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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-07-2010, 10:40 PM
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jarozila jarozila is offline
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DIY - How to replace door brake if door does not stay open

Yesterday when I opened my door I heard a 'ping' sound. The door would no longer stay in the open position. After a quick phone call to my mechanic I knew that the door brake had gone and needed to be replaced. Did not seem too hard to do, so I went ahead and ordered the part (51 21 8 161 782, list price AUS$130) from my local dealer.

Having the door slam shut on me when opening was a pain. Had it been the passenger door I may well have ordered the part from the US, but I did not want to wait.

Here are the tools I used. The mirror was handy when getting the two bolts back on - helped to line up the door brake.



The door brake is quite a heavy piece of metal. The rubber cap is removed before installation.







You will have to take off the door card first. If you have not done this, after removing the door handle surround and the two screws that sit underneath the door handle, you have to pull the door card out. It is held in place by a series of clips.

I used a chair to hold the door open...



Take off, or peel back, the door insulation.



The door brake is secured to the door by two bolts and a pin. Peel back the rubber hood to get to the pin first.





I put a piece of cardboard into the door jam as I did not want to damage the paint when I started hitting the pin from underneath with a hammer to get it out.



You will need to hit quite hard to get the pin moving. Once it is sticking out at the top you can use pliers to twist it and pull it up and out. In hindsight I would also order a new pin.



You can then pull the door brake bar out of its slot. I do suggest taking a picture at this stage so that you can check which way the bar goes back in.



Now undo the two bolts that secure the door brake to the inside of the door. Cut the cable tie that secures a bundle of cables infront of a square hole. You will need access to this hole to get the old brake out and the new one inside the door.





It takes a bit of fiddeling to get the old door brake out. Mine fell apart as I tried to get it out. The bar fell down inside the door. I ended up cutting another cable tie lower down to get my hand into another hole to grab the bar and pull it out.

Angle the new door brake into the hole and you just have to try manovering it so that you get the bar sticking out of the hole. Once you have it in position put the two bolts back and secure it into place. The mirror was handy here to see the holes for the bolts and line them up.

You will notice that the bar does NOT reach the retaining slot. Just start to close the door, almost shut, until the bar slots into position.





Use a piece of cardboard to prevent paint damage when you hammer the pin back into place. Don't forget to pull the rubber sleave over the bar before you secure it.



Put the rubber hood back into place and you are done.



The old brake looked a bit sad and worn out.



This job will take about 30 minutes if you are familiar with the door card removal. I was at it for about 1 hour. Taking picutures added a some time and I had to glue back into place one of my storage compartments. One edge was a bit loose. I also had to replace a door clip - must have broken when I put the door card back on last time, and replace the two cable ties I cut.

The new door brake is quite stiff and sold when you open the door. Feels very secure and firm. My passenger side is quite loose in comparison. I guess when that goes I will be doing that side as well!!
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  #2  
Old 03-08-2010, 04:51 AM
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Well written Sir.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:54 AM
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Well written Sir.
This
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:55 AM
stang_me1990 stang_me1990 is offline
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Those pins are a pain in the arse...make sure there are not any tabs or welds keeping it in its place before you start hammering it out, mine had a small weld that needed to be knocked off inorder to drive the pin out.

Nice write up
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:58 AM
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  #6  
Old 03-08-2010, 08:51 AM
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Thanks for the great write up and pics. Will be going into my "favorites" for future use.
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  #7  
Old 03-08-2010, 08:55 AM
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Nicely done. Thanks for the write-up. Not only are these cars a blast to drive, it's forums like this that make it even better to own and E36.
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by merlin310 View Post
Nicely done. Thanks for the write-up. Not only are these cars a blast to drive, it's forums like this that make it even better to own and E36.
I really find this and Bimmerforums great for getting help on doing DIYs. I have done a lot of fun projects thanks to seeing a thread that got me thinking.


The new door brake really has made a difference to the door. Apart from it now staying open again, the new door brake is a lot stiffer. The new door brake pulls the door closed with a more solid thud. Seems silly but ....

I am seriously considering also doing the passenger side even though that door does still stay open. The door just feels a lot looser when it is being closed. I can't be sure of course how long that door brake has to go. Given that the driver's side door gets more action it might last a while yet.
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  #9  
Old 03-11-2011, 11:02 AM
thepencil thepencil is offline
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Dude,thank you a million! I was hunting for a write up to this problem for weeks now,and you just made my life a lot more easy!
Since my e36 is my first BMW(only 21 year old guy writing this) I still need to learn ****loads about bimmers,but you veterans make seem like child play^^
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:54 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Thanks for contributing this DIY. I'm sure lots of us will benefit from it at one time or another.

On another note, I can't believe the prices for BMW parts in Austrailia. I know it's been discussed a million times before, but an OEM BMW door brake in the US costs only $36.16, or you can get a non-OEM part for $23.05. Craziness.
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  #11  
Old 03-11-2011, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Thanks for contributing this DIY. I'm sure lots of us will benefit from it at one time or another.

On another note, I can't believe the prices for BMW parts in Austrailia. I know it's been discussed a million times before, but an OEM BMW door brake in the US costs only $36.16, or you can get a non-OEM part for $23.05. Craziness.
Yeah, that is really expensive. I just did some really quick research on the Australian dollar, and it's at basically 1:1 conversion rate with the US dollar. But, what I did not understand is that minimum wage is $15 an hour in Australia, which is almost twice what it is here.
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by cj.surr View Post
Yeah, that is really expensive. I just did some really quick research on the Australian dollar, and it's at basically 1:1 conversion rate with the US dollar. But, what I did not understand is that minimum wage is $15 an hour in Australia, which is almost twice what it is here.
Comparing prices across currencies is very tricky. Even with a 1:1 ratio like Australia, purchasing power is hard to gauge. Too many factors, aside from just wages, come into play.

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  #13  
Old 03-11-2011, 04:16 PM
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Good write up sir!

im sure i'll use it in the future.
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  #14  
Old 03-11-2011, 05:55 PM
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I replaced the door stop a couple months ago. The pin just fell out last week and I lost it. Just a tip, you might wanna use something like loctite to keep that pin in.
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:12 PM
EuroDriven EuroDriven is offline
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Anybody have the part number for the front driver door brake in a 1995 325i sedan? I am looking for the part now but can't find it on pelican parts. I figure I should order it now since it needs to be done anyways.

EDIT: Found it:

Door Brake - $24.00:
http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/...32%204-door%20

Pin - $2.00:
http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/...81992-99%29%20

Pin Clip??? - $1.00:
http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/...81992-99%29%20

I didn't see a pin clip anywhere in your write up, does anybody know if I need to actually order it?

Last edited by EuroDriven; 03-11-2011 at 06:16 PM.
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  #16  
Old 03-11-2011, 06:44 PM
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I don't know where that pin clip would go...
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