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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 02-17-2014, 11:50 AM   #1
bubela
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S54 xit swap

I purchased this wagon a couple weeks ago from an "as -is" 3 day ebay auction. Seller was a dealer about an hour from me, and his ratings were all positive. I didn't have time to check it out before bidding, but it didn't really matter. Pictures showed the cargo net, but was MIA at pick up. However.. so was the exhaust! hah As I drove out of the lot I felt like the rear shocks were also missing. (turns out: they were there, just shot) All in all, I am happy with the purchase.

I have grand plans for this car, so I went through it this weekend and replaced a few things. Bilsteins all around, and a 330xi front hub swap.



I didn't realize that I wouldn't be able to bolt the 16" wheels back on, so I had to put the only set of 17"+ wheels I had at the shop on the car.



Here's the 04 S54 on the floor, waiting. I need to have a pan fabricated to allow for the front wheel drive.



Last week we parted the 05 330xi 6spd that will eventually reside in the touring. The 330 exhaust is also now paired with the wagon.



In the mean time, I'll be driving it for the rest of the winter. Hopefully I'll have the pan done soon, and start figuring out what all is needed for the swap! This will be a pretty big project for me. I'm not in the business of doing these types of swaps, I'm a novice/hobbiest. Any direction/advice that anyone would like to share with me would be appreciated. (I'm terrible and slow with research ie 330 brake size knowledge)

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Old 02-18-2014, 09:38 AM   #2
SamDoe1
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What do you plan on using for the front diff and transfer case?
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:11 AM   #3
bubela
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I'll use the differential that's already in the car and the six speed and transfer case that is pictured above (from the 330xi)
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:48 AM   #4
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^ Hope Sam's Club carries E46 front diffs for your sake. You'll be blowing through them like crazy.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:07 PM   #5
bubela
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Good to know. I'll cross that bridge when I get there I suppose. I figure it will be a hindrance. Any suggestion on an upgrade?
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:29 PM   #6
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There's no upgrade other than a custom set up. Other option is to never launch it but what's the fun in that?
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:10 PM   #7
bubela
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I tend to learn the hard way. The ti is on its fourth engine
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:07 PM   #8
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I don't he will have any issues with the front diff. there are ton of XI'ers around the world that have ESS Stage II which is more HP than than a standard S54. He should be fine as long as her doesn't try to do dumb crap like dropping the clutch etc. The NV124 is a stout transfer case and he will be fine!

Joe
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:50 PM   #9
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I'll touch base with this thread over the years with updates of what's breaking and the power that eventually gets put down. If the xit is enough fun, it may some day replace the ti. However, I'm not trying to make it as fast as that...
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeattleLSB View Post
I don't he will have any issues with the front diff. there are ton of XI'ers around the world that have ESS Stage II which is more HP than than a standard S54. He should be fine as long as her doesn't try to do dumb crap like dropping the clutch etc. The NV124 is a stout transfer case and he will be fine!

Joe
It's not going to immediately blow up but that much extra power through an already weak link in the drivetrain isn't going to bode well in the long run especially with launches and if he decides to track the car.

I'm not worried about the t-case though.

I'd actually be overall shocked if this even works with the S54 fitting and bolting in place with all the Xi related components in the way.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:33 AM   #11
bubela
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
I'd actually be overall shocked if this even works with the S54 fitting and bolting in place with all the Xi related components in the way.
I'll make it work, don't worry.

Not that much in the way though, really.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:03 AM   #12
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ahah i buy parts from you on ebay this builds gonna be awesome!
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:31 AM   #13
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haha That's awesome. Thank you for your business! My partner and I both had bastardized 318ti's before we had Prussian Motors. Our hobby grew into the business.

I learned a lot during the process of making the ti in to what it is today. I'm sure the S54xit will be another big learning process! Hope to have it back on the road before next winter.

I contacted a couple welders in the area. I gave my business to an old guy with too many awesome stories. The one that sold me was that the welder he'll be using to weld the hybrid pan together is the same one that Caroll Shelby had when he was making the Cobras in the 60's. Love this old guy! If for some reason he doesn't do a good job, I have another pair of pans. I'll be giving them to a different guy in NJ that I've met along the forced-induction way.
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Last edited by bubela; 02-20-2014 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:09 AM   #14
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Well I think of all the people on here who have said they were going to do this, I can safely say that you're the best prepared and most likely to do so without spending 100k like someone else did.

Best of luck and I look forward to following along with the process.

Last edited by SamDoe1; 02-20-2014 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:27 AM   #15
bubela
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I saw a shop in NYC did the swap recently. Also.. is it twinturboS54 that did the custom $100k+ build? He hasn't divulged much on it. There's also a shop about 45 minutes from me that did an S54 swap into an X5. I may ask them for some advice in a pinch. Though, I'd rather not bug them.

I'm sure there will be bumps along the way, but good things come to those who wait, right? I'm just enjoying the wagon. This is my third 5spd xit. (have my second for sale btw) The e39 M5 was probably the nicest driving car I've ever owned, but this is second. My plan/hope is to make this touring the best all around driving experience I've ever had!
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:23 AM   #16
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Is this car missing the rear wiper? It looks familiar.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:07 AM   #17
bubela
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Yes it is. Please don't tell me this was once a Jersey car..
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:20 AM   #18
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Worried about Sandy? I'm pretty sure it was always from PA. It belonged to a member on here for a little while.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:29 AM   #19
bubela
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No, it was a joke about New Jersey in general. Well, I'm glad to have this back on the forum for the transformation. Definitely plan on loving this car.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:34 AM   #20
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Ahh yes, the Jersey jokes! I don't know for sure this is the same car but the the lack of rear wiper makes me pretty certain it is. It used to have an air suspension. The member was named bagged_touring and may or may not have had the underscore in the name.
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