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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

I have an '03 525i, and my rear brake pads are getting pretty thin (<20%). Fronts are good (>70%).

I have never worked on my car before, nor do I have tools or a garage.....but I DO NOT want to overpay at the Stealership.

So my question, for any DIYer in my area (Bethesda, MD / DC metro area)....would anyone with a garage and tools be willing to help me replace the pads only?

I will be ordering the parts this week, and don't want to replace the rotors....just the pads. This is a car I drive very gently, and use it as my daily driver (10mi/day). I just want to keep it going smoothly, for the very least amount of $$$$.

PLease let me know if you would be willing to help....thanks!
 

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in the mean time, you might want to remove the right rear (passenger's side) brake pad sensor and tie strap it to the brake line or you'll end up buying a new brake pad sensor. just a thought:)
 

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After removing the rear wheel it's a 20 minute job on each wheel. Simple hand tools, brake clean and caliper grease will be the only tools you will need. BMW makes changing pads very easy and anyone who can change a flat can change pads on these things. Btw, I'm not intending to give you a hard time. It's really that easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
After removing the rear wheel it's a 20 minute job on each wheel. Simple hand tools, brake clean and caliper grease will be the only tools you will need. BMW makes changing pads very easy and anyone who can change a flat can change pads on these things. Btw, I'm not intending to give you a hard time. It's really that easy.
Thanks for the input. I would love to attempt this myself, but I'm scared I'll "F" it up and have to have it towed somewhere! I guess getting over the fear is the biggest battle!

On that note....is it really that bad to NOT replace (or machine) the rotors? And....is it necessary to replace / adjust the parking brake? From what I understand, this is an internal part (like a drum brake)...:confused:
 

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The rear brakes do so little of the work, I did not have mine machined. I checked the thickness of the rotors and they were well above the spec and I've never had any metal to metal contact or vibration when applying the brakes.
 

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I think you should just try to do the brakes yourself. You will be able to take care of the brakes in less than 45 mins for the first side seeing you never did it before. If you don't want to fork over a some money then you have to get the hands dirty. Just my opinion...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think you should just try to do the brakes yourself. You will be able to take care of the brakes in less than 45 mins for the first side seeing you never did it before. If you don't want to fork over a some money then you have to get the hands dirty. Just my opinion...
I want to, people. Believe me. But my driveway is gravel / grass (and uneven), and I have NO tools (short of a crescent wrench and a cheap multi-tip screwdriver).

"In these tough economic times" I would honestly rather supply the parts, some beer and some cash, to have someone on here (in my area) do it for me while I learn....hands on....how to do it.

Anyone?
 

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Trust me ... If I can do it, you can do it - and yes, with a minimum of tools.

About all you really need that you won't already have is a 7mm hex wrench.

Of course, if you don't even have a floor jack & wheel chocks & jack stands, then, well, putting it nicely, you really need to get those three things. You really do.

bluebee

 

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Trust me ... If I can do it, you can do it - and yes, with a minimum of tools.

About all you really need that you won't already have is a 7mm hex wrench.

Of course, if you don't even have a floor jack & wheel chocks & jack stands, then, well, putting it nicely, you really need to get those three things. You really do.

bluebee

Is there a step-by-step DIY here somewhere? (Yes...I tried searching).
Also...do I need to bleed the fluid or lubricate anything?

The system was checked 8 months ago (and bled) at the Stealership (6,000mi ago)....at which point they said: "everything looks great; F:80%, R:30%"

....and before I get too far ahead....how to I check the actual remaining % on the brake pads?
 

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Bleeding the system is optional and is most often not necessary unless their was a pre-existing issue w/ fluid level, loss or brake pedal feel. If you have the right tools this is easy, but without a brake bleeder I wouldn't attempt it.

You can tell remaining pad by looking at depth above the pad carrier. When you wear down the pads, first you expose the sensor, and the sensor is destroyed, and the check brakes lights goes on. Next you will wear down to the metal carrier and the brakes will squeel when applied. You can check pad depth w/ the wheels off and the calipers still on by shining a flashlight into pad area.

