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-   -   DIY: E60 Short Throw/Shifter Overhaul (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=900208)

LoveBeingUseless 01-29-2012 07:29 PM

DIY: E60 Short Throw/Shifter Overhaul
Alright time for my E60 Shifter DIY!

Well I was getting super tired of the 10 foot throw on my factory shifter so I went for the very well known E60 shifter... and man what a difference!!!! :thumbsup:

I can not recommend it enough. The throws feel about 45% shorter, making it so easy to get throttle happy. :rolleyes:

Alright soo.. Since I was going in there I didnt just order the shifter. I got all new bushings throught out the selector shaft and idler bracket. Here's all the parts I bought and BMW genuine part numbers.

All my Goodies!!!

25-11-1-469-397 Shifter Ball Mount

25-11-1-222-015 Shifter Idler Arm Rear Mount

23-41-1-466-134 Dowel Pin

25-11-1-220-439 Nylon Washers

25-11-7-519-669 Shifter Idler Arm Trans Mount Bushing

25-11-7-546-373 E60 545i Short Throw Shifter

25-11-7-580-281 Gear Selector Input Shaft Joint

Now at the very least replace the shifter ball mount when your in there. the second best thing to replace is the gear selector input shaft joint. It has a piece of foam in there that puts pressure on the ball at the tip of the selector shaft rod. Cars with more miles on them wont even have any foam left because the foam breaks down after a while, which gives your shifter a lot of play.

Okay time to get to work.... I ordered my parts earlier in the week at work and the last bushing got to me mid friday and I had plans after work so I dint have time to put it in at work... I was a little eager so I did it at home :P Which makes for a better DIY for most people who dont have access to lifts.

Now I did this the way BMW official procedures are. Which is the way I am used to doing it because of work. Now this involves droping the exhaust and front part of the driveshaft and removing the trans mount. I've seen people work around the drive shaft which is doable for just the shifter, but if you plan on changing more bushings or seals then this is a better way to go, nothing beats accessibility. BMW does a fantastic job of making their exhaust systems easy to remove so it isnt to bad. Keep in mind I have a 2003 325i sedan so somethings such as bolt sizes or style of mounts may be different on your vehicle.

Okay now lets get to it!!


Step 1. Jack your car up. Get it nice and high on jack stands, Safely!! The rear needs to be up a little just so you can rotate the driveshaft to access the drivesaft bolts, and the wheels can spin freely as you rotate it.




Step 2. Remove Exhaust.

There are a total of 17 fasteners you will need to remove to be able to get the exhaust out.

4 - 15mm Nuts at the Exhaust Manifold Flange
1 - 13mm Bolt through the clamp at the rear trans Exhaust Mount
8 - 13mm Bolts on the 2 reinforcement plates towards the rear of the Exhaust Tunnel
4 -13mm nuts on the muffler mount. (2 per side) of exhuast

Now for rusted bolts like the ones that I bet are on your exhaust manifold flange, you will want to cover the exhaust studs with some good ol WD-40 to break down the rust and help the nuts come off as easy as possible. You dont want to snap the exhaust manifold stud cause the nut is siezed on there... Ask me how I know :p






Same goes for the bracket at the rear of the transmission. give this bolt a good spray of WD-40 and take her out.



Now the exhaust is mounted to 1 reinforcement plate toward the rear of the exhaust tunnel. but you will need to take out both of the plates to drop the exhaust down.




Now before you go any further, go ahead get a spare jackstand and put it under the exhaust around the resonator area to support it as you remove the last 4 nuts at the muffler.







Now Brace yourself, once those 4 bolts are removed, you just gotta dip the muffler down a little bit and pull the exhaust back so it slides off the flange studs then set her down :)


and boom thats that! wasnt to bad right? :D

LoveBeingUseless 01-29-2012 07:29 PM

Step Three. Next thing is take off this small heat shield that covers part of the the transmission mount bracket. It's held on by 3 -10mm sheet metal nuts.





Step Four. Next step you are going to remove the the het shield cover the majority of the Drive shaft. It's held on by 4-10mm sheet metal screws.
2 up front and 2 at the rear near the differential.







LoveBeingUseless 01-29-2012 07:30 PM

Step 5: Unbolt the Driveshaft

IMPORTANT: Make sure you unbolt the driveshaft from the transmission output shaft BEFORE you unbolt the transmission cross member.

Alright, now your going to remove the 3-18mm bolts holding the drive shaft to the transmission output shaft. Make sure that you remove the 3 bolts that connect the Drive Disc Coupler (rubber bushing between the drive shaft and output shaft) to the trans output shaft. The guibbo should stay bolted to the driveshaft.

