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Stupid question, but I'm looking for a specific configuration. My research shows that it should exist, but I haven't found it since I've begun my search.
I'm looking for a 330i wagon, with a manual and RWD. Did this ever make it to the US?
Maybe I'm not searching the right thing.
 

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2004 330Ci 115k miles
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16,265 Posts
Stupid question, but I'm looking for a specific configuration. My research shows that it should exist, but I haven't found it since I've begun my search.
I'm looking for a 330i wagon, with a manual and RWD. Did this ever make it to the US?
Maybe I'm not searching the right thing.
No. The 330i touring was never a USA market model.
But, plenty have swapped a 330 engine into a 325i touring.
 

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'04 330ci 6MT
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tons of them in EU, but swap will be cheaper I guess
I wouldn't say tons. Although we got the Touring as a 330i, perhaps 90-95% of them were sold as autos. Finding a manual that's still in good condition isn't that easy, especially for anyone like me who'd want it to have some particular other options too.
 

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'04 325i, '02 325iT
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As others have already said, in the US we never got an E46 330i wagon. The chart below shows the breakdown of the North American spec (US & Canada) VIN codes that divide the total production into smaller groups by drive type, engine, and transmission. 2001 was an odd year because the AWD and RWD cars were mixed into the same VIN range EN80000 - EN80831. (These are the last 7 digits of the VIN). We haven't figured out the exact ratio within these cars that were AWD vs RWD, but it seems to be approximately half and half.

932180


The closest match to what you're looking for would be:

Pre-facelift:
2000 323i, RWD, Manual Trans: VIN Range JB35XXX (541 Cars produced)
2001 325i, RWD, Manual Trans: VIN Range EN8XXXX (Approximately 440 cars as explained above)

Facelift:
2002-2005 325i, RWD, Manual Trans: VIN Range EZ15XXX (738 Cars Produced, including a handful with SMG)

...For that last VIN range EZ15XXX we've run every VIN through the online decoder to get a full list of options for each and put it all in a spreadsheet that can be sorted by option. About half of those 738 have the sport package.

More info on wagon VINs in this thread here:

If you're looking to swap in a M54B30 into a wagon you could pretty easily swap in a manual trans while you're in there, so that would greatly increase your potential list of donor cars if you include the automatics in your search.
 

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You might find one in Canada, but then you'd have rust issues to contend with. Doing a swap is going to be your best bet by far.
Agreed. As someone who has an imported Canadian car, the rust is a nightmare...and my car was very un-rusty by Canadian standards. And I imagine a touring would've been exposed to a lot more winter elements. Even if the body is rust-free, every fastener is a battle the first time you touch it, and 99% of them need to be replaced.
 

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I've seen a lot of 330d wagons in Germany but 330i wagons aren't actually that common.
 

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2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
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I'm building one now! Get a non-SULEV 325 and swap the 330 in (make sure you get 330 intake, boots, throttle and MAF). Most of the work is replacing seals and gaskets that you would need to do anyway on the 325.

If you want a "real" 330 you will need to do the suspension, which means swapping sway bars, rear trailing arm assembly, shocks, springs and struts. Again, shocks and struts will be shot on any touring you are buying so no real issue there either.

Manual swap is a challenge, but loads of folks have done it
 

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'03 325iT Mystic Blau
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I'm building one now! Get a non-SULEV 325 and swap the 330 in (make sure you get 330 intake, boots, throttle and MAF). Most of the work is replacing seals and gaskets that you would need to do anyway on the 325.

If you want a "real" 330 you will need to do the suspension, which means swapping sway bars, rear trailing arm assembly, shocks, springs and struts. Again, shocks and struts will be shot on any touring you are buying so no real issue there either.

Manual swap is a challenge, but loads of folks have done it
Struts, springs and sways are all the same aren't they? As long as you're comparing sport suspension anyway.

Trailing arms are required for the larger brakes, but that can be gotten around with hybrid parking brake shoes.
 

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2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
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Struts, springs and sways are all the same aren't they? As long as you're comparing sport suspension anyway.

Trailing arms are required for the larger brakes, but that can be gotten around with hybrid parking brake shoes.
My bad. That is for sport v normal. 330 trailing arms and axles are different. I just picked up a 330 rear end complete at a PnP, replaced all the wear parts and swapped it. Ended up ahead after I sold the old parts.
 

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'04 330ci 6MT
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753 Posts
Going from a 328i to 330ci, I can't say I ever noticed having the bigger brakes of the 330. If you're track driving it, maybe, but not in road driving.

(And that's coming from someone who once spent €3k fitting bigger brakes to his B5 Audi S4 because it didn't stop as well on the Autobahn as his weekend car)

That said, I'd probably still do the 330 front brakes if it were me, if only because it's cheap and very easy, but the rears don't do much when all the weight's on the front under braking so it'd be a lot of extra work for little - if any - gain.

Mind you, if I had the space and skill to do an engine swap, the temptation to turn it up to 11 and swap in an S54 might be hard to resist. Who doesn't like a bit of scope creep? 😃
 
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