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Discussion Starter #1
Earlier this year when Atlanta was covered in ice and UUC was having a fire sale, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and picked up there short shifter kit. Yesterday, was my first chance to attempt the install. I wouldn't say I failed, but this is the first word that comes to mind. So I come here, with hat in hand, seeking advice.

My first plan had been to go to a DIY auto place here in the N. VA area, but the lure of my first mistress (detailing) and a dusty car made me skip the DIY place for a driveway with access to water. This, in retrospect, was my first mistake. The DIY place has lifts and I wouldn't have had to fumble around underneath the car raised on a couple jack stands.

I managed to take out the original shifter, but that was as far as I could get. With the exhaust, driveshaft, and the fact all of this hardware is atop the transmission housing, made working with it, much less seeing it, a challenge. (Something the instructions indicate.) I couldn't remove the clip that holds the shift linkage to the transmission nor the clip that holds the shift carrier (which you have to take out to install the aluminum sleeve that is part of the kit.)

After battling with it for nearly two hours, I gave up and put the original shifter back in. Fortunately, I had not broken any of the original parts and was able to drive back home.

Here are my questions:

1. The instructions state "Removal of exhaust center section required". Has anyone done this WITHOUT removing this portion of the exhaust?

2. How in the name of all that is good with chocolate and peanut butter do you get that damn clamp off the shifter carrier? And, even if removing this clip is a success, thus allowing you to take out the carrier, how do you get the new one back on?

For those that have completed this install themselves, I would appreciate any insight into this process.
 

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Ahhh... memories. I did mine on my back in the driveway over 5 yrs ago. You do not have to remove any exhaust components. I had trouble getting the clip out from the transmission end as well. Shifter end, no real problem. During install, I actually called Ben Liaw(mine is a Rogue shifter) and I asked how the @#$% do you get that clip out. He had no real solutions other than keep trying. I used one of my wife's makeup mirrors to see around the driveshaft, maybe a leather work glove to push with thumb, screwdriver, pliers, and if you line it up and push, it'll come out. Same thing with install. Mirror to see, line it up, and push. A lift would probably help. I'm not helping much, but good luck!
 

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Ahhh... memories. I did mine on my back in the driveway over 5 yrs ago. You do not have to remove any exhaust components. I had trouble getting the clip out from the transmission end as well. Shifter end, no real problem. During install, I actually called Ben Liaw(mine is a Rogue shifter) and I asked how the @#$% do you get that clip out. He had no real solutions other than keep trying. I used one of my wife's makeup mirrors to see around the driveshaft, maybe a leather work glove to push with thumb, screwdriver, pliers, and if you line it up and push, it'll come out. Same thing with install. Mirror to see, line it up, and push. A lift would probably help. I'm not helping much, but good luck!
Sorry I can't be more helpful either, but the only advice is to use the Force/have faith. It is, as stated, a matter of lining it up and giving a good push. It really helps to have heavy work gloves, as part of the problem is that the clip digs into your skin and unless you have very tough skin or a very high pain threshold, you will reach that before the clip goes on. FWIW, I did mine raised on jack stands in my garage (no lift) and did not drop the drive shaft or exhaust. It was a long time ago. This was the first mod I did after getting the car. BTW, there is a recent thread somewhere on this board where someone did his install entirely from the passenger compartment. Maybe you could try that. Hope it all works out. You will love the way it shifts once it's in. Be sure and use a liberal amount of synthetic grease on the ball pivot since yours is a UUC (like mine) and has a metal pivot. :M5launch:
 

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You should have sprung for the lift. Some people will say it's not that bad to install it with ramps or jack stands, but you'll hate life a lot less if you get the car on a lift and do it that way. The front clip on the transmission is always a bear if you don't drop the exhaust and drive shaft, but the job is much nicer when you don't have the rest of the car 6 inches from your face.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

Ard,

Ty for the links. It seems I experienced the same things from these posts.

After about an hour of fruitless exertions, I said, in some unsavory language, "Do I really have to take this piece of the car?" Which led me to try to screw in the allen bolts without removing the carriage itself. This only led to more cursing. From the link you provided, the OP cut a piece off the provided Allen wrench and with the help of some tape, managed to screw these bolts in without removing the carriage. Genius, I say. I may have to attempt that. Although, as I was trying it myself (without tape and etc.) I had thought the only was to accomplish this was if I were only 3" tall. Sure would have been easy then.

I do appreciate everyone else's advice. I am comforted to know I'm not the only guy to attempt this without a lift. I have newfound confidence to try this again. I will keep everyone apprised of my install. Hopefully, after I get the kit in, I can also loosen the drain and fill bolts on the transmission to change the fluid - something else I was not able to accomplish yesterday.
 

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Isn't it amazing to think that post/thread is 6+ YEARS old?!

Anyway, I'd remembered it and the name of the poster, and that made it easy enough to find.

Good luck- gloves...and beef up them finger muscles!

