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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 07-17-2013, 09:14 AM
nickolo nickolo is offline
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Hand Brake Adjusting 101...

So...I read a post yesterday about how to take the slack out of my hand brake in my 2010 335i xdrive...seemed pretty straight forward, take hand brake boot off...release tension on the spring...remove a lug bolt from each back wheel and line up with adjustment hole and then tirn adjustment wheel until tight, but still be able to turn wheel by hand.

After adjusting each wheel I went for a ride...everything was great and the hand brake was never tighter and actually stopped the car immediately!! Thought to myself...You're good, JOY!!

NOT!!!

all of a sudden I started feeling a huge vibration after about a mile so I pulled off the road and my back wheels were ROASTING!! I could smell burnt brake material as soon as I stepped out of my car and the wheels were almost red hot!!

Moral of the story...remember when adjusting hand brake to take slack out of each rear wheel as mentioned above and then BE SURE TO BACK OFF ON THE ADJUSTMENT at least half a turn or more!!!!!

Crap!! Hope I didn't warp my rotors!!
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2013, 09:52 AM
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thekurgan thekurgan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickolo View Post
So...I read a post yesterday about how to take the slack out of my hand brake in my 2010 335i xdrive...seemed pretty straight forward, take hand brake boot off...release tension on the spring...remove a lug bolt from each back wheel and line up with adjustment hole and then tirn adjustment wheel until tight, but still be able to turn wheel by hand.

After adjusting each wheel I went for a ride...everything was great and the hand brake was never tighter and actually stopped the car immediately!! Thought to myself...You're good, JOY!!

NOT!!!

all of a sudden I started feeling a huge vibration after about a mile so I pulled off the road and my back wheels were ROASTING!! I could smell burnt brake material as soon as I stepped out of my car and the wheels were almost red hot!!

Moral of the story...remember when adjusting hand brake to take slack out of each rear wheel as mentioned above and then BE SURE TO BACK OFF ON THE ADJUSTMENT at least half a turn or more!!!!!

Crap!! Hope I didn't warp my rotors!!
Parking brakes on these vehicles are a "drum in disc" type, the rotors are fine, but I would examine the shoes used for the parking brake if possible.
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  #3  
Old 07-17-2013, 09:55 AM
nickolo nickolo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekurgan View Post
Parking brakes on these vehicles are a "drum in disc" type, the rotors are fine, but I would examine the shoes used for the parking brake if possible.
Thanks, will do! Do I need a wheel puller to pull the rotor??
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:04 PM
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MP3_E46 MP3_E46 is offline
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Should always makes sure it needs a few clicks on any car

I adjusted my E93 to whatever the BMW spec is and it's still crappy. Finally holds the car in neutral though. Dealer said they adjusted it last time it was in for warranty issues and it still rolled in neutral...

If the rotors are warped you'll easily feel it through the pedal
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by MP3_E46 View Post
Should always makes sure it needs a few clicks on any car

I adjusted my E93 to whatever the BMW spec is and it's still crappy. Finally holds the car in neutral though. Dealer said they adjusted it last time it was in for warranty issues and it still rolled in neutral...

If the rotors are warped you'll easily feel it through the pedal
Rotors are NOT used for the parking brake.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:11 AM
nickolo nickolo is offline
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Originally Posted by thekurgan View Post
Rotors are NOT used for the parking brake.
Yes that's correct, rotors are not part of the parking brake system... BUT it looks like the drum used for the parking brake is part of (or connected to) the back of the rotor...or maybe they're 2 seperate pieces? I did not pull the rotor to look and confirm.

But believe me when I say...My rotors were almost red hot when I had the hand brake adjusted too tight!
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by nickolo View Post
Yes that's correct, rotors are not part of the parking brake system... BUT it looks like the drum used for the parking brake is part of (or connected to) the back of the rotor...or maybe they're 2 seperate pieces? I did not pull the rotor to look and confirm.

But believe me when I say...My rotors were almost red hot when I had the hand brake adjusted too tight!
Heat can be caused by the conduction of the surrounding drum, not the direct frictional contact. I don't believe there will be any deposits on your rotors.

Now if you left the parking brake set, who knows, you can damage the shoes and they may need replacing.

Maybe these diagrams will help (courtesy penskeparts.com)

It is strange though, after 6 BMWs, I've never had to adjust the parking brake. Once per month, I come to a stop from 20 mph or so, using only the brake, to scrub off any corrosion from water/washing, etc.
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Last edited by thekurgan; 07-18-2013 at 07:34 AM.
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2013, 08:29 AM
nickolo nickolo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekurgan View Post
Heat can be caused by the conduction of the surrounding drum, not the direct frictional contact. I don't believe there will be any deposits on your rotors.

Now if you left the parking brake set, who knows, you can damage the shoes and they may need replacing.

Maybe these diagrams will help (courtesy penskeparts.com)

It is strange though, after 6 BMWs, I've never had to adjust the parking brake. Once per month, I come to a stop from 20 mph or so, using only the brake, to scrub off any corrosion from water/washing, etc.
Yep, looks like 2 parts...the rotor itself and a drum behind it for the hand brake. I don't see any reason to ever have to replace the shoes or drum for the parking brake unless it was rubbing so tight it wore the material off the shoes.

In my case the heat transfer from the drum to the rotor was intense!

You would think that the parking brake would be self adjusting with springs holding the shoes against the drum but mine was clicking 10-12 clicks all the way up to the stop which was more than 45 degrees. Maybe the previous owner had brake issues? I have only owned the car for a couple months and it has brand new rotors, calipers and pads all the way around and brand new Micheline Sports too...saved me a few grand!!

Thanks for the pics!
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekurgan View Post
Rotors are NOT used for the parking brake.
Correct
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickolo View Post
But believe me when I say...My rotors were almost red hot when I had the hand brake adjusted too tight!
Metal conducts heat well, I bet your wheels were really hot too. Years ago I had an E46 caliper seize and the wheel was hot to the touch
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