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View Full Version : E36 M3 front brake install


thinair
09-08-2003, 04:48 PM
Well, after having the parts available for a while, I finally had the time to rip into my car and remove the front suspension to install a set of M3 front brakes and some maintenence items at the same time.

Here is the list of parts I'm installing:

M3 euro floating rotors
M3 calipers
M roadster spindles (same as M3 ones)
stainless steel front lines
Powerflex urethane offset control arm bushings
Balljoints

I managed to pull everything off, including the struts and control arms, it looks so empty in the wheel well, just the swaybar end, and tie rod are sticking out.

The center balljoint on the control arm was a pain in the ass to remove, the nut was is a pretty tight spot, especially when you're trying to use 22mm wrench, and can only move the wrench like 1/12 of a turn.

I hacksawed the stock control arm bushing to seperate the 'lollipop' from the control, went to a machine shop and got new balljoints pressed in and the old control arm bushings pressed out.

Right now I have the car in like 100 pieces and I'm waiting on one part to start reassembling everything.

I'll post some pics of the rotors and caliper in a few minutes to see the size difference between the stock 328 parts and the m3 parts.

e30mpowerd
09-08-2003, 04:57 PM
well i think u did a very good and hard job ao what kind of brakes u install

thinair
09-08-2003, 05:43 PM
Well, here are a few pics of the calipers and rotors for comparison purposes:

This is the tops of the calipers, the left being the stock 328 caliper, and right being the larger M caliper. You can even see the ///M stamped right on the caliper
http://www3.sympatico.ca/thinairbikes/calipertop.jpg

This is the bottom of the calipers. You have no idea how heavy these things are (maybe you do)
http://www3.sympatico.ca/thinairbikes/caliperbottom.jpg

Here you can see the obvious diameter difference between the stock rotors (left) and the M one.
http://www3.sympatico.ca/thinairbikes/rotorsfront.jpg
http://www3.sympatico.ca/thinairbikes/rotorsback.jpg

And lastly, here is a pic of the tops of the rotors, the M rotor is so much thicker, I can actually fit my pinky finger in the vents.
http://www3.sympatico.ca/thinairbikes/rotorstop.jpg

crusher
09-08-2003, 05:51 PM
Nelson, how much did you get the Euro floating rotors/kit? Did you get them used? I wanna go with euro floating rotors too, I heard lots of good things about it.

Jeff

thinair
09-08-2003, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by crusher
Nelson, how much did you get the Euro floating rotors/kit? Did you get them used? I wanna go with euro floating rotors too, I heard lots of good things about it.

Jeff

I got everything used (minus the balljoints and LCA bushings), I also heard a lot of good things about them and it was pure luck that I found them, I'm happy. I didn't buy the rotors seperately, so I don't have a price for you.

Soldo
09-08-2003, 10:39 PM
JEFF, i thought tha the euro rotor was a STOCK M thing?!
Hey nelson, how come the 328 rotor looks newer?!
Did you get them done at a shop?!
Also, what wheel size do you need now with the M Brake kit, can you still fit the stock 15's on in the winter?!

KIRASIR
09-09-2003, 12:20 AM
Nelson,

I am too in the middle of a brake upgrade, except I am upgrading to the e46 330 brakes.

I got my callipers from a shop in states and I am having some major fitment issues. I would like to compare the calipers that I have to yours, especially the brackets. It seems that I will need M3 kingpins as well, which should not be the case with true 330 callipers.

Do you think I could take a look at your M3 brackets sometime this week? It is hard to make a size comparison based on the pictures, and I would like to see them in person.

Thanks

Serge

jeremy
09-09-2003, 12:25 AM
how many piston are the "m" calipers ?

KIRASIR
09-09-2003, 12:27 AM
Almost all bimmers have one per calliper, except the big cars like 7series. They have 2.

SL

Originally posted by jeremy
how many piston are the "m" calipers ?

jeremy
09-09-2003, 12:41 AM
Originally posted by KIRASIR
Almost all bimmers have one per calliper, except the big cars like 7series. They have 2.

SL

i thought the "m" would atleast be a 2 pot....hmmmm, how big are the pistons ?

i'm just asking, beacause i picked up a set of wilwood dynalite II calipers awhile back for my bbk that i'm building....the dynalites are a 4 pot with 1.75" ss pistons...*mw*

Soldo
09-09-2003, 12:45 AM
jer, wheres d'ya pick those up from?!
and how much did they run you?!

BMW_M52_M20
09-09-2003, 12:52 AM
Wow, I didn't realize there was that much of a difference from the regular 3'ers brake system to the M ones......
I am impressed, do you feel the difference?
Jay

jeremy
09-09-2003, 12:59 AM
Originally posted by SOLDOMATIC 325i
jer, wheres d'ya pick those up from?!
and how much did they run you?!

i picked them up from a company called bicnell...they're the north american distributor for wilwood..i can remember what i paid b'cause i bought some pads and stuff at the same time...

here's some info....it doesnt say dynalite two though... http://www.wilwood.com/products/calipers/bdc/index.asp

thinair
09-09-2003, 02:35 AM
Ok, here are your answers.

Kevin: North American M3's have full steel non-floating rotors, which is why the euro spec ones are called "Euro Floating Rotors", and cost more then twice the price of normal rotors. The North American M3 rotors look like the 328 rotors, just bigger. The euro ones have aluminium bells that are pinned to the rotor.

