Just my opinion! Xi NEVER AGAIN - E46Fanatics E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > E46 Xi Forum

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.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-21-2019, 06:46 PM   #1
JTripper
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 741
My Ride: 3dirtyci
Year: 02
Transmission: 5 Speed
Just my opinion! Xi NEVER AGAIN

Iíll NEVER WANT OR OWN ANOTHER e46 xi in my life. I had one for a few months and it was aaaagh ok-ish till things started to go bad in rapid succession.

Changed the front passenger axle and control arm w/bushing. What a PITA. Then bottomed out in a huge pot hole and cracked the engine!!! Smh

I also have a reg RWD coupe (for yrs) and never had issues in inclement weather. f
For those that fret rwd in snow/heavy rain simple: just donít drive like a douche!! I did drive with a shovel during snow season for parking tho.

For example:
That oil pain and design makes the gasket job more tedious. For those that dont know, you have to remove the pass side axle to get the pan off as well as dropping the sub frame & the engine bay brace which is a Must piece if equipment/tool for that repair. As opposed to the RWD, just the engine bracing, sub frame drop, unbolt and bam!

Another example: the design of the fron suspension is more costly for no damn reason if you asked me.
AWD: control arm, inner ball joint and then the bushings (which almost never come pre pressed into their Ďlollipopí carriers) all sold seperately
RWD: control arms have both inner and outer balljoints in the arm itself and the bushings are now mostly sold with their carriers (lollipops).

Iíd discourage anyone wanting to buy one!

Aside from having all 4 wheels propelling at the same time what are the PROS you can come uo with?


Sent from my iPhone using E46Fanatics mobile app
__________________

@BMWorNADA
BMWCCA
///MPIREBOYZ#239
1st Gen. AC Schnitzer Strut Bar, M3 Face, Gunmetal VMR V710FF 18x8.5/9.5 , AEM Logger & longtube CAI, H&R Sport Cup Springs and Front Struts, Koni Rears, Reinforced Towers, Int. Trim Wrapped, Custom FX-R Retrofit , 3k Fogs, Frosted WeissLichts, 8 Track Player with Dolby.
JTripper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2019, 07:51 PM   #2
Rayar66
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 12
Well, I came from Subaru land with a 98 outback and put 100 miles a day on my car in all weather conditions kinda making AWD a necessity. Big but though, this AWD system isn't even in the same league as that of Subaru. It is still helpful, especially on the highway but I got stuck a couple times in my driveway with the BMW in stuff that I believe the Subaru wouldn't have had a problem with.
That being said, I probably wont buy another BMW of any kind. The electronics flat out suck, just started having the trifecta light problem which puts the car in limp home mode whenever it happens, looks to be a problem with the TB or probably the engine harness. The real problem is with it going into limp home mode, I mean really BMW? There is no reason for it and I am not sure I could even limp it home when it happens, I would be stranded. Dont get me wrong, I do enjoy driving it, fun car but overall my Outback was a much better car.
Rayar66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2019, 10:09 PM   #3
77'911
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 133
I'd take a slightly differing viewpoint. Our 330xi had some needs when we bought it, but I expected that going in, to a degree. There is no doubt, an older BMW can be a needy auto to own if it has not been properly maintained through the years. The e46 330xi is a tank, not as refined as a period Audi torsion system or Porsche AWD system. They are a decent value on the used market. The AWD system is a tad agricultural, but has proven quite well here in the PNW winters. Every manufacturer has it's "ism's", including Subaru. We've had an Outback and a newer Crosstrek, both are garbage. The build quality and reliability is terrible. The interior and sound system in our old 330xi is 10x nicer then the new Crosstrek in the family.
These cars are getting some age and miles on them. They need some infrastructure put into them, which most don't do.
Regards
77'911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-21-2019, 10:19 PM   #4
BimmerBuckaroo
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 1
I replaced both my CVs in my driveway, with minimal tools, in only 4 hours. And that's with the OEM jack. In my experience, mine's been really easy to work on, with a few exceptions (intake boot, cough). As for the AWD system, I've never had a problem with it. I drive in Eastern Oregon a lot, on ice, snow, gravel and mud, and never had a problem. It's even been really good for autocross. Sure, it's all open diffs, but I haven't had it hold me back. I'm sorry you've have that experience with your xi, but I think they're actually really sensible vehicles with a good, though primitive, AWD design.

Just my $0.02
BimmerBuckaroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2019, 11:19 PM   #5
WilloCO
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Colorado
Posts: 628
My Ride: '05 330xi 6 speed
Meh. I've had no issue with the design. Compared to similar aged nissan/subaru I've found that the design is far and away better.

