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New pads and rotors

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by Touring525i4dawgs, Oct 6, 2018.

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    Touring525i4dawgs '02 525it M sport

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    Hi friends. My mechanic said I need to start thinking about new pads an rotors fro my 325Ci. any suggestions? Would liker to upgrade from stock if possible.
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    MGarrison

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    Stick w/ stock rotors (slotted can be noisy with some increased pad wear, of little benefit for a street-driven car, and benefits of cross-drilled are pertinent for track-driving, but rotor-cracking & potential for crack-related failure pretty much negates them for street-driven just from practicality & safety factors). Stock pads are just fine for vast majority of daily driving. Axxis (or PBR) ultimate ceramics are stock pad alternatives, possibly somewhat less dust. If you want pads with more bite, for the street where the pads are essentially cold most of the time, that extra bite/grip may come at the expense of increased rotor wear - there are of course a variety of pad options. You could replace the oe rubber lines w/ stainless-clad lines for improved pedal-feel, although that's most noticeable compared to stock when the brakes get extremely hot, as in track-driving situations. Stock fluid is also fine for most street driving, but a common alternative there is ATE type 200 brake fluid.
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    Touring525i4dawgs '02 525it M sport

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    Thanks for the info. I was looking at a high carbon steel rotors from Centric with Stop Tech pads and stainless steel lines. What do you think of that combo? Ceramic pads?
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    MGarrison

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    Don't think I've heard anything neg. about Centric, don't think I've ever used 'em though, or Stop Tech pads, but all that means is I don't have any direct experience with them. My guess is that would all be just fine, sounds good to me! Try a google search for reviews of what you're looking at to see if anything substantially negative comes up. Haven't had any neg. experience w/ pads with ceramic formulation. There used to be pads, I think they were the old Cool Carbons that had a layer of ceramic between the pad material and the backing plate, which acted as an insulator reducing heat particularly directly into the caliper, but the downside on those eventually turned out to be too much of the pad thickness space going to the ceramic, uneven ceramic thickness for adequate bonding (meaning more frequent pad replacement since the amount of pad depth you had was reduced to nearly 1/2 of normal), and occasionally the whole pad losing adhesion to the ceramic layer and falling off or getting separated. So, I don't know if those are still around, but I gave up on that idea years ago. But, those are different than a ceramic-formulated pad material.
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    Touring525i4dawgs '02 525it M sport

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    Will look further into the Centric option. Sounds like the ceramics in your opinion are a bit dodgy. I know from speaking with the Stop Tech people their product is very good. Was impressed with their info. Stop Tech is a US product which I generally like. The Centric rotor is solid steel. So maybe OEM is the way to go. It's not like BMW makes a poorly manufactured product. I guess sometimes the hype of aftermarket can be a bit overwhelming. Always like your comments. They make me take a step back and see the bigger picture of OEM versus aftermarket. It's not like I'm going deep into the Indianapolis corner at LeMans on my way to work! Just looking for a good product that will give me best bang for my buck.
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    MGarrison

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    Let me clarify a bit, my comment on old Cool Carbon pads was to differentiate between how they used ceramic as a feature, vs. today's ceramic pads, which may use ceramic in the pad material formulation. You got me curious to check, today's cool carbon pads have dispensed with the ceramic insulating layer they used to have - it was a nice idea, but eventually the negatives proved to outweigh the positives (http://www.coolcarbonperformance.com/tech.html). No problem w/ aftermarket parts, plenty of quality options out there, including Stop Tech, I just haven't used ST/Centric myself - woulda been clearer if I'd said stick to solid rotors vs. slotted/cross-drilled as opposed to stock, which sounds like I'm saying stick solely to o.e.m.; aftermarket of course offers perfectly fine function/quality, particularly from quality suppliers, and often a good value compared to dealer prices. Don't forget to factor in 'CCA discounts on factory parts, sometimes that can make a difference (one of our local dealers here is doing 20% off parts for members, for instance - dealers vary in their discounts). With so many aftermarket options for BMW's in so many things though, you're right, sometimes separating the wheat from the chaff can get to be overwhelming. o.e. is good for brakes too for the vast majority of everyday driving, the usual complaints are looking for less-dusting pads, or, finding brake fade when pushed hard, although that's typically experienced in a track-driving situation where you're really pushing the car hard repeatedly for an extended time. If you've had pos. experience w/ Stop Tech yourself, I'd see no reason to think you wouldn't this go-'round either! :)
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    Touring525i4dawgs '02 525it M sport

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    Once again you have proved to be a great club resource. Thanks for helping me with good information. Cheers

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