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6 Series DIY
6 Series Do It Yourself (DIY) forum.

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  #1  
Old 07-11-2010, 09:00 PM
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Hossy Hossy is offline
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Shifter + Handbrake Replacement DIY w/ pics

There was an earlier thread discussing this, but I decided to make a new one when I received the parts and took pictures. Forgive the lighting and quality, I used my iPhone for the camera and did it at night.

So after about 6 weeks or so, I finally got both the automatic transmission shifter and the handbrake parts that match my wood trim (birke grau). At the dealer, the shifter is about $200 and the handbrake is about $80, but with some online searching (plus a great deal of patience) and some simple re-arranging, I managed to get these for about $40 and $50 respectively.

When I first purchased my car, there were some minor scratches on the shifter, which turned into pieces of the aluminum trim chipping off. So I eventually decided I'd change it and the handbrake to match my beautiful dark wood trim, and do away with the aluminum look and the black leather handbrake.

There was some initial confusion when I went to the dealer to price out these parts, but what the issue turns out to be is that there are 2 different part numbers for the shifter. There is a part for e63/64's with a production date previous to 4/2004, and one for post 04/2004 production dates (most of us). The difference in price is about $150, while the actual difference is about 2 centimeters in stalk length. So, I actually ordered the older part with the shorter stalk, removed my existing shifter, separated the stalk from the shifter, and put the longer stalk into the new shifter. So about 5 minutes to save me $150 was indeed worthwhile! Here are the part numbers for my trim color:

Handbrake: 34400304158
Shifter: 25160304157

I also sought the best method of removing the shifter and then taking it apart, and found this thread: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=72808

So the first thing to note is that taking the shifter off is far easier than anyone ever expects: just pull up, and don't punch yourself in the face. Apparently more than a few people have done this, hence the warning! Wrap both hands around the shifter, and steadily increase your strength while pulling straight up. It should come off rather easily, and will look like this:



Afterwards, remove the handbrake. This can be done two ways: pull the handle straight off, then take the boot off around it, or start with the boot and pull it all off at once. Either way, it is also pretty simple. The only tough part about the handbrake was pulling up the tabs on either side (one tab is in front, the other in back, 180 degrees from each other on the same line as the handle itself), as it seems like you might break the tabs before they come off.



The handbrake isn't actually fastened to the leather boot - it is more like "stretched" onto the end to the point that it stays. I've read in similar threads that these boots are fastened with a zip tie - which would make sense - but mine was not. Here are some close-ups of both the old (left) and new (right) handles.




The hardest part of putting the new handle onto the leather boot was getting it just right and "stretched" again onto the new handle. The inside of the boot looks like this:



I was able to get it about 65% of the way with my hands and some magical formula (WD 40), then used a screwdriver with electric tape over it (so as not to scratch anything) to help pry it onto the new handle. Once it is stretched enough to where it covers the edge of the handle and stays on, it should look like this:



And that part is done. Slide it boot first over the rod of the handbrake, push the handle till it sticks, and fasten the tabs back into the car (I also used the taped screwdriver here to save my fingers), and the handbrake is done.

On to the shifter. This was actually incredibly easy, once you realize how it is done. First, you will need to pry the button OUT of each of the shifters to release and switch the stalk rods. This can be done with the taped screwdriver, or if you have steady hands to prevent scratching or ripping the leather part, anything that is thin and will not bend easily. I used a somewhat dull knife.

This is where you may think it should not go this way - but simply place your tool of choice at the bottom of the button, between the button itself and the leather handle, and pry outwards - the opposite direction that the button is pressed.

See here:



I did mine in about 30 seconds, going very slowly, and re-adjusting twice. I pried a bit at first to where the button came out just a bit, then repositioned my tool further into the handle again and pried out more, and the button pops out. It is held in the shifter itself at two points at the top of the button, much like a drawer is held in a dresser using a small track on the left and right to guide two endpoints. I have circled the part on the button, and where it goes into the shifter. This is important to note when replacing the button on the new shifter.



So once both buttons are removed from each shifter, the stalks fall out by themselves as they are held within the handle by a small rod that moves up and down the the button is depressed.



Take the longer rod and insert into the new handle, just barely inside so that when you look from the hole where the button should be, it is at the bottom. The small metal rod inside of the button rests at the bottom right around where the stalk is placed here:



A bottom view of the button. Pressing the button moves the rod up and down.



Holding the front end of the button, line it up with the rod inside the handle, and try to press the button straight into the handle in order to get the stalk looped around the metal rod at the bottom.



