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Old 01-17-2010, 07:24 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
DIY: 1998 BMW 528i, PARKING Brake Overhaul

DIY: 1998 BMW 528i, PARKING Brake Overhaul

The E39 Parking Brake is notorious for failing after 5-6 years and 60K, so here is the DIY.
Mine was basically useless at 12 years and 105K miles.

I bought the parts from, however, you can get these parts from other online vendors as well.
- REAR Brake Rotors.....34211164840.....Balo.....$42/each.......Qty = 2/car
- REAR Brake Shoe Set.....34416761292.....Pagid.....$41/set (total 4 shoes/set).....Qty = 1 set/car
- REAR Brake Hardware Set.....34419064019.....TRW-Lucas-Girling.....$16/set.....Qty = 1 set/car
- Optional: Brake Rotor Bolts.....34211161806.....$1.69/each.....Qty = 1 bolt/rotor

TOTAL COST = $140.

- OEM Brake Shoes are made by "Jurid", I use "Pagid", result is nice and solid Parking braking effect.
- Budget 1h/side
- At 12 years, 105K miles, the REAR Rotors were warped, the inner drum part has rusted, the brake shoes material has partially fallen off, no wonder I had trouble with the PARKING Brake, which was basically useless. If your REAR rotors are more than 8 years, 80K miles, consider new REAR rotors because resurfacing the drum part (where the brake shoes come in contact with) is difficult and it may cost $15-20 to do it and it does not make sense to re-surface it while a new rotor (BALO brand) is only $42.

- Do this a level driveway, don't even dream about doing this on a sloped driveway! Once the REAR is raised, there is nothing to prevent the car from rolling, other than the chocks on the FRONT wheel!

1. Chock BOTH the Front and Rear parts of the FRONT Wheels!!!

2. Loosen wheel bolts a bit, but do not remove the bolts yet!

3. Jack one side at a time, place Jackstand under subframe.

4. Remove Rear wheel.

5. From the cabin, set car to Neutral and Release Parking Brake Handle.

6. Pull the UPPER part of the Leather Cover (held by 2 plastic clips) to expose the Brake Cable adjusting nuts.
Mine was never touched before by the previous owners, so I left Brake Cable adjusting nuts alone.
If you need to adjust the cable, do a search! The bottom line is when properly adjusted, there is a VERY SLIGHT slack on the cable, i.e., as soon as you pull 1-2 clicks the other end in the Brake Drum should start moving (you need an assistant to help with this). Anyway, look it up.

7. Remove Brake Caliper 16-mm bolts. I use Rubber Hammer helps with the 16-mm wrench to remove these bolts. You may need to use a screwdriver to pry the caliper out of the rotors (pry between the ventilated part of the rotor and the metal part of the caliper).
Then hang the caliper to the Suspension Spring using electrical wire to prevent straining the brake hose!

8. During re-installation of Brake Caliper. I also use Rubber Hammer on the wrench because it is impossible to get a torque wrench in there.

9. Use a 6-mm Allen wrench to remove the bolt holding the rotor. Adjust the Star Wheel to release the shoes. So read this carefully:
* RIGHT Side: Move Star Wheel DOWN to EXPAND the Brake Shoes.
* LEFT Side: Move Star Wheel UPWARD to EXPAND the Brake Shoes.

Then pull old rotor out.

10. Now pause and observe the existing layout! This is crucial for re-assembly.
- Use a 5-mm Allen Key to twist the pin holding the shoes. The pin uses 90 degrees turn to lock and unlock.

- I use a pair of vice-grip to remove/install the spring (wear eye protection!), basically biting on the straight part of the hook and pull it in or out. You can also use the "special brake spring tool" ($10-15 at local auto parts store).
- BIG Spring goes on TOP and SMALL Spring at Bottom
- Adjusting Star Wheel faces REARWARD.

11. I greased the Brake Cable end with wheel bearing grease using a BBQ skewer:

12. Also clean the Adjusting Star Wheel interior and apply small amount of grease.

13. During re-installation, follow this sequence (I learned it the hard way, so don't asků....hehe!):

14. To adjust the Parking Brake (This is very standard in virtually all cars, so you can also use this idea on a Volvo, Toyota etc.):
- Make sure car is in Neutral and the Parking Brake Handle in the cabin is released. Spin the rotor a bit to be sure it spins freely.
- Re-install the Wheel with only 4 bolts and hand-tighten the bolts snug.
- Move the Wheel Empty Hole so it lines upat approx. 6 o'clock position.
- Use a flash light to shine inside to see the Adjusting Star Wheel.
- Using a small flat screwdriver, TIGHTEN the Star Wheel until the Wheel stops moving.
- Now back off about 5 clicks on the Star Wheel: now you should be able to spin the wheel.
You will hear a slight dragging noise, this is normal, so don't worry about this slight dragging noise!
- Go to the cabin and pull the Parking Brake, it should stops at about 5-6 clicks or so.

15. Remove Jackstand and lower car. Don't forget to torque the Wheel Bolts properly!

16. To seat the shoes, find a quiet street and apply the Hand Brake a few times. I used this Nissan procedure for break-in. It works for virtually any car:

17. Make it a habit using the Parking Brake every time you park the car.

18. Once a month, apply hand brake while driving at 15 mph for about 200 feet (10-15 seconds or so) to prevent rust inside the drum. Anyway, this is what I have been doing for 20 years, right or wrong I don't know, but it works....

Enjoy your brand new Parking Brake!
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Last edited by cn90; 01-17-2010 at 08:34 PM.
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