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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 05-20-2018, 10:57 AM   #241
mr_y82
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Hey Manny, glad you are taking care of that car; sounds like the suspension was a random assortment of worn out parts! I hope that picture is BEFORE you did your work?

I have H&R Sports from the previous owner, and recently had to upgrade my rear shocks to e46 Bilstein B8s when one of the old style B8s failed (the old fronts are still solid). I also have all poly bushings (and subframe mounts), and although I do not mind a very firm ride, I really don't think it is as bad as many on here advertise (maybe I am just used to it after years in the BMW and years in a Prelude, with similar treatment, before... the poly did make a noticeable difference). The H&Rs advertise 1.2"F/1"R drop, but as you can see in the description at FCP, it is more like 1.5-2" (I'd say closer to 1.5-1.7...?). Anyway, here the springs.

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-h-and-r-...-models/29383/ Nice installation guide
https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...-r-sport-29383

Eibachs are less of a drop, if I recall correctly, so you definitely do not need anything for extra camber adjustment... If fact, nothing extra is needed with the H&Rs either... That being said, powerflex makes some really nice lower control arms that are a lot stronger than the stock AL ones... I upgraded mine while the suspension was being refreshed; there are some other options too, but I'd steer away (no pun intended) from the solid spherical bushings... like godspeed... Here is a link to the powerflex rear LCAs... They are pretty sweet, even if the car is so low that I never see them!

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-powerfle...fr5-4615g~pfx/

Finally, regarding upper spring pads... Your 02 (post 9/01) should have the thicker 14.5mm pads, rather than the 5mm pads. Personally, I upgraded my rear upper pads to superpro poly (I chatted ECS and I think they said they are 11mm), which raised my rear up just a bit. I never thought it looked too out of level in the first place (lower in rear), but it certainly looks fairly level now... Here are the pads... When I looked at prices for new genuine pads I saw no reason not to go poly...

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-superpro...pf135810k~spr/

Cheers!

edit: here are some good threads on xi suspension... and oh yeah, lowered xis do eat front axles, so, if you can get some with a lifetime warranty, like FCP, I recommend it!

https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=731343

https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1088219

https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=902345 (post with links to more threads...)
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G.A.S. CCV and DISA rebuild; H&R Sport Springs, Bilstein B8s, and poly bushings; Valeo SMF & non-SA Clutch, CDV delete, and E60 Shifter w/ ZHP knob; Beisan System VANOS Seals...
Mtech-II Front Bumper (PO got bumped in parking lot!); Eagle Eye LED Tail Lights... Lots of PM!!!

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Last edited by mr_y82; 05-20-2018 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:21 AM   #242
BMannyW
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Hey Manny, glad you are taking care of that car; sounds like the suspension was a random assortment of worn out parts! I hope that picture is BEFORE you did your work?

Unfortunately.. no, that picture was taking the day after. I've since put 500 km on the car doing a road trip out to Prince Edward County over the long weekend. While driving around the country roads to visit the wineries, I hit a pot hole and now have a "clunk" in the front. Upon immediate inspection, no moving parts.. then i pulled the right front wheel off and noticed some play in the hub. Bearing?

Also while there i noticed this... the springs that were compressed by my mechanic where not done the same. They spring itself does not seem to be seated in the appropriate location. ..please see images. Do these look right? I was thinking of going back to him to have them adjusted as i do not have the appropriate tools.




Could that be the reason the front is sitting higher?

oh, and since its been a week I check my strut mount bolts and they needed a few turns.

So, I"m still thinking raising the rear with spring pads and taking the front struts back to mechanic to have them properly aligned.

Thoughts?
E.
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Old 05-22-2018, 04:29 PM   #243
BMannyW
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upon further inspection.. knocking noise was loose front stabilizer that got knocked loose when i hit that pot hole. it is now fixed.

