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Thread: BMW 330 ZHP Illuminated Shift Knob Install doityourself

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
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    BMW 330 ZHP Illuminated Shift Knob Install doityourself

    Illuminated shift knob install guide.

    When the knob arrived in the mail I unwrapped and inspected it, it came with a thank you letter in english and german, but no documentation regarding installation.



    The lead wire is approximately 8 inches give or take, which seems unnecessarily short since it doesn't give much room for error and limits your options for wiring locations. Additionally it appears that the compression ring that secures the knob has been sliced to allow for the wire to pass through, I'm wondering if this will inhibit its ability to bond to the stick (although I've not had any problems so far to be honest).



    Removal of the original knob and trim is surprisingly straightforward. The knob and boot can both be removed without tools, put the transmission in neutral and pull straight up on the knob without twisting or turning. This may take a fair amount of force so take care not to punch yourself in the face when it comes loose. The boot clips into the trim piece containing the window controls and will come up easily if you pry around the edges with your thumb.



    The trim immediately surrounding the gearshift (containing the window controls) is held in place with two phillips head screws along the inside edge closest to the armrest (unfortunately they are obscured in the previous picture). Remove them and lift up on the rear of the trim as shown, be careful though since the wiring to the window switches doesn't contain a whole lot of slack.



    the wiring to the switches should unclip pretty easily, and the front edge of the trim piece tabs under the ashtray and should be completely free at this point. The foam piece surrounding the base of the stick just sits in place and once you pull it out you should have enough room to work.



    What you're looking for is a way to provide 12 volts to the knob, my preference is a source that is switched with the headlights. You may be temped to wire across the cigarette lighter, but I wouldn't since it isn't switched with the ignition and so the shift knob would be lit 24/7. Conveniently there is a light inside the ashtray that has a wire that is easily accessible. Feel under the left side of the ashtray and you should feel it poking out near the cigarette lighter, it will come free by gently tugging in the direction of your feet.



    (I didn't realize just how dirty my console was until I saw this picture on my laptop, I know there are a few of you out there that are convulsing right now...sorry)

    Beware though that if, like me, you are too lazy to take apart the upper part of the dashboard this wire can be very difficult to plug back in. You may need assistance from someone with small hands to get it back in place, or just leave it out I guess; your choice. You would only lose the ashtray light. Anyway, once it's unplugged a little finagling will reveal the rest of the wires it is wrapped to,



    gently pull them out and unwrap and you can free up about 6 or 8 inches of slack.



    Although the picture really doesn't show, these wires are 1. brown, and 2. gray with a red stripe. Clip the plug off at about the midpoint of exposed wire and strip back about a half inch or so, similarly strip the lead on the shift knob.

    It should be mentioned at this point that before joining all these wires to the lead on the new knob, pass the lead from the knob through the shift boot. like this:



    oops.

    Anyway, reconnect your exposed brown wires from the car to the brown on the knob, and gray/reds from the car to the yellow on the knob, I simply twisted the three wires together and wrapped with electrical tape. And because I haven't had the best luck with electrical tape inside dashboard in the past, I secured the tape with a piece of heat shrink tubing as pictured:

    I know this is probably not the most preferred way to make this splice, so If anyone wants to chime in with ways to improve upon it, I'm all ears.



    once your connections are made the re-assembly is pretty straightforward, no tricks beyond the difficulty of plugging the ashtray light back in...which sucks.



    Having said all that, I will admit this installation isn't without its drawbacks. At some point down the road I would like to splice in a plug or clip of some sort into the shift knob wire since right now, if I want to take apart the center console in the future, I could have to undo everything I already did. If someone knows of an appropriate plug or similar device I could splice in line with the shift knob to allow for future disassembly I would be very appreciative.

    Hope you enjoyed.
    -Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    BMW 330 ZHP Illuminated Shift Knob Install

    Moved to diy subforum...
    "Flame suit NOT REQUIRED!!!"
    Call Me Dane l 2/2004 330i ZHP l 18x8 ET45 BBS CK's wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+ @ 245-40-18 l KW V1 Coilovers in front l KW V1 springs w/ Bilstein B8 dampeners in rear l BMW Performance Rotors l UUC StrutBarbarian l Racing Dynamics Rear Strut Bar l Jim Conforti Shark Injector l Light Birch Interior Trim l Bimmian Celly Mount l M3 Trunk Mat l l e90 Performance E-Brake & Shift Knob l M3 Tri-Stitched Boots l AL Headlight Retrofit with ZKW Lenses l CobyWheel Wrap w/M3 Stitching l LCM sw 4.5 triple blink and rear fogs

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    thank you, Dane.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
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    No worries......appreciate the awesome writeup Postitpad!
    "Flame suit NOT REQUIRED!!!"
    Call Me Dane l 2/2004 330i ZHP l 18x8 ET45 BBS CK's wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+ @ 245-40-18 l KW V1 Coilovers in front l KW V1 springs w/ Bilstein B8 dampeners in rear l BMW Performance Rotors l UUC StrutBarbarian l Racing Dynamics Rear Strut Bar l Jim Conforti Shark Injector l Light Birch Interior Trim l Bimmian Celly Mount l M3 Trunk Mat l l e90 Performance E-Brake & Shift Knob l M3 Tri-Stitched Boots l AL Headlight Retrofit with ZKW Lenses l CobyWheel Wrap w/M3 Stitching l LCM sw 4.5 triple blink and rear fogs

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by danewilson77 View Post
    No worries......appreciate the awesome writeup Postitpad!
    +1.


    iPad. Tapatalk. Bi-winning.

  6. #6
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    Nice write up, thanks for the info. For a connector you could go to a hobby shop or Radio Shack and ask for a set of connectors for an RC car battery. You will probably need a crimper for these though, they used a pretty hard plastic on those red connectors. Here is a pic of half of one.....



    Something like this would work too....

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2998436

    This is what they would look like in use....


  7. #7
    Join Date
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    thats exactly the type of thing I am looking for, everything they had at home depot was for household gauge wire, nothing really for the telephone sized wire I was using.

    thanks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    GA.
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    Keep an eye out on ebay if you want one of these knobs i bought one new for 41.00 + 10.00 shipping from Germany(no reserve) sometimes the knobs got bidded up too high other times if patient you can steal them.
    Mike
    http://www.cobywheel.com/images/banners/cobybanner1 copy.jpg

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by coby1 View Post
    Keep an eye out on ebay if you want one of these knobs i bought one new for 41.00 + 10.00 shipping from Germany(no reserve) sometimes the knobs got bidded up too high other times if patient you can steal them.
    Mike
    Nice Mike! It looks like he may have learned his lesson though. It looks like he lists them all as "Buy It Now" now.

  10. #10
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    In case it isn't clear on the earlier post, the wire lead is actually attached to the lighter/ashtray (not loose), at least on my car.

    Another helpful link: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=312715

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