E36 needs new brake pads . . .

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thinking of doing it myself. I have access to a cheap repair shop to take off tires and use a lift. how hard of a job is it ? thanks

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The job is as easy as taking of each wheel, taking off each caliper, pushing the pads back in the caliper to push the pistons back, then putting new pads in.
The car can be lifted with the jack in the boot/trunk and the wheel can be put under the wishbone in case the car falls of the jack.
If I remember rightly, calipers are held on with 9mm allen screws.
If you do the job properly, you will replace the discs too, these will require an impact driver/wrench with a 5 or 6mm allen screw socket and an 18mm socket to remove the caliper frame.
If you do the rears, bear in mind that you can only remove the disc with the handbrake off as there are brake shoes internal to the disc and if you renew the disc (the rears last forever) you should renew the shoes too.
Put a rag around the master cylinder reservoir to catch any fluid pumped back when you push back the pads.
I would say to do all 5 is about 1.5 hours work max.
The Haynes manual describes it in better detail than my text.
Good luck
news wrote:

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Are you suggesting disks should always be replaced at the same time as pads?
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It's something to be prepared for if it's the first time you've done this job. The discs only last for approx two sets of pads.
FWIW, I've just bought all the discs pads and sensors for an E39 from Eurocarparts. 230 gbp for OEM quality.
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Mostly. If you measure the rotors and they're still within spec, pass a visual inspection (not scored, spalted or generally ickky) and you're happy with the way they feel (no wobbles or pulsing when braking) then you can probably re-use them. But you get the caliper off and notice the rotor is bad you'll have to do this job again. Do it right once, have the rotors in stock and if you don't need to replace them this time good for you.
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When I changed the discs and pads on my E36 a few years ago, I bought ATE branded discs from ECP (OE quality - ATE actually make the discs for BMW for my E46) they lasted 6000 miles before becoming warped, they were exchanged and the next set lasted a similar number of miles. I had them exchanged again, but sold the car within a few thousand miles.
The original discs had lasted about 80000 miles (I did not look what brand they were).
When I changed the discs on my E46, I went for genuine BMW items, they cost a little more, but I had the confidence that they were going to last longer.
PP
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I and my brother have been using aftermarket ATE parts for years on our BMWs without problems. It's not clear if you fitted them yourself which may be the difference? It's also possible I suppose ATE use different factories for different parts of the world as you're not the first to say this. Also my local BMW specialist uses ATE, and if problems were common that would make no sense, as they also supply genuine parts as needed.
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6000 miles on rotors before they warp indicates a problem:
    http://articles.mbz.org/brake/warped /
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Could be a problem in the fitting or manufacture. But if you want to pay BMW prices, go ahead. ;-)
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I found that the brakes on my E36 are the easiest brakes for me to service myself of any of the many cars that I own, or have owned.

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On Tue, 29 Aug 2006 18:43:21 -0700, "Jeff Strickland"

I did mine a few weeks ago, no problem at all once I found the right size allen key to remove the calipers.
A long persuading device is recommended to use as a lever to get the pads and pistons back.
The worst ones I have ever done were the rears on Various Lancia's, the handbrake mechanism operates through the back of the piston, so uses the same pads as the normal rear breaks, but because of this it also means the rear pistons are on a tread and you have to wind the damn things back in, and it feels like you're turning them for hours and hours and hours.
I loose count how much skin I lost of my knuckles doing those!
Dodgy.
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That sounds very much like the Girling type I had on a '70s P6 Rover. If so, there's a special tool for winding them back - although it *is* a bit long winded.

But at least you should have had the satisfaction of a decent handbrake, unlike the BMW drum type. ;-)
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. .

. .
You are the bravest bunch of poeple I've ever met.
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I changed the P6 for an SD1 Rover which I've still got. ;-) It makes an interesting contrast to the E39...
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Doorhinge.
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On Wed, 30 Aug 2006 11:14:47 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"

I didn't discover a tool that had the right end adapter for many years. I used to do it half a turn at a time with a flat 2 foot steel bar.

You're having a laugh aren't you? Cable operated lever that pushes onto the back of the piston (That's when it didn't seize up)? I could drive off down the road with it on full!
I remember it seized up (in the off position), I didn't notice, and the MOT guy failed the car on it. I pointed out that I would never trust the hand brake even when it did work, and always parked in gear, and he confessed to having owned one himself and never got the handbrake working to his satisfaction.
Still failed me though... Grrrr!
Dodgy.
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Ah - that's not the same as the Girling. It had a mechanical self adjusting system for the rear pads which was operated by both the handbrake and hydraulic piston. The handbrake would easily lock the rear wheels at 20 mph. Used to impress the MOT guys. ;-)

My E39 has technically failed twice but been let through on an advisory. But it's an auto, and the interlocks mean you tend to leave it in park.
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On Thu, 31 Aug 2006 11:19:23 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"

I've got an MOT test on my E36 at the weekend, mine's an auto too, and I've been doing my best to remember to apply the handbrake for the last few weeks and going round the block with it one click on just to clean the shoes up, I never use it, I just push the shifter into park. Seems silly that they could technically fail the car on a handbrake that is actually less of a mechanical lock that the gearbox park.
Dodgy.
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Dodgy wrote:

Almost all rear calipers are a variation on that. Worst I've encountered was a 2000 Beetle Turbo.
I had a Scorpion for years, autocrossed it lots.
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waffled on about something:

Ah, except the Italians perfected the art of making the seize solid!
Scorpion? Ah hang on, that's the Beta Monte Carlo over here... So you'll know all about the fun :-D
Dodgy.
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