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Old 1st July 2015, 09:22   #1
Arctic
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Default Handbrake R40 (Alternative) Mini R53

Handbrake modification (Alternative )

About a week to 12 days ago I got talking to Gary (Borg Warner) about a an alternative option for the handbrake mod, using a Mini R53 cable and equaliser.

He had been reading through the handbrake mod's and googled handbrake cables etc and it threw up the above Mini cable etc, I had in the past looked at this but did not follow it through the reason being that you have to 99.9% of the time have to purchase the whole unit handbrake lever cable and equaliser.

These can be bought either from the bay, second hand or new links will be posted at the end of the thread.

We both agreed that it would work I must say that Gary was more enthusiastic about it than me, because even though he or myself had not fitted one I knew from past experience when a cable had broken on a members car how fiddly a job it was to change the cable.

With this modification both the cable and equaliser as to be used if we could have just used the equaliser part it would have been so much easier, I fitted one last Friday evening 26th at the nano meet while doing that one I hit a snag the cable became stuck due to pulling it to hard therefore wedging it, this then became a task in it's self to remove.

A couple of days ago Gary ( Borg Warner) fitted his and he as informed me his went quite well but he did not have time to take photo's, therefore today I decided to have another go on my MGZT my finding and photo's are below enjoy.

Comparison to the SSC & Original stretched compensator.
1a

2b

3c


4d


Make sure if you purchase one it as the rubber O-ring in this photo.
5e
[img]http://i61.tinypic.com/2yopax1.jpg[/img


(Handbrake Alternative mod using a Mini R53 cable & Equaliser) how to.

Tools you will need in my opinion to complete this modification below Fig 1
long reach socket 13mm, a long posi drive screw driver or an l shaped small socket, Stanley knife, 10 mm ratchet spanner, three piece's of wood one with a Vcut out 9" and two 11"-12" long.
1

Tools for the front work on the handbrake adjuster. Fig 2
2

Tools for the rear work on the compensator part. Fig 3
3

Extra long flat blade screw driver this is used to bend over the tag later in the how to. Fig 4
4

Also a medium pry bar which came in handy Fig 5
5

Ok lets start first remove the handbrake lever cover Fig 6/7/8/9
6

Always start at the top nearest to the arm rest as this will stop you breaking the front tag on the lever cover.
7

Twist the handle and remove
8

9

Now we have the handbrake gaiter removed you can move the seats forward and as low as they will go Fig10/11
10

Driver seat will go lower than the passenger one.
11

With the seats forward and low you can access the two screws either side of the console remove them Fig 12/14
12

14

Now the screws are removed from the side of the console we can turn our attention to the front adjuster nut this to as to be removed try not to drop it into the console. Fig 15
15

Use the long reach 13 mm socket to remove the nut Fig 16
16

Slowly pull out the socket with the nut in the end Fig 18/19
18

With the front adjuster nut removed put it somewhere safe Fig 19
19

You can now make a start on the rear of the car take out the ash tray to access the two 10mm bolts holding the rear of the console down Fig 20/21
20

21

Using the 10mm ratchet spanner remove the two bolts Fig 22/23
22

23

Next remove the carpet kicker covers passenger side is pushed towards the front of the car Fig 24
24

Then lift it off the clips sometimes these can break so you may have to use new ones when re-fitting Fig 25
25

Drivers side you push toward the back of the car Fig 26
26

Now pull up the door rubbers a little so the carpet can be lifted later do both sides Fig 27
27

At the same time unclip the side panel only pop it out a little no need to go mad Fig 28/29
28

29

Once you have both sides unclipped you can tease the carpet from under there up to the seat belt anchor Fig 30/31
30

31

Our next move is to lift the corners of the seat to release the carpet from it's two lugs underneath Fig 32
32

Again no need to pull hard the seat will just pop up and reveal the lug holding the carpet in place Fig 33
33

