I don't remember removing the radiator or any hose in my 325e when I did it (same engine/transmission combo). I do remember that the bolts are star shaped 12-point. They look like a Torx bit but bigger and standard 12-point sockets work ok. However, you will need a couple of long extensions to access the bolts from the back of the tranny all the way to the back of the engine block (and a good flexible since cheap ones are "too flexible'). I guess by linkages you mean the cable and, yes, it is a good idea because mine snapped on my to Fl from PA back on 2000!