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Parking Brake Shoes Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Parking Brake Shoes Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

***

Tools:

5mm, 6mm Allen bits, 16mm socket. flathead screwdriver, diagonal cutters

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:

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:

Proper parking brake function

Complementary Modification:

Flush brake fluid, replace brake rotors and pads

BMW E60 models are equipped with a mechanical parking brake. This parking brake is used to hold the vehicle stationary when not in use. The parking brake is operated via a handle in the vehicle cabin, actuating cables that engage the parking brake shoes. It is a shoe and drum style brake.

The system is compact and integrated into the rear brake rotor system. The rear rotor hub flange acts as the drum and the brake shoes are mounted to the backing plate. You can adjust your parking brake with the wheels raised off the ground. You do not have to remove the wheels. A quick check of the parking brake is to pull up the parking brake lever and listen to the number of clicks it makes until stopping. If your parking brake lever makes 10 clicks or more, it needs to be adjusted. Keep in mind that the parking brake is not strong enough to brake the vehicle when driven or when being moved by the engine.

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. If this happens, you will need to replace the backing plate, brake shoes, hardware and rotor.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts 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.

Loosen the wheels studs while the vehicle is on the ground, but do not remove them. Lift and support the rear of the vehicle. See our tech article on jacking your vehicle. Remove the rear wheels.

Working in the vehicle interior, lever the top of the parking brake lever boot out using a plastic prying tool.
Figure 1

Working in the vehicle interior, lever the top of the parking brake lever boot out using a plastic prying tool. Then pull the parking brake lever boot out to detach it from the center console. Pull it up and over the handle.

Check that the parking brake lever is in the released position.
Figure 2

Check that the parking brake lever is in the released position. Then release the cable tension by engaging the service lock. Press the spring (green arrow) with a flathead screwdriver until the hook locks (yellow arrow) the spring in a compressed position. If the parking brake lever is not fully released, you will not be able to engage the service lock.

Using a flathead screwdriver, slowly press the brake caliper piston in.
Figure 3

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 the brake rotor. This way there is less chance of damaging the caliper piston.

Working behind the brake caliper, remove the two 16mm brake caliper bracket mounting bolts (green arrows).
Figure 4

Working behind the brake caliper, remove the two 16mm brake caliper bracket mounting bolts (green arrows).

Remove the brake caliper with the bracket from the wheel carrier and hang it using a piece of metal coat hanger or a strong bungee cord (green arrow).
Figure 5

Remove the brake caliper with the bracket from the wheel carrier and hang it using a piece of metal coat hanger or a strong bungee cord (green arrow). Do not allow the caliper to hang from the brake hose.

Next, using a 6mm Allen bit, remove the brake rotor-mounting fastener (green arrow).
Figure 6

Next, using a 6mm Allen bit, remove the brake rotor-mounting fastener (green arrow). Then remove the brake rotor from the hub. If the rotor is stuck, use a soft-faced hammer to release it.

Next, unhook the lower return spring from the parking brake shoes (green arrow).
Figure 7

Next, unhook the lower return spring from the parking brake shoes (green arrow). I like to use an old pair of diagonal cutters with worn out cutting jaws. Grab the spring and then lever the pliers against the wheel hub flange to remove the spring (green arrow) from the brake shoe. Once it is removed from one side, remove the spring from the opposite side.

Using a long 5mm Allen bit, remove the parking brake shoe retaining clips by rotating it 90° and pulling it away from the brake shoes.
Figure 8

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

Remove the parking brake shoes from the vehicle.
Figure 9

Remove the parking brake shoes from the vehicle. I like to fold the rear shoe in the direction of the green arrow until it is free of the lever at the top (green arrow).

Then remove both parking brake shoes together with the spring (green arrow).
Figure 10

Then remove both parking brake shoes together with the spring (green arrow).

Inspect the shoe adjuster.
Figure 11

Inspect the shoe adjuster. Check that it moves freely and is not damaged.

Clean the backing plate and lightly grease the brake shoe to backing plate contact points (green arrows).
Figure 12

Clean the backing plate and lightly grease the brake shoe to backing plate contact points (green arrows). This photo shows the rear contact points. Apply grease to the area for the rear parking brake shoe also. Install the new parking brake shoes in the reverse order of removal. Install the brake rotor and brake caliper. Adjust the parking brake once the wheels are installed and tightened. See our tech article on parking brake adjusting.

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Comments and Suggestions:
AL Comments: Once again this is a highly professional step by step guide on how to effectively carry out this task which I must say in my opinion is clearly a weak point on this model of BMW.
Nevertheless I am most impressed at the very precise detailed guide which again makes the job quite straight forward. Many thanks

AL
October 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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