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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-01-2010, 05:58 PM
RandyLHouston RandyLHouston is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 325i
Gear shift knob

2004 325i

I just noticed today that the wood grain gear shift knob is loose. It will turn probably
a quarter inch from left to right or right to left. It won't pull up at all - you are just able
to "twist" it. Preliminarily - I can't see a place to tighten it.

Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2010, 09:49 AM
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Gryphon Gryphon is online now
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It's just a press-on fit, there are no screws. If the fitting is loose it's probably on it's way out. I'm not sure if removal of the knob would finish off the job at this point. If you can get the knob off try securing the fitting from turning with some light adhesive use.

Just to be clear, have you tried checking that the selector isn't itself turning? If the shift knob does give up the ghost, I highly recommend upgrading to the ZHP knob(~$70), which is what I did.
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2010, 10:08 AM
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When I said glue it, I do NOT mean gluing the knob to the shifter. I mean gluing the fitting to the knob to prevent movement.
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  #4  
Old 02-02-2010, 05:56 PM
RandyLHouston RandyLHouston is offline
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Thanks

Gryphon,

Thanks for the responses today. I'm not quite clear on what you mean by the shifter
being loose. I can't tell if just the knob is moving around on top of the shaft - or if the
whole shaft is moving around. Today at the gas station, I shifted out of drive - into neutral - on my way into reverse - and it stuck in neutral. Wouldn't go into drive or
reverse. Kept messing with it and it finally became functional and I could move again.

What's going on? How do I get the boot down away from the bottom of the knob to tell
if the entire shaft is loose or just the knob?

Thanks again!
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2010, 07:32 PM
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Gryphon Gryphon is online now
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I'd just grab the shifter through the boot near where it meets the knob, and try a gentle twisting to see if there's play. 99% chance it's just the fitting giving up the ghost, which will mean a new shift knob.
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  #6  
Old 02-02-2010, 07:37 PM
RandyLHouston RandyLHouston is offline
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knob

You are exactly right! Through the boot - I grabbed the shifter and then twisted
the knob. No movement in the shifter.

How do I get the knob off to try the adhesive? Pull straight up?

Automatic by the way.,

Thanks again!
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  #7  
Old 02-02-2010, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyLHouston View Post
You are exactly right! Through the boot - I grabbed the shifter and then twisted
the knob. No movement in the shifter.

How do I get the knob off to try the adhesive? Pull straight up?

Automatic by the way.,

Thanks again!
I haven't removed the auto knob, 3 pedal here.

Smolck, you spend all kinds of time pulling and changing your knob...what's your technique?
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  #8  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:10 AM
karM karM is offline
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Fix for loose automatic shift knob

I had the same issue with the auto shift knob being loose. I could rotate it about 15 degrees left or right. It didn't affect the functionality. This was not an issue with the actual shifter, rather just the shift knob, but made it feel cheap. So, taking
spoonerDee's post on how to dissemble the knob, I figured out it was because an inside plastic tab was broken off. Then, I simply super glued another plastic piece in it's place and now it's as solid as new!

More details:

Materials: Loctite Professional Strength super glue, tweezers, scrap hard plastic
  1. This is a close up looking down into the knob. Notice the small grey broken tab. There should be a pair of like-sized tabs across from each other.

  2. I cut off a small piece of hard plastic from an old toolbox, using the good tabs as an approximation of the size needed. A clip from a plastic pen may be another source of material. The key is to make it very small.*
  3. After a few practice tries, I realized it too hard to place the replacement tab in exactly the correct spot before the super glue would stick. So, what i ended up doing was positioning the piece into the right spot (with tweezers), and then dropping a couple drops of super glue on both sides of the piece. I recommend you doing the same. This super glue is no joke.

  4. I let it dry overnight, and popped it back on the next day. It's been a week, and it's holding strong. There's not even a hint of the loose wobble!

*Notice the size my yellow replacement tab.It's actually larger than the original tabs, and that causes a slight problem where the button not to spring open all the way. It still works, but my button only presses in about half of what it originally did. Maybe if I get up the motivation, ill try to get it back out and shave it down by about 40%. If you make yours closer to the original tab size, then I wouldn't expect you to have this issue, as minor as it is.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:45 AM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karM View Post
I had the same issue with the auto shift knob being loose. I could rotate it about 15 degrees left or right. It didn't affect the functionality. This was not an issue with the actual shifter, rather just the shift knob, but made it feel cheap. So, taking
spoonerDee's post on how to dissemble the knob[/URL], I figured out it was because an inside plastic tab was broken off. Then, I simply super glued another plastic piece in it's place and now it's as solid as new!

*Notice the size my yellow replacement tab.It's actually larger than the original tabs, and that causes a slight problem where the button not to spring open all the way. It still works, but my button only presses in about half of what it originally did. Maybe if I get up the motivation, ill try to get it back out and shave it down by about 40%. If you make yours closer to the original tab size, then I wouldn't expect you to have this issue, as minor as it is.
You`re responding to a thread that`s been dead for **three years**....read the dates before posting.
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  #10  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:00 AM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryphon View Post
Smolck, you spend all kinds of time pulling your knob...what's your technique?
This made me chuckle.....
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #11  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:16 AM
karM karM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
You`re responding to a thread that`s been dead for **three years**....read the dates before posting.
Didn't know that there was a statute of limitations on posts. Figured it would be helpful even if old
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