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Help! so my 2005 325ci is leaking fluid from the gear selector shaft. it looks like I have to replace the neutral safety switch as well. I dropped the pan. my question is once I remove the switch how do I replace the seal on plastic bushing? I have the parts.
 

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Why are you replacing the whole gear position switch / neutral safety switch (on the inside of transmission) if it's just leaking at the outer seal? Changing the switch requires dropping the valve body, as far as I know, & is not a simple matter.

Did you buy the whole switch only because just the outside seal is no longer available at most places?
 

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You can order just the outside seal from Cobra Transmissions @
https://cobratransmission.com/5l40e-seal-manual-lever-13073-1

The problem (after getting access which requires tilting engine/transmission down about 6 inches) is installing without destroying new one bc it's a very tight fit on the selector shaft.

I did this last summer, and shredded completely the first seal I tried. I thought i got the second (last) one right, but there was a small little pinch from the 13mm 12-point socket I used to press on that seems to be leaking again.

Just ordered 4 more seals to give it another go, and I may try to fashion a plastic cone of some kind to get the seal lip over & onto the selector shafts without damage. Much like the white piece here that comes with a whole new gear position switch:
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-bmw-parts/gear-position-switch/24357532668/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyfWCiLrM2AIVybXACh3DhgccEAQYAiABEgJ5PvD_BwE
 

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thanks. so does the white plastic part push in thru the out side or thru the inner side of the transmission...
The white part goes on the outside to protect the inside diameter of the seal from the very sharp edge of the selector shaft. It's like a cone shaped ramp.It goes on the same way as the seal removal tool in the picture below:
E46 gm tranny select shaft seal tool.jpg.jpg

Pic of installed seal (note the pinched area at 6:30-ish):
GM selector shaft seal, new but pinched.jpg.jpg

Btw, the tool is Evercraft 776-9250 and is hard to find one in spec (ie both fits the selector shaft & has grip to remove old seal). Buy local and bring calipers, I didn't get a good one until #4.
 

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Test Fit Removal Tool Before Dropping Exhaust, Driveshaft & Lowering Transmission

Are you doing the switch inside or just the external oil seal? There is only one external seal on our cars but definitely get extras.

Test Fit Removal Tool Before Dropping Exhaust, Driveshaft & Lowering Transmission

I had 2 problems finding an in spec tool that actually removed the seal:
  1. Selector shaft has a 0.499" diameter, but 2 of the 4 Evercraft tools were too narrow at 0.496". That's why I started bringing calipers to the store when the 3rd one still didn't fit. The inside diameter of the good tools were 0.501".
  2. Lack of grip at the removal end: the grabby part is like wide & deep threads on a screw or bolt and that is what applies the pulling force to remove. Here again, half the tools had threads worn down too far and could not pull out the seal. The second tool was wide enough to fit but couldn't hold on to remove.
Just my experience, not saying you'll have the same issues but if it doesn't fit do NOT pull out a hammer ... or anything other than calipers.

Also, the tool in the link above seems a bit longer ... on some cars the selector sticks out further than on ours. The Evercraft measures just under 2" long (without the bolt). This other one listed under the "Frequently Bought Section" looks closer to size:
https://www.amazon.com/Transmission-Shifter-Remover-Installer-700-R4/dp/B0153WO9WO

Though that might not really matter since you need to lower the transmission below the frame rail anyways to use even the small removal tool.
 

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it is on my todo list and I saved the bmwe32 link because of the gm transmission, seal is probably the same, I did not try the amazon tool, did not realize to lower the trans which is not that easy on a awd. thanks for the tool dimensions.
 

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it is on my todo list and I saved the bmwe32 link because of the gm transmission, seal is probably the same, I did not try the amazon tool, did not realize to lower the trans which is not that easy on a awd. thanks for the tool dimensions.
Yep, its a bit of a job. That's why you really want to be sure the tool will work before you tear it all apart.

I used an engine support bar to hang the engine from above and to lower subframe to give more room. The power steering pump pulley also began hitting the expansion tank so I had to detach that from the engine also. Not sure how the awd would change all that.
 
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