Lift the carpet off the lug and leave it out side of the seat Fig 34
34

Same procedure the other side of the car Fig 35
35

The carpet should now look like this in the pic below Fig 36
36

We are now at the stage where we can lift the back of the console using the piece of wood with the V cut into it Fig 38
38

With the console lifted up it will help with access later to remove the old compensator ready for the R53 Fig 39
39

While the console is lifted use the Stanley knife to cut the little piece of carpet under the rear of it, some will say you do not need to do this, but believe me it helps when lifting the carpet to do the extraction of the old compensator and inserting the new R53 one Fig 40
40

With carpet cut you can see from the pic's below it helps to get that little bit of access to the compensator and also remove the front part of the cable Fig 41/43
41

You can just see the little black clip you have to remove before the front cable will release from the front of the compensator
43

Now comes the part most do not like as they struggle with the carpet, I say no just use the two pieces of 11"-12" of wood to hold the carpet back a great help if you are doing this job on your own Fig 44/45/
44

45

Now that the carpets are lifted you can now remove the three torx 25 bolts holding the cover over the compensator. Fig 47/48
47

48

Lift the cover off this will reveal the compensator below Fig 49
49

Release the two rear cable from the compensator Fig 50
50

Right we now need to go back to the front of the car note I am always working from the passenger side of the car as this is the best access to all the parts you need to get to.
There is a little tag holding the cable in it's channel on the lever, this must be pushed backwards so the cable can be released for changing over to the Mini R53 cable lift the side of the console carefully so no damaged can be done,to access the lug which is hard to see at first Fig 51
51

As you can see I used the pry bar for this as it gave good leverage hopefully you can make out the lug/pin that need to be pushed back Fig 52
52

With the little peg pushed backwards I then pulled the cable through to the front of the console, Gary may have done this different but I found this to be the best way for me Fig
53

I then tapped the cable out slowly while pulling the cable at the same time, this then released the cable from the front lever Fig 54/55
54

55

With the cable removed I then feed the new Mini R53 cable in from the rear of the console through to the front making sure the cable was the right side of the lug ie cable was in front of the lug as you looked at it, Fig 56/57
56

57

The cable now needs to be feed into the square hole from below this is the tricky and fiddly, it can take a few tries,it is a lot easier if some can push the cable forward for from the rear of the console at this time save having to reach over and do it your self, Fig 58
58

With your hand inside the front of the console guide the cable through the square aperture of the lever Fig 59
59

Now you have the cable through fit the adjuster front nut flush with the thread Fig 60/61
60

61

The handbrake lever can now be lowered ready to fit the rear cables Fig 62
62

Fit the rear cables Fig 63/64
63

64

With the rear cable fitted into the equaliser, the rear compensator cover and carpets can be reinstated Fig 65
65

Before removing the V piece of wood and dropping the rear of the console do not forget to bend the little peg back that holds the cable in it's channel on the handbrake lever, once you have done that all carpets can be fitted back as they should be Fig 66
66

Now that the rear console and carpets are back in place re-fit the side console screws Fig 67/68
67

68

Remember you will need to adjust at the rear wheels through the wheel bolt hole, I did not have to do this as mine were already adjusted Fig 69
69

Once you have adjusted at the rear wheels you can then and only then adjust at front cable, I adjusted mine to 20mm as these Mini R53 cable & equalisers are a bit tighter therefore giving you an extra 5mm at the front thread well in my case anyway Fig 70
70

Refit the handbrake gaiter and the job is complete Fig 71
71

The modification is not as quick as fitting the SSC as there is more work involved but the out come is the same a nice adjusted handbrake on two /three clicks therefore an alternative to the SSC and the welded compensators.

Hopefully this will help members should they wish to go down this road, the R53 as I have name it can be purchased either second hand from the bay.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-Mini-C...item3aac25df04

Or from the link Gary supplied from another channel and post on here.
http://www.bmminiparts.com/PartDetai...A-615FBDB34A3C

Enjoy and if I can answer any questions on these I will do but I think I may have covered it all, it is a great bit of kit but like with everything time will tell cheers Arctic.

