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DIY: BMW Short Shift Kit (SSK) for 335i
Published by jahwerx
12-20-2007
Post DIY: BMW Short Shift Kit (SSK) for 335i

This is a DIY in 6 parts
DIY: BMW Short Shift Kit (SSK) for 335i

BMW Part number: 25110430357
Parts Included
• Sort Shift Lever
• Nylon Shift Lever Bearing
• Circlip
• Performance Knob (Weighted, Metal/Alcantara)
• Alcantara Boot
Tools Required:
• Car Jack and Jack Stands or Ramps
• 8mm socket
• 2 Flathead screwdrivers (one large)
• Automotive grease suitable for vinyl/plastic
• Glass Cleaner
Time required: ½ hour to 1 hour.
Technical Skill Required: Low. Don’t let the size of this post fool you, this is an easy job!
Every page will have steps and corresponding pictures at the end of each post. Here we go:

Steps
1. Raise the Car. I used commonly available (read Cheap!) ramps available ay any Wal-Mart, Auto Zone, Pep Boys, etc. If you choose to use jack stands, ensure they are compatible with the crazy BMW jack points. I’m 5’10”, 170 and there is JUST enough room under the car with the ramps. Let the car cool down before going under. You are going to be intimate with the exhaust system.
2. ENSURE THAT THE EMERGENCY BRAKE IS FULLY ENGAGED, and chock the back wheels if you want extra safety.
Interior:
3. Remove the OEM shift knob. (I can’t believe there is a DIY for this). Just select 2nd gear and pull it straight up. The picture actually represents the final version, because I was a little way into the project before thinking that writing this up (and taking pictures) might be useful. Don’t hit your head ! Do not use any tools!
4. Remove the boot. Simply tug it straight up. There are 4 clips holding it in as noted by the circles. Do not use any tools!
5. Remove the foam bed. It’s easiest to start from the back, and then the front slides out. When reinstalling, reverse this procedure. Do not use any tools!
6. Remove the small ring of carpet. It lifts right out. Do not use any tools!
7. Pull the rubber boot. Start at any point, and simply work your way around. It might seem pretty difficult, and you may think that its not going to ever fit back in, but its actually easier to re-install than remove. Do not use any tools!
8. Here are all the parts you have removed in order
9. Here is what it should look like now:
10. Put the transmission into “Reverse” for easiest access in the next step.
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  #1  
By jahwerx on 12-20-2007, 03:16 PM
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DIY: BMW Short Shift Kit (SSK) for 335i (2/6)

Exterior:
11. Take the 8mm wrench and the large flathead screwdriver with you under the car. If you are using the ramps, there will not be enough room to use a creeper.
12. Remove the plastic shield by removing the 4 screws indicated in the picture with the 8mm socket.
13. It slides out easily. Here is a picture of it removed.
14. Ensure the car is cool, and get yourself right in the middle underneath. I grabbed the exhaust piping, and wedged myself in. Bend the heat shield out of the way to access the selector rod and shift lever. Its located right above the (monster) drive shaft.
15. You should now have a view that looks like this:
16. Sorry, for the fuzziness of this picture, but it is TIGHT up there. Using the same reference picture, ensure that the Circlip (circled in red) is aligned as you see it in my picture. If it’s rotated, simply reach up and twist it (using your hand) so the “open end” is facing down.
17. Using the screwdriver where the arrow is pointing, push the clip straight up. It should come off fairly easy. If it doesn’t pop off right away, you can “work it” off. Not that you’ll need to, but if you damage the clip, don’t worry, there is a new one in the SSK.
18. Note: Don’t bother trying to remove the shift lever from the selector rod under the car! Crawl back out, and back to the top…
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  #2  
By jahwerx on 12-20-2007, 03:18 PM
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DIY: BMW Short Shift Kit (SSK) for 335i Reply to Thread (3/6)

