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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-20-2015, 09:11 AM
Tip15 Tip15 is offline
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1998 328i - Car starts, won't shift! HELP!!!

Hello there!

Have a 1998 328i.

Car starts but won't shift (automatic) from park to drive - meaning the whole gear shift stays in park. After some online research we think it's spring in the gear shift. Question is - how do we go about changing it? Tried searching online for instruction and not coming up with how to replace it. I found several "how to's" on the bushing, but that doesn't apply to us.

Also read that there is an override somewhere but cannot find where that is located either.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

~ Tip

Last edited by Tip15; 02-20-2015 at 09:15 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2015, 09:13 AM
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tim330i tim330i is online now
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Welcome to Bimmerfest! I've moved your thread to the E36 3 series forum. Search around in here, there is probably a thread about this issue already. Hopefully another E36 owner will also chime in to help out.

Tim
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2015, 09:52 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Can you physically move the gearshift lever through the gear positions, or is it locked in the Park position?
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:50 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Can you physically move the gearshift lever through the gear positions, or is it locked in the Park position?
From the OP:

"Car starts but won't shift (automatic) from park to drive - meaning the whole gear shift stays in park."

Last edited by Tip15; Today at 09:15 AM.
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:59 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Yes, Harry, I read that. He can mean the shifter won't move (most likely what he meant). It could also mean that it moves, but the transmission stays in park. I wanted to make sure exactly what it was and wasn't doing. We've seen descriptions saying one thing and meaning something else too many times to assume it was one way or the other.

If the shifter won't move, that probably means the unlock link in the shift knob has disconnected, or the brake pedal interlock isn't working.
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Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13
buying a ratty example (of a BMW) is a parasitic relationship.(and you ain't the mosquito) 7pilot
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1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira"; 1985 635CSi "Katja"; 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"; 1987 325is "Odette"

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  #6  
Old 02-20-2015, 11:01 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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I say manual swap to fix the autotragedy.
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2015, 11:04 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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__________________
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guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13
buying a ratty example (of a BMW) is a parasitic relationship.(and you ain't the mosquito) 7pilot
Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
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1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira"; 1985 635CSi "Katja"; 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"; 1987 325is "Odette"

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Old 02-20-2015, 11:29 AM
Tip15 Tip15 is offline
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The gear shift lever is locked in the park position. I can squeeze the button on the gear shift, but it will not budge.

Is this possibly a DIY fix?

Thank you all for replying!
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2015, 12:54 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Is it a knob or a Tee handle? Either way, it will have a setscrew holding it on. Loosen the setscrew so you can lift off the knob/handle. Inside will be a nylon link rod that goes down through the shaft. Put the key in the ignition, put your foot on the brake, start the car, then pull up on the rod (if it came out with the knob removal, never mind). See if the shifter will move then. If it will, the problem is that link rod not releasing the shifter pawl. If it still won't move, it's going to be the brake interlock solenoid that's not working. Either the switch above the brake pedal ha failed, the fuse has blown (I'm not sure which one it is) or the solenoid itself has failed.
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Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13
buying a ratty example (of a BMW) is a parasitic relationship.(and you ain't the mosquito) 7pilot
Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira"; 1985 635CSi "Katja"; 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"; 1987 325is "Odette"

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  #10  
Old 02-20-2015, 01:08 PM
Tip15 Tip15 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Is it a knob or a Tee handle? Either way, it will have a setscrew holding it on. Loosen the setscrew so you can lift off the knob/handle. Inside will be a nylon link rod that goes down through the shaft. Put the key in the ignition, put your foot on the brake, start the car, then pull up on the rod (if it came out with the knob removal, never mind). See if the shifter will move then. If it will, the problem is that link rod not releasing the shifter pawl. If it still won't move, it's going to be the brake interlock solenoid that's not working. Either the switch above the brake pedal ha failed, the fuse has blown (I'm not sure which one it is) or the solenoid itself has failed.
Thank you! We will give you this a try tomorrow and see what happens. Much appreciated!
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  #11  
Old 02-20-2015, 08:20 PM
ZTR ZTR is offline
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Lol. The interlock is powered by the brake light circuit. Are your brake lights working?
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