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Old 10-26-2012, 12:22 PM
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DZeckhausen DZeckhausen is offline
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Mein Auto: 2012 BMW F30 328i 8-Speed
StopTech big brake upgrade - F30 328i

A few months ago, StopTech released a big brake upgrade for the F30 335i. This new kit is specific to the F30 328i, with slightly smaller caliper piston sizing for proper brake balance and a smaller diameter parking brake drum than the 335i kit. This is the world's first installation of the new 328i kit. (Well - it's the first permanent installation. Obviously the test car StopTech used had one installed briefly, but it's now back to stock.)

I had planned the 4-wheel upgrade on my 2012 BMW 328i Luxury Line this Saturday, with some friends coming over to "help" (meaning hang out and talk cars), followed by a parade over to Panevino Restaurant in Livingston, NJ for lunch. But the pressure of the incoming hurricane, plus the sexy StopTech boxes in my garage combined to make delay of gratification virtually impossible. So I installed the front kit last night. It was probably the easiest installation I've ever done.

The rear kit installation is still scheduled for tomorrow morning in Maplewood, so the "brake-fest" is still on!

If you're on Facebook, here's a link directly to the photo album, which gets you higher resolution shots, if you want: 328i Installation Album

Otherwise ...

Lifting the car just high enough to get the front wheels off easily.

After spreading the front brake parts out on my workbench, it was too hard to resist installing them. I grabbbed a set of Centric Posi Quiet Ceramic brake pads from our warehouse, since I do not plan on tracking this car. That's what the Corvette (with StopTech Trophy brakes!) is for. These Posi Quiet pads will be less dusty and smoother than the standard StopTech Street Performance pads.

Front wheels off and brake fluid reservoir is exposed - a plastic panel with several quarter-turn quick-release fasteners. Much easier access than past BMW models, like the E39 5-Series and E90 3-Series.

The puny stock front brakes. That's a single-piston floating caliper.

I'm really loving this new garage and the mid-rise lift. It makes tire changes and brake work so much easier and faster.

First step is to disconnect the stock brake line and snap a rubber cap over the end, to keep fluid from draining out. Then pull the pad wear sensor, remove the 6mm rotor retaining screw from the hub, and remove the two 18mm bolts holding the caliper in place.

The caliper and rotor are off. I've already bolted the StopTech caliper adapter bracket in place, using the stock BMW caliper mounting bolts. Torque to 81 lb-ft.

The new StopTech 355x32mm floating race rotor is installed, held in place by the stock 6mm rotor retaining screw.

The StopTech ST-60 6-piston caliper slides over the twin mounting studs and is retained by two 1/2" Jet nuts, torqued to 40 lb-ft.

Centric Posi Quiet Ceramic pads drop right in from above.

The caliper stiffening bridge also holds the pad retaining springs. Four bridge bolts keep it in place. It's a good idea to coat the bridge bolts along their entire length with Permatex Anti-Seize paste, to make it easy to remove them later. This is especially important if you race or if you drive on roads covered with snow-melting salt and chemicals.

Time to bleed the brakes. Thanks for working the pedal, Maria! :-)

All done with the driver's side!

Wheel back in place and on to the passenger side installation.

A comparison of the factory front rotor thickness with the StopTech floating rotors. Although they are substantially larger, the StopTech floating rotors are several pounds lighter. I'll weigh the stock parts tonight and follow up shortly with a comparison of stock vs StopTech components.

Another comparison, this time of rotor diameter.

The StopTech 6-piston caliper is much more impressive than the BMW factory 1-piston caliper. It's also dramatically stiffer, meaning the pedal feel will be much better.

All done! Start to finish was less than 2 hours. It would have been faster if I wasn't taking photos, stopping in the middle of the install for dinner, and having to spend time coaxing Maria downstairs to push the pedal when it was time to bleed the brakes!

Stay tuned for the rear brake installation on Saturday. I promise not to install them tonight! ;-)
Dave Zeckhausen
Owner, Zeckhausen Racing

2015 BMW X1 xDrive28i M Sport

2012 BMW F30 328i Luxury Line 8-Speed
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade

2001 BMW E39 540i 6-Speed (Traded-in for F30)
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade
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