Interior:
19. Remove the shift lever from the selector lever. Select “neutral” and wedge the large flathead screwdriver between the selector lever and shift arm as seen in the picture. Holding the screwdriver firm, slide the shift lever as if you were going to select reverse. The shift lever should easily slide off selector lever.
20. Now the shifter should flop about and look something like this:
21. Next release the hounds! (or at least the pivot bearing). Using two flathead screwdrivers, place them into the bearing slots as shown. Rotate the bearing clockwise, approximately 90 degrees, as shown by the curved arrow. You may notice the retaining clip start to “bend in” toward the ball as indicated by the small arrow. Once it appears to stop bending in (again, at about 90 degrees rotation), the shift lever will easily pull straight up, attached to the pivot bearing.
22. … and this is what you have:
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  #3  
By jahwerx on 12-20-2007, 03:21 PM
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DIY: BMW Short Shift Kit (SSK) for 335i Reply to Thread (4/6)

INSTALL
23. This next shot shows what the OEM lever looks like when its removed. There is no reason to remove the bearing from the lever. Take the OEM lever, bearing and circlip, and store them away! (Back when I was doing similar work on my old Honda, I had purchased this high-temp urea grease, which is a good application for the task at hand. I’m not endorsing OEM Honda grease )
24. Liberally, grease up the shift lever ball, bearing, and hole. Insert the bearing from the bottom of the lever, and snap it in place.
25. Align the bearing “ridges” (highlighted by the arrows) to the slots in the shift arm cup (see picture in step 22). Push straight down and it will “click in”. If you don’t have the ridge aligned with the slots, you will be able to pull the lever right back up. Test it out. It should be solidly secure at this step.
26. The shift lever can now slide onto the selector lever in one of two ways. The right way, and the wrong way. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
27. Now, reverse what you did to insert the selector lever into the shift lever. There isn’t much space, but using the two screwdrivers, fish the selector lever into position, so its male end is lined up with the female end of the shift lever.
28. This time, with everything aligned, wedge the screwdriver between the Car frame and the selector lever and then “shift” the lever to the right to slide the parts together.
29. It should look like this:
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  #4  
By jahwerx on 12-20-2007, 03:22 PM
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DIY: BMW Short Shift Kit (SSK) for 335i (5/6)

Exterior:
30. Go back under the car with the new circlip. The view should look like this. Note the ridge. This is the ridge that the circlip slides into. Now, simply align the circlip and push it straight on (you can use your hands – this is very simple)
31. It should look like this:
32. I rotated it around with my hands to inspect that it was on correctly. Good to go!
33. You are done with the mechanicals!
34. Bend the heat shield back and reinstall the plastic shield. You are now done under the car.
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  #5  
By jahwerx on 12-20-2007, 03:24 PM
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DIY: BMW Short Shift Kit (SSK) for 335i Reply to Thread (6/6)

Interior:
35. Reinstall the rubber boot. Spray a bit of glass cleaner (I used some simple green) on the shaft of the shift lever and the inside of the boot to ease sliding it down the shaft. (“I’ve got lube” – McLovin). Point the arrow on the boot to the front of the car. When installed, it should look like the photo in step 7.
36. Reinstall the carpet trim. It only fits in one way. When installed, it should look like the photo in step 6.
37. Reinstall the foam sound insulation. Remember to tuck the front in first, then work the back in. It needs to be fully pushed down, so the clips on the boot with catch. When installed, it should look like the photo in step 5.
38. Reinstall the boot. I prefer the look of the OEM boot with my walnut trim, so I’m not using the Alcantara boot. The choice is yours. Simply push down and snap all 4 corners. When installed, it should look like the photo in step 4.
39. Reinstall the shift knob. Just line it up and push it on! When installed, it should look like the photo in step 3. I much prefer the new knob to the OEM. It reminds me of the S2000 shift knob, with some Alcantara trim. (Side note: the S2000 had the best shift action of any car I’ve driven to date. The SSK certainly helps the feel and action of the 335, but it still doesn’t compare to the crispness of that Honda gearbox!)
40. Test the shift action, and when you are satisfied, un-jack your car.
YOU ARE DONE!
The next photos show the lever in neutral (2shots) and all 7 gears, and are for illustrative purposes only. Good luck!
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  #6  
By j|rz44 on 12-20-2007, 03:40 PM
Nice... Gj
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  #7  
By nj335i on 12-20-2007, 03:43 PM
Been waiting for this! Thanks!
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  #8  
By ScheerSpeed on 12-20-2007, 03:45 PM
big difference or wat
?
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  #9  
By jahwerx on 12-20-2007, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScheerSpeed View Post
big difference or wat
?
One day of driving so far . . . I LOVE IT! In my opinion, they should have added this as standard in the sport package. (I mean its ONLY a shorter lever and knob!)

