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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-14-2013, 07:24 AM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is offline
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Brake pads/rotors

Hello,
I am thinking of buying rotors and pads all around for my car. My brakes feel like crap, do to the last owner putting very cheap rotors/pads.
I am ordering the parts through Auto Parts Way Canada, which is giving me free shipping.
I am thinking of getting Zimmerman X-drilled rotors @ $35 each, Textar pads in the front @ $60, and Pagid pads for the rear @ $55.
I was just wondering, your valuable before, I go ahead and purchase these, as I read from some that x-drilled rotors tend to crack/wear quickly, if put through stress.
I live in a place where constant braking is a must, so I am just a little worried about that end.
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2013, 07:42 AM
JKRIT JKRIT is offline
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Hoping that new pads & rotors are the correct solution to your "brakes feeling like crap," as opposed to needing a rebuilt caliper or something. X-drilled rotors are for bling rather than function, but get 'em if you like that look. I would strongly advise you to put the same pads on front and rear. The last thing you want is to upset the brake balance on a car, especially if you get too much braking force at the front, which can give you snap oversteer.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:44 AM
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You're better off with stock-like blank rotors. For street driving the drilled rotors probably won't crack, but the holes tend to fill with brake dust over time. There's really no point to them other than being a style statement, really.

We discuss this often so there's also lots of info in the archives if you search.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:46 AM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is offline
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Thank-you

I am just using whatever, I found cheaper. What is your recommendation, Textar all around or Pagid?
My other option is Textar e-pad, don't know what those are.
In your opinion, are Zimmerman x-drilled rotors good?
Never used x-drilled rotors before, just thinking of getting them because it's a good price. I am not buying because of looks.
Regular price on these are $170-190 each as mentioned on the website, so $35 each isn't that bad.
Other option are Brembo flats for $60 each for fronts and $70 for the backs.

I checked other forums for information, wasn't getting the answers I was looking for my specific options.

Last edited by BMW318i_E36; 01-14-2013 at 07:58 AM.
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  #5  
Old 01-14-2013, 08:21 AM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is offline
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Sorry guys, they were Zimmerman Cross-Drilled Rotors all along, I misread the information.
Don't know if it makes much difference though.
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2013, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW318i_E36 View Post
they were Zimmerman Cross-Drilled Rotors all along
IMHO, a rotor is a rotor.

But don't believe me. Read this:
- What's the real difference between drilled, slotted, and solid rotors (1) & what's the difference between various brands of solid rotors (1)

As for your pads, what is the cold/hot friction rating of the pads you have versus the factory pads versus what you're considering buying?
- What friction grade (e.g., EE, FF, EF, etc.) is recommended for your brake pads (1) (2)

See also:
- What street use brake pads (1) and rotors (1) and suppliers (1) (2) are most often recommended for your bimmer
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  #7  
Old 01-14-2013, 09:52 AM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is offline
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True, a rotor is a rotor. This is why, I am considering that's on sale, and cheapest.
$35 a rotor for Zimmerman cross-drilled, you can't go wrong.
Now it doesn't matter to me much of their drilled or not, they are cheap, even cheaper than the regular ones, because of their supplier.
In terms of the pads, I am not sure, I just am just looking what's at OEM quality, and Pagid and Textar are getting the OEM markings, and they don't have Pagid front brake pads, so I need to go with Textar all around.
Going to be using the car for regular day to day driving, most likely in the GTA with heavy traffic from to time, and frequent stops.
60% city, 40% highway, and no track runs.

Last edited by BMW318i_E36; 01-14-2013 at 09:55 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-14-2013, 10:19 AM
rdorman rdorman is offline
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Saying a rotor is a rotor is darn close to saying a car is a car.

Op, stick with oem blanks. Could be ate, balo, brembo, Zimmerman, etc. if you really want drilled then probably brembo or Zimmerman. As for pads, both you listed make good pads. And in general, use the same pad front and rear.

