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Adjusting Your Parking Brake
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Adjusting Your Parking Brake

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

**

Tools:

7mm socket, 10mm deep socket, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW E46 3-Series (1999-06)

Parts Required:

No parts required

Hot Tip:

Have an assistant help you pull the handbrake lever

Performance Gain:

Proper parking brake function

Complementary Modification:

Inspect rear brake pads and discs

The parking brake is a drum system that is integrated into the rear brakes. The rear rotor hub flange acts as the drum, while the brake shoes are mounted to the backing plate. You can adjust your parking brake with the wheels raised off the ground. 

Remember that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you are working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Remove one wheel stud per rear wheel while the vehicle is on the ground. Lift and support the rear of the vehicle. See our Pelican Parts technical article on Jacking Up your BMW.

Working in the vehicle interior, pull up and remove the parking brake lever boot.
Figure 1

Working in the vehicle interior, pull up and remove the parking brake lever boot.

Next, loosen the parking brake cable nuts until the cable has slack (green arrows).
Figure 2

Next, loosen the parking brake cable nuts until the cable has slack (green arrows).

Rotate the rear wheel until you can see parking brake adjuster when looking through hole of the removed wheel stud (green arrow).
Figure 3

Rotate the rear wheel until you can see parking brake adjuster when looking through hole of the removed wheel stud (green arrow).

Using a flathead screwdriver, rotate the adjuster to expand the parking brake shoes until the wheel cannot be turned, then back adjust off ten notches.
Figure 4

Using a flathead screwdriver, rotate the adjuster to expand the parking brake shoes until the wheel cannot be turned, then back adjust off ten notches. For the driver's side wheel, lever the adjuster towards the rear of the vehicle. For the passenger side wheel, lever the adjuster towards the front of the vehicle.

Working in vehicle interior, pull the parking brake lever multiple times. Then release the lever and pull it back up two notches. Tighten the parking brake cable nuts until the rear wheels can be turned with a slight resistance. Release the lever and confirm wheels rotate freely. Release the lever, then it pull up 3 notches, check that rear wheels will do not rotate and parking brake warning light is ON. When done, install the parking brake lever boot and the rear wheels studs.
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Comments and Suggestions:
david Comments: this worked pretty good for me, especially once i went to a shorter screwdriver and a one diode flashlight so i could get closer and see that little gear with my reading glasses. just ended up pulling both back wheels to have less stuff in the way. thanks for posting!
May 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:20:07 AM