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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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  #1  
Old 01-31-2010, 05:11 PM
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Josh P. Josh P. is offline
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Brakes: Where are people buying them?

Going to go solid or slotted, not cross drilled. Autohaus has good prices but their selection for my car seems to be limited to Zimmerman and . . . Zimmerman. Where else should I be looking? Bavauto? Also can I use any pads I want? I'm really thinking of ceramic as these are for the fronts and I just can't take the dust anymore.

Where are other good places with decent prices and selection that I should be looking? Also I assume I'll need new wear sensors? Or can the old ones be re-used?

Never done a brake job myself but I'm thinking I might take the plunge. Not sure I know how to bleed them properly though so I might just have my mechanic do it.
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  #2  
Old 01-31-2010, 06:57 PM
Neversaynever Neversaynever is offline
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Go to Zeckhausen. Dave is an awesome guy. Solid product line. Great advice.
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2010, 06:58 PM
JasonSC540ia JasonSC540ia is offline
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2010, 07:22 PM
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TemporarySanity TemporarySanity is offline
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I have heard alot of praise about Axxis deluxe pads like very low dust, no squeals, and no loss of braking. I just put a set on the front a couple weeks ago and agree with all I've read. I bought a set of standard Brembo rotors from ebay for $75.
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2010, 08:14 PM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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www.EACtuning.com is the way to go.
Talk to Jared or Mark.
Zimmerman rotors are good IMO.
I would use the solid rotors.
Also look at the Akebono Euro pads.
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2010, 08:22 PM
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WHITE E39 WHITE E39 is offline
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+2 for the Axxis pads
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2010, 09:08 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh P. View Post
Where are other good places with decent prices and selection that I should be looking?
I ran a related brake-job-parts-suppliers-and-price survey a while ago over here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh P. View Post
Also I assume I'll need new wear sensors?
Not unless they were activated. Did your cluster warning light light?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh P. View Post
Never done a brake job myself but I'm thinking I might take the plunge.
If I can do it, anyone can do it. All you need by way of special tools for the E39 is an allen wrench of the right size for the calipers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh P. View Post
Not sure I know how to bleed them properly though so I might just have my mechanic do it.
Nothing wrong with bleeding your brakes but a "typical" brake job is dry with respect to brake fluid (see necessary fluids for a BMW brake job here).

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  #8  
Old 01-31-2010, 09:58 PM
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I bought my rotors from Zeckhausen.



I'm also using Axxis Deluxe pads. They are very low dusting, not quiet though, sometimes they squeal and I initally felt a softer pedal feel, but after going with the slotted rotors, I got the bite back. I've also heard good things about the Akebono pads.
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2010, 10:24 PM
dcotti dcotti is offline
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Brembos and Axxis

I put Brembo solid rotors and Axxis pads on the front 4,000 miles ago. Got them from eEuro Parts. Rotors, pads, 1 sensor, retaining bolts for $182 and free shipping. Hardly any dust -- love it. If you diy, go slowly when you push the caliper piston back in. If you go too fast, brake fluid will come out of the brake reservoir!
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2010, 01:25 AM
emPoWaH emPoWaH is offline
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I got my pads from Zeckhausen and rotors (OE Brembo) from TireRack.
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2010, 04:23 AM
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Josh P. Josh P. is offline
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Thanks all. No cluster light so I guess I can reuse the sensors Fronts were replaced 30k miles and about 5 years ago and though they just passed inspection I'm sure they are worn so it's time. Fair weather project but I'm doing my shopping while it's cold.
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2001 530 Steel Blue Metallic, purchased Dec 03
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OEM M5 bumper, 40% Huper Optik ceramic tint, Dice Silverline Pro iPod adapter, 540SP radial spokes, Zimmerman Z-Coat rotors w/ Hawk HPS pads
"Mods": driveshaft, cooling system, Vanos, CCV, PSR, VCG, FSU, spark plugs, buncha belts-n-hoses, & other things I'd just as soon forget

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  #12  
Old 02-01-2010, 05:07 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Axxis or Akebonos are the way to go, if you want to eliminate dust. You WILL give up some brake feel and bite but the tradeoff (for most) is well worth it. If maximum braking performance and feel is the priority, stay with OEM pads. Remember to bed them properly.

