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Old 07-15-2010, 11:20 AM   #1
phamine
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Shifter Guide: Stock vs 545i vs MZ3

I wanted to get a shorter shift. Remaining OEM stock was my guideline. There are many stock shifters from different cars that fit our E46. I've linked below some of the resources I've found on the web for this project, pictures and vids.

General shifter basics
http://www.mz3.net/articles/143.html

Replacing shift bushings
http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech...t_Bushings.htm

Shifter installs
http://www.unofficialbmw.com/e36/dri...ift_lever.html
http://www.understeer.com/shiftlever.shtml

Stock
Coming from a Honda with a short shifter. I felt the E46 shifter was loose and sloppy. It's not precise, though ease of shifting and the lack of notchiness felt nice. However, that increases miss shifting which I'd experience before.

545i - 25 11 7 546 373
Going off another member's experience using a 545i, I decided to try it out.
The shifter is the exact shifter that Dinan uses as seen on another forum below. It does shorten the throw slightly. Shifting did get more precise. It may have been a much shorter shift for the E60 guys, but it wasn't a dramatic change I was looking forward to.
It's feels a lot better than stock, but I wanted more.

545i vs Dinan
http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=179545

MZ3 - 25 11 7 527 254
Next up was an MZ3 shifter. This shifter requires modification to have the shifter sit centered since the shifter isn't bent like the stock or 545i shifter.
The throw feels like it's decreased to 30-40%. Precision is increased; notchiness is introduced but thats the pay off going shorter. Effort has also increased.
There is once issue I encounted. The bottom of the shifter is rubbing against my drive shaft shifting to 1st and 5th. I believe I need to bend my shift selector rod similar to what is shown below.



Z4 3.0 - 25*11*7*543*193
The shifter is very short. Effort is increased to the point where an average driver would find it uncomfortable. It is very notchy but precise. Shifting between gears feels good to me. This shifter has enough room to clear the driveshaft and guibo. Highly recommended if you want a precise and low shifter given that it will be notchy.

Comparison: Stock shifter and unbent MZ3. Notice how much longer the length from the pivot to the end of the shifter is - This attributes to a shorter throw



Comparison: Stock, 545i, MZ3. The MZ3 has the longest length from the pivot to the end of the shifter. It is also the shortest among the three.





Comparison: Z4 3.0 (left) vs MZ3 (right)


Comparison: 545i shifter(top) vs MZ3 shifter(middle) vs Z4 3.0 shifter(bottom)





Tip: You can install the shifter from the top. Just remove the Circlip and yellow washers. To reinstall, just use the circlip as the washers won't be necessary



545i


MZ3


Z4 3.0


Parts for complete shifter maintenance
Really suggested if you experience loose shifting. I changed all the parts listed below. If you have a lot of play, part #12 is the culprit since the foam bushing wears.
Plastic Bearing # 7 - 25111220600
Plastic Washer (4) #10 - 25111220439
Securing Clip (2) #11 - 25117571899
Bearing Bolt #3 - 25111221849
Bush Bearing Oval #2 - 25117507695
Bearing Shifting Arm Bushing #4 - 25111222015
Gearshift Rod Joint #12 - 25111222688



The Carrier



Rear bushing

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Old 07-28-2010, 02:08 PM   #2
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Did bending the shifter selector fix the problem with the z3m? I have one of these in my garage I have been trying to figure out how to make it work and really need to do something to kill the slop.

