BMW 7-series E38 Shift Boot

By diyauto
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4 minute read

Shift boot store

BMW 7-series E38 Shift Boot

Generally, all BMW vehicles use a very similar mounting system for both shift and brake boots. The boots are glued to a plastic frame which, in turn, is just clipped into the center console trim and all it takes is some carefuly prying to detach it.

1. First remove the shift knob by pulling straight up on the knob.


2. Carefully pry along the trim along the edges of the boot to take it off. It is best to just use your hands. If your existing boot is soft you may be able to reach through it and grab the edge of the boot frame and pull the middle of it towards the middle slightly to release it.

3. Now that the shift boot and its trim are out, carefully remove the vinyl boot from the frame (an x-acto knife will work great for that purpose). Clean the frame carefully with sandpaper of any glue/vinyl residue. 

4. To install the shift boot you must glue the boot in the plastic frame. You can use epoxy-based glue (3M makes some great glues for that purpose). You can also use contact cement (I found contact cement to be better because it is easier to keep the boot in position on the frame as you stretch it on). If using contact cement coat the inside edge of the leather boot with glue and the outside of the frame (follow the instructions with the cement for how long to let it set before proceeding.)

5. Make sure the stitching is facing towards the rear of the car. Next, stretch the boot over the frame slowly working your way around and lining up the stitching at the four corners of the frame. With contact cement you will have to press the leather to the frame several times to make sure it is set. After the glue has dried (immediately with contact cement), be sure to trim the leather around the clips on the frame to make sure they will seat correctly.

6. Slip the frame and boot over the shift rod and carefully press the frame down until it snaps in place. You may have to squeeze slightly in on the sides of the frame where the clips are to make it go down easier.

7. Press the shift knob back on to the shift rod until it snaps into place. You may have to turn it slightly to line up the slot in the top of the shaft with the knob.

Useful tip

You have installed a product made out of genuine leather. As you know, to maintain a leather product in good condition, you should take care of it. We suggest occasionally (every 4-6 week for example) applying some leather conditioner/UV protector to keep your leather from drying up in the sun and cracking.

Redline Automotive Accessories Corp. will not be held liable for any labor, incidental or consequential damages of any kind. Proceed at your own risk.