525iT auto shifter stuck in park

My automatic shifter is stuck in park. I don't mean the transmission is stuck in park, I mean the shifter. the transmission has about 500 miles on it since a complete rebuild. The nice burlwood handle (that I
thought was stock until finding out otherwise) came off in my hand today. When I put it back in and got it seated back down on the shift lever the shifter will not shift out of park. The button on the bottom of the shifter is locked into place and won't release.
What's involved here a new shift handle and parts or the whole shift mechanism? When the shift handle first came out it had a white plastic shaft inside it that ended with about a quarter inch of steel. Now the handle comes off without the plastic shaft. Does this plastic shaft come with a factory or aftermarket shift handle?
I have noticed prior to this that it's very easy to have it in performance mode in third gear and when shifting to fourth it overshoots fourth and lands in neutral. Making me think something is worn in there.
If I pop 80 bucks for the Bentley service manual will it provide the instructions I need to tear the center consule apart and repair the shifter?
So far my BMW mechanics experience is limited to replacing the door handle release cable and fixing a power window. This is the first BMW I've had a chance to work on I'm impressed with the construction. Beats most of the GM and Honda vehicles I've owned hands down.
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MarkInOregon wrote:

Not being intimately acquainted with the 525 I could be wide of the mark here, but it sounds like you didn't engage the button correctly when to put the handle back on - it can be a bit tricky.
HTH :-)
--
Regards

Steve G
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Thanks Steve
The white plastic shaft is disconnected from the t-handle and from the looks of this particular t-handle design there is no taking it apart to reconnect it. Also part way down the white plastic shaft is another hole and I'm wonder if it engages on something in the shifter shaft? My impression of this t-handle is it's a very cheap item, I hope it's not one of the $85.00 models I've found on the web.
At any rate I have removed the white plastic piece. With it removed and the brake pedal firmly pressed to the floor and the engine running I can move the shift handle. That leaves the question of what's broken? Just the t-handle and white shaft? Or the whole shift mechanism below the center console?
One thing I am happy about in looking around the web at prices of parts most of the parts are in the same price range as the Chevy and Honda's I've owned in past or less!. And most are a LOT cheaper than my 1990 Acura Legend's part prices. Does this apply to all BMWs or is it a benefit of the E34?
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You have to pull the handle off to see what is wrong with it. There is a button that mates to linkage inside the shift lever, and this mating is not being accomplished properly. You push the button, but the linkage does not move.
You got the handle seated, but big deal. You seem to have ignored the linkage inside. Take the handle off and begin again.

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You may have broken the plastic rod. The TIS says not to twist the knob when removing or it will shear. You can tell just by looking. The new handles do come complete with shaft.
Very few adjustments are possible with the actual shifter. If the interlock works correctly that's it. Anything else would involve the shifter piece with the detents for each gear. This would have been inspected and tested when the transmission was changed.
I think all you need is a new handle.
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