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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The time has come for me to change my front calipers. The current ones are rusted worn and not expanding and contracting the pads as they should which is cause a knocking and dragging sound in the front. Budget is tight but would like a decent pair to replace old ones. Any recommendations?

Oh, also maybe some advice on bleeding brake fluid. Thanks in advance.
 

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How good a wrench are you? If you are moderately handy with tools and comfortable with your skills, you can attempt to rebuild the calipers yourself and save quite a bundle.

Rust on the face of the piston is unimportant if it is only superficial. So long as the cylindrical walls of the piston and the caliper bore are rust free, the thing is salvageable with new seals (basically an O-ring at the bottom and a rubber boot at the top). For a 2003 330i, BavAuto shows a Front Caliper Rebuild Kit p/n #34 11 6 750 151 for $27 per side, Tischer for $22.

Here's a usable DIY. Although it is for a Series 7, the procedure is essentially the same, just try not to tear the boot like this dork did: http://bmwe32.masscom.net/sean750/caliper/RebuildBrakeCaliper.htm
 

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How good a wrench are you? If you are moderately handy with tools and comfortable with your skills, you can attempt to rebuild the calipers yourself and save quite a bundle.

Rust on the face of the piston is unimportant if it is only superficial. So long as the cylindrical walls of the piston and the caliper bore are rust free, the thing is salvageable with new seals (basically an O-ring at the bottom and a rubber boot at the top). For a 2003 330i, BavAuto shows a Front Caliper Rebuild Kit p/n #34 11 6 750 151 for $27 per side, Tischer for $22.

Here's a usable DIY. Although it is for a Series 7, the procedure is essentially the same, just try not to tear the boot like this dork did: http://bmwe32.masscom.net/sean750/caliper/RebuildBrakeCaliper.htm
Yes, this^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^is the least expensive way out. If you decide to do it, pick up a wheel cylinder hone to clean up those cylinder bores....just go EASY with it, you don`t want to enlarge the cylinders, just de-glaze them.
 

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Rockauto.com has at least half a dozen options (different rebuilders). Some are painted black, some are plated as original. Some come loaded w/ pads, some not. I'm too lazy to rebuild calipers these days. If it were my cash, I'd grab the Beck/Arnley "semi-loaded" rebuilds for $50ea. Includes plated caliper and all new hardware but no pads. I don't trust rebuilt *anything* from Autozone, but that's just me. Others swear by them. I don't know who rebuilds them for Autozone, but I suspect it's either Centric or A1 Cardone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for all your input. I ended up having to pay $89. per caliper, but I was in a hurry I have to get it done this weekend. The car cannot go another week of driving without the new one.
 
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