PS the original (SSC) Stainless Steel Compensator is still available, despite FB members and some members on here saying it is not, and always will be to members of the OC.

Disclaimer:
You are responsible for any work or modifications carried out on your car and you undertake any such work at your own risk.
The 75 and ZT Owners Club nor the original author of this How-To can be held liable for anything that may happen as a result of you following this How-To.

Last edited by Dragrad; 10th January 2017 at 23:47.. Reason: Photo Editing/copyright
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Old 1st July 2015, 22:18   #2
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Default Handbrake modification (Alternative )

I have had to miss out a few photo's as this thread is very pic heavy you are only allowed 75 pics it took me longer to post the thread than it did to do the modification, hopefully it is easy to follow Arctic
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Old 1st July 2015, 22:30   #3
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Steve, fantastic mate another sticky in the making
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Old 1st July 2015, 22:59   #4
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Steve do you have a photograph of the R53 compensator from the front cable end?

The part of the original set up which has never made sense to me is the lack of compensation that actually goes on.

Does the R53 front cable rotate freely around the axis of the barrel nipple on the aft end of the front cable?

Brian
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Old 1st July 2015, 23:29   #5
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Perhaps being devils advocate here, but I have a feeling that the lack of compensation movement is intentional. It might prevent total loss of braking if one cable broke?
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Old 1st July 2015, 23:38   #6
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by marinabrian View Post
Steve do you have a photograph of the R53 compensator from the front cable end?

The part of the original set up which has never made sense to me is the lack of compensation that actually goes on.

Does the R53 front cable rotate freely around the axis of the barrel nipple on the aft end of the front cable?

Brian
Hi Brian.
Yes rotation is free around the axis hopefully the photo's below will show it in it's full glory cheers Arctic.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg SDC19697.jpg (135.0 KB, 2478 views)
File Type: jpg SDC19698.jpg (137.4 KB, 2470 views)
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Old 1st July 2015, 23:44   #7
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Excellent Steve, thanks for that, I never fully understood the way the original compensator could actually compensate with such restricted movement.

We shall see, as I have tried all of the other methods of compensator modification in the past.

Brian
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Old 1st July 2015, 23:47   #8
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Originally Posted by Polly View Post
Perhaps being devils advocate here, but I have a feeling that the lack of compensation movement is intentional. It might prevent total loss of braking if one cable broke?
Hi Leslie
There is more than enough compensation and I doubt the cable would brake it is to robust, but if it did the other brake shoe should still hold I may try it out at the next meet by just fitting one cable and seeing if the car will hold on a slope etc
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Old 2nd July 2015, 13:25   #9
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Nice work again. I want to know what's so special about the piece of wood you had to write your name on it
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Old 2nd July 2015, 18:25   #10
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Nice work again. I want to know what's so special about the piece of wood you had to write your name on it
Think it may go walk-a-bout?

Thanks for this Steve and is the same as I did mine, although it took me a little longer.

I can only (cynically) think that MGR had this additional item in the H/B so as to make money out of owners? As the compensator was available as a separate item, along with an access plate underneath the car, they patently knew it would deform and require replacing. In addition, with the overlap of ownership between the two models, 75/ZT and Mini, during their development process, surely the designers would converse with each other? When BMW off-loaded MGR perhaps the powers that be at BMW saw the "error" of such a mechanism and opted for a more conventional method on their Mini?

With the focus of cost cutting illustrated under Project Drive, MGR left us with this perfidious bit of kit in our cars, but removed the second horns, proper reflectors on the doors and plastic covers on seat belt anchorage points amongst other, less important items. Bewildering.

Finally Mat is looking to see if he can get the cable/equaliser separately, hopefully he can.

Regards

BW
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