Let's talk about this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerBuckaroo View Post
That oil pain and design makes the gasket job more tedious. For those that dont know, you have to remove the pass side axle to get the pan off as well as dropping the sub frame & the engine bay brace which is a Must piece if equipment/tool for that repair. As opposed to the RWD, just the engine bracing, sub frame drop, unbolt and bam!

The control arm bushings are trivial with a press. IMO they aren't much different from working on the e30 lollipops.
I'm sorry, are you comparing front end maintenance of AWD vs RWD as your justification? My $60 engine support doesn't offend me.
It seems you're talking about the oil pan gasket. I've done the job, it's not bad at all once the axles are out up front (which is not related to RWD at all) then drop the front diff and replace the seals.
With a support bar it's nothing.
Finally, you're complaining about cost of parts for the rarer version of the car vs the more popular and thus cheaper to maintain car?

I live in the mountains, RWD would be stuck on my slanted gravel driveway. Even with a LSD.

Yes, if you only deal with random inclement weather go with a RWD and good tires.
If you deal with say... snow in May (That is today for me), no, it won't be a good idea.
__________________
Quote:
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
WilloCO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2019, 01:47 AM   #6
Hot_tub
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: NJ
Posts: 217
My Ride: 2004 325xi
Transmission: 5 Speed
If i could do fat peels in mine, i'd be a happy man. Other than that i have 0 complaints. I feel very confident on the road in pretty much every weather scenario, and my drivetrain is pretty well taken care of. I can agree that it's pretty beat that the Xi is considered more of a 'premium' when shopping for parts. Theirs no denying that the RWD E46 suspension components are cheaper.

Overall it's my fun zippy mom car.
__________________

Last edited by Hot_tub; 05-22-2019 at 02:16 AM.
Hot_tub is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2019, 07:44 AM   #7
EvaJuli
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 180
My Ride: E46 325XiT
I welded the transfer case ring & sun gears, removed the front drive shaft, and bam, RWD wagon.
No more AWD horrific clunking with an aging transfer case and constant front axle replacement, and my MPG went up, faster off the line, quieter, and oversteer in the wet!

Last edited by EvaJuli; 05-22-2019 at 07:46 AM.
EvaJuli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2019, 10:18 AM   #8
jmo69
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 4,679
My Ride: 03 325xi 98 328is
I've stuck a fair amount of money and time into mine. You complain about front control arms and bushings. I can do outer ball joints and bushings for under $70

Sent from my SM-G950U using E46Fanatics mobile app
__________________
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
jmo69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2019, 12:04 PM   #9
jmenacker
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Martinsburg WV
Posts: 54
My Ride: 2002 325Xi
Transmission: Manual 5 Spd
If there is no need to drive nonchalantly in low traction situations, then there is no need for added service required for more than one wheel drive. Otherwise, it is what it is - more complicated = more parts to service.

Joe M in WV
jmenacker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2019, 03:00 AM   #10
darkfires102
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 262
My Ride: 325xi, '07 E60 M5
Year: 2003
Transmission: 5spd Manual
Of course an AWD car is a bigger PITA for the DIYer, its always the tradeoff of weight + maintenance for what a good amount of people can justify. Good winter tires will always beat AWD though, true, and for our cars it's a very primitive open diff system...major step back from the e30 ix. Kinda half assed on the e46 if you ask me, BMW just did it for the people who wanted it. You gotta pay to play.
darkfires102 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2019, 03:39 PM   #11
minengr
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Harrisburg, IL
Posts: 16
My Ride: 07 Vette,04 325xi
I have more complaints about the cooling system than the AWD.
minengr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2019, 10:18 PM   #12
JTripper
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 741
My Ride: 3dirtyci
Year: 02
Transmission: 5 Speed
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmenacker View Post
If there is no need to drive nonchalantly in low traction situations, then there is no need for added service required for more than one wheel drive. Otherwise, it is what it is - more complicated = more parts to service.

Joe M in WV


Well said, now I concur all the way!


Sent from my iPhone using E46Fanatics mobile app
__________________

@BMWorNADA
BMWCCA
///MPIREBOYZ#239
1st Gen. AC Schnitzer Strut Bar, M3 Face, Gunmetal VMR V710FF 18x8.5/9.5 , AEM Logger & longtube CAI, H&R Sport Cup Springs and Front Struts, Koni Rears, Reinforced Towers, Int. Trim Wrapped, Custom FX-R Retrofit , 3k Fogs, Frosted WeissLichts, 8 Track Player with Dolby.
JTripper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2019, 10:25 PM   #13
JTripper
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 741
My Ride: 3dirtyci
Year: 02
Transmission: 5 Speed
Quote:
Originally Posted by minengr View Post
I have more complaints about the cooling system than the AWD.


