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[bmw] Shifting in my 1984 318i

Liz says
>I've got some questions about my 1984 318i 5 speed manual transmission.
This is my second car of the same year
> and model.  In my original, the shifting is crisp and clean - no wobble or
slop in the shifter.  In the second car the
>shifting is incredibly sloppy but all the gears are there I think.

the shift lever uses a ball and socket type arrangement where it pivots..
this wears out over time
at the bottom of the lever, it attaches to a horizontal shaft.. the plastic
bushings here wear out over time
at the other end of the horizontal shaft (at the transmission) is a rubber
bushing.. it wears and gets soft

the whole shifter arrangement is mounted to a metal plate which in turn
mounts to the car body using rubber bushings.. which get soft over time

all of the above bushings are just worn out and the whole shifter becomes

BMW sells all the bits to replace all these sloppy bushings, you can change
half of them lying on your back under the car.. some of them require a bit
of contortions to get to (like the transmission/horizontal shaft bushing)

it's much easier to do this when the transmission is removed from the car
(like when you're changing the clutch or something)

short shift kits sometimes replace all these bushings with new ones AND they
mess around with the length of the shift lever (shorter shifts generally
mean more effort is also required to get into gear).. you pay a lot for the
kits ($250+) when all you need is <$50 in new bushings

I replaced all the bushings in my shifter with new BMW ones and it made a
world of difference.

Chris Pawlowicz
Stebro Stainless Performance Exhaust
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