This is where it comes in handy to have your rear wheels in the air so you can rotate the drive shaft as needed to access the bolts.

Tightening Torque: 64 Nm





Next you are going to remove the 2-13mm nuts holding the center driveshaft support in place.

INSTALLATION NOTE: Make sure when bolting the center driveshaft support back up that you apply 2mm of preload too the mount. Meaning bolt the driveshaft back up to the transmission and where ever the center mount naturally sits, you slide the mount 2mm towards the front of the car and bolt it down.

Tighten Torque: 21 Nm



Step 6: Remove Transmission Cross-member


There are 4-13mm bolts holding the crossmember to the chassis and 2-13mm nuts mounting the transmission to the top of the tranny bushings.

First thing you want to do is loosen the 2-13mm nuts mounting the trans to the crossmember. You don't have to fully remove the nuts. You simply need to loosen them up a bit so that when you unbolt the crossmember from the chassis you can simply slide the mount out.




Next unbolt the 4-13mm bolts mounting the crossmember to the chassis






Then hang the drive shaft off to the side. or secure it to a safe place, so it doesnt get damaged.


Now there is your shift linkage!!!! Coming Next


LoveBeingUseless 01-29-2012 07:31 PM

Step 7: Removing the Shift Boot and Sound Proofing

1. First thing we are going to do is take off the shift knob.

-Tug Firmly on the shift knob straight up to pop it off.

Note: Do not twist knob during removal as this would cause the turning lock in the knob to shear off.

Installation: Fit Knob on shift lever, align and press on until it snaps notibeably into place.



2. Next thing to do is Remove the Shift Boot.

-At the base of the shift boot, press the sides together. This releases two plastic clips on each side of the boot frame that hold the shift boot to the center console. Then pull it up and off the shift lever.

Installation: Feed the shift boot back on to the shifter and push the boot frame back into the center console until it clicks into place.




3. Now Remove the Soundproofing.

-Gently work it out of the center console. Careful not to tear it on any sharp edges of the centerconsole.

Installation: Opposite of removal!



Step 8: Shift gear Linkage Rod Removal

Now back under the car!

-There are two metal retaining clips holding the rod in place. One on the shift lever and one on the transmission selector shaft end.

Gently Remove the retaining clips and the nylon washers. Then you will be able to wiggle the Shifter Rod out.

Note: Take note of the arrangement of the shifter rod. It is installed on the drivers side of the car.

Installation: Opposite of removal, but give the pins on each end of the rod a good coat of silicone grease/spray or other forms of lubricant that can handle being exposed to the under car enviornment.







Step 9: Remove the Shift Lever

-Now BMW has a special tool for this part but some good ol needle nose pliars work just as well :;)

The pictures will make this easier to understand but what you are going to do is stick each end of your needle nose pliars in each side of the the shifter ball Mount. Now while applying pressure upward, rotate the mounting counterclockwise about 90 degrees or so and the mount and shift arm will pop out upwards.

Now go back in the car. Gently pull back the rubber boot (that the shifter goes through) back from the chassis and pull the shifter on out!!

Note: Pay attention to the way the shifter orientation is inside the car. (The way the angle points, which is angeling towards the back of the car.) If you look closely on the rubber boot there is a little arrow that points to the front of the car. Make sure that when you install the new shifter, the boot is mounted in the correct orientation.








I will get to the proper install of the shifter and mount bushing on my next post so more to come! Heres some comparison pics of the shifter and man what a difference!! I also just got my ZHP weighted shift knob and holy crap it made the shifts so so smooth!!! :D I highly recommend both e60 shifter and the ZHP shift knob. Perfect combo!!




LoveBeingUseless 01-29-2012 07:32 PM

Step 10: Removing Shift Rod Joint

-Lever Spring Washer out of the Groove and slide it out of the way.



-Now press the dowel pin downwards or upwards out of the shift rod joint and remove shift rod joint. I used a 90 degree pic to slide the pin downwards.

Installation: Opposite of removal. Make sure you lubricate the ball of the selector shaft on the transmission. I HIGHLY recommend you replace the foam piece inside the shift rod joint. This wears out very easily over time and contributes to play in shift quite a bit. If you are replacing the shift rod joint like I did, it should be coming with a new foam insert.




You can see the foam bushing is quite abused.


Step 11: Remove Selector Arm

-Lever out selector arm support bushing. Take a flathead screw driver and wedge it in the opening next to the support bushing levering to the outside of the car it will pop out.

Note: Make sure you pay attention to the orientation of the support bushing as you remove it, so that it is reinstalled properly.