Just some quick pointers..

When it comes time to replace, get some PB spray and let the caliper bolts soak overnight. If these have not been used in a while, they will be most difficult to remove. I like to break loose every bolt on the caliper and caliper bracket before removing anything.

Once off, you will need some kind of stand, wire or zip tie solution to keep the carriers close to the vehicle and not damage the fluid line. You will not need to remove the fluid line. I use a bench I found that sits at the right height.

When you install the new pads into the pad holder, you should use a small dab of grease where the pad comes in contact w/ the holder. You may also want to file down the edge of the pad to make sure the pad slides freely in the carrier.

When putting the caliper back on, you will need to compress the caliper piston to fit it back over the rotor. I use a big pair of channel lock pliers, and the old pads, to compress the cylinder all the way in. You can also use a clamp or special tool. You may also need to remove the cap from the brake fluid tank to allow for the fluid to rise more easily.


If you feel like driving up to NJ I would be more then happy to help ;)
 

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Hey everyone,

I have an '03 525i, and my rear brake pads are getting pretty thin (<20%). Fronts are good (>70%).

I have never worked on my car before, nor do I have tools or a garage.....but I DO NOT want to overpay at the Stealership.

So my question, for any DIYer in my area (Bethesda, MD / DC metro area)....would anyone with a garage and tools be willing to help me replace the pads only?

I will be ordering the parts this week, and don't want to replace the rotors....just the pads. This is a car I drive very gently, and use it as my daily driver (10mi/day). I just want to keep it going smoothly, for the very least amount of $$$$.

PLease let me know if you would be willing to help....thanks!
It's an hour job max, for both sides. I can help you out if you feel like driving near Towson area. I've also got pressure bleeder, we can change the brake fluid if you want at the same time. Pm me for more info.
 

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Is there a step-by-step DIY here somewhere?
I'm sure there is. Probably someone like cn90 wrote one up.

I did my four wheel brake job in the early days of owning my BMW so I didn't write things up as well as I should have two years ago. Sorry about that. But, I wrote what I could in this thread. Definitely read it (but note, it doesn't get interesting until the second page).

Again, I'll state: Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can because I don't know anything. I can learn, just like you can ... and the folks here are FANTASTIC when you need help!

do I need to bleed the fluid or lubricate anything?
Nope. A BMW brake job is practically dry. It's really simple on the fluid side!

Bear in mind a LOT of misinformation is out there on brake-related fluids! I put all that I learned about brake-job related fluids HERE (check it out) so that folks who didn't agree could say I was full of it or not.

So far .. .so good! :)

how to I check the actual remaining % on the brake pads?
You don't need a mic. You can just measure pad thickness with a ruler. BTW, pads are so easy to replace, you can take 'em out once a year or so to look at 'em and put 'em back if you want (or just pop in new ones).

It's a simple decision once you're there. Notice my pads below were almost worn to the metal. Easy decision. Replace 'em!

PS: To make your life simple, just replace the pads with the OE pads like I did. If you feel industrious, then by all means, go with Axxis or whatever others recommend (me? I stick with OE).

PSS: Don't let the rear brake parking brake worry you. Most people don't even touch it when they do the rear brakes. You probably can leave 'em alone and your life will be a LOT simpler than mine was. I messed with 'em and was sorry I did 'cuz all it caused me was hassles and they were fine in the first place!

 

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Gonna bring this thread back to life.

i am in need of new pads on my 2002 540i with 42K miles.
Is it absolutely necessary to replace rotors (as some claim)?
or can i either machine them? or just leave them alone and intall new pads.
 

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Unless the rotors are scored, just replace pads. At 42k, unless you do hard braking, rotors should be OK. Rough rule of thumb is 2 sets of pads to one set of rotors, but depends on your driving style.
 
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