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Installed BMW Performance SSK

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So I decided to do something less than practical with my BMW tonight and installed the BMW Performance SSK for the 6 speed (ZHP). It is NOT the kit for the M3, THEY ARE DIFFERENT!!! I don't care what you hear, what you read, or anything else. THIS is the lever you want to buy if you have an 03-05 E46 6 speed manual (Getrag). It is BMW Part # 25117528881. It has an S curve and is a wonderful mod.

I did some videos of the process, here are my ramblings.......
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GswihLK9vGk&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-WF-LgpCpw&feature=youtu.be

Impressions: I like it. I have tried other SSK's including Rogue and UUC and find them all to be too notchy for my liking. I am NOT saying they are bad, just too notchy for my taste. This kit is NOT at all notchy, it is very OEM like. The forward position of the knob post install is almost identical to the before. However, when shifting into 2nd, 4th, and 6th it is MUCH shorter. I dare say 25-30%. Since I only paid $63 for the handle, I say it is WELL worth the money and time. Total install time was less than one hour.

Couple notes on install: It took me about 6 minutes to get the old shifter out of the car. Once I got the rubber liner off, I just popped the old clip off with a long screwdriver.

On the new kit the yellow bushings from your stock shifter are no longer needed and will not fit so don't try to add them (ask me how I know). This is due to the design of the new handle, the bushings are sort of "built in" to the new handle.

I used a coat hanger with a hook on the end to pull the selector rod up enough to slide it back through the shifter handle hole and then attached the bitch clip from underneath (I have read where people do it from the top, if you can, you are a better man than I, I tried and got really pissed really fast). It is a tight fit and I was only able to get my hand up high enough by pulling my heat shields down a good bit, even then it was really tight. HOT TIP: I read where someone else tied a string around the top of the bitch clip so if they dropped it they could just pull the string. This was a FANTASTIC idea! Saved the day cause I dropped it more than once.

Once done I had my son row through the gears a few times while still under the car to make sure I had the bitch clip seated properly (buy a COUPLE new ones just in case). I hate this design, cause if you lose the clip, you are stranded in whatever gear you were in when the selector rod comes out. And that clip is flimsy aluminum, but it held for 160k miles so I guess it is fine.
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Nice mod! I have never had the BMW Performance SSK, but hada UUC in an e90 and currently have the Rogue engineering in my e63. That and the CDV removal and CDV removal transformed the driving experience.
Looks great


Does the new angle make it more confortable and help you flog it better?

Sent from my VM670 using Bimmer App
Only drove around the block, no flogging yet. I may have overstated the angle in the video. After I uploaded the vids I went back and looked, it really is about the same. I'll take some pics of it in the daytime and post it with some "before" shots too so you can see for yourself.
Looks great

Does the new angle make it more confortable and help you flog it better?

Sent from my VM670 using Bimmer App
:lmao: at 2:05. Made me think of this.

http://youtu.be/17XBW5OZdOM

Glad to be rid of the truck shifter?
Glad you finally jumped on this! I told you it was a good mod.
Nice move. I went with UUC and wish I went this route instead.
Why so? I'm loving my UUC shifter.
Nice move. I went with UUC and wish I went this route instead.
Probably because, just like in your car, the UUC puts the shifter in a weird position and is super notchy. Listen, when I was your age, I had my mustangs with Husrt shifters. Also very notchy and I loved them, along with super loud exhaust.

But when you get older, the super notchy shifts aren't all that fun anymore. Same reason I don't have headers and exhaust. I want a more "refined" performance experience.

The BMW SSK is just that. Refined performance. Not too short, not too long, as smooth as OEM.

And while you got the UUC with the purchase of your car, most people have to drop about $400 for the kit. The one I bought is only $60. BIG difference in cost.

OH, and despite what seems to be the trend, a very short shifter handle (lower down) is NOT better for performance driving. If you notice, most touring race cars have the shifter up very high (the E46 M3 has a longer shifter handle as well) so it is a fast motion from steering wheel to shifter and back to steering wheel. For one hand on the wheel boy racing the short handle may be cool, but it isn't "functional". This kit retains stock height.
Why so? I'm loving my UUC shifter.
My UUC shifter isn't nearly as notchy as it used to be, but it's a little stiffer than factory. As for the kit, yeah... it cost a pretty penny, but I was all, "OMG I HAV A BEE EMM DERPLEYEW! GOTA B KEWL 4 DA GUIZ!" So I went with the UUC. :rolleyes:

The height adjustment in it can give you damn near the stock shifter height if you wanted it, but I adjusted mine downward just a bit due to my long gangly arms... it was just more comfortable for me. Yes... I went with comfort because this is my daily driver. Perhaps, when I win the lottery, I'll turn it into a track toy.

Bro dawg money G... you drive a BMW. You should have one hand on the wheel, seat leaned so far back so you can only see your airbag roundel, gangsta rap blasting as loud as the H/K system can take it, and have your windows tinted to 5%.

