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Replacing E36 Shift Bushings
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing E36 Shift Bushings


4 hours4 hrs






Floor jack, two jack stands, two wheel chocks, safety glasses, two small flatblade screwdrivers, pick, razor blade or knife, workbench vice or press, white lithium grease, deep socket, wire brush, hammer

Applicable Models:

BMW E36 3-Series (1992-99)

Parts Required:

Shift bushing kit and selector rod seal

Performance Gain:

Restores a smooth, precise feel to your BMW manual gearshift

Complementary Modification:

Install a short shift kit
101 Performance Projects for Your BMW 3 Series

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your BMW 3 Series. The book contains 272 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to timing the camshafts. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any 3 Series owner's collection. The book was released in August 2006, and is available for ordering now. See The Official Book Website for more details.

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Every BMW I have owned has always shifted pretty well - providing that the shift bushings are not worn out. Very often on older BMWs, the shifting ability deteriorates as the years go by. While many people blame their transmissions and prepare for a full rebuild, their worries may be needless. In many cases, the shift bushings have simply worn out and need to be replaced. Worn bushings can result in sloppy shifting, misplaced shifts, and grinding when engaging gears. Most people are amazed at the improvement that occurs when they replace their bushings. A mere $45 spent on new bushings is a heck of a lot cheaper than a $1500 transmission rebuild.

The first step is to jack up the car and gain access to the under carriage (Figure 1). The main shift linkage components are located above the driveshaft. The photos for this technical article were taken with the driveshaft removed, as I was performing a clutch replacement at the same time. Keep in mind that during the normal process of replacing these bushings, your access and viewpoint will be restricted by the driveshaft (Figure 2). You can accomplish all the tasks without removing the driveshaft - it just makes things a bit more difficult.

Before working underneath the car, you should move to the cockpit and remove the gearshift knob. See our Pelican Technical article on Gearshift Knob Replacement for more details. With the gear shift knob removed, remove the foam padding beneath the shift boot. Then pull up the rubber shift boot so that it is only connected to the shifter lever.

Now, move underneath the car. The shifter assembly is shown in Figure 5. Again, this photo was taken without the driveshaft installed, so you will have to peek and work around the driveshaft while you're working on the shifter mechanism. Begin by removing the lower shift selector rod. This rod is held onto the shifter handle and transmission coupler by two small circlips. Using a small screwdriver, remove both circlips (Figure 6 and Figure 7) and the rod should simply slide off (Figure 8). Catch the yellow plastic washers as they fall out of the assembly when you remove it.

Now, pry out the shifter arm bushing which is attached to the chassis, and supports the shifter arm (Figure 9). A small flathead screwdriver will work well in this case. Figure 10 shows the inside of the bushing as it is being removed.

This will leave the shifter arm attached only to transmission hinge point. This part is very tricky if you have never done it before, or don't know what to expect. Never fear - the photos here will make it very easy. There is a clip that is attached to the transmission that secures the shifter arm. You need to remove this clip from the transmission in order to remove the arm. The trouble is, you cannot see the clip and cannot see what you're doing, or how to release the clip. However, if you have enough photos and know how it's mounted, then removing it should be a snap.

The side of the clip is shown in Figure 11. Another view is shown in Figure 12. Removal of the clip is shown in Figure 13. These are all photos taken from underneath the car. This is what you will see, but will not be very useful to you while you are removing this clip. To be 100% on how to remove it, we'll have to take a look at some of the photos detailed later in this article. Figure 46 shows the top of the transmission where the clip sits. Figure 47 shows the clip and its integrated pin, and how it is lifted up for removal. Figure 48 shows the clip mounted and attached to the transmission flange. You can't see this from under the car, and it will drive you crazy trying to get this off if you don't know how it's attached (trust me, I know). Figure 49 shows the opposite side of the clip. Finally, Figure 14 shows the best way to remove the clip - by getting under the backside with a small screwdriver. It's not easy underneath the car, but it is possible. With the right knowledge and a small screwdriver, this clip can come out within about 30 seconds. Without knowing exactly what to do, it could take hours. With the clip removed, you can then tug on the shifter arm, and the entire assembly should drop from the car (Figure 15).

Renewing your shifter bushings is as simple as replacing all of the parts that have a tendency to wear out. Figure 16 shows all of the pieces and bushings that I feel should be replaced to return your shifter back to a pristine, precise feel. Of course, some of your existing components may be reusable, so inspect them carefully. But if you want everything to be 100% crisp, then replace them all. Here's what's detailed in Figure 16:

  • 1- Shift coupler with internal bushing
  • 2- Pin retaining clip (often destroyed or weakened when removed)
  • 3- Ball cup sponge - typically completely disintegrated
  • 4- Shifter arm bushing (attaches to chassis)
  • 5- Shifter arm bushing (attaches to transmission)
  • 6- Lower shift boot (often cracked)
  • 7- Shifter arm pin (often damaged when removed)
  • 8- Shift selector rod circlips
  • 9- Yellow plastic washers/bushings for shift selector rod
  • 10- Shift handle ball cup bushing (almost always heavily worn)

Let's begin the renewal process by replacing each bushing, starting with the shifter arm bushing (sometimes called a carrier bushing) that attaches to the transmission. The old bushing is shown in Figure 17. Remove the old bushing by cutting it off with a razor blade or knife (Figure 18). The inside of the bushing may have some metal parts reinforcing it, so be aware of this while you are cutting. The new bushing is simply inserted into the arm, as is shown in Figure 19. You probably won't be able to push the bushing in all of the way yourself, so you may have to use a press or a vice to help get the bushing seated completely in the arm (Figure 20).

You can use the standard stock bushings, or upgrade to aftermarket Delrin carrier bushings. UUC Motorwerks makes a fine set of aftermarket bushings that I recommend. They are direct replacements for the factory rubber bushing, and are a more precise fit than the originals. Figure 21 shows this Delrin bushings, and Figure 22 shows how they fit on each side, in place of the factory bushing.

Now let's talk about the shifter arm bushing (Figure 23). Unfortunately, if this bushing is worn, then you have to replace the entire arm. The good news is that if you are installing a short shift kit, then you are going to be replacing the arm anyways. For more information on Installing a Short Shift Kit (SSK), see the Pelican Technical Article: Installing a 3-Series Short Shift Kit.

The main bushing that becomes worn out is the ball-cup bushing that the shift handle sits in. Pulling back on the shift boot shows this bushing (Figure 24). There is a small, special tool that is used to remove this bushing from the shifter arm, however, I found that you don't really need it. You can use two screwdrivers to rotate the bushing counter-clockwise, and it should snap out of its housing. If the bushing offers resistance, you can chip at it with a screwdriver or pick, as you will be replacing it anyways. Figure 25 shows the bushing being removed after rotating it out of the housing. To get the bushing off of the shifter arm, simply pull on it with your fingers (Figure 26 and Figure 27). Figure 28 shows the old, worn out bushing looking pretty ugly.

Clean off the shifter arm thoroughly before installing the new ball-cup bushing (Figure 29). Now is also a good time to install your new boot (Figure 30). Clean the inside of the shifter arm where the ball-cup bushing fits (Figure 31). Apply some white lithium grease to the ball of the shifter arm prior to installation (Figure 32). Push the new ball cup bushing onto the shift lever and insert into the shifter arm (Figure 33). Push the bushing in and rotate it clockwise with a screwdriver (Figure 34) until it the tab on the bushing clicks in place with the slot in the shifter arm (Figure 35).

Now, we'll turn our attention to the shift selector coupler. The coupler is attached to the transmission with a small press pin. Remove the covering clip and tap out this pin to remove the coupler from the transmission. With the coupler removed, take a close look at your shift selector seal. If it's looking like it might be worn, this would be an ideal time to replace it. The shift selector seal is indicated by the yellow arrow in Figure 36. Removal is accomplished by taking a pick or screwdriver and picking it out of its bore (Figure 37). The new shift shaft selector seal is pushed onto the shaft and pressed into its bore (Figure 38). It's easy to tap it in with a deep socket placed over the shaft (Figure 39). Tap the seal in until it is flush with the transmission housing.

Now we'll move onto the shift coupler bushings. Using a wire brush, ensure that the ball on the transmission selector shaft is clean and clear of debris (Figure 40). A new shift coupler is shown in Figure 41 - it may be necessary to replace the coupler if the internal plastic bushing (shown by the arrow) is severely worn. There is a small sponge piece that fits inside of the coupler (Figure 42) to ensure that it remains firmly mounted and secured with the transmission selector shaft. This small sponge eliminates any backlash or slop in the transmission selector and is important to maintaining a crisp shifting feel. The sponge piece is shown installed in the coupler in Figure 43.

With the new sponge installed, mount the coupler on the transmission and tap in the pin that secures it to the selector shaft (shown by the red arrow in Figure 44). Make sure that you place the small retaining clip on the selector shaft prior to tapping in the pin - otherwise you will not be able to get the clip on (shown with blue arrow in Figure 45). When the pin is tapped in, move the retaining clip to cover it.

With all of the bushings and couplers installed, it's now time to install the shifter arm back into the car. Installation of the retaining clip is the opposite of removal. Figure 46 shows the top of the transmission where the clip sits. Figure 47 shows the clip and its integrated pin, and how it is lifted up for removal. Figure 48 shows the clip mounted and attached to the transmission flange. You can't see this from under the car, and it will drive you crazy trying to get this off if you don't know how it's attached (trust me, I know). Figure 49 shows the opposite side of the clip.

Now, install the new shifter arm bushing (Figure 50) onto the shifter arm and chassis of the car. Place the bushing on the end of the shifter arm, and then snap it into place in its bracket on the bottom of the chassis (Figure 51). It may require some significant force pushing upwards to get this bushing to snap properly into place.

With the arm securely in place, now install the shift selector rod back into place. Figure 52 shows how the yellow washers, circlips, and the selector rod are installed with respect to each other. Figure 53 and Figure 54 show the selector rod mounted on the transmission. Mount the rod to the shift lever in a similar manner.

If you have any doubts about how the whole assembly goes back together, refer to Figure 55, which shows the gear shift mechanism fully assembled and attached to the transmission, but removed from the car. When the assembly is put back into the car, fit the gearshift boot properly in the cockpit, and reinstall the gearshift knob.

Well, there you have it - a lot of work, but if you walk through it step-by-step and follow the photos I have published here for you, you should have no problems. If you would like to see more technical articles like this one, please continue to support Pelican Parts with all your parts needs. If you like what you see here, then please visit our online BMW catalog and help support the collection and creating of new and informative technical articles like this one. Your continued support directly affects the expansion and existence of this site and technical articles like this one. As always, if you have any questions or comments about this helpful article, please drop us a line.


Jeff adds:

The instructions in the tech article said to rotate the bushing counter-clockwise to remove it. At least on my E36 M3, when using two screwdrivers to remove it from the top I really needed to rotate the bushing *clockwise* to remove it. I didn't realize this until I had fought with the bushing for a while and ended up just prying it out.


Dave Z adds:

To start removal of the clip on top of the trans, with the driveshaft installed, use a long flathead screwdriver inserted upward, the tip placed on the side of the clip, under the lip as far forward as you can get it. Tap until the clip rises a few MM, then wedge the same screwdriver into the gap from a position on top of the trans. It's a bit of a tight squeeze above the trans, bit it works. A small screwdriver may work too but insted or pushing it in until the clip pops, you may have to lift the screwdriver up.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Neil1481 Comments: 1996 328is coupe here. Shifting manual transmission makes a slight clunk from 1st to 2nd then a lesser quieter clunk from 2nd to 3rd...then smoothly the rest of the way through...any suggestions?
August 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the transmission mounts. They may be worn or broken. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
tmd Comments: I followed this guide thank you! as an attempt to fix poor shifting. I was able to replace all of the bushings, except for the shift coupler I could not figure out how to even find the pin by feel.

My vehicle '98 328iS is still not shifting well from a stop. Often, I have to shift into 2nd sometimes 3rd, to 2nd.. before shifting into 1st from a stop. Could this be a result of a worn shift coupler or would that seem to indicate something else?
July 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like worn synchros to me. If the shift lever isn't loose, it may be an internal issue. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Stranio Comments: Hello,

I want to replace the bushings but I'm from the Netherlands and I can't find a replacing set. I was wondering if you could tell me what parts I need. I have 316i E36 from Januari 95.
July 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Your vehicle may vary from US models.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-310-626-8765 - Nick at Pelican Parts
stay Comments: hello,again my problem is when i stop the car sometimes the gears wont go any, the same when start but only sometimes ,when is running workd fine , i cheked the all arms and the only thing that is slopy is the Shift Rod Coupler, could this be the issue ,thanks
June 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be. If there is excessive play, the gear may not be selected properly. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
stay Comments: hello, Shift Rod Coupler is the only part it moves, i hold the arms and this is the only part it moves , could be the sponge or the all piece.thanks
June 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would replace all the pieces. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Asuvathan Comments: Okay, so i got my shifter all back in but whenever i shift, it feels like it does go in until you put a little effort into. any idea what could be the problem?
May 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: HWat type of vehicle? What were you repairing? It's possible the linkage is installed wrong. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Gordon Comments: ANSWER: Proper shifter rod is pitched back, mine was rotated 180 degrees and pitched forward, will disconnect gear selector, let hang, from a top view, rotate shifter 180 degrees so shifter rod is pitched back, reattach selector. Fin. Your great pics just solved this for me, much appreciation mates.
April 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Gordon Comments: Just did a clutch/lightened flywheel job on my 99 E36 M3, everything works..except 2nd and 4th gear sit vertically now on the shifter, and 3rd and 5th run into the console. It's like the whole shifter is pitched forward at an angle. Seemed like a straightforward install, any thoughts? Gear selector orientation?
April 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: maybe the bushings or shift rod was damaged during the repair. I would start with the shift rod, inspect the bushings and pivot. Maybe something was moved. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Asuvathan Comments: Any tips on getting the shifter bushing out easily? fig 10 other than removing driveshaft and exhaust
April 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, you need the room to work. Remove the items in the way.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nath Comments: Having trouble getting that shifter arm bushing fig 10back in, I have not removed driveshaft so bit tricky
March 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try pushing it onto the shifter then lever it up with a long thin prybar. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
badabingjhb Comments: Hi
Would all this be necessary to do on a bmw Z3 2.8 manual if when you driving and change from 2nd into 3rd it skips and goes into 5th?
March 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, if there is slop in the shifter, it could be your issue. The issue may also be internal to the trans. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ranchero408 Comments: i have a 1999 e36 bmw m3 convertible. my shifter feels like it sits more the the right when in neutral like if I were to go up it'd be in 5th instead of third. I haven't drove it in a while and when I did I was having trouble going into third like as if the walls shifted . any idea?
February 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The shifter bushings or linkage bushing at the trans is likely worn. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jerry Comments: hi
looking for figure 16 complete for a bmw e36 316i 1995/6 model.