Last edited by rdorman; 01-14-2013 at 10:20 AM.
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2013, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdorman View Post
Saying a rotor is a rotor is darn close to saying a car is a car
Agreed! ATE, Zimmerman, or Brembo blank rotors will serve you well. If you want a lot of bite, get Axxiss Ultimate pads or EBC red stuff. Also, I highly recommend a brake fluid flush. Makes all the difference in the world. And if you really want tighter brakes, add stainless steel lines from the hard lines to the calipers.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:31 AM
Toona79 Toona79 is offline
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Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Agreed! ATE, Zimmerman, or Brembo blank rotors will serve you well. If you want a lot of bite, get Axxiss Ultimate pads or EBC red stuff. Also, I highly recommend a brake fluid flush. Makes all the difference in the world. And if you really want tighter brakes, add stainless steel lines from the hard lines to the calipers.
I'll second the axxiss ultimates, they are great. I screwed up this past change, a month ago, and got axxis metal masters. They dont dust but they dont stop either. I'll be swapping them out next month.
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  #11  
Old 01-15-2013, 10:46 AM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is offline
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Are axxiss under another company name ? The other name I see is PBC pads.
Could they be the same brand?
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  #12  
Old 01-15-2013, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW318i_E36 View Post
Are axxiss under another company name ?
We covered this in gory detail here, and I even spoke directly to the Axxis marketing team (contact numbers and emails are in that thread for backup):
- What is going on with finding Axxis versus PBR brake pads (1)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
REFERENCE:
Louis Luera, Marketing Manager of FMP North America, (makers of Axxis & PBR friction materials) 3529 Cannon Road Suite 2B #515, Oceanside, CA. 92065, 760-295-6034, 619-204-7146, bmna@msn.com)

Thanks to the pointer from dvsgene, I had a long conversation with Louis Luera (who will talk your ear off if you give him a chance)!

Here is, paraphrased, what he told me, in no uncertain terms!

Q1: Is Axxis currently marketed/sold in North America or not?
A: Yes, Axxis is marketed; yes Axxis is sold in North America.

Q2: If yes, then why is it so hard to find Axxis pads for my Bimmer?
A: There is only one licensed importer for Axxis friction materials so Axxis pads are generally less available than PBR friction materials, which have a wider distribution channel.

Q3: What is the real difference between similarly-named Axxis & PBR pads?
A: Absolutely nothing except the box.

Q4: How close are the Axxis/PBR pads to the stock E39 Jurid/Textars?
A: It's important to realize the original Jurid formulation was only put on your BMW at the factory for a few months before being reformulated. After a few more months, the Jurid friction matereial was again reformulated. And again. After about the fourth reformulation, the formula was licensed to the aftermarket, of which we are recipients. From that fourth generation Jurid formula, comes the pedigree for the Axxis/PBR replacement friction material for your BMW.

Q5: Can I find Axxis/PBR pads under another brand name?
A: Yes. For example, we sell to Centric/Stoptech & other suppliers who rebrand our friction materials as they see fit.

Q6: What is the fundamental difference between the Axxis/PBR Deluxe, XBG, & ULT branding strategies?
A: The Deluxe Advanced employs consumer consumer friendly materials which are easy on the rotors, have a long life, with low noise & almost no visible dusting, and a good grip. The XBG is in between on consumer friendliness, noise, dusting, and performance. The ULTs are closest to the original friction material on your performance BMW but the trade off is lower pad & rotor life, more noise, and noticeable dusting.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rdorman View Post
Saying a rotor is a rotor is darn close to saying a car is a car.
I didn't really want to get into a discussion (as that thread already exists) - but a key point is that a rotor and a car have one huge difference.

You can MEASURE and COMPARE a lot of MEANINGFUL different things on a car - but - when you measure 'meaningful' things on a rotor, the only real differences (IMHO) are in the M A R K E T I N G.
(not that a car doesn't have marketing either - but - the point is they're not alike in the sense we're talking about).

