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Old 03-17-2004, 08:44 PM   #1
Sean
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Shift Lever and Short Shifters

If you have any questons regarding shift lever choices, or short shifters, or shift linkage in general - take a brief look at this thread - it's FULL of VERY useful information. ENJOY!



I want to finally figure out just what shift lever to get. I also want to try to find the picture I once saw that had a bunch of Z4, Z3 shift levers all next to one another.

I think I found here - lots of info here: http://www.mz3.net/articles/143.html

Amazingly Detailed Thread on rebuilding your own linkage: http://www.unofficialbmw.com/e36/dri...ift_lever.html

Another Amazingly informative link: http://www.unofficialbmw.com/e30/dri...fter_slop.html

Miscellaneous Pictures Relating to Shift Levers: http://savarturbo.se/~mattias/motor/pictures/shifter/

Very Informative Graphic - compares different shift levers


Another Graphic - compares the Z3 bent levers with the stock 325ix lever







The basic choices for now:

(note: when I get a chance, this list will be full and will have prices from BMA Auto Parts and Pacific BMW on each piece)



Z3 ? SSK
1x . . . 25 11 1 434 148 - Z3Shift lever - $43.81
4x . . . 25 11 1 220 439 - Spacer Rings (two extra)
1x . . . 25 11 1 220 832 - Rubber Bearing sleeve (could be replaced with UUC Delrin Bushings)
2x . . . 25 11 1 220 379 - Circlips $0.50 (one extra)
1x . . . 25 11 1 220 600 - Nylon Shift Bushing - $4.00

Z4 2.5i SSK
1x . . . 25 11 7 507 964 - Z4 2.5l Shift Lever $43.81
4x . . . 25 11 1 220 439 - Spacer Rings
1x . . . 25 11 1 220 832 - Rubber Bearing sleeve (could be replaced with UUC Delrin Bushings)
2x . . . 25 11 1 220 379 - Circlips $0.50 (one extra)
1x . . . 25 11 1 220 600 - Nylon Shift Bushing - $4.00

Z4 3.0i SSK
1x . . . 25 11 7 516 160 - Z4 3.0i Shift Lever
4x . . . 25 11 1 220 439 - Spacer Rings
1x . . . 25 11 1 220 832 - Rubber Bearing sleeve (could be replaced with UUC Delrin Bushings)
2x . . . 25 11 1 220 379 - Circlips $0.50 (one extra)
1x . . . 25 11 1 220 600 - Nylon Shift Bushing - $4.00


M Roadster SSK
1x . . . 25 11 2 228 384 - M Roadster Shift Lever
4x . . . 25 11 1 220 439 - Spacer Rings (two extra)
1x . . . 25 11 1 220 832 - Rubber Bearing sleeve (could be replaced with UUC Delrin Bushings)
2x . . . 25 11 1 220 379 - Circlips $0.50 (one extra)
1x . . . 25 11 1 220 600 - Nylon Shift Bushing - $4.00


I basically wanted to compile everything we knew about short shifting into one thread.



I have the Z4 2.5i shift lever installed in our 87 325. It's really nice. The throw seems near perfect. Problem is, I think a bend would help a lot when it comes to shifting.


However, lets start by listing all our options here - let me know if I miss anything:

Z3
none

Z4 2.5i
Sean - Shortened throw a lot. Hard to tell with linkage the way it is, but it seems really notchy. Lever itself is very short and precise, seems to be a perfect height for shifting. I think a slight bend in the right direction would make it perfect. The short bottom end helps to keep the shifting somewhat easy.

