BMW E3 Short Shifter

BMW Shifting knob (25 11 1 220 823) and emblem (25 11 1 220 956)

While I had the transmission removed from the Bavaria for some clutch work, I decided to try putting in a short shifter. There’s a lot of information on the Internets about BMW short shifters, but not much I could find pertaining to the E3.

Old and new (25 11 7 527 254) BMW shift levers

I also considered a 5 speed conversion to the Getrag 265, but most of the 265 transmissions I’ve seen lately are the close ratio ones with 5th gear being 1:1. The overdrive 265 uses the same ratios for 1-4 as the Getrag 262 Transmission that’s in the car, with 5th gear being 0.81:1. Since we don’t use the car on the highway a lot, I decided to forgo the conversion for now.

New (25 11 1 204 384) and old BMW selector rods

In a post on the Senior Six Mailing List, William Bowes said to “Get the M ROADSTER shifter from your local BMW store” … “Part # 25 11 2 228 384. The best part is that you don’t need ANYTHING else, unless your shifter plate mounts are bad.

The shift lever Bill Bowes referred to in 2001 (25 11 2 228 384) for the 1997-2002 Z3 M (E36) Roadster, is now discontinued, replaced by 25 11 7 527 254. I also needed a new selector rod, which Spencer and Jim and Mesa Performance got for me.

I used the existing hardware (lower and upper ball cups, retaining spring, washer and circlip) to mount the lever on the shifter plate. Spencer told me to cut through the upper ball cup so it would slip over the shift lever shaft.

Existing mounting hardware

Since the shift lever is straight, it was somewhat of a reach. I bent it using the instructions in this post by Mallard on the forums.

The lever action is short and crisp. I don’t know what the term “notchy” means, having a trans-axle Alfa, but it seems to shift OK. It seems like a worthwhile change though it could be done with other levers and used parts.

25 11 7 527 254 Shift Lever
25 11 7 503 525 Shift Coupling
25 11 1 204 384 Selector Rod
25 11 1 220 379 Clips
25 11 1 220 199 .60 Washers
25 11 1 220 823 Shifting knob
25 11 1 220 956 Emblem

Getrag 262 Transmission


Getrag 262 4-Speed Transmission

he clutch release bearing on our BMW Bavaria started grinding about a month ago, so it was time to take the transmission out and replace the bearing.

I bought the bearing a while ago, before I started taking everything apart. I held off getting a new disk and pressure plate so I could check the thickness of the friction material on the clutch disk. It was 8.5mm, while the minimum thickness (for the outboard release lever) is 7.8mm. I ordered a new clutch disk (21 21 1 223 125) anyway and pressure plate (21 21 1 202 052).

LED Festoon Bulb Replacement

I bought some “Chrome” surface mount LED modules from to see how they’d work as replacements for automotive Festoon light bulbs (the ones with the pointy ends). The modules are about 2.3″ (60 mm) long with an adhesive strip on the back. The “chrome” is plastic.

Oznium actually sells some LED Dome Light replacements that are 5×5 LED arrays that include common bases with the LED array.

I thought that these modules would fit inside the BMW Bavaria trunk light housing that uses a 8.5 x 37.4 mm Festoon bulb.

The photograph showing the trunk is a little misleading – it’s actually about 4 times brighter than the bulb with the filament – you’d have to strain to read by the light.

Dead Interstate Battery

The Interstate MT-47 battery in the Bavaria decided it didn’t want to hold a charge anymore. The specific gravity of each cell was reading < 1.1. I spent an hour looking for the receipt and couldn’t find it. The battery has a 75 month warranty but I was just going to buy a new one.
Luckily, the Interstate delivery guy was at the garage when I went to pick up the battery, and he read the date code off the side of the battery which was January 2003. The dealers have a chart for pro-rating the warranty and it came out to $1.52 per month – the new battery cost me $72.96, instead of $109.

In the mean time, I had ordered a Schumacher SSC-1000A Battery Charger from Amazon for $34. It seemed like a good deal. The charger gives a percentage value of full charge and voltage when the terminals are first connected and then can charge at 2, 6 or 10 amps. There was also switching for regular Lead acid batteries, deep cycle and gel cell batteries.

While trying to adjust the positive cable from the car to the battery (ironically, so I could fit the orange positive terminal cover), I didn’t notice that the ground cable had fallen onto the negative terminal on the battery. The result was a big spark, a hole blown in the cover of a relay box and a melted socket wrench extension.