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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 04-14-2013, 12:17 PM   #21
chilone
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Yes, a clutch if properly driven can last indefinitely. I've seen and had 'em last WAAAAY over 100K and even in one instance, the linkage pivot points were the cause of failure due to the thousands of times the pedal was depressed.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:24 PM   #22
basketthis
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My point was exactly that. You don't know how the vehicle was driven by anyone previously. And if it wasn't replaced within the last 50k you're just asking for trouble if you don't do it... Think about it. Do you want to be on the road when it craps on you?
Not me. Maybe just a personal preference. And, personally, I don't trust anyone else enough to risk me being stranded. I have more important things to worry about.
OP. Good job on checking that out. If you planned on doing the suspension anyway, I say buy it. Just remember, there will be lots of maintenance to follow. That's the game you play when you buy an e46.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:28 PM   #23
chilone
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Nope. A clutch job is expensive especially when replacing the dual mass flywheel. 50k is an acceptable risk. You're more likely to get stranded by the explosion tank. Not to mention that if you know what you're doing you can still drive even if the clutch does fail. Thus not being stranded.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:28 PM   #24
KaktusJaque
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Have a BMW mechanic check it out for sure. A pre purchase inspection should only set you back about 150.00 or so, a lot of cases less than that. Make sure they put it on the computer to check it too. Some mechanics won't put it on the computer unless the check eng lite is on so be sure to ask. A PPI is worth every penny. Besides it most likely will give you some leverage to bargain the price south some too.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:38 PM   #25
iTWiTCH
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Does anyone have any idea how much going through the suspension would be? Normally I would tackle the project myself but I'd rather not tackle as big a project as my first with a new car so I'm leaning more towards having it done professionally. Any ideas for a price point on that?
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:04 PM   #26
basketthis
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Originally Posted by iTWiTCH View Post
Does anyone have any idea how much going through the suspension would be? Normally I would tackle the project myself but I'd rather not tackle as big a project as my first with a new car so I'm leaning more towards having it done professionally. Any ideas for a price point on that?
2000-3500 depending on who you go to/where you get your parts and what gets replaced...
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:28 PM   #27
iTWiTCH
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2000-3500 depending on who you go to/where you get your parts and what gets replaced...
and that's something I'm going to need to do as soon as I buy it?
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:40 PM   #28
shadow 2
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Way over priced unless you replace every suspension part which likely not needed.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:51 PM   #29
basketthis
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Way over priced unless you replace every suspension part which likely not needed.
Why wouldn't you replace all wearable parts while you're there? It will only cost more in the future to go back in and replace the other things... It only makes sense to do everything at once. And it will allow the whole suspension to last longer. When you don't replace everything, you put stress on other parts. That causes them to wear faster/incorrectly. Which will only lead to future issues.
And any suspension I've priced that anyone has recommended (bilstein) is pretty pricey. IIRC, 1200+... Then you have to look at labor and small miscellaneous parts. Sorry if I'm really far off here. I'm going from memory. If you have some money saving tips, please add. I'd always like to learn a way to save too.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:10 PM   #30
chsu74
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Originally Posted by iTWiTCH View Post
Does anyone have any idea how much going through the suspension would be? Normally I would tackle the project myself but I'd rather not tackle as big a project as my first with a new car so I'm leaning more towards having it done professionally. Any ideas for a price point on that?
I replaced my suspension with Eibach Springs for $300 or $400 from Pelican Parts, Bilstein HD's for $200-$300 with all the perches and other random parts from Bimmer Parts IIRCC. You can buy some OEM bushings and then take it to a shop to press them in.

I have no idea why someone would spend up to $3K for a E46 suspension. We are not talking about a PSS10 for Porsches..

Last edited by chsu74; 04-18-2013 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:04 PM   #31
longtallsally
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If you are looking for a reliable car that you can work on, I gotta say you can't do much better than an E46. We bought my wife's about 6-7 years ago and I remember being really scared of this "modern" car (I've been an E30 nut forever). Her car now has a little over 140k on it and I'm stupefied at a few things with it:
- It's much more simple than I thought
- It's WAAAAAYY easier to work on than I thought it would be

To date aside from changing the oil, in those years of ownership all we've replaced are:
- driver's window regulator (known crap design)
- alternator (honestly took 45 minutes all in to R&R it)
- 2 batteries (1 was certainly due to living in Germany and the shipping back over taking a month or so)
- water pump (honestly barely over an hour including filling and burping the system)
- one of the O2 sensors (this one is a little tricky but still a joke)
- thermostat and housing (another joke it was so easy)
- 2 sets of brake pads and 1 set of rotors and brake sensors
- a couple sets of tires

I mean I've really not done it "correctly" in that I've not done all the "while you're in there" repairs and only replaced the failed parts. Just an amazing machine. I'll have a clutch to do at some point, which will be a day long job at least, and a boot has leaked for the driver front half shaft, but honestly, this car has been an incredible machine. As long as I know it hadn't been abused (I think ours was a lease return that we actually got from a dealer) I wouldn't hesitate on getting another one.

It has only gotten garage space about half the time we've owned it, but it still looks new when cleaned up (the leather is even still in good shape). I set the cruise between 110 and 120 (mph) when we were in the speed free zones in Germany, and it didn't care and still got just about 20mpg at those speeds.

Anyway, I'm obviously very bored today, but if not this car, then I'd focus on a car with full records and that was adult owned. I have to be honest and say that I'd get the 325 first as that is the "bread and butter" motor for BMW and has been for many years, but take that with a grain of salt as I've never owned or even driven a 330.
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