Z4 3.0i
DanGillianReview of the z4 3.0 shifter in my 1990 325i: I installed it last friday, installation was very straight forward. At first I installed it without bending the selector rod, it was close, but I thought it could squeeze by without bending it, it worked, just it make rubbing noises and was hard to put in reverse, that's about it. So i took it apart and dropped the tranny a little to get to that bitch clip at the other end of the selector rod, stuck it in a vise, bent it, put it back together and enjoyed. The throw is very short! and i couldnt have asked for better. It is really precise and perfecly notchy (which I like) A heavy knob is definately on my list as it takes a little more effort to shift, but none the less I would reccomend this to EVERYONE! 100%
kencopperwheat - I just installed the Z4 3.0 lever into my '84 318 today. It took a bit of modification to get it to work. I had to use two of the lower plastic retaining cups to keep the lever from hitting the drive-shaft.
The throw is WAY shorter. It's much notchier than the stock lever, but I really like it. Overall I'd recomend this lever 100%!
Randomtask37 - well after swapping in a z4 3.0 shifter i found it was a world of difference. after i first installed it, it felt incredibly short and very notchy. i was happy about the shortness of the shift although it was VERY difficult to change through gears and i was beginning to become skeptical of wheather or not i was going to keep the swap. well after about a week the shifter really loosend itself up and i was very pleased after that. it is a bit tighter, stiffer and notchier than stock, but the throw is like nothin else. one more thing, since the throw is rather "stiff" my stock shifter knob wasnt quite fit for the job. i had the stock rubber one and every time i went to shift gears (even after it loosend up) i felt like i was shifting with a, well... rubber shifter. so i upgraded to an ///M3 knob which is very stiff and i love it. i would never go back.
Positives: very short throw
Negatives: upgradeing your knob to something stiffer is almost a neccessity. Must "modify" the linkage for it to fit; as in bending the selector rod to clear the driveshaft's harmonic balencer.
Neutrals: tight, knotchy, stiffer shifting than stock. shifter is cocked slightly to the right compaired to the stock shifter as it doesnt have a kink in the shifter. it is strait.

Spoon e30 - I have the z4 3.0l ssk in my 1991 318is and i didn't have to bend anything. It fits just fine with ablsolutely no modifications. (no harmonic balancer)

Rob - I have the Z4 3.0 in my car, and couldn't be happier. Like above, it was very notchy at first, but broke in slightly. However, I prefer a notchier, more precise shift action in my cars, so this shifter fit the bill. When used in conjunction with my RK3, there is not too much slop and I can pretty much rip through the gears

Brew - I have the Z3 3.0 shifter in my car and I love it. I first had it in my 86' 325e and it was very, very notchy. When I installed on the 325is, it became a little bit sloppier and smoother and I had to bend the selector rod. Not really a big deal at all. The only thing that was kind of a pain was removing the front clip holding the selector rod, as you have to reach around the harmonic balancer to get to it and there is almost no room for any tools.


M Roadster
M42Tecknik - I have the M Roadster shifter in my car. It takes two 'clicks' to shift, and is very notchy, not as smooth as the Z3's shifter. I love it, and it sits at a much, much lower stance. You do need to bend the selector rod in order to place this in without rubbing against anything, and I reccomend you take it to a shop to have it installed.


UUC SSK


If you have something, post a reply, and a review with it. I can edit this and add it to the list. Hopefully this thread will become quite informative about just what shift lever to get depending on what a person wants.

I started by adding my review of the Z4 2.5i - please reply with any input. I need to decide if I should stick with the Z4 2.5, or go with another one!
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Last edited by MR 325; 01-18-2007 at 01:20 PM..
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Old 03-18-2004, 05:45 AM   #2
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well after swapping in a z4 3.0 shifter i found it was a world of difference. after i first installed it, it felt incredibly short and very notchy. i was happy about the shortness of the shift although it was VERY difficult to change through gears and i was beginning to become skeptical of wheather or not i was going to keep the swap. well after about a week the shifter really loosend itself up and i was very pleased after that. it is a bit tighter, stiffer and notchier than stock, but the throw is like nothin else. one more thing, since the throw is rather "stiff" my stock shifter knob wasnt quite fit for the job. i had the stock rubber one and every time i went to shift gears (even after it loosend up) i felt like i was shifting with a, well... rubber shifter. so i upgraded to an ///M3 knob which is very stiff and i love it. i would never go back.