A
 

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Palemud,

I basically installed my UUC short shifter twice, once from inside the car, the 2nd time on ramps!

Well, let me just say this is not easy either way.

I purchased my car and it had a UUC EVO3 already installed, if you want to call it installed. Everything that could have been wrong, was!

Original installer, dealer tech, did not use Loctite on small hex head screws, 4 of the 6th had fallen out, 2 were ready to fall out, the C-clip was not seated in the collar and the height adjustment on the shifter was never tightened.

In Jan during a warmer day 45 degrees, I was able to actually get the small hex screws in the shifter along with some extra washers and get the C-clip properly installed. After that I determined that the shifter was still sloppy and I determined the shifter carrier bushings needed replacement. Then after some thought I also decided to install the UUC DSSR as well along with the ZHP shift knob.

Last week I had decent enough weather and some time so I dove in head first!

I pulled everything apart. But the shifter carrier, well lets just say, I do not think you can pull this out of car without dropping the exhaust or in my case, I lucked out as I was going to replace the rear shifter carrier bushing anyway, so once I popped the rear shifter carrier bushing out, I was able to pull the shifter carrier out of the car with the exhaust still in place.

The hardest part is probably getting the front shifter carrier latch released, a 2 foot long large screw driver works well for this purpose, but can take a bit of work.

Although you can install just the short shifter, I feel you will not benefit 100% until you install the UUC DSSR and the ZHP weighted shift knob. I would highly recommend replacing the shifter carrier bushings if you pull the carrier out of the car, the front bushings are fairly cheap, less than $8 as I recall, the rear bushing is expensive, about $50 as I recall, maybe a bit more.

I will say all this shifter clean up work along with a trans fluid change made all the different in the cars shift and driveability.

If you weigh over about 180-190 lbs, your hands will probably be too big to do this job easily on your back and with the exhaust still in the car. I did at one point drop the trans cross member and lower the trans a bit, but you only get about 1-2 inches drop in the rear and it does not give you more room at the front of the transmission, but it does help.

Lets just say I am pretty handy, have not performed much work in recent year, however, memories come back quickly and I still have A LOT of tools from a long time ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
UPDATE:

Success… I think.

Let me begin by thanking everyone who replied and offered advice. I was anxious to attempt the SSK install but had to wait until yesterday to do so. Here is the tale:

I decided to go ahead to the DIY place and I'm glad I did. From last weekend's install attempt, I had noted my M did have the four rubber mounts jack points… sigh. Off to Bavauto (whom, by this point, should put me on the Christmas card list) and I bought four new mounts. Turns out this was a good thing, because the DIY place put me in a bay with a 4-point lift. Luck or good-planning, I don't know, but I was more than happy with the way the day was starting out.

Car goes in the air. The exhaust and trans is still to warm to work around, so I change the differential oil (RP 75W130) and transmission oil (RP Synchromax). Hot oil is hot and a car in air makes oil fall downwards, so get the hell out of the way unless you want some on your shirt.

My plan had been to try the install without removing the shift carrier, but I figured with the car on a lift, why not go out and win one for the Gipper. I had already burned a diagram in my head from my obsessing over this (see below). Push up A, pull out B, pull towards C, lift up towards D. Isn't nice how everything works so well in your head?


My little diagram. Image courtesy of RealOem.com

The shift carrier clip was tough, but I eventually got it. Score team! Then I had to take the carrier out. HA! The automotive gods laugh at my sense of hope. To lift the shift carrier off the transmission, there has to be enough room between the top of the trans and the bottom of the car. After cussing and prying and pleading, I figured out I had to all put take out the six bolts holding in the transmission cross member, thus allowing some more room to work. Carrier comes out. Success. I hold it above my head like decapitated head of my fallen' enemy.

I put the carrier on the workbench. Put in the UUC guide, according to the instructions (yes, I'm RTFM-ing) and use Loctite. The carrier goes back in the car. New clip from UUC goes in. Then I take out the old selector rod and put in the UUC Double Shear Selector Rod. All I need to do know is put in the shifter. At this point, I'm thinking everything has gone so smoothly and quickly and I'm so full of myself that I don't hear that other shoe falling from the sky.

Bring the car down and that other shoe? Yeah, it dropped like a lead balloon. Loctite makes grease as well as thread-locking compound. Did you know that? I didn't. When I had installed the six hex bolts, I just grabbed the first thing that caught my eye that said "Loctite". My hex bolts were now very well lubricated. Face? Meet palm.


This is fun, kinda like a colonoscopy.

Using what I read in the link provided earlier here, I cut a small piece off the Allen key and took out each bolt, one at a time, and used proper Loctite Whew… at least I caught that, right? Ok, back the RTFM. Put nylon bushing in pivot height adapter, grease, and … wait a minute. The nylon bushing won't fit? I look at it closely. A cold sense of impending doom washes over me. From just by looking at it, I can already see the bushing probably should have gone in first. NOOOOOOOOOOOO….


