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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 05-09-2010, 10:06 PM   #1
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DIY: Stay Genuine And Enjoy Shorter Shifts.

Everyone wants a short shifter for their manual transmission right? but not everyone wants to spend 300 bucks on an aftermarket shifter kit.
Well there is a way to stay BMW Genuine and still enjoy short, smooth and precise shifting.


-The answer is to get a E60 545i shifter.

*there are other OEM shifters that will yield same results, but I can only vouch for the 545i shifter as I did it on my car and it works great.

What is needed for the install?
-E60 545i shifter part# 25117546373
-Bearing, shift lever part# 25111220600 (not necessary but its only 12 bucks, so buy it in case you'll need it, will mention it later)
-It's also a good idea to pick up a ZHP (weighted) knob as it will help alot with throws. (I have it and LOVE it)

6-speed knob part# 25117896886
5-speed knob part# 25117896031

It is OEM E60 545i shifter?
-Yes

Will it fit my car?
-Yes, fits most BMWs with manual transmissions which use a bent shifter, E46 E39... Will NOT fit BMWs that use a straight shifter. (ex ZHP )

Is it compatible with 6-speed or only 5-speed?
-Fits E46 BMWs with 5 speed manual transmission and E46 M3 ONLY , will NOT fit ZHP or non-M Getrag 6 Speed transmission, due to the shifter angle.

Some reference links.
M3 fitment > http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=179545
E46 Xi Fitment > post #50
Non-M Fitment > post #54


How much shorter are the throws?
-Supposed to be 30% less, but feels more.

How much does it cost?
-I got my from a dealership and it was 90cad (its cheaper then the ones from understeerdotcom) depending on your location it may be cheaper.

Now on to the DIY:

-Car on ramps or jack it up(make sure its safe to proceed)
-Remove knob, just pull up (pull towards your chest)
DSC04529
-Remove boot
-Remove insulation and rubber boot.
-From under the car remove the retainer clip.
0017
-Now if you have a special tool, you can turn the plastic bearing cup 1/4 turn counter clockwise or just use pliers. Then just pull up.This is the part that could cause loose shifter feel as with time the plastic wears down and becomes loose, so just replace it.
-Remove the shifter from the plastic bearing cup, just pull apart.
DSC04551
-Install new shifter into the bearing with some grease.
-Reinstall in reverse.

DSC04552
The shifter actually sits 1 inch lower making it more pleasant to shift.
DSC04550

You dont need to reuse your original yellow washers because the 545i shifter has built in washers, If you look at your original one you'll see that the inside plastic ring sits flush with the metal ring, but on the 545i shifter the plastic ring sticks out pass the metal ring on both end, so called built in washers.
4593942116_4621bf70e4_o

First impression: shifts are shorter and more precise. No more shifter play while in gear. The shifter sits 1 inch lower making it the perfect height for the armrest.

PS> remove your CDV (clutch delay valve) if still havent, to make your shifting even more precise.
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:40 PM   #2
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thx for the info!
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:48 PM   #3
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Sure about the part where it works for 5 and 6 speeds alike? I'm pretty sure the 6 speeds use a different shifter from the 5 speeds. I mean anything will bolt up, but the angle bend will make your first gear dig into the shift surround or just be in a weird location
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:48 PM   #4
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interesting
tischer has it for $62

EDIT: are you sure about the 5 speed vs 6 speed. cause you have a 6 and your shift area (square thing) is not the same as my 5 speed.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mvrk10256 View Post
interesting
tischer has it for $62

EDIT: are you sure about the 5 speed vs 6 speed. cause you have a 6 and your shift area (square thing) is not the same as my 5 speed.
Thats a great price and I'm sure about the 5 and 6 speed.
BTW, I have 5 speed transmission. And my shift area is different because I have a different car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil1138 View Post
Sure about the part where it works for 5 and 6 speeds alike? I'm pretty sure the 6 speeds use a different shifter from the 5 speeds. I mean anything will bolt up, but the angle bend will make your first gear dig into the shift surround or just be in a weird location
No, I'm positive about it. This shifter will fit any BMW with 5 or 6 speed manual transmission and work just like it works on my car (my car is 5 speed).
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blocked Out View Post
Thats a great price and I'm sure about the 5 and 6 speed.
BTW, I have 5 speed transmission. And my shift area is different because I have a different car.



