Having a strange issue with the rear brakes intermittently strongly dragging... thoughts? - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
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post #1 of 32 Old 8th September 2017, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
Obioban
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Question Having a strange issue with the rear brakes intermittently strongly dragging... thoughts?

Last week all was well with the M5, other than low pads on the rear.

Saturday I replaced the rear pads/rotors/pad wear sensor with new OE BMW. Took the car out and bedded the brakes, all was well.

Sunday I drove the car to my parents house for dinner. ~5 minutes into the drive the car felt down on power. I assumed a sensor was on it's way out, and it would throw a light soon. Proceeded. ~5 min after that a slight shaking occurred. I thought maybe I hadn't correctly torqued the wheels, pulled over to check (used a torque wrench, but better safe than sorry).

Both of the rear brakes were smoking when I pulled the car over, and the center caps had fallen out (assuming they got soft). I drove the final 5 min to my parents house, rear brakes dragging all the way, and then back home again. Good thing I bought the pads/rotors from FCP, so I can warranty swap them after this issue is sorted, as they are pad deposited for sure at this point.

Monday we didn't drive the car, because of the brake situation. Monday night I went to look at it, and the calipers had released. Did a 4 mile test drive, all was well (outside of the pad deposits).

Tuesday I sent my wife to work in it. Tuesday at lunch I get a call that the brakes were dragging again. I told her to limp it home.

Wednesday night I look at it. Calipers have released again. But... at this point I'm not fooled.

That said, I am at a loss as to what could be causing this situation. Anyone ever had an issue like this before? What was the cause?

It's both of the rear brakes, which makes me think it's not a line issue and unlikely to be a caliper issue. It's not the front brakes, making me think it's not a master cylinder issue. I can see pad deposits forming on the rotor, so I'm reasonably confident it's a pad grabbing it, and not the brake drum. Maybe a DSC hydro unit issue? But, if so, seems weird that it started coinciding with a brake pad/rotor swap-- feels like that should be involved somehow.

Probably not related, but in the interest of giving all possible related evidence: While I was doing the brake swap I also added wheel studs (TMS) and adjusted the ebrake (I could still turn the rotor freely by hand with no noticeable drag).

Please help! TIA.

Last edited by Obioban; 8th September 2017 at 12:05 PM.
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post #2 of 32 Old 8th September 2017, 04:33 AM
M635inCalgary
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Have the ABS unit checked out. Should be throwing a code but you never know.
A very odd coincidence that this happens right after your brake job.

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post #3 of 32 Old 8th September 2017, 05:12 AM
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How about this possibility from @bimmerule ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerule View Post
Did you replace the caliper inner seals? That's what makes the pistons retract after you release the brake pedal. If yes, then I'd look into leaky master cylinder.
Form this thread-
https://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39...ml#post3887578

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post #4 of 32 Old 8th September 2017, 05:22 AM
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Maybe you got the ebrake adjustment a hair too tight and as the rotor heats up, the ebrake shoes are dragging on the inside of the rotor hat?

I've read where people have had issues when pushing fluid backwards through the DSC module, as you did when you opened the calipers to accommodate the new pads. But, it seems like those people just had a mushy pedal and no caliper dragging.

Typically a sticky caliper is a bad caliper itself, but since it's both sides on yours that seems very unlikely.

- Darrell

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post #5 of 32 Old 8th September 2017, 05:29 AM
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Well, like you, seems to be a strange coincidence. You did 3 things so any one can be part of the issue.

1. Can you see the calipers are actually sticking? If not, proper length (by observation) studs? Are they hitting anything when the car is in motion?

2. Double check ebrake adjustment. Since they only work on the rears, triple check the adjustments.

3. Wrong pads (unlikely, I know). Measure against old pads (if not discarded).

4. Caliper slides lubed?

Does the brake issue have any common denominator, such as it doesn't happen until x minutes into a trip? Or it doesn't happen until you hit the brake pedal x times?

Agree MC unlikely since front brakes seem fine, but if it happens, throw a bag of ice on the MC and see if any change.

Regards.
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post #6 of 32 Old 8th September 2017, 05:37 AM
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To follow up on my post above, FCP claims that if you have a caliper seize, it's likely a bad square cut seal.
Having a strange issue with the rear brakes intermittently strongly dragging... thoughts?-img_5641.png

Maybe after you pressed them back in they were toast. When the calipers sit overnight, naturally they cool down, allow some room around the seals, and they release.

https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...ar-34211166238

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post #7 of 32 Old 8th September 2017, 03:23 PM
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At no point, did Ian mention having rebuilt the calipers, so it's not going to be an issue with the rear caliper pressure seals.

Someone mentioned lubing the caliper slides, but that is NOT supposed to be done on the E39. You should clean the caliper guide bolts, but they are supposed to be installed dry. In fact, many lubricants cause the rubber caliper bushings to swell, making the calipers stick and prematurely wearing outboard pads. In fact, if you reach metal-on-metal on your BMW brakes, without triggering a dash sensor, the most likely culprit is someone having incorrectly lubricated those slides. (Assuming you didn't bypass the pad wear sensor!)

Since both wheels are exhibiting the same issue, we need to look at the possibility of a single failure point or procedural error that would affect both sides. The parking brake adjustment is suspicious, but that shouldn't cause rotor discoloration, as the parking brake uses shoes pushing outward against a drum, built into the rear rotor. Do you actually see evidence of excessive pad transfer, or are you just assuming it will be there based on the car's behavior? How many clicks from full release to full tight on the parking brake lever?

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post #8 of 32 Old 8th September 2017, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DZeckhausen View Post
At no point, did Ian mention having rebuilt the calipers, so it's not going to be an issue with the rear caliper pressure seals.

Someone mentioned lubing the caliper slides, but that is NOT supposed to be done on the E39. You should clean the caliper guide bolts, but they are supposed to be installed dry. In fact, many lubricants cause the rubber caliper bushings to swell, making the calipers stick and prematurely wearing outboard pads. In fact, if you reach metal-on-metal on your BMW brakes, without triggering a dash sensor, the most likely culprit is someone having incorrectly lubricated those slides. (Assuming you didn't bypass the pad wear sensor!)

Since both wheels are exhibiting the same issue, we need to look at the possibility of a single failure point or procedural error that would affect both sides. The parking brake adjustment is suspicious, but that shouldn't cause rotor discoloration, as the parking brake uses shoes pushing outward against a drum, built into the rear rotor. Do you actually see evidence of excessive pad transfer, or are you just assuming it will be there based on the car's behavior? How many clicks from full release to full tight on the parking brake lever?
I will check that first thing when I get home this evening.
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post #9 of 32 Old 8th September 2017, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DZeckhausen View Post
At no point, did Ian mention having rebuilt the calipers, so it's not going to be an issue with the rear caliper pressure seals....
Dave, I realize that at no point did he mention rebuilding the calipers, that was my point. I know he DD's (hard) his car, through salty winters, etc. Was thinking if he hasn't rebuilt them, then maybe it is time to because of corrision, contaminants, and fatigue.
Respectfully, I also realize you are THE brake expert, and have been for a long time. So if you say it's not the issue, then it is not. Back to my hole!

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post #10 of 32 Old 8th September 2017, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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