-Next Take a flat head screwdriver and lever out a spring clip that is attatched to the pin that secures the selector arm to the transmission.


Here is a different angle of how exactly you release the spring clip I was only able to get with it out. It doesnt take much to release the clip, just get screw driver under the clip and roatate the screw driver to push the clip out of its securing location. I've seen people mangle the hell out of this clip or even break it because they dont think just muscle it.


Now that the clip is released. Swivel it up and slide the pin out.




Now you can take the selector arm out!!!!


Here's the old bushing. Time to get it out. I grabbed a 11mm socket and put it on top of the bushing in my press and started to pop it out. It really isnt to hard to get out. A press is certainly not required I just used it since I had it avalable to me.

Installation: Get some WD-40 on your fingers and lightly coat the new bushing. This will help pop it into the selector arm, just dont want to much because you want the bushing nice and secure in the selector arm not sliding about!



Alright all the parts are out!! time to compare Old vs New!!



Heres what a new foam insert should look like in the Shift Rod Joint.






Alright Now for reinstallation!

I used some silicone spray, you can use white lithium grease or any mild greases. Lubricated all the components that move during shifting:

-Selector Shaft Ball on the Transmission
-E60 Shifter Ball Joint
-Ball Joint Mount
-Selector Arm Pin
-Both Pins on Shift Rod
-Selector Arm End that mounts into the Support Bushing

As I stated before Make sure Your new shifter is oriented correctly with the rubber grommet that it goes through. Take note of the Arrow on the front of the grommet that points toward the front of the car.















LoveBeingUseless 01-29-2012 07:32 PM

Now with my New ZHP weighted shift knob.... DROOOOL!!! It's amazing how much smoother the added weight makes your shifts. I highly recommend getting this sucker. its much shorter than the factory knob as well which makes the shifts a little bit shorter and adds to the better feel of your shifts.








That about ends it! I'm going to combine all of these posts and put it in a new thread in the DIY forum as well. I will update any errors or need information. Just let me know if you have any questions!!

mystert 01-30-2012 02:45 PM

I did the same to my 330ci when I put in a new clutch. So much slop is removed just by replacing the shift rod joint and the other shifter bushings. Love the feel of the 545i shifter, while not as short as a Z3/4 shifter, its waaaay smoother. I too reccomend everyone do this

MoW 02-06-2012 03:19 PM

If anyone wants to change just the shift gear linkage rod then that can be done without removing all the other parts ... you just have to do it "blindfolded" since it's out of sight above the driveshaft but it's quite easy.
My problem was that one of the pegs on the rod came off. I fixed it with a screw. See the result at http://www.ministryofwheels.com/bmw-...uring-2003-c68 at the bottom of the page.

Mad328Luv 02-10-2012 07:29 AM

Totally awesome DIY! Really great job. The only thing I want to mention is that WD 40 is a petroleum based substance. This has the potential to eventually degrade plastics and rubbers. Not to mention that the oily film will attract dirt. I am in the lubricant industry and I live these products all day long. I would recommend a penetrant for breaking rust and the right lubricant for lubricating. WD is NOT a lubricant- even WD will say that. I prefer to go with a lubricant that has Teflon because it lasts longer, lubricates better and has better high and low temperature resistance. DuPont makes some really great lubes and penetrants. Just wanted to share that since most people are not very familiar with the lube category.

LoveBeingUseless 02-11-2012 01:08 AM


Originally Posted by Mad328Luv (Post 14070201)
Totally awesome DIY! Really great job. The only thing I want to mention is that WD 40 is a petroleum based substance. This has the potential to eventually degrade plastics and rubbers. Not to mention that the oily film will attract dirt. I am in the lubricant industry and I live these products all day long. I would recommend a penetrant for breaking rust and the right lubricant for lubricating. WD is NOT a lubricant- even WD will say that. I prefer to go with a lubricant that has Teflon because it lasts longer, lubricates better and has better high and low temperature resistance. DuPont makes some really great lubes and penetrants. Just wanted to share that since most people are not very familiar with the lube category.

thanks I appreciate it :) I do have dupont teflon spray aswell and even better stuff at work that is BMW specific, but I was limited to what I had at home unfortunatly. Thanks for the tips though! I dont suggest using wd40 as a lubricant either especially on your shifter components.

