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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 12-21-2009, 07:35 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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It does not matter which car you have (Honda, Toyota, BMW), the procedure for adjustment of Parking Brake is very standard:
- Rear tires removed and rear end on jackstands.
- On the BMW with RWD and Parking Brake in the rear, jacking up the Rear is a very dangerous process because nothing stops the car from rolling, so chocking BOTH front wheels is a must. Chock BOTH the front and rear part of EACH Front tire!!! Also do it on a flat surface!
- In each rotor or drum, there is always an adjustment "star" wheel: find out the location of it by searching the forum.
It may be at 6 o'clock or 12 o'oclock position depending on mfg or model.

- With Parking Brake Handle (in the cockpit) RELEASED, tighten the star wheel (using a flat blade screw driver) until you you cannot rotate the rotor or drum any more.
- Then back off the start wheel about 5-6 clicks. Now rotate the drum/rotor, you should feel a slight dragging noise: this is normal.

- After both sides are adjusted, go to the cabin and pull the Parking Brake Handle, both drums/rotors should be tight, i.e., you should not be able to rotate any drum/rotor at all.
There should be roughly 6-7 clicks in the Parking Brake Handle when you apply it, anything more than this, adjust the Parking Brake Handle nuts in the Center Console.

- If you are not familiar with cars, then leave this job to a pro because even pro mechanics screw up this not-too-difficult-but-intricate process of adjusting hand brake.

HTH
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  #27  
Old 01-10-2010, 07:47 AM
jbrovage jbrovage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emPoWaH View Post
The only use I've had for the E39's hand brake is for scrubbing off speeds on the highway without getting the attention of the police car behind you...
YES! same here!. On my MX-5 it'll effectively stop the car.
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  #28  
Old 01-10-2010, 01:47 PM
sjbdeebo2 sjbdeebo2 is offline
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Location: RI
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_VQ View Post
My parking brake couldn't hold my car in my ~2% incline driveway.

I took off the rear rotor and noticed the brake shoes were glazed and dark in colour. I used medium emery paper and removed the glaze. The shoes then turned a light brown. My rear discs also had a lot of corrosion on the drum part and I replaced the rear rotors and pads.

Since then the parking brake will hold the car on any hill AND once a week I apply the parking brake when rolling to a red light to keep the surfaces rust free.

See attached pic.
Its nice to read a post that has a solution
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  #29  
Old 01-10-2010, 03:20 PM
Swells707 Swells707 is offline
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Can some one elaborate why one gear is better to leave it in than the other? I understand 1/R but why not 3rd or any others? Cheers
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  #30  
Old 01-10-2010, 07:22 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swells707 View Post
Can some one elaborate why one gear is better to leave it in than the other? I understand 1/R but why not 3rd or any others? Cheers
Basic Physics: the following number srae random numbers (revolutions) that I make up just to illustrate the gearing mechanism.

Gear ----- Trans Input Shaft------Trans Output Shaft (=Driveshaft)
R..........................4...................... ..........1
1st........................5...................... ..........1
3rd.......................3....................... ..........1
5th.......................1....................... ..........1

The point is in 1st gear, the crankshaft has to rotate 5 times for each 1 rotation of the driveshaft, this is slow speed but has alot of torque for you to move the car from starting position.

Now the opposite is: if you turn the driveshaft 1 turn, you get 5 turns of the crankshaft but it requires ALOT of force to do this.

Therefore parking in 1st gear (or Reverse) is rather safe, it takes alot of force to move it.

Try this: park the car in a sloping road or driveway, shut off the engine (safety first so watch out), engage 3rd rear the car will roll slowly!

Last edited by cn90; 01-11-2010 at 06:06 AM.
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  #31  
Old 01-17-2010, 07:15 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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UPDATE.

I just wrote a DIY Parking Brake Overhaul here:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=426640
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  #32  
Old 01-17-2010, 09:46 AM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ztom View Post
I would not do this. When I was a kid someone in my school put the handbrake on to slow, one wheel locked, the car spun and hit a telephone pole.
Now that would have been a sight to see.
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  #33  
Old 01-17-2010, 01:13 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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With a 5th over I think it's more like input 1 output 1.5... (in keeping with the random numbers) Isn't that the idea behind "over" drive?

I was thinking about this thread recently, and remembering when I test-drove the 540 my grandfather bought. He applied the parking brake and put it in park, we changed seats, and then I tried to drive away without releasing the brake-it didn't move. From the dealer, the brake held the car quite well, but over time its performance has certainly decreased.
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  #34  
Old 01-17-2010, 04:32 PM
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Johnny Canada Johnny Canada is offline
2003 530 5 speed
Location: Hamilton Ontario
 
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UPDATE.

I just wrote a DIY Parking Brake Overhaul here:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=426640


This is so awesome. Many thanks to Cn90 for taking the time to post this valuable information.
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  #35  
Old 01-18-2010, 03:42 AM
das_auto das_auto is offline
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never leave my car in neutral when parking. always first.
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  #36  
Old 01-18-2010, 04:13 AM
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SRFast SRFast is offline
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I have very little slack in my e-brake handle, but unless I yank the handle up fairly hard, the e-brake isn't very effective. I mentioned adjusting the brake to my mechanic and he said it was properly adjusted already. As with others, the BMW e-brake is the worse of my cars. At least I know now this is a common issue and not just my E39.

Regards...JL
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