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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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  #26  
Old 06-02-2011, 02:51 PM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90K528 View Post
I'm the one who posted the Winhere thread. I bought those rotors because that's all I could get my hands on that day. If I'd had more time I might have waited for different rotors- Balo or maybe Zimmerman. But the Winhere rotors are working fine. I bedded in my Hawk pads on them pretty aggressively and not a trace of vibration or noise after 500 or so miles.

That being said, you never know what you're getting these days. I'd always bought nothing but Zimmerman rotors for my track 911. But after breaking two of them in a year, and hearing others tell me the same thing, I changed. I'd had good luck with Zimmermans on my track 911s for years but all of a sudden they've become less reliable. I also used nothing but SKF front wheel bearings for decades on the 911's but this past winter I couldn't get one to slip on the spindle. I pulled out my digital caliper and measured them and they were out of round. I had 6 sets in my parts bin and measured them all. 2 were bad- the first one that was out of round and a second one that had an ID that was smaller than all the others. The 4 good ones were made in Germany, the two crappy ones were from Indonesia. What I'd thought was a good German company was sourcing some of their parts from the far east and the quality control was junk.
Sounds pretty typical...
Outsourcing a good product to China or equal, and it end up being complete junk!

Brembo, Bilstein, what's next...?!
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  #27  
Old 06-02-2011, 10:11 PM
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BeemVerg BeemVerg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon540/6M View Post
So topical.. Im in this same boat too.. Zimmermann or Balo??

Where is zimmermann produced?
Mine just arrived today. If we could trust what is printed on products these days, these Zimmermann's are MADE IN GERMANY. Ordered it from AutohausAZ.com, and I am happy! Free shipping at 46 lbs!

The only thing I don't like is that they packed 2 rotors in one box. Kinda heavy, it almost tears the box open.

It'll be a few months until I need to change my brakes and rotors though. Still have some teeth
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'01 530i, ///M Sports Package, Xenon lights, Steptronic A/T, icelinkPlus iPod module
'04 328i, Sports Package, Xenon lights, Dice iPod module

Last edited by BeemVerg; 06-03-2011 at 12:01 AM.
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  #28  
Old 06-03-2011, 01:07 AM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
Might want to contact 540i M-Sport as he has PSS14s, which I think might be the same adjustments.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/member.php?u=11820
Actually, mine are the Bilstein B14 PSS, which is the same springs, and shocks/struts, but with no damping adjustments, only height adjustable. There is a nut on the struts where the adjustment knob would be.
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  #29  
Old 06-03-2011, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgy36-39 View Post
Good thread. Just to contribute, how about the Euro floating rotor vs. NA rotors? Any big difference?

My M5 has these, but I haven't pulled the wheels yet for a close look. Will do so when I'm ready to adjust the Bilsteins.

BTW, I'm still trying to connect with someone who has first hand knowledge of adjusting a Bilstein PSS9 coilover kit. If you know anyone, please ping me. I'd appreciate it.
If you need to adjust the height you will need the pair of fixed spanner wrenches they came with. If you don't have them, you can probably buy better quality ones from a race shop, either locally or online. You just need to make sure they fit properly. The Bilstein ones are pretty cheaply made, but work. They are very thin and made from cheap metal. Better quality spanners are a bit thicker, and engage the sprockets at three points, instead of one, preventing slipping off.
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  #30  
Old 06-03-2011, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danholguin View Post
I used Centric Premium rotors
Just for the record, I had a long conversation with the head of marketing for the company that makes Axxis/PBR brake pads ... who said the Centric/Stoptech equipment is always rebranded.

That is, they don't make their own stuff ...

He was specifically referring to the pads ... but we should find out if that is the case with the rotors. If so, then there is no such thing as Centric rotors, per se, if it is true that all they make is the box.

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)
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  #31  
Old 06-03-2011, 03:02 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Just for the record, I had a long conversation with the head of marketing for the company that makes Axxis/PBR brake pads ... who said the Centric/Stoptech equipment is always rebranded.

That is, they don't make their own stuff ...

He was specifically referring to the pads ... but we should find out if that is the case with the rotors. If so, then there is no such thing as Centric rotors, per se, if it is true that all they make is the box.

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)
BUT:

1) That does not mean it is a bad product, many companies outsource some or all of their products. Most companies do not manufacture 100% of what they sell. (when I worked in sales for Duracell, we made batteries for many other retailers and battery companies. Heck, we even had some sizes made for us by Panasonic and Energizer (usually photo, specialty or industrial sizes) )

2) If you find out who makes them, that does NOT mean they are exactly the same as their own product. Many companies have products made to their own specification, and this may mean they can be better, or worse.

3) Dave Z at Zechausen is probably the best source to find out who makes the Centric rotors, since he sells them.

*update, I went to the Zechausen website and noted they do not hide the fact that they do not manufacture the rotors themselves, see for yourself: http://www.zeckhausen.com/Centric_Advantage.htm
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 06-03-2011 at 03:26 PM.
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  #32  
Old 06-03-2011, 03:18 PM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
BUT:

1) That does not mean it is a bad product, many companies outsource some or all of their products. Most companies do not manufacture 100% of what they sell.

2) If you find out who makes them, that does NOT mean they are exactly the same as their own product. Many companies have products made to their own specification, and this may mean they can be better, or worse.

100% agree. i.e. Just like the generic store brands at your local supermarket or Walmart.

