May 302017
 

Over the holiday weekend I completed a small DIY project I’d wanted to do for some time. I replaced the worn out shift knob and boot in my 2006 E46 M3 with a brand new piece.

That sounds straightforward enough, but I wanted to improve on the original. The car had a short shifter kit installed before I bought it, but the previous owner had retained the one piece “broom stick” shifter. A popular choice among E46 M3 owners making this swap is the shift knob that came with the current F10 generation M5. It’s lower and nicely weighted, the knob is separate from the boot and the illumination is brighter.

The complication is that the base rings are different sizes. So I had to remove both base rings, and replace the original F10 ring with the current E46 ring. The pictures below will make this more clear. I was never the kid who got a gold star in arts and crafts, so the gluing of the new boot onto the old base ring was the most time-consuming part of the process.

I used clothespins to make sure I got the sides even. As usual I was greatly aided by the wisdom of the BMW owner crowd. The two resources I found most useful were here from M3Forum.net for the boot removal and here on MadRussian.net for removing the shift knob itself.

It’s good to have the old shift knob out of there and a nicer one in its place. While I was at it I replaced the never used cupholders center compartment with the sliding door style that came standard on European E46 M3 models. It’s cleaner looking and might actually be useful for holding small items.

Onto the pics. I’ve got a few more upgrades planned for the M3 this year that I hope to share soon. Happy summer!

E46 Shift Knob

The target

E46 Shift Knob

Detached from center console

E46 Shift Knob

Up and Off – shift knob snaps onto lever, took some force to pull off

E46 Shift Knob

Ready for replacement – white plug visible for new wiring

E46 Shift Knob

Removing the new boot and knob from F10 base — had to take staples out

E46 Shift KNob

Base rings side by side

E46 Shift Knob

Gluing new boot onto old base ring

E46 Shift Knob

Replaced

E46 Shift Knob

Nice and bright

E46 Shift Knob

New center console


 

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