BMW Coupes and Sedans 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Parking Brake Cable

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ADJUSTMENT



Vehicles Equipped with Rear Drum Brakes
  1. Support the rear of the vehicle in the raised position.
  2.  
  3. Fully release the handbrake.
  4.  
  5. While rotating the tire and wheel assembly, turn the left hand adjustment nut counterclockwise and the right hand adjustment nut clockwise until the brake shoes are tight against the drum and the wheel will no longer rotate.
  6.  
  7. On vehicles with self-adjusting brakes, simply operate the pedal hard several times to ensure the automatic adjusters have taken up the slack.
  8.  
  9. Loosen both adjustment nuts by 1 / 8 of a turn, so that the wheel is just able to turn, on vehicles with adjustable brakes.
  10.  
  11. Push up the rubber sleeve on the handbrake lever until the locknut is visible.
  12.  
  13. Loosen the locknut.
  14.  
  15. Pull up on the handbrake lever for a distance of five notches. Measure the distance between the middle of the handle and propeller shaft tunnel. This distance should be approximately 4 inches (114mm).
  16.  
  17. Tighten the adjustment nut until the wheels are locked, and retighten the locknut. On the 318i, the wheels must be just beginning to drag, and resistance on both sides must be equal.
  18.  
  19. Release the handbrake. Make sure that the wheels turn freely when the handbrake is released.
  20.  
  21. Lower the vehicle.
  22.  

Models Equipped with Rear Disc Brakes

The procedure for adjusting the handbrake on vehicles equipped with rear disc brakes is similar to the procedure for adjusting the handbrake on vehicles equipped with rear drum brakes with one exception.

The mechanism for adjusting the brake shoes is a star wheel adjuster. Insert a screwdriver through the 15mm hole in the caliper hat, and turn the adjusting star wheel until the brake disc can no longer be moved. Proceed as though adjusting the handbrake on vehicles equipped with rear drum brakes.

3 SERIES MODELS

See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Remove 1 lug bolt from the wheel and turn the opening so it is positioned to the rear approximately 30 degrees from the top. This is the location of the star adjuster for the brake shoes.
  2.  
  3. Use a thin bladed adjustment tool or equivalent to turn the star adjuster. On the left side, turn the star up to tighten. On the right side, turn the star down to tighten.
  4.  
  5. Turn the star until the wheel will not turn. Loosen the star 3-4 threads. Check that the wheel can turn freely.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: With the rotor removed for explanation purposes, you can see the hand brake adjuster



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: With the console remove the parking brake cable can be adjusted using either an wrench or ratchet

  1. Pull the parking lever boot up in the front and pull out from the rear. Remove the rear ashtray and the underlying bolt. Pull the console back and out.
  2.  
  3. Pull the parking brake lever up 5 notches. Adjust the cables with the nuts attached such that the wheels can just barely be turned. Release the lever and check that the wheels spin freely. Both sides must be adjusted evenly.
  4.  
  5. The parking brake indicator lamp should extinguish when the lever is released otherwise adjust the switch so it does. Install the console and the lug bolt.
  6.  

5, 6 AND 7 SERIES MODELS

See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Remove 1 lug bolt from the wheel and turn the opening so it is positioned to the rear approximately 45 degrees from the bottom. This is the location of the star adjuster for the brake shoes.
  2.  
  3. Use a thin bladed adjustment tool or equivalent to turn the star adjuster. On the left side, turn the star up to tighten. On the right side, turn the star down to tighten.
  4.  
  5. Turn the star until the wheel will not turn. Loosen the star 18 notches. Check that the wheel turn freely.
  6.  
  7. Pull the parking lever dust cover trim up.
  8.  
  9. Pull the parking brake lever up 6 notches. Adjust the cables with the nuts so that the wheels can just barely be turned. Release the lever and check that the wheels spin freely. Both sides must be adjusted evenly.
  10.  
  11. The parking brake indicator lamp should extinguish when the lever is released otherwise adjust the switch so it does. Install The dust cover and the lug bolt.
  12.  

BURNISHING



The parking brake is subjected to only limited wear and use. Often the friction surfaces become corroded and cause a loss of braking performance. This can often be cured by burnishing the parking brakes and the performance will return.

This procedure should also be performed whenever new shoes or rotors are installed and before the parking brake adjustment is made.

