Brakes Wheels 1st Gen Tires Replacing emergency brake cables

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by papa-j, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. papa-j

    papa-j Active Member
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    Mar 15, 2010
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    Hi. I need to replace my emergency brake cables on the 2004 R53 (85k miles in MN). The repair manual says to drop the exhaust to get access for this. I've got the interior stuff apart so have access to both cables where they enter the cabin.

    If you have tips/tricks, special tools needed and warnings, I'm all ears. I have the replacement cables already.

    The current cables are corroded and broken inside the rubber boot at the caliper.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and experiences.
     
  2. cristo

    cristo Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2015
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    On my R50, I had to drop some of the heat shields a little for access, but
    didn't really need to drop the exhaust. It's easier to get at the body holes
    if you do, but probably not absolutely necessary. Not sure if it's tougher
    on the R53.
     
  3. clifforddward

    clifforddward Active Member

    Dec 2, 2013
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    I just did this a couple weeks ago as part of a R56 trailing arm conversion for my 2004 R53....absolutely no need to drop the exhaust, just drop the rear heat shield (four nuts I think)....then there is plenty of room to feed the cables through. Some have problems getting the R53 cables loose from the real calipers...mine were not corroded (I live in North Carolina) but if yours may be you'll want to go ahead and hit that point with rust release spray to let it start soaking in.

    I did purchase the little tool for pressing in the catch clips inside the cabin where the cable comes through the floor...others have said a particular socket will work, but I found the little tool (about $25 I think) made the task dead easy....the tool is now sitting in my tool box along with all the other special mini tools I won't need for a long time, but it made the job of releasing the old cables very easy and worth the cost for me.

    I did this with my car high up on jackstands...it's a bit tight under the car but all reachable. I suspect having the car on a lift would make it an easier job.

    BTW, I purchased used cables on ebay and saved nearly half the cost of new...mine arrived from a west coast junkyard and looked nearly new...you may be able to do the same, or just buy new if preferred.
     
  4. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    May 4, 2009
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    Yeah, you can use a deep socket (I think 12mm) to release the clips on the cables behind the handle with no drama. I already had a deep socket set, so I didn't need to buy anything to accomplish it.
     
  5. papa-j

    papa-j Active Member
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    Mar 15, 2010
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    Many thanks for the helpful responses folks. I am happy to hear that the exhaust can stay put. Super busy lately so I am hoping to get at this sometime in the next two weeks. I'll need to get the corrosion soaked soon though.
     

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