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BMW E39 Brake Master Cylinder Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Brake Master Cylinder Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$100

Talent:

***

Tools:

13mm Socket, 12mm, 11mm flare nut wrench, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW E39 5-Series (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Brake master cylinder, brake booster

Hot Tip:

Bleed entire brake system

Performance Gain:

Great brake feel, eliminate spongy pedal

Complementary Modification:

Replace brake booster

When you step on your brake pedal you are compressing a piston in your brake master cylinder. This cylinder is full of brake fluid. The brake fluid that is now under pressure passes through your brake lines to your caliper. It's the calipers job to squeeze down on the brake pads against the rotor to slow down your car. Over time seals get worn in the master cylinder and can leak. The brake master cylinder must get removed with the brake booster. There is not enough room to remove only the master cylinder. In this tech article we are going to show you how to do this.

Remove the lower cabin micro-filter housing on the driver side. See our tech article on removing engine covers.

This photo illustrates the brake master cylinder reservoir on the driver side of the engine compartment by the firewall.
Figure 1

This photo illustrates the brake master cylinder reservoir on the driver side of the engine compartment by the firewall. Unplug the brake fluid level warning switch by squeezing the locking tab on it and pulling the connector away from the reservoir. Open the cap and drain as much fluid from the reservoir as you can. Brake fluid is toxic to your paint so use caution.

With a 11mm flare nut wrench loosen the side brake line by turning it counter clockwise.
Figure 2

With a 11mm flare nut wrench loosen the side brake line by turning it counter clockwise. Whatever brake fluid that is left in the reservoir is going to drain out, so be prepared to catch it and dispose of it according to your local regulations.

With a 12mm flare nut wrench remove the brake line pointing upwards at the front of the master cylinder by spinning it counter clockwise.
Figure 3

With a 12mm flare nut wrench remove the brake line pointing upwards at the front of the master cylinder by spinning it counter clockwise. Remove the lower dashboard trim panel. See our tech article on removing the lower dashboard panel.

This photo illustrates the driver side of the dash looking at the brake pedal lever.
Figure 4

This photo illustrates the driver side of the dash looking at the brake pedal lever. Use a flat head screwdriver to unlock the clip (green arrow) that secures the brake pedal to the brake booster and then slide the clip in the direction of the blue arrow. Notice the spring in the background (red arrow).

Unclip either side of the spring (red arrow) that was hidden behind the brake switch in the previousPicture.
Figure 5

Unclip either side of the spring (red arrow) that was hidden behind the brake switch in the previous picture. The spring attaches to the brake pedal and the pin that secures the brake pedal to the brake booster.

Pull the pin (red arrow) out slightly and rotate it forward until it spins around this position.
Figure 6

Pull the pin (red arrow) out slightly and rotate it forward until it spins around this position.

Now you can move the pin in the direction of the blue arrow to totally remove the pin from pedal.
Figure 7

Now you can move the pin in the direction of the blue arrow to totally remove the pin from pedal.

We are still working on the driver side underneath the dash by the brake pedal.
Figure 8

We are still working on the driver side underneath the dash by the brake pedal. Against the firewall remove the four 13mm fasteners (green arrows) that mount the brake booster to the firewall.

We are back at the master cylinder under the hood by the firewall on the driver side.
Figure 9

We are back at the master cylinder under the hood by the firewall on the driver side. Grab the flexible brake booster vacuum hose check valve (green arrow) and pull it out of the booster in the direction of the blue arrow. You do not have to remove the brake fluid reservoir to perform this step. We removed it for photographic purposes.

Remove the 10mm mounting fastener (green arrow) that holds on the brake booster cover.
Figure 10

Remove the 10mm mounting fastener (green arrow) that holds on the brake booster cover.

Pull out the brake booster cover to give you more room to lift up the brake booster.
Figure 11

Pull out the brake booster cover to give you more room to lift up the brake booster.

Grab the very front of the brake master cylinder and lift straight up.
Figure 12

Grab the very front of the brake master cylinder and lift straight up. The master cylinder/brake booster assembly will tilt upwards. You can then continue to remove the whole assembly or leave it in the cavity and unbolt the master cylinder itself.

Here we are with a close up view of where the master cylinder goes into the brake booster.
Figure 13

Here we are with a close up view of where the master cylinder goes into the brake booster. Remove the two 13mm fasteners (green arrows) that hold the master cylinder to the booster. Here the bolts have already been removed. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Angle the booster in, mount it and attach the brake pedal pin, clip and spring. Thread the two brake lines on the master cylinder all the way in their respective holes. Follow the tech article for bleeding the brake system to bleed the air out of the system you just opened.

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:05:44 AM