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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > DIY: **5 series knob on 330i - Modification COMPLETE! - Pictures**



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bmwexecutive's Avatar DIY: **5 series knob on 330i - Modification COMPLETE! - Pictures**
bmwexecutive
06-24-2006
Here's to all the naysayers that said it couldn't be done. It may have cost $110 and taken several hours of time, but I think it was well worth it! And as far as I know, I'm the first to have completed this mod in E90Post history (maybe even BMW history)!...
  #22  
By Gripster on 06-24-2006, 11:47 PM
Sweet! Really great mod and makes a real difference to the interior quality. You ought to sell these for those of us less, ahem, determined to make it work.
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  #23  
By bmwexecutive on 06-25-2006, 05:23 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gripster
Sweet! Really great mod and makes a real difference to the interior quality. You ought to sell these for those of us less, ahem, determined to make it work.
Heh, yeah. I promised myself I'd get it on there one way or another.

As far as selling these, I really couldn't do it at a price that would make sense because between driving between the dealer (to pick up the part) and the machining place I'd have to charge $50 for my time which would make it like $175 per modified knob. If you guys will pay that, shoot me a PM.
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  #24  
By bmwexecutive on 06-25-2006, 05:23 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason
Looks awesome! Adding to DIY list.
Thanks, Jason!
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  #25  
By SoYank on 06-25-2006, 07:42 AM
First thought when reading this thread was, Why? Seemed like a lot of work for little effect. I was wrong. It looks fantastic.

The first thought I had when looking at the final result picture was, why did he use black instead of terra. But on further examination it appears to blend well with the shift boot.

Other than the larger size, wouldn't it have been easier to put the knob on a lathe and turn a depression into the top into which the leather(ette) could be epoxied?

Anyway, congratulations on a top notch job.
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  #26  
By bmwexecutive on 06-25-2006, 10:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoYank
First thought when reading this thread was, Why? Seemed like a lot of work for little effect. I was wrong. It looks fantastic.

The first thought I had when looking at the final result picture was, why did he use black instead of terra. But on further examination it appears to blend well with the shift boot.

Other than the larger size, wouldn't it have been easier to put the knob on a lathe and turn a depression into the top into which the leather(ette) could be epoxied?

Anyway, congratulations on a top notch job.
Thanks, SoYank! I'm not sure what you're talking about when you say "Other than the larger size, wouldn't it have been easier to put the knob on a lathe and turn a depression into the top into which the leather(ette) could be epoxied?" though.
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  #27  
By Sedan_Clan on 06-25-2006, 10:45 AM
Great mod. Props!
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  #28  
By SoYank on 06-25-2006, 04:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwexecutive
Thanks, SoYank! I'm not sure what you're talking about when you say "Other than the larger size, wouldn't it have been easier to put the knob on a lathe and turn a depression into the top into which the leather(ette) could be epoxied?" though.
It just seems to me that you gained two things: a larger diameter knob and a leather center on the top. You seemed to have gone through a lot to adapt the connection underneath by cutting out the 5-series and putting the 3 series button inside. Or did I miss something?

The diameter of the 5-series knob seems to be maybe 5-6mm larger. If you had taken the 3-series knob and turned (cut with the lathe) a depression inside the line already there, you could have epoxied the leather into the depression. You'd have had the same look albeit without the larger size but with the leather top. I like the thought of the leather; don't understand the desire for the larger size. Size doesn't matter...or does it?
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  #29  
By bmwexecutive on 06-25-2006, 06:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoYank
It just seems to me that you gained two things: a larger diameter knob and a leather center on the top. You seemed to have gone through a lot to adapt the connection underneath by cutting out the 5-series and putting the 3 series button inside. Or did I miss something?

The diameter of the 5-series knob seems to be maybe 5-6mm larger. If you had taken the 3-series knob and turned (cut with the lathe) a depression inside the line already there, you could have epoxied the leather into the depression. You'd have had the same look albeit without the larger size but with the leather top. I like the thought of the leather; don't understand the desire for the larger size. Size doesn't matter...or does it?
I get what you're saying now. Actually, cutting out the inside of the 5-series knob was easy because there wasn't much to cut out. It was the 3 series knob that was the hard part. I took that to a machine shop and we did a lot of back and forth to get it milled down to exactly how I needed it in order to fit.

As far as why I didn't just put a depression in the 3 series knob, several reasons. First, I like the low profile look of the 5er knob (3er is higher). Second, it's bigger which I think makes it look better. Third, the leather top from the 5er knob wouldn't fit in the 3er knob--it's too big. Finally, it's much more of a custom one-off job using the 5er knob instead of modifying the 3er knob. I'm really very happy with how it turned out. Seems much smoother in my hand when operating the iDrive controller too!
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  #30  
By AW330i on 06-25-2006, 06:52 PM
LoL, well I don't remember if I posted on the topic before when you asked if it could be done or not but I do remember feeling quite confident that it was impossible! Congratulations for proving me wrong as well as everyone else who obviously lacked the optimisim for this project that you definatly had. It looks very nice on your car!
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  #31  
By Josh49 on 06-25-2006, 09:19 PM
Out of curiosity, why not save all that time effort and just precisely cut out a circle of leatherette to fit the e90 knob and glue it to the top of the e90 knob? That would put your cost down to $5-10. Seems like this exact look could be replicated for a lot less time and money.. And you wouldn't have to take apart the car at all?
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  #32  
By bmwexecutive on 06-25-2006, 09:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh49
Out of curiosity, why not save all that time effort and just precisely cut out a circle of leatherette to fit the e90 knob and glue it to the top of the e90 knob? That would put your cost down to $5-10. Seems like this exact look could be replicated for a lot less time and money.. And you wouldn't have to take apart the car at all?
Don't take it personally, but that was a really stupid post.

