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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 05-22-2019, 06:52 AM   #1
wfx32
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advice on suspension repair/rebuild, 2004 and 2005

it took a while but finally figured out why the ride and handling on 2005 330xi are worse than the 2004 330xi. one of the rear springs cracked on 2005. i should have guessed because the 2004 springs were replaced a few years ago when they were badly rusted.

so now i need some advice on rebuild for 2005. should i replace with OEM springs and regular size bilstein shocks? the results on 2004 were excellent.

or should i take this opportunity to install eibach coilovers? or maybe even lower the car with the shorter bilsteins?

the 2005 is the prettier one and i am thinking of turning the 2004 into a track car .. so maybe move the springs and shocks to the 2005 and then lower the 2004?

any advice is appreciated thank you.

Last edited by wfx32; 05-22-2019 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:15 AM   #2
wfx32
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Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post

2.) Replace your suspension with aftermarket shocks/struts and springs. This option is the cheapest way to go and will lower your car a moderate to high amount depending on what spring you buy. The shock/strut has very little to do with the ride height so we'll start with springs. There are, in general, two options for springs on the Xi. Eibach springs lower the car a moderate (0.75"-1" ) amount while retaining much of the comfort that OEM springs would give you. This seems to be the best option for many people on the forum because we daily drive our cars. This will be similar ride height to a RWD sport package.
this is best advice i have found in searching so far. i think i am going to try these eibach springs. i am assuming i need to get matching shocks. adjust front springs and struts for new ride height?
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:38 AM   #3
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eibach pro system plus kit or multi-pro R1 coil-over kit are appropriate for an xi?
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:41 PM   #4
jmo69
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I think either one of these sets would work, https://www.fcpeuro.com/BMW-parts/32...5&b=5&d=589&v= I've got Eibach springs on my e36 with stock sport struts and shocks and have no issues with the ride or bottoming out. Those springs gave me 1 1/4" drop all the way around.
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Alternative to expensive xi control arm bushings https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1231503

Bad outer xi ball joint? https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1127077


2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau

1998328is 5sp

Last edited by jmo69; 05-22-2019 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:55 PM   #5
jmo69
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Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
I think either one of these sets would work, https://www.fcpeuro.com/BMW-parts/32...5&b=5&d=589&v= I've got Eibach springs on my e36 with stock sport struts and shocks and have no issues with the ride or bottoming out. Those springs gave me 1 1/4" drop all the way around.
My e36 with the Eibach Prokit springs.
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Alternative to expensive xi control arm bushings https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1231503

Bad outer xi ball joint? https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1127077


2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau

1998328is 5sp

Last edited by jmo69; 05-22-2019 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:47 PM   #6
wfx32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
I think either one of these sets would work, https://www.fcpeuro.com/BMW-parts/32...5&b=5&d=589&v= I've got Eibach springs on my e36 with stock sport struts and shocks and have no issues with the ride or bottoming out. Those springs gave me 1 1/4" drop all the way around.
thanks .. yes I am going with exactly those eibach pro-kit springs although the track mechanic down here was recommending H&R springs.

i think the bilstein B12 kit (https://www.bilstein.com/us/en/produ...67412139301736) includes the eibach pro-kit springs as well as new struts and shocks, but it seems that kit is on backorder everywhere for a month or more. i really hope they are worth the wait.

i am also thinking of replacing the front/rear upper strut/shock mounts and adding reinforcement plates. so recommendations for those would be good. i've been told the rear subframe reinforcement plates are overkill until there is actually an issue with the cracked rear subframe.

Last edited by wfx32; 05-22-2019 at 08:48 PM. Reason: add bilstein link
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:33 PM   #7
77'911
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If your thinking of a track car, I'd skip on an xi. These cars are better with stock set ups(IE much longer CV joint life). The AWD systems are too much added weight(gearing not optimal) compared to the RWD cars. If you want a track car, just buy a used Miata or BRZ(etc...).
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:40 PM   #8
Trunganh1131
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I think I have advice for you. I think try this spring. It can give shocks accordingly, it fits the car height
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:58 AM   #9
wfx32
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Originally Posted by 77'911 View Post
If your thinking of a track car, I'd skip on an xi. These cars are better with stock set ups(IE much longer CV joint life). The AWD systems are too much added weight(gearing not optimal) compared to the RWD cars. If you want a track car, just buy a used Miata or BRZ(etc...).
Regards
i guess you are right .. but i have put so much into the car since purchasing new back in 2004. it drives so well but the interior really shows it's age. i guess it is a good backup and eventually part car but right now i am using it only as a truck .. it has the ski kit with folding rear seats.
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:03 AM   #10
wfx32
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Originally Posted by Trunganh1131 View Post
I think I have advice for you. I think try this spring. It can give shocks accordingly, it fits the car height
missing the picture? if it is a joke i am hoping it is a picture of jeremy clarkson's vespa in hanoi.
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:23 AM   #11
wfx32
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front struts are stock but only a couple of years old. so i am tempted to use them with the lowering springs. i imagine that is a bad idea because they are not tuned to the lowering springs. so what is the difference between these bilstein b8:

left front strut bilstein 22-052834 or 22-242617 (sport)
right front shock bilstein 22-052841 or 22-242624 (sport)

the rear shocks are certainly compromised by the damaged spring so need to replace them. the best bilstein option is the old E36 M3 mentioned in the thread about the bilstein failures years ago?

left and right rear shock bilstein b8 performance plus shock absorber 24-024532
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Old 05-29-2019, 06:55 AM   #12
wfx32
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Originally Posted by wfx32 View Post
so what is the difference between these bilstein b8:

left front strut bilstein 22-052834 or 22-242617 (sport)
right front shock bilstein 22-052841 or 22-242624 (sport)
FCP says the part numbers for B8 are identical but the newer ones (22-242617 and 22-242624) may have modified valving. i found these backordered struts on rockauto who say they will honor the bilstein 'limited lifetime warranty'..

i am thinking the warranty is going to be important because of the failures in the past. also i am using the wider tires (225 45 17) and maybe the lowered setup is not as durable as stock.

i seriously considered the stock ride height (B4 and B6) but the pictures of the lowered setup on B8 look too good .. the "proper" RWD height.
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:15 AM   #13
wfx32
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also i forgot to ask - why the redesign of the rear differential from 2004 to 2005? was BMW trying to make it worse before ending production of the E46 chassis?

the 2004 design for the rear differential looks much simpler. the design on the 2005 has three separate pieces. i have addressed the leaks twice now .. but now the rear differential bushings are beginning to split.

should i swap in the older 2004 rear diff that has been perfect since the car was purchased new 15 years ago?
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