Sunday, May 1, 2011

Shifter Linkage Done

At some point, I realized that I may need to shift gears with the new motor and transmission. Since this swap is not a common one, no one sells a conversion kit that deals with the custom shift linkage. So, after some careful measurement and judicious research, I found a good combination of usable parts that required the least amount of fabrication.

I began with a gifted E21 shifter platform (Thanks, Jim!). I cut 12-15mm off of it and drilled new mounting holes, which should be about 97mm apart.

Then I bolted up new mounts with new hardware. It's important to note that I previously drilled and tapped the bosses for the mounts on the transmission. You can see here the finished piece. Note the mount/vibration dampener on the aft end of the platform. It's a mount from the air filter box from a 1984-85 318i. 

I still had the E21 shifter in at this point, but a test fit enlightened me to the wear on the bushings that manifested itself in huge amounts of shifter play. I swapped in the E30 shifter, which has a considerably long throw. I may search for a shorter throw shifter later.

Here's everything in the car.

The shifter link is from a 1995-99 E36 M3/328i. As it turns out, the "knuckle" at the transmission end needs to be the stock E30 piece. I bought the E36 M3/328i part, but it is about 5mm shorter than the E30 part.

Here is the aft mount/vibration dampener. 

It's just a piece of 3/4" bar stock with an M8 bolt through it. If I had taken more time, the hole might be centered. I guess I'll just have to live with the shame of less-than-perfect fabrication where no one will ever see it.

I also bolted up the guibo. As soon as I get another scrap of angle iron, I'll make the other bracket to relocate the center support bearing.

The shifter is about 1/4" forward of the center of the shifter hole. Now I just need to find or make a shifter knob.

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