First of all, I've explained it before in this thread about why I didn't just glue a piece of leatherette to the top of the 3er knob. For one, that would hardly be a mod at all. No offense, but that would be what I call a half-ass or "ricer" job. I didn't use the 5 series knob just for the damn leather piece either. And two, you said "you wouldn't have to take apart the car..." ummmm... didn't realize taking a knob off was considered taking the car apart.
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  #33  
By magmd on 06-25-2006, 10:01 PM
Looks great! Good job!
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  #34  
By Josh49 on 06-26-2006, 06:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwexecutive
Don't take it personally, but that was a really stupid post.

First of all, I've explained it before in this thread about why I didn't just glue a piece of leatherette to the top of the 3er knob. For one, that would hardly be a mod at all. No offense, but that would be what I call a half-ass or "ricer" job. I didn't use the 5 series knob just for the damn leather piece either. And two, you said "you wouldn't have to take apart the car..." ummmm... didn't realize taking a knob off was considered taking the car apart.
I guess I didn't see the difference between the 5 series knob and 3 series knob, it looked like the leatherette peice could have been attached directly to the top of the 3 series knob, possibly with or without the counterbore. Is the OD of the two knobs different, was that the difference? In any case it looks good, just looked like a lot more work than it needed to be. Enjoy..

Edit: saw your response to why you didn't do this in post 30, I was thinking the same way that other guy was, just milling a counterbore in the e90 knob and putting in the leatherette piece... didn't know the discrepency in OD's.. Good work..
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  #35  
By aarnt on 06-26-2006, 06:48 AM
Just a question. Do you think it will be harder to create a mold of the E90 inner piece of the knob than what you did? Smiling the E90 knob sounds like a lot of work, and I just had the idea of making a mold consisting of the inner circumference of the E60 (as the outer circumference of the mold) and the inner section of the E90 knob (as the inner section of the mold). What I'm thinking sounds easy but I'm not sure if it is!

And by the way, very brave effort, very nice result, very kind of you to give us feedback
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  #36  
By SoYank on 06-26-2006, 12:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwexecutive
As far as why I didn't just put a depression in the 3 series knob, several reasons. First, I like the low profile look of the 5er knob (3er is higher). Second, it's bigger which I think makes it look better. Third, the leather top from the 5er knob wouldn't fit in the 3er knob--it's too big. Finally, it's much more of a custom one-off job using the 5er knob instead of modifying the 3er knob. I'm really very happy with how it turned out. Seems much smoother in my hand when operating the iDrive controller too!
Fair enough. Your reasons make sense to me. I do now realize the 3-series knob sticks up quite a bit and I can appreciate your desire for the lower profile.

I wonder how hard it would have been to get a matching poplar center instead of the leather. I have the burl walnut and think that in the center would really set off the interior. Probably much more difficult to get the wood to match than the leather because of the grain.
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  #37  
By bmwexecutive on 06-26-2006, 02:26 PM
For those of you interested in getting a 5er knob for yourself, post here: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23207
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  #38  
By kevE90 on 06-26-2006, 03:39 PM
bmwexec,
I keep reading this thread over and over but can't seem to find the answer. What's the reason the leatherette top needs to be reattached to the top of the 3+5series knob assemby. Is it cause you had to remove it to gut the inside of the 5 series knob? And if I understand you used epoxy to glue the leatherette knob on which originally had clips in the pre-gutted knob?
thanks.
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  #39  
By poldim on 06-26-2006, 04:20 PM
Looks like a good mod.

Any problems with its extra size when pressing or anything?
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  #40  
By speed_330i on 06-26-2006, 05:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevE90zsp
bmwexec,
I keep reading this thread over and over but can't seem to find the answer. What's the reason the leatherette top needs to be reattached to the top of the 3+5series knob assemby. Is it cause you had to remove it to gut the inside of the 5 series knob? And if I understand you used epoxy to glue the leatherette knob on which originally had clips in the pre-gutted knob?
thanks.
I was just think of the exact same thing... is it possible to do this mod without removing the leather piece and then reattach it again?
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  #41  
By bmwexecutive on 06-26-2006, 11:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by poldim
Looks like a good mod.

Any problems with its extra size when pressing or anything?
Nope. Fits perfect and feels great when navigating through my music and the navigation system. It really does feel much better in my hand than the 3er knob.
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  #42  
By bmwexecutive on 06-26-2006, 11:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by speed_330i
I was just think of the exact same thing... is it possible to do this mod without removing the leather piece and then reattach it again?
No, you have to take the leather piece out in order to do it.
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  #43  
By txusa03 on 06-27-2006, 09:27 PM
you got skills and engenuity...
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