Notice I did say "IMHO" because I have already participated in the discussion, in detail, and it's all in the aforementioned thread. If anyone says one rotor is better than another, they MUST state a meaningful reason why - otherwise - they're just bowing to marketing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdorman View Post
As for pads, both you listed make good pads. And in general, use the same pad front and rear.
It's too bad the specs don't say ALL the meaningful differences between pads (e.g., the color of the dusting, which matters greatly to many), but, certainly the cold/hot friction ratings of the brake pads must be paramount.


So, to recommend pads w/o stating the friction coefficients (if they're different), isn't as meaningful as comparing by friction coefficients (at least initially). Of course, once you have two pads with the same cold/hot friction characteristics, then the OTHER meaningful (unmeasured) differences start to play a role.

Note: I'm not so naive as to think the friction coefficients are everything that matters in friction materials - but certainly they are meaningful.

Good luck!
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Last edited by bluebee; 01-15-2013 at 11:38 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-15-2013, 12:08 PM
rdorman rdorman is offline
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You always come up with a bunch of good stuff Bluebee but there is measurable and meaningful differences in rotors... but, that is another thread! And yep, lots of marketing B.S.! Familiar with edge codes and you are correct, they only tell part of the story. When designing systems if the pad manufacturer would not supply at the very least the cf/temp graphs I wouldn't touch them. Kind of funny, the pic you posted is what I use!

I think the OP has their answer here. The ATE, Brembo, Zimmerman along with the Axxis/PBR combo is a good one. Probably the ULT's based on the info you obtained from Axxis.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdorman View Post
but, that is another thread!
Yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdorman View Post
edge codes ... only tell part of the story.
Yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdorman View Post
Kind of funny, the pic you posted is what I use!
The stock pads on my bimmer are FF so your GG pads are worlds better in terms of friction characteristics!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdorman View Post
ATE, Brembo, Zimmerman along with the Axxis/PBR combo is a good one..
That's exactly what's on my bimmer right now!
- One user's example of a complete brake job with all torque figures, specs, measurements, fluids, decisions, tools, tricks, mistakes, suppliers, costs, etc., that it entails (1)

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Old 01-16-2013, 01:26 AM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is offline
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Cool, thanks for the information. A friend told me that PBR was just a budget brand and their pads suck, so I'm 50/50 now but if you say its good, then i will take your word for it. I will be buying my rotors/pads in a few days time, will keep you guys posted.

Last edited by BMW318i_E36; 01-16-2013 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:00 AM
rdorman rdorman is offline
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Well, since the manufacturer of Axxis says that PBR is the same thing in a different box then does your friend also think Axxis sucks? My bet is they are just misinformed. FYI, your car most likely calls for Low Viscosity brake fluid as does mine. From ATE that is the SL.6 http://www.ate-na.com/generator/www/...f_info_us.html

Please do change it while you are in there! Lots of folks use the other flavors of ATE but in cold temps (like Ontario!) the SL.6 does have an advantage for your ABS/DSC/Whatever. Don't get the anti squeal lube on the dust boot, it can cause it to swell.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:32 AM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is offline
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Thanks for helping me out and making the right choice , should I get the PBR Deluxe Pads or PBR Metal masters? and do shims or no shims matter?
Along with the brake change, will also be doing a fluid flush. How is ferodo brake fluid Dot 4 fluid? I got a liter of that fluid.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:04 AM
rdorman rdorman is offline
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Ferodo makes good stuff. Pretty sure it is the DOT 4 ESP (low vis) you want. If they come with shims, use them. Only lube in the right spots (look it up in Bentley, etc). Between those two, the metal masters and deluxe, and based on what your requirements where in the original post I would choose the metal masters. Don't forget the bed the pads once installed and once the rotors are in place, clean the pad contact surface really well with brake cleaner. They are shipped with an anti corrosion coating on them that you want to remove.

Bit of a side note.... I see a lot of people say something to the order of 'you don't need low-vis fluid, been running the other stuff for years no issues'. While you may not 'need' the low vis, I have personally seen the tests of various stability control system running both in cold conditions. The degredation of performance is in the multiples of magnatude between standard and low vis. Stuff is really just as good and the system is designed to help save your life so why not!

