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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 09-17-2016, 10:29 AM   #21
apseagle
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Other than suspension, the rest of the car is stock, all the way down to the exhaust. 2002 325Xi, 5 speed manual. While the original owner was anal about maintenance, there were things that were just due to be addressed. The primary being suspension. I also fully serviced the chassis with the fluids I prefer, removed the clutch hydraulic restriction, bled all the brake and clutch systems and replaced the leather on the front two seats due to some wear and one seam that split. Now that mechanicals are done I will address some of the fluff. Tinting the windows, getting a tad more sound from the exhaust, and then the audio system. Just having fun with her.
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:40 AM   #22
whitetailhntr
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Originally Posted by apseagle View Post
Other than suspension, the rest of the car is stock, all the way down to the exhaust. 2002 325Xi, 5 speed manual. While the original owner was anal about maintenance, there were things that were just due to be addressed. The primary being suspension. I also fully serviced the chassis with the fluids I prefer, removed the clutch hydraulic restriction, bled all the brake and clutch systems and replaced the leather on the front two seats due to some wear and one seam that split. Now that mechanicals are done I will address some of the fluff. Tinting the windows, getting a tad more sound from the exhaust, and then the audio system. Just having fun with her.


The 2.5 have enough "go" to justify a suspension setup? Don't take that the wrong way just seems like the hp/torque isn't there to want to make that model a pavement grabber. You mentioned a few other cars you have had in the past that's why I had to ask why a 2.5l equipped version? FYI I own a 325 so not bashing.


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Old 09-18-2016, 01:28 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by whitetailhntr View Post
The 2.5 have enough "go" to justify a suspension setup? Don't take that the wrong way just seems like the hp/torque isn't there to want to make that model a pavement grabber. You mentioned a few other cars you have had in the past that's why I had to ask why a 2.5l equipped version? FYI I own a 325 so not bashing.


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Honest question. I dont think you are bashing at all.

I have owned, and witnessed many low hp cars completely destroy high horsepower ones on road courses. I caused many a 911 owner to shrug when I showed up to an event in my 944 if the course was tight. Many times low HP cars are much more challenging and fun to drive because it forces the driver to get the most out of the car, maximizing cornering speeds, getting their timing right, carrying momentum rather than having HP to cover their mistakes. Why do you think the spec Miata class is so popular?

But go back to the original post, this is not being set up as an extreme corner carver. I do want it's cornering prowess to improve over stock, but this is a daily driver. It will probably not be driven in anger but a few times a year.

Why a 325? Again, good question. Sure, I would have loved a 330Xi, but it came down to opportunity. I knew the previous, and only owner of the car very well. I worked with him for 12 years. He ordered it new, to his specs, and then proceeded to take care of the car very well for 200k miles. We had lunch a couple of months ago and said he was ready for a new one, I made him an offer, he accepted, deal done. This car is beautiful inside and out. Fully loaded, 5 speed, sport and premium options, Bi-Xenons, etc.etc.etc.... Full stack of receipts for everything ever done to the car. Had all the E46 issues addressed in the last 10k miles (cooling, VCG, OFHG, CCV, Alternator, etc.) And I picked it up for $2500. I was not about to complain.

So that is why I am the proud owner of Bee, my little 325.

To be completely honest. She feels a lot faster than the rated HP would indicate. Maybe it is the 5 speed so there is minimal drive train loss. Maybe it is that she was cared for so well. I dont know. But in the mountains, she has plenty of power to get from apex to apex. She cruises on the freeways at our posted 80mph speed limits like it is a Sunday drive to the market. I love her and am completely happy with the opportunity to enjoy her.

Good questions, have a great day.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:32 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by apseagle View Post
Honest question. I dont think you are bashing at all.



I have owned, and witnessed many low hp cars completely destroy high horsepower ones on road courses. I caused many a 911 owner to shrug when I showed up to an event in my 944 if the course was tight. Many times low HP cars are much more challenging and fun to drive because it forces the driver to get the most out of the car, maximizing cornering speeds, getting their timing right, carrying momentum rather than having HP to cover their mistakes. Why do you think the spec Miata class is so popular?



