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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > Review: BMW Performance Short Shift Kit



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      05-24-2012, 09:44 PM   #1
Laguna Seca Blue
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Thumbs up Review: BMW Performance Short Shift Kit

I've noticed that at least 3 threads have been started recently with OP's wondering whether or not a SSK is a worthwhile upgrade. I picked up my 2009 335i a couple of months ago, and the only modification the car came with was the BMW Performance SSK. I had posted my initial impressions on someone else's thread, but now that I'm completely used to it, I thought it would be worthwhile to update you with my latest impressions.

In short, (no pun intended) it rocks. However, it does take a little while to get used to. At first, I was really confused by the design of the shift knob. It's very small and perfectly cylindrical, so for someone with large hands like me (I'm 6'3) it kept slipping out of my hand when I was trying to grab ahold of it and shift fast. The second thing that bothered me was that it felt very notchy, especially between 1-2 shifts. It literally felt like it took years to get between those two gears because there was a quite a lot of resistance. In fact, the only thing I liked about it was the satisfying clunk when it was in gear. There was never any question that I had missed the gear, or was only half-way in, which causes that horrible grinding sound which makes you cringe.

Anyway, I've now put around 2,000km on the car and I'm loving it. I've figured out that there is no need to grab the shifter under any circumstances. You literally just need a flip of the wrist with two fingers or the palm of your hand to get through all of the gears. The problem was that I was used to the longer shifter in my E46 M3 where you had to make much more deliberate movements and heave your entire arm from gear to gear. With the SSK all you need is your wrist.

I know there are a number of aftermarket options available and I haven't tried any of them. However, since the BMW Performance kit is effectively an OEM part and it works well, I don't think you can go wrong. Oh, and I almost forgot, the knob is weighted perfectly!

Hope that helps anyone looking to go for a SSK!
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      05-25-2012, 09:03 AM   #2
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I had a SSK on my previous car (B6 A4) and it was among the best mods I did for the car, equal to the power increase with tuning/injectors.
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      05-25-2012, 09:23 AM   #3
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Honestly, the stock shift doesn't bother me except the 1-2 shift. It's not just the notchiness, but the throw is the length of a football field. It's difficult to shift quick under high load/WOT. If the SSK makes an improvement here, I think its worth getting.
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      05-25-2012, 10:09 AM   #4
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I have a BMW Perf SSK but have not installed it yet (too busy).

I've had SSKs (aftermarket) in the past and really enjoyed them, especially the RE SSK.

BMW does make a nice shifter, but to me there's too much slop (side to side and front to back while in gear).

I am going to put together a DIY on the BMW Perf SSK when I install it and post it in the DIY forum. BTW it's the full blown 335 SSK with the carrier.
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      05-25-2012, 10:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddycane View Post
I have a BMW Perf SSK but have not installed it yet (too busy).

I've had SSKs (aftermarket) in the past and really enjoyed them, especially the RE SSK.

BMW does make a nice shifter, but to me there's too much slop (side to side and front to back while in gear).

I am going to put together a DIY on the BMW Perf SSK when I install it and post it in the DIY forum. BTW it's the full blown 335 SSK with the carrier.
^
Please post your DIY when complete. I have a '07 E90 as well and am looking at purchasing a SSK. I think I am set on the OEM one. Did you get a good price on yours? I have found them as low as ~$350. Let me know if you got yours cheaper anywhere.
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      05-25-2012, 10:56 AM   #6
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I bought it BNIB on the For Sale forum (here) for $225....it was a really good deal
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      05-25-2012, 11:02 AM   #7
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I respectfully disagree. I put on the BMW SSK and I think it blows goats...the same mushy yet notchy action with a shorter throw.

Compared with other cars I've owned/driven, the shift action on this car is really, really crap.

UUC claims they've improved the feel by using a double arm linkage versus the single one on the stock/ssk BMW shifters. There might be something to that, but I haven't driven a car with one so I can't verify.

So, yes the bmw ssk reduces the throw from that of a panel van to that of a car, but does absolutely nothing for the feel.
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      05-25-2012, 12:13 PM   #8
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Really? Mine feels perfect. You have to be pretty accurate, but it's all snick snick for me now.
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      05-25-2012, 12:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slidewayz View Post
I respectfully disagree. I put on the BMW SSK and I think it blows goats...the same mushy yet notchy action with a shorter throw.

Compared with other cars I've owned/driven, the shift action on this car is really, really crap.

UUC claims they've improved the feel by using a double arm linkage versus the single one on the stock/ssk BMW shifters. There might be something to that, but I haven't driven a car with one so I can't verify.

So, yes the bmw ssk reduces the throw from that of a panel van to that of a car, but does absolutely nothing for the feel.
agreed - I found it made the "notchyness" in the 1-2 shift even worse
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      05-25-2012, 02:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
I respectfully disagree. I put on the BMW SSK and I think it blows goats...the same mushy yet notchy action with a shorter throw.
Quote:
agreed - I found it made the "notchyness" in the 1-2 shift even worse
Did both of you install the full blown BMW SSK with carrier arm and cup section or just the lever?

UUC claims a lot, I would not believe most of it. Their short shifters for the E90 models have not been received well. I had one of their SSKs on my E36 M3 and it was ok....the RE unit that replaced it was MUCH better.

Alot about SSKs is personal preference. What one person feels is too notchy another thinks is snick, snick.
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      05-25-2012, 06:36 PM   #11
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Mine was installed by BMW HK before I purchased the car, so I don't know how the car felt with the regular shifter. I have test-driven a couple of manual 335's in CA briefly, and I remember thinking that the shifter was similar to my E46 M3's but a lot more forgiving.

I completely understand the people who think the SSK is notchy, there is no room for error. You need to be very precise and fast. If you flick the shifter in slightly the wrong direction or are too leisurely between gears, it will feel notchy.
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      05-25-2012, 07:46 PM   #12
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i have this ssk but use the zhp shift knob. ive gone thru about 4 shift knobs and this is the best ive found. its also used in the 1M

and yes the bmw ssk feels exactly the same as the stock action but with shorter throws.
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