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.
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.
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.
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 318ti.org 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