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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 11-16-2015, 10:40 AM   #1
TheHungryDev
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Location: Rhode Island
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My Ride: 330xi
Might get my first BMW tomorrow, 03 330xi 5speed. Advice?

I am most likely purchasing a 2003 330xi 5speed on Wednesday if it ends up being as clean as the dude says. He is asking $4000, but I am going to try to get it down to around $3500. I have only ever owned Nissan vehicles up until now, so no experience with BMW. I am going to look at it with my mechanic, who knows his ****, but I would like to know what I should look for when I go to see this car. It has 94k miles, and he says it was previously owned by a BMW enthusiast. He also says the clutch/transmission are very smooth. It just needs a new passenger control arm and strut, which he is replacing today. The speedometer is jumping, but he is putting a new one in today and sending it to BMW to have it re-calibrated to the original miles. Any info/advice would be awesome. Really looking forward to being an e46 owner.

Also, what is the best website to order bmw parts from, specifically e46 parts?
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Old 11-16-2015, 02:41 PM   #2
Rob43
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Compression test the motor FIRST, the E46 cooling system sometimes takes a dump before the driver knows it & does motor damage in the process.

The cooling system is the Achilles Heel of the E46 chassis.




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Rob #43 ITS/ITR/STU, BMW 325I, STU LAP RECORD
SUMMIT POINT WV 1:24:229 SCCA
(DynoDynamics https:vimeo.com/8486878 Dyno Video)
"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

I BUILD SUSPENSIONS (Consult) FROM MILD TO WILD FOR RWD & Xi E46's
Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerX View Post
Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
I Know How To Fix The Rear "Bouncing" Problem On Your Cheap Coilovers Like: Jom RL FK SE & RK.
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Old 11-16-2015, 02:49 PM   #3
TheHungryDev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob43 View Post
Compression test the motor FIRST, the E46 cooling system sometimes takes a dump before the driver knows it & does motor damage in the process.

The cooling system is the Achilles Heel of the E46 chassis.

Rob43

Someone else told me this same exact thing earlier also. I may just replace the cooling system honestly. How much would a new cooling system for this car be, and what is the labor like?
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Old 11-16-2015, 02:58 PM   #4
dan-ger
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Three are a bunch of diy out there for this.. It's a bit of a difficult diy but it can be done for under 500$ in parts maybe closer to 400 I haven't done mine for a while
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:11 PM   #5
TheHungryDev
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Originally Posted by dan-ger View Post
Three are a bunch of diy out there for this.. It's a bit of a difficult diy but it can be done for under 500$ in parts maybe closer to 400 I haven't done mine for a while
Thanks for the info. I am just paranoid about this because of all the things you hear can go wrong on these cars. What is the best site to buy e46 parts from?
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:19 PM   #6
noboostforyou
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Everything you need to know will be in this thread - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1007722

Check out the Sponsors page for places to buy parts. I personally really like FCP Euro.
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:20 PM   #7
TheHungryDev
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Originally Posted by noboostforyou View Post
Everything you need to know will be in this thread - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1007722

Check out the Sponsors page for places to buy parts. I personally really like FCP Euro.
Thanks a lot man
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:16 PM   #8
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHungryDev View Post
I am most likely purchasing a 2003 330xi 5speed on Wednesday if it ends up being as clean as the dude says. He is asking $4000, but I am going to try to get it down to around $3500. I have only ever owned Nissan vehicles up until now, so no experience with BMW. I am going to look at it with my mechanic, who knows his ****, but I would like to know what I should look for when I go to see this car. It has 94k miles, and he says it was previously owned by a BMW enthusiast. He also says the clutch/transmission are very smooth. It just needs a new passenger control arm and strut, which he is replacing today. The speedometer is jumping, but he is putting a new one in today and sending it to BMW to have it re-calibrated to the original miles. Any info/advice would be awesome. Really looking forward to being an e46 owner.

Also, what is the best website to order bmw parts from, specifically e46 parts?
I would spend a bit more on a car without electronics issues. The guy is probably putting the cheapest parts he can find in it right now to get it to sell. $4k for a car with 94k miles sounds too cheap.
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:22 PM   #9
dan-ger
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Yeah I agree 4K seems way too cheap.. Make sure your mechanic does a thorough job
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:35 PM   #10
lingon300k
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Here, in New Jersey, assuming the car only has a few suspension issues but overall has no major mechanical problems, it would already be sold.

That price is way too low. I wouldn't trust anything about it. You need to check the car over thoroughly, including the paperwork.