But go back to the original post, this is not being set up as an extreme corner carver. I do want it's cornering prowess to improve over stock, but this is a daily driver. It will probably not be driven in anger but a few times a year.



Why a 325? Again, good question. Sure, I would have loved a 330Xi, but it came down to opportunity. I knew the previous, and only owner of the car very well. I worked with him for 12 years. He ordered it new, to his specs, and then proceeded to take care of the car very well for 200k miles. We had lunch a couple of months ago and said he was ready for a new one, I made him an offer, he accepted, deal done. This car is beautiful inside and out. Fully loaded, 5 speed, sport and premium options, Bi-Xenons, etc.etc.etc.... Full stack of receipts for everything ever done to the car. Had all the E46 issues addressed in the last 10k miles (cooling, VCG, OFHG, CCV, Alternator, etc.) And I picked it up for $2500. I was not about to complain.



So that is why I am the proud owner of Bee, my little 325.



To be completely honest. She feels a lot faster than the rated HP would indicate. Maybe it is the 5 speed so there is minimal drive train loss. Maybe it is that she was cared for so well. I dont know. But in the mountains, she has plenty of power to get from apex to apex. She cruises on the freeways at our posted 80mph speed limits like it is a Sunday drive to the market. I love her and am completely happy with the opportunity to enjoy her.



Good questions, have a great day.


Great response thank you.


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Old 09-19-2016, 12:24 PM   #25
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I did not get a chance to push the car like I wanted to this weekend. Too much traffic. I did take a nice long drive in the country though on Saturday night. I played with the adjustments and I settled on 1/4 turn to stiff on the Koni's and click number 2 on the Rob43 rear shocks. Very firm, yet still absorbs rough pavement well. What corners I did throw her into she took without any fuss.

An issue I did have last week has been resolved. Talking with Rob I think it was with the strut bearings I chose. I chose Fibi/Bilstein strut bearings. The car would hang on right turns, not easily returning to center. I found that the drop hats were rubbing on the strut bearing outer flange and hanging up. I added a spacer between the two eliminating the problem. In my infinite wisdom, I compensated for the spacer by removing the upper rubber damper between the spring top and drop hat so that the ride height would remain the same. This has caused a noise issue going over rough pavement. There is just enough movement between the spring and drop hat that I feel the damper is needed, so I will be putting it back in this week. Others who chose the Lemfoder bearings did not have this issue.

Very pleased with the drivability, looks and performance of this package.

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Old 09-20-2016, 11:59 AM   #26
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How's the drive ability compared to a rear wheel drive version? If you have any experience with rw 325s


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Old 09-20-2016, 12:16 PM   #27
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The only RWD BMW I owned was a 750il. Way too big and focused on comfort to be comparable. But it did have an incredible V12 engine.

But, I can compare it to other RWD performance cars I have owned, all Porsches. I really felt that the AWD system would make the car feel much heavier and softer in corners vs. rear wheel drive. While it is different, I do not think the difference is as pronounced as I had thought it would be.

There is no doubt that a properly set up RWD car would be more flickable from corner to corner. Due to less driveline loss it would be a touch faster as well. The AWD feels a tad lazy, for lack of a better term in comparison to RWD. But I can not argue the success of the Subaru WRX's on the auto cross track, and they are AWD.

That said, these differences are really minor. If I was looking for a track weapon, I would go RWD. Every day usability in all 4 seasons, AWD wins for me.

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Old 09-20-2016, 04:46 PM   #28
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The only RWD BMW I owned was a 750il. Way too big and focused on comfort to be comparable. But it did have an incredible V12 engine.



But, I can compare it to other RWD performance cars I have owned, all Porsches. I really felt that the AWD system would make the car feel much heavier and softer in corners vs. rear wheel drive. While it is different, I do not think the difference is as pronounced as I had thought it would be.



