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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 06-12-2013, 09:07 AM   #1
Valkyrie
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 2
My Ride: 2002 325XI
Clutch and short shifter questions

Hi all,
First time posting here and I have some questions about my new to me 325XI.

I made a stupid mistake last night and burnt off a bit of my clutch trying to squeeze through a tight opening in traffic. I popped the clutch harder than I normally ever would and felt the clutch slip a lot. The clutch is still quite functional, but I can feel that it's not grabbing as hard as it was, so I'd like to replace it at some point in time down the road but I don't really know what the best route is for parts.
I've seen complete clutch kits (including light weight flywheel) at bavauto from around 850$, but I don't know if I'll actually need all the parts, compared to just a regular clutch from 180$. I have a mechanic friend who can get access to his shop on weekends including all the tools and a hoist, and I'm fairly mechanically inclined myself, but I just don't know what all I should be relaxing while I'm under there. I'm not planning on doing any horsepower upgrades on this car, so I'm not really concerned with a high performance clutch, but suggestions would be great.

I'm also wanting to put a short shifter in at some point but I might as well do it when the clutch/trans is out. What's the best bang for your buck short shifter?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:15 AM   #2
SamDoe1
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Minnesnowta
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I would just buy the whole kit and do it once instead of having to tear it all apart again when something breaks. How many miles do you have on the car? The best way to check if the clutch is gone is to get into 4th gear at ~15mph and floor it. That would cause the clutch to slip (and you'll know because the revs will bounce around) if it's bad.

I can't speak to short shifters but you should replace all the shifter bushings while you're in there.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:25 PM   #3
Valkyrie
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Alberta, Canada
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My Ride: 2002 325XI
Sorry, I meant to mention mileage in my post. I've got 235000 Km (146000 miles) on the car and I believe it's the oem clutch.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:32 PM   #4
e46alfonso
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: ct
Posts: 484
My Ride: 330xi, focus st
The clutch disk probably got too hot. Keep driving it normally and hopefully it improves.
You should delete the CDV if you haven't. I found it easier to drive in traffic without it.
The xi shifter with a zhp knob is fantastic IMO, i wouldn't change it for anything. Don't throw your money away, you can't improve perfection.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:27 PM   #5
rayxi
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: GWN
Posts: 499
My Ride: 2001 330xi
The two mods that I enjoy every few seconds are my UUC short shifter and a DIY clutch stop. Highly recommended.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:14 PM   #6
Shadow330xi
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 113
My Ride: 2001 Red 330xi
Not trying to jack the thread just a quick question...Anyone installed the 545i shifter into the XI? I recently have one and I was installing it and it seems like it's to long and hits the top of the transmission (might have to be bent?) Anyone run into this as well?
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:19 AM   #7
Kubica
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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My Ride: 2003 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by e46alfonso View Post
The clutch disk probably got too hot. Keep driving it normally and hopefully it improves.
You should delete the CDV if you haven't. I found it easier to drive in traffic without it.
The xi shifter with a zhp knob is fantastic IMO, i wouldn't change it for anything. Don't throw your money away, you can't improve perfection.
+1 on this.
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:35 PM   #8
helphos
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 43
My Ride: BMW 325 xi
short shifter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow330xi View Post
Not trying to jack the thread just a quick question...Anyone installed the 545i shifter into the XI? I recently have one and I was installing it and it seems like it's to long and hits the top of the transmission (might have to be bent?) Anyone run into this as well?
I bought the 545 shifter, but havent installed it yet. I thought i might run into the same problem as you, and with all the pieces you have to remove on the XI to get it installed, I thought I'd wait to see what others ran into. The UUC shifter has the ring that goes on top of your shift arm that raises the pivot point a half inch, solving the problem. But that's not what you or I have.

I was thinking of putting some spacers under the transmission mount to make the transmission sit about a quarter inch lower. When you look at the 545i shifter and the 325 xi shifter, i think the 545i is about a quarter inch longer 'beneath the ball.'

Can I assume you had to drop your exhaust and lower the transfer case to get to the infamous clip??

Do you think spacers under your trans (and/or transfer case) would solve your problem??

Thanks! and good luck!
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:50 PM   #9
Shadow330xi
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 113
My Ride: 2001 Red 330xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by helphos View Post
I bought the 545 shifter, but havent installed it yet. I thought i might run into the same problem as you, and with all the pieces you have to remove on the XI to get it installed, I thought I'd wait to see what others ran into. The UUC shifter has the ring that goes on top of your shift arm that raises the pivot point a half inch, solving the problem. But that's not what you or I have.

I was thinking of putting some spacers under the transmission mount to make the transmission sit about a quarter inch lower. When you look at the 545i shifter and the 325 xi shifter, i think the 545i is about a quarter inch longer 'beneath the ball.'

Can I assume you had to drop your exhaust and lower the transfer case to get to the infamous clip??

Do you think spacers under your trans (and/or transfer case) would solve your problem??

Thanks! and good luck!
Haha, ya I had to drop the exhaust and lower the transfer case in order to get the stupid little clip lol. I think putting spacers under the trans can work, I've thought about doing that myself. But have thought about keeping the drive shaft as straight as possible from the transfer case to the CSB. However, If you only have to lower it ~.5 inches I don't think that will have any negative side effects.
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