Jeremy: The M3's have 1 piston floating calipers. The piston is 60mm as stamped on the caliper (vs. the 54mm stock size)

Serge: I do have the M3 spindles/kingpins, you can take a look at the parts, but I live like 40 minutes north of the GTA, and I have to have everything reinstalled by Saturday to do an alignment (for the auto-x on Sunday).

Jay: I haven't felt a difference yet (aside from picking up the parts), mostly because I haven't installed them yet. I'll let you know how everything feels once they're installed and I get the car back on the road.

Soldo
09-09-2003, 02:59 AM
SORRY MAN, still confused on this whole "FLOATING" business!
why is it called FLOATING, and so what the EURO M rotors have a bigger gap (so you can't fit your pinky in a US m rotor?!)

KIRASIR
09-09-2003, 03:07 AM
Nelson,

As you can see from the picture below the callipers that I have seem to be similar to what you have
http://www.havephun.com/318ti/pictures/brakeupgrade/caliper3.jpg


http://www.havephun.com/318ti/pictures/brakeupgrade/caliper4.jpg


The guys from the yard I picked them up swear to me that they came out from a 2001 e46 330Ci. Here is the WEIRD part:

The bracket
http://www.havephun.com/318ti/pictures/brakeupgrade/bracket4.jpg

seems to be very similar to the M3 one you have. The problem is in the thickness. The bracket just won't fit between the 330 rotor and the stock ti hub (same as the M3 bracket). The M3 hubs move the attachment arms about 3cm away from the rotor, while the stock 318/325/328 position is about 2cm. Also they are nothing like any of the callipers I've seen on the pictures in the last couple of days, they are similar but not the same.

In short, I have no idea what calipers I have. *thmbsdwn*

So what I would like to do is to see whether I can use M3 hubs with with these damn paper weights. It will take about 5 minutes to measure evething, and I don't mind driving 40 min north, plus I would be driving from Maple anyway.

Where north are you? Newmarket?

If you have some free time this week during any of the evenings I would really appreciate it.

SL


Originally posted by thinair
[B]Ok, here are your answers.
Serge: I do have the M3 spindles/kingpins, you can take a look at the parts, but I live like 40 minutes north of the GTA, and I have to have everything reinstalled by Saturday to do an alignment (for the auto-x on Sunday).

thinair
09-09-2003, 03:52 AM
Originally posted by SOLDOMATIC 325i
SORRY MAN, still confused on this whole "FLOATING" business!
why is it called FLOATING, and so what the EURO M rotors have a bigger gap (so you can't fit your pinky in a US m rotor?!)

The floating rotor just means that the braking surface isn't solidly attached to the bell (not one piece, or attached with bolts). Also because the bell is aluminium, the euro rotors are a lot lighter then the US ones, they feel almost the same weight as the smaller 328 rotors. When the rotor heats up it expands, and because it's seperate from the bell it's a lot harder to cause warping. The euro rotors and the US rotors have the same dimensions though, both are 12.6" diameter and both are like an 1" wide with the same size internal vents. The people with US spec M3's can just buy euro rotors and they'll fit.

thinair
09-09-2003, 03:55 AM
Originally posted by KIRASIR
So what I would like to do is to see whether I can use M3 hubs with with these damn paper weights. It will take about 5 minutes to measure evething, and I don't mind driving 40 min north, plus I would be driving from Maple anyway.

Where north are you? Newmarket?

If you have some free time this week during any of the evenings I would really appreciate it.

SL

I'm in Bradford, just north of Newmarket. Í'm about to PM you.

Soldo
09-09-2003, 04:50 AM
i see, so with the 12" brake rotor, can you fit the stock 15" winter rims or will they not fit due to the rotor size!?

Soldo
09-09-2003, 04:50 AM
i see, so with the 12" brake rotor, can you fit the stock 15" winter rims or will they not fit due to the rotor size!?

KIRASIR
09-09-2003, 11:04 AM
M3 rotor is 315x28mm
e46 330 rotor is 325x25mm

both require 17" wheels.

SL

Originally posted by SOLDOMATIC 325i
i see, so with the 12" brake rotor, can you fit the stock 15" winter rims or will they not fit due to the rotor size!?

thinair
09-09-2003, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by KIRASIR
M3 rotor is 315x28mm
e46 330 rotor is 325x25mm

both require 17" wheels.

SL

certain (very few) aftermarket 16" wheels will also.

KIRASIR
09-12-2003, 03:10 AM
True with M3. I am not sure about 330. Once I get the suckers on we should compare the width from the end of the caliper to the other side of the rotor.

I also found another pair of calipers in the States today. They should arrive sometime next week. Unfortunately, I won't have them installed for the auto-x.

SL

Originally posted by thinair
certain (very few) aftermarket 16" wheels will also.

thinair
09-13-2003, 06:54 AM
Well, I didn't get to install the M brakes yet, I put my car back together with the stock brakes (but with new ball joints and control arm bushings) until I can get a right M spindle (next week hopefully), then I gotta rip everything apart again!

If it wasn't for the auto-x on sunday I would've just left my car in pieces all weekend.

It's actually the third time I've tried to install them, the first time I started to take stuff apart and realized I didn't have a 46mm for the hub nut, the second time one of the bearing races didn't come off the spindle properly, and my puller wouldn't fit around it (and I don't want to buy a new wheel bearing yet), and this time it's because I found out I had a bent spindle, I only noticed it when I went to bolt it on to the strut housing and the bolts wouldn't line up.