I live in Pretoria south africa, can i buy it in my country

February 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think you should be able to get it. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-310-626-8765
- Nick at Pelican Parts
gilles Comments: Excellent information. I own a 2001 bmw 325ci. is it possible that you have a list, part numbers included, for the repair here, that I may have and can purchase from Pelican Parts?
February 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Chris Comments: Hello, I have a 97 328is and I recently did the clutch along with the flywheel. Now when I drive the car it's hard to put in gear 1st & reverse like you have to force it in. Never did this before the clutch replacement. Already changed the clutch line to stainless line and changed the fluid it helped a little but still a little force to put in gear.
February 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would double check that you put the right fluid in. If so, you may have a faulty clutch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Shabonian Comments: Hey i need help or advice on how to remove the shift selector seal. I have been trying to take it out all day with no luck!! the seal is pretty much destroyed, and the small coil spring inside the seal is ripped out. For some reason the metal part of the seal will not budge no matter how hard i try to pry it out, it is as if the metal part of the seal is stuck/glued to the tranny. I have tried heating the area around the seal and lubing it up. I have tried picks, flatheads, tiny flatheads, knife, etc... no luck! This is on a 86 bmw 325e e30 by the way. What should i do?!?!
January 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Use a seal puller on a small slidehammer. It will pop it out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rolf Comments: Hi, 06 E90 330XI 180K miles, shifting into 1st or 2nd at a stop has become more reluctant as the miles pile on hot or cold. Could this be linkage bushings being worn or something in the transmission?
November 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Only at a stop, when moving is fine? Try replacing the fluid. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Scott Comments: I am in the process of converting a 1987 BMW 325i automatic car to a manual Getrag 260 transmission from a 1987 325e. It currently has the early model eta selector rod and knuckle longer on one side on the transmission. I just installed the small not 96mm 325i output flange on the tranny and matched it to a small flange manual driveshaft/guibo. I am not having shift linkage/driveline clearance issues anymore, but it is still hard to get the shifter to go into reverse and certain gears at times, and shifting is rather stiff going between the gears. I have rebuilt all of the shifter component hardware with new delerin spacers and shims etc. What selector rod knuckle and length selector rod should I be using? I'm not having much luck figuring out what parts to use in the shift linkage. Really appreciate any help you could offer, just trying to get this swap done and it has been giving me fits! Thx
October 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have any experience with the swap.

I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Jimmy Comments: Hi,I have a BMW 318i E46 182000 km with manual gearbox.I fitted new Dual mass flywheel, clutch,pressure plate ,thrust bearing replaced gearbox oil but 1st and 2nd gear shifts very hard and sticky when cold.When gearbox is warm it shifts easier.
What do you think the problem could be?
July 31, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Double check you used the right fluid. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
shiga Comments: Hi, I've done all the bushings, but some play remained despite having improved a lot. How much of play should I consider normal? I mean, how many millimeters should the shift knob still slop when in gear? This has being a problem when I'm downshifting quickly to 2nd and the shifter hits and escapes into the reverse stop and the stop is ok and I can't find the engagement to that gear probably because of the slopping. Thanks!
July 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have a spec for acceptable play. If you find it still to be sloppy, the issue could be worn parts inside the transmission. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jay Comments: I have been doing clutch replacement on my e46, 1999 model only to find out that the gearbox is stuck ,doesnt come out and i have checked all bolts, they are all out. Someone told me of small bearing at the tip of the do i get over this problem.
July 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is the starter motor out? And the bolts at the oil pan? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jay Comments: I am currently trying to remove my e46 manual transmission.all bolts out but stuck cant pull it out.what can be the problem.
July 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is the starter motor out? And the bolts at the oil pan? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Suj Comments: Hi, i recently bought an e26 328I convertible. The shifter is very slipper, does not fall into normal gear positions, i can manage to get the car in 1st, 3rd and 5th and the car will move but the other gears do not work. your help would be much appreciated. Thank you!
June 28, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Inspect the shifter bushings. That's likely your issue. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
John Comments: Hey Nick! Thanks for the awesome tutorial and advice on changing the bushing kit. My 2000 323i goes into gear but I have to really pull the shifter into the gear. I can feel a thud after the gear engages that's how I know it's in gear. Doesn't sound like the transmission. What could that be? Also, where can I purchase all of these replacement bushings? Thanks!
June 25, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try double-clutching or waiting a moment between shifts, does the clunk go away?

