory maxed out. 180+ HP is all you're gonna get out of this baby. Is it fast? Well, fast enough for most of us. No chips or headers will wake up hidden ponies, you're basically stuck. Now look at the benefit of a 50/50 weight distributed car with all wheel drive that's rear drive biased. This yields summer fun tossing it around and winter safety and reliability. The thing goes like a snow cat in the slippery goo and ice. I'm a bit of a fuddy-duddy and leave the factory engineering intact as not to toy with what I contend is a well engineered car. Personalizing it is something I enjoy as the car is worthy to spend a little to make it unique. The auto trans is made by GM, is rock solid where the die-hard, 3-pedal guys will argue it's a bad option. I like the auto, really don't miss shifting all the time and don't really care about the die-hards.

It's all about what you desire and knowing the facts. With your interest in being a BMW mechanic you have spotted a great platform to play with. Should you become displeased later, you can always get out from under it without too much drama. To each his own and I hope you'll seek your choice through information not emotion.
Thanks White_Knuckles the cold weather pkg not really worrying about since o never had heated seats so not gonna be something I'll miss, I can always convert to HID they're are my kits out there haha. And I'm trying to get all the info I need cause I've always worked with the coupes and wanted a coupe but a sedan is nice to I just have that blood in me for speed sometimes I just don't wanna make the wrong choice or over pay for something cause I'm downgrading (year wise) form an 03 galant you've been a great help!!

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Old 05-06-2014, 09:46 AM   #23
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Yes, the price seems spot-on for a good deal in my region. Based on mileage and your description I'm thinking that baby has lots of useful and enjoyable life to be had. Forget the pulley and belt stuff going on up here, it's sarcasm from a couple guys playing around. It's funny as a pulley isn't exactly a major repair milestone to us. Cars would be machines and there are no magic cars requiring zero maintenance. They all need maintenance items and repairs. Even Toyota's and Subaru's visit the shop from time to time but the owners seem to cover up said adventures.

Here's the thing - you can drive an "entry level sport luxury sedan" that originally sold for 25-30 thousand dollars for $8K. It has all the amenities the original owner should be enjoying but you can snag all this goodness for 1/3 the price? Yeah, that's a good deal looking at bang for the buck. I converted to German cars several years ago and never looked back. Just look how nice they hold up (actually result of quality build and parts). I often get strange looks when people ask, hey, what year is that? They're sure it's much newer 'cause of the excellent design, lines and condition. I'd like to take credit for being a caring owner but it really goes to BMW 'cause I basically drive and maintain her. No excessive costs or maintenance issues have crossed my path. BTW, I spent $13K for my car with 70K miles at purchase - no regrets 5 years later.
While I largely agree with you, there are cars out there to be had that are faster, bigger, more comfy, have the same features, are more reliable, and easier to maintain.

If OP wants speed, he definitely should look elsewhere.

I have a list of stuff done to my old Xi that was as tall as I am while my Acura has never had an issue in almost 130k of driving. The worst thing to happen was a loose piece of trim. Other than that, it was oil changes and factory recommended maintenance. I'm fairly certain that since new there has been less than $3k spent on that car to keep it on the road and that includes $1300 for timing belt/water pump/valve adjustment and $800 for tires. And before you go there, it's in nearly flawless condition.
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:55 PM   #24
dcminiman_43
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So the 2.5 in these cars can't be worked at all even though they're are parts out there for it? Or is it because of the AWD system?

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Old 05-06-2014, 03:19 PM   #25
SamDoe1
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So the 2.5 in these cars can't be worked at all even though they're are parts out there for it? Or is it because of the AWD system?

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Where did you gather that from? They can for sure be worked on and are fairly easy to work on too but the fact is that you will HAVE to work on it and will have to CONTINUE to work on it quite a bit to keep it in good condition. It's by no means a change the oil and do recommended maintenance and it'll run forever kind of car.
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:02 PM   #26
dcminiman_43
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Where did you gather that from? They can for sure be worked on and are fairly easy to work on too but the fact is that you will HAVE to work on it and will have to CONTINUE to work on it quite a bit to keep it in good condition. It's by no means a change the oil and do recommended maintenance and it'll run forever kind of car.
I meant worked as in HP wise Or other performance options, I here that the 180hp is all I'd get out of it, tho I see lots of after market parts headers,superchargers, exhaust, etc for it. Ik the preface doesn't seem to look very popular so I'm also trying to find some inspiration on here at the same time

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Old 05-06-2014, 04:19 PM   #27
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you will get maybe 200hp out of it after dropping a lot of money (thousands) on any and all NA mods you can get (headers, exhaust, cams, etc). The only way to get a lot more power is a supercharger which will get you ~100hp and put you at ~280hp at the crank...that's less power than most 6 cylinder family sedans today and that's after dropping $5k on a supercharger to go into an $8k car.

