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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 11-15-2019, 03:43 PM   #1
Hewie916
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Another Dead 325xi Transmission?

I'm hoping I can get some advice here, but I'm expecting the worst. A few months back, my son picked up a 2003 325xi with some known issues. He replaced the front differential and fixed some other minor issues, and all was good for a while. Two week ago, he called 'cuz the car wouldn't move. We towed it home and started looking things over. The right front axle had popped out of the diff, so we pulled things apart and reinstalled it. After that, the car just creeps forward at high RPMs, and has no reverse. We checked the trans fluid level, and added nearly a quart at temperature, but no change--no reverse and car barely drives in forward with what I assume to be slipping transmission. We did jack up one wheel at a time, and no wheel freely rotates, so I'm assuming we have a bad transmission on our hands. Anything else we should check or do before starting to put in a used trans? I'm wondering if it's worth the time to drain/refill the trans and change out the filter and reverse solonoid, but I'm kinda thinking it might be a waste of time and money. Thoughts?
Thanks ahead,
Dave
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:15 PM   #2
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It depends, of course, where and how far you want to go with this. I find, cleaning up other people's messes takes 10x the work and time. Having said that, we bought a low km/one owner car that had issues. It took thousands in parts to "right" the car, but it's right and tight now. With cars like these, I like to 1st base line them service wise. Change out all the fluids and service all components 1st. Then get out the Code Reader to handle DTC's. I found servicing our trans with a factory service kit and changing out the fluid 2x(factory atf) made a huge improvement(like day one again). The c-clip on the right axle might gotten damaged or replaced during the front diff replacement. The outer splines should have had 270 locktight as well. You might consider suggesting the purchase(to your son) of a Bentley Manual as it can prove to be a great addendum to BMW ownership.
You might post the miles/kms along with any DTC's if you have a reader. Nice to see another Porsche person on the board. Hope this helps.
regards

Last edited by 77'911; 11-15-2019 at 04:23 PM. Reason: addendum
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:42 PM   #3
Hewie916
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77'911-
Thanks for the quick reply. I'd love to jump in and do a 6-speed swap, but my boy has no interest in that.

I hear you about 10x the mess. Agreed on the fluid suggestion. We did oil and were planning on rear diff, transfer case, transmission, etc, but got stuck here first.

Car has 119k on it. We checked the OBD codes with a scanner before buying, and it had a couple of bad sensor codes, but after clearing them, they haven't come back. I haven't read enough yet to understand if INPA and a KDAN cable will help us diagnose a transmission.

The Bentley Manual was our first give to our boy when he came home with the car. Told him he's gonna need it!

Dave
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Old 11-15-2019, 06:58 PM   #4
77'911
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No problem. With 119k, you "should" be able to get another 100 k out of it, easily. The fact you have no DTC's puts you way ahead of me. I had to really go through the intake, fuel, and emission systems to rid our car of DTC's. Just FYI, the diffs, transfer case and trans all use differing fluids. Just ordered this for our transfer case.
https://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog...pg9.htm#item25
If you end up servicing the trans, one nice part of the factory service kit, comes with everything(bolts for pan, gaskets, filter, o-rings, plugs, new magnets!). The Bentley, like for Porsche's, give's you just enough info to get you in trouble. Invaluable for torque specs though.
regards
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:26 PM   #5
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So things are moving along slowly, but we got the transmission back from the rebuilder last week. We were preparing to install it, and am now wondering if we have a RMS leak that should be repaired. Please see the video attached and let me know what you think. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1IS...F5eCDdN9_JleaF I'm seeing this as a very minor leak, and am thinking we're going to continue the transmission install and not chase this further. FYI, the car is a 2003 325xi with 119k on it.
Thanks ahead,
Dave and Jacob
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:02 PM   #6
77'911
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I'd change it out, as you have the trans down(major work, and expense). The seal is about $20 for the new style PTFE version. It's hard to tell from the vid, could be oil pan gasket or the like. The RMS should only take you 30mins, unlike an M96 engine(I'm looking forward to doing ours).
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:20 AM   #7
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Wierd I can't find this in the Bently manual. I'm somewhat scared of causing a bigger problem with the seal of the carrier to the oil pan gasket that is probably old, dry, and cracking. I hear ya though, 77'911, going back in to do this job later would really suck.
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:32 AM   #8
77'911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hewie916 View Post
Wierd I can't find this in the Bently manual. I'm somewhat scared of causing a bigger problem with the seal of the carrier to the oil pan gasket that is probably old, dry, and cracking. I hear ya though, 77'911, going back in to do this job later would really suck.
It's not really a big deal, just a seal install(sort of). Lock down the flex plate and get an air rachet on the flex plate bolts. You'll know for sure afterwards, but I'll bet after that mileage it has some seepage. You have a choice. I hear you on trouble. If you want the breeze easy path. They sell the metal flange with the seal installed and gasket. This is my preferred choice, but pricier on the parts bill. I've had to do this on our V6 Audi's, similar design set up. For me, the $100 is nice as you do the RMS, but also totally seal up the rear portion of the engine with the new flange gasket.
regards
https://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog..._pg1.htm#item4

Last edited by 77'911; 01-21-2020 at 09:30 AM. Reason: part
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:15 PM   #9
Hewie916
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I'm really starting to dislike the prior owner of this car... So I pulled the flex plate today. PO clearly replaced the RMS. Looks like the RMS is in great shape, but he got a poor seal at the carrier to oil pan joint. I think I'm going to retorque the carrier bolts and forward oil plan bolts, and put it back together as is. I'm really nervous that I'll make things worse by damaging the pan gasket while pulling out the carrier. The pan leaks on the right side in spots too, so maybe dropping the pan and replacing the gasket will happen down the road.
thanks again,
Dave
PS Sorry for the rotated picture, I can't get it to stay un-rotated.
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