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E60 545i Short Shifter Install + Review

282745 Views 632 Replies 157 Participants Last post by  boostd92
Thanks to xr4tic for his inspiration here :M5thumbs:

Crown Auto delivered on my expectations: delivery in less than 5 days and products in stock. Also received great customer service from JD who sent a follow up email to keep me in the loop. One item was missing from the package (1 circlip), wasn't a big deal as it costs $0.61. Plus, JD mailed me it so no big deal.

Parts/Tools Needed:

1 x 25117546373 Shift Lever
1 x 25111220600 Shift Bearing
4 x 25111220439 Yellow Washers
2 x 25111220379 Circlip

Needle Nose Pliers
Long Flathead Screwdriver
Lithium Grease
Jack Stands + Jack
Soapy Water

Installation: I followed this link
Job Duration: 2 hours

It was my first time doing this, and had a difficult time removing the circlip from the OE shifter. The space is very tight, and I could only raise the car so high with my jack. If I were to this again, it would easily take 30 minutes max.

Some things to note in this install:
1. The rubber boot that covers the shifter and the opening needs to be dipped on some soapy water. It makes it a lot easier to slide this sucker over the shifter and pushed into the opening.
2. The yellow washers are optional since the E60 lever has bushings that protrude to compensate for the washers on the E39 lever. I got 4 just in case, since they pennies each. Even with 1 yellow washer, I could not fit the circlip on.
3. I would buy at least 2+ circlips, as the 1 that I had did fall into the heat shield. Luckily, I could reach my hand in far enough to retrieve it.
4. Jack the car as high as you can do so safely. The space is definitely tight.
5. The shift bearing can be easily removed by simply taking a needle nose plier, rotating the bearing about 1/4 counterclockwise, inserting a flathead screwdriver into the slot on the clip, and pulling gently. I tried to pry that sucker out before I learned I could simply rotate it out of the locking position.
6. When reinstalling the bearing, make sure the "flaps" are pointed out towards the doors. This way, you can simply push it back in.
7. Otherwise, VERY EASY DIY.

Impressions:
I originally purchased the Z3M shifter last year, but sold due to concerns of notchiness and shifting effort. In reading reviews about the E60 shifter as an unbranded Dinan shifter, I was skeptical at how much improvement I would actually notice. After the install you can immediately feel the difference in the throws. The shifts are 100% more crisps (click click click between gears) and the knob sits about 1/2 inch below the OE lever. For the ~$70 I paid for this mod, I was more than pleasantly surprised. The "side to side" slop is eliminated, and the shifts are like butter. The "rubber" feel of the OE lever has been eliminated completely. I was ultimately looking for the shortest throw and shortest knob height, but what this E60 lever delivers is PERFECT. I would have been unhappy with the Z3M. You can't beat this mod for the price. For those who feel that the Dinan counterpart is on the expensive side, I urge you to give this one a try. And when I say the throws are reduced, I'm talking dramatic enough to know you have an SSK while maintaining the OE appeal. :thumbsup:

BTW: I have 4 yellow washers and 1 circlip that I did not use. If anyone needs 1+, let me know and I can snailmail it over to you.

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I also installed this a few days ago myself and M55555, you are right. It's PERFECT. The only PITA about the whole thing was trying to put the "C" clip back on. I got so fustrated (after 3 hrs.) that I took it to the dealer and they put the clip on for free! :blabla:
 

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It's a great mod at a rock bottom price. Thanks to Thrilos5 for originally recommending it to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
add the ZHP weighted shifter and you are gonna be even more happier
The ZHP won't match with my wood-grain trim :sad1:

The circlip was definitely a pain. I was able to reach 2 hands in that small area to remove it, causing it to fall into the heatshield.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The ZHP weighted knob requires a new boot also, correct?
 

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You can recycle the old boot if you cut it where it meets the old knob.

I used a zip tie on the inside so you can't see it and it looks normal.

Anyways, I wish I did more research before I bought my UUC short shifter...
 

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Yes. Since the oem shifter knob is attached to the leather boot you need to buy a separate e39 boot
You can get an affordble ones pretty easily. I ordered one for $40 but currently having an issue with the vendor. Been over a month and they have yet to ship me a unit that fits my car. Hopefully the vendor, a board sponsor, will step up and get this resolved. You can also find them on ebay, search for e39 shift boot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You can recycle the old boot if you cut it where it meets the old knob.

I used a zip tie on the inside so you can't see it and it looks normal.

Anyways, I wish I did more research before I bought my UUC short shifter...
So, would the zip tie be on the "inside" of the new knob, keeping the boot in place? Or how would that work?

You could always sell your UUC SSK ;)
 

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I'm a huge fan of the Z3 2.8 short shifter. I as well had the Z3M which was too short. I beleive the Z3 2.8 shifter is shorter than the E60 545i.
 

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So, would the zip tie be on the "inside" of the new knob, keeping the boot in place? Or how would that work?

You could always sell your UUC SSK ;)
Kind of hard to explain, it's not inside the knob. With the boot inside out I zip tied it on the lever, then the boot folds back over the zip tie concealing it.

So the boot covers the tie. And the boot still goes up to the bottom of the knob so there's no gap.

If you order that knob and need pics I'll take some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm a huge fan of the Z3 2.8 short shifter. I as well had the Z3M which was too short. I beleive the Z3 2.8 shifter is shorter than the E60 545i.
Have you ever tried the Z3 1.9 shifter? I hear its identical/similar to the E60 545i one. When you say shorter, are you referring to just the shift knob height or the throw as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Kind of hard to explain, it's not inside the knob. With the boot inside out I zip tied it on the lever, then the boot folds back over the zip tie concealing it.

So the boot covers the tie. And the boot still goes up to the bottom of the knob so there's no gap.

If you order that knob and need pics I'll take some.
ahh ok...I know exactly what you mean. Great idea! If you have a picture of your shifter, I'd love to see how it looks. Can you even tell you have a zip tie in there?
 

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ahh ok...I know exactly what you mean. Great idea! If you have a picture of your shifter, I'd love to see how it looks. Can you even tell you have a zip tie in there?
The Z3 2.8 is the next step down from the Z3M on how short the throw is. The Z3 1.9 is then followed in short throw. So I believe the 2.8 is the best option in my opinion.
 

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I know I keep saying this mod is on my list, but I'm serious. It is. Right after the 14816s.

Thanks for the informative post. I appreciate you taking the time to document it.
 
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