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Sorry for the noob questions here;

Over the holidays I'm planning on changing my trim from wood to silver. I have all of the pieces except the shift knob and ebrake handle. I know a few members of this board have gone this route and I'm looking for some help. I'd like to keep the interior as stock looking as possible.

What options do I have for shift knobs? Because it's illuminated, the dealer is telling me I need to buy the shift knob and boot as a package (quoted $211.00). Is that right?

With cars originally equipped with the Ti trim, were the shift knob and ebrake aluminum/leather or just leather?

What options do I have for the ebrake handle?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Shift knob and boot come as one piece OEM. You can always convert to a two-piece style with a bit of ingenuity. The early Ti trim cars came with Ti shift knobs, but the later ones didn't, nor did any when replaced under warranty. The knob's finish failed over time. I still have an original knob in my car and it's horrible. My eBrake handle is Ti finish and has held up well.
 

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lots of shift knob choices...a classic/clean solution is to use the BMW OE E46 ZHP knob - it's weighted, shorter than stock E39 knob and comes in black leather/aluminum trim. It's about $60 from dealer as I recall. Do a search and you will find PN easily. It does not come with boot. If you want to reuse your existing boot, you simply cut it off your current knob and install with a ziptie from underneath (ziptie is not visible). Tons of guys have done this - search and you will find plenty of examples with pics.

If you don't want to cut existing boot from knob, buy BMW OE E39 540 boot (which you can buy separately from BMW). This is what I did and now can sell/reinstall my OE wood knob/boot if I want to at some point.

Only downside to the ZHP knob IMO is that it is not lighted when purchased from BMW. It is available lighted from LeatherZ (expensive choice) or from ebay.de (ebay Germany - much less expensive).

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39-m5-e52-z8-discussion/168749-zhp-gear-knob-thats-fits-e39.html

Otherwise, there are tons of other BMW and aftermarket knobs available to your liking.

I bought an entirely new e-brake handle/boot from BMW in all black leather. Like Vacman said re: the early shift knobs, I think early production e-brake handles were aluminum/leather combo but finish crapped out on the aluminum piece pretty quickly.
 

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If you don't want to cut existing boot from knob, buy BMW OE E39 540 boot (which you can buy separately from BMW). This is what I did and now can sell/reinstall my OE wood knob/boot if I want to at some point.
do you have a part # for the 540 boot?
 

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bimmian.com has a real nice lighted brushed aluminum knob thats back lit. Pretty affordable too if I recall correctly.
 

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For the knob I have the ZHP knob. I have a custom black leather boot with M stitching from Modbargains. For the ebrake I have an aluminum handle from Bimmian. The brake boot matches the shift boot. I also converted to Titan trim. Much better.
 

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I use slimmbone's alcantara boot with ZHP knob. 2 piece > 1 piece.
 

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Much easier just to buy aftermarket though. There are lots of great companies making shift boots for a fraction of OEM.
Just thought I'd mention that if you buy aftermarket, it usually won't come with the plastic frame that clips into the console trim. You'll need to carefully transfer over the one from your old boot to the new one if you go aftermarket. I didn't want to mess around with this, so after some patient searching I found a 540i boot used with the frame for $10.
 

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Just thought I'd mention that if you buy aftermarket, it usually won't come with the plastic frame that clips into the console trim. You'll need to carefully transfer over the one from your old boot to the new one if you go aftermarket. I didn't want to mess around with this, so after some patient searching I found a 540i boot used with the frame for $10.
Excellent point if you want a snap-n-go affair.
 
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