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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 03-18-2010, 12:27 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bronx, NY
Posts: 2,597
My Ride: 2000 323i
***DIY Tri-Stitch Shift & E-Brake Boot***

Time:2-5 hrs (Take your time and it will look great)
Difficulty 2 of 10. (if you can sew a button you can Tri-stitch)
Tools Needed:
Tri-Stitch color thread
X-acto knife
Super Glue
Good lighting source to see what your doing.

Total cost: $5

Note: This was done on leather.This process can also be applied to any other material, i.e alcantara, suede, etc...

Well you want to start of by taking out your shift boot and e-brake boot. Don't hurt yourself taking out your shift knob. You can use the search button to find out how, it's simple!!

Here is a good reference point on what the pattern should look like.

I went to Michaels arts and crafts store to buy some thread. These are the colors I used, that I thought matched the best. Color codes: 909, 3842, 519. *feel free to use any other color that you think is a better match*

You'll need some Krazy Glue and a x-acto knife

If you don't have any sewing equipment, pick some up at Michaels or any arts and craft store, get needles, and a thimble!

Once you have your shift boot off. Examine the stitch patterns so you know what your getting self into

Use the x-acto knife to separate the leather from the housing. Go slow to not cut/slice the boot

Turn the boot inside out

Find the stitch points near the bottom

Use the x-acto knife to take apart the stitching

Pull the thread out 1(one) at a time. Repeat steps to remove the other stitching.

This is what it should look like after you are done removing the stitching.


Thread the needle

Start at the top. Remember to start with the right color. Go in and out to make a loop on the inside of the boot.


Extend the thread down to the bottom first stitch. .

Go into the first stitch. Note: try your best to use the existing holes to re-stitch

Now. This is the Tricky part. What you want to do is pull the thread through the boot, over the extend thread on the outside and back down the same hole you went up through. This will pull the outside extended thread down. Repeat all the way to the top. Tighten every 2-3 stitches by giving the thread a good pull. Take your time

Once you got all the way to the top, use the loop you made a few steps back to tie the thread together nice and tight.

This is what it should look like.

Do the same process for the other side. Start at the top and make a loop on the inside of the boot.

Extend the thread to the first hole near the bottom

Repeat steps to stitch: pull the thread through the boot, over the extend thread on the outside and back down the same hole you went up through. This will pull the outside extended thread down. Repeat all the way to the top. Tighten every 2-3 stitches by giving the thread a good pull. Take your time. Don't forget to tie a knot at the end using the loop you made a few steps back

Almost there!

Now the easy part. Start at the bottom, go through the bottom left or right stitch (doesn't matter which one you start with). Tie one end down. Now Go back out the same hole.

You want to make a Zig-Zag pattern, alternating one stitch on each side as you go across. Pull the thread under the stitch and give a nice pull every 2 to ensure tightness. Look at the first picture for reference.

Work your way to the top. Take your time.

At the top, thread the needle to the inside of the boot and tie it down.

Now that you are done. Take the boot and wrap it back around the housing.

Secure it with Krazy Glue. Let glue dry for about 5 mins.

Done! Enjoy your new Tri-Stitch shift boot.

Last edited by E46Moonlight; 03-19-2010 at 11:22 AM.
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