For part needs, Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
lacey Comments: I have a 99 323i bmw and replaced the carrier bearing because of a knocking noise when accelerating the noise went away for a day now its back , what else could it be ?
May 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be a bad engine or trans mount. Or loose exhaust. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
aikam Comments: Hello, nice diy. do you guys carry the circlips? and even the yellow washers? Thanks, lmk!
May 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We can get them.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Brad Comments: How do you remove part 25111203682? This is the free spinning clip that holds the dowel pin on the shift rod joint. I can feel this part but cannot see it. Attempting to use a flat head screwdriver simply rotates this clip.
April 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Lever it up and over the collar, onto the ridge. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Swerve Comments: My 95 325is shifts into 1,3,4,5,R just fine, but doesn't engage in 2nd. It's like there's nothing happening/engaging when shifting from any gear into 2nd. The stick just falls into where 2nd gear should be but isn't. 2nd is now a phantom gear, like whatever connects the shift knob to the transmissing has disappeared. This happened as a result of trying to shift from 1st to 2nd one cold morning, where there was a thud followed by the absence of the engagement of 2nd. Could I have broken something that could be fixed through this kit?
April 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would recommend to have the gearbox oil drained and inspected for debris. Sounds like an internal gearbox issue. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
jay jay Comments: Are you in Namibia pelican
April 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, we are in the US. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Merven Comments: I have a 97 BMW 318is and when I am changing the gears, the begin to rattle to and fro making a knocking sound on neutral and all the gears. kindly advise if the gear lever mounting is damaged.
April 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be something in the driveshaft assembly. You will have to inspect the drive line and shifter for loose parts. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jim s Comments: okay moving along I have pulled the tranny and changed the 5th and reverse shifter bushings, reverse was free but 5th was bound, installation went smooth and detents moved freely but still will not lock into reverse or 5th.if I push hard I can get it to engage but it will not stay there. If i change the other bushings will this help or do you think I have some other internal problem. 1-4 still shift smooth, no apparent noises while turning input shaft while changing gears. also note that the 2 detents that came out were identical and the ones I replaced, the reverse was flat and 5th was rounded as described in the procedure. thank you for the responses
February 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I recall this being a worn component. Vehicles would come in with trouble getting into 5th, however, if you held it there or found a sweet spot, it would work. Of course. I can't remember the exact part that was failing. All the detents looked ok? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jim s Comments: will not shift into 5th or reverse with shifter detatched, other 4 work fine.
February 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Likely an issue with the shift coupler or detent issue. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jim s Comments: I have an 98 328i and won't shift into 5th or reverse, is this the same detent bushing problem?
February 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be or a shifter bushing. You will need to inspect the shifter, also try to manually shift it into reverse and 5th with the sifter detached. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Brendan Comments: Here's a pic of bent shift rod out of my 328is, can't imagine this being damage??
January 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That looks like a normal bend to me. Thanks for sharing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Brendan Comments: In response to previous post, I am working on a 1998 328is and the shift rod is NOT straight but curved. The "bend" goes up not sagging
January 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the note. Can you share a photo? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dave Comments: I have a four door 1997 328i. The shift rod is curved/bent, is that normal for this car and if so, should the rod be installed with the bend up or down sagging? I thought it was with the bend "down" like it's sagging but it looked like it was too close to the guibo... Also I'm having a tough time getting the clips on it with the yellow washers installed...
January 1, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The rod from the shifter to the trans should be straight. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dylan Comments: For some odd reason I cannot fut all 4 yellow bushings onto the shift selector rod. Is there some sort of trick here?
November 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Two should go on each end, as shown here. - Nick at Pelican Parts
October 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check if the bolts fell out. If not, the bushing may have failed or the plate may have rusted out. 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
Mike I Comments: The shift coupler drift pin was the only thing that was potentially keeping me from performing this without removing the driveshaft and exhaust. The coupler had a burr on the top which kept the pin from pushing out upwards where there was plenty of room for it. It pushed out easily downward, but hit the guibo before it was clear. Fortunately, removing the guibo bolts let the guibo drop down far enough to let it come out completely.
October 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Rich Comments: There is no way you will get to these bushings without taking off the driveshaft and the exhaust and taking off the driveshaft and the exhaust is a bi-tch.
September 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It seems there is a lot of feedback showing it is possible without removing the driveshaft. If you find you are having trouble accessing the bushing with it in place, remove it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ShawnB Comments: I recently bought a 02 325i, and the shifter is really stiff. Since I've had it, I haven't been able to drive because of insurance, but I have gone out and played with the shifter. Just the little bit I have played with it, it seems to have got a smidge looser, but nothing real noticeable. If you can muscle past the stiffness without pulling the shifter knob off, I goes into gear no problem, takes off great, and doesn't pop out of gear. Generally it shifts awesome, is just very stiff. I was told buy the dealer that the clutch was replaced recently, and they think the shifter rod/linkage is bad. But after looking at shifter diagrams, I don't see how the rod/linkage could be bad, if it still shifts.

That's why I'm here. I have never worked on a BMW, but plan to see what's causing this problem tomorrow, and would like some pointers. Thank for your followup
August 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: A bushing could be corroded, causing the binding feeling. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jeenyus Comments: The year of my car is a 1988 and it's a 325IX manual. Just need to know if I can use this the same way. The kits seem to specify for the 90s.
August 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is similar. 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
Jeenyus Comments: Does this apply to a 325ix? I know the drive train must be different in a AWD.
August 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What year? This article applies to E36 models. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Chris Comments: Two questions... One, I have a 1987 635CSI, will these instructions be similar to my car?

