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View Full Version : 330 ci brakes or e36 m3 brakes?


RumRogerz
07-12-2005, 03:48 PM
Was just in my boy's shop, and he had a smmmmmmashed up 330ci up on the hoist (taking it for parts)
And as i saw those massive rotors on the car it got me thinking.
What is better and easier to do? m3 brake swap or a 330ci brake swap?
similar braking power?
or should i stick with m?

app
07-12-2005, 06:35 PM
need at least 17's with the 330 brakes

rico328i
07-12-2005, 06:59 PM
Also need minimum 17" wheels up front if you get the E36 M3 calipers/rotors. I believe there's 1 rim company that makes a 16" that would clear. Read up on it a while ago.

Sure the big 330 rotors look sweet! But what are your intentions. The M3 brakes work very well on the track, so if that's what you're looking for. Just take that route. It would be quite an improvement over reg E36 brakes.

grab the rear brakes off the 330 if you can!

JS328
07-12-2005, 07:19 PM
Also need minimum 17" wheels up front if you get the E36 M3 calipers/rotors. I believe there's 1 rim company that makes a 16" that would clear. Read up on it a while ago.

Sure the big 330 rotors look sweet! But what are your intentions. The M3 brakes work very well on the track, so if that's what you're looking for. Just take that route. It would be quite an improvement over reg E36 brakes.

grab the rear brakes off the 330 if you can!

I think only the E46 328 brakes work on the rear of the E36. The E46 330 front brakes fit without a problem; but, the rears are too big.

The 330 front brakes are apparently very close to E36 M3 stopping power. The E46 330 brakes are a direct fit as well, no need to change out the spindle like when using M3 brakes.

Joe

Justin e36
07-12-2005, 08:24 PM
e46 330 brakes for one simple reason... they're cheaper.

rico328i
07-12-2005, 08:43 PM
e46 330 brakes for one simple reason... they're cheaper.

Good point. That 'M' usually commands a premium. For looks...the big rotors look excellent.

New e90 330 comes with 13" up front and 13.2" at BACK! Yup! Check if you don't believe me. They're HUGE! Bigger than E46 M3's. Odd to see the rears being bigger than the fronts.

Just a matter of time before we hear of E46 guys upgrading to E90 brakes.....

rico328i
07-12-2005, 08:56 PM
e46 330 brakes for one simple reason... they're cheaper.

Good point. That 'M' usually commands a premium. For looks...the big rotors look excellent.

New e90 330 comes with 13" up front and 13.2" at BACK! Yup! Check if you don't believe me. They're HUGE! Bigger than E46 M3's. Odd to see the rears being bigger than the fronts.

Just a matter of time before we hear of E46 guys upgrading to E90 brakes.....

Justin e36
07-12-2005, 09:32 PM
Good point. That 'M' usually commands a premium. For looks...the big rotors look excellent.

New e90 330 comes with 13" up front and 13.2" at BACK! Yup! Check if you don't believe me. They're HUGE! Bigger than E46 M3's. Odd to see the rears being bigger than the fronts.

Just a matter of time before we hear of E46 guys upgrading to E90 brakes.....

Yeah, I noticed that.. BMW really stepped up the stopping power on the e90's... the brakes have a periodic brake drying feature, and separate brake pad sensors for the front and rear brakes. rear brakes also gets cooling via brake ducts too.

RumRogerz
07-13-2005, 03:05 AM
well if i'm planning an s54 drop, i might need some good stopping power or i'm toast.
I just really don't know what would make the MOST change

sthomas
07-13-2005, 02:26 PM
Just did the upgrade to the e46 330 front brakes last week, so I'm biased. Great results!

It's cheaper
It's easier (bolt's right on with carrier)
It's just as good (very marginal difference)
I believe that Pads/Rotors are cheaper

Justin e36
07-13-2005, 03:12 PM
yep, and if you're really concerned about stopping you should be throwing $$$ into your tires.

brakes stop the wheels
wheels stop the vehicle

djcontra
07-13-2005, 03:46 PM
can i have some more info on the 330 brake upgrade? do I need to source calipers too?(sorry if that's a stupid question)

WASABI
07-13-2005, 03:49 PM
RumRogerz , if you decide to pass on the 330 brakes, please let me know, I'd like to pick them up. Thanks ! *wave*

rico328i
07-13-2005, 04:07 PM
Just did the upgrade to the e46 330 front brakes last week, so I'm biased. Great results!

It's cheaper
It's easier (bolt's right on with carrier)
It's just as good (very marginal difference)
I believe that Pads/Rotors are cheaper

Just one thing. Did you also change your Master Cylinder? Is the brake pedal height and feel the same as stock? I know w/the M3 swap, this is something that needs to be addressed. Guess you have to run 17"s from now one eh??

app
07-13-2005, 06:47 PM
stthomas, where did you source everything from? Junkyard?

thinair
07-14-2005, 01:31 AM
Well, I did the M3 swap.

