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Hi guys

I found this page http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=66718 where the adjustment for the handbrake is explained:

The parking brake is a drum system integrated into the rear brake rotors. It can be adjusted with the wheels installed, although the rear wheels will have to be raised off the ground.

- Lift the parking brake lever boot out of console. While holding cables stationary, loosen parking brake cable nuts until cables are completely slack.

- Raise rear of car.

- Remove one lug bolt from each rear wheel. Turn road wheel until lug bolt hole lines up with parking brake adjuster [dead bottom, ie 6 o'clock position]

- Using flat-bladed screwdriver, reach into brake drum through lug hole. Turn brake adjuster until wheel no longer turns. Back adjuster off 12 notches.

- Working inside the car, set parking brake several times to seat cable. Then pull parking brake lever up 2 notches. Tighten cable adjusting nuts until it is just possible to turn rear wheels with slight resistance.

- Release lever and make sure rear wheels turn freely.

- Turn on ignition. Pull up parking brake lever 1 notch and make sure that parking brake warning light comes on. If not, adjust parking brake warning light contact switch.

- Install parking brake lever boot. Install road wheel lug bolts. (Tightening torque road wheel to hub 89+7 ft-lb)
I have a problem with this sentance:

Back adjuster off 12 notches.
What would be a "notch" here? Shall I expect to see some markings on the parking break adjuster or is some rotation meant like one full turn (360 degrees) or half a turn (180 degrees)? How do you understand it?

Thanks a lot.<!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
 

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The "device" you are rotating is like a gear ... with a spring that keeps it in place at each "notch" in the gear.
 

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1 notch = 1 tooth in the gear you are turning as jclyman indicated.

I can tell you from my own experience adjusting it that 12 notches was way too far. I think I only went 6 or so before the wheels were able to turn freely, which is really what you are looking for. If you go too far (the 12 notches in my case) then what I found was that I only had enough adjustment in the handbrake cable itself to make it engage when fully pulled (as opposed to being fully engaged at 3-4 clicks).

d-
 

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What, your wrenches don't work after midnight? :)

Seriously, it was very aggravating getting them set up correctly - I concur with waiting until tomorrow!

d-
 

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If I were you, I would tighten the adjuster (on the rear brakes) as tight as possible, then back off until the wheel spins without dragging ... poohey on 12 turns. Both rears should have the same number of notches undone.

Pull the handbrake on and off a couple of times to "reseat" the linings so the wear will be even. You might even want to readjust the rear linings a second time as they may allow a closer overall fit, if reseated.

Then adjust the handbrake handle so it only goes up about 2 or 3 clicks max.

It's not to difficult if you take your time and do it right ... a lot of folks just adjust the handbrake and don't touch the rear linings ... if you do that, the rear linings will wear out much sooner on the end that is closest to the adjuster.
 

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I need to adjust mine as well, and was wondering if a tool that I used to use back in "olden times" on my old Mustang's drum brakes would work: a brake spoon is what I think it was called.

Or is a screwdriver just as easy?
 

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I need to adjust mine as well, and was wondering if a tool that I used to use back in "olden times" on my old Mustang's drum brakes would work: a brake spoon is what I think it was called.

Or is a screwdriver just as easy?
Brake spoon (yep, I've used 'em) is probably OK, but I just use a large screwdriver ... of course, it is NOT one of my Snap-On screwdrivers ... Screwdriver is all you really need ... oh, yes, and a strong arm to turn the wheels ...

:cheers:
 

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Hi all,

my handbrake is pretty bad also, my driveway is very steep too so I do need it!

I removed one of the wheel bolts and turned the wheel so that the opening was at the 6 o-clock position but I cannot find or see the adjuster - any of you able to point me in the right direction or tell me what it looks lilke please?

Cheers,

Richie.
 

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Hi Richie - I found mine to be at more like 5:30, and more importantly, nearly impossible to adjust with the wheel on.