Second, my transmission currently will intermittently engage 3rd gear, sometimes it will grab it, sometimes it will pop out of gear when I let the clutch out. Any chance a linkage rebuild would fix the problem, or is it more than likely synchros?
July 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Popping out of gear is likely an issue inside the gear box. This procedure is not for your specific vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
LarryD Comments: Wayne, You're right! I thought about it overnight and put it back up on the jack stands this morning and gave it another go. I supported the transmission with another jack and removed the four support brace bolts. This allowed me to lower the transmission only about an inch see photo, but precious additional space in those cramped quarters! Removing the shift coupler was the hardest part of the job as the original one is completely round where the retainer clip fits and the clip is quite strong and difficult to get out of that groove. Anyway, without your tutorial and encouragement I never would have tried this, but it's now done and the 1 1/2 inch of "shifter slop" is now down to less than a half inch and the shift pattern is again well defined! Thanks!
June 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No sweat. Not the easiest job though! - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
LarryD Comments: " You can accomplish all the tasks without removing the driveshaft - it just makes things a bit more difficult." BULL CRAP! :-
June 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can indeed do it. I've done it myself. You must need to know what you're doing, as you're working blindly - some mirrors help. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Drew Comments: Hi Wayne,
I have an 1984 325e. My clutch is super sloppy. I can shift fine but the stick is everywhere! What parts do i need to make it as if it were like new? I see you sell the whole kit. i am just looking for the parts that will bring it back to new. Shifter arm bushing? Shifter Arm Plastic bushing? Lower shift boot? Thanks in advance!
April 3, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: 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
Jonyh Comments: Hi, I've replaced the bushings and it was very tight for about 2 weeks. It is now sloppy again. What could be wrong?
April 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check that nothing came loose. Try re-tightening the fasteners, - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Niko Comments: Hi I have a 1995 BMW M3. Is the shifter rebuild guide here the same ? Thanks !
April 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is similar and should get you done. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mike8668 Comments: After fighting to remove and install the shift lever and selector lever with and engine R&R the shifter is very "crunchy" in 2nd gear, like the internal selector is barely touching the syncro. Could this be caused by bad bushings and we just exacerbated the problem?
February 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, check for play in the linkage. Try to shift it into gear with shifter, then see if you can go further into gear manually at trans shift linkage. If so, the linkage may be the problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Josh Comments: Hello, I have a '97 M3 with an automatic transmission and 118,000 on the odometer. I've had an intermittent cyclical knocking that I can hear and feel on shift knob coming from what sounds like under the shift knob. It seems to be more prominent while in reverse and when first driving after sitting for a bit. The knocking is relative to my speed and happens in each gear and while coasting in neutral. There seems to be a bit of a lurch sometimes while shifting if that could be related somehow. I also had code P0740 pop up very briefly for "torque converter clutch circuit open". Thanks in advance for your time!
February 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There could be an issue with the driaveshaft support bearing or drvieshaft itself. I would inspect the drivetrain components. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
3URO BOY Comments: So today my 1988 BMW 535is got stuck in reverse once I pulled that out of reverse second and fourth started grinding what's my problem?
February 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You could have worn shift forks in the transmission. That is if the clutch is working normally. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Steve P. Comments: This is a great article,and has saved me a costly repair, but i have one gripe:you use the term "shifter arm" to refer to both the shifter arm and the shif handle. At one point, you use the term "shifter arm bushing" when it should actually say "shift handle bushing". The photos clear it up, but it is very confusing to read...
February 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Ryan Comments: Hi, I have a 1986 325e, wanted to replace the shifter bushings because it is insanely sloppy. Just wondering if this write up is similar for an e30 or not. If so, would you happen to know the differences?
February 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is similar. This article should help you get most of the way there. If you are mechanically inclined, you should be able to figure out the rest. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Chris Comments: Hi, I have a Euro 1998 E36 328i Sport. When in neutral, the shifter sits to the right, below 5th. 4th is left and down rather than straight back and 3rd is often difficult to find. There is no 'spring' over to 5th like there should be. I've replaced the large plastic bush on the lever, the bushes on the bottom of the lever and the bushes on the other end of the selector rod are good. There is some play in the rubber bushes shown in Fig 9/10/11/12 etc, but even with the linkage held steady with a bar underneath there is no change. Could it be an internal problem with the gearbox or is there anything else to try? Thanks
January 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the shifter linkage is in good shape, the problem could be inside the gearbox. I would disconnect the shifter at the transmission and see how the shift rod at the trans feels. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dave Comments: I have a 97 328i with 220K miles. My car is missing the shifter arm bushing and the bracket that it is attached to or maybe just rides against as shown in Figures 9 and 10. Is that bracket something I can order a replacement for? What is it called? Thanks in advance...
January 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you figure out what parts your vehicle should have or needs.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Joe57350 Comments: Hello, your website is amazing and your responses are even better. I have a BMW 323i and I took it in a shop to get the clutch replaced. They did a great job on the clutch, but 3 days later the linkage bar from the shifter to the gearbox fell out. I could not put it in gear and the clutch was still fine. I put the car up and easily slid the rod back into the hole, but noticed while I was looking at your pictures and parts diagrams, and I believe they put the rod in on the wrong side. I am taking the car in on Monday and need to know if they HAD to remove the linkage bar to install a clutch, which I think they did and put the linkage bar on the wrong side, hence it falling out and me having to put it back in. You guys are amazing, any help would be great!!! THANKS!
January 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure if it would go in on the wrong side. They may have left the retaining clip partially engaged. Was the clip missing? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
steve Comments: Wow! Excellent. How close to a 2004 X3 6-speed is this example?
November 27, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Similar, but not the same. You will need more specific instructions for your vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Russinator27 Comments: I'm having some trouble with this. I have everything installed but for some reason the shift linkage is hanging low and being hit by the guibo and makes a grinding noise. Is there something I could have forgot or something extra I may need?
November 6, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You could have the shift rod installed backwards, or you might not have the shifter locked into the trans correctly. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Abdul Comments: Hello dear, I am from Dubai, UAE. I have 1995 318is e36 manual trans, and shifting bush are worn out, I can't shift gear in 2nd and 4th gear. but these shift bushing kit is not available here, I have tried on Ebay but same, Please if you can help me to find this right shift bushing for my BMW.
Hope to hear you soon.
October 21, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Gypsygirl2188 Comments: HI, HOPING YOU CAN HELP... MY FIANCE AND I had just bought my daughter her first car .... a 1990 Bmw 5351 5 series ... don't ask. LOL Anyways, the other day I was trying to teach my daughter how to drive a stick shift ...... she started out in first real smooth, shifted to 2nd no problem. Then , when she tried to put it in 3rd ... she was having problems.I thought she was just nervous and trying to hard to get it to go in gear .... but even when I tried ,, same thing hard to shift to 3rd. I had her pull of to the side of the road, and we sat there for a good 10-15 minutes while she practiced going thrugh the shifting motions,,,, then all of a sudden the clutch was totally stuck I at first thought it was stuck in first, but after reading this blog ... it was most likely stuck in reverse. well.... Ididnt know the trick to get it out the lock position ... so I grabbed with both my hands and totally broke it free. when we went to drive off, I couldnt put in first, the rattleing noises I heard sounded like the ther clutch just fell apart. so we costed down to the market, where my fiance came to pick us up, drove it home in first and second gears only, 3 and 4th he couldn't shift into..... He told my daughter to by shifter bushings to fix her car. he's not to familiar with this make of car to well... so I just want t make sure that this particular part will most likely fix the problem at hand.any advice or information would be greatly appreciated
October 20, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hi, it sounds like the clutch has failed. It is easy enough to have someone inspect the shift linkage and bushings. With the engine off, you should be able to move it through the gears OK. If you can, but cannot when the engine is running, the clutch is faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
CoxyLoxy Comments: I performed this installation, and while I was frustrated with the time it took to get started - there was no way I could get/see the parts to remove without removing view impeding objects I removed the Catalyt convertors – which took over an hour, and then trying start the removal process, this became Much Much easier once I decided to remove the exhaust system, and heat shielding. I intended to remove the drive shaft, but after attempting to remove the bolts from the gearbox, I found I just didn't have the leverage while the car is on floor stands maybe from a car hoist. Anyway, with the exhaust and heat shielding removed, it was only another hour and reassembly was underway. I didn't have any trouble with the pin secured at the top of the gearbox – with the photos and explanation it was a snap! I had the car back together and drove it 600kms yesterday, and I have to say, feckin' WoW! What an amazing difference – the gearbox is now accurate, tight and fast.
September 30, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Glad we could help you fix your car - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
diva_3181377 Comments: How difficult is to replace the selector shaft seal? Part # 24101218852 item 2 in It is leaking there. I already bought it from Can i do it without dropping transmission or transmission pan? Any DIY?
September 6, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can replace the seal without removing the trans, you will have to drop the trans cross member to gain access but it can be done, the seal is very hard to get over the shaft without damaging it, so be careful and take your time, use a little grease on the inside of the seal to make it easier.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Greg Comments: i want to know how to replace a transmission cable for a 99 318ti BMW
August 29, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You're going to have to remove the center console, then remove the shifter assembly and disconnect the cable. Then under the vehicle, remove the exhaust and exhaust head shield (these parts have to come down to be able to feed the new cable in. Then remove the cable fromt he transmission shift linkage and install the new one. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Kevin Comments: I just bought an E34 525i with a lot of play in the shifter. Will this DIY article apply to this car?
August 22, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: it could, your vehicle is a little different. But you can use this article as a guide. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ciz Comments: This is a re-question. My BMW 325e is a standard transmission, not an automatic. We still can't figure out why it's stuck in reverse.
August 17, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Confirm the linkage is operating normally, disconnect it from the transmission and check that ism oves free. Then check the shift rod at the transmission. if it is stuck, the transmission has ininternal failure. A part could be broken jamming the shift forks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
CIZ Comments: My BMW is stuck in Reverse. The lower shift selector rod or support arm broke. We've replaced it but can't get it out of reverse. Any suggestions?
August 12, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Did you turn on the ignition key and step on the brake to release the shift lock? - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
Headman Comments: Does the main rubber boot also need to be stretched over the ridge on the main shift arm from underneath? I only connected it to the cockpit opening with the sheet metal flange in the rubber, thinking that I could later stretch the bottom part of the rubber over the shift arm from underneath the car. But, it was too late - it was squished in above the shift arm and I couldn't pull it over the round, upper part of the shift arm that holds the ball cup bearing. Will water get into the cup bearing from underneath, or will the tight, flush fit be enough to keep water out? Should I take the rubber out again to do it right? Looking for advice. The instructions never mentioned that the lower part of the rubber boot needs to be stretched over the shift arm ball cup area, and I never noticed before I took it all apart.

