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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 03-11-2016, 05:57 PM
creeky creeky is offline
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Front brakes buying advice

Where do you get your PBR Deluxe pads from?

I called around and they're getting hard to find.

Where do you get them from?
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  #2  
Old 03-11-2016, 06:00 PM
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TheAngryBear TheAngryBear is offline
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Have you checked the forum sponsors? ECSTUNING has them so imagine some of the others do too.
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2016, 01:47 PM
creeky creeky is offline
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I tried a few of the forum sponsors like oembimmerparts and alloembmwparts before posting here.

I don't how to post pictures but the pad is worn down to metal so I don't think I have a lot of time to shop around.

Anyway, I'll buy what I can find today and hope the friction numbers are as good as oem.
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:54 PM
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TheAngryBear TheAngryBear is offline
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I did a quick google and advance auto has them listed...
ECS definitely does...
Good luck!
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2016, 06:08 AM
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GSA1 GSA1 is offline
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I use Akebono ceramics, but you use what you like. FYI: if your brake light is on, you will need to replace the front wheel brake sensor too. This does not reset when new brakes are installed. Once triggered it must be replaced to kill the light on the dashboard. GL
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  #6  
Old 03-15-2016, 04:15 AM
StPike75 StPike75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSA1 View Post
I use Akebono ceramics, but you use what you like. FYI: if your brake light is on, you will need to replace the front wheel brake sensor too. This does not reset when new brakes are installed. Once triggered it must be replaced to kill the light on the dashboard. GL
How do you like the akebonos? Any noticeable performance gain or loss? Parked on LIE? Flying on Moses off hours?
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:06 AM
JaxPlanet JaxPlanet is offline
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+1 Akebonos. I paired them with standard OE Brembo rotors. The pads aren't as grippy as OE but they are silent and create almost no dust so my wheels stay clean much longer. I found the best price on Akebonos on eBay. EUR725 in the front and EUR1239 in the rear.
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  #8  
Old 03-15-2016, 09:15 AM
Tiemco Tiemco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StPike75 View Post
How do you like the akebonos? Any noticeable performance gain or loss? Parked on LIE? Flying on Moses off hours?
I used the Akebonos when I replaced my pads. They don't have as much initial bite as the OEM pads, which is fine for every day driving and it can make it easier for you to stop more smoothly. That's not to say you can't stop quickly with them it just requires a bit more pedal travel. Their main selling point however is their almost complete lack of brake dust. OEM pads are notorious for coating the wheels with dust in as little as a week. You can go for about a month or more with the Akebonos and dust will still not be a tremendous issue. They are essentially noiseless as well. I only get a little squeal in reverse especially after a rain.
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  #9  
Old 03-15-2016, 10:10 AM
MKJS MKJS is offline
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Recently picked up a set of PowerStop Z23 Ceramic/Carbon Fiber pads. Likely going to put them in today on new Brembo rotors. Hoping the combination material will offer more initial bite but still be way down on dust. I'll bed them in and post my impressions.

Jim
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  #10  
Old 03-16-2016, 06:23 AM
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crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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A few months ago I put Centric ceramic pads and standard rotors on all 4 corners of mine. It is true what they say about the initial bite but not so true when it comes to dust. Ceramic pads still produce dust. The dust is lighter in color and therefore not as noticeable.

If I had to do it all over again I would probably put OEM pads back on to regain the better brake feel and just deal with the dust. Akebonos may perform better than the Centric pads so I can't give a good comparison there.
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  #11  
Old 03-16-2016, 06:52 PM
creeky creeky is offline
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I gave up on the PBR pads.

I chose oembimmerparts and bought the Meyle ceramic kit with Meyle rotors, Textar pads with FF friction codes, and the oem sensor.

I'll post a picture when I can.

Right now I'm searching for a good front rotors and pads R&R because I'm wondering if I need to remove the 7mm pins or not given that the entire caliper has to come off anyway.
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  #12  
Old 03-16-2016, 07:53 PM
creeky creeky is offline
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I took a chance and removed one caliper by just removing the two 18mm bolts.
Now with the caliper off, I can remove the front rotor.
It's a 6mm hex but how do I hold the rotor in place to lossen the 6mm hex?
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  #13  
Old 03-16-2016, 08:32 PM
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Impact: hold the rotor, insert the hex and whack the breaker bar with brass hammer or similar....that will break it looseClick image for larger version

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  #14  
Old 03-16-2016, 08:46 PM
creeky creeky is offline
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Thanks for the suggestion.

There is almost nothing about this on page 340-15 of the Bentleys.

I didn't know how to hold the rotor, but it turned out to be easy.

I just put a 6-inch vise grip on the noon position of the rotor and it held itself (wedged against something, probably the caliper backing plates).

