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Hello to all! I recently purchased a ZHP short shift knob from Tischer, $65.00 dlvd., including free shipping. They make both a lighted and unlighted version. Personnally, I don't spend any time looking at my shift knob, and actually found the heat generated by the light annoying, so I went with the unlighted version. (Not to mention it is substantially cheaper). In any event, this is personal preference, so to each his own.

What started this mod was that I didn't really like the look or feel of our "goose neck" shifter. After reading a number of threads here and over on the M5 side, I decided to go with the ZHP knob. The workmanship is excellent, and it has a nice, heavy feel to it. I can honestly say that of all the mods I've done, this one was the easiest, and most enjoyable. The precise shifts with the new knob are a kick in the you-know-what! It's AWESOME!:noSMG:

So, for those of you who have done this, or know how to, you can stop here. For everyone else, here's how to do it...

Not shown: As this mod requires unplugging the little light in the shift knob, I removed the Negative battery terminal connection as a precaution. This may not be necessary, I just have gotten into the habit of always removing the terminal connection on any mod that involves the electrical system...

Pic #1: You only need a few basic tools, and an 8" zip tie (not shown in this pic, sorry)
Pic #2: Tape measure showing that the stock knob sits about 4.7" high, measured from the edge of the shift boot
Pic #3: Lift out the ash tray and set aside as this makes it easy to remove the shift boot frame in the next step.
Pic #4: With the ashtray removed, you simply pull up gently on the boot, while lifting up on the boot frame. The frame just snaps into place in the center console, it comes out easily in one piece.
Pic #5: Once the frame is loose, you can lift up the boot and see the wiring connection to the light in the handle. For me, I just unplugged it and and tucked the wire down into the frame as it would no longer be needed. (No, this does not throw any error codes.) You can now pull the handle and boot assembly up and off the shift lever. I would reccomend putting the shifter in 4th gear, and then pulling straight up. It may take a little effort. Mine came off easy. The knob just snaps on to a ring in the shift lever, once removed, you will be able to see where it snaps on.

You are now halfway there!

Pic #6: Turn the boot inside out and work at least 1/2"of the leather free from the knob. It's just glued on and comes loose pretty easily. If you're nervous about cutting it, you can take a little more, just to be safe. Then, with the leather free of the knob, turn it right side out and get ready to cut.
Pic #7: Using a VERY sharp knife (I used an Xacto Knife, $2.99 at the hardware store), cut the leather the whole way around the knob. Pay particular attention at the stitching seams, as you will want to make sure these areas are cut all the way through. Once completed, separate the cut, making sure you don't have any threads from the seams uncut, and then separate the boot from the knob. (Take a deep breath and just go ahead and cut - - It's WELL worth it!)
Pic #8: Look closely at the shift handle, and you'll see the ring that the knob snaps on to. You will want to position the zip tie just under this. Turn the boot leather inside out, position as shown and gather the leather together evenly and pull a zip tie tight. This step is easier if you have someone help you hold the boot frame and the leather toghether while you tighten and cut the zip tie. I positioned the tie cut towards the rear of the car, I think this is the best place for it. Once the zip tie is cut, then work the boot leather down over the tie, making sure the seams are evenly space on both sides, then snap the boot frame back into place in the center console. Then, take the new knob, and while ensuring that it is lined up with the slot in the top of the shift lever (you can turn the knob until you feel it line up with the grove) then push down on the knob and you will feel it snap into place. Then put the ashtray back in, and you're DONE!:grinyes:
Pic #9: This picture shows the finished installation, where the new knob now is about an inch shorter than the OEM knob. Trust me, it's a huge difference, and you won't believe how much better the car shifts with the ZHP knob!
Pic #10: All done, and even if you went really slow, this probably didn't take you more than 30 minutes, including putting away all your tools!

Let me know if you have any questions! Enjoy!:byebye:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I didn't, but I do now! Now THAT"S Funny!:hihi:
 

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Thanks for the great DYI post.

I just finished installing the new knob and it was simple thanks to you.

Hardest part was getting the old knob off.

What a difference - good bye and good riddance to the old knob!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You are very welcome! The new knob looks great! Hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed mine!:noSMG:
 

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The unlighted 6 speed knob is pn 25-11-7-896-886. Does anyone know the pn for the lighted knob?
 

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I am getting ready to try this tonight on my E60 M5. I ordered the illuminated ZHP shift knob from Leatherz (without the 6spd M pattern insert). I will use my existing insert from the old knob. I will post some pictures as soon as I have it. Thanks for the DIY.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You are most welcome... Hope you enjoy this as much as I've enjoyed mine. After all the other Mods, I can honestly say this is still, by far, my favorite!

Happy shifting!
 

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Thanks, just did this on my E39 M5 to complement my UUC Evo 3 SSK, which is a dream. Took only 15 min. to install the knob thanks to your DIY. Hardest part were pulling the original knob off the shifter and peeling back the boot from the bottom of the knob. Putting tranny in 4th gear and giving a firm tug (OK, along with a few more tugs and curses, keeping head out of the way to avoid a shiner!) was a good strategy. I didn't realize that the connector was down low in the console where the rubber boot meets the sheetmetal, in spite of your picture. For some reason I expected it to be up higher near the knob. In any case, I threw a small zip tie around the connector and secured the tie with some gaffers tape so that it doesn't fall through the sheetmetal and get tangled up in anything. Also, I was worried that the boot would just slide down the shaft like ungyved socks since the UUC unit doesn't seem to have the ring you refer to, but the knob holds the boot up once you get it on there. I had to give the knob a good rap with the bottom of my fist to lock it in place. Now I'm in business!
 

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Hi- In theory the wire provides power to light up the top of the gear knob. Maybe yours had burnt out? The new knob I put on wasn't illuminated so I just tucked the wire under the shift boot. Regards,
 

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FYI...the f10 shift knob from the f10 m5 is illuminated. I have the weighted ZHP (non-illuminated) in my e39 m5, and the illuminated f10 in my e60 m5.

From what I remember, I was going to get an illuminated ZHP knob for my e60, but got lazy and picked up the f10 knob instead becuase Tischer BMW had a barn burner of a sale.
 

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great post and nice step by step...
i wud love to shorten my shift, just dunno how i feel about the knob...
im sure ill do it soon enough, thx for making the work that much easier for us
 

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just ordered this LeatherZ: BMW F10 M5 Illuminated ZHP Knob

i'll post pics of my finished product when installed =)
You should take a look at the short shifter from the z3 1.9L as well. It will transform the feel of the car -- trust me.

There are two shifters for the z3, one works and the other does not. The correct part number on realoem.com is 25 11 7 527 252. It's only about $60.00 for an oem shifter.
 
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