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3.0L-Z3 10-13-2012 06:21 PM

Stuck partway through "shift pins" job -- any ideas?
Hey all,

So I've got my tranny removed from my Z in the garage and I'm positively stuck for ideas. I'm trying to initially remove the three pins from the top side of the transmission (the smaller diameter ones).

The pins will simply not come out. The caps and springs have been removed successfully. The pins themselves are loose at the bottom of their travel, i.e. when pressed in. But when I expand pliers to pull them out, the will travel approx. 1mm upwards before seizing and not coming any further.

I'm concerned that they have been damaged at the base (the rounded tip) and have perhaps been mushroomed to the extent that the base is now larger diameter than the sleeve. Is this possible? Another idea is that the trans is somehow in the wrong gear/setting and that's restricting the pins. However, they are loose when pushed all the way down into the sleeve.

I have not yet approached the 5th/reverse pins yet, although they are higher priority. Any advice on removing these would be really appreciated. Especially since the car is jacked up and consuming space in my friend's garage! :-/

2.3z3 10-14-2012 12:22 AM

I have not done this yet, but this is from the shift pin service write up.

Remove the pins from their respective bores. These will almost certainly be stuck in place (hence the need for the service). We found that we were able to pull the pins out by inserting a small, bent-tip screwdriver into the hole in the center of the pin and pulling them straight out.

Randy Forbes 10-14-2012 05:55 AM

I was thinking more along the lines of pushing (forcing, really) a wooden dowel, maybe even a pencil, into them and pulling them up.

Also, if you're seeing those top bores sleeved, what you're trying to do has already been done. As manufactured, the 1st/2nd gear detent pins are directly in the aluminum casting, the SIB is to fit those bores with a coating-lined bushing sleeve.

And, the top ones are the easy ones...

I suppose you're going to want to see pictures...

Randy Forbes 10-14-2012 06:19 AM

Shift pin work starting on page 24 of this album:

Top-most bores without lined bushes, and then with:

3.0L-Z3 10-14-2012 08:19 AM

Randy and 2.3,

Thanks for the suggestions, and photos. There are a few things I can still try before giving up hope and buttoning her up.
1. Devise a hook to grab the hole at the bottom of the pin. We've attempted this already but maybe can make something stronger.

2. Compression-fit a wooden cylinder inside the existing pin. Getting the correct size will be challenging, but perhaps some fancy pocket knife work will do the trick.
>> I'm concerned about mushrooming the top-side of the pins. If this happens, the pins will a) seize in the sleeve and not remove and b) not function for driving anymore...

3. Something not-yet fully understood involving a machinist's tap. The challenge will be holding the pin from rotating while engaging the tap's teeth.

This is a toughy. If you guys have any more brilliant ideas, please share!

Randy Forbes 10-14-2012 09:37 AM

The tap is a good idea (whomever thought of it); turning it while lifting the pin__to the point it doesn't come out/lift higher__should suffice *enough* for the teeth to bite in, allowing you to remove it.

We're all on the edge of our chairs, so do us proud!

Bob2.8 10-14-2012 09:53 AM

Would an expanding drywall anchor fit inside? A plastic anchor would give a friction fit without causing damage if it won't come out and you need to put the old pins back in.

3.0L-Z3 10-14-2012 10:10 AM


The wooden dowel idea worked INCREDIBLY well. So far I've remove all pins except for reverse (just haven't gotten there yet). Unfortunately I'm on my phone so cannot upload pictures of the tool, but it worked like a charm. Just whittled from rectangular stock with a pocket knife, and hammered into the hollow pins!

More news to follow. Next up- removing the reverse gear liner *gulp*

2.3z3 10-14-2012 12:00 PM

:thumbup: Hope mine come out easy when I tackle this.

3.0L-Z3 10-15-2012 06:32 AM

5 Attachment(s)
Photos from yesterday. Transmission came out easily but removing the stuck shift pins caused the greatest headache. The wooden dowel method worked perfectly, and I'd recommend it to anyone who attempts the job next. Hammer the dowel in as far as it will go, then yank vertically to remove the pin.

As Randy hinted, getting the 5th/reverse liners out are even more difficult. I severely mangled mine in the process. The sharp, pointy tool is what I'd recommend people to use to deform the liner with minimum damage to the sleeve. I buggered my sleeve pretty badly but cleaned it up with 400 grit sandpaper before reassembly.

Still, my shifter does not move as smoothly to the right as the left. The strange coating on the inside of the bushing isn't exceptionally smooth.

Reassembly was mostly smooth except for the starter bracket. It took me about an hour to realize that the metal transmission gasket was interfering with the starter.

Randy Forbes 10-15-2012 08:53 AM

To get the 5th/reverse sleeves "split" (they reduce tension on the bore and) so they can be removed with a pair of pliers, I use a very small__miniature__screwdriver that I've dulled all the corners on. That prevents it from biting into the aluminum bore while trying to get it to roll in on itself.

