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BMW Selector Shaft Seal Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW Selector Shaft Seal Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$50

Talent:

***

Tools:

18mm socket and wrench, 16mm deep socket, flathead screwdriver.

Applicable Models:

BMW 325i Sedan (2006)
BMW 325xi Sedan/Wagon (2006)
BMW 328i Coupe/Conv (2007-13)
BMW 328i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 328i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 328i xDrive Wagon (2009-12)
BMW 328i/xi Sedan (2007-11)
BMW 328i/xi Wagon (2007-12)
BMW 328xi Coupe (2007-13)
BMW 330i/xi Sedan (2006)
BMW 335i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 335i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 335i/is Coupe/Conv (2007-13)
BMW 335i/xi Sedan (2007-11)
BMW 335xi Coupe (2007-13)

Parts Required:

Manual transmission fluid, Selector shaft seal.

Hot Tip:

Warm transmission for 3 miles before beginning

Performance Gain:

Remedy a fluid leak

Complementary Modification:

Replace manual transmission fluid

The selector shaft or selector rod for your manual transmission is the connection between your shifter and the transmission. There is an oil seal located on the transmission housing that tends to leak over time. When this seal leaks, it creates an oil leak down the rear of your transmission. This seal is often mistaken for a leak at the driveshaft output seal. When looking for the source of an oil leak, always look for fresh clean oil, this will direct you to the problem area.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the selector shaft seal on BMW E90 models with a manual transmission.

This tech article will show how to replace seal on rear wheel drive models. For all wheel drive models, you will have to remove your exhaust system and exhaust heat shields. See our tech article on exhaust system replacing.

Jack up your vehicle and support using jack stands. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Remove transmission splash shields. See our tech article on engine splash shields removing.

This photo shows the leak and what to look for.
Figure 1

This photo shows the leak and what to look for. You can see fresh gear oil dripping from selector shaft. (green arrow) Yellow arrow points to driveshaft flex-disc.

First you have to disconnect the driveshaft flex-disc and pull the driveshaft away from transmission.
Figure 2

First you have to disconnect the driveshaft flex-disc and pull the driveshaft away from transmission. Remove the flex-disc bolts that connect to the transmission. There are three and they are 18mm. (green arrows)

Next, remove the shift rod clip.
Figure 3

Next, remove the shift rod clip. You can unlock using your fingers and slide clip off. (green arrow)

This photo shows the clip you have to remove, green arrows point to the area you have to unclip before sliding off.
Figure 4

This photo shows the clip you have to remove, green arrows point to the area you have to unclip before sliding off.

Then remove shift rod from selector shaft.
Figure 5

Then remove shift rod from selector shaft.

The connecting joint for the shift rod has to be removed next.
Figure 6

The connecting joint for the shift rod has to be removed next. It is held on by a connecting pin that is retained by a spring clip. Use a small flathead screwdriver and remove spring clip. (green arrow)

Then slide pin out through bottom and remove from connecting joint.
Figure 7

Then slide pin out through bottom and remove from connecting joint. (green arrow). Once out, remove connecting joint from selector shaft.

This photo shows the connecting joint components.
Figure 8

This photo shows the connecting joint components. Connecting joint (red arrow), pin (green arrow) and spring clip (yellow arrow)

Now it is time to remove the seal.
Figure 9

Now it is time to remove the seal. I use a small flathead screwdriver and slowly lever the seal out. You have to stick screwdriver into seal, then lever, then stick it in deeper and lever. Now be careful not to damage the transmission housing and work gently and slowly. This photo shows my screwdriver (green arrow) in place and how I am levering out the seal (red arrow).

To install new seal, use a 16mm deep socket (red arrow) and tap seal (green arrow) in until it bottoms out in transmission housing.
Figure 10

To install new seal, use a 16mm deep socket (red arrow) and tap seal (green arrow) in until it bottoms out in transmission housing. Work slowly and gently. Before installing, check that your 16mm socket is a good fit for this procedure. If it is larger than the seal, find one that will fit better.

Once seal is installed, I install the spring clip (red arrow) onto the connecting joint as shown in photo.
Figure 11

Once seal is installed, I install the spring clip (red arrow) onto the connecting joint as shown in photo. Then once placed on selector shaft I slide the pin in, then engage the spring clip. Reassemble remaining parts in reverse order of removal. Then top up or service your transmission fluid.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Volasko Comments: 2006 330i here and there has to be something different going on with my selector seal that the one in this DIY. I have tried everything I can think of and have not found a way to pull the seal out. No matter how much I screw around with all different flat head screw drivers there is no way to remove this seal.
May 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yours just maybe stuck. Sometimes they are a pain. Try a small seal puller on the end of a slide hammer. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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