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Parking Brake Shoe Backing Plate Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Parking Brake Shoe Backing Plate Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2.5 hours

Tab:

$100

Talent:

***

Tools:

5mm, 6mm Allen bits, 16mm socket. 10mm & 16mm wrench. Flat-head screwdriver, diagonal cutters, tin snips

Applicable Models:

BMW E46 3-Series (1999-06)

Parts Required:

Parking brake shoes and hardware, brake cleaner, brake grease, backing plate

Hot Tip:

Inspect backing plate for rust when replacing brake shoes

Performance Gain:

Parking brake problem repaired

Complementary Modification:

Flush brake fluid. Replace brake rotors and pads

The parking brake is a drum system that is integrated into the rear brakes. The rear rotor hub flange acts as the drum and the brake shoes are mounted to the backing plate. A pair of cables attached to the parking brake handle activate the parking brake shoes. Parking brake shoes can fail. The linings can fall off and create a grinding noise. The hole where the retaining clips mount can also rust and fail. When this happens, the retaining clips pull through and the parking brake shoes can come in contact with the brake rotor when driving. You will hear a grinding noise when driving. If this happens, you will need to replace the backing plate, brake shoes, hardware and rotor.

In this article I will go over how to replace the parking brake shoe backing plate. There are two ways to replace the backing plate. The factory-based procedure requires removing the rear wheel hub and bearing. However, this can be difficult if you do not have the proper tools. The second method is to cut a notch in the backing plate and slide it over the axle. This will be the method covered in this tech article. Using this method can allow more water than usual to splash into the parking brake; use this method at your own risk.

Keep in mind 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. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. 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.

Loosen the wheels studs while the vehicle is on the ground. Do not remove them yet. Lift and support the rear of the vehicle. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Start by removing the rear wheels.

Using a flat-head screwdriver, slowly press brake caliper piston in.
Figure 1

Using a flat-head screwdriver, slowly press brake caliper piston in. This allows brake caliper to be pulled off brake rotor easily. I like to pry between the outer brake pad and brake rotor. This way there is less chance of damaging the caliper piston.

Working behind brake caliper, remove two16mm brake caliper bracket mounting bolts (green arrows).
Figure 2

Working behind brake caliper, remove two16mm brake caliper bracket mounting bolts (green arrows). Remove brake caliper with bracket from wheel carrier and hang using a piece of metal coat hanger. Do not allow caliper to hang from brake hose.

Next, using a 6mm Allen bit, remove brake rotor mounting fastener.
Figure 3

Next, using a 6mm Allen bit, remove brake rotor mounting fastener. Then remove brake rotor from hub (green arrow).

Next, unhook lower return spring from parking brake shoes (green arrow).
Figure 4

Next, unhook lower return spring from parking brake shoes (green arrow). I like to use an old pair of diagonal cutters with worn out cutting jaws. Grab the spring, pull it down and unhook from brake shoe.

Using a long 5mm Allen bit, remove parking brake shoe retaining clips by rotating 90° and pulling away from brake shoes.
Figure 5

Using a long 5mm Allen bit, remove parking brake shoe retaining clips by rotating 90° and pulling away from brake shoes. Each shoe has one clip (green arrow).

Remove parking brake shoes from vehicle and lay aside.
Figure 6

Remove parking brake shoes from vehicle and lay aside.

Remove two 10mm backing plate fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 7

Remove two 10mm backing plate fasteners (green arrows). You will have to use an open end wrench here and there is not enough clearance for a ratchet.

Then pull parking brake shoe lever (green arrow) straight out of parking brake cable and remove.
Figure 8

Then pull parking brake shoe lever (green arrow) straight out of parking brake cable and remove.

Next, remove two 16mm backing plate fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 9

Next, remove two 16mm backing plate fasteners (green arrows). You will have to use an open end wrench here and there is not enough clearance for a ratchet.

Pull backing plate away from axle toward hub flange.
Figure 10

Pull backing plate away from axle toward hub flange.

Then, cut backing plate using tin snips in areas marked by green arrows.
Figure 11

Then, cut backing plate using tin snips in areas marked by green arrows. You will be cutting a slot out large enough to fit out over axle. Once you cut backing plate, remove by sliding over axle.

Cut new backing plate in areas marked by green arrows.
Figure 12

Cut new backing plate in areas marked by green arrows. You will need to cut straight; measure the width of the old backing plate slot you just cut--Â--this way you do not over do it. Slide new backing plate over axle and install fasteners.

Install parking brake shoe lever.
Figure 13

Install parking brake shoe lever. Slide hook (purple arrow) over brake cable end (green arrow) and confirm lever is properly hooked on cable end.

Inspect shoe adjuster, check that it moves freely and is not damaged.
Figure 14

Inspect shoe adjuster, check that it moves freely and is not damaged.

Then lightly grease brake shoe to backing plate contact points (green arrows).
Figure 15

Then lightly grease brake shoe to backing plate contact points (green arrows). Install new brake shoes in reverse order of removal. Install brake rotor and brake caliper. Adjust parking brake once wheels are installed and tightened. See our tech article on parking brake adjusting.

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Comments and Suggestions:
skunk Comments: great describtion of how to change rear dust plates,does part cut out need to be put back in,i know this sounds stupid but i am going to change for motd. thaks
November 30, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If using the cutting method, it does not go back in. You leave the trimmed piece out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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