Then I just tapped spun it out, by hand, once the rotor was held in place.

Any suggestions before I put the new Meyle rotors on other than to cover the hub with a thin coat of no seize?
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  #15  
Old 03-16-2016, 08:59 PM
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I think you're good. How about a little coating of grease on the hub? - I think the anti-seize is a bit overkill but I suppose no harm - there is not that much heat generated for very long via brake rotors compared to say exhaust components, etc.
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  #16  
Old 03-16-2016, 09:07 PM
creeky creeky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wgosma View Post
I think you're good. How about a little coating of grease on the hub? - I think the anti-seize is a bit overkill but I suppose no harm - there is not that much heat generated for very long via brake rotors compared to say exhaust components, etc.
Hub seems to have a lot of antiseize already! LOL.
I will clean it up a bit.
The rotor was scored on the back side. Not too bad but I'm replacing it anyway.

If anyone wants to see what the set screw looks like, here is a picture of it.
It's a funny shape so for those drilling it out, be advised what it looks like.
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  #17  
Old 03-16-2016, 09:23 PM
creeky creeky is offline
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I wonder if I need to measure the rotor or pad for thickness to see if there's still salvageable? LOL
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  #18  
Old 03-17-2016, 12:28 AM
creeky creeky is offline
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I was able to complete the passenger side without taking out the 7mm caliper pins, but it wasn't worth the hassle so on the driver side, I took them off as if I was just going to do the pads.

Right now I'm stuck on how to pry off the worn brake light sensor at the harness connector.

What is the secret to disconnecting this thing?
Does it twist?
Does it pull?
Does it pry?
Do I screwdriver it off?
Hacksaw?
What?
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  #19  
Old 03-17-2016, 01:43 AM
creeky creeky is offline
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I figured out the sensor harness connector.
You just pull like there's no tomorrow.
No twist. No locking tab. Just pull.
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  #20  
Old 03-17-2016, 01:56 AM
creeky creeky is offline
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The job is done.

Meyle rotors.
Textar FF pads
OEM sensor
$150

The key mistakes made were to not bother to remove the spring clip and caliper pins on the passenger side. That just made things harder.

The brake sensor is harder than it should be, as one of the clips is very tight, and there is a lot of dust inside the sensor box where the ABS sensor harness connector is. So do the sensor connections first, but the very last thing I did was clip the sensor on the inboard pad on the driver side.

The rotor set screw was easy once I figured out to either use pliers or, as someone suggested on a cn 90 thread, to put two lug bolts in place and put a bar across them to hold the rotor still.

One other mistake was to do it in the dark, which made everything harder than it needed to be.
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  #21  
Old 03-17-2016, 02:53 AM
creeky creeky is offline
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Before I forget, here's the steps I did for the front pads, rotors, and sensor.

Chocked the rear wheels.
Removed the hubcaps on the front wheels
Loosened the lug nuts on the front wheels

Jacked up the front
Put 6-ton 6ton jack stands under the jack pads

Removed the driver side air filter.
Opened the cap to the master cylinder to check fluid level.
Stuffed rags around the master cylinder in case fluid leaked.

Removed the five 17mm wheel lug bolts on the passenger side
I made the mistake of NOT removing the caliper pins, so I'll describe what I did.
Removed the two 18mm bolts holding the caliper on the passenger side
Pulled off the caliper and hung it by a wire (this was precarious and a bad idea overall)
I pulled the worn pads out of the calipers.
I used a foot-long C clamp to push the piston all the way back
I tried to use a pad to push against but I couldn't get the C clamp to stay still
What made it harder was the caliper was heavier and there was nothing to hold it against
(When I did the driver side, I took the caliper apart, which made it lighter and it could rest against the half of the caliper that was still bolted to the suspension.)
The C clamp stayed in place only when it was inside the cup of the piston.

The 6mm set screw was difficult because the rotor rotated freely.
I used a 6-inch vise grip in the noon position on the rotor which wedged against some metal behind the rotor to prevent the rotor from spinning.

Pulled the rotor off the hub by hand.
Put anti-seize on the hub steel.
Put the new Meyle rotor on the hub and set the 6mm set screw.

The spring fell off at some point.
At some point the bottom half of the rotor fell out (the part with the two 7mm caliper pins).

Greased the sliding flats on the calipers with high temperature grease.
Placed the new Textar pads into the caliper (which was now in two pieces).
Put the second piece of the caliper (with the caliper pins) into the first piece of the rotor.
Slide the caliper onto the rotor (it barely fit - next time I'll take it apart first).

Replaced the 18mm caliper bolts.
Replaced the wheel with the 17mm lug bolts.
=================================================
Removed the driver side 17mm lug bolts.
Removed the wheel

Removed the two plastic caliper pin caps.
Removed the two 7mm caliper bolts.
Disassembled the calipers (but left the bottom half attached to the suspension).
Left the brake pads in place because the brake sensor was still attached.

