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Thread: BMW E9x, E82 M-Sport Shift Knob Retrofit for your E46 doityourself

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    BMW E9x, E82 M-Sport Shift Knob Retrofit for your E46 doityourself

    Today I received my M-Sport shift knob, courtesy of Marcus. I didn't waste any time and got right to it!

    The M-Sport shift knob, found on E9x 3-series and E82 1-series vehicles equipped with the M-Sport package, comes attached to a leather shift boot. This particular knob has a mounting mechanism (to the boot) that involves a few tabs and a plastic ring that connects the knob to the boot.

    To detach the knob from the boot, first turn the boot inside out and pry the little metal-looking clip towards the inside of the plastic ring, like so:





    Flip the boot inside in again and start to separate the boot from the plastic ring. You may have to apply a little bit of force to get it to seperate.



    You'll be left with the shift knob and a loose ring. Twist and wiggle the ring until it separates from the shift knob. Please be relatively careful with this ring as you'll need it in upcoming steps. It's OK if the tabs break off; breaking them off is recommended (the metal looking tabs).



    Break off the metal tab from the shift knob that attaches the knob to the ring.



    Here is the shift knob without the boot and ring, ready to attach to your shift lever:





    Notice that the shift knob won't be quite aligned correctly in relation to the shift boot. Notice the gap:



    Take a dremel or some kind of file and start to file/dremel away at the interior lining (plastic) of the ring (marked). This will allow it to sit lower on the shift lever allowing you to pop the shift knob on. If you do not do this, the ring will interfere with the shift lever too much (the shift lever gets fatter the lower you go on it) and will prevent the shift knob from fully seating on the lever's notch. This process will be trial and error 'till you find you've removed enough material.





    Cram the ring onto the top part of the shift boot like shown in the below pictures. The fat part of the ring where the two tabs used to be should be facing the rear of the car when you put it in the boot, so make sure to align it properly before fitting the boot into the console.







    Voila! Done. The shift knob now sits flush with the shift boot and doesn't look out of place like before the ring was utilized. Please note, I was using my phone camera so picture quality is greatly reduced; it in no way looks discolored or mismatching in real life as it does in the photos below. It fits in nicely with the black cube interior and alcantara shift boot.





    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Nice DIY writeup Botond!

  3. #3
    spencers Guest
    Nice job!

  4. #4
    Very nice work, Botond.

  5. #5
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    Nice work, BP.

    Looks good.

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  6. #6
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    Well done.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I'm hoping I'm the first to pull this off. I've looked online for information and couldn't find anything on a retrofit.
    As far as I can tell, this is the first DIY for this retro. I hope this helps others out looking to do the same thing. I've seen interest but no actual threads on what is involved.


    Thanks a lot for the deal on the hardware, Marcus; I couldn't find this stuff for less than $130 anywhere when I was looking.

    I'm planning on getting the handbrake lever installed as well. Ran out of time today. Plus, it seems that mine is held on by glue, and the one you sent doesn't have any glue on the inside, so I'm wondering how it would attach and stay put...




    After driving around a little while with the new knob installed, I can say that it feels... different. The weight seems similar, which is good, but it feels more ergonomic than the ZHP knob. Upshifts feel a lot more ergonomic, and downshifts have more feel as well due to the shape of the knob. Overall I'm very impressed and am glad I went through with it. Plus, I think it looks tits.
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  8. #8
    BP, the ebrake handle fits really, really snug. It's not easy to get on (at least with the E92). Once it's on, it doesn't move around. Therefore, there was no glue necessary.

    Also, glad I could sell the knob to you. I kept it in great shape. Not a single scratch on it.

    As for the shape of the knob, I liked it. Fit my hand really well. Easy to shift with it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus-SanDiego View Post
    BP, the ebrake handle fits really, really snug. It's not easy to get on (at least with the E92). Once it's on, it doesn't move around. Therefore, there was no glue necessary.

    Right. I'm just worried that the mounting won't be the same for E46. Problem is, once I take my ebrake handle off, I don't think there's going back if it's attached by glue, and if it turns out not to fit properly, then I'm going to have to buy a new handbrake handle.

    I guess Coby Wheel could take care of that problem for me. lol



    This is all assuming I'm able to get my handle off. I tried for a solid 10 minutes, and it's 20000x harder to take off than the most solid of shift knobs. Still can't get it off.
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  10. #10
    Yeah. I can't vouch for the ebrake, my friend. Not sure if they're the same size.

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