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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Help! now I'm really confused about which SSK (RE or UUC)

I know tis topic may have been beaten to death, but after searching the forum I don't know which one to buy.

I was pretty set on the UUC SSK with the upgrades, but now I'm really interested in the RE Octane w/ WSR. It seems to come with all the upgraded bushings.

After searching here are my concerns:
I have a '99 328i (the one with the bent shifting arm).

I'm concerned about vibration and noise coming from the UUC SSK. Some people have mentioned this in their previous posts.
RE's pivot point is not Stainless so I was thinking it would absorb the mentioned vibration. But, I'm worried about premature wear from the RE SSK since it is not stainless.

I have though about going with UUC and the RE WSR, but if RE will include everything and the upgraded bushings, that seems like a better deal.


Thoughts please, especially from 328/330 users. I'm leaning towards the RE kit unless someone can convince me that the vibration and shifting issues have been worked out in the UUC SSK.
 

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I have the UUC. I also read every post I could before deciding on adding this. I have no problems with either vibration or noise.

I did the install myself. I think the key is to get that damn boot installed back in properly.

I love the SSK. It's one of my favorite mods.
 

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I just ordered the UUC & it is currently in transit, so I can't tell you how it is. I read all the post and I was convinced to get the UUC. I'm sure with the upgraded bushings all the issues will disappear. If you want a great deal on the UUC PM traumamc. He'll hook you up :thumbup:

Rob
 

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I have the UUC SSK on my 2000 328i. I didnt do the delrin upgrade, just the cartridge bearing. I also bought mine from traumamc

I've been very happy with it and the construction is top notch! No problems with vibration, dont notice much more noise than stock.
 

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Things to note:

The RE uses delrin bushings because they last long for their application. The thing about ball bearings (which UUC uses) is that they are known to fail (even if they are encased). But honestly either SSK will do.

In my opinion, it comes down to if you want to use a heavier shift knob to combat some notchiness with the UUC or do you want to use an your existing knob with the RE + WSR.
 

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UUC SSK

Go with the UUC SSK. I have a 330Ci with the UUC SSK w/upgrades and RK3 knob and I have no problems of vibrating or anything...Although in the end it is ultimatly YOUR decision!! :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to all with the replies!

One more question for those with UUC:
Was the RE available at the time you bought the UUC?
 

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Big in Japan
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Im really happy with my RE; ive had it for a while now, and it still fresh and crisp as new. PERSONALLY, I like the RE feel more than the UUC i had in my 328, although its not an apples-to-apples comparison. Either is nice; see if you can find some local people that have them to try them out firsthand.
 

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328iSC said:
Thanks to all with the replies!

One more question for those with UUC:
Was the RE available at the time you bought the UUC?
Hey 328iSC:

I have the UUC SSK in my 2003 330i with both Upgrades and absolutely love it. I did have it installed by Motorbahn in Roswell, as I had also heard of the Vibration problems. This was discussed in detail on BimmerFest and it seems to be a problem with certain BMW's, not the UUC SSK.

Also, I am located in North Georgia (Woodstock Area) and work in Alpharetta. If you are anywhere near these area's, let me know and you can check the car out first hand.

It is definately the best money I have spent on my car. I absolutely the love it and would recommend it. I would also say that both the UUC and the RE are excellent and you cannot go wrong with either.

D259M:

Nice setup. I have almost that exact interior! I just got my Titanium Trim installed yesterday. The RKIII is awesome.

 

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I have the UUC and it shifts really nice. I dont get any vibrations or noise. I sometimes have problems with 1st though. But not lately. If you're worried about having a heavy knob affect the gears, you can order the WSR for your UUC SSK (thats what im doing).

BTW: I also have the delrin bushing and cartridge bearing upgrades.
 

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jestr said:
I have the UUC and it shifts really nice. I dont get any vibrations or noise. I sometimes have problems with 1st though. But not lately. If you're worried about having a heavy knob affect the gears, you can order the WSR for your UUC SSK (thats what im doing).
They say anything over 8 Ounces should be avoided. My RKIII is Brushed Alum. and it weighs around 7 Ounces. Still much heavier than the Stock Knob, but not nearly the monster that the Stainless Steel one is. I would probably avoid it. I did not find the shifting to be that much heavier. I love the feel of the SSK.
 
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Dukes said:
Things to note:
The thing about ball bearings (which UUC uses) is that they are known to fail (even if they are encased). But honestly either SSK will do.
There has never been even one documented failure with Evo II bearings, now used for about 3 years and literally thousands of cars.

Internet rumors without facts lead to bad decisions.

The purpose of the optional bearings (remember, our shifter's lower pivot comes standard with a UHMW bushing, the only self-lubricating bushing material used in any short shifter) is to change a compressed, friction-induced pivot (the original BMW design) into a free-rotating, non-compressed pivot, resulting in a noticeable decrease in shifting effort.

Please let me know if you have any specific questions not covered on http://www.uucmotorwerks.com

- Rob
 
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jestr said:
If you're worried about having a heavy knob affect the gears,
There is absolutely no legitimate documentation to show that a heavy shift knob adversely affects your transmission.