My ball cup bushing tabs didn't entirely fit in the openings, rather the top of the tabs were still slightly above the top of the openings in the metal of the shift arm? However, the cup bushing still seemed to hold, and the only way to remove it was to rotate it. I did hear a click, so I guess it's ok; just it seems strange, because I was under the impression that the tabs had to fully fit into the openings in the metal. Perhaps the plastic design holds in some other way?
June 29, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It should go back as you removed it. This photo shoes the boot before it is attached :

You'll want to connect it on the bottm also, as shown here: (ignore the arrow)- Nick at Pelican Parts
niterider Comments: What a great article on how to repair the sloppy shifter problem. I've been working on bmw's for 20yrs and I'm always amazed at how different and complicated bimmers are compared to 70's GM hotrods. Your detail on how to replace worn out shifter bushings along with rather good pics are impressive compared to Bently manuals. The M3's E-36's are very hard to work on but for a Euro hotrod they're pretty cool......
June 12, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Robert Comments: So just to get things straight, my 5-speed manual transmission from a 1981 320i swapped into a 1975 2002 would NOT follow these instructions? If so, could you please direct me towards the right direction for the procedures and the parts I would need to fix my sloppy shifter? I appreciate all the help!

By the way, I recently bought this car with this conversion already in place, that is why I am asking. I am unfamiliar with the procedures and the set up for these early model linkages. I just want to get rid of all the side-to-side play that's in the shift when in gear. Again, thank you for your help!
June 7, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Your vehicle is an E30. If the shifter is out of an E36, this article will help you. If the shifter is from the 2002, it will not. I do not have a source for the instructions you need. You may want to grab a repair manual.

I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.- Nick at Pelican Parts
Robert Comments: I was wondering if these instructions would go along with a 5-speed manual for an older 320i model swapped into a 1975 2002?
June 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Shift linkage in a 2002 is different. It does have a ball socket, but the linkages are not the same. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
joe Comments: hi just wondering will this be the same on a left drive bmw?
May 28, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, should be similar. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
OrogenyRocks Comments: It would have been great having the selector rod seal as part of the kit. I ordered the kit and erroneously thought it contained the seal. And just now realized it after putting together my new ssk and changing the bushings. I guess its fine since I am waiting on a new flywheel since no one would touch my dual mass one for resurfacing.
May 24, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. I'll let the guys know they should add it to the kit.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jonathan Comments: what car is this....325 or 318???
March 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Looks like a 325i to me. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Druidiron Comments: I attempted this today and have a few critiques. First, doing this with the tranny/exhaust/driveshaft installed is not just "a bit more difficult," but near impossible. Had I of known how hard some of this would be, I could have saved a lot of money by not buying a complete kit. Let me mention here before my skill is questioned, I am an aircraft mechanic by day, and I know my way around a tool box so if I have this much trouble with the job, it is VERY difficult. The scale should read 4 if exactly as pictured, 9 if you are trying to do it with all major components installed. I spent well over 2 hours on the shifter arm bushing Figure 9just trying to remove the old one, while on a lift, with air tools, pry bars, screw drivers ect ect. The next step is to snake your arm around the drive shaft and above the transmission with less than 2 inches of room, and magically get a screw driver of some sort in there to release the clip in figure 11? Forget it. If your tranny is still on the car, this is NOT going to happen, even with the exhaust and drive shaft removed. Also in this very cramped area is the shift coupler Figure 41. There is a pin that must be tapped out to release it. Keep in mind at this angle, you MAY have 4 inches of room, how do you tap anything with no room to move? Again, forget it if all the other major components are still in.

Bottom line: Remove Figure 6 & 7, then remove the shift arm from inside the car to replace figure 25. Replace the ball cup bushing, the rubber boot can be done from the cockpit the 4 yellow washers, and the 2 curclips because you will mess them up during removal. If you do it this way, do not put the boot on until you have the cup bushing and arm back in since you can't see.

