BMW Coupes and Sedans 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Adjustments

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HANDBRAKE & DRUM



1600, 2000 2002 and 320i Models

Adjustment of the drum and handbrake is recommended at 8,000 miles (13,000 km) intervals for 1970-74 models, and 12,500 miles (20,000 km) intervals for 1975-88 models. In addition, if the handbrake can be pulled up more than four notches on 1970-74 vehicles, or five notches on 1975-88 models, adjustment should be performed.

To adjust the rear brakes, proceed as follows:

  1. Support the rear of the car securely on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Release the handbrake lever fully.
  4.  
  5. The brake adjusting bolt is located at the rear of the backing plate, behind the drive axle. Turn counterclockwise on the left side and clockwise on the right side to tighten the brakes Spin the wheel and gradually adjust until the wheel stops and cannot be easily turned. Then, loosen exactly 1 / 8 turn; just to the point where there is no drag felt. Repeat on the other side.
  6.  

To adjust the parking brake cable, proceed as follows:

  1. Pull the handbrake lever up five notches on 1975-88 vehicles, or four notches on 1970-74 vehicles. Measure the distance between the middle of the handbrake lever and the driveshaft tunnel. It should be 4-5 inches (109-119mm). If it is not within specification, reset the handbrake into another notch until the dimension is correct.
  2.  
  3. Pull up the rubber boot, loosen locknut on the top, then tighten the adjusting nut until the wheel on that side is locked. Repeat for the other side. Tighten both locknuts and install the rubber boot.
  4.  
  5. Check to make sure the adjustment is correct by checking that the wheels are released completely when the brake is released, as well as that both wheels are slowed at the same time as the lever is raised. Repeat the adjustments if necessary.
  6.  

All Other Models

If the handbrake can be pulled up mode than five notches, cable adjustment is needed.

  1. Raise the rear of the vehicle and support securely on jackstands
  2.  
  3. If the handbrake has a leather or rubber cover over it, remove the cover by lifting up on the rear of the cover and sliding it forward down the length of the handbrake. If there is no rubber or leather cover, remove the center console to access the handbrake adjustment nut.
  4.  
  5. Lift the handbrake up four notches. Use a hand and try and rotate the rear wheels. They should move, but with some resistance from the brakes.
  6.  

If the wheels move freely, the brake shoes also need adjusting. Refer to the appropriate procedure in this section.

  1. At the base of the handbrake is the adjustment nut. Using a ratchet and socket or other suitable tool to tighten the adjusting nut. After a couple of turns, try and move the rear wheels again. Tighten the nuts until the wheels no longer move.
  2.  
  3. Before lowering the car, with the handbrake off, rotate the wheels until they rotate freely, As the wheel is rotating, slowly raise the hand brake one successive notch. At the first notch the rotation should be unaffected. With each additional notch, the wheel should slow down as the brake shoes grasp. By the third notch the wheel should stop. If the wheel stops any sooner, the brake cable is too tight and should be loosened.
  4.  
  5. Install the handbrake cover or console. Lower the vehicle.
  6.  

 
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