3-Series (E21, E30)Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.
Has anyone out there with a pre-September 1987 325e performed any sort of short shift conversion on their car? These cars have a different assembly than all other e30s so that's why I'm being particular about the model and year. (Steel plate vs Aluminum rod)
I'm considering swapping my stock shifter with either the Z3 1.9 or M3/328 shifters which are both recommended as standard upgrades for the e30. I'm not ruling out full aftermarket shift kits though. My bushings are all shot to hell and now's as good a time as any to completely replace the shifter while I'm under the car replacing everything else. Also, I just got an aftermarket shift knob that sits up on the stock stick about 3/4in higher and it's making my shifts feel *huge* now.
My primary concern is fitment, specifically if any bending of the lever is necessary to prevent it from hitting anything under the car. This is my daily driver so this would be a weekend project and I'd like to know 100% going into this upgrade if its going to work without a lot of tinkering.
Did the steel plate give you any trouble? I've heard stories about having to get under the car and remove the drive shaft to perform this upgrade whereas our friends with the aluminum shaft can do everything from above.
mine must be different, i didnt have any issues with any "steel plate"
maybe its cause mines an 87? either way i did it with the exhaust and driveshaft bolted on, i think...maybe i did it when it was off, hell i really dont remember lol
From what I've been able to find, the sheet metal console (what I've been referring to as a steel plate) was only used in e30s until May 1986. I mis-remembered this as September 1987 in my original post above. From June 1986 on, BMW used an aluminum control arm instead.
The sheet metal console wears down relatively quick resulting in a very sloppy-yet-functional shifter. I've actually asked on a few other boards if anyone's ever converted from the sheet metal console to the aluminum control arm and the responses ranged from "What the hell are you talking about?" to "Why would anyone want to do that?" so I gave up.
Sorry to link to a different site, but here's a pretty informative page. It's got a pic of the aluminum control arm assembly. I found a pic of the sheet metal console once, but I can't find that now.
The problem is the transmission tail housings are different, the metal plate has two mounting bolts on the transmission, where as the aluminum one has only one mount on the transmission. You can mount the aluminum one but some work is needed.
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