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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 04-21-2013, 04:42 PM   #1
longtallsally
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Rallycross a 325xi?

So my wife's car has been a stellar machine as a daily driver/truck/baby and dog hauler/grocery getter, etc.

Well, since we are back in the States and got a Jeep for all of the above we are starting to think about getting a new car at some point for her. That being the case, I've always wanted to play with her car a bit more and now that it can truly be a 3rd car, it won't hurt if we give it a bit of a workout from time to time.

That said, I've wanted to track or at the very least autocross it for years, but never really got around to it. Doing it in the dirt would be all that much more fun, and I'd be pretty sure the 325 would be a rare animal out there.

The car has been a CA car its entire life except for the few years in Germany. And with the snow tires on and the traction control off, it was a BLAST in the snow- to the degree that it was a bit boring it handled so well in the snow.

So as opposed to most who want to "slam" their cars, I was thinking a set of coilovers that would actually allow me to raise the car a touch such that I wouldn't have to worry about tearing up the underside too much.

I'm not that serious about it at this time, but it sure sounds like a heck of a lot of fun with a car I already know how to work on and know the history of.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:32 PM   #2
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First things first, auto or manual?
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:54 PM   #3
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An XI and autocross/track don't really work well. Plus there's more weight, more parts that can break. I wouldn't
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:14 PM   #4
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An XI and autocross/track don't really work well. Plus there's more weight, more parts that can break. I wouldn't
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:31 PM   #5
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An XI and autocross/track don't really work well. Plus there's more weight, more parts that can break. I wouldn't
Pretty sure you'd want AWD for rallycross....
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:31 PM   #6
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DO IT !! Don't let the forum bum you out. There's just not a lot of interest in rally in the states yet. We're a small bunch.. Just remember that parts for this car are more expensive than a Subaru, Mitsu, Ford, and even Mini. If you're not doing the labor yourself on repairs I'd say take it lightly.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:02 PM   #7
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Inlike the people who posted before me, I actually own an XI. While I admit the that the AWD system in the E46 Xi moodels could is not as good as Quattro the grip is still fenomonal, and as far as tracking an XI, its been done many times with no problems. redbull325is has taken his to VIR, and I've been to a couple autoX events and it was fine.



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Old 04-21-2013, 10:50 PM   #8
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First things first, auto or manual?
Did you really need to ask?

No slushboxes in our house.

In terms of parts cost, yeah it seems it's always been the way of the "X" series cars as with the E30, all the "ix" (yes I typed that correctly for the E30 nuts out there) parts were the same as for the M3.

But I'm not looking to do this full on competitive or anything- just a way to blow off some steam and have some fun every now and then. Plus, no one breaks my junk other than me, so labor is a non issue.

We've kind of taken it "off road" before already:



However, I gotta say, if a course looked like the cornfield GotVanos posted, I'd pass with much of anything other than a truck or a Jeep. That's a bit much for me. However, I was looking on Rennlist and saw a 911sc that a guy is rockin' in Michigan in winter events and he crushed the competition, and now is going to spend the summer doing track and autox events.

The one huge downside of the XI is that it is impossible to get a clean launch. However, I was thinking this would be negated in the snow and/or dirt. Plus, I don't care what anyone says about the awd system in the E46, it was a hoot with the traction control turned off. I remember dropping a friend off at the U bahn last winter and did a quick U turn into a pretty nifty drift with no effort and perfect control, so I thought on course it might be fun.

I've only driven the car in aggression a couple times on canyon roads (sadly made my wife sick when I did ) and the only complaint I had was that the springs were a bit soft at 8/10ths pace, and even then only mild brake fade.

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Old 04-21-2013, 11:03 PM   #9
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Rallycross a 325xi?

Like you said, this is for fun. It doesn't matter whether or not the car is perfect for the task. If you really wanted to do serious racing, you wouldn't even consider using your Xi. But don't even worry about it, just go for it. Why the hell not?!


