Having Trouble Adjusting The Handbrake On My 323ci - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 08:21 PM
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I have a 2000 323ci. My handbrake is very loose and I don't know how to adjust it myself, when I go up my driveway, the car starts sliding down because the handbrake has to be put all the way up and it's berely grabing. Does someone know how?
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-14-2004, 02:04 PM
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hey i asked this question sometime ago and dirty_tool wrote this bak which helped
"E46 is an easy car to make a quick adjustment right at the handle.

you will need a 10mm deep socket, a ratchet, and a small extension 3 or 6 inch will work fine. 1/4 inch drive preferrably.

carefully pry up the leather boot around the ebrake handle, leave it attached to the handle just make room so that you can access the ebrake cables. Now you will see 2 cables with 10mm head nuts holding them against the handle assembly. just simply tighten each of the nuts a turn or 2 at a time back n forth evenly until you get the desired feel out of the handle. 2-3 clicks until you feel the brake engage is usually about right. If you get to the end of the travel and the brake handle still doesnt feel tight then the shoes may be worn or out of adj. back at the wheels, or in high mileage cases the cables could even be stretched. In that case you will have to dig deeper but most likely it will be possible to just make a quick adjustment right at the handle.

Hope that helps,
DT"
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#3 (permalink) Old 12-14-2004, 11:08 PM
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that procedure would probably work if it needs a minor adj. but I was just discussing parking brake adjustments with another member who is a BMW certified tech and in his opinion the proper way to adj the parking brake is to make the adj at the wheel. I have the instructions on my work computer and I'll try to post it here tomorrow if I get the chance. He says it's a bitch to do this adj because you have to make the adj thru the lug bolt hole.
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#4 (permalink) Old 12-15-2004, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by tatin@Dec 14 2004, 09:08 PM
that procedure would probably work if it needs a minor adj. but I was just discussing parking brake adjustments with another member who is a BMW certified tech and in his opinion the proper way to adj the parking brake is to make the adj at the wheel. I have the instructions on my work computer and I'll try to post it here tomorrow if I get the chance. He says it's a bitch to do this adj because you have to make the adj thru the lug bolt hole.
[snapback]250995[/snapback]
Personally I dont see the need to make an adjustment at the rear shoes if it isnt totally necessary. Like you just said it is a bitch to do and a lot of trouble to go through to adjust what after all is only a parking brake. If the shoes were actually stopping the car then thatd be 1 thing. My personal experience has been that usually if the brake cant be adjusted at the handle its because the shoes are worn to nothing because the park brake was accidentally left on while driving. Keep in mind that the shoe adjustment is made at the factory and the only reason for it to change is 1) wear on the shoes...which should be minimal because its a PARK brake not a stop the car "every day brake" and 2)when the rear rotors are changed it should be adjusted at the rear wheels to compensate for tolerances. the only other change would be if the cables stretched which usually is only on high mileage cars.

So my personal thoughts are, under normal use in between rear brake jobs a small adjustment at the brake handle which brings the handle feel back to where you want it and keeps the park brake functional is all that is needed and is totally acceptable.

P.S. Im attaching a PDF of the factory repair instructions for park brake adjustment in case anybody wants to see.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Adjusting_handbrake.pdf (141.9 KB, 808 views)

DT




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#5 (permalink) Old 12-15-2004, 03:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by v.o.r@Dec 14 2004, 12:04 PM
hey i asked this question sometime ago and dirty_tool wrote this bak which helped
"E46 is an easy car to make a quick adjustment right at the handle.

you will need a 10mm deep socket, a ratchet, and a small extension 3 or 6 inch will work fine. 1/4 inch drive preferrably.

carefully pry up the leather boot around the ebrake handle, leave it attached to the handle just make room so that you can access the ebrake cables. Now you will see 2 cables with 10mm head nuts holding them against the handle assembly. just simply tighten each of the nuts a turn or 2 at a time back n forth evenly until you get the desired feel out of the handle. 2-3 clicks until you feel the brake engage is usually about right. If you get to the end of the travel and the brake handle still doesnt feel tight then the shoes may be worn or out of adj. back at the wheels, or in high mileage cases the cables could even be stretched. In that case you will have to dig deeper but most likely it will be possible to just make a quick adjustment right at the handle.

Hope that helps,
DT"
[snapback]250399[/snapback]
Thanks alot for the info, I will try this out tomorrow
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#6 (permalink) Old 12-15-2004, 03:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dirty_Tool+Dec 14 2004, 10:42 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Dirty_Tool @ Dec 14 2004, 10:42 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-tatin@Dec 14 2004, 09:08 PM
that procedure would probably work if it needs a minor adj. but I was just discussing parking brake adjustments with another member who is a* BMW certified tech and in his opinion the proper way to adj the parking brake is to make the adj at the wheel. I have the instructions on my work computer and I'll try to post it here tomorrow if I get the chance. He says it's a bitch to do this adj because you have to make the adj thru the lug bolt hole.
[snapback]250995[/snapback]
Personally I dont see the need to make an adjustment at the rear shoes if it isnt totally necessary. Like you just said it is a bitch to do and a lot of trouble to go through to adjust what after all is only a parking brake. If the shoes were actually stopping the car then thatd be 1 thing. My personal experience has been that usually if the brake cant be adjusted at the handle its because the shoes are worn to nothing because the park brake was accidentally left on while driving. Keep in mind that the shoe adjustment is made at the factory and the only reason for it to change is 1) wear on the shoes...which should be minimal because its a PARK brake not a stop the car "every day brake" and 2)when the rear rotors are changed it should be adjusted at the rear wheels to compensate for tolerances. the only other change would be if the cables stretched which usually is only on high mileage cars.

So my personal thoughts are, under normal use in between rear brake jobs a small adjustment at the brake handle which brings the handle feel back to where you want it and keeps the park brake functional is all that is needed and is totally acceptable.

P.S. Im attaching a PDF of the factory repair instructions for park brake adjustment in case anybody wants to see.
[snapback]251147[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]
Thanks for the info, I'm downloading the info right now
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#7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2004, 09:43 AM
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Great info in the pdf you attached dirty tool. Here's the message from a BMW tech that basically describes step one in layman's terms. Hope this helps in case adj the cables is not enough.
You'll want to remove both rear tires for this. Go to one side, it doesnt matter which one you go to first. Get yourself a flashlight or something. Kneel down and shine into your lugbolt holes(where the bolts for the wheels screw in). Pick one hole and stick with it.
Spin the rotor while looking in one of the holes till you see a silver gear looking wheel. It looks about the size of a penny with teeth going around it. When you spot it, get yourself a screwdriver and pry
up on the gear, making it spin. Spin it about 5 turns, then go to
the other wheel and do the same thing, but spin the other side the opposite direction. Do the other side about 5 turns as well and go pull your handbrake to see if it's any stiffer. If it's not, try turning that gear wheel on both sides the opposite way. Adjust till you get a firm hand brake lever.

This adjustment is a bitch if you havent tried it before. I would suggest taking it to a dealership. They'll probably charge you an hour to do it...which may run you from anywhere between 70 to 100 bucks.
If you don't want to take it to a dealership, try a known good independant shop. Too bad you probably don't live close to where I am, I'd help you out and do it for ya.

Let me go ahead and tell you, you're not going to "mess anything up"
here. The most you could do it loose all your parking brake, which
has no correlation to your regular brakes. I hope this helps a
little. Like I said, this is a hard adjustment to describe here in email. Hope this helped a bit.

Let me know what happens...
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