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Shifter Help

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by NJHaupt, Jul 4, 2009.

    NJHaupt guest

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    I'm trying to buy a new shift knob and/or boot and wanted to know if anyone has any knowledge regarding the following options:

    ZHP Shift Knob - http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=ZHP-STYLE-SHIFT-KNOB

    Illuminated Shift knob with Integrated Boot - http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=25111221901

    The last one won't let me link directly to it, but it's found at http://www.bavauto.com
    Search for "1CB36O-01" and enter '1999 BMW 323is' as the 'car you're shopping for.'

    People seem to like the ZHP knob because it's short and weighted, but I prefer the /// style illuminated knob. It's quite expensive, but includes the shift boot. The one at bavauto.com seems to be in the middle.

    • Member


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    Check ebay for the illuminated OE shifter with integral boot. I'm sure they are available "pre-owned" for much less $$.

    I use a MOMO Short anatomical shift knob that looks much like the ZHP you referenced. It is not weighted, but I like the reduction in height (and corresponding reduction in throw) as compared to the stocker.
    • Member


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    I can tell you that the ZHP knob is absolutely fantastic. That illuminated knob is nice as well, but it is much taller and is much lighter than the ZHP knob, which gives the shifting experience a much lighter feel.

    My only gripe about the ZHP knob is that it is leather covered. That means that after a while of use, it becomes shiny and you can start to see wear. I've had mine for about a year now and you can see that it's shinier than the rest of my interior, which is bad. It is the best feeling shift knob I've had though. If you know where to look, you can score this shift knob new for about $10-15 less than the link you posted.

    I'd get the BMW Aluminum shift knob that I believe was an option for Z3's. The downside to this one though is that it's expensive, and that it has a chromish appearance, not matching the rest of my interior. I would choose it for its durability. It wouldn't look nearly as worn as the ZHP knob after the same amount of time.

    And as a tip, if you do get the illuminated knob that you linked to, don't buy it from there. $239 for a shift knob is absolutely astronomical. I found one on eBay for much less, and judging by the appearance of the thing (same as all other goose-neck shifters for BMW) and pictures, it should fit an E36.

    NJHaupt guest

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    Thanks for the help, guys.

    So I went to ask that one seller about the illuminated 5-speed M-Technic knob and then I went back to the page, scrolled down a bit and read the following: "Don't ask me about the old 5 Speed M-Technic shift knob, BMW discontinued it a few years ago so it is no longer available. No matter which one you choose, it matches the amber lighting of your BMW."

    I really like that discontinued knob, but if I can't find it, I'll have to grab one of the other ones.

    The aluminum knob looks nice and I can see why it's desirable, but it would just look out of place in my car.

    I think I'll go with the one from BavAuto. It's not weighted, but it has a short knob, is illuminated, and comes with the boot. For $130.
    ...Or maybe I'll get the ZHP knob....

    M3Driver guest

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    From experience, an aluminum shift knob can get a bit hot in the summer time in our part of the deep south. A weighted knob is best; especially if you have put in an aftermarket short-throw shifter and it has a that tendency to "notchiness".


    NJHaupt guest

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    I am planning to get a UUC EVO3 short shift kit on which to attach the new knob.

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