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Project M3 short shifter distancePrior to installation, it made sense to log just how much the shifting distance would change. This highly scientific method of measurement has zero margin of error (yes, that’s sarcasm), but it at least gives a vague idea of stock vs. Rogue's Octane SSK.
Project M3 short shifter distanceThis shows that the stock shifter action has about 4.75 inches of movement from first to second gear. Maybe it’s beneficial to have time to think between shifts on the Autobahn, but I don’t need that much time, so something significantly shorter and more crisp sounds much more appealing.
Project M3 old shifterThe plan was to change out the old shift knob eventually anyway, but as we dug into the installation process, it was obvious why the illuminated shift knob wasn’t lighting up.  Maybe the previous owner was just annoyed by the lighted knob? Plus, a little bonus electrical tape around the lever to make you really wonder what had happened in its previous life. You gotta love pre-owned cars! 
Project M3 short shifter drive shaftOnce the shift knob, boot, and everything else up top is removed, it’s time to get under the car and remove the whole shifter and carrier. Looks like our driveshaft has had an interesting life so far.
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Comments
MDR
MDRlink
Thursday, March 31, 2016 6:25 AM
I'm happy to see E36 M3 content on here!

A short throw is desperately needed on these cars. They're what the car should have come with stock. Also somewhat related (and the absolute first thing I did when I got my well used M3) is the clutch pedal bushings. Those plastic POS bushings wear out and the clutch pedal starts wobbling around like a drunk. If you haven't yet, spend the $20 and get delrin (or some people make bronze ones) clutch pedal bushings. The install is... a delightful challenge. I've also heard great things about Mason Engineering's metal replacement clutch pedal but have no experience with it.

How are the Bimmerworld engine mounts at idle? I briefly installed some AKG engine mounts that were relatively soft but were a bolt through design. The car felt like a damn massage chair at idle, especially with the AC on. So I just went back to new OEM ones, but I've always thought I should've gone with the Bimmerworld Group N style.
JonathanL
JonathanLlink
Thursday, March 31, 2016 7:29 AM
Agreed that the short shifter is almost a necessity. At least from a personal standpoint. I'm surprised how many people actually like the long, soft throws - or maybe they're just put off by some of the other shifters that make the notchiness almost unbearable.

I haven't had to deal with the sloppy clutch pedal on any of my E36 M3s yet, despite racking up a lot of mileage over the years. I'm on an enduro team with a 325i, however, and we already have delrin bushings ready to go into that one.

If someone is looking for factory-based silence, I wouldn't recommend the Group N style mounts. I ordered them from BimmerWorld knowing that there would be a bit of an increase in NVH, and it was about what I expected. There's a bit more vibration at idle, but certainly not bothersome. I've grown used to it and don't even notice it, but it's probably very dependent upon driver tolerance.
buzzboy
buzzboylink
Friday, April 01, 2016 6:45 AM
My e36 came with a shortthrow. I hated it. The short throw makes the shifter stiffer(shorter moment arm). I fixed it by going with a long shifter(TRM 7"). Now it's fantastic. The short throw crisps up the shifts and the long shifter keeps the effort low and move the shifter up near the wheel(where it should be!).
engineered
engineeredlink
Monday, April 04, 2016 3:24 PM
I put M3 motor and trans mounts on my E46 325. It greatly improved shifter feel and precision. It did however add some vibration at cold idle and a resonance vibration around 2k rpm.

I also added the Mason clutch pedal and love it. It's especially nice for guys with long legs. I see EAS also has a similar pedal available.
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