BMW Shifter Boot Removal and Replacement
This answer is applicable for many BMWs in addition to the one listed below.
I have a 1985 BMW 5 Series 528e, and would like to know how to remove the old shifter boot and replace it with a new.
The shift boot on most ’80s and ’90s vintage BMWs is glued to a plastic frame that is then snapped into the opening in the console center panel. You can gently pinch the sides of the frame and pull the frame out of the center panel. The frame may be brittle and may break, but the new boot will have a frame with it. Earlier models have the boot stretched around a frame lip that is part of the center console plate.
* Remove the shift knob by pulling up on it. The knob snaps onto the shifter shaft. It may take a pretty healthy pull to get the knob to snap off.
* Unclip the shift boot frame from the center panel and pull the boot and frame assembly up and off of the shifter shaft.
* Install the new boot, snapping the frame into the center panel, then snap the shift knob back on.
Of course, now would be a good time to replace a worn-out shift knob.