Shifter Bushing Replacement Guide
Although BMW has many different shifters, they all generally use similar components and are with little variation in overall design outside of what is needed to accommodate the chassis application. This guide will walk you through the general process of replacing the shifter bushings and other components that make up the shift linkage. At the end of the article, you will find a chart listing the different BMW models and Garagistic shifter rebuild kits that are applicable to each.
- Polyurethane Rear Carrier Bushing'
- Shifter Bushings
- OEM shifter cup
- OEM front carrier clip
Removing the shifter bushings
We have come up with a fairly simple removal method. Using two sockets you can press the bushing out fairly easily.
First, you'll need to locate two sockets. One must be bigger than the bushing but small enough to rest on the outer rim of the carrier arm. The next socket will need to be just small enough to slide through the shifter arm but big enough not to slide through the center hole in the bushing.
Next, you'll need to secure the sockets in a vice with the shift carrier in between the two.
Tighten the vice down and it will press the old rubber bushing through.
If you don't have access to a vice the same effect can be accomplished using a long bolt and nut. Tighten it down until the socket presses the bushing out.
Once the bushing is pressed out would should be able to remove the socket from the bushing.
Once the bushing is out you'll want to clean the inside of the shifter carrier bushing hole using brake clean and a rag. This will ensure no debris will cause issues when pressing the new bushings in.
Installing The Shifter Bushings
Since our shifter bushings are significantly more rigid than the factory rubber bushing they can fit a little easier than the rubber pressed in bushing. Installing these is as simple as lining them up and pushing them in by hand.
Removing The OEM Shifter Cup
The OEM shifter cup is held in with two large retaining tabs that are on the left and right side of the carrier. These can be removed by taking a screwdriver and pressing in and up to release the clip and push the clip out. Sometimes these will break depending on age. If you can get it out without breaking it, they are great to have as spares.
Once you have removed the shifter cup and the shifter rod. You now need to release the shifter cup from the ball on the shifter. To do this push down on the shifter cup and it will pop off of the ball. Once off rotate the cup until the 4 cut-outs line up with the selector rod pick up.
Shifter Cup Installation
Installing the shifter cup is simple. Just orient the shifter cup in the same direction that you removed it and slide it over the selector rod pick up.
Once you have slid it over press the cup onto the center ball of the shifter and insert it back into the shift carrier.
Lastly, make sure that the retaining clips on the shifter cup have locked into the shift carrier. You may need to apply a little pressure to the top of the clips to push them down into the locked position. You will hear an audible click when they are fully inserted.
Once you've finished that your shifter carrier is ready to be re-installed. All that's left is to install the rear shift carrier bushing.
Shifter Carrier Bushing Removal
We won't go into too much detail with this part of the section as the method we use to remove the old bushing involves a good bit of fire. Burning bushings out is dangerous and we don't recommend it for legal reasons. But it is effective!
Shifter Carrier Bushing Install
To do this all you'll need to do is insert the bushing into the metal casing of the old bushing and re-install the carrier in the same orientation as it was when it was removed.