The 330 rotors are slightly larger in diameter, but the M3 rotors are way wider. I can fit my pinky finger in the center vents up to the 2nd joint. The M3 rotors have more mass to absorb heat, and prevent fade. There are more high end aftermarket rotor options for the M rotors.

I did the M swap without changing the spindles (I machined down the sliders a bit) and I've had no issues what so ever.

I believe the caliper piston size is the same between the M3 and 330 front calipers (60mm), and I did notice an increase in pedal travel. The brakes now engage further down. I have an M3 master cylinder now, but I haven't installed it yet.

The rear 330 brakes are not a bolt on, but the rear e46 325 and 328 do. They're vented, and I'm actually trying to source a set for myself (since I cracked my stock rotors). E36 328 convertible rear brakes are also a decent upgrade as they're also vented.

In the end, it all comes down to pads, fluid, and tires I've been to Mosport in a mostly stock 328is, it had awesome pads, high temp fluid and great tires and the car braked awesomely. Remember, your brakes are only as good as your tires. In my opinion, M3 or 330 brakes don't brake better then stock, but they're much for resistant to fade (thanks to the larger rotors) which is important at the track.

For either setup you will need 17", I think 16" steelies might work but who cares.

RumRogerz
07-14-2005, 03:14 AM
so would the whole 330 brakeing system set up properly? or is there any issues with the rear - like, can i use the 330's control arms, or an e36's?

sthomas
07-14-2005, 08:32 AM
As thinair indicated - the back brakes are not bolt on. Better to go with the e46 325/328 rear brakes.

As for front...

Parts: I bought the calipers/carriers used here at MaxBimmer for $400. I then added rotors ($140 for pair I think) and pads ($75 for street, $300 for track). This is an easy upgrade, just remove your old caliper/carrier/rotor and bolt on the new Rotor, Carrier, Caliper and finally bleed the brakes. You will have to go to 17" wheels for either 330 or M3 front brakes.

Installation ADVICE: Use a stick (or something) to hold down the brake pedal (half-way is fine) while replacing caliper. This will stop fluid from creeping up your brake line and make bleeding MUCH easier/quicker.

Results: With good tires (street or track) you will notice a difference between stock and M3/330 brakes. The larger diameter rotors (longer moment arm) means more torque (stopping power) for a given pedal pressure. The pads are also larger (more swept area) so they last longer. I did notice a small change in pedal drop, but heelntoe is still working fine. I have not driven a car with M3 upgrade so I can't compare. I can say that the 330 brake upgrade with track pads can lock-up my track tires (RA-1's).

As for M3 vs 330 - Yes the M3 caliper is thicker, and will take a little more heat, but you would NEVER EVER feel this on the street. Even the best street tires would melt first. The only aftermarket difference are the euro two-part M3 rotors - again this is just for bling unless you like to run on the track hard without much cool-down. And they are VERY expensive. I have tracked my e46 330i and my upgraded e36 325is HARD (ask any of my students) and never warped a rotor. Given the price difference (I'd estmate twice as much for M3), I know which route I'd go :)

One final point. You will get a massive improvement if you just:
- Bleed your brakes with good fluid
- Get upgraded pads
- Upgrade to SS brake lines.
- Use good tires

KIRASIR
07-14-2005, 09:05 AM
Common Nelson, 3mm difference in width is NOT "way wider". :)

The piston caliper size is 57mm for 330 vs 60mm for the M3.

Rear 330 brakes:
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=371205&page=1&pp=25&highlight=330+rear+brakes

SL

Well, I did the M3 swap.

The 330 rotors are slightly larger in diameter, but the M3 rotors are way wider.

.....

I believe the caliper piston size is the same between the M3 and 330 front calipers (60mm),

.....

The rear 330 brakes are not a bolt on, but the rear e46 325 and 328 do.

thinair
07-14-2005, 11:18 AM
Hey Serge, thanks for the proper info :)

I think the M3 rotors look a lot wider because of the size of the vents. It's still 10% wider.

And I guess those extra 3mm of piston size is what is making my pedal travel further. Makes sense.

And I was always told the rear 330 brakes don't line up, but that's awesome that they work!!! Thanks. *wave*

Now get your car working and come auto-xing again :P

KIRASIR
07-14-2005, 01:45 PM
Almost there. The tranny is in, oil sump should be done this weekend then only the mufler will be left.

SL

Hey Serge, thanks for the proper info :)

I think the M3 rotors look a lot wider because of the size of the vents. It's still 10% wider.

And I guess those extra 3mm of piston size is what is making my pedal travel further. Makes sense.

And I was always told the rear 330 brakes don't line up, but that's awesome that they work!!! Thanks. *wave*

Now get your car working and come auto-xing again :P

Peter1998
07-16-2005, 07:56 PM
Selling Hawk 330 HP Plus Compound Brake Pads, $120 for Left and right Brand NEW~! never use, increasing your braking power.. ~~