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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 06-16-2015, 06:52 PM   #1
Mless5
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Mass
Posts: 15
My Ride: 540i6
New owner - 01 325xi

Hello,

I am a new owner of e46 that I have picked up to replace e36 that my wife is driving. I have picked up this white/tan sedan on local CL for a song, but it needs some work and I am fine with it. 117K miles on it, it drives pretty nice, no abnormal sounds from suspension, engine and transmission seem to be in good working order. It does need a lot of spit and buff so to speak. Here is what I plan to do off the bat (before more intimate inspection) before putting it on the road and I have a few questions listed below.

1. Valve cover gasket (OE), spark plugs (NGK) and VANOS seals possibly (no abnormal noises from VANOS).
2. CCV kit?
3. All filters throughout
4. Look into brakes, definitely will need front rotors - I may do all rotors and pads: I had good luck with Powerstop kits at Rockauto and they are only $180 for everything.
5. Car will need an alignment, may do tie rod ends before that and check suspension in general while there. Car drove good, but it would be pointless to do an alignment if bushes/ball joints are past due.
6. Car needs tires, but I do have a set and here is my question:

I have a set of 17x8.5 contour replicas, ET 43 I believe - will these fit without modification or would I need spacer(s)?. Have 225/45/17 & 245/40/17 set, is that ok to run on awd or should I swap 2 for a square set?

I look forward to reading DIY/common problems sections here and search in general - wealth of info here!
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Old 06-16-2015, 07:25 PM   #2
tomoyer
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Reading, Pennsylvania
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My Ride: 03 325xi, 01 325xi
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I do not believe that you will need a set of spacers to use those 17x8.5 wheels. I didn't look it up, but if the overall diameter of the 225/45/17 and the 245/40/17 are the same of only a couple of percent different, no problem, BUT if they are very different (and I feel for the xi, the best tire/wheel set up is square), you will have to square it up. A big plus to a square set up is that you can rotate the tires and get maximum mileage out of them and you don't have a problem if you occur a flat on the road.
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:05 PM   #3
Mless5
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Mass
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My Ride: 540i6
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomoyer View Post
I do not believe that you will need a set of spacers to use those 17x8.5 wheels. I didn't look it up, but if the overall diameter of the 225/45/17 and the 245/40/17 are the same of only a couple of percent different, no problem, BUT if they are very different (and I feel for the xi, the best tire/wheel set up is square), you will have to square it up. A big plus to a square set up is that you can rotate the tires and get maximum mileage out of them and you don't have a problem if you occur a flat on the road.

Thanks for your input.

When you mention square setup being the best option, is this in regards to handling/balance or is it purely to keep AWD systems in check?

Also, what's the story with xi as far as tire wear goes? I feel like the car needs to be aligned anyway, should I go for stock alignment spec? Does the car like to chew tires? I am new to awd BMW, please, provide some input.

As a side note, tackled VCGs that were hard as plastic - no wonder they leaked. Replaced spark plugs while there. The ones that came out were labeled NGK/BMW so they probably were original to the car (117K). All tips looked similar in terms of condition/wear - nothing abnormal. Plug wells were surprisingly dry.

Thank you.

Last edited by Mless5; 06-22-2015 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:32 AM   #4
Mless5
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Mass
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My Ride: 540i6
Got the pissy valve cover gasket done - no wonder it leaked - it was plastic hard! Changed plugs as well, NGK/BMW is what came out and they all looked to be in same shape. Put in NGKs as well. I was pleasantly surprised when I took the cover off, I expected it to be a sludge fest, but instead it looked pretty damn clean. I did clean the cover itself from the inside, there was some normal build up there. Brakes arrived from RockAuto - that will be next in the list.





Last edited by Mless5; 06-27-2015 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:32 AM   #5
Scuzone
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My Ride: 2005 325xit
Sweet!
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:02 AM   #6
White_Knuckles
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Location: Washington (the state)
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Hmm, you seem like a guy that gets needed stuff done and is not afraid of wrenchin'. Checkout the cooling system rebuild posts and add a complete refreshing to your list ahead of the CCV. The first deal is understanding a 70K system is urgently ready for a swap out. The fresh components are preventative from a classic engine damaging blow-out. This system is a major weak link with the E46. The fix is so popular the vendors offer kits with all the needed goodies. Read up as the blow-out blues can be prevented and is not bad at all to DIY.
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Old 07-10-2015, 04:29 PM   #7
Mless5
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Mass
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Thanks. I have some records of cooling system work ~20K ago, but I think I will start saving $ for that just in case.
Did the brakes all around, front sway bar link, rear links should be in today - wanted to do them while springs are out, it looks much easier that way. CCV parts have been ordered as well.

Picked up in dash CD, un-scratched cubby and a panel with heated seat buttons + pig tail at the breakers yard for short $. Also got some brushed aluminum vinyl to cover gold looking trim - I think it would look much better with silver trim. Hunting for good power/heated seats and heated steering wheel now.
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:28 AM   #8
Mless5
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Mass
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My Ride: 540i6
Found out that even though back wheels fit ok, front ones will need a small spacer. Could've gotten away with 5mm I think, but ordered 7mm knowing my luck.
The car is back from the body shop where they repaired some rust around rear wheel arch lip and gas tank door along with rear bumper.
Seems like I may need a rack or a pump though
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