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Old 03-30-2008, 11:11 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Gather these fluids BEFORE you begin your BMW brake job

So that the next BMW brake job DIY has all the information handy, I've collected the best of your recommendations in this simple brake job fluids tips and tricks ...

Summary of recommended fluids for a typical BMW E39 brake job:

- 1 liter ATE Super Blue DOT 4 low-viscosity brake fluid (note 1)
- 75 ml tube of ATE Superlube anti-squeal paste (note 2)
- 2 oz Permatex Anti-Seize Lubricant (note 3)
- 16 oz can non-chlorinated brake cleaner spray (note 4)
- 1 oz high-temperature brake grease (note 5)
- 1 tube of Liquid Wrench penetrating lubricant (note 6)
- 1 bottle of "P21S" or "SONAX R2000" Wheel Cleaner spray (note 7)
- 1 bottle of Gojo pumice hand cleaner or similar detergent (note 8)

Note 0: You'll also need clean lint-free shop towels to wipe down rotors and brake parts without leaving lint all over the place; a steel wool pad to clean the rust off the wheel hub flange; a good stiff brush for the wheels; and a box of latex or nitrile gloves to keep your fingers clean (even so, you'll need the Gojo pumice or TIDE detergent to clean your fingernails properly); and a Motive pressure bleeder (if bleeding brakes).

Note 1: A typical brake job is dry in that there is no need to change the brake fluid. However, you'll likely WANT to change your brake fluid when the job is done since it's recommended every two years anyway. Bentley manuals specify "low viscosity" DOT4 brake fluid (whatever that is). Also recommended is ATE Typ 200 (amber) brake fluid. Most people say 750 ml is enough for manual bleeds, and, perhaps more than 1 liter might be needed for pressure bleeds.

Note 2: The anti-squeal paste (aka "Never Squeal" & "high temperature lube" & "Brake Disc Quiet" & "Plastilube", etc.) is used on both pad backing plates (aka "caliper contact faces"), and on the caliper landing faces (i.e., places where the pad "wings" slide in the calipers called the "brake pad rests"). Some people use (orange) CRC or Permatex "Brake Disc Quiet" instead of the ATE "Plastilube". Some say this paste is nothing more than high-temperature lube, by the way.

Note 3: The BMW version of the anti-seize lubricant is called "Never seez", (BMW part number 83-23-9-407-830). This paste covers the outside of the rotor face where the wheel touches the rotor (the face that has the lug holes); and if you replace the rotor, this paste goes on the flange of the hub where it touches the inside of the rotor (again, where the lug holes are).

Note 4: The brake cleaner spray is used to clean the oil off the new rotors; to clean grease spots off the old rotors (if any); to clean the caliper landing faces before applying the anti-squeal paste; to clean the caliper guide pins, and to clean anything else METALLIC (do not use this cleaner on the plastic caliper guide bolt caps as they may deteriorate according to the Bentleys). It should be noted that isopropyl alcohol may work just as well as brake cleaner as it evaporates leaving no residue. Note that gunk engine degreasers leave a residue so their use should be discouraged unless followed up by brake cleaner.

Note 5: About the only place you'll need high-temperature grease will be in the rear parking brake actuating mechanisms which should be lubricated at all the moving joints as noted in the Bentley manuals. Be advised some people maintain that high-temperature brake grease and anti-squeal lubricant are one and the same.

Note 6: Stubborn bolts might need a bit of liquid wrench penetrating oil to lessen the friction, particularly for the rotor set bolts.

Note 7: I used Formula 409 Carpet Cleaner to clean my wheels because that's what I had in my kitchen; but you should use a product specifically made for cleaning wheels so that you don't damage the aluminum or clearcoat. For example, some threads say Simple Green or abrasive cleaners will "eat away at the clearcoat" as shown in this thread: Bimmerfest BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5-Series > E39 > Best Product for Cleaning Wheels

Note 8: No need for Gunk Engine Degreaser (brakes just aren't that greasy); you will need Gojo pumice hand cleaner or TIDE detergent to clean your hands of grease, even if you use the nitrile or latex gloves.

Note 9:
Nothing whatsoever on the caliper guide bolts. Likewise, all threads should remain dry, including lug bolts, rotor set bolts, and caliper mounting bolts as fluids will change the torque requirements. No Locktite Threadlocker anywhere!

Note 10: My actual brake job DIY is over at bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5-Series > E39 (1997 - 2003) How to check & replace your BMW front disc brakes and rotors ( ).

Last edited by bluebee; 03-30-2008 at 11:57 PM.
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