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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 01-06-2016, 05:55 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Providence
Posts: 30
My Ride: 2005 325xi Wagon
Rear Main Seal advice

Hi all,

I just replaced the oil pan gasket on my 2005 325xi wagon - not a fun job - which fixed one serious leak. I was hoping that it was also the source of a leak at the rear of the engine, but no such luck. Looks like I'll need to deal with the rear main seal sooner or later, since it is putting out more oil than I can live with.

I'm almost tempted to give this a shot myself, but not before I have a better picture of what I'm getting into. The Bentley manual calls for multiple special tools to deal with the torque converter, and is vague on some of the details. Anybody done this themselves on an xi with an automatic trans and come out okay on the other side? Or is this one of those jobs where the grief of doing it yourself makes it worth it in the end to let the local indie take it on?

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Old 01-07-2016, 12:52 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 3,491
My Ride: 6spd ZHP/5sp XI
Rear Main Seal advice

It should be similar to a RWD with regards to the transmission being bolted to the engine along with need to tip the engine for removal. The difference would be dealing with the the front subframe and the fact the XI does not have transmission mounts. There is a user that did a 6 speed and dif upgrade(3:46) I believe on a 325 XI...think his name is redbull something. I would look to locating him and shoot off a PM. If you do wind up doing the job document to help others

ZHP Mods: JB Lightweight fly wheel (10.5 pounds), Koni FSD ProKit, Supreme Power Drop Hats, Hotchkis front(30.2mm)/rear(25.4mm) sway bars, Sprint Booster, AFE Stage 1 Intake, Morimoto EvoX-R Headlights, Orion V4 Angel Eyes, Satin Black 18x9 ET42 APEX ARC-8 Wheel

330xi Mods:Front Koni Yellow Struts and Rob43 Rear 9 Way adjustable Rear Dampers,Custom Sport Springs,Supreme Power Drop Hats,ZHP 5 speed shift knob

Last edited by zander271; 01-07-2016 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 01-07-2016, 03:16 PM   #3
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Thanks - I missed that thread somehow, and will definitely get in touch with redbull.
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:14 PM   #4
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It's not bad no special tools needed. Do the torque converter seal while you are at it. Worst part is the bell housing and starter bolts. Pull the driveshaft completely out. Put a jack under the transmission and remove the 4 crossmember bolts. Then lower the rear of the transmission until the valve cover just about touches the firewall. At this point you need 3-4 feet of extensions and a swivel on the end. Stick you head right up in the driveshaft tunnel and with a light you will be able to get at the starter and bell housing bolts. There's 3 or 4 bolts you have to get with this method. The rest is pretty straight forward. Any questions let me know.
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