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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, Mar-16-2014, 07:47:01 AM   #1
SunD3v1L
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Default F10 M5 knob & boot install in e46 M3

A DIY wasn't 100% necessary for this 'install,' however I'd like to write this up with some visual aids and offer my advice to those who are about to tackle this. This DIY is almost entirely written for the purpose of retrofitting the M5 shift boot to the e46 shift boot ring.

I have no idea why so many people are so hasty to cut off such a high quality piece of leather, only to zip tie some cheap suede on to their new shift knob. My apologizes to those who have OEM alcantara.. Still, I prefer the leather.



First things first, parts/supplies required:

-F10 M5 knob & boot, OEM # 25112284205
-e46 M3 shift boot ring, no OEM number*
-clothes pins/clamps
-staple remover
-high strength glue, suited for leather AND plastic (Krazy Glue, maximum bond)
-disposable gloves
-a few pieces of paper to lay down and some patience


*BMW does not supply this part individually, so you'll have to scavenge the parts for sale section and try to snag one, or salvage your current one. I was lucky enough to find one quickly, so I could keep my OEM broomstick & boot together.





This will have to remain a partial teaser for now until I'm finished with all of the pictures, but I'd like to get a good portion of this finished so I can watch the F1 opener (qualy & race) tomorrow. Finished before and after pics to come.


Remove your e46 M3 'broomstick' or current shift knob and boot by putting your M in 2nd gear and PULLING UP! Be sure to knock a few of your front teeth out. Chicks love that shit. My knob, boot, and cable was all disconnected in one swoop. Please attain a gym membership or ask your mom for help if you are unable to remove it yourself.




No, I'm not a 60 year old man, not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's been a LONG winter and my hands are quite chapped. So yeah, excuse the old dry wrinkly hands. If the light catches it right (like above) you can see cracking in the old emblem. Original removed at ~125,xxx.









Here's the rest of the knob/boot. Still in usable shape. Goodbye broomstick.






On to the F10 M5 knob.


I used a simple staple remover from my office to pluck off the F10 M5's staples around the base of the shift boot. These are fairly easy to take off. Gently slide the metal end underneath the staple and pry up. The boot is also secured to the M5's ring via glue on the 4 corners. Just use a combination of your fingers and the tool to pry it off. I let my boot sit 1-2 days before installing to remove creases from the F10 ring.







Now, comparing the shift boot rings. On the left is the F10 M5 that I removed; the right is the donor e46 M3's. You'll notice, they are different shapes, and the overall outside perimeter of the F10 M5's ring is slightly larger than the e46's.

This is the primary reason why so many people ditch the boot. I hope this DIY will serve as a useful guide to save the cows!







Place the boot over the ring for a test fit. You'll notice a few things:
-the M5 boot has only 2 stitched corners, at top-left and top-right; unlike the E46 that has all 4 corners.
-when placed, the top 2 corners of the M5 boot are too 'wide'



Place the shift boot on the ring, using clothes pins or clamps. Make sure to only clamp the lowest portion of the boot- no where on the boot where it will be visible when you're all finished.





Position the stitched corners of the boot so they are on the outside of the corner of the ring, like below:







When you are happy with your placement, time to put some gloves on and make this permanent. You will notice that you have about 1 centimeter of slack in the leather. This is because of the larger perimeter of the M5 shift boot ring.

THIS IS OK!


I promise you, with the correct technique, you can get ride of the slack and it won't be noticeable when installed.




I used some Raven disposable gloves and Krazy glue, maximum bond formula with extended tip. I would HIGHLY recommend this glue. Go to Michaels. They have about 42 types of glue and you'll be the only man in the store.. it's an experience. There's Super Glue and a Super Glue Gel and Gorilla Glue and Maximum this and that......... I liked the one I chose: it had leather and plastic on the bonding surfaces. It also had an applicator tip that worked flawlessly. Get this specific one.