It may take a couple tries, but it is relatively simple, and once you line up the metal rod at the bottom of the button with the longer stalk in the new handle, push the button all the way into the handle, and try it - it should go up and down when you press the button.


Once you have succeeded, simply line up the shifter with the metal receiving end of the shifter in the car, press down til it stops, and it should be good to go! Just make sure it is facing the right direction!

The final product:



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Last edited by Hossy; 07-16-2010 at 05:53 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2010, 10:12 PM
docpaulo docpaulo is offline
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nice... I've always wondered about the e-brake change and now I'm sold... hopefully i can still find a good deal on it...
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  #3  
Old 07-12-2010, 06:25 AM
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TopDownInFL TopDownInFL is offline
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This was VERY helpful. Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 07-12-2010, 06:32 AM
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pablo645 pablo645 is offline
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You should write a book! Very detailed info, thanks for sharing. I am thinking of doing my e-brake handle as well. I believe we have the same dark wood trim. The leather wrap handle is nice but the wood gives a little bit more "richness" to the interior.
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  #5  
Old 07-12-2010, 08:00 AM
30yrVeteran 30yrVeteran is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopDownInFL View Post
This was VERY helpful. Thanks!
I agree, great DIY thx!

Do we have a site admin that can add a subsection to our forum for DIYs and drop them in there?
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  #6  
Old 07-12-2010, 11:01 AM
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TopDownInFL TopDownInFL is offline
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Originally Posted by 30yrVeteran View Post
I agree, great DIY thx!

Do we have a site admin that can add a subsection to our forum for DIYs and drop them in there?
Gotta get GeneArch to do it.
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  #7  
Old 07-13-2010, 02:03 PM
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where did you get the parts again i have the same wood I wanna try this
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  #8  
Old 07-13-2010, 04:20 PM
docpaulo docpaulo is offline
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just ordered mine... google the part number and you'll find it

got mine from bmwpartsdirect
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07 650i Cabrio CPO, Titanium Silver
Black Matte Grill
Dark Birch Wood Interior and Shifter
HUD, Cold Weather and Sports Package
Logic 7 Sound
Aluminum Racing Pedals
K&N Air Filters
Rays Master Piece REM 20" Forged wheels w/ Conti Extreme DWS
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  #9  
Old 07-13-2010, 04:49 PM
MrPhil MrPhil is offline
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By any chance do you know how to remove the front cup holder? I've always wanted to change out a new one since my all scratchs up. Thanks.
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  #10  
Old 07-13-2010, 06:24 PM
docpaulo docpaulo is offline
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pull it out somewhat to the right and up.
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Black Matte Grill
Dark Birch Wood Interior and Shifter
HUD, Cold Weather and Sports Package
Logic 7 Sound
Aluminum Racing Pedals
K&N Air Filters
Rays Master Piece REM 20" Forged wheels w/ Conti Extreme DWS
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  #11  
Old 07-13-2010, 09:50 PM
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Hossy Hossy is offline
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Thanks for the compliments! I am very glad that it was helpful to anyone else. I knew going into it that I wasn't sure about it at all, and searched for a thread like this, so since it didn't exist - it made sense to create it!

I actually got my parts from Tischer BMW (getbmwparts.com), but it took forever to get it delivered. But there are a slew of sites that offer genuine BMW parts at a great online discount, just search using the part numbers as suggested.

And yes, to remove the cup holder, simply pull straight up!

Perhaps the next time I do a mod, I'll be sure to create another DIY! Thanks for looking.

Post your pics if you do yours!
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  #12  
Old 07-16-2010, 01:09 PM
djmatrix djmatrix is offline
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Thank you very much excellent post
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  #13  
Old 07-16-2010, 02:51 PM
Blackcix Blackcix is offline
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that would cost me a trip to the dealer because I'm sure I'd screw something up. Looks good though.
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  #14  
Old 08-03-2010, 11:31 AM
jdco jdco is offline
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Thanks for the post!

My shift knob came yesterday.. ordered it from getbmwparts.com using the part number you provided above. They stated it wouldn't work for my vehicle but I made them send it anyway. The entire install took about 5 minutes.. Looks great.

Thanks again.
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  #15  
Old 08-03-2010, 12:36 PM
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I am definitely going to do this soon. I have the same dark wood and Red leather interior as you. Can't wait to give it more of a classy look. Thanks for the excellent DIY!
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  #16  
Old 08-03-2010, 12:51 PM
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Hossy Hossy is offline
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Absolutely!

Exactly as others have stated, this will really take 5 minutes and about $40, and it really makes a huge difference inside. Enjoy!
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:17 PM
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amanra amanra is online now
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Thanks Hossy!