Take the wheel off, get a flashlight, and look at about 5:30-6. You should be looking at an edge view (ie the skinny view) of a sprocket. That is what you need to adjust.

d-
 

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Thanks for that!

I'll take the wheel off tonight if I can find time and have a look.

I think it will help now that I have an idea what I'm looking for :biggrin:

Thanks again,

Richie.
 

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Hi Richie - I found mine to be at more like 5:30, and more importantly, nearly impossible to adjust with the wheel on.

Take the wheel off, get a flashlight, and look at about 5:30-6. You should be looking at an edge view (ie the skinny view) of a sprocket. That is what you need to adjust.

d-
AND, it probably won't be shiny ... it will most likely be covered with black brake dust. Maybe 5:30 one side, and 6:30 the other side (not sure as I haven't done an M5, but I have done other cars ... including BMWs ... many times). Trust me, it is there somewhere ...
 

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AND, it probably won't be shiny ... it will most likely be covered with black brake dust. Maybe 5:30 one side, and 6:30 the other side (not sure as I haven't done an M5, but I have done other cars ... including BMWs ... many times). Trust me, it is there somewhere ...
Thanks for the pointers - looking forward to adjusting the brake, I hate having to pull the thing so hard to ensure the car won't 'kiss' her car!!

One other thing, have any of you noticed that the handbrake will prevent the car from rolling backward more so than forwards?

Richie.
 

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Thanks for the pointers - looking forward to adjusting the brake, I hate having to pull the thing so hard to ensure the car won't 'kiss' her car!!

One other thing, have any of you noticed that the handbrake will prevent the car from rolling backward more so than forwards?

Richie.
Don't know if you are the original owner, or how the dealer adjusted your handbrake in prior visits (although he should have done it correctly). But, this is my point in mentioning that you should "reseat" the handbrake and readjust it at least once (I do it at least twice).

When you never adjust the brake shoes in the rear disk/drum, and only adjust them at the handbrake in the car, the shoes will wear unevenly (by uneven, I mean the lining will not be worn the same amount from end to end ... the end near the adjuster will be worn more ... maybe, in theory, it shouldn't happen, but in fact it does). I suspect the unevenness will allow them to "grip" more strongly in one direction ... not positive, but that is the only reason I can think of, if, in fact, the brakes on your car hold better in one direction.

When you buy new brake shoes, all of them are the same ... so it has to be related to wear, and I know from experience, that if you don't adjust them properly (i.e., the rear shoes first) they will wear unevenly ... one end will wear and the other will be almost unworn at all. So that could be the reason.

If you are really curious ... and mechanically inclined ... you could remove the disk/drum and look at the innards ... you would see what I mean, and add to your knowledge.

EDIT: There you go. Look at the first pictrue in the prior post. As you pull the emergency brake handle, the TOP spreads wider and the bottom (where the adjuster is) stays the same. As the brakes wear, the shoes will "slide" down to compensate, but not completely. Allowing the top of the shoes to wear more over time. When you "reseat" them with the handbrake lever, they will be forced down into a more uniform wear position. Not the absolutely perfect position, but much better in terms of wear over time.
 

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I've just had to fit new shoes and the passenger side and it had no compound left, and I mean nothing
I left the other side shoes on as they are basically perfect and show like new.
I'm using StopTec brakes and have the wheel adjusted out so I can just get hats back over.
My issues zones from adjusting nuts in the hand brake.
Basically I'm out of tightening adjustment on one.
The other is about 5mm diff in length.
I'm wondering if the cable is now too long and stretched?
Or the shoes are having to reach out further to reach the the wider inside of the hat
Thinking of adding some spacers to the hand brake so I can pull up more tension.
At full lock the power of the hand brake is average at best.
Got any ideas I may have missEd?
apples
 

