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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 04-14-2005, 10:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi, I'm new to the board and would welcome any advice. I have a 1992 318is with about 164K. About a month ago I noticed the steering wheel would shake at certain times even after I got my tires balanced. The shaking would come and go but the problem got gradually worse. A few days ago i started smelling a burning smell. I took off my tires and noticed one of my calipers wasn't opening up. I already tried bleeding the caliper and flushing out the break lines but it didn't solve the problem. The caliper now only closes and won't reopen unless I bleed it and force the pads back manaully. I'm thinking about replacing it by buying a used caliper since the car is already so old. My question is will a caliper for a newer model 3 series (E36) ) fit my car or should I get one from the same year?
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Old 04-14-2005, 10:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You need one like you have.

If you want to upgrade your entire front brakes, you can do that, but if you upgrade one part of one side, it isn't going to work.
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Old 04-14-2005, 10:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally posted by The Deuce@Apr 14 2005, 10:35 AM
You need one like you have.

If you want to upgrade your entire front brakes, you can do that, but if you upgrade one part of one side, it isn't going to work.
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I have a 1992. Do I need to get a caliper from the same year car or will a 1994 or 1995 also fit? Only the front rigth caliper is broken so I'm not sure if i should be replacing the left one too if it's working fine.
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Old 04-14-2005, 11:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey Duffman, I am a tech and to be honest the last place you want short cut is your braking system.
What you are experiencing is a seal in the caliper bore that is swollen from contamination. Causing the caliper piston to not return back into the bore.
Now days most shops buy rebuild calipers instead of rebuilding calipers because the savings on labor and liability.
If I were you I would replace both calipers with rebuilt units and before installing the new calipers flush out the old brake fluid.
Hope this helps.
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Old 04-27-2005, 08:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Have you had your bottom ball joints checked?
I have a 318is that did exactly the same. If it seems to be at a certain speed, and wobbles for a few seconds when taking a light corner.

If it is this, it will progressively get worse. Eventually is will sound and feel like hell!
Have a look underneath - you'll soon see if it looks like the bush has raised up.

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Old 04-27-2005, 09:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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that caliper needs to be changed, its sticking which causes the pads and rotor to wear very fast so do it asap. i dont think there is a difference in the years as far as calipers so you should be ok.
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Old 04-27-2005, 03:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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but, please do as above recommended and when change, only change the calipers in pairs. Do not changs just one to save money, and also, if your brake pads are uneven, change them as well.
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