One thing to do before glue-ing, is to tape off the connector. This glue is STRONG, and you certainly don't want to ruin the part that makes this 'mod' so cool. I used painters tape and did this before the boot fitting. Lay down plenty of sheets of paper; this will stick to anything, but it is very quick drying; only 30 seconds.









Work your way around the shift boot, removing a few clothes pins at a time, then putting SMALL dots of glue in between. Press firmly for about 30 seconds, wait another minute while inspecting, then reapply clothes pins and continue...

Take your time. Be extremely careful not to set the knob down in glue or you will ruin your nice new knob. Also, don't get any glue on the surface of the leather boot. It will stay there. Permanently.




The key areas to focus on are the corners. As noted above, I let my F10 boot/knob sit awhile to help deform the boot from such creased corners. Unfortunately, the main corner creases are still there to stay, but you can pull the boot far enough down where those creases aren't visible. Add a few dots of glue, put the boot sufficiently over the ring, and press firmly. Use your fingers to do the work, not the clothes pins or clamps. You can really mold the leather to the ring with this phenomenal glue and a few fingers.


This is also how you will pick up the slack in the boot. Around the corners, make sure you pull the boot far enough over the ring and bunch the leather together. The finished product was excellent:











The glue dries very quickly..... maybe let it sit an additional 30 mins to be safe, then feel free to re-install. It's just plug and play!









Edit 3/17/2014, a few quick pictures; car is still in storage so lighting conditions aren't the best.





Turned out great. Excuse the light reflection; terrible pic.


No offense to others who have attempted this, but I'm finding a few examples where corners that are sloppy and could easily be fixed with the above methods. If anyone needs help, please feel free to ask.




Now let's inspect those corners




Bottom. Notice none of the F10's sharp edge creases. Pull down the leather far enough to hide them!






Top left... place stitching to the left of the curve/corner.








Top right... Notice no buckles or noticeable eye sores.







**NIGHT/LOW LIGHT PICS COMING SOON!**
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Last edited by SunD3v1L; Tue, Mar-18-2014 at 04:54:49 AM.
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Old Sun, Mar-16-2014, 11:06:27 AM   #2
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Default Re: F10 M5 knob & boot install in e46 M3

awesome work my friend!!
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Old Mon, Mar-17-2014, 08:44:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: F10 M5 knob & boot install in e46 M3

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awesome work my friend!!
Thanks man, I took some more installed pictures yesterday, I'll upload them tonight.
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Old Mon, Mar-17-2014, 09:00:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: F10 M5 knob & boot install in e46 M3

It's worth every penny to do this mod. It makes the car look so much better.
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Old Mon, Mar-17-2014, 10:05:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: F10 M5 knob & boot install in e46 M3

Thanks for posting this. Eager to see some finished pics
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Old Mon, Mar-17-2014, 10:27:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: F10 M5 knob & boot install in e46 M3

Nice work! Thanks!
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Old Mon, Mar-17-2014, 10:34:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: F10 M5 knob & boot install in e46 M3

Thanks for the part number. If this is just the knob, you can just get by with using a ZHP boot so you don't need to hack up the OEM one. I already did this when I went for the Z4M knob.
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Old Tue, Mar-18-2014, 12:27:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: F10 M5 knob & boot install in e46 M3

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Originally Posted by NelsonL1 View Post
Thanks for the part number. If this is just the knob, you can just get by with using a ZHP boot so you don't need to hack up the OEM one. I already did this when I went for the Z4M knob.
The F10 M5 knob is sold with the boot* pictured above, only.






Big thanks to Tischer for the great price & quick shipping. Check out getbmwparts.com
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Old Tue, Mar-18-2014, 12:26:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: F10 M5 knob & boot install in e46 M3

What's the difference between this knob and the zhp knob?
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Old Tue, Mar-18-2014, 12:27:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: F10 M5 knob & boot install in e46 M3

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What's the difference between this knob and the zhp knob?
This is illuminated. OEM illuminated........ plug and play.
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Discussing F10 M5 knob & boot install in e46 M3 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)