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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 02-24-2011, 11:36 AM
justin182 justin182 is offline
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Stuck Rotors

I'm replacing my front brakes on my '03 540 and have run into a problem. I've removed the wheels, brake housing and carrier, hex bolt holding on the rotor. Sounds good so far... Unfortunately, the rotors are stuck to the hub and I can't remove them. I've sprayed around the hub with PB blaster and beat on the hat with a rubber mallet with no success.

They're original BMW rotors, possibly factory original, as the car has just under 60,000 miles so I don't think the PO did anything to cause the problem. I'm guessing it's just due to accumulated rust over the last 8 years.

Any ideas on how to remove the stubborn rotors?
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2011, 12:45 PM
justin182 justin182 is offline
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I just found this and I'm going to give it a try.

I'll let you know if it works!
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  #3  
Old 02-24-2011, 12:56 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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I was going to suggest a much bigger hammer (3 lb mallet) but that is a very innovative approach. Low risk & safe too.
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  #4  
Old 02-24-2011, 12:58 PM
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charlesberry charlesberry is offline
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I did my 330 last week, and let me tell ya a 3lb steel sledge made short work of that. And I did not use PB blaster. About 3 really good hits directly on the rotor.

And don't hit the center, hit the edge of the rotor.

Last edited by charlesberry; 02-24-2011 at 01:13 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2011, 12:59 PM
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A block of wood and a 3-pound Baby Sledge is what`s called for here....a rubber mallet will NEVER provide the shock value needed....don`t be afraid to smack the living piss out of it !
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:05 PM
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Bigger hammer.
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  #7  
Old 02-24-2011, 01:24 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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With the car properly supported on jackstand, place a piece of wood between the floor jack and the rotor and jack the rotor up a bit.
It will come out.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:06 PM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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Bigger hammer and harder blows. Just make sure not to miss the rotor and hit anything else.
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:50 PM
justin182 justin182 is offline
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I tried the trick in the video and it worked like a champ! I only used one bolt in the carrier instead of two. I did one spot, turned the rotor 180 degrees and did it there and the rotor came right off. Pretty slick.
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  #10  
Old 02-25-2011, 08:17 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Make sure that you clean all the rust off of the hubs before you plant those new rotors back on the car.
If you don't clean all the rust off you will have problems later. A wire brush and light sandpaper to buff
all of the spots where the rust is on the hub will make sure your brakes will be surge free and with out
vibrations causing the rotors to warp--don't want any high spots.
Good job
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
Make sure that you clean all the rust off of the hubs before you plant those new rotors back on the car.
If you don't clean all the rust off you will have problems later. A wire brush and light sandpaper to buff
all of the spots where the rust is on the hub will make sure your brakes will be surge free and with out
vibrations causing the rotors to warp--don't want any high spots.
Good job
A *thin* coating of White Lithium Grease, wheel-bearing grease, or any other grease that will resist salt water, smeared onto the mating surfaces, will minimize chances of this happening in the future.(Be careful to keep grease off the braking surfaces) This should also be done any time wheels are removed....5 minutes spent wire-brushing the hubs and wheel flanges, and applying the grease, is time well-spent. It will save you grief on down the road.
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  #12  
Old 04-27-2011, 11:11 AM
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For the record, chemically removing rust on rotors was discussed today over here:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Why are my rear rotors rusted?

This says the phosphoric acid is just there to speed up the conversion by tannic acid:

Quote:
*******> ********>
There are two primary components in a rust converters: a tannin (usually in the form of tannic acid) and an organic polymer. The organic polymer provides a protective primer layer. Since the conversion reaction occurs faster in an acidic environment, some manufacturers will add oxalic or phosphoric acid to their rust converters to lower the pH and speed up the reaction.

It says the "tannin" is the key ingredient:
Quote:
*******> ********>
The tannin is the heart of a rust converter. It reacts with the iron oxide, converting it to iron tannate, a stable blue/black corrosion product.

Although, later on, it does mention phosphoric acid rust converters but then deprecates them:
Quote:
*******> ********>
a rust converter should have a pH of 2 to 2.5, the optimum range for forming a durable iron tannate film, and it should contain tannic acid. (In some converters the principal chemical is phosphoric acid, which reacts with iron and rust to form a phosphate coating--a corrosion retarder, but not on the level of a tannate coating.)

The "Rust Store" goes a little further by stating what the polymer is:
Quote:
*******>********>
What is Rust Converter? Rust Converter, a water-based primer, contains two active ingredients: Tannic acid and an organic polymer. The first ingredient, tannic acid, reacts with iron oxide (rust) and chemically converts it to iron tannate, a dark-colored stable material. ... The second active ingredient, 2-Butoxyethanol, is an organic polymer that provides a protective primer layer. The overall chemical reaction converts rust into a stable, black protective polymeric coating that serves as an excellent primer for both oil and epoxy based paints.
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  #13  
Old 04-27-2011, 07:54 PM
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I found out that hammering on the back of the rotor can bend the hub so when you install the new rotor, it feels like it's warped! Fortunately, it was a lease vehicle so I didn't replace the hub.
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  #14  
Old 06-12-2012, 10:19 AM
Calicoastin Calicoastin is offline
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Just replaced my rear brake rotors and pads. The rotors were stuck/seized on the hub. The parking brake was released btw.

I tried hammering it with a 1lb dead hammer and nothing. I sprayed PB blaster on the rotors hub ring and nothing. Hammered it around the outer edge of the rotor, from the rear as well and not a mm of movement. I was really frustrated

I then sprayed PB in the edges of the rotors' bolt holes and then lightly hammered the rotor with a standard metal hammer and voila, it freed itself.

My theory is that the vibrations from the metal on metal contact from the metal hammer on the rotor and the PB blaster on the bolt holes caused it to un-seize the rotor from the hub since I hammered the rotor with good force with the dead hammer and it did not budge.
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  #15  
Old 01-19-2014, 12:49 PM
Tom Shaffer Tom Shaffer is offline
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I tried the bolt trick and this worked great on my 2003 530i with 125000 miles. I had heated to expand and beaten with a hammer which did not work. Thanks for the tip.
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  #16  
Old 01-19-2014, 02:16 PM
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I'm going to cross reference to this thread:
- How to remove stuck rusted-on brake rotors (1)
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #17  
Old 01-19-2014, 02:17 PM
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See also:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Stuck Rotors
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #18  
Old 01-19-2014, 02:31 PM
MADBMWX3 MADBMWX3 is offline
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That rotor was possessed by the devil--no doubts.
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