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Thread: Automatic Gear Selector Destroyed!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    261

    Default Automatic Gear Selector Destroyed!

    Hey guys,

    I have a 95 525iA that has just about everything in the gear selector broken.
    The park lock solenoid doesn't function, the "shift interlock" piece doesn't work and there is enough play in the "shifter" to make the dash illumination go out.

    The car is in definate need of a new transmission (burned fluid, etc), but with these wierd issues, is there any way it could cause some type of damage to the new trans?? I want to send the car to the shop soon, so I hope this won't be a hold up for me!

    Any thoughts or opinions????

    Thanks a bunch!!
    attached are pictures. Something doesn't look right to me, but maybe you all can tell me if it looks ok / normal.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    454

    Default

    By shifter interlock, do you mean the piece that is activated by the key - mechanical connection to the switch? Or the piece that is activated by the Brake (solenoid) to prevent moving to gear without brake engagement....

    The mechanical interlock is somewhat easy to adjust.

    The flickering gear incator is very likely due to dirty (or burned) contacts on the white major switch assembly in your photo. (Search forum, there are ways to clean it). It is a bit of a pain with the 95 interlock but can be done.

    Scott
    1995 BMW 525i w/139K miles, EAT Chip - (Gone)
    07 525i 22K, 07 328xi (41K)
    1982 Mazda RX-7 w/147K miles (Back again!)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    baton rouge, loserana
    Posts
    6,923

    Default

    i have seen a improperly functioning neutral safety switch seriously screw with the shifting of a 92 e36 325i with a close relation of that 95 525 tranny, took it apart and cleaned the **** off of the contacts so the computer would read the gear it was in correctly
    all america wants is cold beer warm cat and a place to take a poop with a door on it

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
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    Default

    I *think* by shifter interlock, I mean the key part (hoping I'm using the terminology correctly). I can remove the key in any gear at any time AND shift from park to any gear without using the brake or the key.

    Cleaning this stuff usually helps? As for the solenoid? does it look like theres a piece missing there??? When it pops out, it still doesn't stop anything.

    Also - as for the interlock (with the key) how can that be adjusted? I can't figure out what makes that thing work / how it works - because it just stays where its at at all times.

    If after cleaning / adjusting, it is still loose, is this something I should replace before the new tranny is installed or can it wait a little while?

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    488

    Default Hmmmm....

    -Trevor Ely

    '88 535is
    '95 M Sport 540i (1 of 200)
    '91 M5

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    677

    Default

    Wow, what an awesome pic. Thanks MTechnik540i.
    1990 Islandgrun 535iM Sedan

    3k oil changes | Euro lights + trim | Eibach/Bilstein | EAT Chip

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    261

    Default

    Haha, nice pic.

    I actually would *if* I still had the garage space / down time.
    oh well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    454

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hypr5
    I *think* by shifter interlock, I mean the key part (hoping I'm using the terminology correctly). I can remove the key in any gear at any time AND shift from park to any gear without using the brake or the key.

    Cleaning this stuff usually helps? As for the solenoid? does it look like theres a piece missing there??? When it pops out, it still doesn't stop anything.

    Also - as for the interlock (with the key) how can that be adjusted? I can't figure out what makes that thing work / how it works - because it just stays where its at at all times.

    If after cleaning / adjusting, it is still loose, is this something I should replace before the new tranny is installed or can it wait a little while?

    Thanks again!
    Winfred and others, correct me if I lead astray!

    On my '95, the mechanical interlock (to the ignition) is adjusted quite easily through a clamping mechanism just forward of the lever mechanism that clamps down on the teeth. Loosen the clamping bolt and adjust the cable sheath to correct this. This is purely a mechanical interlock and on my car works marginally even when well adjusted. Be carefull, there are two cables, one to the tranny (don't touch that one) and one to the interlock (the right one).

    The electrical solenoid is activated by the electronics, key on if I remember correctly and depressing the brake pedal causes the pin to retract allowing the shifter to move past the retracted pin. This should be working and I "believe" it is driven/controlled by the tranny control unit.

    Lastly, as Winfred has stated and I have first hand experience as well, cleaning the switch CAN solve the flickering display as you rock the shifter side to side. It will be very apparent why when you clean it. You may find that it is damaged/burned inside, in which case you need a new switch (the main white one). It is about $200 last I checked (stealer).

    Scott
    1995 BMW 525i w/139K miles, EAT Chip - (Gone)
    07 525i 22K, 07 328xi (41K)
    1982 Mazda RX-7 w/147K miles (Back again!)

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