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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 04-14-2016, 11:39 PM   #1
Tippey764
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Rockville, MD
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My Ride: 2004 BMW m3
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s54 xi Touring Swap

So enough talk and skepticism, I placed an order on an s54 swap today and i'm about to begin the swap into my 2002 325xi.

Currently my wagon has an m54b30 and a 6 speed from a 03+ 330xi.

The donor car is this 2003 M3 with 78k that was hit in the side. It appears to be a 1 owner car with all of the maintenance records









Current plan

-S54b32 engine
-e46 XI oil pan ( yes it fits, the oil pan gasket is the same part number between s54 and m54 )
-m50 Oil pump + s54 oil pump sprocket. ( you might be thinking an m50 oil pump can't hold up to an s50 but you would be wrong, BMW themselves used the m50 oil pump on the euro S50, the only difference is the sprocket on the pump )
-Likely a custom oil pickup tube as I will need a hybrid between the xi pickup tube and the m50 oil pump
-AN fitting tapped into right side of the oil pan for cylinder head oil return line
-e46 xi motor mount arms ( there appears to be all the mounting holes on the s54 block to mount these arms
-Exhaust will likely just be made to fit the rest of the xi exhaust.

Drivetrain
-Undecided between two clutch setups, Either a full 330xi clutch setup or an Z4M clutch setup. The Z4m uses the same 6 speed transmission as the 330 with the ZF 6 speed
-My current 330xi 6 speed transmission
-A 3.46 gear set with non M tire sizes is within 1% of overall speed in each gear as the M3 is with the 3.62
-Possibly a 3.64 or 3.91 if the x3 front differential fits an xi
-All stock driveshafts
-Stock front axles

Everything else in the swap should be the same as a RWD model for the top half of the engine bay.

Any questions or thoughts on my rough parts list?


Wagon receiving the engine

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Old 04-15-2016, 07:15 AM   #2
matt270avian
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Keymar
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I would stick with the 3.46 gears if you plan to daily it. The stock 5 speed (3.07?) already drives me nuts at ~80mph, not sure how much a 6 speed would improve upon that. I will gladly come help you though! I'm about 30-45 away from Rockville (Frederick area). Did an engine swap in an MR2 and tons of suspension and wiring work on a handful of cars, really interested to see how much of a pain the S54 would be to cram into an xi.

Do you plan on headers, air pump delete, or anything like that?

Not sure what years affected the M3, but I would check out the crank bearings and do every seal/gasket that you can.

You say you plan on doing stock driveshafts/axles, so I take it you won't be using the M3 subframe?

Do you plan on cutting out the spare tire area to run the M3 exhaust, or doing something custom?

What are you going to do with the 3.0?

Last edited by matt270avian; 04-15-2016 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:15 AM   #3
matt270avian
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Double post uuugghhhh

Last edited by matt270avian; 04-15-2016 at 07:17 AM. Reason: Double post
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Old 04-15-2016, 08:44 AM   #4
Tippey764
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt270avian View Post
I would stick with the 3.46 gears if you plan to daily it. The stock 5 speed (3.07?) already drives me nuts at ~80mph, not sure how much a 6 speed would improve upon that. I will gladly come help you though! I'm about 30-45 away from Rockville (Frederick area). Did an engine swap in an MR2 and tons of suspension and wiring work on a handful of cars, really interested to see how much of a pain the S54 would be to cram into an xi.

Well you have to remember I'm running a 6 speed. At 80mph I'm currently at 2950rpm. With the 3.46 I'll be at 3150 or so. If I run anything lower than a 3.46 I will have insanely long gears because the s54 revs to 8k vs the m54's 6500. I dont want to do 100mph in 3rd gear haha



Do you plan on headers, air pump delete, or anything like that?

Nope, I want to retain all of the original emissions equipment. I want the swap to look like BMW themselves built this car

Not sure what years affected the M3, but I would check out the crank bearings and do every seal/gasket that you can.

All years are affected for rod bearing issues. I'm going to take a look at them when I drop the oil pan

You say you plan on doing stock driveshafts/axles, so I take it you won't be using the M3 subframe?

Nope, if I was going to run the M3 subframe then I would need the m3 differential which would require a matching front differential ratio which doesn't exist

Do you plan on cutting out the spare tire area to run the M3 exhaust, or doing something custom?

Stock exhaust with a small adapter to make the xi exhaust bolt up to the m3 headers

What are you going to do with the 3.0?

It will be for sale
..
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Old 04-15-2016, 09:02 AM   #5
matt270avian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tippey764 View Post
Well you have to remember I'm running a 6 speed. At 80mph I'm currently at 2950rpm. With the 3.46 I'll be at 3150 or so. If I run anything lower than a 3.46 I will have insanely long gears because the s54 revs to 8k vs the m54's 6500. I dont want to do 100mph in 3rd gear haha
Tall gears are fun, the car I had before my BMW topped out at 50 in first at ~6250rpm, 95 in second at ~6250rpm, ~130 in third at ~6000rpm.

Look forward to future updates, and as always I'm willing to give you a hand. I've got tools galore and can source an engine hoist if you need it.
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:37 PM   #6
Tippey764
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt270avian View Post
Tall gears are fun, the car I had before my BMW topped out at 50 in first at ~6250rpm, 95 in second at ~6250rpm, ~130 in third at ~6000rpm.

Look forward to future updates, and as always I'm willing to give you a hand. I've got tools galore and can source an engine hoist if you need it.
I want to try to keep the car as close to " if bmw built this car it would be like this from the factory " as possible.

Thanks, I appreciate the offer but I actually have a small shop in Frederick with a lift and most of the stuff i'll need to take care of the shop. You're welcome to stop by some day if you want to check it out.
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:57 PM   #7
matt270avian
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Originally Posted by Tippey764 View Post
You're welcome to stop by some day if you want to check it out.
Gladly! Please get as many pictures as you can!
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