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Old 04-21-2013, 11:03 PM   #10
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Oh yeah, the car also has the Premium, Sport, and Cold Weather packages in addition to the stick (it's actually why we bought this one used as opposed to a new one- the stick for my wife was the clincher) so it's really a fun little car.

I guess I'm all hot and heavy in thinking about this as I recently sold my track bike, which was the last vestige of speed in the house (the only remaining bikes are dual sports) and our project car is an '85 G Wagen we brought back. I use the Jeep for pretty gnarly off road (its namesake mainly), and the G is truly just a roundabout weekend toy until we tear into it a bit more, so this might be a fun way to get my wife into driving a bit more (she's already pretty darn quick on a bike and I've taught her how to rock crawl, so track work is next on the list for her).
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:16 PM   #11
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Rallycross a 325xi?

Oh and I think your 325 is great for rally cross. I rally my e30 at home and it does great!


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Old 04-22-2013, 12:04 PM   #12
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Did you really need to ask?

No slushboxes in our house.
Well you said it was your wife's car so I assumed the worst haha.

Other than some better shocks/springs and upgraded skid plates, you should be good to go. Only thing I'd caution on is something that rips up the front CV boots but I'm sure something can be rigged up to protect them.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:08 PM   #13
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Well you said it was your wife's car so I assumed the worst haha.

Other than some better shocks/springs and upgraded skid plates, you should be good to go. Only thing I'd caution on is something that rips up the front CV boots but I'm sure something can be rigged up to protect them.
No worries. One of the reasons I wanted to marry her was b/c she's really a gear head and likes the same type of adventure I do.

Anyway, on the springs and shocks, like I mentioned in the first post I wondered if anyone had any input for some coilovers or the like that would actually raise the car a touch.

It rides perfect in stock trim and like I said is great for anything but full on track work (but really would be fine for occasional track day or autocross) but I really wouldn't mind having the option to raise it a touch for a rallycross event.

I definitely agree on all counts for the boots and other skids.

Like Marshmallow mentioned, the E30 is a hoot to drive sideways and one of the reasons I like my wife's car so much is that it reminds me of the E30 except it is a nicer car in every way, and with the awd, it would be a blast to play with. I just need a few bits to make sure I don't destroy it the first time out.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:52 AM   #14
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I don't know if I'd raise it at all. The point is to have a lot of suspension travel without raising the car. Most rally stages don't have rock crawling and the cars are all pretty low, rally cross is over a groomed track so you shouldn't have any real issues.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:29 PM   #15
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Excellent input. Thanks! I think we're going to have her give an autocross course a go in the not too distant future, so we'll see if she becomes interested in going more sideways.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:54 PM   #16
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:49 PM   #17
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NICE! Well, things may start in motion... We're going to have her test drive a new M3 on Saturday...
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:41 PM   #18
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NICE! Well, things may start in motion... We're going to have her test drive a new M3 on Saturday...
So wait a minute.

You are buying your wife a new M3??? What the heck do you drive?
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:53 PM   #19
longtallsally
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She's the one that matters, so it makes no difference what I drive. We did get me a new Jeep when we got back from Europe, but generally I spend most of my time on 2 wheels- I needed the Jeep for baby transport.

We're just in the initial stages of shopping since we just found out you can't order a new 4 door any longer (only coupe). So, we'll have to wait for the '14 which is fine since we're a little ways out from placing the order.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:03 PM   #20
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She's the one that matters, so it makes no difference what I drive. We did get me a new Jeep when we got back from Europe, but generally I spend most of my time on 2 wheels- I needed the Jeep for baby transport.

We're just in the initial stages of shopping since we just found out you can't order a new 4 door any longer (only coupe). So, we'll have to wait for the '14 which is fine since we're a little ways out from placing the order.
Fair enough but I wouldn't let my wife to be touch the wheel of an M3, she'd wrap it around a tree in about 5 minutes. Yours must be different.
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