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  1. #1
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    Brake rotors and pads replacment options

    I'm thinking of replacing the brake rotors and pads from non BMW to other types. As BMW let me down with the suspension spring mount design, recall action and customer service side of things the rest of their "safety first" genuine parts mantra is probably bull$hit as well.

    Drilled rotors look good and sound like they are drilled for a reason, but are they purely cosmetic on a street car?

    I guess the rotors and pads work together so need to be "matched" to give the best performance and lifetime.


    Can anyone recommend what has worked well for them.

    12/1996 528i


  2. #2
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    Re: Brake rotors and pads replacment options

    Balo rotors and Axxis/PBR deluxe pads. OEM performance and virtually no dust.
    Ed in San Jose. BMW CCA member since 1987 (Nr. 62319). Golden Gate Chapter. '97 540i 6 speed. Build Date 3/97. Aspensilber over Aubergine leather.

  3. #3
    Bobh
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    Re: Brake rotors and pads replacment options

    Well, at the risk of being flamed I'll admit to purchasing this set off ebay and am pretty happy with them so far after about a month. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-E34-540-540i-93-95-Drilled-Brake-Rotors-Pads-F-R-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQfitsZMakeQ3aBMWQQhashZitem33616 38041QQitemZ220677242945QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ 5fPartsQ5fAccessories

    They are drilled and slotted and come with pads and sensor wires. They are really impressive looking up close and on the car, I hope they hold up well as they look now!

  4. #4
    Bobh
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    Re: Brake rotors and pads replacment options

    Oops, wrong link. Here's the one for e39's...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Silver-Zinc-Plated-Brake-Rotors-and-Ceramic-Pads-F-R-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQfitsZMakeQ3aBMWQQhashZitem33617 1f4afQQitemZ220678190255QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ 5fPartsQ5fAccessories

  5. #5
    ExAlfa
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    Tried cool-looking drilled, now run solids.

    I ran drilled Brembo then Zimmerman rotors and Axxis Deluxe semi-ceramic pads for their low/no dust quality. My wheels are very open (Schnitzer III) so the rotor is very visible, and the drilled rotors looked great, but they loaded with deposits easily and required frequent re-bedding. Based on info from this board I switched to OEM solid rotors (Brembo or Balo) and the same pads, and I've had great performance and minimal loading for ~60k miles. Dave Zeckhausen likes the Axxis pads and wrote me a long letter supporting his position, so I stuck with them. I'm tempted to try Akebono pads next time, but these dang Axxis pads last a long time so who knows if I'll get an opportunity to change them?

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    Get all brake parts=http://zeckhausenracing.com

    For as long as I can remember, for all of my BMW's, I have been buying all brake parts from:
    http://zeckhausenracing.com/

    For my E39 540 I have been buying power slot rotors (front and back, and note that they are directional and marked RIGHT and LEFT), and Axxis Ultimate Street Pads. That combined with my SS braided teflon brake lines gives me better than OEM braking performance and a better, more solid brake pedal feel.

    Will
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  7. #7
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    They look good - but gmail

    Look good but the supplier has a gmail domain, perhaps not the best indication of a quality brake supplier Company, but if we don't try we never know.

    I'm still doing homework but even with the Australian Dollar almost equal in value to the US dollar Australian prices SUCK


    The BMW Original rotors and pads are not cheap but I've noticed some of the other options available from well known Australian suppliers are even more expensive. I hope this is a good sign of quality or perhaps an indication of BMW sets the market price.

    I think I'll just have to try them - I'm looking at slotted rotors.

  8. #8
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    Re: Brake rotors and pads replacment options

    I use Hawk HPS pads on the stock rotors. No dust (I haven't washed my car since July 30th (don't howl to loud about this, I have been extremely busy; besides, car is silver and still looks clean)and the wheels are just now getting a very light film of dust. Stopping performance is very much improved over the stock pads, no fade, no noise, no uneven rotor wear.Fritracer
    Cincinnati, OH
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    img=168887[/IMG]

  9. #9
    Kurt
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    I've been running ATE/Axxis, but will change soon

    On my '99 528i I installed ATE Powerslots rotors and Axxis Deluxe pads in 2005, but after a short while of smooth braking they've been pretty "pulsy" if you know what I mean. Dusting is almost non-existant and braking power is fine, but visually there is uneven brake deposits on the rotors which I suspect is the source of the 'pulsing' sensation under light braking (annoying to me, but it's the wife's DD and she can deal).

