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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 01-17-2020, 06:57 PM   #1
Big-MAC
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Join Date: Jan 2020
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New 330xi purchase

Hey folks! I'm new to the forum but not new to the e46 platform. I just bought a 2003 330xi 5sp with 155k on the clock for $1900.
It has some glitches and some common maintenance failures...

This is my first xi, so what should I pay a closer inspection to?
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:15 PM   #2
jmo69
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,577
My Ride: 03 325xi 98 328is
CV axle boots in the front are the only thing different from the RWD really. Front suspension parts are expensive unless you buy cheap aftermarket parts or do the DIYs on the outer ball joints and bushings on the control arms. The rest of the chassis is pretty much the same as the RWD but less susceptible to sub frame tears. Invest in some good snow tires if you have to deal with snow, they're a beast in the snow.
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Alternative to expensive xi control arm bushings
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Bad outer xi ball joint?
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2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau

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1998 328is 5sp

Last edited by jmo69; 01-17-2020 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:25 PM   #3
Big-MAC
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It is a beast in the snow...and ice. We just had a storm 2 days ago. I was stopped on the highway...the traffic completely stopped. As I was stationary, the car started to slide toward the car next to me. I gassed it and feathered the clutch. It was completely perpendicular in the lane and I was able to pull it out...no wreck.
Amazing car!
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:39 PM   #4
jmo69
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,577
My Ride: 03 325xi 98 328is
We got about 6" of snow last night and I didn't get out to play in it till after the plows went through, got a few slides but they really don't show well in the video. IDK what's wrong with the video.
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Alternative to expensive xi control arm bushings
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Bad outer xi ball joint?
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2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau

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1998 328is 5sp

Last edited by jmo69; 01-18-2020 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:14 PM   #5
glacierXI
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: western ma
Posts: 222
My Ride: 330Xi
oh man it so much fun in the snow. Tonight were getting 6 inches.
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