How About a Shift Knob That Looks Cool and Won’t Get Hot? | Project BMW M3

David S.
Update by David S. Wallens to the BMW M3 project car
Jan 4, 2021

Sure driving a stick shift is fun, but not when it involves grabbing the business end of a soldiering iron. The early days of the sport compact car scene called, however, and it was time to return our E46-chassis M3’s aftermarket aluminum shift knob. What was cool 15-plus years ago just didn’t work today. Plus, in the summer, it got a little toasty. 

But what to install for its replacement?

As recent thread on our forum shows, everyone’s got their favorite. 

I love a good wood knob. In all seriousness. Warm in winter, cool in summer, ages to a good patina. Not many around any more. 
 –mazdeuce

I like the delrin one I put in my NC from Flyin' Miata. Simple, cheap, comfy, nice weight to it.

z31maniac 

Function First has a nice one for Porsches. Delrin Ball on top with a nice aluminum shaft.

–spandak 

Some shared photos, too.

I have a Nardi shift knob out of an M Edition Miata in my '90 Miata. Everyone trash talks this shift knob for some reason but I like it. 

–NickD

 

For my 924, I put a Ferrari 328 knob on it, not only because the shift pattern is correct, but it actually feels pretty good.

–Stefan

In an old VW rabbit it HAS to be a Kamei golf ball

Trent 

If you want to read pages about shift knobs, here's that link again. 

So what did we go with? Delrin. We’ve run them before and find them comfortable while delivering the right tactile feel and–here’s a biggie–not turning into the center of the sun during the summer. Installing Condor Speed Shop’s “Shorty” knob just requires a hex key. Different shift caps are offered, including those with the six-speed pattern. An old-school one caught our eye, however, so now our car has a five-speed box. 

The feel, by the way, is perfect. Like, perfect. 

(Wanna take this topic a bit more hardcore? Check out this piece that with did with BimmerWorld’s James Clay on the importance of clutch operation in relation to lap times.)

 

 

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Comments
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ZOO (Forum Supporter)
ZOO (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/2/21 12:15 p.m.

These M3 articles are killing me . . . I’ve reignited my search for another one. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/2/21 12:22 p.m.

In reply to ZOO (Forum Supporter) :

Get one!! laugh

ZOO (Forum Supporter)
ZOO (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/2/21 12:26 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

There are a few that have caught my eye.  A lovely one in Atlanta . . . But retrieval is a pain right now with closed borders.  

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
1/2/21 12:28 p.m.

Never been unsatisfied with anything I have purchased from Condor. 

ojannen
ojannen Reader
1/2/21 1:17 p.m.

Whalen Shift Machine are famous for heavy metal but will make a shift knob out of almost anything.  I got a miniature snooker ball in my old Mini.

jfryjfry (FS)
jfryjfry (FS) Dork
1/2/21 3:42 p.m.

I am getting a new zhp knob for my m3/4/5

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/2/21 3:55 p.m.
jfryjfry (FS) said:

I am getting a new zhp knob for my m3/4/5

That's what I have on my e36. Great choice. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/2/21 3:56 p.m.
Olemiss540 said:

Never been unsatisfied with anything I have purchased from Condor. 

Carlos is good people. True story: I have something waiting in the garage for the Miata from the Condor catalog. (And, oddly, also have something from BimmerWorld on the way for the Miata, too.)

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
1/2/21 4:25 p.m.
Slippery (Forum Supporter) said:
jfryjfry (FS) said:

I am getting a new zhp knob for my m3/4/5

That's what I have on my e36. Great choice. 

My favorite. Perfect palm fit and the leather is butter. Also weighted.

Although I run a jaffster 6" delrin (sp) knob on my racecar and love the elevated shift position.....

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
1/2/21 4:34 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:
Olemiss540 said:

Never been unsatisfied with anything I have purchased from Condor. 

Carlos is good people. True story: I have something waiting in the garage for the Miata from the Condor catalog. (And, oddly, also have something from BimmerWorld on the way for the Miata, too.)

Serious question, is the e46 5 speed swapped or just ignoring the 6th speed?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/2/21 4:57 p.m.

In reply to Olemiss540 :

It still has a six-speed box. The coolness of the five-speed shift knob cap, however, won out.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/3/21 1:48 p.m.

I had never used a Delrin knob before I bought a flyin miata one for Ronald the Crappy Miata.

Absolutely loved it, and the one you chose for your M3 is a EXCELLENT choice.

I'm using a Leather one in my FIt because it was a factory option and i love the feel, one of those little ball shift knobs like the old VW GTi.

300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
1/3/21 6:29 p.m.

In reply to ZOO (Forum Supporter) :

What closed borders ??

Trent
Trent PowerDork
1/4/21 8:59 a.m.

Aaaand. I just ordered a Kamei golf ball from heritage parts just in case another rabbit comes my way.

 

I mean, it would be better to have one in case I needed it rather than not, right?

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr PowerDork
1/4/21 9:14 a.m.
300zxfreak said:

In reply to ZOO (Forum Supporter) :

What closed borders ??

Canada US border is my guess.

300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
1/4/21 10:58 a.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

My duh, was thinking state instead of country.......

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/4/21 11:36 a.m.

That's how we roll....though our Condor knob is about twice as tall lol. 

 

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