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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > E92 328i SSK only DIY guide

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      09-06-2008, 01:32 PM   #1
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E92 328i SSK only DIY guide

Tools Required:
Ramps or a jack and stands
2 flat head screwdrivers
High temp grease(ie. oem, Honda Urea)
Needle nose pliers(optional)

1. Remove the leather shift boot carefully and it should pop right out
2. Shift into 2nd gear, grab the shifter and pull straight out to pop off the shift knob. There is quite some resistance that needs to be overcome.
3. Remove the rubber grommet to expose the bushing and the pivot ball portion of the shift lever. To do this pull carefully on the grommet and you can get it off. It may look tough but it sin't too bad.
4. You need to now stick the two screwdrivers in the grooves of the bushing to. I advise you all to check out the 335i SSK DIY for this removal process.
5. Now this is where it get slightly different. You cannot remove the circlip from above the car b/c you will not be able to pull out the shift lever since the shift linkage interferes with the bottom part of where the shiftlever ball rests on. That mount is a different size/shape than in the 335i/xi.
6. Now jack up the car and follow the BMW manual for the joacking points.
7. Have a buddy shine a light down from above the shifter area so that you can see where the circlip location is under the car.
8. The circlip should be resting above the driveshaft and where it meets with the transmission. There is a big enough gap so you can use a hand to reach in. I found that you don't need to remove a under panel, nor bend the heat shield.
9. You can pop the stock circlip off with finger force. I found that there was a extra notch/tab on the stock circlip and used that to pry it off with my fingers.
10. Slide out the link to the shift linkage.
11. Get out from under and get the rubber grommet onto the new shift lever. Apply grease on the pivot ball and on the bearing and pop the bearing onto the pivot ball.
12. Ensure that you have the shift lever oriented te right way. The "correct" way is to have it so that the bend/kink in the shift lever is faciwng foward. Some prefer to have the bend/kink facing back to grant more clearance between the console and the gears 1,3,5. Pop the lever back onto the car and use the 2 flat head screw drivers to reorient the bearing to prevent it from coming out in the event that you will have to pull up hard. Slide the rubber grommet back on.
13. No go back under the car and slide in the link to the shift linkage while using the other hand, or a spare finger to hold the shift lever in the right orientation to aleviate the insert. Simply pop on the circlip, there is a grove on the link that slide in. The flat part of the circlip should align with that to lock it in place.
14. Lower the car and put the shift boot back on and pop on the shift knob.
15. Feel the difference and enjoy new shifting the way it should have been.

Becareful when shifting from the even gears to the odd ones. You can pinch your fingers because of the tighter gap in the aft part of the shifter.

My review.....

Hey guys I have finally installed the E92 328i SSK. It took way longer than it should have. 3.5 hours to be exact. The hardest part was getting the stock bushing off. It would not rotate clockwise beyond 45 degrees, so we had to hack at it. That and the trip to walmart to buy a jack and stands took about 3 hours of that time.

This isn't really that bad of a install. It should only take at most .5 hrs. Be warned though. The E92 328i has a shorter lever thus you won't be able to remove/install the circlip from above the car. Once I detached the bushing, I lifted up and the linkage interfered thus only allowing the lever to move up about an inch. So the bushing still covered the hole in which it sat in. I read the other two DIY guides and they are all different depending on the model of your car.

It is very easy to spot the circlip from under the car. You just need to push up with fingers to pry off the stock clip and then slide off the linkage. For me I did not have to remove the plastic panel under the car, nor bend the heatshield. The circlip location is right above the driveshaft close to where it meets with the transmission. I had my friend shine a light down through the cracks of the shifter area and helped me pinpoint the circlip location.

I will show you guys some after pics.


The transmission feels way more direct. The "rubbery" shifter feeling is gone and is very precise. I was amazed how much lower the shifter height was with the performance knob and the SSK compared to stock. It almost feels like a s2000 transmission. The weighed knob feels so much better and heavier than the stock shifter.

I am very pleased.

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      11-23-2008, 10:54 PM   #2
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Smile Just did it!

Thank you for the tips! After the local dealership quoted $240 for the installation alone, I decided to follow this DIY. I used the 328 OEM short shift lever with the 'M' shift knob/boot. I did have a couple of minor problems:
- Step 4: At first the bushing would not rotate more than 10 or 15 degrees. After several attempts my wife helped me and with four hands and two screwdrivers we made it.
- Step 12: At first I mounted the lever backwards. I immediately realized it because in the 'odd' gears the lever would hit the plastic around the trim. Once I positioned the lever in the right orientation it was perfectly centered. I don't see how anybody could pinch his/her fingers (unless they are using a different lever).

I definitely feel the difference and I would do it again, but in all honesty this thing is still a couple notches below a Honda manual transmission.

Last edited by F2006; 11-23-2008 at 10:56 PM. Reason: Forgot to fill the ratings section
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      07-07-2009, 12:24 AM   #3
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2007 E90 335i  [0.00]
just installed today and i wanted to say thank you for this DIY. it only took me about 20 min to complete and it makes a huge difference in the throw of the gear changes. i dont think that the height is changed a ton but it is enough to make a difference. oh just one more thing... as good as this car shifts, it will never compare to a Honda transmission. they just have it figured out.
'07 335i E90 Montego Blue on black leather, Navi, premium, sirius, sport pkg, CA, logic7
'12 KTM RC8R White/Orange
Sold: '07 328i E92, SG, Saddle Brown, Gray Poplar, ZSP, CA, Heated Seats, BMW Performance Exhaust, BMW performance SSK, Valentine1, european delivery - Military Sales
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      01-11-2010, 08:19 PM   #4
Bulldog 6
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Drives: 2007 328i TiAg
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2007 328i E90  [0.00]
Does anyone know if this is the same for the 328i E90?
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      01-18-2010, 06:18 AM   #5
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Drives: '07 e92 328i 6mt
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by Bulldog 6 View Post
Does anyone know if this is the same for the 328i E90?
i would assume so?? i did this DIY 2 weeks ago and only had one problem which was getting that white plastic piece out!! it was only coming up on one side for the longest time. but overall this is a lot easier to do than it looks having 2 ppl will help even more
2007 Space Gray 6MT 328i / BMW SSK
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