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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 03-21-2006, 05:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Doing your Own brakes

I will be needing some new rotors and pads for the front and back.
Has anyone here done their own brakes and if so, how difficult is it, and what things should I look out for.

I have done brakes before, not on a bmw. Just curious if anyone has any pointers. I really do not want to bring it to a mechanic again. They were estimated around 700-800 to do them. I gave them enough of my money for now.

appreciate your insight
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Brakes are super easy to change on BMW's you will need a caliper tool to depress the caliper, a 6mm allen key, a 7mm allen key (prefer socket style myself) a1 16mm (or 17mm) 6 point socket and breaker bar, and a hammer to knock the rotors off the hub. Use a good high quality bostic lube paste (like anti-seize) (and don't use that brake quiet spray crap) You will do fine
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Where do you get a "caliper tool," and what does it look like?
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I rented it in AutoZone
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k2c69n
I will be needing some new rotors and pads for the front and back.
Has anyone here done their own brakes and if so, how difficult is it, and what things should I look out for.

I have done brakes before, not on a bmw. Just curious if anyone has any pointers. I really do not want to bring it to a mechanic again. They were estimated around 700-800 to do them. I gave them enough of my money for now.

appreciate your insight


Get yourself a Bentley service manual. Either the paperback version or download the .pdf version (94mb?). All this stuff is explained in there. The allen screw that retains the rotor is 5mm. You just need something to spread the old pads apart and compress the caliper piston down so the new pads will slide on easy. Clean the replacement rotor very well with brake cleaner to cut the anti-corrosion film off before installing it or you'll trash your new pads. Use a quality brake pads and rotors, like Axxis Ultimates or Akebono ProActs (Tire Rack), they are both dust free. If your brake service light is on you'll need to replace the brake wear indicator of the offending wheel (either the left front or the right rear wheel....). But if the brake light is not on you should be able to reuse the existing brake wear indicator. Use JackStands when working on the car, not just a hydraulic jack. Good luck.






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Last edited by Hamfisted; 03-21-2006 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 03-21-2006, 08:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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www.bimmerzone.com/parts-special-brake.htm

Running a sale on front and rear brakes. If you don't have allen sockets, a torx bit socket will work.
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Anybody have any opinions on the break kit in the above post?
If so what rotors and pads do you suggest and where from?

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Old 03-22-2006, 06:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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torx and allens ARE NOT the same thing


Torx


Allen

DO THE LOOK THE SAME?






This is the pad spreader you need (can get at harbor freight tools, checker maybe)
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Old 03-22-2006, 08:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=325isBaby]torx and allens ARE NOT the same thing


No they are not the same, but the Torx bit will work in an allen head, if you don't have the allen handy. Done it many times, try it.

Like someone said, rent the spreader at Autozone, use it, then return for full refund. I would say use a big screwdriver as a pry bar to push the piston back in, but that would probably upset some people.
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Last edited by tomctx; 03-22-2006 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 03-23-2006, 12:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If you depress the piston too quickly you risk ruptering seals in the brake system so if you want to cause damage to your brake system, right tools for the right job...Y screw things up when it could be done right the first time.
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Old 03-23-2006, 12:49 AM   #11 (permalink)
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man forget the spreader, i use a large set of grips to compress the caliper, works just fine without buying unnesscary tools. however i realize this is your first brake job on the bimmer, so maybe i retract my previous statement and say get the tool. the guys who have done the brakes on your car a few times know how and what needs to be done
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Old 03-23-2006, 07:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 325isBaby
If you depress the piston too quickly you risk ruptering seals in the brake system so if you want to cause damage to your brake system, right tools for the right job...Y screw things up when it could be done right the first time.

Never screwed up a brake job yet. At least in the last 30 years. If you have the right tools, fine. If not, other things can be used. Actually, if you have a "c" clamp laying around, it works better than screwdriver.
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Old 03-23-2006, 10:35 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomctx
Never screwed up a brake job yet. At least in the last 30 years. If you have the right tools, fine. If not, other things can be used. Actually, if you have a "c" clamp laying around, it works better than screwdriver.


agreed, done properly , youll never have any major issues, the brake job is easily one of DIY projects that gives you a sense of a job well done, because its usually considered a big job and the good thing its quite simple once you do it once
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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try www.bimmerdiy.com for some articles on how to...
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Furious
i use a large set of grips to compress the caliper, works just fine without buying unnesscary tools.
Word.

What also works really well is a large clamp. Clamp spin. spin spin done.

Watch for the brake fluid
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