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Thread: Best Brake Pad Choices

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    CT
    Posts
    331

    Default Best Brake Pad Choices

    My car's engine pulls like a locomotive but the rest of the car just can't handle it. I plan on a Sachs kit and new thrust arms, 17" wrapped in Zs should take care of handling. Right now I'm more worried about the brakes because they always have SUCKED on my car. The car will still stop on a dime when pushed hard but the pedal is too damn spongy, and there seems to be some sticking. (I suspect a bad caliper) Also the OG pads are a brake dust factory. A mechanic I want to use is used to using Pagids or PBRs, but I have seen many people advise for Raybestos QS. Pagids also come in a "Blue" sport type as well. Anyone have any ideas on them? There are orange racing ones as well, but I'm sure I don't need those. PBRs are semi-metallic. Shouldn't I stick to ceramics? He has no experience with the Raybestos and non-E34 owners think of them as nothing great. Is it worth going through the trouble of ordering them? Are getting slotted/drilled rotors worth anything or are they just for looks as some have suggested? I wish my car could stop like the newer Bimmers. I've driven some (E39, E46, E38) and my car can never stop like that though my mechanic promises it should.


    King Of NYC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
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    115

    Default

    first, flush out the old brake fluid and put in ATE fluid. see if that eliminates the spongy feel. as you said, you may need to check out a binding caliper.

    then after you've gotten yourself a solid pedal feel; experiment with different pads. if you still have some mush, check the rubber brake lines - may need to change to stainless steel lines.

    you have to decide what level of performance you want then find a pad to match. I like the PRB for "dustless" street driving, but think Hawk pads are better for more spirited runs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    257

    Default

    I recently rebuilt my brakes with slotted discs in front and stock discs on the rear, with Raybestos QS Ceramics on all corners, plus Earl's stainless steel brake lines. I also was coming from a stock setup so the dust was terrible. I went with the Raybestos mostly on Bill R's recommendation, low dust and long wear. So far I'm happy with the setup. I also rebuilt the front calipers since I figured they needed it. The kit from BMA is cheap, like $3.00 ea. It's really easy to do if you use compressed air to take them apart and then to expand the new inner o-ring to put it back together -it's about impossible to do it without it.
    Btw, I also installed a Sachs kit, M5 sways, uppers, lowers, links, adjustable front camber kit along with 17" rims -it's a lot better car imo. You won't regret doing any of those mods.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    257

    Default Here are some links I found helpful:

    http://www.bimmernut.com/wwwboard/e3...ges/56928.html
    http://www.bimmer.info/forum/showthread.php?p=4793
    http://www.bimmer.info/forum/showthread.php?p=6760
    http://www.bimmernut.com/wwwboard/e3...ges/56953.html
    http://www.holley.com/earlsplumbing/
    http://www.speedbleeder.com/

    I got the ss lines and speed bleeders from BMP Design. Mike's right, whatever you decide to do be sure to thoroughly flush the brake system with new ATE fluid (BMA of course).
    Prior to the rebuild, my car was pulling on the left front and I was getting a lot of brake dust on that wheel. All of that is gone now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    1/2 Way tween Chicago & Milwaukee
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    844

    Default


    A Bimmer Nut for sure: '04 530im (current daily driver), '97 m3, '98 323is, '99 Z3, '01 740iL, '06 330cicm zhp, '02 R1150R, '69 r60, Owner/Operator of www.Bimmer.info and www.BimmerNut.com
    And I still maintain: '90 535im (sold to daughters best friend, one of my favorite bimmers), '92 525im (daughters other best friend now drives this one).

  6. #6
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    May 2004
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    CT
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    Default

    Thanks for the links guys! Very helpful. I know ATE fluid is the way to go....Should I use the yellow fluid or is the blue good enough? I'd hope a flush is enough, gotta look at the whole brake system to see what else is required. Saw a slight leak atop the master cylinder as well possibly just leaking grommets on top (I hope) I want no squeal, low dust and responsive/progressive feel. I'll probably take a chance on Raybestos QS.


    King Of NYC

  7. #7
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    Dec 2003
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    Eastern Tennessee USi
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    14,695

    Default Raybestos QS Ceramics, usually people will use

    different colored fluid in an effort to see when the old stuff is gone and the new color flows through.
    95 E34 530I V2.31
    ===========
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Denver, CO
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    257

    Default Blue should be fine.

    Unless you're planning on driving in the next local GP the blue will be more than adequate.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Chicago
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    Default

    Since you are talking about performance and adding the Sachs kit I am thinking more about the performance of the brake pad. Usually dustless and performance do not go hand in hand. There are dustless pads that work close to stock, those that need to be heated up first, those that need to be pushed harder to reach a threshold for better braking, and those that squeal either when pushed hard or under light load.

    Now I was concerned before about dust and had PBRs as well as Axxis deluxe plus. I finally put Axxis Ultimates on and they are the best street pad in performance I have ever tried. The dust is more gray than stock and it performs well even when cold. Plus, they do not squeal at all! You will be addicted to its stopping power. When it comes to the safety of braking, I don't take a chance and say what is adequate, especially with my spirited driving style. I have had the Axxis Deluxe plus pads and the PBRs fade during spirited runs and even glazed the Deluxe Plus. The Ultimates are up to the task.

    FYI: don't forget to wax your wheels. It makes it harder for pad dust to stick and it makes the dust easier to clean.
    Last edited by Brandon J; 10-13-2004 at 02:07 PM.
    Brandon J

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    CT
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    Default

    Aren't PBRs/Axxis semi-mets? Shouldn't we stick to ceramic? Are PBRs/Axxis made by the same company? I see them often listed together. Anyone else use Axxis? By now I think I'm even more confused!! I'm hearing good/bad things about every type of pad out there. LOL!! Never knew there were so many choices. I defintely want better than stock....don't need a trackstyle pad with high fade resistance either....Just a street-type pad for brisk/spirited driving, no sqeual, low dust and can halt the car on a dime.
    Last edited by rockyfeller; 10-13-2004 at 05:23 PM.


    King Of NYC

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