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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 03-04-2018, 07:11 PM   #1
stevemd
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My Ride: 325xiT, XC60, CR-V
Year: 2004
Model: 325xiT
Transmission: 5spd
Using Existing 325xit 5-speed Manual In a 330i Swap

Rather than spring for a 330xit 6-speed, is there any reason one can't reuse the existing 325xi 5 speed? From what I have seen on the interwebs, the 2 boxes have the same first great ratios, 4.21.

The 5 speed has a 1.00 5th gear ratio, the 6 speed a 0.85 6th gear. However the 330 xit 6 speeds come with a 3.07 final drive. Our 5 speed xit's have a 3.23 final drives.
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:42 PM   #2
Melbowski
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My Ride: '03 325Xi
Year: 2003
Model: 325Xi
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Like putting the 3.0 engine into into the 325xi? Should bolt right up with no issues as far as I'm aware, but by re-using the 325Xi trans it'll have a weaker clutch (using an '02 330Xi 5-speed clutch/flywheel assembly should remedy this). The pilot bearings are different between the 5-speed and 6-speed, but I think all the engines are fitted to take either style (you'll need to double check that).

The two Xi transmissions (5-speed/6-speed) have basically identical gearing, the 6-speed just adds overdrive. I much prefer the 6-speed personally as I spend a lot of time on the highway/expressway, and if you're going to replace the clutch/flywheel anyway, I'd drop the extra coin for the full 6-speed swap. It'll work either way, so do what fits your needs, as well as your budget.
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'03 BMW 325Xi - 6-Speed Swap/M3 Seat Swap/M-Tech II Aero Spoiler/Piano Black Trim Swap/
Eibach Pro-Kit Lowering Springs/Supreme Power Drop Hats/5mm Rear Spring Pads/
Euro Rear Fog Swap/Euro Turns/Switch-back Angel Eyes/Factory Alarm/Android Headunit

'92 Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo - 6-Speed Swap/Tein S-Techs/Active Aero Swap/M2 Exhaust/
Forged Internals/Chrome ECU/1200cc Injectors/Denso 260 Pump/Bigger Turbos Soon!


Last edited by Melbowski; 03-06-2018 at 07:16 AM. Reason: Clarity/Grammar
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:12 PM   #3
stevemd
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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My Ride: 325xiT, XC60, CR-V
Year: 2004
Model: 325xiT
Transmission: 5spd
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbowski View Post
Like putting the 3.0 into into the 325xi? Should bolt right up with no issues as far as I'm aware, but it'll have a weaker clutch. The pilot bearings are different, but I think all of them are fitted to take either style (you'll need to double check that).

The two transmissions have basically identical gearing, the 6-speed just adds overdrive. I much prefer the 6-speed personally as I spend a lot of time on the highway/expressway, and if you're going to replace the clutch/flywheel anyway, I'd drop the extra coin for the full 6-speed swap. It'll work either way, so do what fits your needs, as well as your budget.
True and since the engine will be out.... I'll see what the xi 6-speeds are going for.

Edit: Saw your write-up on the 6-speed swap, Melbowski. Thanks, very helpful. I didn't realize that a RWD 6-speed is perfectly fine for the xi swap. Also my car being a 2004, I guess no transfer case notching needed.

It seems that xi owners have their choice of 3 different final drive ratios: 3.07 3.23, 3.46 (with corresponding front diff.)

Last edited by stevemd; 03-05-2018 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:54 AM   #4
Melbowski
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 104
My Ride: '03 325Xi
Year: 2003
Model: 325Xi
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevemd View Post
True and since the engine will be out.... I'll see what the xi 6-speeds are going for.

Edit: Saw your write-up on the 6-speed swap, Melbowski. Thanks, very helpful. I didn't realize that a RWD 6-speed is perfectly fine for the xi swap. Also my car being a 2004, I guess no transfer case notching needed.