Houston, we have a problem.

I call UUC and talk with a nice man who tells me, (A) I have the 'old' instructions, and (B) yes, the bushing must go in FIRST. It's at this point when I feel like yelling in the phone, "Are you f**king serious?"

Sigh.


Remember, bushing first!

Car back in the air. Reloosen the transmission cross member. Take out shift carrier. Back to workbench. Remove adapter. Put in bushing. Grease. Put back adapter. Use correct Loctite - again. Put carrier back in car. Re-tighten cross member.

I should say, by this point in the day, I'm no longer having fun.

Back in the car, I go and get the UUC shifter in.

One helpful tip I discovered: When re-installing old rubber shift boot, grease the inside with Vasoline to make it slide back down easier. And don't ask me why I have a small jar of vasoline in my tool bucket.

And that's it, folks. Or is it...?


Mission complete… sorta.

First question: I used the original leather shift cover but with a ZHP shift knob. I saw a thread here somewhere in which someone describes how to make these two things work together. How?



Second question: I must have bolloxed the DSSR install because the shift lever know can move side-to-side when in gear, just as if it were in neutral. Any thoughts as to how I screwed this up? Or how to fix it?

Thank you to all for reading this rambling post….
 

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I believe you can use the old shifter boot, BUT, if your have your shifter at the highest shaft setting, this may not work so well?

Assuming you cut the original boot as close to the original knob as possible, you do the following:

Leave the shifter knob on, pull the shifter boot off and turn in inside out with the shifter knob still attached. Pull the shift boot upward, while inside out, as far as you can, then put a wire tie around the base of the shift boot, just below the shift knob. Then turn back the correct way, folding the edge over the wire tie (now hidden). Reinstall the boot in your console as before.

As for the shifter being sloppy in gear, my guess is you did not get the front shifter carrier properly in the transmission. I think you can get is offset to the side, and/or you did not get the shifter carrier in the rear shifter bushing?

Pop the shift boots and look at the shifter carrier from inside the car while moving the shifter, the shifter carrier should move slightly, but it is fully moving with the shifter, then the shifter carrier has issues.

I would HIGHLY recommend replacing the shifter carrier bushings if you did not do it!
 

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A few items I forgot to mention.

1. Did you lube the shifter ball?? Best to use Molylube IMHO. Can be done from inside the car if not previously lubed. Remove shifter snap ring, pull up on shifter, used a cotton swab to get in lower shifter cup and lower part of shifter ball, fingers can handle the upper portion.

2. Best not to fight with the original cut shifter boot, buy a new boot from these guys. Shift boot store - RedlineGoods leather shift boots Good quality times, I have the Tri M stitched leather boot for the shifter and parking brake. If the shifter is on the lowest height setting, I think the standard height boot is fine, if you use the higher setting, you may need a slightly higher boot? The Redline boot has a really nice collar that will not slip down the larger diameter of the shifter shaft, no wire tie needed. Also check out their armrest cover as well. Take the OEM armrest center plastic divider out, fill will expanding foam, add additional padding, new M tri stitched cover and no more plastic elbow hole!!

What really cracks me up is UUC should ship Loctite thread locker and lube for the shifter ball with their kits!! I know the ship the Loctite grease with the DSSR, not sure what the ship with the EVOIII shifter as mine was already improperly installed in the car when I purchased it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Imagine you build that piece of Ikea furniture and afterwards you have pieces and parts left... :confused2


These work better on the car

That's right, I didn't put these two pieces on, hence the slop. The shifter is a bundle of awesomeness now.

Jfof, thanks for the link. When you bought your new boot, did it come with a boot frame? Or did you have to re-use the OEM one?
 

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Glad it worked out. As for shift boots, you can just get the 540i OEM boot, as it does NOT come with a built-in knob, so will work with your ZHP knob.
 

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Palemud,

Glad you are closer to getting into shifter heaven!

Yea, the 1 collars you have in the last picture are kind of important. You would not have been able to drop your shifter through the shifter collar with those inserted in your shifter, they need to go on after the shifter is dropped in.

But at least this was at the "easy" location to access!

BTW, I think the OEM shifter boot is more expensive than the Redline boot? The only difference is the OEM boot probably comes with the plastic frame, the Redline is just the leather. You just need to carefully peel off the original boot and use some black 3M Super Weather Stripping Adhesive to glue the new boot on your original frame!

Amazon.com: 3M 08008 Black Super Weatherstrip Adhesive Tube - 5 oz.: Automotive

Advance Auto sells the Black as I recall?

Anyway, good luck and hopefully you had more luck with the DSSR shear pin installation that I did. I believe the pins or the DSSR missed a last finishing step as I had to manually polish the pins and also freeze them to make them easy to install. UUC guy tried to lecture me about machining processes, I told him to pull one from stock and make sure they all were not the way mine was!
 
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