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Dirichlet
04-25-2005, 06:22 PM
I often drive in a 'spirited' fashion. I also try to attend as many driving schools as possible, and will also be participating in autox this sumemr. It seems to me that the stock brakes wear quite quickly under these driving conditions, and we all know that they are costly to replace. I have two questions
1.) What are a good set of calipers / rotors for performance driving at a medium price (i.e. 355mm Brembos = too much $$$)?
2.) Where can I learn to replace the brakes/rotors and perform the necessary bleeding, etc?

and, I guess, a third:
Will buying performance brakes be a good investment financially as compared to continuing to run the stock brakes?

any help greatly appreciated

AG
04-25-2005, 07:46 PM
I often drive in a 'spirited' fashion. I also try to attend as many driving schools as possible, and will also be participating in autox this sumemr. It seems to me that the stock brakes wear quite quickly under these driving conditions, and we all know that they are costly to replace. I have two questions
1.) What are a good set of calipers / rotors for performance driving at a medium price (i.e. 355mm Brembos = too much $$$)?
2.) Where can I learn to replace the brakes/rotors and perform the necessary bleeding, etc?

and, I guess, a third:
Will buying performance brakes be a good investment financially as compared to continuing to run the stock brakes?

any help greatly appreciated

The stock brakes are more than adequate for street/autox and initial bite when cold tends to be better than most aftermarket pads. That being said, you may want to upgrade to a slightly more aggressive pad such as Axxis Ultimate. For track use, get a dedicated track pad. I'm running Carbotech XP8's up front with street tires on the track and I'm quite happy with them on my 330i.

If you end up having issues on the track, you might want to consider:
1) Installing brake ducts
2) Upgrading to 330i front rotors/calipers/caliper carriers
3) BBK
If you install a BBK, you're most likely going to have to get larger wheels.

My $.02

Pinecone
04-27-2005, 04:16 PM
Also, if you plan on autocross read the rules CAREFULLY, you don't want to be bumped up acouple of prep levels for one change.

tedv
05-06-2005, 07:06 PM
Doing your own brakes is a snap, I've done them on my e30 and just finished on my Wife's Lex ES300. It takes very little time and and no more skill than changing the oil. Look online for details, here are a couple of good pages I found:
http://www.unofficialbmw.com/e46.html
http://e46fanatics.com/howto/howtodetail.php?howto_id=29
http://www.garageboy.com/bmw/brakefaq.html

My only real advice is to get a good set of axle stands, a nice "C" clamp from Sears to use to recess the pistons and to pick up an allen socket while you are there. If you use an allen key the rotor set bolts you *will* eventually round one off and that turns a 30-minute job into a 3-hour pain in the butt. I've never rounded one off using a hex socket, even really stubborn ones. The "C" clamp just makes the job a whole lot easier.

I order from http://www.eap4parts.com/, they are the least expensive around and I've always had great luck with them.

For the Lexus I was quoted $450 an axle - with decent generic pads and rotors (and 30-minutes per wheel) I finished up for just under $90 an axle.