Haa haa the cooling system is suspect for all our e46ís. However, unless you semi bullet proof it with for example: mishimotos full metal radiator and expansion tanks, along with silicone hoses, and metal upgrade pulley. Ecen then you still have to wirry about the water pump and therm.


Sent from my iPhone using E46Fanatics mobile app
__________________

@BMWorNADA
BMWCCA
///MPIREBOYZ#239
1st Gen. AC Schnitzer Strut Bar, M3 Face, Gunmetal VMR V710FF 18x8.5/9.5 , AEM Logger & longtube CAI, H&R Sport Cup Springs and Front Struts, Koni Rears, Reinforced Towers, Int. Trim Wrapped, Custom FX-R Retrofit , 3k Fogs, Frosted WeissLichts, 8 Track Player with Dolby.
JTripper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2019, 09:00 AM   #14
xi4life
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 22
My Ride: 330Ci
Year: 2004
I live in Maryland, my first car was a 325xi 5 speed. Sure there are better AWD systems out there but it really isn't bad. Always got me where I needed to go and never left me stranded. The only downside IMO is additional maintenance over the RWD e46s (i.e. replacing axle boots when the are dry rotted and about to tear rather than waiting for CV to go bad) and slightly worse MPGs. I drive a 330ci 6 speed now and although I enjoy the extra MPGs out of the 6 speed I do miss the AWD system of the xi
xi4life is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2019, 10:57 AM   #15
JTripper
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 741
My Ride: 3dirtyci
Year: 02
Transmission: 5 Speed
Quote:
Originally Posted by xi4life View Post
I live in Maryland, my first car was a 325xi 5 speed. Sure there are better AWD systems out there but it really isn't bad. Always got me where I needed to go and never left me stranded. The only downside IMO is additional maintenance over the RWD e46s (i.e. replacing axle boots when the are dry rotted and about to tear rather than waiting for CV to go bad) and slightly worse MPGs. I drive a 330ci 6 speed now and although I enjoy the extra MPGs out of the 6 speed I do miss the AWD system of the xi


Hahaha oh yes, i see youíre slighty on the No xi crew lol, and what about the 2 shifter bushings that are needed for a refresh? Like wtf really? Different wheel sensors, and list continues. Idk what the dudes in Munich were thinking on this one.


Sent from my iPhone using E46Fanatics mobile app
__________________

@BMWorNADA
BMWCCA
///MPIREBOYZ#239
1st Gen. AC Schnitzer Strut Bar, M3 Face, Gunmetal VMR V710FF 18x8.5/9.5 , AEM Logger & longtube CAI, H&R Sport Cup Springs and Front Struts, Koni Rears, Reinforced Towers, Int. Trim Wrapped, Custom FX-R Retrofit , 3k Fogs, Frosted WeissLichts, 8 Track Player with Dolby.
JTripper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2019, 04:18 PM   #16
Dimi1110
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvaJuli View Post
I welded the transfer case ring & sun gears, removed the front drive shaft, and bam, RWD wagon.
No more AWD horrific clunking with an aging transfer case and constant front axle replacement, and my MPG went up, faster off the line, quieter, and oversteer in the wet!


I wish I could do that to my 05 xi itís the second xi Iíve owned at the second to give me some annoying AWD problems. I donít know wether itís my drive shaft guibo or transfer case or what is causing the car to be stuck. I previously changed the center bearing on my drive shaft which resolves the clanking noise, but once I got back on the road I could still fell the whole car shake while accelerating. Then one day while parking into my drive way it wouldnít shift into park or drive at all. Only thing I get is a nasty grinding noise when I put it in park but the e brake is still necessary.
Dimi1110 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2019, 11:10 AM   #17
EvaJuli
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 180
My Ride: E46 325XiT
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot_tub View Post
If i could do fat peels in mine, i'd be a happy man.

Can you even do that in a base RWD 3-series?
EvaJuli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2019, 01:39 PM   #18
TopCityBMW
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 117
My Ride: 330xi
Find my rant on here. My car was dealer owned and then CPO. Thereís absolutely no reason for the issues this car has except, poor materials. The design and engineering doesnít help with the repairs.

My next car will be electric.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
TopCityBMW is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) 1999 - VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.