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DIY Title: Changing an Auto Shifter Arm/Knob
BMW Category: 3-series E36
Author (forum name): Rooz
Date Written: August 30th, 2005
Original Thread: http://www.unitedbimmer.com/forums/thread3421.html
Date Added to KB: September 6th, 2005

United Bimmer Do-It-Yourself Disclaimer:
The following tutorial is meant as a guide and is not guaranteed to be complete or 100% accurate.  By following this DIY, you understand any work done on your car is at your own risk and we hold no responsibility if you break something.  If you feel uneasy with this risk, we recommend you take your car to a professional mechanic to have the work done.  Otherwise, enjoy yourself and good luck!

I had to change my T type shift knob due to the fact that it was cracked. I decided to go with the Pistol grip for a more sporty look and better feel.

Bavauto sold me the pistol grip and told me it's all I needed. BS~!!
Once that the Knob came I quickly realized that the all Shifter Arm had to be swapped, I called them and they told me that yes in fact the shifter arm did need to be replaced, and that they could overnight me one at a discounted price and free shipping. Of course not wanting to ship the knew knob back I agreed.

So here is the deal:

In order to swap the shifter arms you'll need to basically take the all shifter base out.

1)Remove the old shift knob, shift cover on center console, and OBC with shelf. I left everything plugged since I didn't feel like trying to solve the puzzle as to what goes where. Also I would recommend NOT removing the center console frame (the black vinyl parts) it is a PAIN to get them back on!

2) Now you should have a clear view of the all shifting assembly.
There is a yellow cap covering the gear position switch. CAREFULLY! remove that cap. And unscrew the BOTTOM screw completely and loosen the top one as much as possible (yes it's hard to access it) And unplug the yellow gear position switch.

3) Now move the shiftlock solenoid (the golden sensor to the right of the shifter arm). Fairly easy only two screws, just move it out of the way.

4) Here is the not so fun part. In order to remove the latching gate (the curved bar between the yellow box and the shifter arm), you first have to take the small cover that is on top of the cable, it's a small screw 10mm. Once that's off, slide the cable off the latching gate by pushing the cable to YOUR left.

5) Remove the shift cable by using an 18mm wrench. And tap the connector safety clip off (make sure not to lose it)

6) Remove the three 10mm Bolts that are holding the base down. And take the all base out.

7) Now go to your working surface and this is another annoying part. You have to remove the yellow gear position switch without damaging it. By now you should have the cover off from it. You basically have to play around with the latching gate to get it off. Can't really explain it any better....
Unscrew the last bolt, and that damn yellow gear position switch is out of your way.

8) Since all is left is swapping the two shifter arms, remove the safety clip that is holding the shifter arm from being taken off. You'll have to use a hammer to get that small metal pipe out in order to swap the arms.

9) Grease that tube a little and swap the arms, and from now it's all reverse.

I hope this DIY helps

Here are some pics:

To read user reviews and comments, or to post your own, please first register on the United Bimmer community forums, then visit the following link to the original thread:
- http://www.unitedbimmer.com/forums/thread3421.html

If you used this DIY and it worked for you, please post and let the author know it was helpful!  This praise alone motivates users to write more DIYs and keep giving back to the BMW community.  Thanks!

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