There is no doubt that a properly set up RWD car would be more flickable from corner to corner. Due to less driveline loss it would be a touch faster as well. The AWD feels a tad lazy, for lack of a better term in comparison to RWD. But I can not argue the success of the Subaru WRX's on the auto cross track, and they are AWD.



That said, these differences are really minor. If I was looking for a track weapon, I would go RWD. Every day usability in all 4 seasons, AWD wins for me.


Thank you for the reply I'm actually looking to upgrade right now and torn between all-wheel-drive and rear wheel drive. Both 03s


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Old 09-20-2016, 04:49 PM   #29
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If you will be driving all year, and in snow, buy the Xi. If it will be a fair weather car, opt for the RWD. Just my opinion, your mileage may vary.
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Old 09-20-2016, 06:29 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by whitetailhntr View Post
How's the drive ability compared to a rear wheel drive version? If you have any experience with rw 325s


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I own both so this is a pretty easy question.

The XI vs my ZHP, the XI is noticeably heavier. When throwing it around a corner you can feel the extra weight. It reacts like a RWD car which is great but will tend to plow a bit more in corners. The XI is also more forgiving when in a corner, so a novice driver is less likely to lose control or the car.
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ZHP Mods: JB Lightweight fly wheel (10.5 pounds), Koni FSD ProKit, Supreme Power Drop Hats, Hotchkis front(30.2mm)/rear(25.4mm) sway bars, Sprint Booster, AFE Stage 1 Intake, Morimoto EvoX-R Headlights, Orion V4 Angel Eyes, Satin Black 18x9 ET42 APEX ARC-8 Wheel

330xi Mods:Front Koni Yellow Struts and Rob43 Rear 9 Way adjustable Rear Dampers,Custom Sport Springs,Supreme Power Drop Hats,ZHP 5 speed shift knob

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Old 09-20-2016, 06:30 PM   #31
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"Have your cake" suspension review

What's the Zhp package include?


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Old 09-20-2016, 07:06 PM   #32
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What's the Zhp package include?


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More aggressive Cam's which raises the car's HP to 235 vs 225
6800 red line vs 6500 on a standard 330i
Limited to 155 mph vs 128
3.07 on a manual 3.64 on auto. (Standard 330i was 2.93 on a manual and 3.38 on a auto)
Style 135 wheels
Mech II styling package (Different Front and rear bumper and side skits)
Upgraded Control arms (solid ball joins), The spring rate was slightly increased I believe (but only a little it)
Black or Siliver Cub trim interior
Alcantara seats (not optioned on my car)
Alcantara Shift boot and emergany brake boot
M Style Alcantara wheel (not optioned on my car)
Red needles on the main cluster vs white
Imola red was an optional color

I think I listed everything.
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ZHP Mods: JB Lightweight fly wheel (10.5 pounds), Koni FSD ProKit, Supreme Power Drop Hats, Hotchkis front(30.2mm)/rear(25.4mm) sway bars, Sprint Booster, AFE Stage 1 Intake, Morimoto EvoX-R Headlights, Orion V4 Angel Eyes, Satin Black 18x9 ET42 APEX ARC-8 Wheel

330xi Mods:Front Koni Yellow Struts and Rob43 Rear 9 Way adjustable Rear Dampers,Custom Sport Springs,Supreme Power Drop Hats,ZHP 5 speed shift knob
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:18 PM   #33
whitetailhntr
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Originally Posted by zander271 View Post
More aggressive Cam's which raises the car's HP to 235 vs 225

6800 red line vs 6500 on a standard 330i

Limited to 155 mph vs 128

3.07 on a manual 3.64 on auto. (Standard 330i was 2.93 on a manual and 3.38 on a auto)

Style 135 wheels

Mech II styling package (Different Front and rear bumper and side skits)

Upgraded Control arms (solid ball joins), The spring rate was slightly increased I believe (but only a little it)

Black or Siliver Cub trim interior

Alcantara seats (not optioned on my car)

Alcantara Shift boot and emergany brake boot

M Style Alcantara wheel (not optioned on my car)

Red needles on the main cluster vs white

Imola red was an optional color



I think I listed everything.


