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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:47 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Connecticut
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My Ride: 2005 E46
DIY: How to disassemble the shift knob on an automatic.

Why? Old knob is cracked or worn, or you don't like wood. So you buy a new knob or used one and find that it does not come with the shifter rod that keeps it locked into gear. Thus if you are driving you can bump it and the shift knob could potentially go flying into reverse or park or whatever.

Parts: New or used replacement knob. I bought a used OEM E39 half wood, half leather knob.

Tools: Flat head screw driver, flash light, maybe a rag.

First remove the knob from car by putting the key in, turn to position two (do not turn car on) put the car in drive and put on the ebrake.

With the help from the gods, pull with all your strength and yank that sucker off, careful not to crack your windshield or your face (be sure to press the button in).

Now go to a well lit area and get a flash light, and a flat head screw driver.

Here is the culprit

Turn the knob upside down and under the button you notice a slot. If you aim the light behind there you can see that the rod sits on a metal pin. As you depress the button, the metal pin goes up, pulling the rod up.

Now with take the flat head screw driver (you may want to use a thin cloth as well if you're afraid of marring up the plastic or wood) and put it just behind the slot

With the screw driver in the gap behind the button, pry it out towards you. I found that since this knob had never been taken apart before it was in there really tight. So I pried it out a bit, the pushed it back in then pried it out a bit again (kind of like wiggling it) until the beast finally let go.

Once the button is out the rod will simply fall out. Pictured here is the hole in the rod and the metal pin it sits on

Now to reassemble the knob or transfer the rod to your new and improved shift knob start by inserting the rod into the knob (man this sounds dirty) until you see the hole of the rod in the opening of the knob (gettin kinda steamy in here ).

Now slide your button back into place and using your flashlight line up the metal pin with the hole in the rod. Take your time with this.

Once you feel you're in the right place, simply push the button in as if you were shifting and bam, you are done. Mine isn't totally finished in the last picture so the button is sticking out a bit. Don't worry once done it will look totally normal again.

And for those curious about the inside of the normal wood knob have a look.

Now that your new knob is together go back to your car, slide it on then with a good whack from your fist, slam it back down into place and enjoy!

Last edited by SpoonerDee; 12-26-2012 at 07:44 AM.
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