2001 E39 530i, chaning brakes

Hi there, a bit of a newbie question.
My E39 has 48k miles and during the last service the dealer said that the brakes may need to be done (fr & rear) on it's next service at a cost of
300 Front and 375 rear.
I'm thinking of doing it myself and have 3 questions :
1. Is it a difficult job and are any special tools required? 2. Would I need to change the rotor motors, how would I know whether they'd need changing? 3. Any recommended brake manfucaturers (I'm assuming I won't be able to buy 'BMW' brakes from an brake specialist)?
Any help or links to help would be appreciated.
Thanks Matt
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Changing brake pads is an easy job. If you consider a 7mm hexagon key a special tool that's probably all you'll need.

they'd
Check the thickness/width on the worn area with a micrometer or vernier, against the recommended minimum, but if they have a heavy lip on the outside edge, or are heavily scored, change them anyway.

buy
Try one of these for decent pattern parts. http://www.brakeparts.co.uk / http://www.gsfcarparts.com http://www.eurocarparts.com /
Looks like if you DIY the job, you can buy everything you need. New pads and discs all round, for 150-200. My advice is go for it. It's one of the simplest of maintenance tasks. Probably no more than half an hour to change discs and pads on the front and the same for the back, so even allowing for inexperience, you should get the job done in a couple of hours. Ask in one of the BMW forums if you need precise details of how to do it. Or maybe someone in this n/g might know. I have an E34, but I hesitate to say that an E39 is exactly the same. Mike.
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Pretty easy job. Add a C-clamp to your tool list to simplify pushing the pistons back into the calipers. Clean the calipers and lube the pins before reassembly. Buy a quart of Ate fluid and flush the whole system during the bleeding.
R / John

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wrote:

C clamp really is a kludge - yes, I've done it but you can only push one piston back in at a time. It's well worth buying a proper brake caliper retraction tool (I think Halfords do a Draper one for under a tenner) which pushes both pistons back in at the same time and doesn't risk tearing the seals.
--
Philip

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Philip K wrote:

Well, most cars only have one piston, but either way, what you do is leave the one (piston side) brake pad in and press against that. That way you exert even force so that the pistons don't get cocked in their bore(s).
No risk. Works perfect every time.
--
-Fred W
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The majority of modern BMWs have only one piston per caliper.
--
*I'm really easy to get along with once people learn to worship me

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I use a large screwdriver to open the calipers before I take them off. I find this easier than the c-clamp method. Of course, one has to be careful to not harm any of the seals and such ...

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J Strickland wrote:

Bad idea for a coupel of reasons, Jeff.
1) You might ding the rotor whilst prying, and
2) You put pressure on only one side of the piston. If it is at all worn, you risk cocking the piston in the bore and then you'll be shopping for new calipers.
It really is very easy and painless to do it with a big C-clamp or the tool made for the job.
--
-Fred W
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No, it isn't difficult, and no you don't need any special tools.

Here is an opportunity for a special tool, you may need a micrometer or a set of calipers to measure the rotor thickness. I would not guess that you need rotors after only 48k miles.

I used Raybestos Professional Grade pads on my car when I installed them the last time. They were MUCH cleaner than the pads that came off, which I don't remember what type they were but they were very dusty. One problem with dust free pads is that they are a bit harder than the dust making pads, and the problem with the hard pads is they tend to be noisy (squeal) when the brakes are applied lightly - which is the way I use my brakes about 90% of the time. You get a little noise, but no dust. You gotta decide if the trade off is worth it. I think it is.
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J Strickland wrote:

Hmmmm.... That's contrary to what I have always beieved, and experienced. Not about the Raybestos PG's, I put those on my Jeep Wrangler and they worked very well with little dust.
But pads... a different car, maybe a different dimension, but on SAABs where I have way too much exprience changing brake parts. I switched from factory SAAB pads (good but dusty) to Pagid OE pads (same) to Axxis PBR deluxe pads (organic not metallic) gave slightly less responsivenes but significantly less dust. Those puppies were definitely soft. One time I took some pads off and roughed them up with some sandpaper (don't try this at home with asbestos pads kids) and you could really tell the difference.
Anyway, the lowest dusting pads don't *have* to be the hardest ones.
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OK. My logic says that low dust will come from harder pads, high dust from softer pads. Remember, that's logic speaking, not science. I know that my Raybestos pads were clean as a whistle, and they were noisy. I assumed the noise and the low dust were related by hardness of the pad material.
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J Strickland wrote:

Ah, here my friend Mr. Strickland hits the point!
AIN'T NO JOB WORTH DOIN' UNLESS YOU CAN JUSTIFY THE PURCHASE OF AT LEAST ONE NEW TOOL! -- C.R. Krieger (Ask my wife!)
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C.R. Krieger wrote:

(Jumping out of lurker mode)
Sorry to quote the entire point but it is a really, really good point and one that should not be shared on a (potentially) insecure thread. I do not want to lose this privilege in future... ;)
Bob Balbirnie (and please: don't ask mine!)
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