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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 05-01-2017, 09:34 PM   #21
Marco335
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https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1123782

This is the link I got the info from.

Since my diff is blown and I'm not going to have one for a while, I took it out entirely. If this works I'll switch it back to awd by winter when I have this new front diff.


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Old 05-02-2017, 05:22 PM   #22
xi46
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Just discovered this thread and wanted to give you some props for a very cool mod! I'm kind of embarrassed to be from the same state as the guy who came in here to **** all over your project.

I'd definitely consider doing this myself at some point (also to switch between RWD and AWD for summer and winter respectively) but I don't have the special tools or welding skills. I don't have a very clear picture of how the transfer case works, so I was hoping you might be able to explain how you're able to leave the front diff and axles in place with the t-case locked. Is it due to the transfer case being "open" to begin with? (EDIT: Just reread the first post and saw that you're running without a front driveshaft. Now I'm curious how 100% of the torque goes to the rear since it's a 38/62 front/rear split pre-welding.)

Last edited by xi46; 05-02-2017 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 05-04-2017, 04:54 PM   #23
zander271
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Great idea OP


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Old 05-04-2017, 05:08 PM   #24
dogsgottaeat
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That is a bloody awesome and creative way to have some varied fun in your vehicle. Love it!
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Donít throw parts at the problem. Doing so doesnít fix the problem, empties your wallet and angers the BMW goddesses.
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Old 05-04-2017, 05:45 PM   #25
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If you want to do it right.. I have all the parts needed to do this swap. The most important one is a custom tranny mount. I happen to have one, as I have done this swap 100% complete. Drop me a PM, I'm letting my parts go filthy cheap.
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:52 PM   #26
e46alfonso
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This is a great accomplishment if the TC works reliably.

Who remembers xixixi then he did the rwd swap back in the day lol. He swapped the subframe, front suspension, rwd tranny and custom mounts, abs and a lot more. That was an absolute nightmare, now this swap can be done a lot easier.
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Old 05-04-2017, 08:56 PM   #27
Gbro
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I understand the need to drive an I over an XI, I love mine in the snow... and ONLY in the snow... Props man!
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:06 PM   #28
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Poor little thing, try to get over it.... Seek counseling if needed.

I didn't '**** all over his project'. I asked why would he try to convert his car to something that it isn't. Hey, put a lift kit on it and 38's and make it a truck.

Your cars, do what you want. If you really want to swap transfer cases twice a year to achieve your objectives, have at it.
I'm cringing so hard right now. Please take your god given OEM xi and crawl up whatever mountain you wanna climb. Just pick one without 4G service...
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:09 PM   #29
xi46
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$200 rwd conversion

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Originally Posted by 332 View Post
If you want to do it right.. I have all the parts needed to do this swap... I have done this swap 100% complete.
The point, if I understand correctly, is to do only as much as is necessary to send all the power to the rear and disconnect the front wheels so that one is able to switch between AWD and RWD via transfer case swap/front driveshaft connection. I don't want to switch to RWD permanently, just when it isn't cold and snowy.


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Poor little thing, try to get over it.... Seek counseling if needed.
You seem unnecessarily worked up over other people experimenting with improving their driving experience.

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Your cars, do what you want. If you really want to swap transfer cases twice a year to achieve your objectives, have at it.
Thanks, we will. A quick transfer case swap to get RWD all summer then AWD during the winter couldn't be more worth it in my opinion.

Unless you have constructive criticism or want to contribute then your input isn't needed here.

Last edited by xi46; 05-04-2017 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:25 PM   #30
Manchicle
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Ok, lets talk about what you want to talk about. You still haven't given me your thesis on the wonders of our 4wd system...
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:52 PM   #31
xi46
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Ok, lets talk about what you want to talk about. You still haven't given me your thesis on the wonders of our 4wd system...

Even if our AWD system was the best, I'd still be interested in going RWD in the summer via a mod like this. Anyway, let's not feed the troll and just continue discussion between those who are interested. Unless mtnbimmer wants to contribute constructively, we don't need to waste our time further by responding to him.

Do I understand correctly that the welding you've done keeps the gear connected to the output shaft from spinning, effectively forcing power to go to the rear? If so, would welding the front output shaft to the exterior of the transfer case be sufficient, so it wouldn't need to be opened? Thanks!
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:06 PM   #32
Manchicle
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Even if our AWD system was the best, I'd still be interested in going RWD in the summer via a mod like this. Anyway, let's not feed the troll and just continue discussion between those who are interested. Unless mtnbimmer wants to contribute constructively, we don't need to waste our time further by responding to him.

Do I understand correctly that the welding you've done keeps the gear connected to the output shaft from spinning, effectively forcing power to go to the rear? If so, would welding the front output shaft to the exterior of the transfer case be sufficient, so it wouldn't need to be opened? Thanks!
You're right.

And sorry, been a busy week. Meant to respond earlier. No, forget everything you might have already learned about differential theory. There's no torque transfer or ratio change, no more sun, ring or planets. The trans supplies power directly to the planetary carrier, which is welded directly to the ring gear, which is the output. Power passes straight through. I very well could have removed the largest gear there in the center of the case.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:26 PM   #33
xi46
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You're right.

