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BREMBO CROSS-DRILLED ROTORS
Completed 9/24/2001

DESCRIPTION
Install Brembo direct OEM replacement brake rotors and new pads.

PARTS NEEDED
1 - Set of (4) Brembo brake rotors LF/RF/LR/RR
     (EVOSPORT $672 part #brm-e46rt3)
1 - Set of BMW factory front brake pads
     (TISCHER BMW $33 part #34 11 6 754 705)
1 - Set of BMW factory rear brake pads
     (TISCHER BMW $33 part #34 21 6 750 160)

TOOLS NEEDED
Floor Jack/Lift
Wheel chocks
Jack Stands
Lug Wrench/Impact Wrench
17mm Wrench & Socket Ratchet
Bungee Cord/Bailing Wire
6mm Hex Wrench
Rubber Mallet
Large Flat Head Screwdriver
Large C-Clamp
Wire Brush (optional)
Anti-seize Compound (optional)

INSTALLATION
I chose to do this install on a lift at work for ease, but a floor jack can be used to place the car on jack stands as well. Be extremely careful when working under the car at all times. DO NOT set the parking brake and DO use wheel chocks. It is also a good idea to loosen the cap on the brake fluid reservoir and keep an eye on it for overflow as you progress. Spilled brake fluid is an excellent paint remover.

1. I started with the right front (RF) wheel. Remove the wheel to expose the caliper and rotor (Photo A).

2. Behind the rotor, remove the (2) 17mm bolts holding the caliper on (Photo B - Note: this photo is of the rear caliper, but the bolts are the same all around).

3. Slide the caliper off the rotor and support with something like the bungee cord/bailing wire to keep the weight of the caliper from stretching or breaking the brake lines.

4. Using the 6mm Hex Wrench, remove the set bolt holding the rotor to the hub (Photo C).

5. Most likely the rotor will be difficult to remove, but a few good smacks with the Rubber Mallet around the hub area should loosen it from the hub. Try not to let the rotor drop on the floor, it is heavy.

6. On the caliper, pry up on the retaining clip supporting the outside brake pad and remove it (Photo D).

7. Remove the outside brake pad.

8. Using the large C-Clamp, carefully compress the inside brake pad back into the caliper to return the piston to its innermost position (Photo E). This is where your brake fluid reservoir may overflow, so have someone keep an eye on it.

9. Remove the inside brake pad. It is snapped into the piston cup and should pop out fairly easily.

10. Snap the new inside brake pad into the piston cup.

11. Insert the new outside brake pad into the caliper. You may have to seperate the caliper pieces to get it to fit in there (Photo F). Reattach the retaining clip.

12. It is advisable to wire brush the hub at this time to remove rust and debris.

13. If you choose, apply anti-seize compound around the hub center where the rotor makes contact. You may also wish to apply compound to the rotor set bolt threads. This is just to make it easier if you need to remove the rotor in the future.

NOTE: Contrary to popular belief, the cross-drill hole pattern does not dictate which direction the rotors should rotate. The interior cooling vanes of the rotors themselves decides this. On this particular Brembo kit, the front rotors have straight vanes and can be installed either way. I chose to install the rotors as if they were slotted, where the outermost set of holes contact the brake pads first. The rear rotors, however, do have centrifugal interior cooling vanes. But, after a short discussion with Brembo, I learned that since model year 2000, BMW rear rotors are the same on the left & right even though technically one will cool more efficiently than the other. We all know that the front brakes do 85% of the braking work, so to cut costs, only one mold is used for the rear rotors. Simply put, one side of your car's rotor hole patterns is not going to match.

14. Place new rotor on hub and align the set screw hole. Insert set screw and tighten (Photo G). Tighten to 12 ft-lbs.

15. You should be able to easily slide the caliper over the new rotor. You may have to wiggle the pads apart to get it to fit. Reattach the (2) caliper bolts (Photo H). Tighten to 81 ft-lbs. Remount the wheel.

16. Moving to the right rear (RR) wheel, not much is different. Things to note include the "low brake pad" warning sensor and the parking brake system. The sensor is a green wire and sensor which alerts to worn brake pads. It is snapped into the base of the inside pad of the right rear (RR) and left front (LF) calipers. It operates by wearing down with the pad and finally grounding on the rotor itself, triggering the lamp on your dash. You can simply pull it out, but take care to not loose the copper clip on the end of the sensor (Photo I). You can snap this sensor into the new inside brake pad upon reinstallation. The parking brake system incorporates a simple drum brake system integral to the disc rotor. If the parking brake is set, you will have a very hard time getting the rear rotors off and may damage these components. The rear caliper mounting bolts require a little less torque to tighten. Tighten to 48 ft-lbs.

17. Move to each wheel and repeat the steps (Photo J).

18. It is necessary to set the pads once finished. First thing, replace the brake fluid reservoir cap and pump the brake pedal several times to press the brake caliper pistons back out against the rotors. Start the car and carefully put it in gear. The brakes should hold. You should then take a drive making 3 or more low-speed normal stops. There will be grinding and low-braking effeciency at first. This is normal as the rotor cadmium-plating is worn off and the pads seat themselves into proper position. You may then make 3 or more normal-speed stops and begin to drive normally. Avoid making violent stops for about 200 miles. You are essentially starting over your break-in period on your brakes.

19. That's it. The rotors will return to that familiar silver shine in no time (Photo K).

 
Photo A


Photo B


Photo C


Photo D


Photo E


Photo F


Photo G


Photo H


Photo I


Photo J


Photo K

 REVIEW

Once everything is nice and settled in, these rotors are fantastic at about a 1/3 or more of the cost of a complete brake upgrade kit. I chose to use factory BMW brake pads instead of aftermarkets due to the fact that they are very good and very quiet. I know the dust output sucks, but that shouldn't be a consideration when you think about a brake system's function and safety importance. I can clean off brake dust better than the bumper of the SUV I could have just rear-ended.

I was worried at first that the rotors would stay "ghetto gold" colored, but the cadmium plating from Brembo wears off very fast and clean. The coating is simply used to keep the rotors from rusting during storage and shipping.

My stopping distances have only been reduced by about a quarter, but the most noticable difference is the almost complete lack of brake fade after numerous 60-0 tests I did to check stopping distance. That is what the cross-drilling is all about.


  © 2001-2008 MarvelPhx