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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 05-10-2015, 11:30 AM   #1
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Lowering xi without any issue? Or always bad news

Over last summer I lowered my 2003 330xi on h&r lowering springs by the instafamous stance king @e46_keith. I loved the way I could take corners without any worries and feel confident all the way through the turns. During this harsh winter we just had snapped my front axel and went back to stock ride height. I'm not a big fan of the body roll that stock right high has and I was wondering if there was any way I can get my car Lower and stiffer without any of the consequences of snapping axles. Would my h&r springs still put to much stress on the axel it I got some sport shocks or is it always bad to lower an xi? I know this topic has been beaten to death but I just want a straight answer
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Old 05-10-2015, 12:52 PM   #2
redbull 325is
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Originally Posted by cm_e46 View Post
Owning an xi without any issue? Or always bad news
Fixed it for you
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:57 PM   #3
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use gkn axles and youll be fine
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:56 PM   #4
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i ahve the h&r springs on the stock shocks for a year now, and i noticed any problems.
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:33 PM   #5
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I plan on lowering my XI for the first time, hopefully sometime this summer. From what I've gathered on the forums, nobody really has a solid answer. Some people have had good luck and others not so much. I guess this is just one of those things that you just have to bite the bullet on and hope for the best, which kind of sucks. I don't understand why it's such a problem to lower our XI's when there's a crap ton of other AWD vehicles that are lowered that don't run into any issue. Anyways, good luck in searching for your answer OP! Hopefully I can chime in, in the near future and let you know how things go.
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:44 PM   #6
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I second what Royc508 said to the extent of "From what I've gathered on the forums, nobody really has a solid answer". To put it simply, the axles of the Xi models from the factory are NOT apt for the stresses of really lowering your car on coilovers. To get a decent drop, they may or may not hold up. If you want to get your Xi low, as with any other car, you should refresh many other suspension components. Additionally I would 100% suggest you minimally get reinforcement plates front and rear if you're doing any lowering at all, especially if you have rough roads in your area. Let me know, I will gladly add links to the plates.

I'm running H&R Street coilovers right now on my 325xi. There is ~1 inch gap in the rear and about 2 inches in the front right now. I have replaced both cv once so far. I did this out of precaution, as I saw that the boot was ripped on one side, along with changing out the suspension. I haven't had issues with axles since, but keep in mind that my front end is nowhere near as low as it could be. The lower you go, the more stress on the suspension as a system.

For starters, I am fond of the RSMs from Ground Control, they are reinforced and use urethane bushings; can be set to 'stiff' or 'semi-stiff' depending on orientation during install:


lowered 5 speed 325xi

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Last edited by illuminated; 05-13-2015 at 03:49 PM.
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