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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 09-22-2011, 09:15 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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What is the friction grade for the most recommended E39 brake pads (e.g., EE, FF, GG)

EDIT: I called some BMW dealers to find out that the Jurid pads are FF.
EDIT: Updated Textar (rears) friction grade as per Fudman to FF.
EDIT: Updated Axxis/PBR ULT friction grade as per CalvinH to FF.
EDIT: Updated Axxis XBG friction grade to EE & added "DOT Edge Code" reference PDF as per dvsgene.
EDIT: Added Akebono Euro Ultra Premium Ceramic friction grades (front & rear) as per Rami2001 to GG.

Q: What is the cold/hot friction grade for the OEM BMW E39 brake pads?
  • Jurid 187 (front) = FF
  • Textar T4071 (rear) = FF
And, given the most often recommended aftermarket brake pads (1):

Q: What is the cold/hot friction grade of the most-often recommended brake pads replacements?
  • Akebono Euro Ultra Premium Ceramic = GG
  • Axxis/PBR Deluxe Advanced = FF
  • Axxis/PBR/MM ULT Ultimate = FF
  • Axxis/MM XBG = EE


REFERENCES:
- Cracking the Code, Understand Friction Material Edge Codes
- Best Brake Pads (friction grade)

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Last edited by bluebee; 11-15-2011 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Updated the friction grade as the informatoin comes in.
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2011, 09:36 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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My Axxis XBG (formerly known as Metal Masters) for the rear are EE rated.

I am not sure if they are the same as Ultimates as they have changed formulations through the various name changes i.e. Repco, Axxis, PBR etc.

It might be time for another call to Luis:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...1&postcount=85

However, since the rating has to do with the Coefficient of Friction in hot/cold applications, I suspect ceramics will consistently have a different rating than a semi-metallic. So it may make sense to compare "apples to apples"

For those interested in the science of testing:

http://www.brakeandfrontend.com/arti...dge_codes.aspx
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Last edited by dvsgene; 09-22-2011 at 09:58 AM.
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  #3  
Old 09-22-2011, 06:13 PM
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There's no rating on the Akebono Euro box and I don't want to pull a wheel to check the pad. I have old Pagids (front) with no rating on the pads and the Textar (rears) are rated at FF.
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  #4  
Old 09-22-2011, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
My Axxis XBG (formerly known as Metal Masters) for the rear are EE rated.
Great! I'll add that to the (now simplified) original post!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
It might be time for another call to Luis
Here's what he said last time:
Quote:
Q6: What is the fundamental difference between the Axxis/PBR Deluxe, XBG, & ULT branding strategies?
A: The Deluxe Advanced employs consumer consumer friendly materials which are easy on the rotors, have a long life, with low noise & almost no visible dusting, and a good grip.
The XBG is in between on consumer friendliness, noise, dusting, and performance.
The ULTs are closest to the original friction material on your performance BMW but the trade off is lower pad & rotor life, more noise, and noticeable dusting.
But I had never asked him about friction grades. I'm sure he has a lot to offer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
the Textar (rears) are rated at FF.
Thanks. I've added that to the original post.

Let's ask the next few people who put on new brake pads moving forward to tell us the friction grades so that we can compile a decent listing, over time.
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  #5  
Old 09-26-2011, 10:59 PM
CalvinH CalvinH is offline
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per request on another thread, my Axxis/PBR ULT ceramic brake pads are rated "FF"
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  #6  
Old 09-27-2011, 07:46 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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More info on edge coding:

Quote:
DOT Pad Codes
This two letter edge code mandated by the DOT, and painted on all street legal brake pads, will give you some indication of their ability to resist fade. But only if you know how to read them. However, because of the wide range involved in each letter, it is only a rough indication.

Explanation of D.O.T. Edge Codes Located on all Brake Pads Official D.O.T. Edge Code Coefficient of Friction (C.F.)
@ 250 F and @ 600 F Comments
EE 0.25 to 0.35 both temps 0-25% fade at 600 F possible
FE 0.25 to 0.35 @ 250 F
0.35 to 0.45 @ 600 F 2% to 44% fade at 600 F possible
FF 0.35 to 0.45 both temps 0-22% fade at 600 F possible
GG 0.45 to 0.55 Very Rare
HH 0.55 to 0.65 Carbon/Carbon only.
O.K. up to 3000 F where it glows
Notes: These edge codes are located on the edge of the friction material of every brake pad by government regulation, along with some other codes. The first letter is a grading of the C.F. at 250 F and the second letter is a grading of the material at 600 F. Each letter grade can actually have quite a range of C.F. But a difference in the letter grade from medium to hot temperature could be an indicator of fade. The letters can be in any order. Therefore FE pads fade when hot, and EF pads would not grab when cold.. Also, you should know that Steel on Steel has a C.F. of 0.25!! So EE pads have only marginally more torque than no pads at all! Therefore FF pads are usually considered the minimum for a high-performance pad.
http://student.ccbcmd.edu/~smacadof/DOTPadCodes.htm

Last edited by dvsgene; 09-27-2011 at 07:53 AM.
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  #7  
Old 09-27-2011, 08:56 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalvinH View Post
Axxis/PBR ULT ceramic brake pads are rated "FF"
Thanks. I duly updated the first post with the info so people new to this topic will get the correct information in the first pass without having to perform mental edits.