I switch from my TC daily driven and modded with very short shifter to my bimmer that just feels like a truck.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:19 PM   #3
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so whats the final word on installing the mz3? did you stick with it? any final modification to make it perfect? did you get it from understeer.com?
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mvrk10256 View Post
so whats the final word on installing the mz3? did you stick with it? any final modification to make it perfect? did you get it from understeer.com?
Something needs to be modified. It hits the drive-shaft, I thought maybe somehow raise the ball/pivot point. I have not done any testing. hoping someone figured it out.
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:33 PM   #5
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so is the shifter hitting the drive shaft? or is it the selector rod....

also the part number listed for the z3m is that just for the shifter? you also need the 12$ set of bushings right?
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:37 PM   #6
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Would people with a 6MT have this issue as well? Would the MZ3 even fit on a 6MT tranny?
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:20 PM   #7
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To answer the question about the MZ3 shifter and the driveshaft:

The bottom of the shifter was hitting the driveshaft. It can clear the driveshaft though. I bent the shifter a little more and it did clear the driveshaft. However, I noticed the selector rod began hitting the guibo. The selector rod needs to be bent to clear the guibo. The diagram shows a Z4 3.0 shifter that has the shift rod selector #9 bent to clear the guibo.



The part number listed MZ3 shift lever and I bought it from the dealer.
I can't comment on a 6 speed
I bought a Z4 3.0 shifter which is one of the shortest levers available. It'll sit low like a Porsch, but will be notchier as well which I like. The shift will also be shorter than the MZ3. I also feel this shifter will have an easier time clearing the driveshaft since the distance from the pivot to the end of the shifter is also smaller.



I'll let you guys know my findings and update the thread with comparisons in a few days when I can find time to bend it.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:02 AM   #8
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also what procedure did you use to bend it? just a vice and hammer?
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mvrk10256 View Post
also what procedure did you use to bend it? just a vice and hammer?
I used a vice and fabbed some brackets similar to below. Then I used a fence pipe and hammered it into place. Similar to Ron Stygar's setup.

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Old 07-29-2010, 11:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamine View Post
I used a vice and fabbed some brackets similar to below. Then I used a fence pipe and hammered it into place. Similar to Ron Stygar's setup.

So did you also bend your shifter selector rod? or did you just go to the z4 one?
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkuchta View Post
So did you also bend your shifter selector rod? or did you just go to the z4 one?
I think he is sticking to a stock unbent one from his car and switching shifters only. the z4 one hopefully will work.
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:40 PM   #12
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Updated the original post.

Z4 shifter fits wonderfully and clears the drive shaft and guibo.
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamine View Post
Updated the original post.

Z4 shifter fits wonderfully and clears the drive shaft and guibo.
so final conclusion is that the Z4 is the way to go? please post a part number and a comparison picture and video? Thanks you the man. PS did you have to bend the shifter?

PS. most likely I will be doing this soon after i get some more info. and will put together an install write up as well. cause aside from just replacing the shifter there are bushings and such that when replaced really help with shifting.

as far as the bend here is the real oem for the z4


and here is the one from the 3 series
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:27 PM   #14
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Yes. on my car Z4 was the way to go; if you like precise and notchy shifting. 545i if you still want to retain some comfort.
Yes. You will need to bend it.
Pictures and video review is in the OP.

Z4 3.0 - 25117543193
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamine View Post
Yes. on my car Z4 was the way to go; if you like precise and notchy shifting. 545i if you still want to retain some comfort.
Yes. You will need to bend it.
Pictures and video review is in the OP.

Z4 3.0 - 25117543193
your a bamf. only thing is what would be an estimated cost of everything ?

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Old 07-31-2010, 11:06 AM   #16
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^^That looks about right if you're looking to overhaul all the bushings.

You may want to look into delrin bushings for #2 in the above post. You will need a press to get that bushing in.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamine View Post
^^That looks about right if you're looking to overhaul all the bushings.

You may want to look into delrin bushings for #2 in the above post. You will need a press to get that bushing in.
I can get my hands on a press, but who would sell a delrin bushing for that?
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:25 AM   #18
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http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...PRODUCT_ID=DBO

I think ecstuning carries it as well.
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:47 PM   #19
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all i did was file the end of the connecting rod down that touches the driveshaft
no point in bending it and it no longer scrapes it unless i punch my shifter on

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Old 08-01-2010, 06:48 PM   #20
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Looks like you have a Z4 3.0 shifter where you would not need to bend.
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