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Door brakes for dummies...help?


KFunk
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OK, I'm searching and searching, but I'm still really clueless on them. I just don't know how they're supposed to operate, and how to fix them.

Whenever I open the doors on my car, the doors do not hold open. They gently swing back to being closed. I don't really care, but my girlfriend does not like the door closing on her. Externally at the door hinge, I don't see anything obviously wrong or missing. Can I take the hinge apart and fix/adjust anything? Will I need to buy a new set, or upgraded set like some people are selling? Is there a write-up on this subject that I can't seem to locate with my search terms? Am I misunderstanding the job of the door brake?

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I had one broken one (the parts bounced around in the bottom of the door) and one good one (that was stiff as all get out). I replaced them both and have been very pleased. We wish our brand new MINI had door brakes as good as the new ones on my 02.

The new ones are a different design and look like they will hold up well. The old design held up for 30+ years which ain't bad.

This is one of those jobs where you have to pop the door panel off. Anytime you do this, make your list of stuff to do "While you are in there".

Barrier- plastic sheet

Door panel retainer clips- replace old cup & white plastic w/ new green ones w/o the cups.

Plastic grommets on all the door lock rods- reduces rattles

Pull door handles- clean and lube lock & button, install with new outer gaskets (very inexpensive)

Clean all the junk out of the bottom of the door. Make sure the drain holes are clear.

Pull and check the door switch at the front. Is the little push cap in place on the door?

You can go deeper and check/replace window seals and such, but your costs will go up. However, the new front channel seals for the door windows make things nice.

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spring--they fracture at the top of the horseshoe, and welding 'em back won't help. If you check the archives you will find several ways of adapting check straps from other BMWs and (I think) a Mercedes so they'll work on a 2002. Cheaper than buying new, but requires some welding and/or jury rigging.

cheers

mike

PS--missed you at the KY Ridge Run.

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I think they just wear out get smooth. I never noticed how bad mine were until I started putting new ones in cars. They actually hold the door open at 2 spots. Wide and then closer in. I think you can make E 21 door brakes work as well. I should add that I also started doing these with my wife's car for the same reason, lol. Someone might have some used ones that still hold for cheaper.

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I had the same problem and was on a budget. So, I visited my local junk yard and pulled the door break from a 3 series Mercedes in the 80s. I got the one with the black box from the passenger's side. It worked like a dream. I only paid $5. Good luck. It is not that bad of a job but a great upgrade.

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Fix them!! It's not only the spring that breaks, although that's most common, my last failure was in the cast part that holds the whole thing together.

Two things...

1. You got bits of this thing down in your door rattling around and making rust. Not good.

2. Once you put new door breaks on a car it feels like you just spent $500 on the car. It's one of those things when they're working, the whole car just seems to have a much more solid feel. You'll see.

I've only used the OEM replacements, but this time only because I had one on hand. I'd go with the ones Harry makes, seems like they're getting stellar reviews.

Just do it man, I promise you'll be glad you did!

BD

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I had the same problem and was on a budget. So, I visited my local junk yard and pulled the door break from a 3 series Mercedes in the 80s. I got the one with the black box from the passenger's side. It worked like a dream. I only paid $5. Good luck. It is not that bad of a job but a great upgrade.

Ah, thanks. I'll just have to keep my eye out for some when I get the chance. Strangely, there are a few abandoned Mercedes in this area (No BMWs, though).

I've had the doors apart before to fix door locks, and most clips and plastic work is mangled anyways. I might pop it open and take a look again when I get the chance.

Mike, sorry I couldn't make it to the KY ridge run. It looked like a good trip. Along with other issues, I just couldn't fit in another weekend of traveling. We had to make it up to Cleveland a couple weeks ago (02 did just fine, took all backroads), and this past weekend we went hiking in Dolly Sods Wilderness area over in West Virginia. The Subaru did just fine for that trip (too many gravel/dirt roads for the 02).

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New Mercedes door brakes cost about 35 bucks each from Autohaus, and they come with plastic covers free. You need to bush or shim the pin holes as they are larger than BMW units.

Ooooooh, what about something like this for $16 bucks each? http://www.autohausaz.com/search/product.aspx?sid=nxk1pzm5pztvj555zwhp5w45&makeid=800016@Mercedes&modelid=1194049@300SD&year=1985&cid=13@Body,%20Trim%20%26%20Lighting&gid=11406@Door%20Check/Stop

Now that might be do-able...

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That is the one I bought! So It was even cheaper for the pair! The pin is too thick, you need to fabricate some reducing bushings to make them work with the bmw pin and the bracket at the door post. E30 brakes may work too (I think those were more expensive), but they need to be shortened (cut and re-weld).

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