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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 01-04-2013, 07:11 AM   #1
Nicad
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Toronto
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My Ride: e36 M3/4 e46 325it
Converting 325I wagon to 330 XI

Hello, I have been spending quite a bit of time in snow country with my RWD 325 wagon. I am running a 5 speed and michelin Pilot Sports and am having trouble with hills and snow at the same time. I could get a better snow tire (Bstone WS -70 comes to mind), but I think I really need AWD. My choices are to upgrade to a newer model 328 wagon or some other AWD vehicle or maybe see if my car could be upgraded to XI. Is it plug and play to convert my car to 330I spec if I found a good wrecked donor? I already have swapped the brakes and axles over to 330I when I bought the car. If I could do this swap for under 5K, it might make sense rather than buying a newer car.
What I really like about my car is that it has Sport Package and a 5 speed. BMW is bringing in very few 5 speed wagons. The new wagon in Canada will be only automatic, same with the X1.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:23 AM   #2
WDE46
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You could probably convert a sedan pretty easily, but a wagon opens up other problems. The wheelbase is different, so your driveshafts will be different. You should just get a new car. A drive train swap really is not going to be worth it. Not to mention the E46 AWD system blows.

At minimum you would have to add a transfercase, front differential/axles, and front control arms. It would also take some reprogramming of the computer I am sure.

Last edited by WDE46; 01-04-2013 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:26 AM   #3
Rotha
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more sense to buy new car. if want 330 xi wagon do 330 internals swap
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A lawyer opens the door of his BMW; suddenly a car drives by and rips the door completely off. Police officer
arrives & the lawyer bitterly complains about the damage to his car.
"Officer, I just got the car at BMW Greensboro and look what they're done to my Beemer!!" he whines.
"You makes me sick" officer responds, "So worried about your BMW; but don't even notice your left arm is missing?"
"OMG.." lawyer replies. "Where's my Rolex?"
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:31 AM   #4
customisbetter
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Jesus christ mate. Drop $400 on good snow tires like an adult and your problems will be solved.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:56 AM   #5
jfoj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
Not to mention the E46 AWD system blows.
Although the BMW AWD system may not be the best technology, given the good weight distribution of these cars, the end result is rather impressive.

The other thing that does handicap the BMW AWD cars is the body and undercarriage height. It is not a big, high, SUV, but for anything less than 3-4 inches and hard pack snow they actually do a very good job for what they are!

The 325xi wagons actually have very good bottom end performance, more than what you would expect. They are actually a bit touchy as compared to my 330cic when comparing the 2 from an off idle throttle response.

Heck, my e39 M5 does a really good job in the snow, I was caught out somewhere a few times and expected it to be a total skate on the road, but was pleasantly surprised how it behaved.

Agree that tires do make a HUGE difference for snow. My 330cic with Continental Extreme Performance tires could not even get out of the driveway, much less up the street with the DSC kicking on and off constantly. With decent All Seasons, totally different story.

Consider putting some decent tires and maybe a M3 diff in the car, then see what you want to do. Much cheaper and easier than a Xi conversion.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:15 AM   #6
Rotha
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M3 diff? Seriously? If he/she did that, they should go ahead and do the all wheel drive swap. At least change your wording before bringing false hope to people who have their finger ready over the new topic button getting ready to ask if they can swap a m3 diff directly into their 325. LSD is the acronym you meant to say. That, and tires should be decent enough.

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__________________
A lawyer opens the door of his BMW; suddenly a car drives by and rips the door completely off. Police officer
arrives & the lawyer bitterly complains about the damage to his car.
"Officer, I just got the car at BMW Greensboro and look what they're done to my Beemer!!" he whines.
"You makes me sick" officer responds, "So worried about your BMW; but don't even notice your left arm is missing?"
"OMG.." lawyer replies. "Where's my Rolex?"
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:06 PM   #7
Nicad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by customisbetter View Post
Jesus christ mate. Drop $400 on good snow tires like an adult and your problems will be solved.
Funny, probably true. I love those Michelins for around Toronto and highway use, but deep snow and up hill asks too much of them.

I was not clear on the tires I currently have. They are Alpin Pilot 3s (A winter tire)

Last edited by Nicad; 01-07-2013 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:13 PM   #8
avincent52
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My Ride: 325iT 5 speed/Sport
I guess I'd just wait and try to find a 325xit with a 5 speed.
Someone in town--NJ just outside of NYC--had a decent 2003 with 115,000 miles or so and their asking price was $6,000.

Blizzaks would probably help too.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:38 AM   #9
Rotha
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more sense to buy new car in BMW greensboro. if want 330 xi wagon do 330 internals swap
__________________
A lawyer opens the door of his BMW; suddenly a car drives by and rips the door completely off. Police officer
arrives & the lawyer bitterly complains about the damage to his car.
"Officer, I just got the car at BMW Greensboro and look what they're done to my Beemer!!" he whines.
"You makes me sick" officer responds, "So worried about your BMW; but don't even notice your left arm is missing?"
"OMG.." lawyer replies. "Where's my Rolex?"
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