Hi What would the best solution be to replace a 2003 325ci (130k) brakes as car is now out of warranty and are there any "tweaks" for better performance? Tx
Well you didnt say if you needed info on front or rear brakes, but the tools and method is pretty much the same. I'll start off with a list of tools you will need.....
-7mm allen head socket (a very shallow/"stubby" may be needed for the rear brakes)
-6mm or 5mm allen head
-a good and strong screwdriver or prybar about a foot long
-brake caliper spreader tool (can be found at most any auto parts store for less then $10)
-wire brush (gotta clean all that brake dust off!)
-jack and jack stands
-17mm lug wrench to get the wheels off the car (can use the one from the spare kit in truck if needed)
-gloves (and mask if you want, it gets pretty dusty)
As far as parts goes, I am a BMW tech so I only know BMW parts. But if you do a little research, you may be able to find a good brand out there. But its basically just pads, rotors, (2) brake pad wear sensors (1 on the innner left front brake pad, and 1 on the right rear brake pad), and some brake paste to lubricate the tabs and backing plates on the pads.
Okay, so where to start? My guess is you will not have access to a lift of some kind, so you'll want to make sure your working on a good flat surface.
Next, pop the hood open and find your brake fluid tank at the drivers side firewall. I like to open the cap just a little bit because when you compress the pads later on, the extra fluid goes back to the resivior.
Now, when you decide which corner you want to start on, go to the wheel and break the lugs for that wheel loose. It would be almost impossible to do it once you have the tire off the ground unless you have an impact gun.
Jack the car up and have it supported on the jack stands (I recommend either having both front, or both rear wheel up at the same time, but what ever you can handle).
Now, take the lugs all the way off. But realize now that even though I call them lugs, they are actually bolts. BMW and many other european brands use lug centric wheels with no wheel studs. Why this matters to you is once the last lug is out the wheel might just want to fall off so be prepared. But for than likey the wheel will seem to be stuck. Now this can be tricky, but in a pinch (only if the car is stable!!!) you can stand with you back to the wheel, hold one of the spokes with your strong hand, and give the bottom of the wheel a good donkey kick. If that doesnt work get creative, but be safe!
Okay, wheel is now off. First thing you want to do is remove the 2 rubber plugs on the back of the brake caliper, the remove the 2 bolts using the 7mm allen socket.
Next, pry off the wavy looking spring on the caliper.
Now use the screwdriver or pry bar to pry inbetween the caliper and the caliper bracket. Depending on how much of a grove there is in the rotor may require you to pry between the rotor and caliper to open up the pads a little bit. Once off the bracket, remove the outer pad and use the caliper tool against the inner pad to spread the caliper all the way open.
Now use the 16mm socket to remove the 2 bolts on the caliper bracket and set the bracket aside.
Next use either a 5mm or 6mm allen socket to remove the screw that holds the rotor to the hub. Chances are now that the rotor is rusted to the hub so use the hammer to knock the rotor off. (Dont forget to replace the pad wear sensors on the left front and right rear while your on those corners)
Now everything just goes back together the same way you took it apart, just make sure to clean everthing very well. Once its all back together and tight, get in the car and pump the brake pedal mulitple times. It will feel soft at first till all the pads are pushed back out. Now check your brake fluid level and top off if needed (DOT4).
If before you started this job, your yellow brake pad wear indicator light on the dash was on (O) <--- looks something like that, all you do is leave you key turned on (but dont start the car) for about 30-60 seconds and the light should turn off. If you didnt replace the pad wear sensors it will stay on though.
Okay now for a road test. Dont be alarmed but the brakes are gonna feel crappy for the first few miles till they get set in (they may even be a little noisey at first). I recommed driving in a low traffic area and slow speeds just to get them set up, and avoid any heavy braking for about the first 50-100 miles.
Now you should be all set, if all goes well and you have the right tools and equipment, you could have this done in a afternoon. And it will save you in the ball part of $300-400 dollars in labor alone! (from BMW dealership prices anyways).
Best of luck!
Nov 16, 2010 |
2003 BMW 325