If you want power or go fast, this is not the car for you. Don't invest a ton of money into an old car like an E46 unless you want to race it or track it and in which case you should be looking for a 330 and ripping out as much weight as you can instead of adding power. If you want a slower car with great handling and decent looks then you've found it.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:45 PM   #28
phildobaggins
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These cars weigh a ton and have as much hp as a 99 camry v6. Its never going to be fast.

I saw a new toyota avalon run a 14.1 @ 101 at the track the other day, you will never go that fast. You will never be as fast as your grandma's car.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:16 PM   #29
dcminiman_43
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you will get maybe 200hp out of it after dropping a lot of money (thousands) on any and all NA mods you can get (headers, exhaust, cams, etc). The only way to get a lot more power is a supercharger which will get you ~100hp and put you at ~280hp at the crank...that's less power than most 6 cylinder family sedans today and that's after dropping $5k on a supercharger to go into an $8k car.

If you want power or go fast, this is not the car for you. Don't invest a ton of money into an old car like an E46 unless you want to race it or track it and in which case you should be looking for a 330 and ripping out as much weight as you can instead of adding power. If you want a slower car with great handling and decent looks then you've found it.
I mean I'm not looking for a high performance sports car I just want something that has some kinda pep to it, can be enthusiastic about, and have fun on back roads with, have something to play around with that's unique in a way and good on gas somewhat

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Old 05-06-2014, 07:53 PM   #30
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I mean I'm not looking for a high performance sports car I just want something that has some kinda pep to it, can be enthusiastic about, and have fun on back roads with, have something to play around with that's unique in a way and good on gas somewhat

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You sir have just described a used $3000 sport bike
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:48 PM   #31
White_Knuckles
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This whole discussion is subjective to what one considers "fast" or "peppy". This also applies to what a buyer considers "good on gas". My statement would be reasonable for both accounts. The car (with an auto trans) is neither a granny car or a neck-snapper. It's reasonable to where I've never been longing to supercharge it for daily driving. It accelerates predictably and with gusto where I often see econo-boxes getting smaller in my mirror on a inclined freeway ramp. Bye-bye Prius dogs. I have no intent to check a quarter mile ET as I just don't care. The gas mileage averages 20 something but requires premium which some cringe at. Is this the most amazing car ever? No. But there is a reason owners keep 'em. Maybe the blend of the good and not so bad keeps us around? Go drive one and make your own opinion.

Should anyone know of an amazingly fast car getting 30+ MPG that needs little to no maintenance, please post this wonder! I have a friend who desperately wants to dump his '07 WRX 'cause it keeps breaking.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:19 PM   #32
ZemogFC3S
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Don't get the 2001!! That was the only year BMW used the horrible over assisted power steering.

For a tiny bit more money you can buy a 2002 330.
If you're already worrying about power, you'll regret getting the smaller engine.
2002 was also the first year of the facelift. Your car will look a lot more modern for years to come.

PS. Heated seats are amazing.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:21 PM   #33
White_Knuckles
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^^ wow, never knew this. The steering feedback is perfect in newer years. I'm so used to it, I have trouble adapting to old-time mush. I have a '67 Cutlass (A-body hotrod) that's getting a quick-steering box and positive castor added to feel anything. In those days, you'd feel absolutely nothing rolling the wheel around with one finger. Even creeping at idle the boat helms produced effortless steering. They thought they had defined the ultimate power-steering benchmark and were very pleased. Ugh, this went on for years with American mush buckets!!
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Old 05-10-2014, 01:41 PM   #34
dcminiman_43
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My thing is I'm not really a fan of the facelifted look and I want something with low milage as well most the 330s in my area are in the high 100ks

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Old 05-10-2014, 03:35 PM   #35
ZemogFC3S
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Thats fine. Do you like lexus steering feel on your sport sedan?
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:52 PM   #36
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What you mean, never drove a Lexus sports sedan but my galant tends to have a boat like feel to it

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