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Shift Linkage - Aftermarket or OEM BMW?

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by JDiazAmador, Apr 1, 2010.

    • Member

    JDiazAmador

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    The shifter linkage on my 5 Spd. 528i is quite "rubbery" especially going into reverse, and sometimes into 5 th gear.

    Does anyone have any experience with any of the aftermarket shift linkage kits? Alternately, I was told that it is possible to install the linkage from another BMW with similar transmission.

    My problem isn't so much with the length of the throws, but with the rubbery feel. It feels like some bushing are worn out or broken in there. However, shorter throws would be a nice upgrade.
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    az3579

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    If you don't care about shorter throws, just replace the bushings. You don't need to replace the linkage just for that. The bushings are what's causing this feel.

    If you want the shorter throws, you'll be looking at a new lever.
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    Brian A

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    az3579

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    Those two posts look awfully similar to my threads... oh wait!


    (Why do I have two threads on the matter? What's wrong with me??)

    Tahoe guest

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    The shift linkage on my 540i was so rubbery from almost new that I thought it to be downright dangerous. I've replaced that part on the last 3 BMWs I've owned with UUC short shifters and have loved every one of them.
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    ND4SPDLSC

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    A pretty good alternative has been the shift lever out of the newer 5. It's significantly cheaper than an aftermarket shifter and people seem to like them as retrofits.

    Tahoe guest

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    Another cheap fix is to put an e36 m3 shifter in it. I may still have one in my garage.
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    JDiazAmador

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    I've heard the M Coupe OEM shifter works well in the E39...
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    x888jmo

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    Dinan short-shift kit

    My kids bought me a Dinan short-shift kit for my 02 540 for Father's day (Great Kids!). Kit contains a new lever and bushing. The results were pretty dramatic... significant reduction in the throw and very crisp and positive gates! If you don't mind the long throw than a new bushing should take care of the rubbery feel. Have 115K miles on the car so the old bushing was probably pretty worn.
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    JDiazAmador

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    My shifter seems to be getting worse. As soon as I take care of some other maintenance items such as cooling system and rear shocks, I plan to tackle this.

    One thing I've noticed is that when I am stopped, especially on a slight uphill, it can take significantly more effort to engage first gear. This happens some of the time but not all the time.

    So the E60 shifter works in the E39? But is there a 5 Spd E60 or are those all 6 Spd. I know my car has the same transmission as the E36 M3, so that shifter might work well.
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    Brian A

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    I'm not a professional tech, but I believe this is a symptom of wearing synchronizers. As it gets worse, you can actually NOT be able to push it into 1st without rolling forward/backward an inch. Another way to get it into 1st is to first pull it into 2nd before pushing it into 1st. I think better transmission fluid helps too (Red Line being the exalted elixir).

    It's apparently a BMW foible that you are supposed to learn to enjoy.

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