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BMW E39 Parking Brake Shoes Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Parking Brake Shoes Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$

Talent:

***

Tools:

5mm Allen bits, 16mm socket/wrench. flatblade screwdriver, diagonal cutters

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan/Wagon (2001-03)
BMW 528i Sedan/Wagon (1997-00)
BMW 530i Sedan (2001-03)
BMW 540i Sedan/Wagon (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Caliper, rotor, parking brake shoes and hardware, brake cleaner, brake grease

Hot Tip:

Do one side at a time so you have an assembled side for reference

Performance Gain:

The parking brake will hold the vehicle from rolling

Complementary Modification:

Replace brake pads and rotors.

Your parking brake is a safety device that holds your car still while it is parked on a hill. Without your parking brake your parking pawl inside your transmission must hold the rolling weight of your car. This load increases if you are parked on a hill. The BMW parking brake system uses a lever that pulls on a cable that expands drum type brake shoes within the inner drum of the brake rotor. These shoes can wear out over time especially if the parking brake was left on while the car was being driven. The parking brake lever has a switch on it to indicate to the driver if the parking brake is still applied. If the parking brake shoes or cables were over-tightened during an adjustment excessive heat can accelerate wear and possibly cause failure. This will sound like a brake rubbing/grinding noise. Often rear brake pads are replaced even though the parking brake is causing the grinding. In this tech article we will go over all the necessary steps to replace your parking brake shoes.

In order to replace your parking brake shoes you will need to jack up and support the rear axle of your vehicle. See our tech article on jacking up and supporting your vehicle. You will also have to remove the rear wheels, brake calipers and brake rotors. See our tech articles on brake caliper and brake rotor removal for further instructions.

While the car is still on the ground crack the lug nuts loose on the rear wheels before lifting the vehicle. Then lift and support your rear axle with jack stands.

Make sure the parking brake lever is all the way in the released position.
Figure 1

Make sure the parking brake lever is all the way in the released position. This means your car may roll when you jack up and support the rear of your vehicle. It is very important to use wheel chocks on each side of the front wheels to prevent the car from rolling in either direction.

This photo illustrates the driver side rear caliper that faces the inside of the car.
Figure 2

This photo illustrates the driver side rear caliper that faces the inside of the car. Remove the two caps (green arrows) and the two 7mm Allen head caliper pins under the caps to remove the caliper. See our tech article on removing the brake pads for further instructions on moving the caliper out of the way.

Remove the two 16mm fasteners (green arrows) that mount the caliper brake to the rear spindle.
Figure 3

Remove the two 16mm fasteners (green arrows) that mount the caliper brake to the rear spindle.

Remove the 5mm Allen head fastener that secures the brake rotor to the hub flange.
Figure 4

Remove the 5mm Allen head fastener that secures the brake rotor to the hub flange.

You can use a rubber mallet to tap the brake rotor off.
Figure 5

You can use a rubber mallet to tap the brake rotor off. If the brake rotor does not come off you may have to loosen the parking brake adjustment. See our tech article on parking brake adjustment and follow the steps to loosen the parking brake

With a 5mm Allen head twist the parking brake shoe hold down spring 90° in either direction.
Figure 6

With a 5mm Allen head twist the parking brake shoe hold down spring 90° in either direction. This will line up a flat tab at the back of the hold down spring and a flat slot in the backing plate.

Once loose from the backing plate pull the hold down spring out of the brake shoe.
Figure 7

Once loose from the backing plate pull the hold down spring out of the brake shoe. Due to rust and corrosion we strongly recommend you replace these hold down springs and all hardware with the parking brake shoes. If these springs break the shoes will constantly rub against the inner rotor drum and eventually cause a grinding noise.

Do the same thing on the other brake shoe.
Figure 8

Do the same thing on the other brake shoe. Twist the hold down spring 90 degrees and remove the hold down spring from the parking brake shoe. Make a mental note of where the upper brake shoe mount (red arrows) fit into the expanding bracket (green arrow) so you know where to place them during installation.

Ideally use a dull pair of cutting pliers to grab the parking brake shoe return spring and unhook it from the hole in the parking brake shoe.
Figure 9

Ideally use a dull pair of cutting pliers to grab the parking brake shoe return spring and unhook it from the hole in the parking brake shoe. I recommend you only do the upper spring for the moment.

Spread apart the upper part of the parking brake shoes until they are wide enough to get around the axle flange.
Figure 10

Spread apart the upper part of the parking brake shoes until they are wide enough to get around the axle flange. The shoe assembly will still be held together by the lower spring and adjusting unit.

Lay the assembly on a flat surface.
Figure 11

Lay the assembly on a flat surface. Remove the two springs (green arrows) and thread in the adjusting screw (blue arrow) until it if fully retracted. Clean the adjuster with brake cleaner if brake dust makes it hard to spin the adjuster. You can set up the new shoes like this out of the car to prepare for installation. We strongly recommend you replace the return springs because if they break they will allow the shoes to rub against the inner rotor and eventually cause a grinding noise. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Wrap your new brake shoe and spring assembly around the hub flange. You can both attach the upper return spring to the shoe and then insert the hold down springs or you can attach the hold down springs first and attach the upper return spring using a small screwdriver to lever it into the brake shoe hole. Fit the brake rotor, caliper and the wheel tightening down all mounting hardware except leave one lug nut off of the wheel and rotate to the 6 oÂ'clock position. Use this hole to adjust the parking brake. See our tech article on parking brake adjustment.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:04:59 AM