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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 02-08-2009, 05:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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E46 328i Shifter Lop-sided

Well, I was driving by 2000 328i (manual gearbox) the other day and I kept missing third and going to 5th. After a brief examination of my shifter, it seems to be sitting now under 5th on the centerline (instead of inline with 3rd/4th). Also there is no resistance to move into 5th. There is still spring resistance for the 1st/2nd line, and all gears work, I just have to "find the right spot" for 3rd.

I don't know how the linkage works, so I was wondering...

Does the shifter go directly into the transmission or is it connected via cables?

Is it just a broken spring I can replace myself or is it internal to the transmission?

Thank in advance.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The shifter goes directly to the transmission. You may just need to replace your shifter bushings. I used to have the same problem shifting into 5th when I wanted to go into 3rd on my 328i. Replacing teh bushings fixed it.

Here is a DIY: Pelican Technical Article: Replacing BMW Shift Bushings
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by drz View Post
The shifter goes directly to the transmission. You may just need to replace your shifter bushings. I used to have the same problem shifting into 5th when I wanted to go into 3rd on my 328i. Replacing teh bushings fixed it.

Here is a DIY: Pelican Technical Article: Replacing BMW Shift Bushings
Thanks. I'll give it a try.
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by drz View Post
The shifter goes directly to the transmission. You may just need to replace your shifter bushings. I used to have the same problem shifting into 5th when I wanted to go into 3rd on my 328i. Replacing teh bushings fixed it.

Here is a DIY: Pelican Technical Article: Replacing BMW Shift Bushings
thank you for this article
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rytomi View Post
Well, I was driving by 2000 328i (manual gearbox) the other day and I kept missing third and going to 5th. After a brief examination of my shifter, it seems to be sitting now under 5th on the centerline (instead of inline with 3rd/4th). Also there is no resistance to move into 5th. There is still spring resistance for the 1st/2nd line, and all gears work, I just have to "find the right spot" for 3rd.

I don't know how the linkage works, so I was wondering...

Does the shifter go directly into the transmission or is it connected via cables?

Is it just a broken spring I can replace myself or is it internal to the transmission?

Thank in advance.


I have a same problem right now. It usually happens when I start the car and when I go on highway and move it to 5th gear (first time I do it I have resistance), then when at neutral, my gear shifter seats below fifth gear and natural movement from 2nd gear would be 2nd to 5th. Third is lost in there somewhere and I have to "feel it" it. I have 2002 330Ci. I wonder if you changed your bushings and did it help?

Another thing that happens when my car is relatively cold is that my third gear shift becomes really light. From 2nd or 4th to 3rd almost takes no effort and as car heats up a bit, it becomes normal.
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Vlad_330Ci View Post
I have a same problem right now. It usually happens when I start the car and when I go on highway and move it to 5th gear (first time I do it I have resistance), then when at neutral, my gear shifter seats below fifth gear and natural movement from 2nd gear would be 2nd to 5th. Third is lost in there somewhere and I have to "feel it" it. I have 2002 330Ci. I wonder if you changed your bushings and did it help?

Another thing that happens when my car is relatively cold is that my third gear shift becomes really light. From 2nd or 4th to 3rd almost takes no effort and as car heats up a bit, it becomes normal.
Yup same here. I've learned to live with it. I can find 3rd pretty easily now haha. But the new bushing will solve your problem. Or you can upgrade to a short shift kit.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I had the same issue on my Volvo 240. The issue on my car was that the spring broke and it would fall to the 1st/2nd gear side. I had to get a new spring from a junkyard to replace it and it was good to go.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yup same here. I've learned to live with it. I can find 3rd pretty easily now haha. But the new bushing will solve your problem. Or you can upgrade to a short shift kit.
A short shift would be the way to go.
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Old 10-16-2009, 01:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I had the same issue on my Volvo 240. The issue on my car was that the spring broke and it would fall to the 1st/2nd gear side. I had to get a new spring from a junkyard to replace it and it was good to go.
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