Be aware that rotor slots or holes are bling (for street cars) and add no performance improvement. They may, in fact, accelerate pad wear. But they do look cool. Just so you know before making your purchase decision.
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2010, 05:32 AM
Neversaynever Neversaynever is offline
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+++ on Axxis pads. Low dust, good life, fine performance.
+1 on solid versus drilled rotors. When tracked or driven very hot, drilled rotors can develop cracks between the holes. The value of a rotor is in its ability to work as a heatsink for braking heat. More metal is better, albeit drilled will cool faster when not spinning. Most important is air flow onto the rotors for high performance braking. Some say slotted rotors are an improvement. The "look cool" value of drilled is a consideration.
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2010, 05:35 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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If you are happy with stock then use smooth-surface (no slot, no grooves) rotors.
- I use Balo Rotor + Pagid Pads. They work fine and the price is right.
I got my parts from autohausaz.com (Balo is not listed on the website but you can call them to get Balo).
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  #15  
Old 02-01-2010, 05:37 AM
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living in NJ, you really should go with best performing pads since NY'ers have this fetish of moving into the left lane w.o looking or how fast they should be going so good brakes are a must to avoid these infidels.
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  #16  
Old 02-01-2010, 06:15 AM
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Josh P. Josh P. is offline
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Yeah def. not going drilled. I do like the look of slotted but w/ my radial spokes there's not much daylight in there anyway so I'm leaning toward Zeckhausen solid rotors, pending price comparisons. I've never had any issue whatsoever with the stopping power of OEM brakes and pads. They work great. I just hate the dust. I'd probably go OEM rotors again except AM are cheaper.
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2001 530 Steel Blue Metallic, purchased Dec 03
SP/PP/CWP/Slushbox (I know I know)

OEM M5 bumper, 40% Huper Optik ceramic tint, Dice Silverline Pro iPod adapter, 540SP radial spokes, Zimmerman Z-Coat rotors w/ Hawk HPS pads
"Mods": driveshaft, cooling system, Vanos, CCV, PSR, VCG, FSU, spark plugs, buncha belts-n-hoses, & other things I'd just as soon forget

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  #17  
Old 02-01-2010, 06:24 AM
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When I did my fronts, I went with Balo rotors, and popped for the Jurid (OEM) pads. To me stopping is more important than dust.
That said, I just bought parts to do my back brakes, and went witht he Balo rotors, but PBR Deluxe pads. I put these pads on my girlfriend's car, and have been blown away by how good they were in comparison to the stock pads. For the rears on my car, they cost less than half of the Jurids. All parts bought at Autopartsway.ca (the US counterpart sells at autopartsway.com).
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  #18  
Old 02-01-2010, 06:48 AM
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One thing to consider is rust. I'm not sure if the OEM rotors have the hubs painted or not, but the Stoptech rotors from Zeckhausen are, therefore they don't rust and I hate the look of rust anywhere near my wheels.
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  #19  
Old 02-01-2010, 07:09 AM
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One thing to consider is rust. I'm not sure if the OEM rotors have the hubs painted or not, but the Stoptech rotors from Zeckhausen are, therefore they don't rust and I hate the look of rust anywhere near my wheels.
i'll just spray paint mine then..
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  #20  
Old 02-01-2010, 09:03 AM
hockenheim hockenheim is offline
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go local

just my $0.02 from currently going through this.

if $$$ is any concern at all, think about / inquire about return policy and return shipping. You may find that buying at your FLAPS may work out best for you.

I put ATE grooved front rotors on my car in Dec. 2009 and I just took them off after only 2K miles because they seem to have warped (although the groove in the rotor face makes it damn near impossible to measure run-out), and BMW does not publish run-out specs for the E39 series (if some does have such specs, please post them).