These few item changes made a HUGE difference in my shifter feel. Yeah, it may have been a little better had I done everything, but at some point you have to decide if it is worth the time and frustration. At hour 6 and 1 broken exhaust bolt, I decided it was not.
February 14, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the valuable feedback. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Beammeupscotty Comments: what transmission is used in this article?
February 14, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It looks like a Getrag 250 to me. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
max Comments: i will be doing this work on a 1999 323is i believe its an
e46 - change over year. do i need the sn of auto to order the parts. I have vibration on 1st 3rd and 5th gear. will there be any damage if i continue to drive the car for another week.
July 11, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There shouldn't be any additional damage if you wait to replace the shift bushings. However, no promises as I haven't experienced your issue. You just need to know your production date to order the parts: - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ron In Texas Comments: My 98 Z3 has lost the spring load that is required to shift into 5th gear so now it is difficult to find 3rd. Will this repair fix the problem?
May 4, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes it should if the shifter mount is not broken - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ponce Comments: where is the automatic transmission output speed sensor located on a 1997 BMW 318i, i am having trouble locating it, please help, I would appreciated very much.
March 11, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That depends. If you vehicle has ABS and/or DSC then the vehicle speed sensor signal comes from this module. If you do not have these systems then there is a sensor mounted in the diff for vehicle speed. In America (where we are) we usually only get the cars with the advanced systems. In Europe and other countries they may have the manual systems I have only read about. I don't know what country you are in. Just keep that in mind. - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
wgarrjr Comments: My question is the same as mChav: what in the heck are the plastic rings on the rubber boot for? They are not mentioned at all in the DIY or the Bentley. Do they stay on, or are they removed? Do you use the bigger ring to pull the boot up into the cockpit? What then? I am ready to do that step next. Please advise. Thanks!
January 23, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The plastic ring is used to install the new boot. It saves it from tearing andm akes the job a lot easier. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
KCinSLC Comments: Wayne, love the article and the site, thanks for all the great tech tips. You might want to add an additional procedure for replacing the shift lever centering spring located in the tannsmission housing, see the Feb 2003 Roundel article on this, and incude a seperate kit with the required parts bushing, spring, cap and circlip.
January 15, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it. if we geta chance to perform the repair we will be sure to document it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Fritz Comments: I bought the bushing kit from Pelican Parts and I am using it for an E30. A couple of minor parts, which I would expect to be part of the kit, are in fact not supplied. The kit comes with the gearshift rod joint #25117501309 which is installed with one rubber O-ring on each side #25111221243. The O-rings are unfortunatley not part of the package.
November 23, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We can help you sort outt he parts. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Butch Comments: I agree with the constructive criticism of Cloudbase re: shift selector seal not being part of the kit. I had to call today to get one after ordering all the other parts. As of 10/12/11 it still isn't mentioned as even an addition to the kit. Got great service from "ria" by the way in making the additional purchase. Appreciate your service and you DIY's. Consider adding the seal to the kit.
October 12, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it. We will add it to the parts kit as soon as possible. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bd Comments: Hi I have a BMW 325e 1985, where is a good place to buy all the bushing replacement parts?
October 1, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, from Pelican parts.
Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Dawwe Comments: I do have an UUC Shortshift kit to an M5 E34 that i will fit "soon". Anyway in my case the Delrin-bushes fig 21 has a very loose fit, the fall out if i turn the carrier around. I have bought a new original BMW bush, much tighter fit, i have also bought a new carrier to rule out any wear. UUC does not respond to my question regarding if the bushes should have that loose fit, as it feels the bushes are perhaps 0.5mm smaller in diameter than the housing, you can clearly feel it wiggle. My qeustion is if this is how it should be, or should i go to a shop and machine tighter fitting bushes, or even consider to use the original BMW bushing? I have a mgpeg movie showing the loose fit...
September 23, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would use the factory BMW bushings. That is if UUC does not respond. I would check back with them and see if they have an answer first. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
CJ Comments: Hi Wayne,

Thanks for another great DIY, these are invaluable when I'm working on my E36.

Anyway, I replaced all of the bushings, but I am still getting slop. Also, it is hard to shift into reverse, and I have to hit the console to do so. I noticed that it is coming from the selector shaft on the transmission. It will rotate a little and I believe it is causing the slop. Is there any way I can fix this?

June 15, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You could have work parts inside your transmission. If the selector shaft is loose, there could be a faulty bushing or worn shaft. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mike318 Comments: Hellllp, Mr. Wizzarrrd !

Recently purchased an '84 318i e30, and after 4 months, noticed that the shifter in the cockpit, seemed to need to be pulled back further than normal to get it into 2d & 4th.
Had wondered if somehow my seat had been moved forward or something. Just 'didn't feel right'.

Then last week after about 4 days of this, while exiting the freeway to work, i noticed the shifter felt like it was in a bucket of peanut butter. It felt funny in neutral - then finally went into 3d - but got stuck there.
Not quite sure how much of my clutch i wore down getting the car to work about a mile and-a-half to work.
Luckily, at work we had a couple of equipment failures and called it quits at Noon.
Afterwards, i had the car towed to the shop.

Mechanic said two bolts were missing - allowing the linkage to move back about an inch or so which explained why 2d & 4th were harder/further to get into.

Mechanic says those bolts are hard to find dealer things, though, he found two similar bolts and installed them. However, he says they are only 'temporary'.

Problem is:

What kind/name/code of bolts?

Mechanic didn't say and i couldn't see the area he was pointing to well-enough to take a photo.

One guy i've talked to who dismantles BMWs, says he has what he thinks i might need...but off a 1991 e30.
He nor i, are sure if they'd be compatible with/on my '84 318i.

Your thoughts greatly appreciated.
May 15, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I imagine the bolts you need are available.
Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right bolts. - Nick at Pelican Parts
G.I. JOE Comments: I have a 1985 BMW ETA. I bought it with a totally burnt out clutch. During the replacement, the car fell onto the transmission/linkage which we left attached to the tranny during the replacementNow it shifts hard into and out of each gear, especially 2nd, even with the engine off, and i have to smack the shift console over about an inch to engage reverse. We've replaced the slave cylinder and bled it thoroughly, and i did a test - the clutch IS fully disengaging. lifted rear axle, engaged gear and pushed in clutch to see if the wheels spun they didn't It's only actually made grinding noises twice, but its so hard to shift it takes a lot of enjoyment out of the car - Do you think this could be my linkage? I don't think it's synchros because before we replaced the clutch it went in to every gear smooth..well, smoother kinda notchy. though couldn't move because of no clutch Also,the spring clip in the bell housing on the opposite side of the slave cylinder is disconnected on the top- what detrimental effects would that have? Thanks for your time.
February 22, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yikes, I'm not sure. When the car fell onto the linkage, it may have damaged the actual linkage inside of the transmission. I would disconnect the linkage and see if you can shift okay using just the rod (may require some clamps or a jig). I have a sinking feeling that your shifter rod inside the transmission may be bent. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
DanielT Comments: Hi i've recently bought a 96' BMW 318ti, i've had a problem with it jumping out of second when its cold and grinding a bit, i had a manual trans place take a look and they told me an oil change might help, the gears seem a bit smoother now but im still having the problem, another place recommended changing the bushings before looking into the syncro, any thoughts ?
February 18, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This is a typical problem associated with worn synchros. Eventually, you will have to have the synchros in the transmission replaced. But, in the meantime you might want to try a gear lube that has *less* slippery properties. The theory behind this is that you're syncrho is worn and slippery enough already, so using a super-slick oil will only make the problem worse. Unfortunately, I don't have any good recommendations at this time for any specific oil. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
pitesy Comments: Hi! I bought a set too, for my e36. I changed everything, but it isn't better. The shifter is still loose. There is still a bit play at the shifter couple assembly I attached a photo too, to see how it moves, so it moves "around" the pin. And somehow the shifter leans to right.. I am confused, I bought the right parts, and assembled it according to this write-up. Please help me! :
February 6, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The pinned system on the E36 is always going to have a little bit of play in it. If you renew all of the bushings, it should be almost as good as stock. If there is still significant play in the shifter, then there is probably something else that is loose. Take a look at the entire linkage as it should be pretty stiff. Also keep in mind that the linkage is always going to have a little bit of slop in it, as you don't really want all of the vibration from the engine and the transmission translating into the shift knob. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Craig Comments: I was able to complete the entire job on my 1998 328i without removing the drive shaft or transmission. I had to 'hug' the transmission to get the angle needed. Also, since the pin retaining clip comes with a spring loaded lock, it was a bear to push on. I found rolling a loose socket 5/8" between the clip and the body provided the leverage to overcome the lock. The most difficult part of the job was not the blind pin retaining clip removal, but removal of the shift coupler ring. I ended up using two small screwdrivers to remove it.
January 22, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Daniel V Comments: Hi i have a quick question first does this apply to automatic transmission or just a manual??? Also today i turn my car ON and the Automatic trns. Indicator light came ON and sure enough when i went to drive off When the car shifted to Second it jerked and a thump noise was heard in the back of the car only on Second nothing else wrong just the Second gear... Does anybody know if by doing this it could solve my problem or shoud i start saving to replace the whole thing????? Oh by the way my car is a 96 328i
January 1, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This article only refers to shift bushings on a manual transmission. The bad news is that it sounds like your automatic transmission is on its way out, and you might need to rebuild or replace it. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Harry Comments: Am contemplating a clutch job on my 99 M Coupe. Do I need to just disconnect the shifter arm bushing from the transmission step 10? Or will steps 1-10 be necessary?

