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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 08-05-2011, 09:18 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3
My Ride: 2004 330XI
Question 330xi Shocks and Struts

I just purchased a 2004 330xi from a private party. The car has 79k on it and the ride seems decent but i notice I feel the bumps a bit more than I should. When I bought the car the guy said everything was bone stock so I'm assuming he never replaced the shocks/struts. The questionI have is it time for Shocks/Struts to be replaced? If so what type/brand should I use and what should I expect to pay? Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:37 PM   #2
Fred The Puppy
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 40
My Ride: 330XI
The 330IX does have a stiff ride compared to many cars. I LIKE being able to feel the road. Have you driven other 330's? If not, maybe go 'test drive' a couple as a potential buyer to compare. Worn shocks usually result in a 'bouncier' ride, rather than a stiff one.

Regarding shocks, there is an interesting thread a few posts down: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=830014

I have had 4 BMW's: '88 735i, '94 5401, '98 328i, and '03 330IX. I average 20k miles/year. The '88 was the one I abused the most, finally scrapping it due to electrical gremlins at 254k miles. I had the others past 100k miles also; usually keep them until about 150k or so. The 330IX I have now is right at 117k.
I drive fairly aggressively, 75% expressway, and have NEVER needed to change shocks. Per BMW, I have also never rotated tires on any of the cars; BMW sez don't do it, because the front/rear setups are different on purpose, and the tires wear differently by design. Tires generally last 35-40k for me, but I could likely go much longer; I drive in rain a lot, and like good tread. I DID have some Yokohamas that only made 15k, but I'm pretty sure it was the tires, not the car.
No snow, and no potholes (haven't even seen one in at least 10 years) on Florida highways helps a lot, but I think the fact that I leave the cars alone, suspension-wise, is the key to the longevity of the components.

Hopefully, you'll get several different opinions in this thread. Read them all. Also, scroll or search this forum; there are lots of informative posts.

Some people like lowered cars, some like big wheels, and some just like to tinker and change parts. All of those things are fine. However, once you start fiddlin' with the suspension, you've changed the car, and things that originally worked as a unit can often fight each other.
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:03 PM   #3
Fred The Puppy
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 40
My Ride: 330XI
OH.. as for cost... this site from USNews can give you a ballpark range... parts and labor are broken down so you can more easily decide if you want to DIY.


Last edited by Fred The Puppy; 08-05-2011 at 08:04 PM. Reason: add link
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:05 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 1,292
My Ride: 2005 330xi
If you want a "cushy" ride, stay OEM.
'05 330xi - Koni, H&R, Rogue, Supersprint, UUC, Dinan, Apex
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