You are on page 1of 6

2/13/2016

325iXE30ZoneWiki

Login/createaccount
WikiMainPage
AllWikiPages
WikiCategories
IncompleteArticles
RecentWikiUpdates

325iX
FromE30ZoneWiki
Launchedin1985,theE30325iXwasBMW'sfirstforayintoallwheeldrivetechnology.

Contents
1History
2Technical
2.1Overview
http://www.e30zone.net/e30zonewiki/index.php/325iX

1/6

2/13/2016

325iXE30ZoneWiki

2.2Wheels
2.3Conversion
3CommonProblems
3.1ViscousCoupling
3.2FrontPropShaft
3.3Transfercase
4MagazineArticle
5GeneralInfo

History
By1985,theworldhadn'tjustgrownusedtotheideaoffourwheeldrivecarstheywereclamouringforthem.AndwhilefirmslikeJensen,Subaruand
AMCcanallmaketheirclaimstobringing4x4totheaverageconsumer,itwasundoubtedlyAudi'sQuattrosystemthathadpeople'sbloodpressure
rising.The325iXwasbuilttotapthatmarket.
Thefirstmodelsstartedoutasstandardchromesaloonsineither2or4doorflavours.Theyusedthenew2.5litreflavouroftheM20enginetheonly
lumpwithenoughgrunttopowerthecomplexandheavynewdrivetrain.Bymatingthestandardengineandgearboxtoamechanicaltransferbox
suppliedbyFerguson,BMWwereabletosendseparatedriveshaftstothefrontandbackofthecar,sendingpowertoallfourwheelsbywayoftwo
viscousdifferentials.
Thissystemwasbothprimitiveandcomplexatthesametime.Thetransfercasewasoutdatedbeforeitwasreleased,butits
simplemechanicalsallowedBMWtosetupapermanentrearwheelbiastoensurethecarstilldrivelikeaBMW.Whenthings
gotlooseandwheelsstartedtoslip,theviscousdifferentialswouldkickin,lockinganywherebetween10and100%without
havingtobemanuallylockedbythedriver.Thismeantthatthecarcouldtransformfromautobahncruisertooffroadrangerin
aheartbeatperfectfortheicyconditionsofaEuropeanwinterwheneveryounceoftractioncounts.Anotherboonwasthe
weightbycraftingalltheextrasoutofaluminium,theiXonlyweighs80kgmorethanitstwowheeldrivecounterpart,andhas
bothawidertrack(13mmmore)andtallerridehide(20mm)forbetterhandlinginadverseconditions.
Thedownsidewasthatthesetupwasn'tgearedforperformance,andthedrivetrainultimatelyrobbedasignificantamountofpowerfromthesixcylinder
lump.Butconsideringthetargetmarket,thiswasn'tahugeissuethe325iXwasneverintendedtoenterrallies,tothepointwhereBMWactively
downplayeditsperformance.Officialstatsclaimeda060mphtimeofaround9secondsnotexactlyaslouch,butcertainlyalotslowerthanthe325iX
feelsfrombehindthewheel.Thirdparties,suchastheSwedish"Automobile"magazine,haveclaimedtimesaslowas6.8sinastandard325iX,
meaningthecariscertainlymorecapablethanit'sgivencreditfor.
Butthisperformancecameataprice.WhenlaunchedintheUK,thelistpricewas17,000pounds,whichwas30%morethanastandard325i,andonly
inlefthanddrive.UptotwelveofthesecarsareknowntohavebeenprofessionallyconvertedtoRHDbyBMWdealerswithintheUK.However,all
wererecalledtoBMWforasteeringissueandtwowereultimatelydismantled.Onlyone325iXintheUKisanofficiallyregisteredBMWapproved
http://www.e30zone.net/e30zonewiki/index.php/325iX

2/6

2/13/2016

325iXE30ZoneWiki

RHDcar.
The325iXcarriedonthroughthe1988facelift,withaTouringmodeladdedtotherange.Despitethat,theiXremainsararebeast,andwithonly15,000
unitsleavingthefactory,itisdestinedtobecomerarerstill.
AlpinamadeaniXbasedE30,whichisknownastheB3ALLRAD.

Technical
Overview
Despitethebeefyrequirementsofpoweringallfourwheels,theiXwasfittedwiththeexactsame2.5litreM20engineasthe
325i,matedtothesamefamilyofmanualorautomaticgearboxes.Butthat'swherethesimilaritiesend.
Fromtheendofthegearbox,asmalltransferboxsplitstheoutputtotwopropshaftsoneforward,onerear.Thistransferbox
isarelativelysimpledesignmadebyFerguson,andemploysgearsandachaintosplitthepowerwitharearbias37:63%.

Drivetrain

TherearendissimilartotheE30,butthedifferentialisaspecificviscouslimitedslipdifferentialwitha3.73ratio.Thefront
endisacompletelydifferentkettleoffishitemploysadifferentialinsidetheenginesumpbeforesendingpowerthroughthedriveshaftstothehubs.
Becauseofthedesign,theiX'sdriveisapermanentAllWheelDrivesystemratherthanfourwheeldrive.Thereisnooption
tolockeitherthefrontorreardifferential,althoughtheviscousnatureofthereardiffmeansitcanlockbetween10100%.
However,theviscouscouplinginsidethesedifferentialsareknownweakpoints,andalmostallrequirealongoverduerebuild
bynow.
ThedrivetrainlayoutmeansthatallthemechanicalsatthefrontofthecararecustommadefortheiX,inordertosqueeze
everythingintotherelativelysmallspace.Thesubframeisuniquetocarryboththeengineandfrontdifferential,asarethe
wishbonesandhubs.There'sevenacustomsteeringrack,whichismountedbehindthefrontcrossmemberinsteadofin
front,likeotherE30s.Mostofthesecomponents(includingthesubframe)arealuminium,makingrepairsormodifications
difficult.

