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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-12-2012, 11:48 AM
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Braking power, the other acceleration.

I was staring emptily at my front brakes today while my car sits on jack stands waiting for new rubber and I couldn't help but think. "Gee this brakes look tiny". I took my search to teh googels, and I brought up an eBAY posting

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Big-Brake-Ki...#ht_1776wt_972

This seems like a pretty good deal for just front brakes right?

But what are some other alternative for big brakes rather than swapping to M calipers and rotors and having to swap hubs and such?

I know there are plenty of BBK's out there and the range into the thousands of dollars, but what do you run? How does it fit? How well do they stop? How hard was it to install?

You made you own BBK, share it with the group.

I understand that the clichè stock sized rotors with slots and cross drilled holes dont actually improve the performance which is kind of why even though i just replaced all my brakes with powerslot rotors and Hawk pads, I'm looking favorably and affordable BBK's and open to any ideas. Plus, how freaking cool do big multi piston calipers look through the wheels? right?
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2012, 11:55 AM
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That seller also posted that kit on the other forum. Sounds like a pretty good deal. I just wouldn't know what to do to the rear to get proper brake bias.

I just recieved my "poor man's" bbk. It's the e46 setup with 330 fronts and 325 rears. It bolts right on to the e36. I think the main upgrade will be increased thermal capacity.
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2012, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by EnserioJose View Post
That seller also posted that kit on the other forum. Sounds like a pretty good deal. I just wouldn't know what to do to the rear to get proper brake bias.

I just recieved my "poor man's" bbk. It's the e46 setup with 330 fronts and 325 rears. It bolts right on to the e36. I think the main upgrade will be increased thermal capacity.
does it use larger calipers?
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:03 PM
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Yes, the E46 rotors are larger. I don't recall the diameter difference offhand, but IIRC it's around a full inch. THe calipers are the same size.

EDIT:

Also an upgrade that is direct bolt on, is E46 'Vert rear rotors and calipers, their rotors are vented.
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2012, 12:09 PM
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still your basic single pot set up I imagine? Do you think that if one could source some Brembo calipers for an STi through a source that i could just buy the brackets and larger rotors and work it?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2002-2012-Su...r#ht_924wt_972

something to that affect?
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Last edited by Kdoherty; 08-12-2012 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:16 PM
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If you search for Jay Mac, he started a thread where he was fabbing the largest rotors and calipers he could fit onto his E36. I'm not sure if he did finish that project, but he was going rather in depth into it.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:16 PM
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I have Wilwood 4 piston front, M3 rear.

Hawk HP plus pads all around, Ebay slotted rotors, super blue fluid.

I can't imagine stopping very much faster that what I can now. Granted, the biggest difference is going to be the pads.

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Old 08-12-2012, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesin View Post
If you search for Jay Mac, he started a thread where he was fabbing the largest rotors and calipers he could fit onto his E36. I'm not sure if he did finish that project, but he was going rather in depth into it.
i vaguely remember that thread, it was a lot of damn math. I bring up the Subaru calipers though, because they are designed off of brembo's but have a pretty long mounting bracket and might require some fanagling with custom machined adapters to fit, but I would think that with a size match rotor for a BMW that they'd clear the rotor easily, you can buy the whole brake set up from a 2006+ WRX WR for 400 bucks and they're essentially Brembo's without the name, and SUBARU is actually cast into into caliper... but I can easily get over that
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by FenderBender View Post
I have Wilwood 4 piston front, M3 rear.

Hawk HP plus pads all around, Ebay slotted rotors, super blue fluid.

I can't imagine stopping very much faster that what I can now. Granted, the biggest difference is going to be the pads.

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I do like the Wilwood front BBK and it's priced pretty nice. Do you think it would clear 17" stye 5's? I think I'm actually more worried about it hitting the face of the wheel not the barrel.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:46 PM
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I do like the Wilwood front BBK and it's priced pretty nice. Do you think it would clear 17" stye 5's? I think I'm actually more worried about it hitting the face of the wheel not the barrel.
You can try one at Bimmerfest though I'm sure they'll fit.

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Old 08-12-2012, 01:00 PM
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@Ed i Just visited JayMacs old thread, holy hell he went through much much re-engineering just to find an OEM style caliper... no thanks. I if wanted to do all that I'd just save myself the torture and the time and buy something that already works. That being said, I think that if I can buy brackets made to work with Brembos and I can score some 2nd hand subie calipers I may be able to Mcgyver something.
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:31 PM
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Stock non-M brakes stop fast enough for me... I guess I'm not very picky
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:35 PM
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I've been toying with the idea of doubling up the front stock calipers in the front. Just eyeballing it looks like there's room on the bottom part of wheel area to fit a second caliper on each side. I'd hook up with a set of junk yard spindles to cut the caliper mount from and have a machine shop weld it to an existing spindle. A T fitting and a second brake line would get the fluid to the second caliper and voila, you've got twice the braking area.
I don't think it would take a lot of $$ since most of the parts come from the salvage yard, but it would be a hell of a lot of work to do the installation with the spindle change out.
Just a half baked concept at this point......
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:38 PM
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I've been toying with the idea of doubling up the front stock calipers in the front. Just eyeballing it looks like there's room on the bottom part of wheel area to fit a second caliper on each side. I'd hook up with a set of junk yard spindles to cut the caliper mount from and have a machine shop weld it to an existing spindle. A T fitting and a second brake line would get the fluid to the second caliper and voila, you've got twice the braking area.
I don't think it would take a lot of $$ since most of the parts come from the salvage yard, but it would be a hell of a lot of work to do the installation with the spindle change out.
Just a half baked concept at this point......
that would look wicked if it worked. though i wonder how pressure distribution would be affected.
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:15 PM
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Also remember, bigger brakes don't mean you'll stop faster. Bigger vented rotors, bigger calipers, and bigger pads will help with heat. The pads do the stopping.


