Skip to content

Transmission Shifter

    Shifting quality has been adequate but not great, and I suspect the ZF S5D 320Z transmission needs a shift detent pin refresh, but that requires dropping the transmission, which I don’t plan to do until I eventually service the clutch. In the meantime, I thought maybe the shift linkage could use a rebuild, perhaps resulting in gear change joy, or at least an improvement in behavior.

    Gearshift Parts Diagram

    Using BMW nomenclature, the shifter wear items shown in the above diagram are Bush Bearing Oval (2), Shifting Arm Bearing (4), Shift Lever Bearing (7), Selector Rod Washers (10), and the Selector Rod Joint assembly (12). Replacing the Shift Arm Locking Pin (3), and the two Shift Rod Clips (11) is also a good idea. The Shift Arm Locking Pin can be a bitch to remove and mangling may occur. The bushing at the base of the Shift Lever (5) that connects to the Selector Rod (9) can also wear, as can the plastic ball portion of the shifter. The shift lever bushing is not available separately and the entire lever should be replaced if the composite plastic ball or bushing is worn. In my case, the Selector Rod pin fit through the Shift Lever bushing didn’t seem sloppy and ball looked okay, so just a cleanup and lube prior to reassembly.

    The trick to remove the bitchy Shift Locking Arm Pin (3) is to slip a small flat blade screwdriver under the lower edge of the clip and pry against the transmission case to rotate it up.

    I received an updated Selector Rod Joint assembly which has integrated plastic washers, so only two yellow plastic Selector Rod Washers (10) are needed at the Shift Lever end.

    Original Selector Rod Joint vs. the new design with integral washers:

    Old vs. New Selector Rod Joint (12)

    The bent end of the selector rod goes forward, the straight end connects to the shifter:

    Shift Selector Rod, Washers, & Retaining Clips

    Shifter linkage sorted with new bushings and bits: