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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 02-14-2010, 12:16 AM   #1
arb76
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Handbrake!!

My handbrake has never been much good, slack up until the 5th/6th click & requiring it to be on the 11th/12th click (max) before it held the car on the gentlist of slopes.
I decided to have a go at fixing it myself, bought the Haynes manual, followed the handbrake adjustment procedure, however, it's still rubbish!

Unlike before, the handbrake now has tension on the 2nd click & becomes high tension on the 7th/8th click, as the book says it should do, but the brake still doesn't hold the car, even if I yank it up to the 11th click!

It is a tiny bit better than before, but still not doing the job it's meant to.
Can anyone suggest what the problem is?

Ps - holds slightly better when facing down hill, crap up hill

Last edited by arb76; 02-14-2010 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:28 AM   #2
lafabritto325ci
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sooot.. mine i have to park it in gear on the slightest hill..... so +1 to hear a fix
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:22 PM   #3
bAby norAA
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im with you on this one. could u post up the procedure for the tightening you did?
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:13 PM   #4
arb76
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1. Chock front wheels, jack up the rear, support with axle stands, remove rear wheels.
2. With handbrake fully released, undo the cable locknuts until tension is released. (gain access to these by removing the lever gaiter from the centre console - pull it up from the back)
3. Position the wheel/disc so that one of the bolt holes is at the top, & using a torch, shine it into the next hole back. You should be able to see an adjuster knurled ring, if not, reposition the wheel/disc slightly until you can.
4. Using a flat blade screwdriver, insert it into the bolt hole so that it catches & fully expand the handbrake shoes by rotating the adjuster knurled ring.
5. When the wheel/disc can no longer be turned, back the knurled ring off by 10 teeth (catches) so that the wheel/disc is free to rotate easily.
6. Do the other wheel.
7. With handbrake on 6th click, retighten the nuts equally until it is difficult to turn both rear wheels.
8. Release handbrake & make sure both wheels rotate freely.
9. The handbrake shoes should start to contact on the 2nd click. Handbrake should be fully on at the 7th/8th click.
10. Put back together & test. (on a slope - safely!)

As this didn't work for me, I'm going to remove the handbrake shoes & bits. Hopefully this week, I'll keep you posted.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:28 PM   #5
bAby norAA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arb76 View Post
1. Chock front wheels, jack up the rear, support with axle stands, remove rear wheels.
2. With handbrake fully released, undo the cable locknuts until tension is released. (gain access to these by removing the lever gaiter from the centre console - pull it up from the back)
3. Position the wheel/disc so that one of the bolt holes is at the top, & using a torch, shine it into the next hole back. You should be able to see an adjuster knurled ring, if not, reposition the wheel/disc slightly until you can.
4. Using a flat blade screwdriver, insert it into the bolt hole so that it catches & fully expand the handbrake shoes by rotating the adjuster knurled ring.
5. When the wheel/disc can no longer be turned, back the knurled ring off by 10 teeth (catches) so that the wheel/disc is free to rotate easily.
6. Do the other wheel.
7. With handbrake on 6th click, retighten the nuts equally until it is difficult to turn both rear wheels.
8. Release handbrake & make sure both wheels rotate freely.
9. The handbrake shoes should start to contact on the 2nd click. Handbrake should be fully on at the 7th/8th click.
10. Put back together & test. (on a slope - safely!)

As this didn't work for me, I'm going to remove the handbrake shoes & bits. Hopefully this week, I'll keep you posted.
Thank you very much! That was very useful. Do you think you could take step 7 and tighten the nuts back down on a lower click? ie click 2 or 3?
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:10 AM   #6
arb76
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I don't see why not, as long as the wheels turn freely when the handbrake is fully released. My wife's car (Peugeot) is on full brake on the 3rd/4th click, but it might be designed to be so. I'm just going by what the BMW book says.

However, in my case at least, I reckon there's something else wrong, as the tension is sufficient on the 7th/8th click, & holds on a moderate incline, yet doesn't on a decent incline; even when on the 11th click, which pretty much takes all my strength!

A handbrake should hold whatever the incline.
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:20 AM   #7
CroVlado
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since u already did the tightening of the brakes themselves all u have to do is tighten the screws on the handbrake some more adjust it to what u like dont have to go by the book.. i had the same problem and now its fixed.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:13 AM   #8
arb76
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You look the trustworthy sort, i shall try tensioning at lower clicks ...& post back.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:16 AM   #9
BMWstudent
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I need to try this. buying ~150 in parts to do the ebrake is not my idea of fun... hopefully this works for now.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:25 AM   #10
bAby norAA
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Incase anyone needs pics, they can be found here...
http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/tech...Adjustment.htm
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:01 AM   #11
arb76
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Well done that man. I was going to post pictures scanned from my manual, but these are much better.
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