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Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > E46 Xi Forum

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 12-21-2010, 07:15 PM   #1
anthonyjrc
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Xi retrofit to Ci

Hey guys,

Before I begin, I live in the UK so buying an Xi isnt an option. I have recently moved to a small country village and have run into an issue, the snow is causing a real issue, I have snow tires but it needs the extra grip. I understand the gravity of this and have plenty of experience rebuilding cars so i'm happy to have this as a project even if there isnt a massive gain.

so what i need to know is:
DSC is this going to be a real show stopper?
will a Ci rear diff be okay with the Xi drivetrain?
and finnaly what do I need and what can I keep?

X5 parts are easy to get hold so if there is anything interchangable it would be good, mainly thinking about gearbox and transfer box here.

Parts list i think is as follows:
Gearbox?
transfer box
shorter Xi rear propshaft
front propshaft
330Xi oil pan
330Xi engine mounts
both front driveshafts
front differential
font stuts
front hubs
front control arms

If anyone has any ideas or has attempted this before let me know. At this stage I am just working out is this is financially viable as all parts that cannot be sourced from the X5 (if any) will need to come from the other side of the pond! my budget is probably around 1-2K i think
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:36 PM   #2
MINIz guy
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XI's have a different transmission tunnel and floorpan. Good luck trying to fit a transfercase into your coupe's layout.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:45 PM   #3
Kubica
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It's not going to happen for a couple thousand quid.

You'd need a whole front subframe and would have to modify the floor to get things to fit, for starters.

What kind of snow tires do you have? Are you sure they aren't all-season tires? Buy some studded Nokian Hakkapeliittas and I personally guarantee you will be able to drive anywhere in Buckinghamshire in your ci all winter.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:55 PM   #4
White_Knuckles
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Don't know how or if they tax you for multiple vehicles but you could pick up a 4-wheel drive, beater with a heater for under 2K. Park that coupe for the season and hit the roads in your Mad Max snow shredder. If you crash and burn or she croaks, pull the plates and the VIN and leave her where she sits. That would be the yankee solution to this.
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:58 PM   #5
anthonyjrc
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Damn! didn't know the floor plans were different thats a real spanner in the works! knew about the subframe...just forgot it off the list. Not sure exactly about the tyres, there nankangs of some discription. unfortunaltely a second car is a no go as i have no where to store it.

Is the issue with the floor getting the transfer box to fit or more than that?

Cheers for the replies. Ant
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:24 PM   #6
Kubica
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Originally Posted by anthonyjrc View Post
nankangs
There's your problem right there.

End of story.
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:44 AM   #7
GCoop
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Chaeper to have one shipped to your door than trying to cobble one up.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:39 AM   #8
anthonyjrc
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Ok so i have been looking at the floor pan differences and i'm not sure its 100% ruled it out, either a big sledge hammer or a bit of a cut and weld may get it to fit, the subframe and transfer box mounting I dont think would be too bad to fabricate up. But, I just read that the x drive isnt static distribution, apparently its only 38-62 since that what the software defaults to and the DSC has the ability to then alter this from 50:50 to 0:100 this is now the biggest issue since electrics aren't a particular strength of mine! if it defaults to one of the extreems when unplugged i'm either going to render the whole process pointless and it still be RWD or ruin the handling with a 50:50 split. anybody able to shed any light on this?

Also, dont worry guys, I obviously wasn't clear, I love an interesting project, so this is more to do with doing something diffent to my car as it is a performance benefit. I will have a look into better snow tyres but the Nokians are coming in at £1000 a set!

As for importing a car that is definately not an option, saloon,LHD Tax insurance ect. plus I have done so much work to my car already I dont want to exchange it.

Ant
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:15 AM   #9
SamDoe1
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You are confusing x drive with xi, the xi has no ability to alter torque/power split. It is ALWAYS 68 back 32 front no matter what. I really think you are under estimating the amount of work and fabrication is needed to make this happen especially in going from a RWD coupe, which was never offered in xi, to AWD. And "a big hammer" is not going to solve the problem. If you want an xi, buy a new car. It will be substantially cheaper than what you are looking to do. Heck, even new tires will be substantially cheaper than swapping an xi drive train into a coupe. Not to mention that, in USD, the parts you're looking at are WAY over $2000. Probably more in the $5k to $6k range. So with that said, I will leave you with this.

