View Full Version : 91' 318i parking brake

07-02-2009, 05:14 PM
Hey guys i just bought a 318i and need the handbrake for safety, does anyone know how to replace the handbrake cables? It seems stuck in the cable housing close to the gas tank...anyway im having a hard time...any tips would help thanks guys !!!!

07-02-2009, 06:41 PM
drill thru it, thats how i got mine out. if your backplates are rusted i know a trick to hold the shoes in place without changing the plates, let me know if you need any help.

07-03-2009, 06:15 PM
Im gonna try this weekend and monday...i let you know...thanks !!!

07-12-2009, 05:15 PM
I finally got around to working on the car today after work since the weather was nice !!! =)))

and i removed the rotors when i saw something funny ... there is no handbrake assembly on the passanger side ...the cable just seems to be connected in the bottom of the protective shield for no reason...i hope some moron didnt take it off...or im the moron and doesnt know how it works...its turned into a shitty day *smoke*

07-12-2009, 09:21 PM
Well i tried drilling around that wire and pulling and drilling and cutting myself...i just don't know but ill keep trying...any more ideas?

and to show you what she looks like

07-13-2009, 11:33 AM
I believe it's the same for the 325i... here's what I did:

1. Take an angle grinder to the cable housing and cut through about halfway between the two ends. This will at least make it easier to twist things around and free them up.
2. Get some penetrating fluid on the connections and let it have some time.
3. Hit it with a propane torch and get the vice grips on it - twist and pull.

NOTE: My gas tank was out, don't use a torch near the gas tank - that wouldn't exactly be smart.

As for the trailing arm end, one came out with heat/penetrating fluid and vice grips, the other took some destructive chiseling and then drilling. If I had to do it again, I'd start with penetrating fluid, drill, then vice grips. Just be careful you don't drill too deep!

Another note: you've got to pull the cable from the housing to drill - a 3/8" bit was enough to weaken the ferrule to elastically collapse it to the point that it came out easily.

07-13-2009, 02:02 PM
man....that's a bitch of a job....This is why I tell everyone don't get lazy and use your emergency brakes all the time. *Wink*

07-13-2009, 02:34 PM
haha... wish using the parking brake would help that! the job really is a bitch, but the problem is the end ferrule is static to where it enters the trailing arm and underbody hardline-housing. It's going to rust and seize over time unless you re-install every few years or so.

If the cable within the housing is completely stuck and not just running rough, well... give the handbrake a good yank or hit it with the grinder and scrap the housing. Shouldn't happen though, as the cable is sheathed in plastic. My housing had broken in several spots due to rust and the sheathing plastic was still not showing wear despite the cable running very rough.

07-13-2009, 04:49 PM
The PB design is quite weak, really. The fact it all relies on those little pins going through the uber thin backing plate is crazy.

07-18-2009, 11:16 PM
drove my car for 6 years winter summer and it NEVER gave my problems. Because I used it almost everytime. :-) I also would cycle my a/c in the winter to keep my compressor and fan from seizing up. Finally after 6 years I had to top it up a bit. the cables seize regardless of what car you drive if you don't use it. Rust builds on causing binding and when you finally get it free it drags that debris into the plastic housing where more rust can build and accumulate. A friend who's been with BMW since 93 told me so many e30's had this problem for one reason. failer to use. more so with autos.

08-08-2009, 01:29 PM
I finally got them out using your advice, here is what i did
1. I cut them from the back (due to anger)
2. I used pliers to hold them from going in the tube (inside the car)
3. I drained them with WD-40 (using that little red tube)
4. I took a drill and this was the most difficult part, someone how found
a place to align it with the housing and then drilled for 30 min in each one
until my buddy was able to pull them from inside the car...OHH YEAH !!!
If you see smoke coming out, dont worry its the WD-40, it means you made it !!!

BOOM !!! i hated doing this and the worse part is the prices for parts
1. Shoes for both sides 48$
2. Spring Kit both sides 43$ (WHY)
3. Both ParkingBrake cables 62$

Now all i have to do is install them and hope it all works out !!! THANKS !!!