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Thread: My first brake job - some thoughts and reflections

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    31

    Default My first brake job - some thoughts and reflections

    I just finished installing rotors and pads on all four corners of my '95 530i. In case someone else is going to take on this job, I wanted to pass on a few bits of info.

    Do yourself a favor and get a hex bit for your socket wrench for the caliper bolts. The allen wrench that came with your IKEA furniture is no match.

    The carrier bolts for the rears are 15mm. Don't even think of going after these bolts or the bigger ones in the front (19 mm) without a 1/2 inch socket wrench.

    By yourself an impact driver to remove the rotor set screws. The rear set screws came out OK but the ones in the front (yes, they are different) were very stubborn. After nearly erasing the edges of the bolt hole with allen keys, I borrowed an impact driver and a BFH from a nearby mechanic. A few whacks and that pesky screw came right out.

    Don't gentle the anti-rattle spring clips. Grap a flat edge screwdriver and go to town on these bad boys especially the fronts. They're nearly impossible to damage and nearly impossible to remove unless you get tough with them.

    After removing the carrier bolts, the caliper should slide right out. If it doesn't, get a screwdriver between the rotor and the pad on the piston side and gently but firmly give it some pressure on the top and bottom. This will compress the piston just a hair but more than enough to make that caliper ease right out.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,639

    Default

    Yup. Good tip summary!

    I might add get 2 new rotor set screws just in case you round out the existing ones. Easy to do, cheap to have on-hand.
    Bellevue WA
    90 535iM - not much stock remains. 3.7 liters, ported head, cammed, 3.73 diffy, M5 brakes, MAFed, yadda yadda yadda
    86 Porsche 951 - Track Toy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff N.
    Yup. Good tip summary!

    I might add get 2 new rotor set screws just in case you round out the existing ones. Easy to do, cheap to have on-hand.
    Thanks. Actually, I believe SOP is to replace the set screws when changing the rotors.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    3,395

    Default

    Good info. I've done carrier bolts with a 3/8" ratchet before -- no big deal

    Also, when reinstalling, use lots of antisieze on the hub flange, top of rotor hat, and the set screw.

    And, as Jeff said, a new screw is always a good idea.

    best, whit

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Eastern Tennessee USi
    Posts
    14,787

    Default

    do I have the easiest to work on car here? Mine was a breeze and the rotor screws werent any more than snug. The anti rattle springs come off with my fingers, just have to work one side at a time.

    Hey 530 what area did you car come from? Mine was Texas then GA then up to MI for 6 months, might be why it wasnt all cranked together? What kind of rotors and pads you use? Did you bed them in yet?
    95 E34 530I V2.37
    ===========
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 632 Regal
    do I have the easiest to work on car here? Mine was a breeze and the rotor screws werent any more than snug. The anti rattle springs come off with my fingers, just have to work one side at a time.

    Hey 530 what area did you car come from? Mine was Texas then GA then up to MI for 6 months, might be why it wasnt all cranked together? What kind of rotors and pads you use? Did you bed them in yet?
    As far as I know, my car's never left Pennsylvania and we do get our share of weather. The heat index was over 100 while I was doing the work. I'm using Balo rotors and Raybestos QS series ceramics. As far as bedding, I just got in the car and started driving. I've tried to make sense of all of the bedding-in discussion on this board, but in my 30 years of driving, and the occasional brake jobs I've had before all of this wonderful info could be found at the touch of a keystroke, I've never done anything special after getting new brakes. I just drive the car.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Posts
    2,561

    Default no problems

    I recently did my from brakes with ATE rotors and Raybestos QS pads. No problem with the set screws. I used a metric hex socket. First sprayed PB blaster, let set about 15 minutes, inserted hex socket, gave it a couple of wacks with hammer, sprayed more PB blaster, let set a few minutes and it came right off with no fuss.

    Just my approach.
    Thanks,

    1995 525i Auto, M50TU 2.5L, EAT chip, 1/95 build, USA, 205/65/15 tires, ASC+T, HID, lumbar, EC Mirror, BMW Alpine 5 radio with BMW-Pioneer CD Changer, abt 236k miles, Oxford Green/Parchment

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