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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
E46Moonlight
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***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:
Thread
Needle
Thimble
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.

DO NOT REMOVE THE STITCHING IN THE MIDDLE IT WILL SPLIT THE BOOT. JUST TAKE OUT THE OUTER MOST STITCH'S.


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.

Loop!


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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Old 03-18-2010, 12:27 PM   #2
E46Moonlight
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Start of by taking your E-Brake boot out of the car. I pop's right out. Just pull! The process is exactly the same as the Shift boot just a little longer.

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




The e-brake handle is held on by a zip tie, no need to cut it. Just wiggle it out.


Slide the handle out


Find the stitch points near the bottom, use the x-acto knife to cut them and pull them one by one.


Stitched are out!


Remember to make the loop on the inside of the boot at the top near the handle. Extend the end to the bottom stitch to start.


The only thing different I did on the E-brake boot than the shift boot was I use a thicker needle. Reasons: 1) Easier to thread the needle. You find that threading the needle is the hardest part if you don't have steady hands or the right needle that goes with the thread. 2: made the holes a tiny bit bigger, which made it so much easier and faster. I got the E-brake done in half the time compared to the shift boot.


Remember to use the existing holes, and give a nice pull every 2-3 to ensure tightness. Repeat the steps as the shift boot, once one side is done again repeat the same process on the other side.


Once both sides of the stitching is done. Repeat the same steps to tri-stitch. Remember to pull every 2 to get a nice even Zig-Zag pattern.


Once you finish one side. Repeat the steps again to the other set of stitching! You are Half way done!!!
Once you finish the last set of stitching don't forget to tie all the threads 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.
Install everything back into the car.
Done! Enjoy your new Tri-Stitch e-brake boot.




Results!!!!!








Thanks for looking. If you have any questions just ask them on here and I will do my best to answer them.

Last edited by E46Moonlight; 03-19-2010 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:31 PM   #3
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Nice idea, it would look better if the stitching was closer together.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:32 PM   #4
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looks great! though i think it might look odd in my beige interior
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:39 PM   #5
E46Moonlight
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Nice idea, it would look better if the stitching was closer together.
yea it would! but i have an after market leather shift boot and E-brake boot. The OEM one was old and had holes left from the previous owner. Not to shabby for not knowing what i was doing!
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Old 03-18-2010, 04:55 PM   #6
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Very nice, I was waiting for a write up like this, now only if someone dissected the boot and the e-brake boot and wrote up pattern for tri stiched alcantara boot DIY...
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by hummermaniac88 View Post
Very nice, I was waiting for a write up like this, now only if someone dissected the boot and the e-brake boot and wrote up pattern for tri stiched alcantara boot DIY...
Wouldnt it be the same
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:53 PM   #8
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Very nice, I was waiting for a write up like this, now only if someone dissected the boot and the e-brake boot and wrote up pattern for tri stiched alcantara boot DIY...
lol i just cut up my shift boot up to make a pattern. good job op at first i thought damn his fingers are going to get chewed up trying to punch that leather then saw you used the original holes looks great.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:07 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone. I'm working on the e-brake boot now. post will be up tomorrow
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:51 AM   #10
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Looks great, might have to do this.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:23 AM   #11
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E-brake DIY is up on post #2.
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:35 PM   #12
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Nice idea
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:16 PM   #13
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looks damn goood bro
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:20 PM   #14
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im next Green please? can drop it off asap
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:29 PM   #15
E46Moonlight
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im next Green please? can drop it off asap
lol... i would but it's way to time consuming to do. if i had a machine then i would defiantly consider doing this for people.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:04 AM   #16
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OP you inspired me

here is a pic of what I did... got the same brand thread as you... FYI for others I went to Jo Anne Fabrics, the thread I got was in the embroidery section, they have 100's of colors so plenty of customization options out there, I also used embroidery needles, probably a little easier to thread with the thicker thread than a regular sewing needle. I was also just playing around to see if I would really like it so I just used my old vinyl boot and did not remove it from the frame, its probably easier to remove it and do it like that, but not necessary.


Last edited by jwm5; 03-23-2010 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:12 AM   #17
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OP you inspired me.

Looks pretty damn good! Do u have a close up of the stitch patter. It looks different
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:21 AM   #18
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Awesome THREAD. (get the pun)

This was real clever OP.

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Old 03-23-2010, 08:48 PM   #19
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Looks pretty damn good! Do u have a close up of the stitch patter. It looks different
no clear pics of the threads, I doubled up on the outside lines so two black stripes and two yellow, then one red the way up the middle, then one red between the inner black and yellow, so it gives it a different look not quite as sparse as the stock stitch pattern
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:56 PM   #20
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no clear pics of the threads, I doubled up on the outside lines so two black stripes and two yellow, then one red the way up the middle, then one red between the inner black and yellow, so it gives it a different look not quite as sparse as the stock stitch pattern
Very unique! Did you just do the shift boot? this would look so on the e-brake boot. Then your interior is
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