Other people complained it was too short, that they would hit get their hands caught in the trim or something??, but I just don't see that happening.

If it did, you could simply raise it a bit by going back to the OEM knob!
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  #10  
By jahwerx on 12-20-2007, 03:57 PM
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Oh yeah, I found this as well... If you want to use a custom shift knob and don't care for the alcantara boot (i don't particularly) you can peice out the parts cheaper on your own... Now be careful, the shift lever in this picture is the OEM long one I think, so just be sure to ask your friendly neighborhood BMW parts manager...
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  #11  
By dinkoh on 12-20-2007, 05:27 PM
Very helpful. Good well done.
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  #12  
By retrodrive on 12-20-2007, 05:43 PM
You are the man...man!
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  #13  
By MMAJNKE on 12-20-2007, 05:50 PM
Wonderful post
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  #14  
By Jason on 12-20-2007, 06:06 PM
Excellent writeup. Thanks for sharing!!

Added to DIY compilation thread -- http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1721
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  #15  
By 3thirty5 on 12-20-2007, 06:09 PM
Thanks for the great DIY, this is gonna be my next little project!
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  #16  
By judec on 12-20-2007, 06:12 PM
Do they have a SSK for Steptronic, too?

Just kidding (chuckles)

Great write-up, thx and congrats on your new mod
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  #17  
By jahwerx on 12-20-2007, 06:55 PM
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I'm glad everyone finds this useful!
For those with a manual tranny, I'd recommend doing this and the CDV delete in one shot (Why not - you are aleady under the car!!) . . . and that is a great bang-for-the-buck mod!
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  #18  
By hov333 on 12-20-2007, 07:06 PM
so if i went in with this parts list thats the image above, I could get all the peices and it would be the same as buying the SSK only cheaper? sounds very interesting, did i understand it correctly?
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  #19  
By san~man on 12-20-2007, 07:36 PM
Excellent job....I'll use this for sure when I install mine
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  #20  
By jahwerx on 12-20-2007, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hov333 View Post
so if i went in with this parts list thats the image above, I could get all the peices and it would be the same as buying the SSK only cheaper? sounds very interesting, did i understand it correctly?
First you only need a subset of those parts in the diagram. I posted the diagram to give a "big picture" of just what it is we are doing, not as a definitive shopping list...

Parts 6, 7, 10 + two other parts come with the SSK:
1) the shift knob (not in diagram)
2) the shift boot (not in diagram)

Again, I found that picture on the net. . . so I'm not sure if the part numbers are accurate, or if part "6" is the Short Shifter or the OEM long shifter. (or if the diagram is even up to date!)

But that's pretty much the correct concept. If you are happy with the shift knob you have today and the boot you have, it MIGHT be cheaper just to order parts 6, 7, and 10.

I find the knob that comes with the kit is VERY nice - weighs about twice as much as the OEM knob, and just feels awesome.

If anyone does try to "part it out", rather than getting the kit, please post here with the accurate part numbers and costs. The install procedure will be identical!
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  #21  
By jahwerx on 12-20-2007, 09:14 PM
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Post Official Part Numbers!

OK, when in doubt

I pulled the paperwork that came with the kit (now there is a novel thought) and lo and behold - it had the Parts List for SCHALTKINEMATIK (or as we have been calling it, the Short Shift Kit):

25 11 0429269 - Performance Gear Lever (aka the shift knob)
25 11 1220379 - Circlip
25 11 0429990 - Bellows for Performace Gear Lever (aka the alcantara boot)
25 11 1220600 - Bearing Shift Lever
25 11 0434219 - Shift Lever (aka short shift lever)

The ones in bold are the minimum required for the install . . although you may be able to get away with using the old bearing and circlip if you want to go el cheapo.
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