Sumpanddiff

Toaccommodateallthis,the325iXbodyshellisfundamentallydifferenttostandardE30sinalmosteveryaspect.Fromthe
outside,youcanclearlydistinguishthewiderarchesbothfrontandrear,whicharetoaccommodatethewidertrackthattheiXemploys.Andthereare
differencesunderneathtoo.Thetransmissiontunnelissignificantlywider(farwiderthanasimplelumphammercanachieve)tothepointwherethe
seatsrubagainstthecentreconsole.Openthebonnetandyou'llseesimilardifferences,withthesuspensionturretsmovedfartherforwardtochangethe
suspensiongeometry,whichalsoaffectstheinnerwingsandchassislegs.Sinceall325iXmodelsareLHD,therearealsobulkheaddifferencestoUK
cars.
http://www.e30zone.net/e30zonewiki/index.php/325iX

3/6

2/13/2016

325iXE30ZoneWiki

It'sfairtosaythat,forwardofthewindscreen,the325iXisacompletelydifferentcartoeveryotherE30.

Wheels
Becauseofthewidertrackofthe325iX,specialwheelswerefittedwiththecorrectoffsettocompensate.Frustratingly,thismeansthattheiXcannot
usestandardE30wheelsastheywillscrubthearches.Thecorrectoffsetfor325iXwheelsisET41.

Conversion
Alotofpeople,uponhearingoftheexistenceofthe325iX,entertaindaydreamsofgrabbingthemechanicalsandfittingthemtotheirowncar.Ifyou're
oneofthesedreamers,giveitupnowit'snotgoingtohappen.
Asexplainedearlier,thebodyshellofthe325iXisunique.Theallwheeldrivemechanicalswillnotboltuptoastandardchassis,andthechanges
requiredtodosoaresoinvolvedthatitisdramaticallyeasiertorestorearusted325iXshellratherthanadaptastandardone.
Thereisalsotheissueofthesteeringrack.The325iXunitisspecifictothatmodeltofitinsidethesubframe.Itslocationwithinthesubframemakesit
almostimpossibletoaccessforRHDcars,whichiswhyhardlyanyRHDversionswereproduced,meaningnoracksareavailable.Ifyoumanageto
sourceacompatiblerackfromanothernonE30vehicle,thenthere'stheproblemofgettingthelinkagepasttheexhaustpipes.
That'snottosayit'simpossiblegivenenoughtime,talentandcash,butitisanimmenseprojectthathasnotyetbeendone,forverygoodreasons.

CommonProblems
ThedrivetrainontheiXappearstobeprettybulletproof,withonlyafewknownproblems.Ofcourse,fluidchangesarerequiredevery36Kmilesto
keepthingsrunningsmoothlyATFinthetransfercaseandhypoidSAE90(GL5)gearoilinthefrontandreardifferential.Theviscouscouplingunits
donotrequireanyservicebutcanfailwithageandrequirearebuild.Thetransfercaseonlyholdsabout1.5pintofATF,sobesuretocheckthefluid
regularly.However,thetransfercaseonanautomaticcanleakintothetransmissionwithnovisiblesignofaleak.

ViscousCoupling
Overtime,theviscouscouplingswithinthedifferentialdegrade.Theyareusuallyratedfor70kmiles,somanyarelongoverdueforarebuild.Theyuse
asealedviscouspack.
Totestthestateofyourviscousdifferential,watchthisvideo(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4exvt2_Yjc).

FrontPropShaft
http://www.e30zone.net/e30zonewiki/index.php/325iX

4/6

2/13/2016

325iXE30ZoneWiki

TheweaklinkontheiXdrivetrainseemstobethesplinesonthefrontdriveshaftwhichmatewiththechaindrivengearinthetransfercase.These
splineshavestrippedinseveralcases.Apparently,themolygreasewhichlubricatesthesesplinesdriesoutorbecomescontaminatedwithwaterand
allowsthesplinestoweardown.Theonlywaytochecktheconditionofthegreaseistoremovethefrontdriveshaft(notacomplicatedprocedure).If
thesplinesstrip,thefrontdriveshaftmustbereplaced.Ifthefemalematinggearisruined,thetransfercasewillneedtoberemovedandthegear
replaced.

Transfercase
Thetransfercaseisarelativelyrudimentarydesign,comprisingacogandchainmechanism.Likeanythingelse,thesecogscanwearovertimeuntil,
inevitably,theboxdestroysitself.Ifyouhearanoisecomingfromthecentreofthedrivetrain,bepreparedforanexpensiverebuild.

MagazineArticle

GeneralInfo
PleasealsoseetheE30325ixRegister
http://www.e30zone.net/e30zonewiki/index.php/325iX

5/6

2/13/2016

325iXE30ZoneWiki

Retrievedfrom"http://www.e30zone.net/e30zonewiki/index.php/325iX"
Categories:E30Range|NonUKE30s
Page|
Discussion|
Viewsource|
History
Whatlinkshere|
Relatedchanges|
Uploadfile|
Specialpages
Thispagewaslastmodified11:05,12June2014.Thispagehasbeenaccessed14,866times.
AboutE30ZoneWiki|
Disclaimers|
PoweredbyMediaWiki|
DesignbyPaulGu

http://www.e30zone.net/e30zonewiki/index.php/325iX

6/6