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
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.
Changing brake pads is an easy job. If you consider a 7mm hexagon key a
special tool that's probably all you'll need.
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.
Try one of these for decent pattern parts.
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.
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
R / John
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.
[Don't top post. Quote selectively. Don't use HTML. Enjoy Usenet]
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
No risk. Works perfect every time.
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.
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.
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
Anyway, the lowest dusting pads don't *have* to be the hardest ones.
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.
(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... ;)
(and please: don't ask mine!)
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