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Gear Shift Boot Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Gear Shift Boot Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$50

Talent:

*

Applicable Models:

BMW E46 3-Series (1999-06)

Parts Required:

Shift boot

Hot Tip:

Don't smack yourself in the face when you pull off the gearshift knob

Performance Gain:

Nice shift boot

Complementary Modification:

Replace shift knob and parking brake boot
The shift boot can dry rot and wear out over time, leaving a less than desirable interior appearance. Replacing the shift boot on your vehicle is quite easy and can be done in a relatively short amount of time. It's also a great way to freshen up the interior look of your E46. Make it even better by replacing the parking brake boot and shift knob with an upgraded version while you are at it!

To avoid marring the trim if you need to pry anything, work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out trim panels, switches or electrical accessories.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with removing the shift boot on manual and automatic transmission E46 models.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Automatic transmission shift boot:
Grab the shift boot at rear and pull the bezel up and out of the center console.
Figure 1

Grab the shift boot at rear and pull the bezel up and out of the center console.

Disconnect the shift bezel electrical connectors by them pulling straight off (green arrows).
Figure 2

Disconnect the shift bezel electrical connectors by them pulling straight off (green arrows).

Next, remove the shift knob by pulling it straight up and off the shift lever (green arrow).
Figure 3

Next, remove the shift knob by pulling it straight up and off the shift lever (green arrow). The knob can be on quite tight and may need a lot of force to remove it. I found if you slightly twist the knob back and forth while pulling it up, it will come off easier. With that said, be careful because the plastic rod can break when the knob is removed. Pull it up using a well-controlled force.

Once the knob is removed, slide the boot with the bezel off the shift lever.
Figure 4

Once the knob is removed, slide the boot with the bezel off the shift lever.

Then unclip the shift boot from the bezel by disconnecting the retaining tabs (green arrows).
Figure 5

Then unclip the shift boot from the bezel by disconnecting the retaining tabs (green arrows).

Install the new shift boot to the bezel and follow the reverse removal instructions for the remainder of the installation.
Figure 6

Install the new shift boot to the bezel and follow the reverse removal instructions for the remainder of the installation. Firmly press the shift knob back onto the shift lever.

Manual transmission shift boot:
Unclip the shift boot at the side and pull it out of the center console.
Figure 7

Unclip the shift boot at the side and pull it out of the center console.

Next, remove the shift knob by it pulling straight up and off the shift lever (green arrow).
Figure 8

Next, remove the shift knob by it pulling straight up and off the shift lever (green arrow). The knob can be on quite tight and may need a lot of force to remove it. I found if you slightly twist the knob back and forth while pulling it up it will come off easier.

Slide the shift boot up and off the shift lever.
Figure 9

Slide the shift boot up and off the shift lever.

Install new the shift boot and snap it into the center console. Then install the shift knob by pushing it down firmly.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Robert Comments: I want to make sure that this product does fit my 2004 BMW 325i - 4dr. sedan. and does it come with bezel as mine is broken. Your answer is appreciate. Thank you in advance.
November 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This article does apply to your vehicle. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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