It seems that xi owners have their choice of 3 different final drive ratios: 3.07 3.23, 3.46 (with corresponding front diff.)
Glad to be of service! I'm not sure what you mean about the RWD 6-speed being viable? The 2.5/3.0 engines are the same, in that they'll accept either AWD/RWD trans, but the RWD and AWD trans themselves are quite different and the RWD trans will not bolt up to the t-case or AWD drivetrain. The only viable 6-speeds for the Xi are from a 330Xi or an X3, all the RWD versions won't bolt up to the AWD drivetrain. If you could point me to where I said the RWD trans are usable I'd be happy to go back and correct it, and I've edited my previous post for clarity if that was the discrepancy

The final drive is your choice if you can find what you're after, so long as it's from another Xi (since you'll need both diffs). I've found the stock 3.23 to be more than acceptable personally.
__________________
'03 BMW 325Xi - 6-Speed Swap/M3 Seat Swap/M-Tech II Aero Spoiler/Piano Black Trim Swap/
Eibach Pro-Kit Lowering Springs/Supreme Power Drop Hats/5mm Rear Spring Pads/
Euro Rear Fog Swap/Euro Turns/Switch-back Angel Eyes/Factory Alarm/Android Headunit

'92 Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo - 6-Speed Swap/Tein S-Techs/Active Aero Swap/M2 Exhaust/
Forged Internals/Chrome ECU/1200cc Injectors/Denso 260 Pump/Bigger Turbos Soon!


Last edited by Melbowski; 03-06-2018 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:42 AM   #5
stevemd
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maryland
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My Ride: 325xiT, XC60, CR-V
Year: 2004
Model: 325xiT
Transmission: 5spd
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbowski View Post
Glad to be of service! I'm not sure what you mean about the RWD 6-speed being viable? The 2.5/3.0 engines are the same, in that they'll accept either AWD/RWD trans, but the RWD and AWD trans themselves are quite different and the RWD trans will not bolt up to the t-case or AWD drivetrain. The only viable 6-speeds for the Xi are from a 330Xi or an X3, all the RWD versions won't bolt up to the AWD drivetrain. If you could point me to where I said the RWD trans are usable I'd be happy to go back and correct it, and I've edited my previous post for clarity if that was the discrepancy

The final drive is your choice if you can find what you're after, so long as it's from another Xi (since you'll need both diffs). I've found the stock 3.23 to be more than acceptable personally.
Whoops, I misread something, no fault of yours, and I see you did specify a 6-speed AWD transmission. Sorry about that.

It has occurred to me that with a 330xi 3.07 rear and the front diff. I could retain my 5 speed and get rpms a tad lower at 80 mph. Need to find an online calculator to get a better idea of that, though.

Last edited by stevemd; 03-06-2018 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:45 PM   #6
Melbowski
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 104
My Ride: '03 325Xi
Year: 2003
Model: 325Xi
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevemd View Post
Whoops, I misread something, no fault of yours, and I see you did specify a 6-speed AWD transmission. Sorry about that.

It has occurred to me that with a 330xi 3.07 rear and the front diff. I could retain my 5 speed and get rpms a tad lower at 80 mph. Need to find an online calculator to get a better idea of that, though.
No problem here, just didn't want to give anyone wrong info; it certainly wouldn't be my first time mistyping something

Using the 330Xi diffs is a reasonable alternative though the change isn't drastic; at 80 you'd drop from 3478rpm to 3306rpm (6-speed at 80 would be 2956rpm with 3.23 and 2810 with 3.07). Certainly better than nothing, though the cost/benefit is significantly less. BokChoys site has a very convenient calculator that you can swap diffs, trans, tires, etc to see all kinds of information, you can find it here: BokChoys Gear Ratio Calculator

Again, I'm just giving my opinion, so feel free to go whatever direction fits your goals and budget
__________________
'03 BMW 325Xi - 6-Speed Swap/M3 Seat Swap/M-Tech II Aero Spoiler/Piano Black Trim Swap/
Eibach Pro-Kit Lowering Springs/Supreme Power Drop Hats/5mm Rear Spring Pads/
Euro Rear Fog Swap/Euro Turns/Switch-back Angel Eyes/Factory Alarm/Android Headunit

'92 Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo - 6-Speed Swap/Tein S-Techs/Active Aero Swap/M2 Exhaust/
Forged Internals/Chrome ECU/1200cc Injectors/Denso 260 Pump/Bigger Turbos Soon!


Last edited by Melbowski; 03-06-2018 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:37 PM   #7
Tippey764
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The 330xi was a 5 speed up until 03/03 and it came with a 3.07 diff. Theres no reason you can't use an xi 5 speed on an m54b30
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