It just helps to know what you're getting for your money.
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  #33  
Old 07-27-2011, 01:21 AM
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For the record, this thread today discusses the difference between solid rotors and solid rotors with fancy swirly routed wear indicator grooving:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > ~ ~ Need Advice on BRAKES qustion... ASAP ~ ~

That thread also references an older cn90 thread positing a possible pitfall of the fancy wear indicating swirls:
- ATE Rotor Power Slot "Grabbing" ?

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  #34  
Old 07-27-2011, 10:53 AM
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I'm not sure about the vein/thickness of metal question.

Wide vein/less metal = better heat dissipation but less wearability
Small vein/more mteal = better wear but less heat dissipation

No idea which would be best :-) (unless you've got a sticking caliper piston!)
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  #35  
Old 07-27-2011, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
I'm not sure about the vein/thickness of metal question
On the topic of vanes, cn90 posted today a reference in this thread:
- ATE Rotor Power Slot "Grabbing" ?

The reference said to count the number of vanes in the old and new rotor.

They said it should have equal numbers of vanes, and they specifically said fewer vanes would be detrimental to cooling.

Last edited by bluebee; 07-27-2011 at 12:46 PM.
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  #36  
Old 07-27-2011, 01:06 PM
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Brembo has put a single, small "dimple" in some of their oem style rotors that is a wear indicator. When the dimple is no longer visible, the disc has reached the maximum wear point.
I have them on my car presently....got them a few years ago.

I am about to swap out the fronts with Zimmerman Z coat. Fronts still have quite a bit of "meat" on them....but rotors are not all that expensive, and rather go with new on the front for this brake job. I will reuse the rears...they look almost new after 70k miles.
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  #37  
Old 03-24-2013, 10:20 PM
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Some information that came out of this thread today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Many years ago, I used to care about ATE, Zimmerman, BALO etc.

Now that I am getting older, the only thing I care ...

The disc: it is just a hunk of metal (I know some people will "attack" me for this), as long as you get a decent hunk of metal, you are OK.
FYI, I used Duralast Rotor in my 2007 Honda Odyssey, 4 years later, still good.


For 2003 530i, the Duralast front rotor (PN 34202@ Autozone) is $50 for your car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
I think these are all good points raised regarding rotor selection. To simplify things for the next person interested in rotors, here is a recap of the bidding and some other time-honored truisms regarding rotors:

1. Stopping distances are not affected by the brand of rotor.
2. Rotors do not have a major affect on subjective braking attributes like modulation, feel, bite, etc. These are primarily affected by brake pad brand and material.
3. All rotors will rust (on the braking surface). Coated rotors (edges, hats, etc.) rust less than uncoated rotors.
4. Some rotors might result in fade earlier than others due to design or material but most rotors should have similar fade qualities.
5. OE rotors are no worse but are not necessarily better than aftermarket rotors.
6. Stick with a recognizable brand of rotor and the quality should be adequate.
7. Holes and grooves on rotors are cosmetic bling and serve no functional purpose on a street car. However, they do look cool!
8. Poorly drilled holes can result in premature rotor life due to stress cracking.
9. Rotors rarely, if ever, warp. Most pedal pulsations are due to pad deposits left on the surface of the rotor.
10. Bedding a rotor can usually remove these deposits and eliminate braking squeaking.

Bottom line, you will not achieve noticeable braking performance improvements by changing rotors. You can achieve appearance improvements and you might achieve limited durability improvements. The size of your wallet should determine the optimal rotor solution for your needs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
I disagree...

There is a DIFFERENCE between the cheap Chinese metal rotors and a good quality rotor IMO.

I would stick with Brembo and Balo, preferably Balo....

Try looking here:

Genuine BMW front rotor for $79.60 each:
http://www.bmaparts.com/item.wws?sku...E&weight=23.45

Brembo Front rotor for $70.68 each:
http://www.bmaparts.com/item.wws?sku...O&weight=23.50
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #38  
Old 03-25-2013, 07:23 AM
retiredat44 retiredat44 is online now
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Lightbulb

I put new Zimmerman rotors on my the rear of my 530i a few weeks ago... with Pagid pads. The store I went to (CARQUEST) recommended these for the car. On my old Toyota, I didn't care as much as the Chinese made rotors seemed as good as any other,, I was impressed with the pads they sold me a few years ago... I think they are still on the car all these year later. I have no clue what brand is on the front of my BMW. As I bought the car used and the fronts look good. They are all slotted and drilled. I Have never had a hard brake situation while driving in t he BMW. So I have no clue how it will react.

I have yet to take it up into any mountains either.

and the Z coating sure looks strange on rotors. Not sure if there is any color change yet, as it hasn't been driven far yet.
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Last edited by retiredat44; 03-25-2013 at 07:24 AM.
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  #39  
Old 05-22-2013, 10:45 PM
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For the record, while there may be little difference between solid rotor brands, the year of your 540 apparently matters greatly for fit as evidenced by this scary thread today:

Quote:
Originally Posted by pshovest View Post
You were sold rotors for an 04/00 540i. You need rotors for a 9/99 build 540i.
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  #40  
Old 11-29-2014, 10:37 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the crosslinked record, this was asked today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Brake Rotor (brand question)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wgosma View Post
Anyone out there with experience using the Bosch 'Quietcast' rotors?

Ready for front rotors/pads -I have always used either Balo or Brembo....just spotted this Bosch product, curious.

Thanks/Bill
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  #41  
Old 11-30-2014, 10:53 AM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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My $65 Zimmerman rotors are going strong, 2 years later...
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