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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I would like to ask for some information on brakes.

Recently my "Brake Linnings" message came on and a few days later I started hearing some grinding. Obviously I need new brakes and more than likely rotors too, although I'm hoping maybe not.

In any case, I'm planning to buy them from PelicanParts.Com based on some personal research but I'm open to other site suggestions.

I live in Pasadena, CA. and I'm looking for a recommendation on a good reputable indy shop that can do the work for me at a fair price. This is the first time I own a BMW so I really don't know what a fair price should be. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

I've seen posts where people offer to do it for other OP's but they're never located in the greater L.A. area :cry: lol.

I've read it's a fairly simple job and I'm totally a DIY guy but for the first time I'd like to have some help at least since I'm more of a kinesthetic learner. So if anyone's in the area and is willing I'm sure we can work a price out on the labor and beer is on me!:rofl:

So in short I need a recommendation on a reputable indy shop in Pasadena, CA (Greater L.A. area is fine too), or someone experienced who's in the area that's willing to help me w/ the DIY job.

Thank you all in advance!
 

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there is the shop on main right aftet you hit the fork in huntington drive that takes you either to south pass or alhambra. i use my chevy mechanic cause hes fair, and has been honest. its just brakes, if you have tools and a driveway, i can come help out, or e-mail me. tvbikes at yahoo dot com.
 

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Russell
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Start by buying a Bentley manual for about $50. You will see the procedure on how to replace brakes there. That should help indicate what basic tools you need to do each type of repair.

If you have no tools and need to start getting basic tools, you cannot go wrong with sears craftman tools. Get a 1/4 and 3/8 basic metric socket set, metric wrench set, various plyers and screwdriver sets. If you are doing brakes, get Jack stands etc.

Again, if you can find an indy or a bud with tools you can have him give you more specific advice regarding starter tools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Awesome, I'll start looking for the Bentley manual. *Disclaimer* Newb question on the way... why a Bentley manual? Parent company or what?

Cool, as far as tools I figured I need some special tools or something. I mean I do have a regular tool set, wrenches pliers, screwdrivers, socket wrench set, etc. After all I am a DIY guy, just have never worked on cars.

I was talking to one of my friends and it turns out he does his own brakes but he has a Corolla. Said he didn't know whether the procedure would be basically the same. I told him the parts I was getting from Pelican's brake set and he knew all of them but he said he would have no idea what to do with the brake sensors. Obviously since Corollas probably don't have them. So my question would be this, if he changes the brakes on his own car would he be able to do my BMW? Is it the same basic procedure?

Strobelight, I can't thank you enough for your kindness man. If it turns out he can't do them then I will surely hit you up. Again, thanks man!
 

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Aside from paying hundreds of dollars for official BMW factory maintenance manuals, the Bentley is the only thing that comes close. All others are not up to par. Chilton is a joke and so is Haynes.

As for the breaks, you should not need any special tools. And the sensors are very easy to figure out once you get under there. You should have no trouble at all. For the rotors, there is a set screw / Allen screw on each one that holds them in place. This screw is often stripped and does not come out. If you run into that problem, rotate the rotor so the screw is at the bottom, Grab the rotor from the top with both hands and yank hard on it. The rotor is cast so it will snap off around the screw and then you can get a vice grip on what remains and remove the screw.

This (Above) should be the only problem you may run into. Just make sure you use a good Jack stand when doing some thing like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Progress Report

Hey Guys,

Sorry for the late reply on this but I've been a bit busy looking for a job, not to mention going on a few weekend fishing trips :D

All right, so I did my brakes w/ my friend and I have to say it was ridiculously simple and thanks for the manual tip. :thumbup:

I do have a couple of questions though. First, my front brake pads were evenly worn however, when I did my back brakes I noticed that my rear left brake pad was worn out more than my right brake rear brake pad. I could still see a tiny bit of the right rear brake pad but could not see any on the left rear brake pad. I'm sure the left brake pad is what was causing the grinding noise I mentioned in the starting of the post. I measured my rotors and they're fine but is the fact that my left brake pad's worn more than my right rear brake pad an indication of a bigger problem?

Second, I'm hearing a little squeaking when I brake and am coming to a stop at 10-0 mph I would say. My friend said this is normal and will go away as the pads break in but I don't think it's ever happened to me before when I've had my brakes professionally done (other cars). I don't drive every day but I have noticed the squeaking diminish over time however, could there be another reason for the squeak or is there something I could do to make it go away sooner? The Brake Linning message is gone from my dashboard display and my car brakes great but figured I would run it by you guys. ;)

On a seperate note I also changed the light bulbs in my OBC and can now see the time, wonder if the previous owner incorrectly thought it was busted. :p The OBC release lever on the right gave me a bit of a problem since it was a bit hidden but I got it. lol

My next project is to change the auto gear shift panel... I guess over time the white paint came of the letters that signify what gear you're in. Plus, I don't like the fact it's not lighted. Is it supposed to be lighted? Maybe I need to change some more bulbs? So is there a way to change this? I don't want to change the gear shift knob just the black trim at the base that emcompasses the E and M switch.