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Old 12-22-2010, 12:07 PM   #10
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I think you'll also run into issues as the DSC system is different on Xi models.

The engine carrier/front subframe is entirely different, I'm not sure it'll bolt up to a RWD body.

Also the Xi was never sold as a RHD model, again I'm going to assume there would be issues with the steering rack/suspension that precluded this.

All in all OP, it seems like a major hassle for pretty minimal gains. I've lived in a snowy part of the US my whole life, and the Xi is my first 4wd car. I managed just fine with RWD and snow tires for the better part of 10 years.

I'm not sure that they are sold branded as such in the UK, but I have a set of General Altimax arctic tires fitted. Loads cheaper than nokians, made in germany by continental, so definitely not junk. Their performance on hard packed snow/ice is better than any other tire I've used.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:51 PM   #11
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
You are confusing x drive with xi, the xi has no ability to alter torque/power split. It is ALWAYS 68 back 32 front no matter what.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that understands this anymore!

It's the best part about the xi AWD system.
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:42 AM   #12
feddomw
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Why can't you get an xi?

They were available in mainland EU. I just bought a 325xi Touring. 2001, 100,000mi, sport seats, xenon, nav, the whole nine yards. Cost GBP4500.

You can drive it home yourself from anywhere in the EU, and there is no problem with VAT or the likes, as you do not need to pay that.

And the best part, you can have all the "fun" you are looking to have by switching the car from LHD to RHD! And it will be easier and cheaper than the Xi retrofit.

Last edited by feddomw; 12-23-2010 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:53 AM   #13
anthonyjrc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
You are confusing x drive with xi, the xi has no ability to alter torque/power split. It is ALWAYS 68 back 32 front no matter what. I really think you are under estimating the amount of work and fabrication is needed to make this happen especially in going from a RWD coupe, which was never offered in xi, to AWD. And "a big hammer" is not going to solve the problem. If you want an xi, buy a new car. It will be substantially cheaper than what you are looking to do. Heck, even new tires will be substantially cheaper than swapping an xi drive train into a coupe. Not to mention that, in USD, the parts you're looking at are WAY over $2000. Probably more in the $5k to $6k range. So with that said, I will leave you with this.

Ok I thought the Xi used the X-Drive system thats good. as for underestimating the work i'm really not, i'm fully aware that fabrication will be needed and it will not simply 'bolt up'.

I'm not going to list what i've done but cutting stuff up, welding it and fabrication doesn't particularly worry me. If this does go ahead I will be buying a replacement car for probably 6 months while I work on it.

I have no intention of buying the parts new and have found someone selling for $1500 individually so should get a bit off if I buy everything so as long as shipping isn't too crazy it should be on my doorstep for under £2000

The DSC would be an issue I think but I normally turn it off when I drive so just as long as it doesn;t put me in limp home mode or something like that i'm not too bothered. the steering rack is the same casing from what I can tell its just got less travel due to the front CV joints so I dont think there will be any big issues with that.

Ant
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:18 PM   #14
olinjohnston
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Nearly nothing from an X5's AWD system will work in an e46 coupe. The transfer case on an X5 is chain-driven, whereas an e46 uses a gear-driven one due to size constraints. Even still, it bulges through the floor as it is. You are totally wasting your time even considering this.
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:13 PM   #15
Black Stig
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That is alot of work that might not even pay off. Go for a winter beater, old Audi or something. Or studded Nokians, those swedes can make some tires. OR build a sled and capture all of the neighborhood dogs.
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:10 PM   #16
bigdog2003_99
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the actual transmission tunnel is noticeably wider on an xi also, already though of trying to swap an awd setup for a winter coupe
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:05 AM   #17
mujjuman
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would be a fun project but not practical financially. you are way better off spending teh 1000 quid for snow tires

and wtf i thought snow tires were cheaper than all seasons?
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