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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 06-02-2004, 03:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi! I knew i couldnt afford a BMW when I bought it (2000 323 5sp 28k for 24,000 back in jan 2002) but now I know what I got myself into! I need new front brake pads and rotors The dealerships are asking between 465.00 to 625.00!!
I called Sears up and they said they will be cheaper than the dealerships but can I trust them? also, they told me to buy the parts separately and they give me another problem on what brand to buy...where to buy...what to buy...what about performance brakes? which one lasts the longest...can sears turn off the brake light?
Is it true that at 52,000 miles i need new rotors? they cannot be resurfaced? my steering wheel doesnt shake when I brake

Any advice would be greatly appreicated!! thanks for your Help
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Old 06-02-2004, 03:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sears could do it if you needed them too. I would look for an independant BMW shop in your area before I went to Sears though. For parts to maintain a braking similar to stock I would go with the Pagid replacement pads that Bravarian Auto sells (www.bavauto.com), be sure to order a new brake sensor wire. Rotors are usually good for 1 turning, BMW dealers will replace the rotors only instead of trying to turn them. To turn off the light be sure that the sensor wire has been installed put the key in the ignition and turn to the run position (do not start the car) one by one the lights will go out and after about 11 seconds the brake warning light should go out. I did my front brakes in my driveway in about an hour using the Pagid pads, I think it was less than $100 for parts (no rotors).
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Old 06-02-2004, 05:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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its not hard to do... you could do it yourself if you have any mechanical skills
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Old 06-03-2004, 03:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had a 1996 318i and now have a 2000 323Ci. It seems that agressive rotor wear is par for the course with BMW's. The 2000 I bought used with 36000 miles on it and the stealer replaced the front rotors due to wear prior to selling the car, (the car was Certified Pre-Owned so they tend to replace everything that is not 100%). Even based on possibly pre-mature rotor replacement, 36000 miles is not that many miles to burn up a pair of front rotors.

The 1996 318i seemed to fare better but when I got rid of it the rotors could not be turned any longer as they were below thier safe limit. A mechanic friend informed me that BMW's tend to go through rotors quicker than other cars.

You may wan to go the junk yard route for replacements and save some money but its a hasle and you should bring a micrometer with you to ensure that they have some life in them. Either way, replacement is not too difficult if you buy all of the parts yourself.
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Old 06-04-2004, 07:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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you cannot avoid paying. set of very good slotted rotors for 330i cost me $160 a piece. pads on all corners 130 total. i used hawk hps, but i am changing to hp plus. all from tire rack.
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Old 06-04-2004, 10:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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hmm I was wondering what "good" rotors are, do they last longer, provide better breaking, which ones are slotted? lol I dont even know what slotted rotors do! well, i'm going to go with pagid pads at bvauto, blue
since im too cheap for xenons, i'd like hypers! but what brand to go with? some hypers fry the wiring..will this happen to my bimmer?
thanks for all your help! i really appreciate it
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Old 06-04-2004, 10:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i was thinking about changing the ugly amber reflectors on my front bumper! anyone know if you can buy them, are they hard to replace?
thanks!
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Old 06-06-2004, 07:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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1. cadmium plated american stuff from tire rack. very hard surface="good".
2. zimmerman cross-drilled from germany (at bavauto), just as good.
3. i prefer slotted than drilled, they clean the pad surface as you brake, and don't glaze. you go thru pads like nobody's biz though.

4. i'd stay away from increased wattage bulbs. bavauto sells these stock watts, but high temp bulbs which shoudl work better. i bought them for my fogs, but have not put them in yet.
5. check the web for clear lens bullshit (bavauto have some). absurdly expensive, no matter where you go...
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Old 06-06-2004, 11:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Slotted rotors increase the gripping ability of the pads. The only downside is that it creates more heat and I have also heard you go through pads a bit more quickly. Unless you are competively racing your car the heat factor should not create an issue.
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Old 06-12-2004, 09:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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urghh now im starting to regret the whole aftermarket pads and rotors thing. some ppl say go for crossdrilled but then they crack, some say slotted but then the pads wear way too fast, what about crossdrilled and slotted, i dont need em, im just using the car for daily driving and what street racing i stupidly do, but then the pads, some ppls say stay away from EBC, and its split down the middle b/w axxis and hawk hps...but some say dont get dustless! it will squeak and you will lose breaking perfromace, i dont want that but then some ppl say it's much better than OEM, urghh im just utterly confused ghead

What do you guys/gals think? do crossdrilled only crack when driven hard? should I just buy what crossdrilled bavauto has to offer? and pads?

thanks in advance for you help!
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Old 06-13-2004, 01:49 AM   #11 (permalink)
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You don't need any fancy rotors. Whatever you get, don't expect the same feel and performance as the BMW brakes. Don't put aftermarket pads on BMW rotors either, as in many cases, they don't match up well. Loud, tears up rotors quicker, etc.
BMW rotors will only last about 25k average. The metal is soft, and by the time the pads are gone, so is the rotor. Usually, on the rear, you can go 2 sets of pads to one set of rotors, but the front is usually always a rotor and pad affair.
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Old 06-13-2004, 02:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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turnermotorsports.com has brake kits w/zimmerman cross-drilled rotors (4), pads (f/r ?type?)
FLUID, and sensors for around $300. great deal! if u want steel braided lines, its only like 65 bucks more.
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Old 06-13-2004, 04:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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heya speedy, do you know if the pads that come with the brake set at turnermotorsports.com are any good? axxis metal....i was told to get axxis ultimates or pagid or hawks hps lol im not sure what to get, do you know if stainless steel brake lines make that big of a difference in stopping power?
thanks!
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Old 06-13-2004, 04:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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hawke pads r really made for racing, they burn up fast, but stop great.
pagid pads r great all around.
TMS kit has pbr pads. im not too familiar w/them, but they dont seem bad at all.

if u want they have techs u can talk to that can give u any advise or help u need.
heres the # 1.800.280.6966

steel brake lines keep the brake pressure in the lines from flexxing. this keeps all the pressure that is built up to be sent into the callipers.

good luck
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Old 06-14-2004, 07:07 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Its over and done with! finally decided....i went with www.turnermotorsport.com the package deal added stainless lines and ATE slotted for the front, $400.00 even though I don't need front and rears but i figured I will sooner or later...all I want is for them Not to squeal lol, urghh now i gotta find a place to get them installed..
Thanks for the help
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