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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 03-17-2013, 01:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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front brakes dragging

smelled burning brakes after a ride last week. found lots of heat coming from front left tire.

removed caliper to investigate. found pads and rotor are in good shape. they were changed recently. lubed everything up and put everything back together. wheel turned great. started the car and got the boy to step on the brake and then release and it still seems to stick. its like the caliper won't fully release.

any ideas on a fix? or do i need a new caliper? rebuild options?

thanks

patrick
1998 318i
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Its the caliper. I had the same issue on my right front. It ended up chewing my pads up on that side.

What it is, is the piston inside the caliper is protected by rubber seals. This keeps the brake fluid in, and debris out. However when the rubber degrades over time eventually moisture gets in and causes rust and other issues.

This is relatively easy to fix. A repair kit for the caliper is available from BimmerSpecialist.ca for $14. Thats where I got mine. You'll need to remove the caliper. Then youll need to remove the piston. To do this, where the pads go insert a block of wood and use compressed air to blow the piston out. You need the wood their because the piston can shoot out at high velocity and do some damage to the caliper or you. Once out you very very carefully remove the old seals using a dental pick or similiar being very careful not to scratch the piston.

One thing to note, inspect the piston and if their is large pitting or an uneven surface then you will need to replace the caliper. They do not sell the piston individually. A brand new caliper from BimmerSpecialist is $169.
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