Just the opposite - this topic has been discussed repeatedly on many of the technical lists, and the automotive engineers agree that no damage is possible.

Please don't quote any web pages that say otherwise, or that mis-quote or misinterpret genuine authorities: I've seen it all, and I repeat, no legitimate documetation exists to support this fear.

A simple examination of the BMW shifter assembly shows that all the shifter weight is supported by the nylon cup bushing within the carrier, simple parts totally seperate from the transmission. You could take a sledgehammer and break your shifter down through the floor of the car, and your transmission would be unaffected.

Hope this helps clear up and dispel a few more internet myths.

- Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Rob Levinson * UUC Motorwerks said:

Please let me know if you have any specific questions not covered on http://www.uucmotorwerks.com

- Rob
Rob,

Tell me the downsides of the RE SSK. The UUC comparison website has some other vendors but not RE.

I have purchased some UUC poducts from you in the past (look closely at the exhaust in my sig.). I believe in the quality of your products and I appreciate the great customer support.

What upgrades to the UUC SSK would you recommend for a 1999 328? i.e. busings, trans mounts, etc.
 
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328iSC said:
I have purchased some UUC poducts from you in the past (look closely at the exhaust in my sig.). I believe in the quality of your products and I appreciate the great customer support.

What upgrades to the UUC SSK would you recommend for a 1999 328? i.e. busings, trans mounts, etc.
The design of the UUC Ultimate Short Shifter (we go into great detail here) started with an analysis of the original BMW shifter.

What's the problem with your original shifter? Slop. There are also many aftermarket shifters that are simply different BMW shifters, or very close to them, that feature plastics in a couple of critical areas. Specifically, the shifter ball and lower pivot.

Back when a BMW was a really expensive car (notice these days how pricing is competitive with the better Japanese brands), many of the unseen parts were built better than they are now. Sad to say, but it is true: certain hiddent mechanical parts in new BMWs are cheap... the shifter, obviously, but you also see it on things like front suspension bushings that fail quickly, etc. But back to when things were built more expensively, the BMW shifters used a metal pivot ball. As the BMW design encases the pivot ball in a lubricated nylon cup, there is constant friction and wear to some degree. With a steel ball, you minimize wear substantially - after 200K miles, those metal balls are simply shiny, but still measure perfectly round and are even smoother than when new.

Keep in mind that the underside of the shifter's pivot is exposed under the car and gets dirt and other contaminants thrown into the assembly, stuck in the exposed lubricant on the ball.

The newer plastic pivot balls start to wear after the first shift. Any of you with more than 10K miles on your car can remove the shifter adn see the pivot is scraped and worn. Start heading toward 50K miles and you notice it gets "furry" as the plastic is scraped deeply, and amy even start to wear into an ovoid shape instead of the sphere it is supposed to be.

Through the years, we have seen a variety of alternate plastics used by different manufacturers... sometimes in an attempt to be cheap, sometimes in a misguided notion that lubrication is held better. Every single one of these exhibits the exact same wear characteristics as the BMW plastic. Some more, some less, but it is always a quesion of "when", not "if".

The lower pivot (the part that connects to the selector rod) also suffers from the same wear issues - even more as this part is under a lot of stress in different directions, opening up the hole even further... slop gets worse and worse.

Once again, through the years we have seen a variety of materials used - different metals and plastics. We found the best solutions through two types of pivot:

1) standard UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight) polycetal. This is the only self-lubricating material in use as a BMW lower pivot bushing. It is an automotive-grade product that has excellent strength characteristics, and the self-lubricating ability makes it dramatically more wear-free than any other material used.

2) The optiona Cartridge Bearing Upgrade is a major change in how the mechanism works. The standard lower pivot relies on a combination C-clip/spring-clip piece that retains and compresses the pivot assembly, introduction friction by squeezing it all together (squeezing in an attempt to minimize the slop from wear - see a pattern here?). The CBU changes all of that by channeling all the compression through the inner race of the bearings... leaving the shifter to rotate freely on the outer race, effectively reducing effort to a noticeable degree.

In addition to those critical factors, there are a variety of other construction details that make big differences. Most important is the engineering involved - we don't sell you parts that have no effect. Many people have talked about some home-made devices where they tape weights to the selector rod to make it heavier... and no difference is noticed. Wonder why? You need look no fuirther than high school physics - to have a noticeable effect, you would have to add several pounds of weight to the selector rod. Moving the selector rod with just a few ounces added through about 2" of travel is insignificant in terms of mass transfer. No noticeable effect whatsoever. We could sell you a strap-on weight device for your selector rod, but there would be no point.

For your '99 328 (and all E46 models), you have one of the newer BMW transmissions where adding the CBU and delrin carrier bushings makes a noticeable improvement. The TME setup is also a great improvement in shift feel, power delivery, and controlling drivetrain lash under acceleration.

- Rob
 

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The noise that some people complain about is caused by the stock shift knob especially if is the wood one. Upgade to an aftermarket knob and the noise goes away. I just put the RK II in stainless and not only did it become quiet but the shift is much smother. thumbs up rob for another great product!
 
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