Not available in the 325i ?


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Old 09-20-2016, 07:47 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by whitetailhntr View Post
Not available in the 325i ?


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Nope
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ZHP Mods: JB Lightweight fly wheel (10.5 pounds), Koni FSD ProKit, Supreme Power Drop Hats, Hotchkis front(30.2mm)/rear(25.4mm) sway bars, Sprint Booster, AFE Stage 1 Intake, Morimoto EvoX-R Headlights, Orion V4 Angel Eyes, Satin Black 18x9 ET42 APEX ARC-8 Wheel

330xi Mods:Front Koni Yellow Struts and Rob43 Rear 9 Way adjustable Rear Dampers,Custom Sport Springs,Supreme Power Drop Hats,ZHP 5 speed shift knob
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:49 PM   #35
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Not available in the 325i ?

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This would be a good time for you to do some more research.... Lots of great info out there on this subject just waiting for you to discover it.



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"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

I BUILD SUSPENSIONS (Consult) FROM MILD TO WILD FOR RWD & Xi E46's
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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 09-20-2016, 09:00 PM   #36
whitetailhntr
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This would be a good time for you to do some more research.... Lots of great info out there on this subject just waiting for you to discover it.



Rob43


The problem is that there's no one place to get the info, I've looked. You will find everything you need to know about an m3 in one spot and nothing about the 325xi. The combination of extras and models that BMWs came in is mind boggling. And that's just the E46s I've been looking into. Take today for instance, I drove a 325i 4 door that had the sport package with all electric seats. I was thinking the sport package only came in manual seats and in coupes. Also to find any 330 in my area to look over and check the differences is near impossible there all 2.5 and bellow.


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Old 09-20-2016, 09:45 PM   #37
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You need to dive in, they're plenty of online sources if you look.

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourcei...w%20e46%20wiki

Understand that we are Off Topic concerning this threads content/review, so if you have anymore questions please post them
in the General sub forum.



Good luck,
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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.

Last edited by Rob43; 09-20-2016 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:51 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by apseagle View Post
After spending quite a bit of time on the phone with Rob43 where he really listened to how I was going to use my car and what I was wanting out of it, he recommended going ahead with his "have your cake and eat it too" suspension package. I took about 4 weeks to round up the parts to get it done. Today was the day.

First thing I did was to take some measurements from center of the wheel to the arch to see how much I drop with the package. I ended up with a 7/8" drop. This is without putting a single mile on the car. It will settle a tad more over the next couple of weeks or so.

After:


Sorry about the lighting and shadows. It took me about 6 hours to get it done taking my time. I also replaced the FLCAB with Powerflex units.
I will be updating this thread over the next few days as I drive it. Right now I have all 4 shocks on their softest settings. I have a full alignment scheduled for Monday morning at 8.

The stock shocks had 202,118 miles on them and were not leaking at all. Of course, they had no nitrogen charge left to push the oil out. The control arm bushings were ready to be replaced, but honestly, could have gone longer.

I will post my first actual driving review Monday.
Your xi looks great, i want one! I like your review alot because you understand how suspensions work, keep up the great work
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:33 PM   #39
apseagle
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Your xi looks great, i want one! I like your review alot because you understand how suspensions work, keep up the great work
Thank you. I own a business that builds custom motorcycle suspensions for adventure touring and dual sport motorcycles. The "concepts" are all the same. Rob43 is a fantastic resource and he has done his homework to set up a package that works really well with the Xi's. You can read his thread here:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1088219

Thanks for the compliment on the car. I love it so far.
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Old 10-07-2016, 01:01 PM   #40
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So is there a parts list for this suspension upgrade?
It would be very helpful.

Loving this!
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