Bigger brakes can actually make you stop slower.

Kind of like a clutch, stock clutches are full face right? Because they don't hold any kind of power.

Aftermarket "race" clutches typically have what? Less surface area, correct!
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:20 PM
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Shouldn't be any pressure issues. The caliper pistons don't move very far so there's not a lot of fluid volume required. The master cylinder builds pressure in the lines and that builds pressure in the front brake fluid circuit. ABS shouldn't be affected either since it senses off the wheel speed sensors. The ABS computer modulates the pressure to match up the wheel speeds.
It's not much different than what's in a big brake kit caliper where the caliper has machined in channels to direct fluid flow to the multiple pistons.
What I like about this concept is that it uses standard brake components and I'd have the choice of the full range of E36 compatible brake pads. You could even experiment with a different type of pad in each of the calipers to see if that improved performance even more....
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by FenderBender View Post
Also remember, bigger brakes don't mean you'll stop faster. Bigger vented rotors, bigger calipers, and bigger pads will help with heat. The pads do the stopping.


Bigger brakes can actually make you stop slower.

Kind of like a clutch, stock clutches are full face right? Because they don't hold any kind of power.

Aftermarket "race" clutches typically have what? Less surface area, correct!
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FenderBender View Post
Also remember, bigger brakes don't mean you'll stop faster. Bigger vented rotors, bigger calipers, and bigger pads will help with heat. The pads do the stopping.


Bigger brakes can actually make you stop slower.

Kind of like a clutch, stock clutches are full face right? Because they don't hold any kind of power.

Aftermarket "race" clutches typically have what? Less surface area, correct!
The stock clutch needs more surface area because the clutch disk uses lower friction materials than race clutch disks do. It actually is designed to slip a lot. They do this to make start off easier for drivers that aren't very good with manual transmissions.
With race clutches they use a very high friction material at the expense of making start off more challenging, but you get a very solid grab.
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:29 PM
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I understand why they use higher friction material, but why wouldn't they use a standard clutch size (full circle)? More surface area only means more friction, right? The same question applies to brakes.
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cj.surr View Post
I understand why they use higher friction material, but why wouldn't they use a standard clutch size (full circle)? More surface area only means more friction, right? The same question applies to brakes.
Less surface area=more pressure on the surface area that is there.
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:35 PM
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Ah! I learned me something today.
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj.surr View Post
I understand why they use higher friction material, but why wouldn't they use a standard clutch size (full circle)? More surface area only means more friction, right? The same question applies to brakes.
You still have to have some slip or you wouldn't have a clutch you'd have a switch and you'd have to start off like a formula 1 car. It's picking a balance of initial slip with the friction coefficient and surface area needed to hold the rated HP. I've used full face race clutches in drag strip cars and it would be undrivable on the street. Just to roll the car you had to run the RPMs up to 4K rpms and just barely feather the clutch a bit.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by FenderBender View Post
Also remember, bigger brakes don't mean you'll stop faster. Bigger vented rotors, bigger calipers, and bigger pads will help with heat. The pads do the stopping.


Bigger brakes can actually make you stop slower.

Kind of like a clutch, stock clutches are full face right? Because they don't hold any kind of power.

Aftermarket "race" clutches typically have what? Less surface area, correct!
THIS. A million times this.
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Old 08-12-2012, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by FenderBender View Post
Also remember, bigger brakes don't mean you'll stop faster. Bigger vented rotors, bigger calipers, and bigger pads will help with heat. The pads do the stopping.


Bigger brakes can actually make you stop slower.
Only if the installation reduces the system pressure. Braking power = pressure applied to the pads x the pad area x pad coefficient of friction in a simplified form. In a big brake caliper installation the system available pressure remains the same, the piston area increases which gives more pound force (increased psi), the pad area increases (drag increase), and the coefficient of big brake pad sets increases over stock pads.
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by cj.surr View Post
Stock non-M brakes stop fast enough for me... I guess I'm not very picky
I'm with you... I considered buying the E46 bolt-on stuff from a buddy of mine (who had it on his E36 325is), but ended up just getting better pads for my stock setup for now.

I have Performance Friction Z-rated pads and AutoZone rotors, along with SuperBlue fluid, and it's a good "economy" setup that stops well, repeatedly, from 115 on a track while being street-friendly. No fade. I'm sure they would fade some if I drove them harder (the whole "don't wreck your street car into a wall" thing had some effect on me) but they were fine for last month's event.

I know there's more braking to be had. I can work the stock setup harder, or I could go with bigger and better gear. But for a mostly-street car? Eh, this'll do for driving to work, hitting back roads, and random track weekends.
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