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BMW 2002 1802 1602 1600 roundie classic

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A blog dedicated to the preservation and restoration of antique BMWs.

Back in June I posted a blog about replacing my rear drum breaks. Shortly after that post I discovered that one of my wheel cylinders was leaking brake fluid. I purchased two new cylinders from Geekparts for arount $15 each and on one Saturday it replaced the set. It took about 2 hours to complete.


Here is the leaking cylinder


The cylinder is held in place by two bolts accessible behind the wheel cylinder.


The new wheel cylinder about to be installed.


The new wheel cylinders come complete with internal pistons and bleed valve.


New wheel cylinder installed.


Brakes and cylinder installed.

This job is easy to do.  The biggest challenge is removing the drum.  Once removed, the brakes are held in place by a spring above the axle and metal tension rod below the axle.

Install the wheel drum before testing the brakes.  If you don’t do that you could possibly push the pistons out of the cylinder and you’ll have wheel cylinder parts and brake fluid all over the brakes.  I learned this lesson the hard way.

Don’t forget to bleed the rear brake lines before driving your car on the road.

I hope this helps you plan your wheel cylinder replacement project.



9/14/15 8:47pm: UPDATE:
Well the long arm of Craigslist has caught up to I can longer access their RSS feeds, which happens when Craigslist determines that the feed is being abused. I’ve sent them an email appealing the block but have not heard back from them…and I don’t expect I will. I apologize to all the Bimmer02 visitors, I know many of you really benefited from the site. But I have to say that I’m happy the site lasted as long as it did. It started back around 2010/11, so I have no complaints. At the end of the day it is Craigslist data and I’m respectful of that. Perhaps Craigslist will change their mind. If so I’ll bring it back, but going forward I’ll look for others ways to contribute to the community. I remain a steadfast enthusiast of BMW 2002 and I’m sure that there are other ways to serve the community.

I’ll continue the blogging as time allows and try to post interesting repair/upgrade stories.

There are alternatives for Craigslist posts:, so all is not lost.

In a few days I’ll revert the site to the blog entries, but I’ll leave this post in the list to inform the others as they arrive.

Until then…happy driving!


I finally got around to replacing my rear brakes on my 1602, and not a moment too soon. The old shoes were at the end of their life. For those of you with a 1600 or 1602 you need to find shoes specifically for that model. The 2002 shoes are larger and will not fit the car. Most online vendors like Bavarahaus or RockAuto only carry the 2002 rear brake shoes. I purchased mine from an individual who I found here on who had a set of what appeared to be original shoes for this model.

2002 on the left and 1602 on the right.

2002 on the left and 1602 on the right.

As you can see the 2002 shoes are much larger.  Note: the 1602 shoes did not come with the emergency brake arm.  I’m assuming they’re available with the arm but this set did not have them.  I had to punch out the arm from the old ones and then press it back into the new ones.  It took some labor but it wasn’t that big of a challenge.

shoe arm

New shoes with the emergency brake arm attached.

Here you can see the new shoes with the arm attached to it.  It’s attached with a rivet so once you pop it out and install it on the new one make sure it’s pressed in so that it doesn’t pop back out.

brake drum

Before the removal.

Before the removal.

Before the removal.

Here is a view of the brake shoes before their removal.  The hardest part is the removal of the spring near the brake cylinder.  While you have the shoes off you should take the opportunity to check the pistons in the cylinders to ensure they’re moving freely.

Putting the drum back on proved to be a challenge.  Make sure you adjust the hand brake so the cable is loose and the brakes are not enabled.  Also, if the piston in the cylinder is not moving freely then the new shoes may not compress enough to allow the drums to fit.  I wish the rear brakes were as easy as the front brakes, which use disk brakes, they’re still a pain to install.  Please allow 4 to 6 hours for a complete installation.  Your mileage may vary.

Be sure to consult with an experienced mechanic to help verify that the brakes were installed and are operating correctly.

Good luck!