LoveBeingUseless, thanks for the awesome DIY. It was great to have all the nice pictures & text, without having to wade through Bentley.
For my East Coast car, getting the four exhaust manifold nuts removed was a total PITA. The nuts just laughed at PB Blaster & heat, and an impact wrench rounded the darned things off instantly. Nut extractors did no good. It took a full day of whittling with a Dremel to cut the nuts off. Nonetheless, it was worth the pain to get the exhaust and driveshaft out of the way. I also had to do a selector shaft seal replacement while I had everything apart, so I needed all the room I could get.
The "bitch clip" earns its name - I struggled with that thing for a good hour. I installed teflon bushings in the selector arm during reassembly.
One thing I belatedly realized was that a UUC DSSR will not fit over the end of the E60 shifter or a new selector rod joint. Apparently BMW has added extra thickness (to the plastic) on those parts, deleting the yellow washers. At least with the DSSR I had, you would have to shave down the mating new parts to get it to fit. I sent the DSSR back for a refund, because I didn't want to disassemble everything to play MacGuyver.
As it turns out, the bulk of my old shifter's sloppiness was due to the worn selector rod joint - the foam was gone. It shifts very tightly now, and I love the shorter throw with the E60 shifter. I splurged on the ZHP knob, too.
2001 325iT 5-Speed