Royal-Motorsport 03-20-2012 10:03 AM

Great DIY :thumbup: do you think this shifter is better than the bmw performance ssk? i have the same car and hesitating between the one you have and the bmw perf one.

genuity 03-20-2012 12:36 PM

@OP: Excellent DIY and very high quality pictures! :thumbsup: As I was watching the progress, I had hoped you would replace the shifter shaft seal (p/n: 23121282394, I think that maybe the right one for your application). At the beginning of step 8, all that greasy mess all over the gear selector input shaft joint, comes from the transmission fluid seeping out between the seal and the shaft. :eeps:

Also, did your center support bearing come with butyl tape on the top of it, that is before you pulled it out? :hmm: I didn't see it in the pictures. If not, BMW must have added it later or only for some models. It's really a mess to work with...be glad yours did not come with it! BTW, if anyone is working with butyl, mineral spirits does great with clean up.

trizzuth 03-20-2012 03:33 PM

Props to you for creating this highly detailed thread! I am sure a lot of people would be willing to take this on now that there is a full pictorial step-by-step DIY. However, I must say that I just cannot believe you actually wrote this:

"BMW does a fantastic job of making their exhaust systems easy to remove so it isnt to bad."

Are you NUTS??? And you have an 03 sedan and did this just now? Must be F'n southern Cali, because I swear, if you do some reading/researching on those 4 exhaust studs/nuts you will find nothing but horror stories out there. I just cannot believe you actually got those nuts off without destroying them or having to cut and drill out the studs. I have a UUC TSE3 and have already dealt with those bolts twice, the first time it took me 6 hours of cutting and drilling and dremeling to get them out because the nuts got rounded in 1 second and i sheared one of them off. It was horrific. Second time was because I had a leak in the TSE3, pretty much same story, but rather than dealing with pressed in studs, I just had to deal with bolts that I had used and could bang them out.

That job alone makes me never ever want to even attempt this!

Also, looks like you have a crack in your guibo near one of the bolts. You should have replaced that when you were down there...

LoveBeingUseless 03-21-2012 08:03 PM

Hahaha well, Imagine dealing with those exhaust nuts on other types of cars that have exhaust systems that are multi-piece and route over axles and other obstacle.
So Yes compared to other car manufactures, with or without rusted to hell hardware, bmw does a good job of designing there exhaust systems to easily be remove.

Yes I saw my Guibo had some stress marks on it, I plan on replacing it aswell. Didnt have one with me though. I'll get a new one and swap it out on my lunch break soon.

Thanks for the insight guys! :)

I8UrCat 03-21-2012 10:33 PM

Great DIY!

Where did you get your parts from? I've been wanting to do this for a while, but BMW dealer pricing in Canada is about 1.5x the US pricing.

My car came with that shift knob, but some moron before me decided to try to unscrew it, and broke the tab off inside. Funnily enough, I found out on my first test drive of the car when I tried to downshift into 2nd before a sharp corner.....and the knob came right off!

edit: The shifter ball socket you show as part # 25 11 1 469 397, RealOEM shows as 25 11 1 220 600. I'm seeing elsewhere that your part number has superceded the part number in RealOEM's listing. Just for future people's reference.

Xelo 03-30-2012 02:22 PM

Any chance of reposting the images ?

LoveBeingUseless 04-05-2012 08:26 PM

just changed over to pro :) so pics should be coming back up

tks 05-15-2012 02:50 PM

So if I want to do exactly what you did, I would get:

25-11-1-469-397 Shifter Ball Mount
25-11-1-222-015 Shifter Idler Arm Rear Mount
23-41-1-466-134 Dowel Pin
25-11-1-220-439 Nylon Washers
25-11-7-519-669 Shifter Idler Arm Trans Mount Bushing
25-11-7-546-373 E60 545i Short Throw Shifter
25-11-7-580-281 Gear Selector Input Shaft Joint

And for added kicks and giggles I'd throw in a UUC DSSR.

That about makes up the whole parts list right? Maybe a few exhaust bolts too....

LoveBeingUseless 05-19-2012 11:23 AM


Originally Posted by ruskisky (Post 14396027)
So if I want to do exactly what you did, I would get:

25-11-1-469-397 Shifter Ball Mount
25-11-1-222-015 Shifter Idler Arm Rear Mount
23-41-1-466-134 Dowel Pin
25-11-1-220-439 Nylon Washers
25-11-7-519-669 Shifter Idler Arm Trans Mount Bushing
25-11-7-546-373 E60 545i Short Throw Shifter
25-11-7-580-281 Gear Selector Input Shaft Joint

And for added kicks and giggles I'd throw in a UUC DSSR.

That about makes up the whole parts list right? Maybe a few exhaust bolts too....

Lol exhaust bolts are always a good idea! That list seemed just about right :thumbsup:

DeKe977 05-22-2012 08:52 AM

just ordered all the parts, cannot wait to start this! :clap:

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