Last edited by rdorman; 01-16-2013 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:50 PM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdorman View Post
Ferodo makes good stuff. Pretty sure it is the DOT 4 ESP (low vis) you want. If they come with shims, use them. Only lube in the right spots (look it up in Bentley, etc). Between those two, the metal masters and deluxe, and based on what your requirements where in the original post I would choose the metal masters. Don't forget the bed the pads once installed and once the rotors are in place, clean the pad contact surface really well with brake cleaner. They are shipped with an anti corrosion coating on them that you want to remove.

Bit of a side note.... I see a lot of people say something to the order of 'you don't need low-vis fluid, been running the other stuff for years no issues'. While you may not 'need' the low vis, I have personally seen the tests of various stability control system running both in cold conditions. The degredation of performance is in the multiples of magnatude between standard and low vis. Stuff is really just as good and the system is designed to help save your life so why not!
When I get home, I will see which one I have. I have no problems buying from BMW dealer either.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:07 PM
rdorman rdorman is offline
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Just about everyone make a flavor of low-vis DOT 4 fluid. You won't have any trouble finding it.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:09 PM
TannerT TannerT is offline
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Brakes are pretty important, whike Zimmerman is good using the logic of brakes are brakes is no good. Cheap stuff will warp easier wear down faster and worse yet you could have a rotor crack. If you just city drive I wouldn't go all out but get atleast OEM grade. Breaking and suspension are two parts of the car that cutting corners and costs can lead to some pretty bad situations.

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Old 01-16-2013, 11:31 PM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is offline
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I am in no way cheating out on any brake component. The orginal price of the rotors are between $170-$190, so I am amazed that I can get a rotor like that at fraction of that cost.

Let me give you guys the part number for the front and back rotor, so you can see if it's a good buy for me.

Front: Zimmerman Cross Drilled Brake Rotor
Part # ZXD1597042

Back: Zimmerman Cross Drilled Brake Rotor
Part # ZXD1612613

I am keeping my options open, and value your guys opinions as this is the first I am buying brake parts online !

As for the brake fluid. All it says it's DOT 4, brake and clutch fluid.

Last edited by BMW318i_E36; 01-16-2013 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW318i_E36 View Post
A friend told me that PBR was just a budget brand and their pads suck
A friend told me the world was gonna end last month. She gave me just as much proof as your friend provided you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW318i_E36 View Post
should I get the PBR Deluxe Pads or PBR Metal masters?
The friction codes (and other characteristics) for both are listed in the thread I previously provided. Pick the one you want. It really won't matter all that much either way - practically speaking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW318i_E36 View Post
How is ferodo brake fluid Dot 4 fluid?
IMHO, DOT4 is DOT4, unless it's "low viscosity" DOT4. For more details though, I follow this from the E39 side of the house.
- Brake & clutch fluid: Brake & clutch hydraulic fluid (1) & brake bleeding DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
Quote:
- Brakes (9/1998 and later): "low viscosity" "high performance" DOT 4 (while the Bentleys clearly specify both "low viscosity DOT 4" on page 340-9 and "high performance DOT4" on page 020-11 and just plain old "DOT 4" on page 020-24, some recommend DOT4 ISO6 (aka Class 6, ISO 4925) low viscosity brake fluid over just regular DOT4, especially in colder climes). While the Bentleys do not specify what viscosity they consider to be "low"). Further inspection reveals a viscosity of 700mm^2 at -104F can be considered "low viscosity". However any good DOT 4 brake fluid can be used; but most recommend ATE Super Blue DOT 4 or "Original ATE SL.6" brake fluid. Many recommend alternating amber and blue colors to ascertain when the flush is complete. [Volume: Most people use about 750 ml or about 3/4 quart to flush the four wheels manually and slightly more than a liter to pressure bleed, depending on technique; so buy at least a liter (or quart) to power flush your entire brake system.] Replacement Interval: Every two (2) years (Bentley page 020-9) starting from date of manufacture. Best to use the pressure method, e.g., Motive pressure bleeder; but the two-man push-and-open method still works.
- Brakes (up to 8/1998): "high performance" DOT 4 (nobody seems to know what "high performance" means in practical terms; but the Bentleys clearly specify "high performance DOT4" on page 020-11 and just plain old "DOT 4" on page 020-24 and again on page 340-9). Replacement Interval: Every two (2) years (Bentley page 020-9) starting from date of manufacture.
- Hydraulic clutch (manual transmission only): Uses the same fluid & reservoir as the brake fluid, Bentley 020-26.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdorman View Post
If they come with shims, use them.
I once asked what the shims do (the answer is in the thread I already referenced).

