Join Date: May 2009
My Ride: E46
How To.. Replace OSR Brake Pipe - E46 M54 2001
E46 2001 320ci M54 auto coupe' UK right hand drive
1/With the vehicle on hard level ground and chocks under the front wheels to prevent movement, raise the rear of the car up and use suitable stands to make the car safe. (Ideally, the rear suspension arms should be fully extended, this will allow the removal of the brake pipe through/between the off-side rear suspension coil spring later).
2/Remove both rear wheels and familiarise yourself with the pictures included specifically, the joints both ends of the pipe to replace (A1, A6) and the two brake/petrol pipe brackets (A2, A3).
3/If necessary, spray both brake pipe ends (A1, A6) and the two brake/petrol pipe brackets (A2, A3) with a suitable rust penetrating.
4/Working from the near-side (the connector to the brake pipe which runs the car length) using the appropriate open ended 16mm spanner and brake pipe spanner, "loosen" the brake joint (A6) (if the joint is stiff, try both clockwise and anti-clockwise to free off the thread). >Do not undo it at this stage<
5/Working from the off-side rear wheel arch, using the appropriate brake pipe spanner, "loosen" the brake joint (A1) to flex pipe connection (if the joint is stiff again, try both clockwise and anti-clockwise to free off the thread). >Do not undo it at this stage<
6/ Still working from the off-side of the car, "loosen" the two flexi hose fastening clips (A2, A3) which connect the filler cap side of the petrol pipe to the main petrol tank situated just behind the coil spring. (Later, this saves un-necessary bending the old brake pipe during removal and simplifies installation of the new brake pipe).
7/Working from under the car, locate and remove the two brake/petrol pipe brackets (A4, A5), they use a hard plastic 5mm Allen bolt which screw on to a threaded bolt welded to the car (my Allen bolt heads stripped so I used a long flat ended screw driver to knock the Allen bolt heads off. Later when the pipes are removed, you will be able to remove the remaining plastic thread and use with a suitable replacement, part number 16127195327).
8/Safe with the knowledge that you can undo all the necessary bolts, brackets and hose clips (two ends of the brake pipe A1, A6, two fastening clips A2, A3 on the petrol tank flexi pipe and two brake/petrol pipe retaining brackets A4, A5) - Starting from the nearside rear wheel arch, undo and separate the brake pipe joint (A6) which connect the rear cross over brake pipe with the brake pipe which travels the length of the car.
9/Working under the car, undo and remove the two brake/petrol brackets (A2, A3) positioned above the half shafts.
10/Working from the off-side rear wheel arch, undo and separate the cross over brake pipe (A1) which connects with the off-side rear brake flexi hose.
11/Still working from the off-side rear wheel arch, slacken and slide away the two flexi hose fastening clips (A2, A3) and remove the large rubber petrol pipe connecting hose situated just behind the coil spring (I suggest a push and pull method to move it off one connecting pipe and then off the other).
12/Using electrical tape or similar, tape up the end of the nearside brake pipe (A6) which you are about to remove (If it has to go back on you don't want dirt in it).
13/Working from the off-side wheel arch of the car, carefully twist n' slide out the brake pipe towards you (it will exit through/between the coil spring) it should come out without any bending - If it jams don't force it, have a look under the car to see what it's catching on (any additional bending of the old brake pipe will alter the copy pattern you will need when forming/bending the new brake pipe The BMW correct dealership part B126.96.36.1996.825 cost six UK pounds Aug2011 and comes as a straight length however, it does come flared and with the appropriate nuts so it just needs careful shaping).
14/Making sure the new brake pipe threads are at each end of the new pipe (A1, A6) (I taped mine in place) bend the new brake pipe to the came lengths and angles to mirror the old pipe. I used a small diameter round socket clamped to a bench, and my fingers to bend mine - A word of warning, "slowly, slowly catchy monkey" - Take your time doing this and double check your lengths and angles as you go.
15/With your finished article and the ends taped A1, A6 to prevent dirt etc., follow the reverse process above to install the new brake pipe.
16/With all the bolts, brackets and hose clips - two ends of the brake pipe A1, A6, two brake/petrol pipe retaining brackets A4, A5 and two fastening clips A2, A3 on the petrol tank flexi pipe tightened back up correctly, Bleed the off-side rear brake calliper (be sure the brake reservoir is topped up as you go).
17/With the rear wheels back on the vehicle, make a final check of everything you have done (I can't over-stress the importance in doing this), lower the vehicle and remove the front wheel chocks.
18/Test, check and refill as necessary.
>>Please note, this is for general guidance only. I will not be held responsible<<