Is it possible the front is riding high because of the original shock bumper is too tall with a lowering spring? Was thinking of cutting 1" out of them? (Shocks are Bilstein HD on Eibach Springs)

Also, noticed my rear is not level and one side is tucked in more than the other. The right side is lower by a full inch compare to left side. I just ordered spring pads, Im hoping new pads will help. Also, oddly the right wheel is also almost 1 inch closer to the center of car than the left side (meaning, left side, wheel is closer to fender and right is further away. I was thinking of adding a spacer to widen the rear.. and noticed that only the right side was tucked in. I'm going to take it apart and measure part for thickness to see where this illusive 1" has disappeared or appeared (on left side).

Thoughts?

E.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:35 PM   #244
Mariner05
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Of your photos, the 2nd one is not correct. Is the second photo the one that broke the sway bar link ? A breaking link MIGHT have twisted the spring on its pad.

When the rotation of the spring pad is correct relative to the end of the spring it is just about like photo #1.

Of course it seems wrong, because the end of the spring is at the edge of the "cliff", not seated in a "pocket" of the spring pad like many other manufacturers do. You can find more information in Bentley and searching some other threads on this. It is non-intuitive enough that in recent work on my car I took a look, began to fret over the rotation, and then remembered I was looking at my 325xi, and all was okay. BUT mine are rotated the same on both sides - looks to me like your second one slipped as the spring compressor was released.

The xi's sit with front end "too high" when assembled correctly in stock configuration - leading many to slightly lower their front suspension. But this gives up some clearance and travel and may wear the front axles more quickly.

So you do want your shop to reposition your spring. Maybe your shop will re-set the spring and redo your alignment as good will for free.

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Old 05-24-2018, 10:27 AM   #245
mr_y82
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I agree with Mariner; it sounds like they should rectify the spring situation and realign at no cost, assuming you paid for an alignment already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMannyW View Post
i pulled the right front wheel off and noticed some play in the hub. Bearing?
If you have the car up, with the wheel on, see if there seems to be play... could be the balljoint(s) on the control arm... How do the boots look?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMannyW View Post
Is it possible the front is riding high because of the original shock bumper is too tall with a lowering spring? Was thinking of cutting 1" out of them? (Shocks are Bilstein HD on Eibach Springs)

Also, noticed my rear is not level and one side is tucked in more than the other. The right side is lower by a full inch compare to left side. I just ordered spring pads, Im hoping new pads will help. Also, oddly the right wheel is also almost 1 inch closer to the center of car than the left side (meaning, left side, wheel is closer to fender and right is further away. I was thinking of adding a spacer to widen the rear.. and noticed that only the right side was tucked in. I'm going to take it apart and measure part for thickness to see where this illusive 1" has disappeared or appeared (on left side).
I would contact Eibach about cutting the stops... I think the PO of my car said the H&Rs came with directions to cut some off the front stops... You might be able to find that info on this site.

That stuff about the rear seems wonky since you just did work back there and I assume everything looked okay... If everything is right you should obviously not need a spacer and that sounds concerning! Not sure what you tell you other than good luck!
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G.A.S. CCV and DISA rebuild; H&R Sport Springs, Bilstein B8s, and poly bushings; Valeo SMF & non-SA Clutch, CDV delete, and E60 Shifter w/ ZHP knob; Beisan System VANOS Seals...
Mtech-II Front Bumper (PO got bumped in parking lot!); Eagle Eye LED Tail Lights... Lots of PM!!!

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Last edited by mr_y82; 05-24-2018 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:56 AM   #246
BMannyW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_y82 View Post
I agree with Mariner; it sounds like they should rectify the spring situation and realign at no cost, assuming you paid for an alignment already.

If you have the car up, with the wheel on, see if there seems to be play... could be the balljoint(s) on the control arm... How do the boots look?

I would contact Eibach about cutting the stops... I think the PO of my car said the H&Rs came with directions to cut some off the front stops... You might be able to find that info on this site.

That stuff about the rear seems wonky since you just did work back there and I assume everything looked okay... If everything is right you should obviously not need a spacer and that sounds concerning! Not sure what you tell you other than good luck!
thank for the reply!!

