1st Gen R53 Cooper S Stuck Emergency Brake

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by BetaMini, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. BetaMini

    BetaMini New Member

    Aug 2, 2012
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    I got in my 05 R53 today, and felt that the emergency brake was still engaged after releasing the handle. I rocked it a bit back and forth, as that seemed to work a couple times this winter. This time it didn't. I drove it a bit down my street, braking and engaging and releasing the ebrake handle. Still no luck.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. r34king

    r34king Member

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    Needs a new cable. Check the end where it attaches to the caliper. They rust under the rubber boot and make them stick. Had to replace one on my wife's r50 not long ago for that reason
     
  3. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    It is either the cables or a caliper. Try disconnecting the cables from the caliper to see if that frees up the e brake. That will tell you which it is.
     
  4. ZippyNH

    ZippyNH Well-Known Member

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    When I had my right rear caliper stick, the handle still worked normally....
    Had a very slight reduction in mpg, a warmer rear wheel, a bit of extra brake dust, and the car did not roll backwards on hills at traffic lights....
    Found the pads on that side wearing uneven...
    Tossed a "centric" brand rebuilt caliper on (did new rotors and pads too), cables seemed OK...drove it a bit, sold it 6-8 months later....
     
  5. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    When my right rear went bad I replaced with a rebuilt. It didn't last long, replaced under warranty with another rebuilt. After the second rebuilt failing I bought a new one from eMINIparts.com. Should have done that to begin with.
     
  6. BetaMini

    BetaMini New Member

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    K, way longer than expected due to a SC oil service. But removed the cable, and the wheel turns. Guess I need a new cable. Is there any chance spraying the cable with PB blaster or WD40 is gonna do anything?
     
  7. ZippyNH

    ZippyNH Well-Known Member

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    I have done that on other cars...if you are there, I'd honestly swap it unless $$ is VERY tight...or you will be doing it again very soon...
    Heck...also used a blowtorch to cook a cable in its sleeve (metal) after pouring in some lube...
    Actually worked great (on an old Honda)...dried it out, and left the cable with a slick coating...its an old aviation trick used in some cases....usually used on throttle or mixture cables that stick....an interm repair till the plane can be scheduled into the shop....
     
  8. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    If the cable seized it is because salt water has gotten in there. You may be able to free it, but the same thing will happen again. The sheathing is compromised, a new cable is the fix.
     
  9. BetaMini

    BetaMini New Member

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    Anson at Best replaced the cables. All is good.
     
  10. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    Woohoo...
     
  11. Retro

    Retro New Member

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    #11 Retro, Jan 18, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
    Hey there everyone. Hate to dig up an old thread but I figured it was better than clogging up the forums with repeat posts.
    Come tomorrow I plan to try a few things mentioned here and further troubleshoot. But beforehand I'd like to see if I could pick a couple of brains first.

    Long story short. Drove my Mini home just fine from a short trip to the gas station today. I had her sitting for around 4 hours and the temps dropped from cold to as cold as balls. I needed to make another short trip, jumped in and noted the e-brake felt a little funny. Threw it in reverse and the back began to lift as though the thing was still engaged. Rocked her forward with the same engaged feeling. Tried to test the lever to see if it was maybe just stuck and this is where things get weird....

    The brake lever is clearly "biting" when pulled. You get that nice click. BUT, it seems to be skipping ratchets. What I mean by this is that rather than a nice constant "click click click" when pulled. You get more of a "Click ___ click click___ click"

    I rocked her back and forth a few more times and it felt as though the calipers finally let go. There was resistance but not the lurching feeling you may get with an engaged brake. All seemed well to the store. Parked it in first without the brake ( being careful not to engage the thing again ) and then drove it home. Once home, the lever still felt really wonky and I could smell heat from what was clearly the brakes. Thankfully it is a VERY short drive at less than .5 miles round trip.

    So here's the thing. How is it that it drove fine, the wheels weren't locked up and yet it was clearly engaged to some degree during drive?

    Think it's just the cold messing with it? Or something a little more time consuming like the cable?


    (Also, HELLO! ) :cornut:
     
  12. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Welcome to MA! If it's below freezing and there is moisture it the housing the cable could freez in place. I have seen this on other makes. You may have freed it enough to drive it the short distance. Some times if you let it sit as the car idels the heat from the exhaust will worm it enough to unfreeze it.
     
  13. Retro

    Retro New Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply.
    I'll head out and crank her before it gets colder. I'll let her reach idle temps and see if this helps. Need to move her into the shop anyway for a check so might as well see what's happening with it tonight~
     
  14. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    All brakes can drag enough to get hot, without being fully engaged (enough to hold the car). That's not unusual. Same as clicking the e-brake just a click or two and then driving.

    Yep, cable could be wet and frozen, or could be rusted. Also happens a lot. They rust slowly over years, finally get to the point that they just don't slide anymore.
     
  15. Retro

    Retro New Member

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    That was the trick. Clicked away and let go after about 10 minutes of heat.
    Now to work on the countless other things tomorrow :rolleyes:
     
  16. dadsalfa

    dadsalfa New Member

    Dec 17, 2009
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    My right rear caliper was sticking,found I could reach under and push the lever at the caliper where the cable hooks to it and it would release,ended up replacing the caliper.Sounds like the right rear caliper is maybe where moisture in the brake fluid ends up.Brake fluid should be flushed every two years.Uh oh,I'm six months overdue.
     

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