Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the difference between the three ratios?
  2. How long does it take to install the Ultra Kit?
  3. Why do I have to wait so long for this kit?
  4. Will this kit work on my e36M3, e30M3, e30 325, e46 330 etc...?
  5. Is the height of the lever different than stock ?
  6. Can I use my illuminated knob with this kit?
  7. Is there a break in period ?
  8. Is this kit noisy ?
  9. Do I have to install all the parts of this kit ?
  10. What is the little aluminum do-hickey that is packaged with this kit ?
  11. What other parts do I need to install ?
  12. Can I get this kit with more bend towards the driver?
  13. Why don't you use Stainless steel ?
  14. Is the Group Buy available for other e46s, e36 and e30 and e28
  15. What about the e92 M3
  16. What about my Z3 M coupe?
  17. Any independent feedback or references?

     

     

  1. What is the difference between the three ratios?

  2. The shorter the throw the greater the shifting effort but the precision of the pattern remains the same.

    Precision: A shorter ratio is no more precise than a longer ratio. The shorter ratio in actuality can hide excessive clearances. Obviously if the clearances are small to begin with then there is nothing to hide.

    Shifting effort: A 40% kit will feel harder to shift than a 30% lever and a 30% lever will feel harder to shift than a 20% lever. Shifters in BMW are class 2 levers. Thus any reduction in throw translates into an increase in effort. However, more rigid parts, better alignment and better synchronizer efficiency will tend to reduce this effort somewhat. Conversely, a loose part, a misalignment will increase that effort beyond the theoretical number. So in practicality a 40% reduction can yield a 30% increase in effort in a well designed linkage or a 60% increase in a poorly designed one.

  3. How long does it take to install the Ultra Kit?

    A good afternoon if you are doing it by yourself in your driveway. A couple of hours if you give it to a mechanic. The kit is not technically hard to install. It is however awkward to install because the new parts fit tighter than the stock parts and the factory parts that need be removed are hard to reach. If we built the parts looser then the shifter would not feel slop free but it will be easier to install.

     

  4. Why do I have to wait so long for this kit?

    Because it is built by hand and because everybody wants one. We build it as fast as we can make it . In most cases the wait is 7 to 10 days . Sometimes it takes a bit longer. Occasionally it is available within a day or so.

    The subassemblies are built on a CNC mill (computer controlled machine tool) and on a swiss machine ( COmputer controlled, Multi tool/dimension lathe) then the parts go through a couple of machine tool operations with no CNC control then finally they are assembled and fitted by hand. The clearance in each joint is carefully checked and each joint is matched for as good a fit as possible. So this kit takes time to produce. We produce it in batches of 30 and sometimes we have one or two extras on hand so we can ship it right away. Most of the time however, the batch is sold out before it is completed so a new batch must be started to fill an order. Unfortunately, this does not necessarily happens right away because we must produce other kits for other models BMWs and the needed machines are sometimes busy building those.

  5. Will this kit work on my e36M3, e30M3, e30 325, e46 330 etc...?

  6. No. they are physically incompatible. But we make Ultrakits for most models. Call us at 816-5614269 or email us for more details.

  7. Is the height of the lever different than stock ?

  8. Yes. It is a bit shorter about 1/2 inch lower or so. This dimension however can be customized so please call us at 816-5614269 or email us for more details.

  9. Can I use my illuminated knob with this kit?

  10. Yes you can. In fact you can use any knob that works with the factory setup. One exception are heavy knobs which will fit but are not recommended. Over the long term these knobs can preload the forks inside the synchronizer sleeves both on accell and decell and that may wear out the shift forks.

  11. Is there a break in period ?

  12. Yes there is. After install, the shifter will feel hard to shift and will have a hard time returning to neutral. Within a few miles it will center itself. The shifter will then become easier to shift with time. Typically 200 miles or so will get you about 80% of the way and the remaining 20% of break in will occurr over the next two months.

    This is due to the way we fit some of the joints. A brinelling and polishing process occurs with use as the surfaces of the joint mate and become progessively smoother and more wear resistant.

  13. Is this kit noisy ?

  14. No . It is however a very mechanical kit. You will feel that some machinery is connected to the lever as you are making the shift. However, once the shift is completed you will feel no vibrations nor will you hear any noise.
  15. Do I have to install all the parts of this kit ?

  16. Yes. This is an integrated kit. All the joints are matched and it is designed to be used as a stand alone system. The individual parts of the Ultra Kit are not necessarily the same dimension as their factory counterparts. So, for example, leaving a factory coupler connected instead of our hardened coupler will actually make the left to right pattern feel sloppier than it should and sometimes will change the location of neutral inside the driver's compartment. However, if the kit is installed as one complete unit,one can expect no wandering around neutral, no bounciness at the end of the shifts and the pattern will be precise and repeatable.

  17. What is the little aluminum do-hickey that is packaged with this kit ?

  18. It is a tool that is provided to help remove the factory lever. Soak the factory plastic bushing with WD40 or equivalent for some time to break the paint bond between the bushing and the aluminium shift arm, then insert the tool as shown in the instructions to remove the factory lever from the carrier.
  19. What other parts do I need to install ?

  20. None. The kit includes all the parts needed except for the shift knob and dust boots.

  21. Can I get this kit with more bend towards the driver?

  22. Yes you can. A lot of the features of this kit can be built to specs. Call 816-5614269 to discuss.

  23. Why don't you use Stainless steel ?

  24. We do . Where it is needed and does the most good. Stainless resonance characteristics as well as its yield strenght and its hardness does not make it the best choice overall. However it is the best material to use for the pivot pins as its wear characteristics against the bronze pivot bushings are very good. So we use it there.

  25. Is the Group Buy available for other e46s, e36 and e30 and e28

  26. Yes for e28 M5, e46 330i 5 speed, e36M3 and e30 325is. Other models please ask. Except for the e28M5 which is built alongside the e46M3 kits, wait time can be an issue.

  27. What about the e92 M3

  28. The e92M3 Kit is not part of the Group Buy. We have just made that kit commercially available. That kit's design is completely different than that of the e46M3. Contact me for more info at 816-6514269

  29. What about my Z3 M coupe?

  30. The Z3 M3 kit is not part of the Group Buy. Much like the e46M3 the only kit we produce for that car is the Ultra kit. We are currently preparing the 3rd generation kit for the M coupe. Just like the e92M3, the design is different than that of the e46m3 and is quite effective. A limited run will be produced in the near future. Contact me for more info at 816-6514269.

  31. Any independent feedback or references?

    The magazine Grassroot Motorsport tested several kits a few years ago. One of the earliest Ultra kits was compared to kits from most of our competitors. Extremely positive feedback.

    Customer testimony abound as well. Maybe one day we will compile it and post it on our site.

    Here is the link to the 2007 group buy and all that was said good or bad about the kit. http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=162582

     

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