BTW, the apparent lack of appreciable difference in tested cold/hot friction characteristics between the Axxis/PBR Deluxe Advanced & ULT is surprising.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
EE pads have only marginally more torque than no pads at all!
This is astounding information!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
FF pads are usually considered the minimum
This jives with the previous references; but it's still rather surprising. It seems the cold/hot friction grades have a very wide range, but we still haven't determined what BMW OEM pads are yet ...

Q: Do we yet have a recommended minimum friction grade from BMW?


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Last edited by bluebee; 09-27-2011 at 09:07 AM.
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2011, 07:10 PM
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Since we don't yet have the friction grade for the Akebono pads, I've asked just now over here for that information:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Installing akebono ceramic brake pads
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  #9  
Old 11-10-2011, 11:01 AM
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Today, we received confirmation of the GG cold/hot friction grade for the Akebono Euro Ultra Premium Ceramic pads from this post of this thread:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Installing akebono ceramic brake pads

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  #10  
Old 11-14-2011, 11:44 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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After some thought on this thread, I am not sure what to make of this info. While I reported early on the Axxis XBG aka Metal Masters are rated EE, they certainly do not perform like marginal low performance brake pads. Additionally, I have heard reports of Akebonos performing poorly in cold climiates (i.e. Doru's harrowing experience after his initial install)

That said, I find it hard to believe given the decent reviews of Metal Masters, assuming the formulation has not changed thru XBG- (who knows with all the confusing marketing around Axxis/PBR/Repco reboxing) that Metal Masters are EE rated. I can only assume that since they have a history of being used on track and autocrossing that the co-efficient of friction should be on the higher end of the EE scale.

In the end, I'll stick to the EE rated XBGs since they are only the rear pad. Moreover, I paid only $11 for the rear XBG set of pads when Amazon had them on sale last year. ($50 less than Akebono)

When the fronts come due for replacement, I'll scrutinize the ratings more and hopefully we'll have more datapoints.

Last edited by dvsgene; 11-14-2011 at 11:46 AM.
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  #11  
Old 11-15-2011, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
I reported early on the Axxis XBG aka Metal Masters are rated EE
I'm actually shocked that they are EE rated, if for no other reason than both the OEM Jurid and Textars are better, at FF each.

It is also disconcerting to note the quote above of:
Quote:
Steel on Steel has a coefficient of friction of 0.25. So EE pads have only marginally more torque than no pads at all! Therefore FF pads are usually considered the minimum for a high-performance pad.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I'm actually shocked that they are EE rated, if for no other reason than both the OEM Jurid and Textars are better, at FF each.
Yep, that is confusing and makes one wish the regulations require the COF be printed on the pad instead of a letter with a .10 range.

Another contradictory piece of the puzzle is how Akebonos claims to be rotor friendly but has a higher COF grading which leads me to believe more weighting is applied to fading than actual COF.


Also if you combine that with a characteristic that ceramics have better heat retention properties than steel, clearly something is amiss in that information to fully understand the meaning behind the grading.

Maybe it is like the DOT Temperature and Treadwear ratings where it is used to compare within a brand model line than across brands?

Last edited by hapollo; 11-15-2011 at 12:22 PM.
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  #13  
Old 11-17-2011, 02:44 AM
houseOFounces houseOFounces is offline
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Im not surprised theyre EE. I just installed them because I read they had good cold bite. They dont, I hate them. no bite, no feel. there is significantly less dust than OEM but more than ceramic. I'm shopping for a new pad now. I like the idea of ceramic ( which are actually copper) because of the fade resistance and low dust, but every ceramic pad I've used had awful cold bite. I had a VW passat with EBC redstuffs and in the winter i'd have to accelerate and brake unnecessarily just to warm them up. They went to the floor in the real cold.

Basically, dont buy the metalmasters and I want to ask if the cold bite of the akebonos is any good.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:25 AM
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2011, 10:55 PM
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Today I tried to get the cold/hot friction grade for the Hawk HPS pads, but failed:
- E34 (1989 - 1995) > Brake/Rotor Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._Graybeard View Post
Hawk HPS pads have great stopping power when braking hard from high speed, like under emergency conditions.
So, if anyone knows the cold/hot friction grade for these sometimes-recommended pads, let us know so we can improve the table in the original post.
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  #16  
Old 11-21-2011, 08:39 AM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houseOFounces View Post
... I want to ask if the cold bite of the akebonos is any good.
Yes, IMO the Akebono pads are good cold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
...So, if anyone knows the cold/hot friction grade for these sometimes-recommended pads, let us know so we can improve the table in the original post.
Not an actual confirmation, but there is a short list brake edge codes in a thread on another forum that includes the Hawk HPS as rated at FF.
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  #17  
Old 11-21-2011, 08:54 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Update: Picture of the "edge code". Seems more manufacturers are printing it on the back now. Sorry for the clarity.... smart phone pic.
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  #18  
Old 11-21-2011, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
Update: Picture of the "edge code". Seems more manufacturers are printing it on the back now. Sorry for the clarity.... smart phone pic.
Those are the Axxis/PBR Metal Masters, correct?
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve530 View Post
there is a short list brake edge codes in a thread on another forum that includes the Hawk HPS as rated at FF.
That's good enough for me (since I strive to put it out there and let the forum fix the errors that crop up in doing so).