Hung the top half of the caliper on top of the still bolted on bottom half.

Pryed open the plastic harness connection box for the brake sensor and wheel speed sensor.
Blew out all the dust (there's a tremendous amount of dust in there).
Pulled out the brake sensor (which is the one that's black and not blue and it's the one closest to the rear of the car).

At first I couldn't figure out how to disconnect the sensor from the harness but eventually I figured out that you just pull like there's no tomorrow.

Removed the brake sensor wire from a very tight clip that also holds the wheel speed sensor wire.
Unclipped the brake sensor from the zerk fitting on top of the caliper.
Unclipped the brake sensor from the inboard pad.

Removed the pads from the top half of the calipers.
With a 12-inch C clamp, I pushed the caliper piston back as far as it would go.

Checked the brake fluid level periodically to check for overflowing.

Removed the two 18mm bolts holding the bottom half of the calipers.
Removed the bottom half of the caliper.

Put two lug bolts back on at the 9oclock and 3oclock position.
Inserted a steel rod across the two bolts to use as leverage to hold the rotor still.
Removed the 6mm rotor set screw.

Removed the rotor.
Cleaned up the hub and put antiseize on

Put the new rotor on the hub and set the 6mm set screw.
Bolted the bottom half of the calipers with the 18mm caliper bolts.
(I forgot to grease the landing slides on the driver side and didn't remember until it was too late.)
Inserted pads into the caliper and placed the caliper on the rotor.
Replaced the two 7mm caliper pins and plastic caliper pin caps.

Replaced the brake sensor clip onto the bleeder screw.
Clipped the tip of the break wear sensor onto the inboard pad.

Replaced the wheel and tightened by hand the 17mm lug bolts.

Replaced the brake fluid cap (the level was high, but not far above the max line so I left it).
Replaced the bottom half of the driver side cabin air filter after cleaning out all the vents.
Replaced the spring clip that goes on a post in front of the cabin air filter.
Replaced the cabin air filter.
Replaced the top of the cabin air filter.
Clipped the top tight with the spring handle wire.

Lowered the car and torqued the wheel lug nuts.
Replaced the hub caps.


It was 2am when I finished so I'll take it for the test drive in the morning.
Also I'll run though the typical bedding procedure when the highway is not crowded (which may take a few days to get).

Last edited by creeky; 03-17-2016 at 03:22 AM.
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  #22  
Old 03-17-2016, 06:08 AM
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crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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Keep the caliper on until after you remove the rotor retaining screw. You can pass a screwdriver through the caliper to keep the rotor from spinning.

Also, if the retaining screw is stubborn but is not yet stripped, hammer the correct size torx bit into it. Don't be afraid to hit it, just make sure it is square. This will do two things. First it will help loosen any corrosion holding the screw to the hub and second it will ensure you have the torx bit fully seated. This will also work if the screw is slightly marred where the torx bit inserts. YMMV!!!
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  #23  
Old 03-17-2016, 09:40 AM
creeky creeky is offline
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Originally Posted by crazy4trains View Post
Keep the caliper on until after you remove the rotor retaining screw. You can pass a screwdriver through the caliper to keep the rotor from spinning.

Also, if the retaining screw is stubborn but is not yet stripped, hammer the correct size torx bit into it. Don't be afraid to hit it, just make sure it is square. This will do two things. First it will help loosen any corrosion holding the screw to the hub and second it will ensure you have the torx bit fully seated. This will also work if the screw is slightly marred where the torx bit inserts. YMMV!!!
That was a good idea to keep the caliper on as it was a mistake for me to take the entire caliper off using just the two 18mm bolts like I did on the passenger side first.

When I did the driver side, I removed the two 7mm allen caliper pins first and left the bottom half of the caliper on until I needed to take off the rotor.

The car has 15650 miles on it, so I would think those front rotors were replaced something like five times so those 6mm allen head hex bolts have been through a few bangs already. I should have thought of that and bought two spares but it's too late now.

The red brake warning light didn't turn off today even after a half hour of driving until I found out that you have to leave the key in the accessory position for 30 seconds to reset the fault code.

Curious as to what that COATING is on those Meyle rotors.
Any idea what that gray stuff is?

Is it paint?
Is it galvanized?

It doesn't look like either paint or galvanized though.
What is that gray layer made out of and why is it there?

It's pretty, and I guess it stops rust on the non-contact edges, but all my other rotors for my other cars I've had simply came bare steel covered in a layer of oil.

I'm not asking why it's there because it's there to look pretty and to prevent rust.
I'm asking WHAT it is.
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