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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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Old 09-26-2012, 09:45 PM
thatguytruth thatguytruth is offline
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Location: Arkansas
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Mein Auto: 1995 BMW 325iC
Brake Job

Just a few simple questions and yes I did google but really didn't get the answer I wanted. Actually ended up with more questions. One of my rear rotors is cracked (crack is on the middle part of the rotor or hub ) So I'm ordering new rotors and pads. The crazy is the condition of the rotors, they are very very worn and rusted.

1) Is this a simple replace job (simple meaning replace the parts and done) or is there something else I should do?

2) What pads should I get? This is my first BMW and my pocket aren't that deep. And I drive pretty fast, everyone here does.

3) After reading, I've read that you have to replace the rotors and pads on every break job, why?

4) Are there is torque setting I need to be mindful of? If so, is there a list?

I am grateful for any help giving and I'm sure it will help others who are need info to. Thanks

If you want pics the rotor lovely rusted, cracked rotors, just ask.

PS.. I have new sensors already.

Last edited by thatguytruth; 09-26-2012 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:58 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 22,940
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
Use this tutorial:

Brakes are very easy to replace yourself. In addition to the tutorial I linked to above, I believe there are also a number of videos on YouTube showing how to change the brakes on an E36. Also, you don't need to replace both the rotors and the pads with every brake job. Often times the pads will wear out before the rotors need to be replaced, so you can get by with replacing just the pads in those instances (provided the rotors have not reached minimum thickness, or have any other damage). Since your rotors are messed up, it makes sense to replace the rotors and pads together. Regarding the type of pads, OEM BMW pads have awesome bite, and are great for street driving. The tradeoff is that they're somewhat dusty. If you want less dust (i.e. none), the Akebono Euro Ceramic pads are pretty good, although they offer less initial bite. Next pads I'm getting are going to be the Performance Friction "Z-Rated" carbon metallic pads, since they'll have to hold up to occasional auto-x & lapping.

If your rotors are super rusty, be prepared to have a difficult time removing the rotor retainer screws. Just warning you ahead of time...

1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild

Last edited by ZeGerman; 09-26-2012 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:33 AM
Echo46 Echo46 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006ZCP M3and 1999 M3vert
What Ze said. When I purchased my e36, the rotors were in a similar conditions to what you describe. I purchased Zimmerman Rotors and Akebono Euro Ceramic pads. As Ze stated it is not a complicated but it can be a bitch to remove rusted rotors. The problem becomes removing that pesky little retaining screw. I ended up having to drill mine out. In the end it wasn't too bad. If you run into issues let us know and we will help. By the way, the Akebono, once bedded and broken in are pretty good.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:37 AM
john@eac john@eac is offline
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Zimmerman coated rotors help with the rust issue. The Akebono ceramics are a good way to go. And ZeGerman has good info. When it comes to torque specs. I always torque the wheels so that they are held evenly to help prevent warpage of the rotors. We also carry Hawk pads which some people like. These are mainly what we install and use .
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:23 PM
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JoshuaG JoshuaG is offline
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Location: Fife Wa
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Mein Auto: 95' E36 M3
Another thing to check because this happened to me is, check the condition of the calipers themselves. I had one that had frozen up and locked up my ish. Very frightening at 70mph so if you're having any difficulty depressing the piston or whatever it's called in the caliper get a rebuild kit or replaces them. I replaced mine using they have a refurbished calipers for like 20$ a piece with core charge. Or something like that.
Originally Posted by kaos_325i View Post
Maybe I haven't been here long enough to realize the knowledge you have to share. But, from all I can tell you are just an over opinionated, rude, prick.

My .02
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:24 PM
thatguytruth thatguytruth is offline
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Thanks guys for the info.
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