I have to admit though, some are definitely harder than others to remove, it doesn't always go so easily for me either ;)

Blacklane 01-09-2013 09:40 AM

Plus one on the idea of driving a wooden stake into the pins to get them out.
My 5th and reverse pins were really stuck. (That's why I was replacing them). I tried using a tap and then a screw extractor, but they couldn't bite into the hardened pins. I tried various pick tools, but the little hole in the end was too small. Then I tried the dowel and it did the trick. Actually, my peg was square, but I just drove it into the pin and wiggled it out.

It was not much fun to get the 5th and reverse sleeves out, but a small screwdriver driven along the seam did the trick. Unfortunately, the last two taps of the reverse sleeve sent it into the transmission, greatly complicating things. It was stopped by the selector shaft, but was still too big to fit out of the hole and was too far in to use any tools to crush it. It took several hours to finally get it out. Some days are like that.

Amazingly, my 1-4 shift pins had been done, but the 5th and reverse had not, making it difficult to shift from 3rd to 4th without going to 5th instead. I just can't follow the logic path that says to remove the transmission from the car and then only service some of the pins.

Bob2.8 01-09-2013 05:00 PM


Originally Posted by Blacklane (Post 7300979)
I just can't follow the logic path that says to remove the transmission from the car and then only service some of the pins.

Warranty repair maybe? :dunno:

veggiedog 09-19-2016 05:42 PM

Wood dowel worked for me, hoping to pay it forward with bushing extractor suggestion
1 Attachment(s)
Old post helped me remove stuck 5th gear pin, and I would like to offer some feedback on using wooden dowel to remove pin. If you are concerned with bell mouthing the pin, I think that is unlikely as the pin is super-hard, but I can offer the technique I used that will avoid that possibility:
1) Shape a wooden dowel to just fit in the bore (I used a broken drum stick)
2) Saw a slot in the end of the dowel about 3/4" long
3) Fashion a wood wedge to fit in the slot much like wedges used for hammer handles
4) Fit the tip of the wedge into the slot, not wedged yet
5) Hammer the dowel into the pin, allowing the bottom of the hollow pin to drive the wedge into the dowel end
6) Clamp to the end of the dowel (I used a wooden screw clamp) and hammer outwards on the clamp to pull the dowel from the bore.

Additional note:
From experience, I don't like chiseling bushings from aluminum bores because of the potential for damage to the bore. Instead, I fashioned a puller on my lathe using a 5/8" bolt and a 7/16" bolt. As a quick note, before I purchased a lathe, I used to do this type of stuff with only a file and a drill press...

On the 5/8" bolt: I drilled a 7/16 hole through the center. I then modified the end with the hex head: I cut off the head, I cut a 3.5 degree taper on the outside 5/8" long, but I left 0.1" of the tip at full diameter. I tapered the tip at 3.5 degrees too, but just enough to taper it without reducing diameter. I then cut a 7 degree taper on the inside of the hole 0.3 inches deep. I cut two slots with a hacksaw 5/8" long in the end to make four ears. I also squared off the tip of the threaded end.

On the 7/16 bolt: I taper cut the head at 7 degrees until the small diameter of the taper was the diameter of the bolt. On the threaded end, I drilled and tapped for 1/4-20 threads on the center axis, and I inserted a 1/4-20x1/2" socket head set screw with red loctite, and allowed 24 hours to cure. The set screw allows me to hold the bolt with an allen wrench while I tighten the nut during tool operation.

I made a couple of spacers to push against the housing while withdrawing the bushing: anything will do, even a stack of washers. I used a pipe bushing and a large nut, both bored out smooth on the lathe.

To check the tool: oil up the threads and inner taper, then assemble the tool and tightening the small nut to expand the tip of the outer bolt while measuring the diameter of that tip. When the tip has expanded to 0.690", mark the position of the nut on the smaller bolt: you do not want to tighten beyond that when using the tool or it will scrape on the inside of the 0.700" bore while extracting the bushing. Remove the inner bolt and compress the tip of the outer bolt in a vise so that it will again be small enough to fit inside the bushing.

To use the tool: oil up the inner taper and bolt threads, then insert the small bolt into the large bolt with threads on the same end. Install the small nut and washer. Insert the tool to full depth in the bushing, then tighten the small bolt's nut while holding the bolt with allen wrench to force the tapered head into the larger bolt's bore to expand the tip. Move the large bolt in and out of the bushing while tightening the smaller wedge bolt to make sure to not expand the tip too far. When the bolt is snug but still moving, pull it out by hand as far as it will go to align the tip with the bottom of the bushing. Make note of the small nut's position, then remove the small nut, insert a spacer, large washer, large nut, small washer, then small nut (making sure the small nut is back where it was). Be careful while doing so and the inner bolt will not move while the nut is off. Then tighten the large nut to push against the spacer to withdraw the bushing from the bore, keeping the spacer aligned with the bore. If the spacer turns, hold it with vice grips. If the large bolt turns, use the allen wrench on the small bolt, or add a jam nut to the small bolt and hold that while turning the large nut if the rotational force is too much for the allen wrench.

Thanks for this thread, it helped me remove my firmly stuck 5th gear pin!

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