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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #151  
Old 05-30-2010, 11:36 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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After 30k miles, I'm going to attempt my second BMW E39 brake job on the 2002 525i.

For the record, Axxis Deluxe Advanced are almost impossible to find nowadays on the Internet because Axxis hasn't been sold in the USA for months (details here).

So I picked up a set of supposedly similar "PBR Deluxe Advanced ceramic technology performance brake pads" instead (my goal is near-OEM performance without the dust).

DIY to follow when the front brake job is done ...
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  #152  
Old 05-30-2010, 03:36 PM
agouraM5 agouraM5 is offline
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Wink low dust with Akebonos

Blue, love your DIY write ups and pix... appreciate the effort put in and especially the survey on brake parts. Got my kit complete from Groton in CN and installed the Akebono ceramic pads that others on the board rave about. NO more brake dust... used some wheel wax and now the light film wipes off easily and my Mpars stay nice and shiny. The Akebonos are carried by many online vendors and very well priced as well and the pedal feel has been fine with me. ymmv...
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  #153  
Old 05-31-2010, 10:03 AM
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weasel like weasel like is offline
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I read your DIY very carefully and this is what my brakes looked like today!



Did I do something wrong?
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  #154  
Old 05-31-2010, 11:51 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weasel like View Post
I read your DIY very carefully and this is what my brakes looked like today!
Well, they'd look like THIS or this if you weren't able to finish the brake job!

NOTE:
I did another front brakes again last night ... and mine look fine. What I'll do, when I get the chance, is post some of the 685 pictures I took by way of step-by-step DIY for changing the pads.

How's that?

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  #155  
Old 05-31-2010, 02:51 PM
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weasel like weasel like is offline
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Hahaha

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  #156  
Old 05-31-2010, 09:23 PM
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One thing though, here's the picture of the last brake change in the front calipers. Notice how much high-temperature lube I used on the caliper landing face and the four runners.

When I took that same caliper apart this weekend, the four runners were bone dry, but, the caliper landing face still had some greasiness to it. Interesting observation.

DO others have a similar observation that the almost dry brake job is even more arid by the time you take it apart again?



BTW, I put MUCH LESS lube on the brakes this second time!



Last edited by bluebee; 06-26-2010 at 01:04 PM.
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  #157  
Old 06-25-2010, 09:13 AM
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For the record, someone asked how to put the anti-rattle clip on so I dug out this picture and annotated it, after agreeing there are no good pictures of the clip being put on (AFIAK).



Also, someone assumed rotor warp (in this thread) where the dealer didn't rebed properly and I wondered how to measure warp (as opposed to runout).

How do you measure (true) rotor warp anyway?

Last edited by bluebee; 06-26-2010 at 12:48 PM.
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  #158  
Old 06-26-2010, 12:47 PM
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How does one measure brake rotor warpage anyway?

In many brake threads (I'll leave them un-named), users insist they have warpage; but, it seems, upon closer inspection, the users didn't even MEASURE warpage ... and, I wonder if they even know HOW to measure warpage.

Since brakes almost never warp (proof abounds in this thread), yet users constantly insist they are warped ... may I ask HOW does one measure warp (as opposed to runout, which has many causes)?

Q: What is the proper procedure to measure the amount a brake rotor warped?
A: ??? does anyone know ???


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Last edited by bluebee; 06-26-2010 at 01:41 PM.
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  #159  
Old 06-26-2010, 01:40 PM
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Based on this thread, the venerable Axxis Deluxe Advanced pads are no longer available in the USA (existing stock notwithstanding), we have to go with PBR Advanced Deluxe pads (which, by most accounts, are exactly the same thing anyway) or one of the non-Axxis alternatives.

Based on another canonical brake lube thread, pads go on dry, so my question is, since Axxis will no longer be sold in the USA, whether the alternative brake pads that people have suggested also have the (anti-squeal?) padding on the back of the pad plate.

Q: Do the Akebono and other suggested E39 pads have the anti-squeal
padding built in to the brake pad?
A: ???




Last edited by bluebee; 06-26-2010 at 02:07 PM.
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  #160  
Old 06-26-2010, 02:08 PM
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BTW, here's the assemblage of parts, tools, sprays, and lubes I assembled for my latest brake job (not shown is the double-J wire to hang the calipers and the chocks, both of which were in use at the time on the E39).

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  #161  
Old 07-04-2010, 11:19 AM
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For the record, someone asked over here how to check which brake pads are the cause of a check brake linings warning on the cluster, to which the response was as follows.

This is the basic procedure as intimated in the Bentleys (340-12):
0. Wear sensor lights (you don't know if it's the front or the rear yet)
1. Remove front left wheel & inspect lining thickness & rotor thickness
2. If below limits, there's your answer; otherwise remove right rear wheel & repeat inspection
3. Replace wheel(s) and order any pads, rotors, or sensors needed
Note: Akebono, PBR, & Jurid/Textar are the top 3 suggested brands (in that order) since Axxis is no longer sold in the USA.

It's 2:1 or 3:1 the fronts anyway, so, most of the time, you know your answer almost as soon as you pull the left front wheel.

PS: I went a step further and removed the two 7mm caliper pins to remove the caliper to get a micrometer on the pads after miking the rotors for minimum thickness (which happens about every two brake pads). But the Bentleys, see below, say you can do it either by eye or with a $90 special BMW tool 90.88.6.341.260 (new part number 83.30.0.492.467).

