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Z4 shifter in 2002

Guest Anonymous

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Guest Anonymous

I just finished doing the Z4 3.0 shift lever conversion that Lee figured out a while back on my 74. Figured I’d write it up for anyone interested.

First off, let me say that if you don’t already have the late style shift linkage, this is a much longer job. I did not have the late linkage, so I got to suffer through the long version. If you already have it, just drop in the new shifter and rejoice that you don’t have to do all the previous dirty and unpleasant steps.

The following details both the early-to-late shift linkage conversion and the Z4 shifter mod.


Snap ring pliers

Needle nose pliers

13, 17mm wrenches and sockets

Assorted screwdrivers

Anti-seize compound


07-11-9-932-863 - Lock Washer (2)

25-11-1-204-357 - Shift Rod

25-11-1-220-199 - Spec. Shim (2)

25-11-7-503-525 - Joint

23-41-1-466-134 - Pin

25-11-1-203-682 - Bushing

25-11-7-516-160 - Shift Lever

23-41-1-466-110 - Ball Cup (2)

25-11-1-221-284 - Shift Knob*

*Optional – this is an aftermarket classic round, black leather press-on style knob from Maximillian. If you order this p/n from BMW, you’ll get a modern ergonomic knob. Your choice – I wanted the classic look.

(You’ll only need the last three if you already have the late linkage.)


You will need to drop the exhaust and the driveshaft.

OK, start by removing the shift console and undo the snap ring that holds the shifter in the top of the shift platform. Now crawl under the car and loosen the bolt that retains the pin on the bottom of the shifter. Push the pin out and go back up top and remove the shifter.

Now you have to get the old shift rod out. It is held in by a vertical pin that is retained by a tension bushing. (There is a second pin that sits horizontally and holds the joint and shift rod together, but you do not need to remove this.) Pry the tension bushing off with a screwdriver (this is a miserable and unpleasant task, particularly if you are lying under the car). In order to remove the pin, you will have to remove the shift platform. Drive the pin out and the shift rod will drop out of the car.

Clean everything up and you’re ready to start reassembly. Replace the shift platform. (Make sure the platform is up as high as possible against the top of the tunnel – clearance is tight between the shifter and the driveshaft.) Take the new joint and place it on the end of the rod coming from the transmission. You will have to apply some pressure to get it into position, as there is a foam bushing to compress inside. Push the pin into place to secure it. Fight with the new tension bushing until it is in a secure position over the pin.

Go back up top and get the new shifter ready to drop in. The lower cup bushing will fit over the bottom (barely) but the top one will require splitting with a razor blade in order to fit it on top of the shifter ball. Test fit the shifter – there should be no top-to-bottom play. If there is (there was in my car) you’ll need to fill the gap somehow. I used a suitably sized rubber o-ring from my local hardware store beneath the bottom cup bushing. Once you’ve got it right, apply a bit of grease or anti-seize (I used the latter) to the bushings, drop the shifter in and lock in the snap ring.

Back under the car, you’re ready to attach the shift rod. Put a bit of anti-seize or grease on each end of the rod and press them into place through the joint and shifter bushings. The shift rod can only go in from the passenger side of the car due to the position of the support bracket that goes from the bottom of the transmission to the shift platform. Use a shim and lock washer on each end to secure the shift rod.

Replace the driveshaft and exhaust. Reinstall the shift console. Press new knob onto shifter.

The throw is very short – about 3 inches. The Z4 lever is about 2 inches shorter on top than the stock 02 lever. Pattern location is more or less the same, possibly slightly forward and right from stock. Job took about 4 hours. Good time to check your guibo, center bearing and exhaust.

Hope this helps someone.

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Guest Anonymous

Total parts cost was about $120, sourced from Maximillian (the shifter, cup bushings, and knob) and my local dealer (everything else). Shift lever is the biggie at $45, shift rod, joint and knob around $20 each, everything else is cheap.

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