  1. While driving the car at 25 mph (40 kmph) pull the parking brake lever until braking is felt. Pull the lever 1 more notch and drive the car 1300 ft. (400 m) to the working area.
  2.  
  3. Adjust the parking brake.
  4.  
  5. Check the performance of the parking brake.
  6.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Models Equipped With Rear Drum Brakes
  1. Remove the brake drum as in this section. Pull off the rubber boot at the handbrake lever, loosen and remove the locknuts on the appropriate side, and disconnect the cable at the handbrake lever.
  2.  
  3. Remove the brake shoes as described in this section.
  4.  
  5. From under the vehicle, Remove the cable assembly by unfastening the necessary clips. Remove the cable from the rear brake assembly.
  6.  
  7. On 320i models, pull the cable out of the holder toward the rear of the car. On 318i models, disconnect the cable on the rear suspension arm, compress the locking clamp, and disconnect the cable on the backing plate and pull out.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Install in reverse order, making sure the cable holders are both located properly, one in the protective tube, and the other in the backing plate. On 318i models, make sure the clamp which locates the tube is properly connected. Adjust the brakes as described in this section.
  2.  

Models Equipped With Rear Disc Brakes
3 SERIES MODELS
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the rear tire and wheel assembly. Remove the rear brake rotors.
  2.  
  3. Pull the rubber parking brake boot up at the front and lift off at the rear. Pull out the rear ashtray and remove the bolt. Pull the console back and remove.
  4.  
  5. Remove the adjuster nuts from the cables. Remove the 3 bolts securing the lever and remove the lever.
  6.  
  7. Using brake spring pliers, disconnect the lower return spring for the parking brake shoes. Then, using the proper tool, turn the retaining springs for the parking brake shoes 90 degrees to unlock them and remove.
  8.  
  9. Separate the parking brake shoes at the bottom and remove from above.
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  11. Disconnect the spreader locks from the backing plates: first, rock the lower end of the spreader lock outward, and then pull out the pin. Press the cable connection out of the spreader lock. Pull the spreader lock out of the housing.
  12.  
  13. Disconnect the parking brake cable at the trailing arm and the backing plate. Remove the cable.
  14.  

To install:
  1. Install the support for the parking brake cable on the backing plate. Install the cable into potion and connect the housing to the trailing arm.
  2.  
  3. Install the cable into the tubes going to the parking brake lever. Install the parking brake lever.
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  5. Connect the parking brake cable to the spreader lock. Apply a light grease to the mechanism. Install the brake shoes, retainers and return spring.
  6.  
  7. Install the brake rotor and wheel. Adjust the shoes, the adjust the cables. Install the console and boot for the parking brake lever.
  8.  

5 AND 6 SERIES MODELS
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the rear tire and wheel assembly.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear brake discs.
  4.  
  5. Using brake spring pliers, disconnect the upper return spring for the parking brake shoes. Then, using the proper tool, turn the retaining springs for the parking brake shoes 90 degrees to unlock them and then disconnect them.
  6.  
  7. Separate the parking brake shoes at the top and then remove them from below.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect the spreader locks from the backing plates: first, rock the lower end of the spreader lock outward, and then pull out the pin. Press the cable connection out of the spreader lock. Pull the spreader lock out of the housing. Pull the cable through the backing plate.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the parking brake cable at the trailing arm.
  12.  
  13. Working from inside the vehicle, remove the console cover as follows:
    1. Lift out the air grille and remove the nuts underneath.
    2.  
    3. Remove the cap and unscrew the mounting bolt that's located at the forward end of the console on the right side. Lift out the cover that the bolt retains.
    4.  
    5. Remove the bolt on the left side of the forward end of the console. If the vehicle has power windows, disconnect the plugs. Then, lift the console and remove air ducts.
    6.  
    7. Turn the retainer 90 degrees and peel the rubber cover downward. Now, unscrew the adjusting nuts on the parking brake cables and pull them out.
    8.  

  14.  
  15. Remove the cable from the vehicle.
  16.  

To install:
  1. Install the support for the parking brake cable on the backing plate. Install the cable into potion and connect the housing to the trailing arm.
  2.  
  3. Install the cable into the tubes going to the parking brake lever. Install the parking brake lever cable nuts.
  4.  
  5. Connect the parking brake cable to the spreader lock. Apply a light grease to the mechanism. Install the brake shoes, retainers and return spring.
  6.  
  7. Install the brake rotor and wheel. Adjust the shoes, the adjust the cables. Install the console and boot for the parking brake lever.
  8.  

7 SERIES MODELS
  1. Lift out the cover plate that surrounds the handbrake lever. Remove the locknuts and adjusting nuts from the front ends of the brake cables.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear brake discs.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the spreader locks from the backing plates: first, rock the lower end of the spreader lock outward, and then pull out the pin. Press the cable connection out of the spreader lock. Pull the spreader lock out of the housing. Pull the cable through the backing plate.
  6.  
  7. Detach the parking brake cable at the trailing arm and remove it.
  8.  
  9. To install, reverse the removal procedures, giving the sliding surfaces and pin of the spreader lock a light coating of an lubricant paste. Adjust the handbrake as described in this section.
  10.  

 
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