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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 06-14-2013, 12:26 PM
ChefJRD ChefJRD is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Mein Auto: '03 530i manual, 120k
Backer Plate Advice / Word to the Wise

I set out to do the rear brakes and rotors quickly one evening last month. I should have known better – when I think anything will be quick, it’s usually anything but…

Word to the wise (aka, advice from a dummy): release your parking brake when removing rear rotors!!

I read a DIY post that talked about hammering off a rusted rotor, so had “hammer it” in my head going in. When the rotor didn’t come right off, I kept hammerin’ away. I got it off, but it turns out I was hammering the rotor off of the engaged parking brake, messing up the backer plate along the way. I got the new rotors and pads on just fine (AFTER releasing brake), but at least one side is squeaking rather frequently due to the bent backer plate rubbing the parking brake shoes against the rotating rotor (as I learned along the way, the parking brake drum style shoes are mounted to the backer plate).

So now my question… Does anyone know how to replace the rear backer plates on an E39? I haven’t been able to find schematics or forum posts, other than one that referred to having to remove the hub and bearings, but that was in a track forum and I think it was a 3-series. RealOEM makes it look like all you have to do is remove the rotors (pic below). Does anyone have experience with this?

Our first child was born a few weeks ago, so my threshold for bringing it to the shop is beginning to lower...
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2013, 12:50 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 103K miles
Just hammer it back out.
Too much of a headache to replace the backing plate.
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  #3  
Old 06-14-2013, 01:18 PM
ChefJRD ChefJRD is offline
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Location: Northern Virginia
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Mein Auto: '03 530i manual, 120k
How do you recommend? By removing the rotor to get down to the backer plate and parking brake equipment, then hammer/bend from there?

I just found your awesome parking brake write up. That's making me wonder if I should replace the pads like you did since they've been rubbing so much lately, and likely not evenly.

Not sure if there's any difference, but mine is an '03 530i (just updated my signature from the previous '97 528i - may she rest in peace...).

Last edited by ChefJRD; 06-14-2013 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:20 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 103K miles
Yes I wrote that DIY.

Do not remove bearing (a PITA job).
Once the parking brake shoes are removed, you already get down to the plate.
Then hammer it gently until it is smooth again.
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:00 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Mein Auto: 540/6, S60 Volvo, Tribeca
You will need to remove the axle and the wheel hub assy to get the backing plate off. Big job, just hammer it back into shape like CNN said.
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2000 540/6 Slightly tweeked...everywhere
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  #6  
Old 06-17-2013, 12:50 PM
ChefJRD ChefJRD is offline
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Mein Auto: '03 530i manual, 120k
Thanks, everyone. I'll give the hammering/reshaping technique a shot. Though I'm not sure when - with the 1 month old, this proud Pappa doesn't have much free time. Hopefully one of these weekends coming up.
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