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdorman View Post
Only lube in the right spots (look it up in Bentley, etc).
It's amazing how dry the Bentley is on brake pads & rotors. See gory details here:
- All BS aside, what are the BMW-recommended brake job "fluids" (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdorman View Post
Don't forget the bed the pads once installed and once the rotors are in place
The bedding procedure is covered, in detail, in the threads I referenced for the OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW318i_E36 View Post
I have no problems buying from BMW dealer either.
Wow. May I have a handout?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TannerT View Post
Cheap stuff will warp easier wear down faster and worse yet you could have a rotor crack.
Rotors almost never warp. Especially on street vehicles. If by warping, you mean pad deposition, that happens all the time. It's caused by the way the owner brakes. No sophistication.
Details here:
- The main causes of vibration while highway driving (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & while highway braking (1) (2) (3) & why it's never rotor "warp" (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW318i_E36 View Post
The orginal price of the rotors are between $170-$190, so I am amazed that I can get a rotor like that at fraction of that cost.
Price is meaningless most of the time.
The price you pay is not what 'you' think it's worth - it's the sum total of what every other moron out there thinks it's worth.
And those morons outnumber you a million to one (given that most people are styupid).
That's simple supply and demand stuff from Microeconomics 101.

My advice? Same advice I use for everything else.
Buy the cheapest rotors that meet the desired specifications.
Use your brain, instead of your money, to make decisions.

Good luck. Read the references. You'll do just fine.
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Last edited by bluebee; 01-17-2013 at 06:03 PM.
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  #24  
Old 01-17-2013, 08:40 AM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
A friend told me the world was gonna end last month. She gave me just as much proof as your friend provided you.

The friction codes (and other characteristics) for both are listed in the thread I previously provided. Pick the one you want. It really won't matter all that much either way - practically speaking.


IMHO, DOT4 is DOT4, unless it's "low viscosity" DOT4. For more details though, I follow this from the E39 side of the house.

More information here:
- Brake & clutch fluid: Brake & clutch hydraulic fluid (1) & brake bleeding DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)


I once asked what the shims do (the answer is in the thread I already referenced).


It's amazing how dry the Bentley is on brake pads & rotors. See gory details here:
- All BS aside, what are the BMW-recommended brake job "fluids" (1)


The bedding procedure is covered, in detail, in the threads I referenced for the OP.


Wow. May I have a handout?


Rotors almost never warp. Especially on street vehicles. If by warping, you mean pad deposition, that happens all the time. It's caused by the way the owner brakes. No sophistication.
Details here:
- The main causes of vibration while highway driving (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & while highway braking (1) (2) (3) & why it's never rotor "warp" (1)


Price is meaningless most of the time.
The price you pay is not what 'you' think it's worth - it's the sum total of what every other moron out there thinks it's worth.
And those morons outnumber you a million to one (given that most people are styupid).
That's simple supply and demand stuff from Microeconomics 101.

My advice? Same advice I use for everything else.
Buy the cheapest rotors that meet the desired specifications.
Use your brain, instead of your money, to make decisions.

Good luck. Read the references. You'll do just fine.
Thank-you very much for taking the time to help me out. I really appreciate it.
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