I'll update the original post (so others don't have to assemble the information every time a newbie reads this thread) ... and I'll add the nice reference you provided to the bestlinks.
- What friction grade (e.g., EE, FF, EF, etc.) is recommended for BMW E39 brake pads (1) (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
Seems more manufacturers are printing it on the back now.
It's nice to have a picture reference. Thanks for snapping it. Here it is, shrunk to 640x580 pixels and annotated slightly for reference.

BTW, what I don't fully understand is how an EE would feel (given that I have an FF on my vehicle).

I would assume they designed the delta between the E and the F to be large enough to be 'meaningful'.

If I take the liberty to loosely interpret that to mean one could be able to somehow 'discern' the difference between an E and an F ... I have to then ask ...

Do 'you' actually feel any difference between the E and the F yourself?
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:05 AM
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Drat.

The original post just locked up today (this thread must have been opened exactly two months ago, because that's how long we have to edit).

Oh well. Even though I would love for readers to find all the relevant updates in the first post, at least they can find this new Hawk HPS friction-grade information further down.

For the record, here is a summary reading of the nice link provided above to another forum:
  • Title: Brake Pads - what you need to know - friciton codes
  • The scale is E to H, with E representing less friction or bite in comparison to H, which has more bite or, in other words, a higher coefficient of friction.
  • because of the wide range involved in each letter, it is only a rough indication.
  • 11-04-2010 Friction Grades
    • HAWK HPS = FF
    • HAWK HP+ = GG
    • Axxis ULTIMATE = FF
    • Ferodo DS2500 = FF
    • EBC 6000 Series Organic = GG
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  #21  
Old 11-21-2011, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
Those are the Axxis/PBR Metal Masters, correct?
Our posts crossed as I was doing the research.

I wasn't sure either ... but the picture was titled "XBG.jpg"; and, dvsgene previously reported "I reported early on the Axxis XBG aka Metal Masters are rated EE"; so, I took the liberty of annotating the picture as XBG so as to ward off (for others) the momentary confusion both of us just had when viewing the picture.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:30 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
Those are the Axxis/PBR Metal Masters, correct?
Yes Jason, these are the Axxis XBG formerly known as Metel Masters. See my post from the Axxis thread here with pictures of the box:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...3&postcount=87

Change in name per Brakewarehouse:
http://www.brakewarehouse.com/axxis2.asp
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  #23  
Old 09-19-2012, 11:53 AM
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BP396 Bosch QuietCast Premium rear pads

$35 for 4 pads, 1 tube of lube/glue and 1 sensor. Looks like they are rated FF.

Found very little technical info online, even at the Bosch website so thought I'd post a pic for the forum's benefit. I bought these primarily because of the price including sensor and the hope they are quiet and clean.

Parking brake shoes came. They don't seem to have any friction codes printed on them. Just a part number and year. 2007 !?!?!





Edit:
Emergency, parking brake shoes arrived... Centric at $28.



And
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  #24  
Old 09-20-2012, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z_driver View Post
Looks like they are rated FF
Thanks for that update since others are looking at the Bosch as we speak.

I'm surprised I did not find your Bosch edge code markings (BP396 BNAQ1213FF 20619) in this PDF:
- AMEC_Brake_Edge_Code_Marking.pdf (762.7 KB)

Quote:
Originally Posted by z_driver View Post
Parking brake shoes came. They don't seem to have any friction codes printed on them.
Hmmm... that's strange. I thought it was a US Federal law that they had to have the edge codes printed on them.

Are you 'sure' they're not there?
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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  #25  
Old 09-20-2012, 11:37 AM
z_driver z_driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I'm surprised I did not find your Bosch edge code markings (BP396 BNAQ1213FF 20619) in this PDF:
- AMEC_Brake_Edge_Code_Marking.pdf (762.7 KB)
Wow! Now that's some dry reading.  While I didn't either, I did notice a few things looking through that pdf.  First, that doc's for three years, April 2008- April of 2011.  Second, these pads have a thin metal cover clipped over them.  I suspect that's for rebranding.  Underneath, they have an imprint of 396-B on one side and 20MR on the other.  While I didn't find Bosch anywhere on that document, I did see that Akebono has a pad with 396 as it's primary designation.  These look identical to their Euro396s except for the fact that the Akebonos have a slit down the center.  But everything else, from the colors, to metal covers looks the same.  Be interesting to see what the Akebonos have imprinted 'under' their cover.

Quote:
Hmmm... that's strange. I thought it was a US Federal law that they had to have the edge codes printed on them.

Are you 'sure' they're not there?
Maybe the law applies to pads only?  The 4 shoes have 111.08310 46/2007 and are imprinted/stamped Centric on the other side.  Anyone else have some shoes they can check?
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