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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Sun, Jun-09-2019, 03:07:49 AM   #1
HDdave
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Default E60 vs BMW Performance shift lever

Hey yall, I just finished up my 6mt swap with a lot of help from this forum! I dont know how much this has been discussed, but I could not find any info when searching this topic. So I figured I would make a post with my experiences for anyone else doing the swap, or just considering changing the shift lever in your 6 speed..

I wound up having to pull my trans twice bc I am an idiot, and folded the input shaft seal out while installing the bellhousing and never noticed. In my first experience (with the BMW performance shifter) driving the car I was not overly impressed with how the gear changes felt.. They were nice and short, but it felt to me like it kind of just slid into gear (like it felt like I needed to push forward or back harder on the lever for it to slide the rest of the way into a gear).. This was not the case-car was obviously in gear. Something just did not feel right though.

I also felt like it sat cocked off to the right like it was favoring the passenger for some reason..I was looking to see if I could find one slightly shorter as well.

So I turned to the E60 lever which I had read a lot of people liked. Was not sure how different in shape and size it would be than the BMW Performance one, but I knew I had to at least try SOMETHING else while the trans was out the second time and it was so easy to change.

Here is a picture of the two of them side by side
Untitled by Dave Laborie, on Flickr
I was very surprised at just how much different the two of them are.. BMW performance is on the left and E60 is on the right. The length of the E60 one from the ball up is very similar with the E60 being slightly shorter. But the angle of it makes a HUGE difference with how it feels from the drivers seat.

Then there is the lower part- Now I am no engineer, but seeing as it is a good bit longer than the one on the BMW Perf lever I feel like it is giving you more leverage. Further away from the pivot point the lever attaches to the linkage- more leverage you get. I could be wrong but seems like simple physics to me at least . Kinda like a long pry bar versus a short one haha.

Overall I am much much happier with the E60 shift lever and would highly recommend anyone trying to decide between these two go with the E60.

Untitled by Dave Laborie, on Flickr

Untitled by Dave Laborie, on Flickr
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Last edited by HDdave; Sun, Jun-09-2019 at 03:33:02 AM.
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Old Sun, Jun-09-2019, 03:20:57 AM   #2
terraphantm
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Default Re: E60 vs BMW Performance shift lever

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Originally Posted by HDdave View Post
Then there is the lower part- Now I am no engineer, but seeing as it is a good bit longer than the one on the BMW Perf lever I feel like it is giving you more leverage. Further away from the pivot point the lever attaches to the linkage- more leverage you get. I could be wrong but seems like simple physics to me at least . Kinda like a long pry bar versus a short one haha.
Other way around in this case. The transmission selector rod has to move a fixed distance. The ratio of the length above and below the pivot point determines how long your throws are. The longer the top portion, the longer your throws. The longer the bottom portion, the shorter your throws. And the shorter your throws are, the more force you need to actually move the assembly.

Long story short, it's giving the transmission more leverage against you.
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Old Sun, Jun-09-2019, 03:32:35 AM   #3
HDdave
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Default Re: E60 vs BMW Performance shift lever

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Originally Posted by terraphantm View Post
Other way around in this case. The transmission selector rod has to move a fixed distance. The ratio of the length above and below the pivot point determines how long your throws are. The longer the top portion, the longer your throws. The longer the bottom portion, the shorter your throws. And the shorter your throws are, the more force you need to actually move the assembly.

Long story short, it's giving the transmission more leverage against you.
Ahh Okay that makes sense.. I knew I was right in my head about the longer the bottom portion, the shorter the throw. I guess I did not explain that the best with my example. I was essentially calling the shorter throw "more leverage". But you are absolutely correct that it does require more force giving the trans the leverage.
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Old Sun, Jun-09-2019, 03:33:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: E60 vs BMW Performance shift lever

Yet drifters and racers like tall shifters.
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Old Sun, Jun-09-2019, 03:49:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: E60 vs BMW Performance shift lever

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Yet drifters and racers like tall shifters.
Those sort of kits are still short throws afaik. A shorter distance from wheel to knob, but not longer throws.
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Old Sun, Jun-09-2019, 04:44:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: E60 vs BMW Performance shift lever

I thought the E60 lever with stock shift knob was perfect on my silver car before switching to a solid mount shifter. Iím installing a 20% AS SSK in the blue car when I manual swap it, and Iím hoping the shifting experience will be as good as, or better, than E60 lever.

I tried the holy grail Z3M lever on my E36 and it was terrible.
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Old Sun, Jun-09-2019, 05:12:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: E60 vs BMW Performance shift lever

Awesome thread OP.

Nice to see the ďgooseneckĒ knob. May be in the minority but prefer it - esp on track. (Less chance of money shift IMO)


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Old Sun, Jun-09-2019, 11:36:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: E60 vs BMW Performance shift lever

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Originally Posted by Exclusivs View Post
Awesome thread OP.

Nice to see the ďgooseneckĒ knob. May be in the minority but prefer it - esp on track. (Less chance of money shift IMO)


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Thanks! I didnít know if there was a need for it. But i could not fina anyone comparing these specific two side by side..

I do actually kind of like that knob. TBH i just ordered everything for my swap from the DIY and didnít think much of it haha. So i have not explored many other options as far as a knob goes. I know i donít like the looks of whichever round one everyone uses with the metal trim ring around the bottom..

I will say keep looking at the M5 lighted shift knob and one day itís going to burn a hole in my pocket haha. I just hate that the shift boot is leather, not alcantara... I would already have it otherwise. But my e brake boot is shit as yíall can see in these pics so maybe i will buy a leather one of those and the m5 knob. Who knows haha.. way to easy to throw money at these cars haha
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Old Sun, Jun-09-2019, 12:54:01 PM   #9
terraphantm
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Default Re: E60 vs BMW Performance shift lever

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Originally Posted by HDdave View Post
Thanks! I didnít know if there was a need for it. But i could not fina anyone comparing these specific two side by side..

I do actually kind of like that knob. TBH i just ordered everything for my swap from the DIY and didnít think much of it haha. So i have not explored many other options as far as a knob goes. I know i donít like the looks of whichever round one everyone uses with the metal trim ring around the bottom..

I will say keep looking at the M5 lighted shift knob and one day itís going to burn a hole in my pocket haha. I just hate that the shift boot is leather, not alcantara... I would already have it otherwise. But my e brake boot is shit as yíall can see in these pics so maybe i will buy a leather one of those and the m5 knob. Who knows haha.. way to easy to throw money at these cars haha
You could get the z4m knob. Itís lighted, but otherwise shaped exactly like yours so you can retain your boot
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Old Sun, Jun-09-2019, 12:55:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: E60 vs BMW Performance shift lever

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Originally Posted by terraphantm View Post
You could get the z4m knob. Itís lighted, but otherwise shaped exactly like yours so you can retain your boot


Was going to say ZHP knob - but that works too!


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Discussing E60 vs BMW Performance shift lever in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)