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Parking Brake Cable Replacement DIY – Error codes 6030 and D3BE
Parking Brake Cable Replacement DIY – Error codes 6030 and D3BE
As a result of getting a yellow parking brake light notification I had to replace both of my parking brake cables. I search here and at other sites as well as the web for a DIY and I only found the parking brake actuator gear DIY. Those helped – a lot – but did nothing to help me in the actual tear down of the parking brake and the routing of the new cables.
The job itself was a PITA doing it with so many unknowns. It took me two days of tearing down, figuring it out, and finally putting it back together. I could do the job in a day, maybe less, at this point.
1. Brake cleaner
4. Shop paper towels
5. Breaker bar
6. 2lb sledge
7. 1/4inch 6 inch extension (9inch might work as well)
8. 1/4inch and 3/8inch ratchet set
9. Hex head drive bits
10. Torx drive bits
11. Needle nose pliers
12. Large and mid-size screw driver
13. Pry bar
14. Shop light
16. Bungie cords to hold up calipers
17. INPA or other suitable BMW programming tool
18. That should do it.
Here is my DIY with pictures and hopefully some helpful hints.
1. Disconnect the battery and wait 20 minutes. This is a precautionary measure as there is at least one electrical connection involved.
2. While waiting watch these related videos for reference. It’s not a perfect match but it is helpful
i. In this video the key component is the removal of the gear block right at the beginning (small piece of sheet metal with a metal block attached). You will not be able to rotate the gears far enough out to be able to reattach the cables without removing this piece. Took me an hour to figure that one out.
3. If the parking brake is stuck on you will have to use the emergency parking brake release tool found in your trunk kit to unwind it. You can find these instructions in your car’s manual. You cannot get to the parking brakes if they are stuck in the on position. They have to be released.
4. Do all the activities associated with doing a standard brake job (block front wheels with chocks in front of the wheels and behind (I used 2X4s and some standard chocks), jack up car onto jack stands, remove wheels, calipers, rotors). Go here for a good explanation on how to do a brake job on an e65 :a.
5. My cables were broken off right at the end so it was relatively easy for me to disconnect them from the actuator box. Just follow the instructions in the first set of videos and you will get it out.
6. Once you have then out tie a line (I used household twine) tightly to the end of the cable (you will use this as your pull cord for the new cable) and push it out of the access hole.
7. Take apart the parking brake. Follow the directions in this video:
Make sure that you remove the hold down bolt located on the body of the car.
8. Once you have the parking brake taken off it gets real interesting. You’ll notice that the new cable has no attaching hardware – it just slides into the wheel housing. Which means that old one should just slide out. It doesn’t. It’s been in there for years, has no anti-seize on it (‘cuz why would you ever need that), and is pretty much fused to the car. The only way to get it out is by soaking it overnight with PB Blaster (not much help) and taking a 6 inch ¼ inch ratchet extension and pounding it out with a 2lb sledge using the socket end as the press. It will seem like it is never going to come out. It will. I spent 30 minutes trying to knock it out. Be careful with the positioning of the extension against the wheel hub. Keep it ever so slightly elevated above the hub so that you do not end up jamming it between the hub and the cable access hole.
9. Now that you have the cable out inspect the hole with a light to make sure that you did not do any damage to it. In my case I raised a slight burr in the hole that I had to file down with a 9” inch round file (chainsaw tool) in order to be able to make the new cable sit flush. Total PITA but it had to be done. Blow the dust out to the hole.
10. Tightly tie the twine pull line to the end of the new cable near the white retaining clips – one knot only. Find a small child and put them in the trunk (wait. That sounds so very wrong….). Have someone of slight stature get in the trunk and gently put tension on the line as you guide it up to the access hole from underneath. It’s not a perfect system but I couldn’t come up with any other way to get the cable attached to the actuator space. You are near the end now.
11. Guide the other end of the cable into the wheel housing. For the love of God puts some anti-seize on it first. It should just slide in. If it is out a little don’t fret as the when the cable comes under tension it will pull itself the rest of the way in. Mine stuck out about 1/16-1/8 of inch. It was flush after I tested the parking brake.
12. Attach the cable hold down bolt to the car frame.
13. Feeling pretty good about yourself at this point aren’t you? Well, you are about to take a trip down memory lane to the 1940s or earlier. Apparently BMW as not come up with a parking brake system on the wheel hub that has progress much since …oh…. Hmmmm, never. It’s a total muscle job that requires copious amounts of swearing, sweating, band aids, ice, and alcohol (later). No, it’s not you. This part of the job just sucks. I have included pictures of my technique which consisted of attaching the brake cable fitting to the cable, attaching the drum on the pivot side of the brake cable fitting, attaching the top spring to both shoes, and then using a combination of a pry bar and a large screw driver while pivoting the fitting to get the top attached. I tried to just pull the spring several times (see above section regarding swearing, ice, etc.). Once the top was attached I lined up the anchoring spring for the loose shoe, attached it (blindly, oh such fun we are having now), placed the adjustment piece in place and then put the bottom spring in place using the “pull it as hard as you can without driving parts of your body into a stationary piece of metal” technique. IOW, stretch it till it goes in. You are now done with the parking brake mechanism.
14. OK. So NOW you are really feeling good about yourself. And you should as we are almost there.
15. Get in the trunk (there is a joke about whether a man’s best friend is his wife or his dog. To truly find out the answer to this ageless question lock your dog and your wife in your trunk. Drive around for 30 minutes listening to AC/DC blaring out of the rear speakers. Stop and open the trunk. Who do you think is going to be happy to see you?) But I digress.
16. It is now a very simple matter of connecting the cables to the actuator. Start by feeding the right side cable into the actuator. It won’t snap into place but will once tension is placed on the cable. Do the same with the left cable which has more slack. Attach the actuator to the car using the 3 bolts you originally removed.
17. If you took off the retaining block in the actuator you should now be able to rotate the gears (I used a 5MM hex on a ¼ ratchet – I think it was a 5MM anyway) far enough so you can insert the end ferrules into the mechanism. Rotate the gears in the opposite direction to reattach the block and, once attached, out again to make sure the parking brake is fully released (otherwise you will not be able to get the rotors on).
18. So close. I can smell victory. Or maybe I just need a shower.
19. Reattach the battery. I GIVE YOU LIFE!!! Ok, maybe a little too far but I always feel that way when I reconnect the battery.
20. You now must perform the “push the parking brake button 3 times in 5 second intervals to reset it”. So you do this. And nothing happens. You need INPA (or other suitable BMW tool) to reset the codes. So do that. Clear the error memory. Pull the key out. Wait, wait, wait. Put the key back in. And do the thing with the button. You may now put your car back together. Sweet.
21. You have e65 Parking Brake Kung-fu.
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