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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 09-25-2014, 11:30 PM   #21
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Manti
Posts: 33
My Ride: 05 330IX
Missed this=P Hopefully my help can still be relevant. So here's the deal the 330 has a very much different engine than the M3. The m3 has a 3.2 litter that will have very much different electronics making that kind of swap difficult. I have seen both an AWD m3 and a 330Xi with an M engine but both would be very costly/ time consuming. You'd really have to ask yourself if you really want to put that kind of money into your car. Hey if you really want to pull this off all the more power to you! Just do your research as best as you can first. One off projects end up being a mess without help from others who have done them before. In some cases at least.

Your transfer case and transmission would be interchangeable between the 330XI and 325XI. The diffs have different ratios so you couldn't swap only a single diff from one car to another you'd have to do both. But dimensionally they would be the same on the outside and would interchange. Keep the 325 diffs as they are lower and you'll get better acceleration.

330xi 6spd E46 Sedan AWD manual

325xi E46 Sedan AWD manual

Hope that helps mate! Good luck!
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:12 AM   #22
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Join Date: Nov 2016
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My Ride: 2001 330Xi Touring
Using this old thread instead of a new one.

How about the physical dimensions? Are RWD and AWD rear differentials equal by their size etc?
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:45 AM   #23
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Join Date: Jan 2017
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My Ride: '05 330xi 6 speed
Originally Posted by Gtfour View Post
I have a question a bit off-topic.

I have a 325xi Touring and was wondering if the diffs, transfer case and tranny are the same as a 330xi sedan. The 325 feel a bit under power... I am considering a 330 engine swap to keep the xi otherwise I will buy a salvage E46 M3 and will swap everything next spring.

Also, it is possible to swap the 6 speed tranny from a 330xi into my 325xi and keep my diffs and transfer case?
Yes all the bits will bolt together, there are differences in diff gear ratios between models. Some 6 speed swaps require that a notch be ground into the lip of the transfer case, easy to do with a grinder.

Take a look at the S54 (m3 engine) XI builds out there. There are some good write-ups on the work to do it.
Originally Posted by YoitsTmac View Post
I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build
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