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BMW 4 LIFE
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1,518 Posts
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What will give me better bite than current OE set up? Not tracking the car just want great brakes, nothing fancy. Not wasting money on a big break set up. I've heard StopTEch is good, R1 concepts are pretty good. Should I just keep my current rotors? Only 31k on my car now. Sensors says 4600 rears and 10000 front pad life left. Seems there is not as much bite as I would like. What should I do? What should I buy and why?
 

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Lost but making good time
'11 335xi; '03 330Ci
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5,650 Posts
If you're like most people asking these questions you're not going to listen to me but, here goes anyway: You already have great brakes. On the street, even for the most spirited driving, BMW brakes are among the best in the world, bone stock. For your needs you cannot do better than BMW OE pads and rotors.

The OE brakes are engineered for aggressive low-temperature "bite" to give maximum stopping power even when the brakes are cold. They also have enough high-temperature fade resistance to survive repeated, fairly high-speed stops without trouble--for example, a weekend at the track (albeit at the novice level). They are easy to modulate, relatively low-dust and (if properly installed) quiet. You can find high-performance options to improve one, or several, of these characteristics at the expense of others, but it's extremely difficult (read: uneconomical) to improve all of them over stock.

It's also noteworthy that your stock brakes generate enough torque to engage and hold full ABS from freeway speeds to a dead stop on clean, dry, high-grip pavement, even when completely cold. That means the limiting factors in your braking performance are your tires and your skill/strength--not the brakes.

If it "feels" like you could use a little more bite, consider that the pads are nearly worn out and not performing at their best. You might find a new set of the exact same material feels considerably more "lively" to you.
 

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I agree for street use, OE pads are great, even for an occasional spirited drive. Unless you're going canyon/mountain carving, your brakes will hold up just fine.

Any pad that is marketed as a light duty track pad/street pad will have less bite when cold. I'm running Hawk HPS pads which are marketed as a high performance street pad with very light track use and they take a few stops to fully bite the way they should.
 
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