Positives: very short throw. precise shifting.
Negatives: upgradeing your knob to something stiffer is almost a neccessity. you must "modify" the linkage for it to fit; as in bending the selector rod to clear the driveshaft's harmonic balencer.
Neutrals: tight, knotchy, stiffer shifting than stock. shifter is cocked slightly to the right compaired to the stock shifter as it doesnt have a kink in the shifter. it is strait.
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Old 03-18-2004, 06:00 AM   #3
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I have the Z4 3.0 in my car, and couldn't be happier. Like above, it was very notchy at first, but broke in slightly. However, I prefer a notchier, more precise shift action in my cars, so this shifter fit the bill. When used in conjunction with my RK3, there is not too much slop and I can pretty much rip through the gears
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Old 03-18-2004, 06:40 AM   #4
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I have the M Roadster shifter in my car. It takes two 'clicks' to shift, and is very notchy, not as smooth as the Z3's shifter. I love it, and it sits at a much, much lower stance. You do need to bend the selector rod in order to place this in without rubbing against anything, and I reccomend you take it to a shop to have it installed.

It makes a world of difference over the stock shifter, and looks low. Here are the M Roadster part #'s:

M Roadster Shift Lever (# 25-11-2-228-384) [required] -$52.25
Nylon ball joint cup (# 25-11-1-220-600) $14.87
Washers (2) (# 25-11-1-220-439) $0.47
Circlip (# 25-11-1-220-379) $0.68
Carrier Bushing (# 25-11-1-221-822)$6.98
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Put some miles on it and you wont want to pull the m42
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Old 03-18-2004, 06:47 AM   #5
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thats odd, my shifter is dimensionally similar, and I installed it myself (in about 15 minutes...) and didnt have to bend anything
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Old 03-18-2004, 08:10 AM   #6
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I have some pictures related to shifters for the E30:
http://savarturbo.se/~mattias/motor/pictures/shifter/

This particular picture was asked for:
http://savarturbo.se/~mattias/motor/...s_z-models.jpg


And this is how the Z3-1.9 shifter compares to the stock E30 iX:
http://savarturbo.se/~mattias/motor/...h_z3_stick.jpg
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Old 03-18-2004, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob
thats odd, my shifter is dimensionally similar, and I installed it myself (in about 15 minutes...) and didnt have to bend anything
how in gods name did u install it without bending the selector rod... it lines up like this:

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Old 03-18-2004, 11:58 AM   #8
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So, randomtask, for those that want the Z4 3.0 or M-Roadster shift lever - how do you go about bending the selector rod, to fit the the shift lever. It can't really be that hard, can it?

Also, what exactly is the harmonic balancer that I see a few talking about in some posts. Can anyone point that out or describe where it is in relation to the carrier or selector arm?

Ixer - those are EXACTLY the images I saw and was looking for. I went ahead and saved them and uploaded them to my server, just in case anything were to happen.

I like that graphic, too, Drew, gets the point across very well. If we can get a walkthru on how to bend the selector rod, we can put that image to use.

Thanks for everything guys, just keep it comin. This thread will be VERY informative when it comes to linkage and short shift kits. I plan on taking pictures and making a walk thru as I rebuild the linkage in my E30 here, and I hope people can put it to good use.

Keep everything comin! Please add any review you may have or other information that would be very helpful.
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Old 03-18-2004, 12:22 PM   #9
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Bending the selector rod is the poor mans solution to the problem. The real solution is to modify the shift carrier; the cup that holds the "ball" is raised as much as the short shift is longer than stock beneath the ball. From what I've gathered the shift carrier is aluminum and requires some experience to weld properly.
(Edit: I don't mean that the shift carrier itself needs to be bent instead of the selector rod! It's made of aluminum and may brake!)

The gains from doing this is primarily that the selector rod is in it's original position, avoiding any obstructions. Secondarily less force is required to shift as all power applied will be directed in the direction of the selector rod, though I wouldn't know if it's noticeable.

The downside is that the shifter is raised to a level equal to the stock shifter. Though I don't see this as a potential problem.. The second picture of the iX shifter, the Z3 and Z3-modified clearly displays the issue.

I hope to be back with some pictures in month or two of this modification! Send me a PM if I forget..
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Old 03-18-2004, 12:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iXer
Bending the selector rod is the poor mans solution to the problem. The real solution is to modify the shift carrier; the cup that holds the "ball" is raised as much as the short shift is longer than stock beneath the ball. From what I've gathered the shift carrier is aluminum and requires some experience to weld properly.