    I just ordered Centric premium rotors and "posi quiet" pads from RockAuto ($93 for 2 rotors and $31 for front pad set) and will install when I put on the snow tires next month.
    Would have liked to order from Dave Zeck, but sorry 50% higher price on the rotors and 100% higher on the pads was too much to swallow.

    Ordered new rotor bolts, brake sensor and 15 liters of 5W-30 TOTAL euro oil from Autohaus AZ ($33 per 5L bottle, free shipping over $50).

    Hopefully the Centric rotor/pad combo will prove to be a good combination of long life, smooth braking, stopping power and low dust. Will report on how it goes.

  10. #10
    Kurt
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    installed Centric rotos/pads today, pics

    As you can see the ATE Rotors/Axxis Deluxe pads (about 40,000 miles over 5 years) result in a very uneven distribution of pad material.
    This is a daily driver, no track time and very infrequent panic stops (though I did try several time to 're-bed' the pads with ~80-0 stops).

    Took it out and did some semi-threshold near-stops from 40, 50, 60, and 70 mph. Time will tell how these hold up, but right off the bat they're smooth and strong. Definitely worth a try for ~$100 for 2 rotors and pad set.






  11. #11
    Kurt
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    how long have you been running this combo?

    I got really uneven pad deposits on ATE powerslot rotors not very long after installing. Maybe the Balo's use a different rotor material/surface prep? See photos above.

  12. #12
    Kurt
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    same here, but went for fancy ARE 'powerslot'

    agree that the Axxis pads are virtually dust free, but I'll be willing to deal with some dust (hopefully a lot less than OEM pads) with the freshly installed centric pads if they don't leave such uneven deposits like the Axxis.
    FWIW 5 years and ~50k miles and my Axxis pads had about 30% material left. The ATE rotors, besides being unevenly colored (see pic above) had worn down about 1/16" on either side. They weren't terrible 'grooved' or ridged, but I'll be very happy if the Centric rotor/pad combo stays judder free for longer than a few thousand miles.

  13. #13
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    +1, heave had Brembo rotors and Axxis deluxe plus(

    pads on for the last 70K miles, pads have at least %60 left and the rotors don't show any ridge at the edges. No problems and very low dust. I may also try the Akebono pads next time, may take 3 or 4 more years before that time comes.

  14. #14
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    typo should say "have Brembo rotors






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  15. #15
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    Uneven pad deposits??? (m)

    I wonder how much of this problem is actual a rotor problem and not a pad problem?
    My rotors show no wear or pad deposits. You said your ATE rotors have worn dowm 1/16" on each side so they are made of softer metal than the Brembos.
    That must have some effect on the pad material getting embedded into the rotors.

  16. #16
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    I had the ATE rotors on my 528i; always

    had the "shudders" after 4000 miles; I even machined the rotors and it came back again afer 4-5000 miles. I was not happy with those rotors at all. Switched to smooth rotors (no grooves) and never had a problem again.Fritracer
    Cincinnati, OH
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    img=168887[/IMG]

  17. #17
    Kurt
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    good question

    of course every car sees greatly varying braking conditions (braking frequency and severity, cooling due to speed and outside temps etc) but if you've had no problems with Axxis Deluxe pads and Brembo solid rotor like I documented in the pics of the ATE rotors, then it would seem like the problem is more with the rotors.
    Maybe ATE rotors work better with other pads. I remember reading here about the ATE/Axxiss combo back in 2006 when I installed them; at least at that time there were several people running this with supposedly good results, but I'll never go that route again.

  18. #18
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    1st time in 18 yrs of BMW I see the pad wear light

    Amazing how much pad life you get out of non-$tealer serviced cars (they must forecast revenue from their Service and Parts departments)


    I've decided to try some Australian parts: Bendix general CT pads and dba slotted front rotors. Rear slotted dba rotors unavailable so going with Zimmerman OEM vented rotors. I won't know until I try.

    Saving heaps on BMW prices so hopefully I'll get the same or better performance with the combination above. Noise, dust and long-life seem to be the items I'll monitor. If I don't like I'll replace with BMW stuff, if they are good but wear out faster I'll just replace again as the saving is 52%.

    Shipping cost from USA to Australia is still costly based on the weight of the rotors and pads, so I'll try the Australian made stuff.

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