QUESTION:
Does anyone bother with the BMW special tool (I just used a mic)?






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  #162  
Old 07-04-2010, 04:33 PM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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I use the special tool at work about a dozen times a day. It's great. You don't even have to take the wheel off. You can use the other side of the tool to check tire tread depth too.
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  #163  
Old 07-04-2010, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan M View Post
I use the special tool at work about a dozen times a day.
Thanks Ryan. It makes sense for a mechanic to use the $90 tool because time is money and it certainly can check the depth of the brake pad material faster than removing them and checking with a micrometer would.

But, I'd rather spend my 90 bucks on a good micrometer (which I have about four or five of in various sizes) than on this gauge.

Still ... it's nice to know that mechanics find it useful. Thanks.
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  #164  
Old 07-05-2010, 09:14 AM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Thanks Ryan. It makes sense for a mechanic to use the $90 tool because time is money and it certainly can check the depth of the brake pad material faster than removing them and checking with a micrometer would.

But, I'd rather spend my 90 bucks on a good micrometer (which I have about four or five of in various sizes) than on this gauge.

Still ... it's nice to know that mechanics find it useful. Thanks.
And it doesn't hurt that it only costs me 45 bucks. While I think a micrometer is unnecessary for measuring brake pad thickness, I do have one for measuring rotors of course.
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  #165  
Old 07-26-2010, 08:46 PM
Softhands Softhands is offline
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Would this work on my 2003 E39

I assume I can use these instructions for my vehicle.
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  #166  
Old 07-27-2010, 04:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Softhands View Post
I assume I can use these instructions for my vehicle.
Yes, this DIY is applicable to alll e39s.
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  #167  
Old 07-27-2010, 03:24 PM
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  #168  
Old 08-17-2010, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine View Post
You don't happen to have similar detail on changing the Power Steering hoses and alternator belt by any chance?
I do now!

See:
- AAA is towing my car in 30 minutes (total electrical failure)

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  #169  
Old 08-24-2010, 11:35 PM
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For the record, there's a decent thread on the woes of having an independent do your brake job over in this "bad brake install" thread (which heavily borrows from what we learned in this thread together).
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  #170  
Old 09-02-2010, 11:32 AM
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If you're reading this looking for a recommended replacement pad, please improve this summary (of many threads) on recommended pads and suppliers for USA street use.

What brake pads are recommended for street use on the E39 (CANONICAL SUMMARY)
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  #171  
Old 09-02-2010, 11:46 AM
KeithS KeithS is offline
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My 2 cents on the common questions.

Don't care what Bentley says, I do grease the caliper pins (with HT disc brake grease). Makes no sense to run them dry, only going to wear out the caliper bushings. 2 BMW's, 125K miles each, never a problem or a squeak.

In regards to what to coat to prevent brake squeal. Had a BMW mechanic tell me this years ago and been doing it ever since with very good success. Lightly coat anything that is metal to metal (ears on the pads and the part of the backing plate that touches something) with antiseize compound. My preferred pad is Akebono Euro Ceramics, and they even include a little packet of the compound with the pads.
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  #172  
Old 09-02-2010, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithS View Post
preferred pad is Akebono Euro Ceramics
I have not ever used Akebono pads.

Is the Akebono Euro Ceramic the same as the Akebono Euro?

If so, I'll update the aforementioned thread on which are the recommended pads.
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  #173  
Old 09-03-2010, 04:25 AM
KeithS KeithS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I have not ever used Akebono pads.

Is the Akebono Euro Ceramic the same as the Akebono Euro?

If so, I'll update the aforementioned thread on which are the recommended pads.
Yes they are one in the same, people use both names. Believe the euro formulation has a little more bite than their other formulations used on domestic and Japanese cars. They are an OEM supplier to some car manufacturers (not BMW).

They are a low dusting pads, and like any low dust pad they have less initial bite than OEM. But the bite was better than Axxis Deluxe low dust pads I tried. They are long lasting, and are VERY rotor friendly. The rotors almost have a mirror finish and have no wear lip on the edge at all after 25K miles. They have also not experience the pad to rotor transfer I have happened with the Axxis pads I used, which causes juddering/uneven braking, what a lot of people think are warped rotors.

The Akebonos are probably not good for track use, but are terrific for the street. For me if you want brakes on your BMW with the amazing bite that it had when new, stay with the OEM pads. If you are willing to give up a little of the bite for almost zero dust, I recommend Akebono euros. The car stops just as fast, you need to press a little harder on the brake pedal.

JUst for info right now I have the Akebonos on our 540iT and the Axxis on our 328i. I already have new rotors and Akebono pads for the front of the 328 and will be pulling off the axxis becasue of the juddering brakes (pad transfer). There is still about 40% pad left (after nearly 70K miles) but am tired of the juddering.
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  #175  
Old 09-03-2010, 06:14 AM
KeithS KeithS is offline
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Different model E39's have different size rotors, front and rear are different, plus model year differences results the the large assortment. Just go to one of the many sites that sell Akebono and make sure you put in the correct, model, engine, year, front or back, and confirm the rotor size, and you should get the single part number for your car.
Tire Rack, RMEuropean are 2 places you can start.
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