View Full Version : * * * Short Shifters; The Who, What, Where & Why. NEED ASSISTANCE * * *

01-19-2009, 09:27 PM
Hello Everyone! I am on a quest to find the "perfect short-shift" kit for my E46 5spd. and I need all of YOU to help!

I have always been a fan of quick and efficient shifting of gears, I believe a short-shifter can significantly improve the ride & enjoyment factor of any manual car. Hence, almost every single one of my cars have had a short-shifter installed. I have now purchased a 2003 330i, 5spd and am greatly enjoying the rear-wheel-drive frenzy however, some of my shifts are a little long and sloppy and I would like to fix this by getting a decent short-shifter.

I have been doing some research and have found a number of companies that carry short-shifters. I am a little confused as certain sites limit their shifter kits to work on 99-02 cars while some claim their shifters are good for all e46's. I am looking to spend $100-150 and I want something that is proven to work. I do not care if its not going to last me 10 years as I hopefully wont have the same car in 10 years.

Here are the short-shift sets that I have come across so far:
$80 Understeer Kit (looks most promising): www.understeer.com
http://understeer.com/images/store/e46330ssk.jpg (Has anyone used this shifter? Looks like a B&M 45126 copy. Any good?

$180 - $225 B&M 45126: http://www.bmracing.com/PRODUCTS/BMW/Precision-Sport-Shifter-for-BMW

$55 Megan Racing: http://www.festivegarage.com/short-shifter-9904-p-916.html (looks like some knock off)

$85 CNC'd Short Shift kit: http://www.ilovebodykits.com/product/55471/99-05_BMW_E46_Short_Shifter.html (Do I really need this shifter bracket?)

EBAY B&M 45125 Replica : http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/RACING-SHORT-SHIFTER-BMW-E36-E46-E39-E30-M3-M5-325-328_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trkparmsZ72Q3a1205Q7c66Q3a2 Q7c65Q3a12Q7c39Q3a1Q7c240Q3a1318Q7c301Q3a1Q7c293Q3 a1Q7c294Q3a50QQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZitem 230319930206QQitemZ230319930206QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5 fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories#ebayphotohosting (This is what I had installed in my E30 and it worked fine, will it work PROPERLY on an E46?)

My questions are:
1. What is the best bang for your buck? Without spending $250+ (with Shipping) on a B&M what is the one to get? What do you people use?

2. Besides the shifter itself, what else is required to have a short-shifter installed into an E46? I keep hearing of "Bending the Selector Rod," "Weighing" the Selector Rod, getting extra spacers, etc. What else is needed? "

3. Has anyone here purchased a short-shifter off Ebay for an E46? What is the right one to get? I have purchased a B&M replica for my old E30 and it worked flawlessly. The design was the 45125 type that B&M doesn't sell anymore. Why? Why do they only sell the 45126 which looks more complicated?

4. What is the deal with the fat stem on most of the short-shifters & why do they have that little hole in the middle.

Anyways, I would really appreciate any feedback.


P.S. I found a really nice shifter, I like the design (except the gear numbers on top). However, the price is $110! Its a piece of aluminum!! Does anyone know of a similar shift knob that may be a little less $$? (I like how it has that little bit of leather for that extra grip, and the nice cylindrical shape to it) http://www.atlanticeuro.com/servlet/the-62/BMW-Performance-shift/Detail

Please feel free to post any pictures of your shift-knobs as I would really like to see what people are using.

Thanks again.

01-20-2009, 09:31 AM
the last pic is the new shifter for the ssk in the e9x's...you can always check out oem stuff.... tischer bmw (getbmwparts.com) has great prices

01-20-2009, 09:47 AM
That EBAY shifter you're looking at... Honestly, best bang for the buck.. an easy way to make that shifter 100x better.. is to take the ball of the shifter out of that blue housing.. the main problem with that shifter is the crappy bushing they put in there.. If you bang gears.. you'll wear it out in 6 months.. Take out the snap ring holding it in place and simply snap the shifter into the stock plastic sleeve/bushing just like the stock shifter!!! I did this with my e36.. and for $15 it cost... the throws were as short as my UUC...

01-20-2009, 10:19 AM
the last one you have pictures works on the following cars

- E30 3-series 84-91
- E36 3-series 92-99
- E46 3-series 99-05
- E39 5-series 96-02
- M3 87-05/M5 99-02
- Z3 96-02

the shifter is also made of steel and its one peice (some of the others are aluminum or a two peice which is weeker), and the bushing design is the same as the more expenxive ones.(look at the ZEK fitting on the B&M they are the same!!!)

I imported 10 of them for a group buy, have 4 left, and those who have gotten one are very happy with them. PM me if you want one. $85 cash, no need to worry about shipping or duties, and I have one in my E30 that you can try to see how it feels.

01-20-2009, 02:00 PM
Great, I figured that the EBay shifter should work fine. Does anyone happen to have the part number for the OEM plastic bushing that I would want to buy form BMW?

Also, Which grease is the best one to use. White Lithium? or something thicker?

Can't wait!

01-20-2009, 02:08 PM
Great, I figured that the EBay shifter should work fine. Does anyone happen to have the part number for the OEM plastic bushing that I would want to buy form BMW?

Also, Which grease is the best one to use. White Lithium? or something thicker?

Can't wait!

I wouldn't use it with the oem bushing, the ZEK fitting raises the ball point, while the bottom length is extended allowing a very short shift with stck height shifter handle.

01-20-2009, 11:30 PM
whats this talk I hear about the Z3 M shifter? Again, something about bending it. I mean, if it is not designed for your car and you have to go out and "bend" it, isn't that a little wrong?

01-21-2009, 08:37 AM
k your pulling info from multiple threads, best to ask in the thread your reading.

and there is nothing wrong with bending the shifters. Thats the great thing about metal, you can bend it.

01-21-2009, 12:21 PM
^ ^ ^ You sound like a true E30 owner!

I still wish I had mine.

01-21-2009, 11:13 PM
i'll tell you right now you wont get anything better then the uuc short shift kit! feels great, and super precise!! little pricy though but worth the money!!!