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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 04-17-2014, 10:42 AM   #1
phildobaggins
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Austin, Tx
Posts: 164
My Ride: 2001 325xi Wagon
Phildo's Shift Lever Position Tracker (Advice Needed)

After replacing my clutch and related parts, installed new shifter linkage washers, a new ball cup bushing, shifter bushing etc... my shifter will go all the way into 2nd and 4th but it will not willfully stay in those gear. If I press the clutch it will pop out as if its under tension when I do not hold the gear in place. If I lightly hold those gears they are fine. The upper shift gates (Rev, 1st 3rd 5th) all behave normally and this was not a problem before I started the work.

I thought this was due to having one new and one old motor mount. After replacing the drivers side mount last night the problem is still there.

The transfer case has the original mount which appears to be fine without any cracks/softness etc...

The transmission shifted fine in the tunnel before everything was fully tightened down. It could be the insulation foam is in the way which would be an easy fix. It could be the lever is reversed, which its angled back as it should be so I doubt that is my problem. The selector rod has the short angle up front and the longer angle towards the rear, it can only go on one way I suppose.

The shifter does go just fine into gears 2 and 4, it pulls all the way back. Under load it will hold the gear on its own for a period of time before the tension pulls it out of gear again.

Any advice?

Today on my lunch break I'll pull out the insulation and see how it operates.
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:16 PM   #2
phildobaggins
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Austin, Tx
Posts: 164
My Ride: 2001 325xi Wagon
Pulling out the insulation helped a tiny bit, it also helped that I put it back in the correct way. I had it in upside down. Still the same issue though, it will spring back to neutral from 2nd/4th. I'll road test it and see if it will hold 2nd / 4th under load for longer. More and more its looking like i'll need to take down the exhaust/ driveshafts / tcase to get a good look at whats up.
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:55 PM   #3
SamDoe1
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Minnesnowta
Posts: 3,574
My Ride: Clubs baby seals
My guess is that there's an issue with the way you put the shift linkage in. The bushings are probably misaligned and preventing the forward gears from fully engaging. Just a wild guess, I've never gone that far into a transmission before.
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:17 AM   #4
phildobaggins
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Austin, Tx
Posts: 164
My Ride: 2001 325xi Wagon
FIXED.

The shifter weather seal is old and swollen which must have worked for the previous owner with the shot motor mounts. Now with the correct motor/trans angle it appears the rubber surround was acting like a bushing/spring and putting tension on the bottom shift gates.

I removed the rubber boot and went for a ride. AMAZING i no longer have to hold 2nd and 4th. All gear changes are more positive now and it feels much more like a sports wagon should.

Here is the part I will be replacing:

08 Rubber boot 1 25117501638 $20.13

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/diagrams/u/i/80.png
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Last edited by phildobaggins; 04-20-2014 at 03:23 AM.
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:27 AM   #5
phildobaggins
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Austin, Tx
Posts: 164
My Ride: 2001 325xi Wagon
trimmed the boot a bit, reinstalled, works perfectly. No more exhaust leak smell coming through the shifter and well the shifter works with all parts as intended.
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