No, I'm positive about it. This shifter will fit any BMW with 5 or 6 speed manual transmission and work just like it works on my car (my car is 5 speed).
sorry i thought you had a 6 speed knob. my bad.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:20 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing! I'm definately going to do this mod.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:33 PM   #8
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OP good job on this DIY, i'm in the same boat and will be going a slightly different route...

If you look at the OEM BMW Performance SSK for the e46, you can just purchase the shift lever instead of the entire $225 kit... or whatever it is

For about $80, you can buy the lever ($62ish,) plus all the clips and other pieces that loosen up after xx,xxx amount of miles

Hell, for all i know, it might even be the same part number... but the one i have my eye on is the shift lever from the E46 BMW Performance SSK

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Old 05-09-2010, 11:47 PM   #9
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Good job, my bad

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Old 05-10-2010, 12:15 AM   #10
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All BMW shifters have that bend. Some aftermarket companies have eliminated the bend, but thats their design.
The shifters for 330i/Ci 5 speed and 330i/Ci 6 speed have in fact different part numbers but are not significantly different.
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:19 AM   #11
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I can guarantee that this shifter will NOT make your shifter be oriented or centered differently. It will be in the same position where your old one was.
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:25 AM   #12
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil1138 View Post
Obviously all shifters have a bend, that's what makes them have shorter throws. But different shifters have different angles of bends to work for different transmissions. When you put one in your car that isn't meant for your car, you get weird shift patterns, shifter orientations, etc.

They aren't significantly different you say? You know this how? But they are different right? Same bend angle on different cars = erratic shifting. I can link bomb you with 10 places that specify to pick whether or not you have a 5 or 6 speed transmission. If they were the same, they would have the same parts.

You still don't get it, 5 and 6 speed transmissions use different shifters. If you put the same shifter in both of them, something isn't going to line up in one of them

you are absolutely right neil, there IS a difference but is it possible the differences is so small that it is not really noticeable in relation to the benefit of the shorter shift?
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:49 AM   #14
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:57 AM   #15
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couple of questions

1. can you take a pic from the side, like from the drivers footwell so i can see the height of the shifter plz (i guess this is more request than question)
2.how has the side to side slop gotten? this drives me crazier than the stock shift distance. also can u measure the travel from 3rd(all the way up) and 4th(in gear as well) - say front of knob to back of knob.
-i will do this on my stock car as welll and see what the actual difference is.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:06 AM   #16
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couple of questions

1. can you take a pic from the side, like from the drivers footwell so i can see the height of the shifter plz (i guess this is more request than question)
2.how has the side to side slop gotten? this drives me crazier than the stock shift distance. also can u measure the travel from 3rd(all the way up) and 4th(in gear as well) - say front of knob to back of knob.
-i will do this on my stock car as welll and see what the actual difference is.
No problem, I can do that tomorrow first thing.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:07 AM   #17
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I am subscribed for a possible future modif.
Thanks OP.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:19 AM   #18
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No problem, I can do that tomorrow first thing.

much appreciated
also if you are at it, a quick video of you just shifting through the gears..

again mucho props. i have been debating something like this versus droping 3 bills for a active autosolution kit, while that kit is 100% super bulletproof and replaces everything for the price it may not be worth it.

i am primarily interested in the side to side slop. if you put it in gear like 3 or 4 and then try to move it left to right? does it move? cause my worn out stock stuff moves close to an inch.


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I am subscribed for a possible future modif.
Thanks OP.
+1
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:24 AM   #19
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:35 AM   #20
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another option is the Z3M Coupe shifter, i have that in my car and it is the best one i have tried yet (had the Active Autowerke and the BMW Performance ones)
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