December 4, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: All you need to do is disconnect the shifter mechanism from the transmission itself (I believe), and then just leave the shifter and mechanism attached to the chassis. See the clutch article in the tech section for more details. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Cloudbase Comments: I have a constructive criticism of this DIY. I was just following along this DIY and got to the shift selector seal on the transmission. I think you should mention in the DIY that the shift selector seal isn't included in you shift bushing replacement kit or Figure 16 of what parts are required. Mine was fine, but I decided to replace it anyway without checking to make sure I had a replacement. Ultimately it's my fault, but I wouldn't have touched it if I'd realized it wasn't in my bushing kit. Either way, thanks for the great write up.
December 3, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Agreed, thanks for the feedback. The shift selector seal is shown in Figure 37, but not in the shift selector kit in Figure 16. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
rick Comments: Hi, I have a 2000 BMW 323I that pops out of first gear on occasion. Would the bushing kit solve this problem?
November 11, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Possibly. It is certainly the cheapest approach to fix the problem. I usually like to start with the cheapest fixes first, and then look at the transmission as a last resort. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
mChav Comments: I'm doing did now ..
but I can't for the life of me figure out what those plastic rings are on the rubber shift boot? what are they there for?
October 16, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The plastic ring is used to install the new boot. It saves it from tearing andm akes the job a lot easier. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Anthmonkey Comments: I followed these procedures and it shifted great for about 6 months, then I got deployed for 4 months and the first week I am back on the road I can no longer get into reverse. I am going to try to reach in and check the shifter arm bushing to see if it's still in place but not sure if I should buy the whole kit again? Do you have any suggestions?
October 8, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could it be stuck from lack of use? If it was working fine when you left it, it should work the same. That is unless it was on the brink of failure. i would recheck the bushings and linkage, then repair what is faulty. Hard to guess at this one. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Alex Comments: Hello there. I Bought all the parts to make this job for my e36 328i, but I just realized that I got the wrong Shift coupler. The one I’ve got this one 25-11-7-503-525-M200 and I needed this one 25-11-1-222-688-M9. Do you guys think it would fit? I mean the shape is different, but are the diameters and distances also different? If they are, is there a way that I could modify it or the linkage itself?
October 2, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm not sure, you could try it, but there's probably a reason why they are slightly different? - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
MattL Comments: From the pictures, it appears that the lower shift selector rod was positioned on the driver side Figures 5-8 when removed, but in some of the later pictures Figures 51, 54 the lower shift selector rod is on the passenger side in contrast to Figures 53, 55. Does it make a difference which side it's mounted?
August 31, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That's a great question, it looks like the photos for 51 and 54 are incorrect / wrong. It should not be on the passenger side. I'll have to fix that. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
norcalpb Comments: @Jeffro. What I did was just stick a small flathead in those tiny horizontal grooves and just pry that way. Don't be afraid to use a little force and the side you chose will eventually get pretty loose and you'll see the clips that hold it in pop out. After this happens it's very easy to pull the bushing out and the whole assembly will drop.
August 11, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help. - Nick at Pelican Parts
norcalpb Comments: Hi, I just took out the shifter arm from my 1997 M3 and found that the shifter arm bushing is oval? Not round like the replacement part I received from buying my Z3M kit? Is there anyway I can modify the bushing to fit? Thanks in advance.
August 11, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That's odd, I don't think I've seen that before. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Jeffro Comments: Hey i cannot get the shifter arm bushing that is connected to the chassis off, drive shaft is still connected which makes this task very frustrating. i have spent hours underneath my car prying, pushing, and beating with a hammer. I'm afraid that i am going to break off the metal piece that holds it in place, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
August 11, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I wish I had some good advice for you, but mine just snapped off with a long screwdriver. With the driveshaft in place, it is more difficult to get the proper angle. Perhaps use a really big screwdriver? - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
maclaren11 Comments: hey there. i own a 1987 325e and managed to break the lower shift selector rod. in the process of removing it now. this information is very helpful but in my model there is a bolt running into the transmission that blocks the way of the rod just sliding out. and the whole shifter assembly is different.
August 6, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
July 16, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, it does sound like there is something wrong with the actual shifter mechanism. I would start there and replace the bushings. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
mikey Comments: Beware that the shift coupler assembly on my 1999 M3 is significantly different than #1, 2, 3 shown in figure 16 here. and the replacement part, from the Pelican kit, was the same. The retaining clip is not a band like the picture-it's shaped like a piece of heavy wire set into a recessed groove, which means it was very hard to get off. Worse than the horrible carrier pin clip of figure 14. What eventually worked for me was to get a flashlight up in there, because you can actually see what you're doing if you get at the right angle, then come at it from both sides at once with tiny eyeglass-sized screwdrivers. Once you manage to get one blade under the clip, just don't let it slip out, and you'll be able to work the clip out of its groove using the other screwdriver.
July 6, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.

The E90 models shown here is similar to your: - Nick at Pelican Parts
Alex Comments: Hello there. Does the middle section of the exhaust system blocks you from changing the bushings, apart from the driveshaft that is. The car is an e36 328i four door from 1998
June 2, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can squeeze in there without dropping the exhaust but it's not easy. I think I did it both ways at one time. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Aaron Comments: Hello, I just bought a 1999 323i manual transmission with 148000miles, e46 style. Upon recommendation from my local european auto repair shop, they replaced the trans mounts and changed the diff and trans fluids with synthetic ones. Since then immediately after I got it back my second gear does not engage about half the time unless I ease it in at slow speed or keep my hand on the shifter to stabilize it while in second. Otherwise it pops into neutral without grinding and I cannot get it back into second even with the clutch engaged grinding I am trying to determine if replacement of the mounts or the trans fluid could have caused this to happen. The shop now says my synchros are bad over the phone. If changing the fluid or mounts again could help, which ones/type do you recommend? Is it possible that the shifter bushing kit you sell could help? Thanks in advance for your help! And by the way, I also had to hold reverse with my hand to keep it in gear prior to this old problem
November 24, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: if the synchros in the trans are worn, shifter parts, fluid or mounts will not not fix the issue. You can try changing the fluid to factory BMW fluid and see if that helps. But worn parts are worn parts, no real way to fix them without replacements. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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