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I've just had to fit new shoes and the passenger side and it had no compound left, and I mean nothing
I left the other side shoes on as they are basically perfect and show like new.
I'm using StopTec brakes and have the wheel adjusted out so I can just get hats back over.
My issues zones from adjusting nuts in the hand brake.
Basically I'm out of tightening adjustment on one.
The other is about 5mm diff in length.
I'm wondering if the cable is now too long and stretched?
Or the shoes are having to reach out further to reach the the wider inside of the hat
Thinking of adding some spacers to the hand brake so I can pull up more tension.
At full lock the power of the hand brake is average at best.
Got any ideas I may have missEd?
apples
Your issue is that you are trying to adjust the tension of the handbrake through the wrong means. The tension should be adjusted at each individual wheel. I'd venture to guess that the nut that is out of slack is on the same side as the shoe that wore through?

The whole process is buried in this thread somewhere, but in simple terms:
Back off the nuts in the handbrake.
Properly tension the parking brake pads by removing a lug bolt and positioning the hole at around 5:30 on a clock face, inserting a screwdriver, and turning the tension wheel in the brake assembly. Detailed instructions available in the DIY section and this thread IIRC.
Replace lug bolt (and wheel if you decided to take that off as well.
Take up the slack in the 2 cables in the handbrake evenly. Both nuts should be at about the same place and both wires should be under the same tension.

That's it! the nuts in the handbrake assembly are NOT adjusting nuts for the brakes, just for the wires.

Doug
 

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When I had the brakes back on I turned the adjusting wheel out till it was bitting the brakes as I couldn't really turn the wheel free hand, I then backed it off slightly, so wheel would now move, and went to hand brake to take up slack and ran out of adjustment.
Even with the 1" spacers added I couldn't get enough bite to hold the car on a half decent slope?
The hand brake would only come on about 3 clicks max and this wasn't enough to work.
I know there's no slack in the shoes, and no slack in the cable, but I get about 25-50% of what I need to lock the car like a rock.
No matter what I do on the hand brake side I don't really see much adjustment.
I'll go back to morrow and see how the boots are doing and see if I can find some more adjusting there to find more grab.
It feels like the the pads even at full hand brake pull just won't give the bite needed at 3 clicks or 8 clicks... hmmm

Apples
 

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When I had the brakes back on I turned the adjusting wheel out till it was bitting the brakes as I couldn't really turn the wheel free hand, I then backed it off slightly, so wheel would now move, and went to hand brake to take up slack and ran out of adjustment.
Even with the 1" spacers added I couldn't get enough bite to hold the car on a half decent slope?
The hand brake would only come on about 3 clicks max and this wasn't enough to work.
I know there's no slack in the shoes, and no slack in the cable, but I get about 25-50% of what I need to lock the car like a rock.
No matter what I do on the hand brake side I don't really see much adjustment.
I'll go back to morrow and see how the boots are doing and see if I can find some more adjusting there to find more grab.
It feels like the the pads even at full hand brake pull just won't give the bite needed at 3 clicks or 8 clicks... hmmm

Apples
You're handbrake has about 6-8 clicks available to it. I need to pull my 5-6 to get it to hold.

The other thing to try is bedding your handbrake brakes. Same concept as the regular brakes, different procedure: just drive while engaging it off and on. 30-40 mph, pulling the handbrake til you feel the brakes engage. Hold it for a few seconds, let the brakes cool a little bit and repeat. You are NOT trying to get them really hot as when you bed regular brakes, you simply want to break them in a bit.

It is possible your cables are stretched - you'll need to take the wheel back off to get at the end of the cable, shorten them, and reattach new ends. Or just buy new cables :)

d-
 

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I was thinking that they needed to seat better as well, so I did do some forward/back driving at 10mph and slam on hand brake to just get more bite.
Also ran the car when on jacks in 1st/reverse at idle and applied the hand brake for 20-30 seconds at a time.
Even after that nothing really improved.
Cable maybe an issue, so I'll check rear wheel gear for more adjustment and then cable.
Thanks
Stuart
 
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