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So I recently bought a 2002 and I've been working on it and I have realized the shifter is very loose. It is very hard to find gears and I am scared to drive it for fear of accidentally shifting into reverse when downshifting. Has anyone had this problem and if so what can I do to fix it?

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Sounds like your shift linkage needs some attention. Search the site for 'shifter rebuild' and you should find pages on it. If you contact [email protected] he will sell you a kit of parts that are commonly needed. Make sure you identify with him whether you have an early or late shifter.

Not an expensive or difficult job but one that will see you up close and personal with the workings of your car in no time.

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What Simeon said. There are plenty of threads on this stuff. Check that your shifting platform is held tightly in place at the mounts. Check your shifter plastic bushings are not worn. Here is a good place to start:

 

http://www.bmw2002faq.com/topic/139059-shifter-rebuild/

 

The search function up the top is really handy and will yield answers to a lot of problems. 

 

You will need to work out if you have an early or late shifter as mentioned above

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As to where your gears actually ARE, they're in the transmission, of course!  You'll get to see a lot of that as you do the linkage.

And yes, replacing the bushings in that linkage will go a long way towards making sure they STAY in there.

 

<grin>

 

Don't forget the socket bushings on the base of the gearshift lever, around the ball, and the rubber grommets inside the lever itself can fail or work loose, too.

 

t

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There are quite a few 'while you are there' jobs with this one:

Guibo joint

Centre support bearing

Transmission mount

Exhaust bracket at the back of the transmission.

Some times you need to learn to work with your eyes shut to avoid seeing all of the small jobs you can do 'while you are there'

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Just to emphasize:  not only the bushings and pins in the shift linkage are gonna be worn, but the metalastic mounts that hold the shift linkage platform to the transmission case are gonna be worn/disintegrated.  They are metal inserts with rubber moulded to the metal--when the rubber turns to black goo from hot transmission oil and exhaust pipe heat and is gone the entire shift platform will be loose on the tranny--first symptom is difficulty in selecting reverse.  Might as well order the requisite number cause you're gonna need to replace 'em.  

 

And many folks (me included) will recommend Red Line MTL synthetic oil for your manual tranny.  Makes 'em shift smoothly regardless of the temperature.  

 

Welcome to the 2002 fraternity/sorority.

 

mike

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