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Replacement Pads, Rotors,etc.

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by John in VA, Jul 18, 2011.

    • Member

    John in VA

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    Pad life varies, based on

    Pad life varies, based on driving style and pad compound. You will know if your pads need replacement by removing a front wheel (front pads normally wear out first) and looking at them.

    BavAuto kit can be fine, but shop around. They have a price-match policy and you can often find the same parts priced more competively.

    rich235 guest

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    I have a 2003 325i manual trans with 43K miles. My brakes service indicator came on briefly a few days ago and is now off. I havent investigates further yet but I'm thinking I need to change the pads. I wonder how many miles others are getting with this car equipped with a manual transmission. And, are the kits sold by Bavarian Auto very good? I see a nice kit for 332 dollars that includes rotors, pads and new sensors.

    Thanks

    Rich

    rich235 guest

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    Thanks John

    Thanks for the assistance, time to get dirty and inspect. I just stuck my finger in their yesterday and can feel some wear on the rotor, but will be taking the wheel off to get a good look. Is there a BMW parts place similar to BavAuto that has better prices? Or do you just shop around based on what you 're looking for? Thanks again.

    Rich
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    I wouldn't necessarily expect

    I wouldn't necessarily expect your rotors to be worn out by 40k. If you want to be sure, find the spec for minimum rotor thickness for your car, and measure them with a digital caliper.

    http://www.google.com/products/cata...U24sTuyCJqLb0QGptr3kDg&sqi=2&ved=0CJABEPMCMAM

    If you're going to be tackling more than just brakes, get a Bentley manual for your car, it outlines service procedures, tightening torques, specs, etc, for most projects one might attempt (Bavarian Autosport sells them).

    Lots of places sells parts - Bavauto.com have been long-time club supporters, and offer price-matching, but there are plenty of options to be had by googling.

    getbmwparts.com

    bavauto.com

    penskeparts.com

    autohausaz.com (very good prices on various things, but I think some parts may be sourced from cheaper aftermarket sources; I think bavauto, for instance, strives to provide equivalent oem quality for parts that don't have to be sourced from BMW).

    If you're getting the brake indicator, you'll need sensors when you swap pads. Handy to have 3/8" & 1/2" torque wrenches for properly re-tightening wheel lug bolts and whatever you have to remove for swapping pads. I hit up my local Snap-On truck, but Sears is convenient -

    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/search_1...ems=25&autoRedirect=true&prop17=torque wrench

    If you're thinking a torque wrench is an unnecessary extra expense, consider the safety aspects of your brakes and wheels. Unevenly tightened lug bolts could be both unsafe and lead to warped rotors. There are obvious risks to either over or under-tightening brake components. The right tools are needed to complete any job properly - that's why full-time mechanics always have gigantic tool chests; not only to do the job right, but in so doing, making sure the vehicle will be in safe running order.

    Don't forget a floor jack, jack stands, and wheel chocks. Sure, you can get the car elevated with the oem jack, but that's far less than ideal for servicing, and it's far too risky to place any part of YOU under a vehicle that isn't supported by a jack stand. Jack the car up and get it on jack stands, and chock the wheels you leave on the ground. Don't forget that when working on the rear wheels, the fronts have no parking brake, so important to chock the fronts. Jack the car up on a level hard surface; concrete is better than asphalt, and if you are on asphalt, place plywood under the jack stands so they don't dig into the asphalt. Set the jack stands evenly and at the same level under the car, and on the reinforced parts of the body, as the thinner sheet metal parts of the car will deform and aren't meant to support the car's weight. Most BMW's have reinforced "frame rails" as part of the unibody tub that you can easily see, and are good spots for jack stand placement. You don't want to damage your fenders, crush the gas tank, deform the floor or footwells, etc., so careful placement of the jack stands is important to not hurt the car, and in making sure the car is secure on them (so you don't hurt yourself).

    You may know all that already, but, worth mentioning, just in case. Good luck with the brakes.

    rich235 guest

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    Thanks

    I really appreciate all the information and advice.

    I do have the Bently manual and use it when needed. Along with the other items you mentioned except the calipers. Not that I'm trying to pinch pennies but I wonder if I can swap front and rear rotors, at least for the first brake service if needed. I'll have to check the bently for the allowable limits on the rotors and get a digital micrometer.

    Thanks again,

    Rich
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Brake rotors are not the same

    Brake rotors are not the same front and rear (well, in just about every BMW I'm familiar with - I won't say it isn't possible). The front brakes do more of the work, they're always larger than the rear brakes - if they were the same, it wouldn't even be safe, kinda unmanageable to drive a car that could have the rear wheels lock prematurely, tends to throw the car into a skid. You can check part numbers on realoem.com or penskeparts.com - would almost guarantee they're different.

    Micrometers usually only measure an inch or so width - you want to make sure you get something wider than the rotor, which is why I mentioned a digital caliper, which typically can measure greater thicknesses than micrometers.

    As I said, I'd be surprised if you needed rotors, if the car has had stock pads all along. Racing pads are another story, they wear the rotors substantially more. Let us know what you find out!

    rich235 guest

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    INspection complete

    Ftont rotors measure 21.4 mm and the Minimum allowable is 20mm

    Rear measured 19mm and the Min allowable said 17mm

    Outside pads looked fine, cant really get a measurement on the pads unless I take it apart and I'll replace them if thats the case. 43K miles.

    I'm going to replace front and rear rotors and pads, will probably buy teh kit from BavAuto for 323 dollars.
    • Member

    John in VA

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    rich235 guest

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    RE Places to buy parts

    John, thanks for posting these web addresses, I now have a bunch to chose from.

    I sort of like the Bav Auto site but I see the prices are not always the best.

    Thanks again!

    Rich

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