The gains from doing this is primarily that the selector rod is in it's original position, avoiding any obstructions. Secondarily less force is required to shift as all power applied will be directed in the direction of the selector rod, though I wouldn't know if it's noticeable.

The downside is that the shifter is raised to a level equal to the stock shifter. Though I don't see this as a potential problem.. The second picture of the iX shifter, the Z3 and Z3-modified clearly displays the issue.

I hope to be back with some pictures in month or two of this modification! Send me a PM if I forget..

So, basically, what you're saying is to modify the carrier rod to go up, in the spot of the nylon cup (which holds the shifter ball) so that the shifter itself sits up higher instead of the lower end sticking further down? Or, are you saying to leave the shift carrier alone, and just modify how high the ball sits?

After seeing the above pictures, I'd really like to get the Z4 3.0i shift lever as the bottom end if longer than the 2.5i, hence making the throw even shorter. The problem I would encounter, however, is that I'll need to do what IXer is describing or do the ghetto mod like bending the selector rod.

Now, we must decide which was is the best way to go...

M42Tecknik - did the shop bend your selector rod or the carrior rod, like IXer has described?


Any important information we find will be added to my first post - maybe we can put up how to bend the selector rod and how to do what IXer is describing, so people can make their own decision.
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Old 03-18-2004, 01:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean
...
So, basically, what you're saying is to modify the carrier rod to go up, in the spot of the nylon cup (which holds the shifter ball) so that the shifter itself sits up higher instead of the lower end sticking further down? Or, are you saying to leave the shift carrier alone, and just modify how high the ball sits?
...
The latter, the shift carrier and it's shape is to be left alone. The nylon cup holder is the part that needs to be raised. It's mentioned on this site (the first link in your initial post): http://www.mz3.net/articles/143.html
Using their words: "you can compensate for the increased vertical off-axis force by raising the fulcrum point of the lever"
And there actually is a product for the job but not for the E30
I think UUC sells one of their own and Rouge Engineering has something similar.
Personally, I'm going to TIG weld the cup holder.
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Old 03-18-2004, 01:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean
M42Tecknik - did the shop bend your selector rod or the carrior rod, like IXer has described?
The selector rod was bent. The easy way to do it, as I have just found out now.
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Old 03-18-2004, 01:26 PM   #13
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Ok, I understand what you mean now IXer.

A quick look on UUC turned this up: http://www.shortshifter.com/erk.htm

However, that looks like it's made for many from the E36 and on. So, they don't have one for the E30? IXer, are you saying you're going to try fabbricating your own - or trying out something that will offer the same effect?

Seems as though that would be what we're looking for. However, just like you said, that does make the shifter sit up a bit higher - however, in the longer run, it would probably be the ideal way to go.

M42Tecknik - so, you didn't know what they had done before and you just found out now? How does it work with a bent selector rod? Are you interested in this idea at all?
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Old 03-18-2004, 01:44 PM   #14
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I have the Z3 3.0 shifter in my car and I love it. I first had it in my 86' 325e and it was very, very notchy. When I installed on the 325is, it became a little bit sloppier and smoother and I had to bend the selector rod. Not really a big deal at all. The only thing that was kind of a pain was removing the front clip holding the selector rod, as you have to reach around the harmonic balancer to get to it and there is almost no room for any tools.

As far as bending the selector rod being "the poor man's solution", I can't see any reason why it would be a problem. The rod is plenty strong, and as long as your not ripping off clutchless .2 second shifts, it couldn't possibly be a problem.

Another thing to note is that not all e30's have the harmonic balancer and require you to bend the selector rod.

And DO NOT pay somebody to do this mod! It is a 15-30 minute job for anybody with even the smallest amount of automotive experience.

Here is a great link to a place with a great write-up on installing a lever. I bought my lever from these guys, too.

http://www.understeer.com
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Old 03-18-2004, 03:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean
...
IXer, are you saying you're going to try fabbricating your own - or trying out something that will offer the same effect?
I'm going for the same effect, basically cutting of the holder from the shift carrier and welding on extra material to increase the height. It's all a matter of having access to the right equipment to do the job. Getting the shift carrier out of the car will be immensly more difficult than modifying it!
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