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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 10-13-2006, 10:45 AM   #1
Timbo126
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Parking Brake DIY

Does anyone know of a DIY to tighten up the parking break. I have done a search for it but cant find anything on tightening up the parking break.

Last edited by Solidjake; 06-23-2012 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 10-13-2006, 10:50 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Timbo126 View Post
Does anyone know of a DIY to tighten up the parking break. I have done a search for it but cant find anything on tightening up the parking break.
The easiest way is to adjust it from the cabin. Pull up your leather/pleather boot, and use a 10mm deep socket to tighten the two nuts there. Be sure to tighten them evenly, one goes to right rear and the other the left rear.

The harder way is to jack up back of car, remove one wheel bolt, and stick a screwdriver into hold to turn adjuster. Here are the steps involved:

1) pull ebrake boot and loosen both bolts all the way
2) jack up rear wheel (or whole rear of car to do both wheels)
3) remove wheel bolt
4) turn wheel so removed bolt is 65 degrees off centerline (towards back of car)
5) turn adjuster all the way until you can't move wheel
6) back adjuster off 10 clicks
7) reintall wheel bolt
8) pull ebrake two clicks
9) tighten nuts until the wheels barely turn, with some resistance
10) reinstall ebrake boot

Here's a picture with the wheel and rotor removed:

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Old 10-13-2006, 12:55 PM   #3
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this is great. i need to tighten it up too.
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Old 10-13-2006, 03:48 PM   #4
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If you are not the first owner, make sure your parking brake shoes aren't worn off. Gently pull up on the ebrake while driving slowly (DO NOT RELEASE THE LATCH BUTTON) If it squeals and scratches like metal on metal, probably time for new shoes, and or resurfacing the rotor drums.

The console way is easier, but jack up the car and put it in neutral to make sure that they both stop rotating at the same click.
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Old 10-14-2006, 09:15 AM   #5
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mine used to go up until it hit the underportion of the arm rest!! i lowered it to about 6-7 clicks. thanks for the write up on this.
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:42 PM   #6
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Who is working on your these are supposed to be adjusted at every inspection service?
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Old 10-16-2006, 05:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by chrisct View Post
The easiest way is to adjust it from the cabin. Pull up your leather/pleather boot, and use a 10mm deep socket to tighten the two nuts there. Be sure to tighten them evenly, one goes to right rear and the other the left rear.

The harder way is to jack up back of car, remove one wheel bolt, and stick a screwdriver into hold to turn adjuster. Here are the steps involved:

1) pull ebrake boot and loosen both bolts all the way
2) jack up rear wheel (or whole rear of car to do both wheels)
3) remove wheel bolt
4) turn wheel so removed bolt is 65 degrees off centerline (towards back of car)
5) turn adjuster all the way until you can't move wheel
6) back adjuster off 10 clicks

7) reintall wheel bolt
8) pull ebrake two clicks
9) tighten nuts until the wheels barely turn, with some resistance
10) reinstall ebrake boot

Here's a picture with the wheel and rotor removed:

Hi there.
I understand everything but this.
Do i move the teethed adjuster 'down' or 'up' with flathead screwdriver?
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so 2004 bmw's dont come with a diff?
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:44 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by croat View Post
Hi there.
I understand everything but this.
Do i move the teethed adjuster 'down' or 'up' with flathead screwdriver?
That's a great question...I forget! Just move one all the way one way, and if the wheel is locked, you turned it the right way, if not, go the other way. Once you find the correct way on one wheel, the other wheel is the opposite.

Post back and let us know which was is which.
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:58 AM   #9
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On the right wheel - down and towards the front to tighten (expand the shoes).
On the left wheel - up and towards the back to tighten.
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Old 10-16-2006, 11:13 AM   #10
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great diy!!!!
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Old 10-23-2006, 05:57 PM   #11
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So i tried to do this except without the picture awhile back. I accidentally popped a spring out of place which now randomly jumps around in the drum. How can i open it up so i can either remove it all together or put it back in place?
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Old 10-23-2006, 07:33 PM   #12
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I did mine this past weekend. Didn't bother messing around with rear drums. I just tightened the nuts under the ebrake.
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so 2004 bmw's dont come with a diff?
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:53 PM   #13
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So i tried to do this except without the picture awhile back. I accidentally popped a spring out of place which now randomly jumps around in the drum. How can i open it up so i can either remove it all together or put it back in place?
I did the same thing! If you remove the rotor, the spring and pin should still be inside of there. I ordered a "parking brake repair kit" which has replacement springs and pins, but I didn't have to use it b/c the detached part was still inside the back of my rotor. If you pull the rotor and don't see the parts, let me know and I'd be happy to sell you my parts kit for what I paid for it (I think it was like $12-14).

Good luck.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:37 AM   #14
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:41 AM   #15
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good luck finding the clicking thing by using the holes like in the pic....they are a ***** to find...eaiser to just remove the rotor...move the clicking thing and put rotors back and keep repeating until adjusted correctly
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:51 AM   #16
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http://www.csfrancis.net/BMW/pbdiy.pdf
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighVoltage View Post
On the right wheel - down and towards the front to tighten (expand the shoes).
On the left wheel - up and towards the back to tighten.
Thanks. The pictures on this thread are awesome but this is the one bit I really needed.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:46 PM   #18
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Just did this today, and I ran out of thread on the driver's side adjuster (behind the disc).

Looks like I need new shoes. 3 clicks lock the wheels from going foreward, but the driver's side will still spin in reverse.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:09 PM   #19
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so I want to get this straight..if I do the adjustment from the inside the car/eboot..I have to tighten the right screw towards the front (seating in drivers seat) and the left to the back of the car (seating on drivers seat)..does the ebrake have to be engaged while doing this?
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:40 PM   #20
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so I want to get this straight..if I do the adjustment from the inside the car/eboot..I have to tighten the right screw towards the front (seating in drivers seat) and the left to the back of the car (seating on drivers seat)..does the ebrake have to be engaged while doing this?
If you adjust it from in the car, you're just tightening the screws.
Righty tighty, lefty loosey lol. Make sure you tighten each side evenly.

Lifting up the e-brake just makes the screws more easily accessible.
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