And sorry, been a busy week. Meant to respond earlier. No, forget everything you might have already learned about differential theory. The trans supplies power directly to the planetary carrier, which is welded directly to the ring gear, which is the output. Power passes straight through.

It's all good! I appreciate you answering my noob-ish questions about your project. That makes a lot of sense now after looking at a diagram of the transfer case layout.

Do you think it would be possible to create a solid rod using a transfer case input shaft and rear output shaft to replace the transfer case entirely in "RWD mode"? Perhaps this is unnecessarily complex and I should just figure out how to do the transfer case welding.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:40 PM   #34
Manchicle
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Originally Posted by xi46 View Post
It's all good! I appreciate you answering my noob-ish questions about your project. That makes a lot of sense now after looking at a diagram of the transfer case layout.

Do you think it would be possible to create a solid rod using a transfer case input shaft and rear output shaft to replace the transfer case entirely in "RWD mode"? Perhaps this is unnecessarily complex and I should just figure out how to do the transfer case welding.
I can't go into detail. Just take it from me, what you're cooking up just isn't possible. The bare mid-trans doesn't just mate up to a driveshaft like that, and it would be a huge custom job. What you're kind of getting at is finding a rwd tail housing, but I don't know if those even exist for our trans (maybe they do), nor would I know where to find one. You would need trans mounts and a crossmember. Maybe a different driveshaft. What's making this feasible, for me at least, is the low cost.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:47 PM   #35
xi46
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That all makes sense. Thanks for your patience explaining it all. I'll try to find a used transfer case and someone who can weld it, then probably take it to a BMW shop since it sounds like resealing requires a lot of special tools.


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Old 05-04-2017, 10:52 PM   #36
Manchicle
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That all makes sense. Thanks for your patience explaining it all. I'll try to find a used transfer case and someone who can weld it, then probably take it to a BMW shop since it sounds like resealing requires a lot of special tools.


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Yeah, happy to help someone understand. You may not need to mess with that seal. I only did in an attempt to remove the ring gear for easier welding access, unsuccessfully. The guy in that other welding thread that was linked made no mention of it being an issue. I just figured I'd give my whole story.
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:28 AM   #37
EvaJuli
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Is there a special seal in there? Whats the issue with re-sealing it?
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:45 AM   #38
Manchicle
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Is there a special seal in there? Whats the issue with re-sealing it?
I'm not talking about the seam in the case itself. You can just RTV that back together like any other diff or transfer case (see my pics in the first post). I'm talking specifically about the rear output shaft radial seal. It took a pretty unique looking seal driver from our "BMW special tools" kit, and then another BMW specific brace to keep the flange from turning when I torqued the nut down. Not saying its impossible outside of a dealer, but it could be a pain...
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:45 AM   #39
xi46
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I've been thinking about this some more and it seems that a more thorough (yet still temporary) conversion may require swapping the ABS/DSC system with one from a RWD model. The AWD system uses the brakes to transfer power due to the "open" nature of the differentials and transfer case. This is done even when DSC is deactivated by pressing the button.

The problem: without the front drivetrain connected, the car may still try to brake the front wheels but it would be of no use and could mess up the car's balance. Or even worse brake the rear wheels (both at the same time) trying to send power to the front and do some damage because the rear wheels are connected directly to the transmission.

The car will certainly drive alright within the limits of grip after just welding the transfer case, but it might do some weird and potentially harmful things in less than perfect conditions. Is this a reasonable concern?


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Old 05-05-2017, 11:58 AM   #40
Manchicle
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Originally Posted by xi46 View Post
I've been thinking about this some more and it seems that a more thorough (yet still temporary) conversion may require swapping the ABS/DSC system with one from a RWD model. The AWD system uses the brakes to transfer power due to the "open" nature of the differentials and transfer case. This is done even when DSC is deactivated by pressing the button.

The problem: without the front drivetrain connected, the car may still try to brake the front wheels but it would be of no use and could mess up the car's balance. Or even worse brake the rear wheels (both at the same time) trying to send power to the front and do some damage because the rear wheels are connected directly to the transmission.

The car will certainly drive alright within the limits of grip after just welding the transfer case, but it might do some weird and potentially harmful things in less than perfect conditions. Is this a reasonable concern?
In theory, you're 100% right about the downfalls of the DSC. In practice, and I can tell you from experience, its not that bad. Especially with it in its semi-disabled state, you can force a ton of wheelspin and after a few quick interventions it just gives up and lets you have your fun. More annoying is the single little hiccup it likes to give you while leaning hard into a curvy highway on-ramp. Throws off the whole thing. It would be nice to get rid of DSC completely while still retaining ABS, but in the mean time I'll take the cheap route by pulling a fuse or maybe installing a switch. I hear pulling the brake fluid level sensor connector might do it, which sounds cool because the DSC unit stays alive. Knowing how complex and integrated the wiring is for DSC, I have a feeling you're looking at another nightmare. But please, do your research and tell us what you find...
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