Not having bought them locally I need to pay shipping back to the vendor ($60 w/ UPS ground), just for them to consider refunding my money (minus shipping of course).

Learned my lesson: unless it is really a "must-have" item I can't find locally I will buy the really heavy, expensive to ship stuff, that has a chance of failing w/in the warranty period, locally.

HTH

/alex
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:49 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Originally Posted by hockenheim View Post
....I put ATE grooved front rotors on my car in Dec. 2009 and I just took them off after only 2K miles because they seem to have warped (although the groove in the rotor face makes it damn near impossible to measure run-out), and BMW does not publish run-out specs for the E39 series (if some does have such specs, please post them).

alex
I have ATE Power Slot Rotors and now I have some pulsation of brake when braking: I suspect the brake pad "catches" the grooves during braking.
So as we speak, I am trouble-shooting this as a cause by calculating:
- wheel revolutions/5-second period
- how many vibrations/5-second period
If the number matches the number of grooves then my theory is correct.

I wish I went with Smooth rotor (no grooves).



PS:
1. Rotor thickness thread:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=392720

2. Rotor runout spec is kind "universal", regardless of car you drive:
"As a rule, rotor runout should be less than 0.003 inch on most vehicles. Aiming for 0.002 inch or less runout is even better.

http://www.aa1car.com/library/2003/bf110322.htm
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  #22  
Old 02-01-2010, 10:19 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Cn-
I thought you returned the ATE rotors...???
I would....
Try the Zimmerman Z-coated solid rotors.
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  #23  
Old 02-01-2010, 11:47 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Jason,

The "brake pads catching the rotor grooves" is just my theory and I cannot prove it.

Do you have problems with your ATE Power Slot rotors?

PS: Returning is always a nightmare because of shipping cost. These rotors are heavy. I can live with them for now.
The problem is not that bad (very suttle and barely noticeable).
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  #24  
Old 02-01-2010, 01:08 PM
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Josh P. Josh P. is offline
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Wow I hadn't considered that--shipping etc. Zeckhausen is like an hour from me so if I buy from them and worse comes to worst, I could drive them back. But what's the warranty on these things? Are they warranteed against warping somehow? Only FLAPS near me would be like AutoZone or (gasp) Pep Boys, and I'm not certain what they carry in terms of rotors. I'd be more likely to deal with Dave, he responded right away to an email inquiry. For pads, he's recommending:

"StopTech Street Performance brake pads are StopTech's newest formulation, offering an unusual combination of high bite, low noise, and extremely wide temperature range, making them ideal as "dual use" street to medium track pads. These are the standard brake pads for StopTech's big brake upgrades and have recently become available for many OEM applications. These are Zeckhausen Racing's new preferred high performance street pads."

These are $99; Axxis ULT street pads are $130.
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2001 530 Steel Blue Metallic, purchased Dec 03
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OEM M5 bumper, 40% Huper Optik ceramic tint, Dice Silverline Pro iPod adapter, 540SP radial spokes, Zimmerman Z-Coat rotors w/ Hawk HPS pads
"Mods": driveshaft, cooling system, Vanos, CCV, PSR, VCG, FSU, spark plugs, buncha belts-n-hoses, & other things I'd just as soon forget

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  #25  
Old 02-01-2010, 02:28 PM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Jason,

The "brake pads catching the rotor grooves" is just my theory and I cannot prove it.

Do you have problems with your ATE Power Slot rotors?

PS: Returning is always a nightmare because of shipping cost. These rotors are heavy. I can live with them for now.
The problem is not that bad (very subtle and barely noticeable).
I am sure that who-ever you bought the rotors from would work with you on the shipping.
Especially since you are not happy with rotors...

I agree with you about the grooves theory.
The grooves are meant to catch in order to brake harder IMO, however, it wears the pads faster too...
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