I've got the same interior and the DIY was really well written appreciate it.
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  #18  
Old 08-03-2010, 01:36 PM
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645/333 645/333 is offline
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Have to agree the upgrades make a real difference to the interior. I note that your idrive controller is scratched had the same issue as it is the ruthenium plastic covering finnish. I removed mine and painted it black with BMW black sapphire paint which gives it a gold fleck in the sunshine, added 5-6 coats of lacquer for a tough finish, have to say it looks much better than the original as on all cars. It is easy to remove just pry it off with a plastic tool so as not to damage anything.....

Last edited by 645/333; 08-03-2010 at 01:38 PM.
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  #19  
Old 08-03-2010, 03:05 PM
30yrVeteran 30yrVeteran is offline
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Contemplating this:

BMW Illuminated M Shifter Retrofit Kit (Simple)

Tried to link, but it wouldn't let me grrr. Google the above

Expensive, but very cool. Especially since it's plug and play.
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Last edited by 30yrVeteran; 08-03-2010 at 03:16 PM.
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  #20  
Old 08-03-2010, 03:13 PM
docpaulo docpaulo is offline
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just got my ebrake today... will be installing it later...

interestingly it got lost for a week in UPS land... then suddenly showed up at my door...
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  #21  
Old 08-03-2010, 06:54 PM
docpaulo docpaulo is offline
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got mine installed.. i flipped the leather boot over and it was actually retained by a black plastic cable tie... so I just cut it and replaced with a new one... quick install.. no need to fight getting the thing over the handle...

took 15 minutes as I had to find a pair of snip pliers to cut off the cable tie...
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07 650i Cabrio CPO, Titanium Silver
Black Matte Grill
Dark Birch Wood Interior and Shifter
HUD, Cold Weather and Sports Package
Logic 7 Sound
Aluminum Racing Pedals
K&N Air Filters
Rays Master Piece REM 20" Forged wheels w/ Conti Extreme DWS
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  #22  
Old 08-03-2010, 08:45 PM
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Hossy Hossy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 645/333 View Post
Have to agree the upgrades make a real difference to the interior. I note that your idrive controller is scratched had the same issue as it is the ruthenium plastic covering finnish. I removed mine and painted it black with BMW black sapphire paint which gives it a gold fleck in the sunshine, added 5-6 coats of lacquer for a tough finish, have to say it looks much better than the original as on all cars. It is easy to remove just pry it off with a plastic tool so as not to damage anything.....
You are correct, my iDrive controller is scratched, and I was going to do something VERy similar to what you suggest, but I am still in the developing stages.

I am contemplating painting the iDrive controller, the cupholder (I bought TXT 650's double-cupholder, AND I have an extra one already, so this was going to be for kicks), and the aluminum-colored portions on the steering wheel. The tough part is doing the right color, as I originally wanted to match my chateau red leather - but it will never look exactly the same, as they are totally different surfaces. In addition, I actually need to take my car into the dealer for help removing the steering wheel piece. FINALLY - I am also considering removing the climate control knobs and the glove box button and painting those too - but that may be too much work involved simply to paint like 3 square inches total.

Anyway, thanks for the tip, I am very glad and flattered that others have found this thread useful!
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  #23  
Old 08-05-2010, 10:35 AM
MrPhil MrPhil is offline
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I just did my shifter yesterday. It took about 5 mins thanks to your DIY. BMWparts shipped me the wrong ebrake handle, I have to wait for the new one to come in. Other than that, great post Hossy. One more thing, is it me or the replacement shifter is much more heavier compares to the OEM?
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  #24  
Old 08-05-2010, 11:00 AM
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Hossy Hossy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPhil View Post
I just did my shifter yesterday. It took about 5 mins thanks to your DIY. BMWparts shipped me the wrong ebrake handle, I have to wait for the new one to come in. Other than that, great post Hossy. One more thing, is it me or the replacement shifter is much more heavier compares to the OEM?
Glad to be of help. That's the beauty of these communities!

The replacement shifter does indeed a feel a few ounces heavier, I believe, due to the fact that it is now a wooden insert versus simply the painted plastic. Otherwise, construction of the shifter itself seems virtually identical. And a point of clarification: both handles are actually OEM parts (the inverse being aftermarket); I think you meant the difference between the new handle and the one that originally came with your car.
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Last edited by Hossy; 08-05-2010 at 11:02 AM.
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  #25  
Old 05-24-2012, 02:18 PM
arh1000 arh1000 is offline
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Looks very nice...I did something similar to my 2005 545i about a year before I sold it. Made a huge difference!
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