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Brake Caliper and Hose Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Brake Caliper and Hose Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$250

Talent:

****

Tools:

16mm and 18mm socket wrench, flathead screwdriver, 11mm and 13mm line wrenches, 7mm Allen wrench, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, lug wrench, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Brake caliper, brake fluid

Hot Tip:

Bleed entire brake system

Performance Gain:

Great brake feel

Complementary Modification:

Replace brake pads and hoses at same time

BMW E60 service brakes consist of hydraulic brake calipers, one at each wheel. When the brake pedal is pressed, brake fluid is forced out of the brake master cylinder and through the brake lines to each brake caliper. Pistons in the calipers push out and clamp brake pads against the brake rotors (or discs), thus slowing down the vehicle. As it ages, the brake caliper can leak fluid from the piston seal and may also become corroded or restricted, resulting in poor brake performance.

If a brake caliper is not performing at 100%, you may notice a slight pull to one side when braking. You can service each brake caliper individually or both at the same time. Corrosion from road salt and grime may affect moving parts of the caliper other than the hydraulic piston. Sometimes you can clean the sliding mechanical parts of the caliper, including the 7mm Allen sliding bolts (see replacement procedure below), and this results in the caliper operating smoothly again. But if this does not work, I recommend replacing the calipers in pairs to maintain an even brake feel. If one caliper is failing, the other will not be far behind.

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're 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.

Lift and support the axle of the vehicle you are replacing the brake calipers on. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Remove the wheels on the axle you are replacing the brake calipers on.

There are two ways to reduce the amount of brake fluid loss when replacing your brake caliper. One way is to clamp the hose with a hose clamp tool to prevent fluid from leaking. This method could lead to a damaged hose if done incorrectly.

I prefer to use the second method.
Figure 1

I prefer to use the second method. Depress the brake pedal half way and hold it in place with a stick or brake pedal depressing tool. This will keep fluid in the master cylinder from leaking.

Using a flathead screwdriver, remove the brake caliper anti-rattle spring (green arrow) by prying it out while securing with your hand.
Figure 2

Using a flathead screwdriver, remove the brake caliper anti-rattle spring (green arrow) by prying it out while securing with your hand. The spring can pop off and go flying. Be sure to hold it steady.

Open the brake caliper bleeder cover (green arrow) and remove the pad wear sensor (yellow arrow) wire from the mount.
Figure 3

Open the brake caliper bleeder cover (green arrow) and remove the pad wear sensor (yellow arrow) wire from the mount.

Pull the brake pad wear sensor out of the left side brake pad.
Figure 4

Pull the brake pad wear sensor out of the left side brake pad. Be very careful, as the sensor tends to break when removed. I like to use a pair of needle nose pliers to pull the sensor out.

Using a flathead screwdriver, slowly press the brake caliper piston in.
Figure 5

Using a flathead screwdriver, slowly press the brake caliper piston in. This allows the brake caliper to be pulled off the 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 at the brake caliper using a 13mm line wrench, loosen the brake hose (green arrow).
Figure 6

Working at the brake caliper using a 13mm line wrench, loosen the brake hose (green arrow). Do not remove it. You will unscrew the hose from the caliper later. You can use a regular 13mm open-end wrench. However, you risk damaging the hex on the brake line.

Remove the rubber plugs from the brake caliper mounting fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 7

Remove the rubber plugs from the brake caliper mounting fasteners (green arrows).

Next, using a 7mm Allen bit, remove the brake caliper mounting fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 8

Next, using a 7mm Allen bit, remove the brake caliper mounting fasteners (green arrows).

Remove the brake caliper from the mounting bracket and unscrew the brake hose from the caliper.
Figure 9

Remove the brake caliper from the mounting bracket and unscrew the brake hose from the caliper. The caliper counting bracket is bolted to the steering knuckle or wheel-bearing carrier using 18mm (front) or 16mm (rear) bolts (wrench sizes).

If you want to replace the brake hose, loosen the 11mm brake line nut using a line wrench.
Figure 10

If you want to replace the brake hose, loosen the 11mm brake line nut using a line wrench. Then unscrew the metal brake line from the hose. Then remove the hose from the mounting bracket in the direction of the yellow arrow and install a new one in place of it. Screw the new caliper into the brake hose and then install the caliper in the mounting bracket. Tighten the caliper mounting fasteners and install the fastener rubber plugs and anti-rattle clip. Then tighten the caliper brake hose. Clip the brake pad wear sensor-wiring harness back onto the brake hose, if equipped. Bleed the brakes. See our tech article on bleeding brakes.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:41:00 AM