E9x Shift Boot/E-brake DIY

Tools Needed:
  • - Razor knife (hobby or X-Acto knife works great)
  • - Flat Blade Screwdriver
  • - Pliers
  • - Zip-ties
  • - Glue for bonding leather to plastic (we used SuperGlue)
By diyauto
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E9x Shift Boot/E-brake DIY


1. Non-M3: remove the shift knob if it is separate from the shift boot. This is accomplished by pulling the knob upward, some have better luck putting the shifter into 3rd gear and pulling back/up.

2. After the knob is removed, the boot can be removed by pulling upward at the frame snap points starting with the front, there are four snap locations. If the knob is lighted, the electrical connector can be unplugged.

3. If the knob is attached to the boot (M3), the knob can be removed with the boot now.

4. The boot can now be carefully removed from the plastic frame, I found it easiest to use a razor blade (not safe BTW) to get the separation started and then used a flat-blade screwdriver to separate the rest- be sure to stay close to the plastic to avoid damaging the leather if that is a concern. At some point you should be able to carefully peel the leather off the frame.

5. I did this S L O W L Y to avoid cutting, puncturing, or tearing the OE leather boot since I might want to reinstall it at some future time. You may want to try and get as much of the remaining leather off the frame to promote adhesion of the new glue and to reduce the thickness of the assembly so that it is like OE.

6. Now all that remains is the plastic frame and the new leather boot. Start out by inserting the frame into the new boot.

7. Next, cut slits in the 4 tabs that line up with the snap points- the cuts should be in line with the edge of the boot. My glue of choice was super glue, I tacked down all three of the stitched seams into the recesses on the plastic frame to start, and then worked my way around the frame, applying super glue and pressing leather and plastic together a small section at a time- no rush. I only applied glue where the factory had glue.

8. The boot is now attached to the base and ready to go in the car. You may need to trim additional leather from around the snap areas carefully using a razor blade (wire cutters worked for me) if the boot does not snap firmly into place. Also, the top of the boot can be left loose on the shifter or you can use a zip-tie to anchor it to the shifter…..easily done by turning the shift boot inside out, and then installing:

9. Unsnap the boot by pressing the base towards the inside and pulling up. I found it easiest to open the center console door and start at the top by pressing down and pulling out. Once unsnapped the zip tie holding the boot to the brake handle will need to be removed using wire cutters, the boot can then be carefully removed by sliding over the brake handle and off:

10. Following step 4 above for the boot removal, the parking brake boot is removed from the plastic base. All that remains is the plastic frame and new leather boot. I started out by cutting slits in the tabs at the top and super gluing them and the front seam to the plastic base. I then carefully super glued a section at a time until all was done- I did find it necessary to cut small angle shaped pieces of leather out at the corners to allow the leather to wrap around the base:

11. The boot should be slid over the handle and positioned so that the top seams line up with the threaded seams on the handle. The boot is zip tied to the handle, you will notice a channel that the zip tie should be placed in before tightening. The boot is then snapped back into place, it is tight so be patient.

12. Snap the frame back into the center console... You are done! ENJOY! :)

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