Also, I notices a bit of rust on my rims, okay more than a bit :bawling: any tips on removing this and how to restore my rims?

As always, any help and tips will be greatly appreciated. I will try to post pics tomorrow to better explain.
 

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Russell
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Hey Guys,

Sorry for the late reply on this but I've been a bit busy looking for a job, not to mention going on a few weekend fishing trips :D

All right, so I did my brakes w/ my friend and I have to say it was ridiculously simple and thanks for the manual tip. :thumbup:

I do have a couple of questions though. First, my front brake pads were evenly worn however, when I did my back brakes I noticed that my rear left brake pad was worn out more than my right brake rear brake pad. I could still see a tiny bit of the right rear brake pad but could not see any on the left rear brake pad. I'm sure the left brake pad is what was causing the grinding noise I mentioned in the starting of the post. I measured my rotors and they're fine but is the fact that my left brake pad's worn more than my right rear brake pad an indication of a bigger problem?

Second, I'm hearing a little squeaking when I brake and am coming to a stop at 10-0 mph I would say. My friend said this is normal and will go away as the pads break in but I don't think it's ever happened to me before when I've had my brakes professionally done (other cars). I don't drive every day but I have noticed the squeaking diminish over time however, could there be another reason for the squeak or is there something I could do to make it go away sooner? The Brake Linning message is gone from my dashboard display and my car brakes great but figured I would run it by you guys. ;)

On a seperate note I also changed the light bulbs in my OBC and can now see the time, wonder if the previous owner incorrectly thought it was busted. :p The OBC release lever on the right gave me a bit of a problem since it was a bit hidden but I got it. lol

My next project is to change the auto gear shift panel... I guess over time the white paint came of the letters that signify what gear you're in. Plus, I don't like the fact it's not lighted. Is it supposed to be lighted? Maybe I need to change some more bulbs? So is there a way to change this? I don't want to change the gear shift knob just the black trim at the base that emcompasses the E and M switch.

Also, I notices a bit of rust on my rims, okay more than a bit :bawling: any tips on removing this and how to restore my rims?

As always, any help and tips will be greatly appreciated. I will try to post pics tomorrow to better explain.
I believe the bulbs have burnt out on your shift position indicator. I do not remember if they are soldered in. if so, search the e34 forums on how to replace. Not hard, just tedious and good soldering skills. BTW, there are many other switches or indicators with soldered in bulbs. The sunroof switch and the rear door locks, and power window switches are some that come to mind. I redid all of them on my car. These switches are at least $45 each to replace.

Rust on wheels? Do you have steel wheels? if so, repaint is the only way I know. If alloy, perhaps they just have a lot of metallic brake dust embedded. Then the only solution may be to refinish. However, I would try a strong wheel cleaner, toothbush etc. and a lot of elbow grease. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, here are the pics.

The rust on my rims :/ they're the OG BMW rims so I'm taking it they're alloy. Does this mean all I have to do is sand them w/ some fine wet sandpaper and then polish? Could it really be that simple? Also, if you look closely you can see where what was left of the left rear brake pad was scratching my rotor :/

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/mayanmonk/SANY0038.jpg

This is what I talking about changing. Just wanna change the black trim. Sorry about the pic but I forgot my keys in my house and didn't wanna walk back so I took the pic through the window, lol.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/mayanmonk/SANY0041.jpg
 

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Russell
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958 Posts
Okay, here are the pics.

The rust on my rims :/ they're the OG BMW rims so I'm taking it they're alloy. Does this mean all I have to do is sand them w/ some fine wet sandpaper and then polish? Could it really be that simple? Also, if you look closely you can see where what was left of the left rear brake pad was scratching my rotor :/

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/mayanmonk/SANY0038.jpg

This is what I talking about changing. Just wanna change the black trim. Sorry about the pic but I forgot my keys in my house and didn't wanna walk back so I took the pic through the window, lol.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/mayanmonk/SANY0041.jpg
Like I said previously, get a quality wheel cleaner. BMW allow wheels do not rust. This looks like imbeded brake dust. Might also try a plastic (no metal) kitchen scubbie or Mr. Clean cleaning pad.
 

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Home Depot has this liquid rust remover in a gallon jug called Rust Aid. My wife uses it on the showers even when they look clean. The results are amazing so I started using it on my wheels. I hate semi metallic pads so I switched to ceramic. No more rusty rims.
 
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