If you’re looking for a short throw shifter for your manual transmission BMW 228i, 328i, or 428i, you’ll soon find that there is only one aftermarket option – the UUC Evo3 SSK. The Evo3 being the third generation of their Short Shift Kits. The purpose of a short shift kit is to reduce the length of the “throw”, or distance to shift to the next gear up… or down. UUC Motorwerkes claims the Evo3 SSK is preset to shorten throws by 30% and is also height adjustable to give a little +- range if you’d like to fine tune. Retail for the UUC Evo3 SSK is $355.
The UUC Evo3 SSK comes tightly packaged with all supplied hardware and some new replacement parts just in case you break something during removal of the factory shifter. The supplied installation guide was laughable. Our kit came with instructions labeled for the F30 but were clearly for the previous generation E90 cars. Both Sean and I looked it over and figured the difference in chassis design couldn’t result in that many changes to the shifter install and removal so we took the plunge. We were now in uncharted territory.
There definitely a few surprises along the way but nothing a competent mechanic and a lift couldn’t handle. Do-It-Yourself’ers beware: the instructions say to unbolt a shifter support bracket under the chassis. The problem with those instructions is that on the F30 that bracket is welded on and that is where the fun begins. The only way to avoid dropping the transmission is to secure the UUC supplied shifter cup (pictured above) using tiny screws through the cabin. We advise against that method. Just drop the transmission.
All-in-all, expect an experienced technician to take 90 minutes with your car on a lift. See our semi-detailed how-to video below and don’t forget to subscribe!
Initial reaction? Gone is all side to side slop. And along with it, the single throw or row that I had become accustom. No longer is the 2-3 or 4-5 a straight shot. Nope. The 2-3 shift is now up with an audible click as the lever springs in to the neutral position, followed by another click as it engages into the next gear. I was instantly taken back. Taken back to my Mustang days, that is.
Oh, and the shift knob is now at an angle. The OCD may have qualms. In fact, I think the angle with the factory shift knob is a better alignment with my palm so I don’t mind at all. That said, I will be looking for an alternative knob in the future.
If like the bolt-action feel of the old T-5 transmissions in the Mustang 5.0 or the direct feel of the Subaru STI or FRS/BRZ then this may be a good modification for you. But be warned, if decreasing your shift time is a priority I recommend steering clear of the Evo3 SSK. Shifting is now slower.
Now, I’ve spent the last week commuting, hitting back roads and debating if the UUC Evo3 SSK was a worth while modification. Keeping in mind thus far has been strictly street driving, what I’ve decided is that the UUC Evo3 SSK has enhanced my personal driving experience in a way I think fans of older sports cars will appreciate. The involvement in such a rudimentary action as pushing or pulling a lever has been elevated with rewarding feedback. Click-click. Click-click. It’s not only pleasing to my ears but the sensation of engaging through my finger tips provides additional reassurance. Something that couldn’t be said of the factory shifter.
This isn’t some magical modification that will transform your car but the collection of minor improvements throughout is what makes an M car an M, or greater. I’m keeping the UUC Evo3 and if anyone is local I’ll welcome them a drive.