Aha!!! figured out why the one rear wheel was poking out more than the other...drum roll please... ah fak..i was sold 3 front wheels and one rear wheel... yup..Style 164 are Et 25 vs Et 41.. so I need to buy a 15mm wheel spacer and longer bolts. The wheel face profile is the same, the meat is behind the wheel. So that's why it was not so obvious (and why the used car dealer was happy to let them go for $400 with good rubber come to think of it!! lol.) when i put on the wheels.. i put the fronts on first and the remaining wheels i did not bother to check the offset assuming they were both rears.

I did add the 15mm spring spacers (so that's 2x15mm spring pads stacked for those keeping track!) and cut the front bumper stops .75" in an effort to even out the front and rear wheel well gap. As you can see.. it's not even yet ( i can live with it! ) but better than PO set up.

After, Eibach/Bilsteins HD front with bumpers cut .75" and Eibach E36 M3 Rears with 15mm spring spacers:

before, stock rears on two broken springs and HD upfront:
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1988 M6 hot and heavy (5yrs)
2002 325ixt responsible choice (present DD)

Last edited by BMannyW; 06-13-2018 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:58 AM   #247
mtnbimmer
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Cutting down your bump stops will not affect your ride height.
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:23 PM   #248
BMannyW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_y82 View Post
Glad you got it mostly sorted, and haha about the dealer/wheels... If it drives good who gives a damn if it is hunkered down a little in the back!? Just put a snow plow on the front and it should even it out . That is a good looking wagon regardless. Cheers!

Thanks guys.. ya we have plenty of snow here! I may get koni yellows for front..but this constant mention of quickly worn front axels from lowering the front any more does concern me. Don't want that!

Ya.. i like the car! Only 105 miles on it. But its got some cosmetic issues..needs front dirvers wing replaced and 5 rust spots fixed. Thinking of painting whole car as i see another 5 year in it. If you spread the cost of a paint job over 5 years, it seems to make sense.

As i once heard someone say, If you don't look back at your car after you park it, you don't want to be driving that car. ***x1f600;
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:56 PM   #249
EvaJuli
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Can you use Bilsteins B4 or B6 with stock spring and Supreme Power drop hats up front?
will that combo work?
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Old 03-28-2019, 06:52 PM   #250
jmo69
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I don't think the Supreme Power drop hats are available anymore. Couldn't find them on their website.
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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
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:01 PM   #251
EvaJuli
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I just bought a set brand new, shipped to US from Germany in about 7 days.
Supreme Power in Cali also still does carry them if you call.

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I don't think the Supreme Power drop hats are available anymore. Couldn't find them on their website.
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:10 PM   #252
jmo69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvaJuli View Post
I just bought a set brand new, shipped to US from Germany in about 7 days.
Supreme Power in Cali also still does carry them if you call.

Good to know, how much were they if I may ask?
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2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau

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Old 03-28-2019, 07:15 PM   #253
EvaJuli
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https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1250863
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:17 AM   #254
glacierXI
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I thinking of going stock height and koni struts. My rear spring just broke after like 50k again what springs are good for the rear and stock height I just dont want them to break again. Ill probably use the springs I have in the front.
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Old 08-21-2019, 06:31 AM   #255
Zaknin
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Guys, I need sanity check - anyone tried to install Koni Yellow E36 M3 rear shocks instead of xi ones? I know that Bilstein E36 M3 shock fits, and I have found threads with RWD guys fitting rear E36 M3 Koni's to their car, it should be compatible with standard hardware?
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:23 PM   #256
mr_y82
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I have not, but I think so. I have the e36 m3 bilsteins... Maybe someone who knows for certain will chime in?
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G.A.S. CCV and DISA rebuild; H&R Sport Springs, Bilstein B8s, and poly bushings; Valeo SMF & non-SA Clutch, CDV delete, and E60 Shifter w/ ZHP knob; Beisan System VANOS Seals...
Mtech-II Front Bumper (PO got bumped in parking lot!); Eagle Eye LED Tail Lights... Lots of PM!!!

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