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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 08-05-2016, 02:19 PM   #1
Rtcoleman
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 32
My Ride: '05 e46 330xi
New Suspension - What to do at the same time?

So, collective wisdom of the xi group, I am replacing the suspension the week after next (all is original except one tie rod end, but I'm doing that one too).

Once I'm in there and have everything off the car, is there anything else I should replace while I'm at it?

(and before you ask, no, I'm not lowering it!)

Thanks in advance!
Bob
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Old 08-05-2016, 03:13 PM   #2
Kubica
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Boston
Posts: 4,906
My Ride: 2003 325xi
It would cost many thousands of dollars to replace the entire suspension. Start with rear shocks, mounts, gaskets, and spring pads. Front struts, pinch bolts, spring pads, mounts. Do that stuff first as you won't be duplicating much labor to continue with....

Fcabs, rtabs, front sway bar links, and tierods are the next step. Front control arms and inner ball joints if they need it. Look at the sway bar bushings and rear sway links too.
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Old 08-05-2016, 09:05 PM   #3
Rtcoleman
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Location: Denver, CO
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My Ride: '05 e46 330xi
Unfortunately for my wallet, doing all that stuff. FCABs are completely shot, end links & tie rod ends are shot, etc etc. Luckily I'll only be paying a shop to press some bushings.

I forgot, rear springs and spring pads were done 20k & 3 years ago. Springs were broken.

Is there anything non-suspension related I should tackle? Along the lines of "may as well replace the rear seat nitrogen intercooler hoses since you can only get to the connectors if the sway bar end link mounting bolt is removed"
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:35 AM   #4
BMW WHP
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Washington
Posts: 201
My Ride: 01 330Ci w/ stick
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtcoleman View Post
Unfortunately for my wallet, doing all that stuff. FCABs are completely shot, end links & tie rod ends are shot, etc etc. Luckily I'll only be paying a shop to press some bushings.

I forgot, rear springs and spring pads were done 20k & 3 years ago. Springs were broken.

Is there anything non-suspension related I should tackle? Along the lines of "may as well replace the rear seat nitrogen intercooler hoses since you can only get to the connectors if the sway bar end link mounting bolt is removed"
Here are a few links with useful info.

poly fcabs
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1000825

Xi suspension, tho some of this info is out of date
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=986932

i know you said no lowering but there's good info here with lots of great pictures
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1088219

Sent you a pm
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:42 PM   #5
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtcoleman View Post
Unfortunately for my wallet, doing all that stuff. FCABs are completely shot, end links & tie rod ends are shot, etc etc. Luckily I'll only be paying a shop to press some bushings.

I forgot, rear springs and spring pads were done 20k & 3 years ago. Springs were broken.

Is there anything non-suspension related I should tackle? Along the lines of "may as well replace the rear seat nitrogen intercooler hoses since you can only get to the connectors if the sway bar end link mounting bolt is removed"
Yeah you replace the shock mounts, spring pads, and hardware. Figure out if you need control arms before you do fcabs. Use powerflex bushings where available. Not much "while you're in there" stuff here-it's not an Audi.
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Old 08-07-2016, 07:14 AM   #6
jim9418
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Cincinnati OH
Posts: 264
My Ride: 2003 330xi Automatic
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtcoleman View Post
So, collective wisdom of the xi group, I am replacing the suspension the week after next (all is original except one tie rod end, but I'm doing that one too).

Once I'm in there and have everything off the car, is there anything else I should replace while I'm at it?

(and before you ask, no, I'm not lowering it!)

Thanks in advance!
Bob
Not sure if this would be considered "non suspension" but.... I think it would be a great time to clean and inspect all of your CV boots very well. Make sure all the clamps are nice and snug and there are no holes or cracks in the boots.

If you haven't already done it, and if the car is going to be on a lift it would also be a good time to check or replace the four totally rusted up exhaust bolts and put in some new gaskets. I'm referring to the connection at the bottom end of the factory headers to the first exhaust pipe

It kind of goes without saying too. Brake system inspection.
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:41 AM   #7
Kubica
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^lol there's a first....replacing exhaust bolts while doing suspension work. Post is annoying. Tough to do major suspension work without looking at brakes or axles.
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:28 AM   #8
jim9418
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Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
^lol there's a first....replacing exhaust bolts while doing suspension work. Post is annoying. Tough to do major suspension work without looking at brakes or axles.
Really sorry my post was annoying to you. (seriously.. not trying to be a smart butt) Just trying to help a brother out. OP asked "Once I'm in there and have everything off the car, is there anything else I should replace while I'm at it?". If the car was up on a lift and you didn't think to check those bolts, would be a kick in the groin to have to go back in and replace later. Just saying, if it's already on a lift, why not right?
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Last edited by jim9418; 08-07-2016 at 09:31 AM.
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