If I'm cruising along, yes... one hand on the side or bottom of the wheel works for me. If I'm going all-out flog mode, then it's both hands on the wheel and quick drops to the shifter during the heel-toe (side of foot-side of foot) downshift while entering a turn. :drive:

AND I LIKE THE WAY MY CAR SOUNDS!
Probably because, just like in your car, the UUC puts the shifter in a weird position and is super notchy. Listen, when I was your age, I had my mustangs with Husrt shifters. Also very notchy and I loved them, along with super loud exhaust.

But when you get older, the super notchy shifts aren't all that fun anymore. Same reason I don't have headers and exhaust. I want a more "refined" performance experience.

The BMW SSK is just that. Refined performance. Not too short, not too long, as smooth as OEM.

And while you got the UUC with the purchase of your car, most people have to drop about $400 for the kit. The one I bought is only $60. BIG difference in cost.

OH, and despite what seems to be the trend, a very short shifter handle (lower down) is NOT better for performance driving. If you notice, most touring race cars have the shifter up very high (the E46 M3 has a longer shifter handle as well) so it is a fast motion from steering wheel to shifter and back to steering wheel. For one hand on the wheel boy racing the short handle may be cool, but it isn't "functional". This kit retains stock height.
So do I, but I wouldn't want to LIVE with it everyday.

As for your shifter, pretty notchy to me. The SSK I put in my 323 was also notchy and sucked, shifts were TOO short. I pulled it out too.

P.S. Quit cluttering up my thread with UUC defense.
AND I LIKE THE WAY MY CAR SOUNDS!
Here is a pic of before and after that really shows the main difference. The pic wit the BMW Performance knob is the STOCK shifter. The one with the ZHP knob is the BMW Perf SSK. Note how much less back it goes.

Attachments

that is a noticeable difference, maybe now people can install this and not have to worry about hitting their elbow in front of a date and missing the gear:eeps::(
Here is a pic of before and after that really shows the main difference. The pic wit the BMW Performance knob is the STOCK shifter. The one with the ZHP knob is the BMW Perf SSK. Note how much less back it goes.
You should have driven it when I first got it put in. Good grief... I almost reconsidered it, but day after day, I felt it getting better.

Or I was getting stronger. Not sure which... :eeps:
So do I, but I wouldn't want to LIVE with it everyday.

As for your shifter, pretty notchy to me. The SSK I put in my 323 was also notchy and sucked, shifts were TOO short. I pulled it out too.
Mostly for cost reasons and I didn't care for their customer service. I don't really mind the notchy shifting. However, they sent the wrong bushing to me 3 different times after my car was already torn apart on jack stands. So I was without my car for a week while they kept overnighting bushings to me. Eventually it worked. I feel like sticking with genuine BMW parts makes a lot of sense sometimes.
Why so? I'm loving my UUC shifter.
Smolck, that zhp shift knob looks 100 times better that what was on previously. That's gonna be my next purchase!
Yea, when I went to the tri-stitch boot the BMW Performance Knob just didn't look right and so I went back to stock ZHP fare. Still love the feel of it though.
Smolck, that zhp shift knob looks 100 times better that what was on previously. That's gonna be my next purchase!
I figured customer service was hit-or-miss. Fortunately, I went through a third-party (local performance shop) to let them handle the headaches. They didn't charge me for it. :D
Mostly for cost reasons and I didn't care for their customer service. I don't really mind the notchy shifting. However, they sent the wrong bushing to me 3 different times after my car was already torn apart on jack stands. So I was without my car for a week while they kept overnighting bushings to me. Eventually it worked. I feel like sticking with genuine BMW parts makes a lot of sense sometimes.
Thanks for the tip, smolck! I'll have to give this a try, or at least the 5-speed version of the BMW performance shifter (although it may not have the S-curve). I'm not interested in spending a lot of cash on a fancy, notchy aftermarket performance shifter, me being a cheapskate old fart and all.

I have been planning on replacing the wear parts in the shifter assembly anyway, so why not swap in a $55 shift lever while I'm at it.

On the 5-speed topic, I read that the E60 performance lever fits. It's about the same price as the E46 performance lever, but I don't know if it's any better or worse. Haven't been able to find any comparos; they look quite similar in pictures.
On the 5 speed cars you should try the Z3 3.0 shifter. The OE BMW Performance shifter for the 5 speed doesn't do jack squeeze. You also can't go with the Z3M shifter because it will hit your driveshaft, the Z3 3.0 fits perfectly. See this thread....

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=856105&highlight=bmw+ssk
Thanks for the tip, smolck! I'll have to give this a try, or at least the 5-speed version of the BMW performance shifter (although it may not have the S-curve). I'm not interested in spending a lot of cash on a fancy, notchy aftermarket performance shifter, me being a cheapskate old fart and all.

I have been planning on replacing the wear parts in the shifter assembly anyway, so why not swap in a $55 shift lever while I'm at it.

On the 5-speed topic, I read that the E60 performance lever fits. It's about the same price as the E46 performance lever, but I don't know if it's any better or worse. Haven't been able to find any comparos; they look quite similar in pictures.
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