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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:40 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Fox Valley Wisconsin
Posts: 192
My Ride: 2000 BMW 328ci
Parking brake refresh. Parts list?

Looking to refresh my parking brake as it does not hold under even slight inclines.

The right side seems to be trying hardest and you can hear it creak and squeal when losing grip, the left side... just doesnt seem to do anything.

I had adjusted the cable and adjusting screw on both sides and it felt good for a few months, still wasnt super grippy though.

After a while it seemed to loosen up and start sliding.

Brake shoes are on the list, but are there any other components that I should look for? ECS has full kits but they're $70 more than just the shoes.

Cable's are fine, there's tension from both sides. Will be double checking anyways.

Not sure what would cause such rapid degradation of the taught-ness.

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Old 08-26-2013, 01:54 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 3,466
My Ride: 6spd ZHP/5sp XI
Parking brake refresh. Parts list?

If you just adjusted the cables you only did half the job. You also now run the risk of putting too much tension on the cables and breaking them. You also need to adjust the shoes themselves. I could park my car and my wife's on the ceiling and it would not move. Only requires 4 clicks and that puppy is fully locked up.


I followed this DIY on my wife's car along with mine. Only difference is that her pads needed to be replaced and mine still had a lot of life in that. I would pull the rotor off one side and see how it looks before just blindly buying new pads. Overall following the linked DIY should take 30 minutes if you don't have to replace the shoes.

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Old 08-26-2013, 06:03 PM   #3
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Location: New England //M Posts: 56,959
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My Ride: 2000 328Ci 5sp SP
Make sure you get new retaining springs and retaining pins along with the brake shoes. You might also want to get new self adjusters as well depending on their condition.

If your car was driven in the winter you will probably find a rusty mess inside. It is corrosion that caused mine to deteriorate.

Last edited by IxNay; 08-26-2013 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:44 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Lancaster PA
Posts: 337
My Ride: 04 330ci
The clips that move the shoes rust if it has been driven in salt states. Mine were rusted solid. Parking brakes did not work at all when I got the car. I thought it was the cables, but, it was the clips instead. I replaced everything shoes, all hardware and the clips (can not remember their specific name) Was nice to have functioning brakes after doing that job. It was a PITA.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:14 PM   #5
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Location: Walnut Creek, CA
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My Ride: 325Ci, 325Cic, C300
As has been pointed out you have to do the complete job. Properly adjusted, the E46 parking brake will hold the car even on insane San Francisco inclines.

Try a proper adjustment first before ordering any parts. In a nutshell:

- Loosen cables for slack
- Adjust cog at each rear wheel so it's just about to touch and starts binding with the inner rotor hat. To see what the cogs look like and which way to turn it's available on Google.
- (re) tighten the cables so it goes to full lock between 4-7 clicks.

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Old 09-27-2013, 06:26 PM   #6
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Location: NB
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I just did mine, the lining was completely gone off of the shoes.
With new shoes, springs and adjusters, it's like new again.
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