Last edited by lingon300k; 11-16-2015 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:39 PM   #11
My325XI
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Pay for a BMW dealer or good Indy shop to do a pre-purchase inspection. Get any and all maintenance records possible.
One of my favorite sites is: ECSTuning.com Also, HuskerParts.com is great too for direct BMW OE parts.
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:57 AM   #12
dan-ger
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Might get my first BMW tomorrow, 03 330xi 5speed. Advice?

Also bavauto.com fcseuro.com etc there are a bunch.. Another is realoem.com

Here's a diy
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=630656

Also it cost about 350$ in parts

Last edited by dan-ger; 11-17-2015 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:08 PM   #13
John in VA
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Originally Posted by dan-ger View Post
Also bavauto.com fcseuro.com etc there are a bunch.. Another is realoem.com
Realoem.com is an online parts reference site only - they don't sell parts, and the prices shown are not the most accurate. BMWfans.info is another parts reference site.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:28 PM   #14
dan-ger
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Yeah you're right.. Plus I had a typo with fcseuro it should be fcp euro
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Old 11-17-2015, 04:15 PM   #15
TheHungryDev
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I got the VIN today, it seems to check out on CarFax. 2 Owners, no accidents. The VIN is WBAEW53483PG09381 in case anyone wants to look into it. I really appreciate the advice an info everyone, been very helpful.
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Old 11-17-2015, 04:22 PM   #16
dan-ger
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Yeah no problem I just didn't want to see you get stuck in a mess.. What a price for the car good find.. If you want to sell it I'll give you 5k right now
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Old 11-17-2015, 04:29 PM   #17
John in VA
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My Ride: 328i/325xi
Vehicle Identification Number WBAEW53483PG09381
Type EW53
Model 330xi - USA
Development Code E46 (4FL)
Chassis LIM
Steering LL
Doors 4
Engine M54
Displacement 3.00
Power 170
Drivetrain ALLR
Transmission MECH
Color Schwarz 2 - 668
Upholstery Standardleder/hellbeige 2 - ARBE
Production Plant REGENSBURG
Production Date 2002-09-03

203 All-wheel-drive System
240 Leather Steering Wheel
249 Multi-function For Steering Wheel
403 Glas Roof, Electric
431 Interior Rr Vw Mirror W Aut Anti-d I
438 Wood Trim
441 Smokers Package
459 Seat Adjustm., Electr. W. Memory
465 Through-load System
488 Lumbar Support Driver/front Passenger
494 Seat Heating F Driver/front Passenger
502 Headlight Washer System
521 Rain Sensor
534 Automatic Air Conditioning
640 Car Telephone Preparation
650 Cd Player
674 Hifi Loudspeaker System Harman Kardon
692 Cd Changer I-bus Preparation
818 Main Battery Switch
925 Shipping Protection Package
926 Spare Wheel

210 Dynamic Stability Control (dsc)
354 Green Stripe Windscreen
374 Lt/aly Wheels/radial Spoke 73
411 Window Lifts, Electric F
473 Armrest, Front
520 Foglights
550 On-board Computer
645 Radio Control US
661 Radio Bmw Business
823 Hot Climate Version
832 Battery In Luggage Compartment
845 Acoustic Belt Warning
853 Language Version English
876 Radio Frequency 315 Mhz
992 Number Plate Attachement Management
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'13 328i xDrive
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'03 530i
'02 325xi
'00 328i
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'85 535i
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Old 11-17-2015, 04:43 PM   #18
TheHungryDev
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Im extremely happy about the harman/kardon audio. sounds soooo good in my friends e46. Gonna look at this car tomorrow with my mechanic, really hoping whatever is wrong with it is just minor stuff.

Last edited by TheHungryDev; 11-17-2015 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 11-17-2015, 04:53 PM   #19
Rob43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHungryDev View Post
Im extremely happy about the harman/kardon audio. sounds soooo good in my friends e46. Gonna look at this car tomorrow with my mechanic, really hoping whatever is wrong with it is just minor stuff.
Compression Test.........



Rob43
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Rob #43 ITS/ITR/STU, BMW 325I, STU LAP RECORD
SUMMIT POINT WV 1:24:229 SCCA
(DynoDynamics https:vimeo.com/8486878 Dyno Video)
"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

I BUILD SUSPENSIONS (Consult) FROM MILD TO WILD FOR RWD & Xi E46's
Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerX View Post
Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
I Know How To Fix The Rear "Bouncing" Problem On Your Cheap Coilovers Like: Jom RL FK SE & RK.
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:43 PM   #20
lingon300k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob43 View Post
Compression Test.........



Rob43
Definitely. The price is too low and you're dealing with someone who is DIYing a control arm. Expect them to know how to conceal something. Go over the car very thoroughly.

I wouldn't be surprised if the coolant system is filled the stop leak, or the engine doesn't hold compression, or it's sludged, etc.

Compression test and look under the valve cover.
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