Subject: <E36/5> Lets short shift my '96 328is
Myself, Alan Alfano (and mostly his machinist Dad) came up with our version
(don't know the original version) of a M-Z3 shift lever bending tool. To
duplicate the stock lever position in my '96 328 the M-Z3 lever has to come
back ~ 3/4" and towards the drivers side ~ 1/2". By positioning the lever in
the holding fixture at the proper angle (~12 degrees) you can make the
compound bend with one horizontal pull.
Alan dropped off the tool today, and somehow (not planned) we ended up
bending the M-Z3 shift lever and M3/328 selector rod. We installed the result
in my 328is. The tool worked perfectly the first time. Alan's Dad did a
Here is the interesting part. The following is the message I sent to Alan a
few days ago.
>>>I disconnected the selector rod from the shift lever. I shifted between
third and fourth by grabbing the selector rod. When the selector rod was held
in the position of the stock shift lever, shifting was smooth. As expected,
when the selector rod is angled down to where it will be with the M-Z3 lever
it hangs up. With more force it goes. Interesting.<<<
The rear of the selector rod on my 328 is bent ~ midway, downwards ~ 1".
This keeps the front portion of the rod in-line with the front in and out
shift mechanism on the transmission housing. Since the M-Z3 lever I installed
is 9/16" longer, the front end of the selector rod is now, no longer in-line
(Its angled down). So now, the in and out shift mechanism is now going in and
out as well as up or down depending which direction from neutral you are
going. The shifting is very notchy (more like binding). Alan and I agreed to
bend the selector rod down the additional 9/16" to accomodate the 9/16" longer
M-Z3 shift lever. This brings the front of the selector rod back in line with
the front in and out shifting mechanism. Doing this also moves the top of the
shift lever back a little (think about it). Before bending the selector rod,
it took more then 8 lb (full scale of the gauge I used) to pull the M-Z3 lever
back from neutral to fourth gear. With the selector rod bent it now pulls
back at 6 lb. No more notchiness. The difference was obvious to Alan and me.
I purchased the BMW shift lever removal tool 88 88 6 251 100. I also made
up a couple of versions of Ken Dobyn's 1" copper pipe coupling (great idea)
tool. After numerous removals, Alan and I agreed that, a properly made copy
of Ken's tool was the easiest of the three to use. A detailed how to of the
above will be at my home page, compliments of Dale Beuning, once I put it
Thanks go to Alan and his Dad. Thanks go to Ben for his great discovery.
Thanks go to Ken for his great idea.
RonStygar_at_aol.com FLY BMW
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