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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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  #1  
Old 01-07-2013, 05:17 AM
evilsanta evilsanta is offline
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Handbrake cable help needed.

Just bought a new handbrake cable for the drivers side of my car however the cable I bought doesnt have the end where the nuts go on. I snapped the part with the nut on it for adjusting on mine.

Ive took three photos of the problem. First photo shows the adjusting nuts that are missing from photos 2 and 3. One of the photos shows the end that goes to the brake shoe expander and the other photo shows the handbrake end and the broken adjuster cable from my car.

Have I got the right cable? Seems to be the only one available for my car so its driving me insane. Or is the adjuster nut and cable part of the handbrake lever assembly itself?

Thanks guys.
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2013, 06:31 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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I cannot tell from your pictures but if your new cable end fittings do not look exactly like your old cable, then you have the wrong cable.
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  #3  
Old 01-07-2013, 06:57 AM
evilsanta evilsanta is offline
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it seems strange its the only cable listed for my car model. I used the car registration for the search and its the standard cable for all e39 cars, I cant understand why mine would be different. Has anyone ever changed the handbrake lever itself? I was going to take the lever off and have a look at the passenger side cable and see which way it is and then hopefully this will help me further. Also checking realoem.com and searching for my car through there shows the same cable

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...73&hg=34&fg=40

Im not sure if I have to crimp something over the end of the cable so that it can have an adjuster, has anyone experienced this or know where to get the correct cable from?
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2013, 08:47 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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If pictures 2 and 3 are of your NEW cable, you have the wrong cable. Who did you buy the cable from? Did they possibly give you a cable from a different model? You need to have the threaded fitting for the lever side. Your third picture shows two entirely different cable ends. Return it.
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2013, 09:08 AM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
If pictures 2 and 3 are of your NEW cable, you have the wrong cable. Who did you buy the cable from? Did they possibly give you a cable from a different model? You need to have the threaded fitting for the lever side. Your third picture shows two entirely different cable ends. Return it.
+1. I have looked at many pics online of E39 parking brake cables and they all are in one piece, not two like the one you got. It is either the wrong cable or it is broken.
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  #6  
Old 01-07-2013, 10:25 AM
evilsanta evilsanta is offline
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updated I returned the cable and went to eurocarparts and got a replacement cable for 9 plus vat, not sure how to get the cable from the hub carrier now seems to be in there pretty tight, any ideas how to get the cable end out of the hub carrier?
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2013, 11:57 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Are you saying the bowden end fitting is stuck on the brake or are you referring to the entire cable being stuck to the car? If the former, carefully spray it with PB Blaster and twist the end fitting in the brake housing. If you can't get enough angle of twist, cut the cable so that it can rotate freely. It should come loose.
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  #8  
Old 01-07-2013, 01:52 PM
evilsanta evilsanta is offline
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Its the end that attaches to the hub carrier itself. The end where the hand brake is has snapped an inch down and so the whole inside of the cable has been pulled out completely and the outer black sleeve is still stuck in the hub carrier, I think its a really tight fit and might need a lot of brute strength to get it out or a chisel to hammer it off
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  #9  
Old 01-07-2013, 03:48 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Use PB Blaster or similar penetrating fluid. The bowden cable end fitting (kind of like a small barrel swaged onto the cable) fits into a receptacle. It's probably just corroded a bit.
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  #10  
Old 01-07-2013, 11:25 PM
evilsanta evilsanta is offline
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Thanks verymuch fudman will have a go at it in a couple of hours when there's daylight. Fingers crossed I get it freed and get the other cable in ok
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  #11  
Old 01-08-2013, 10:03 AM
evilsanta evilsanta is offline
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Car going to a garage on Thursday morning to have the cable fitted, too much work for an amatuer like me so for only 40 can't be bad to that
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  #12  
Old 01-08-2013, 10:42 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Actually there are 2 cables, one for each rear wheel. This you can confirm by removing the handbrake boot - you should see the adjusting screws for BOTH cables.
p/n for left brake cable: 34401166234
p/n for left brake cable: 34401166237. This is for a 530, but it should be similar.
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  #13  
Old 01-08-2013, 10:53 AM
evilsanta evilsanta is offline
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I know I've two hand brake cables but the passenger side has been changed previously but the drivers side has not been changed and it failed mot on that side, so im changing the drivers side cable because it snapped. I've changed the handbrake shoes already so its not them
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  #14  
Old 01-08-2013, 11:21 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Oh, OK. How old is your car? How many miles? Do you use the handbrake every time?
Reason I'm asking, is because it would be interesting to know what the average lifespan of those cables is. I believe you're the first one on this board to aknowledge hand brake cables issues.
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Looking for a DIY? Parts? Check this out, it might be your ticket
TMS underdrive pullies - Stewart WP - PSS9 - Beisan Vanos seals - Zimmerman cross-drilled & Akebono Euro - Deka 649 MF - 55w HID headlights - 35w HID foglights - Hualigan double din - ACS (rep) alu pedals - Euro central storage console - Breyton Magic Racing staggered wheels - M5 bumper - M5 steering wheel - Tint
Stable: e39, e53, e46 & Tribby
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  #15  
Old 01-08-2013, 12:03 PM
evilsanta evilsanta is offline
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Its 2003 and 146,000 on the clock, I've heard that the hand brake on the e39 are terrible. I use the hand brake all the time out of habit rather than what it provides. Being an automatic the parking brake does all the necessary requirements but for the mot I need it to be working, its the only thing that it failed on which is disappointing. fingers crossed it works now
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  #16  
Old 01-08-2013, 12:18 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Mine's also a slushbox, and I use the handbrake all the time. But for me, so far, so good.

Now I hope I didn't jinx it.
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Looking for a DIY? Parts? Check this out, it might be your ticket
TMS underdrive pullies - Stewart WP - PSS9 - Beisan Vanos seals - Zimmerman cross-drilled & Akebono Euro - Deka 649 MF - 55w HID headlights - 35w HID foglights - Hualigan double din - ACS (rep) alu pedals - Euro central storage console - Breyton Magic Racing staggered wheels - M5 bumper - M5 steering wheel - Tint
Stable: e39, e53, e46 & Tribby
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  #17  
Old 01-08-2013, 12:32 PM
evilsanta evilsanta is offline
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Yea hopefully you don't jinx it lol seems like a lot of hard work for little gain since I have the parking brake which works perfect. Thanks again for helping and I'll post again once its all fixed up, hopefully changing the cable holds the car on the drivers side and its nothing else that's gone wrong.
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  #18  
Old 01-08-2013, 12:40 PM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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My experience is that the best way to have a functioning handbrake is to use it all the time. Non use causes the whole thing to rust up and not work.

At the shop I used to work at people with automatic trans never used their handbrakes. Then when it was state inspection time, they had to spend many $ to get their handbrake working so they could pass inspection.
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  #19  
Old 01-08-2013, 01:13 PM
evilsanta evilsanta is offline
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Thanks for the advice johnstern I will continue to keep using it, its a pain in the backside having this issue. When it went through mot and failed and I seen rear hand brake cable drivers side I remember thinking, happy days that's not too bad sounds like an easy fix, but alas putting it into practice is a lot harder than I imagined
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  #20  
Old 01-10-2013, 03:02 PM
evilsanta evilsanta is offline
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Got the hand brake cable in and only cost 55 in total and that included a brake test to make sure it all worked as it should. Took it to mot an hour after I got it back and its passed no problem. Best thing to do if you need to replace your hand brake cable, take it to your local garage.

Thanks very much for all your help guys
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