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      10-27-2020, 04:04 PM   #1
PatInANutshell
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Front Brake pad/rotor replacement

Hi!

New to the forum, hope my post doesn't violate rules and apologies if this has been asked/answered before! (I did try to search)

I love my '09 Z4 and have been doing some minor repairs on it recently given its age. In deciding what repairs to do or leave for a shop, I am trying to balance cost with complexity and safety. I have no issues paying for something that is complex or might be unsafe, I hate having to pay someone to unscrew a few bolts and follow procedure.

One issue that I was hoping to address was to replace the front pads and rotor. I am aware that the rear are more complicated, but the front didn't seem that crazy. That is, until I got my hands on the service manual (if only to get the right torque values) and went through the procedure in detail.

I searched through the forum but couldn't find a clear answer on a few questions:
  • Do you actually need to electronically disable the break system? The service manual seems to imply that you do by putting it in a 'service' mode, but all the videos I've seen of it being done on BMWs use a C-Clamp instead.
  • Would only a BMW shop be able to do a break test? The manual references various pressure levels and testing conditions, but that's clearly something I can't do myself.
  • Do you need to bleed the breaks afterwards? That was brought up a couple of times, but it's not clear to me why you would need to do this since you're presumably not introducing air or spilling break fluid out of the system.
  • The service manual talks about various "BMW approved" cleaning products you should use for the calipers and surfaces. Is that overkill? I've yet to see a single video that used any of these. I did plan on using BG 860 for the pads to avoid squeaking, but so far haven't purchased other products.

Thanks!

Last edited by PatInANutshell; 10-27-2020 at 04:04 PM.. Reason: Typo
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      10-27-2020, 05:27 PM   #2
rjahl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatInANutshell View Post
Hi!

New to the forum, hope my post doesn't violate rules and apologies if this has been asked/answered before! (I did try to search)

I love my '09 Z4 and have been doing some minor repairs on it recently given its age. In deciding what repairs to do or leave for a shop, I am trying to balance cost with complexity and safety. I have no issues paying for something that is complex or might be unsafe, I hate having to pay someone to unscrew a few bolts and follow procedure.

One issue that I was hoping to address was to replace the front pads and rotor. I am aware that the rear are more complicated, but the front didn't seem that crazy. That is, until I got my hands on the service manual (if only to get the right torque values) and went through the procedure in detail.

I searched through the forum but couldn't find a clear answer on a few questions:
  • Do you actually need to electronically disable the break system? The service manual seems to imply that you do by putting it in a 'service' mode, but all the videos I've seen of it being done on BMWs use a C-Clamp instead.
  • Would only a BMW shop be able to do a break test? The manual references various pressure levels and testing conditions, but that's clearly something I can't do myself.
  • Do you need to bleed the breaks afterwards? That was brought up a couple of times, but it's not clear to me why you would need to do this since you're presumably not introducing air or spilling break fluid out of the system.
  • The service manual talks about various "BMW approved" cleaning products you should use for the calipers and surfaces. Is that overkill? I've yet to see a single video that used any of these. I did plan on using BG 860 for the pads to avoid squeaking, but so far haven't purchased other products.

Thanks!
I just did my rear rotor and pads. Used INPA to deal with the parking brake service mode, no problem at all. The freeking sensor cable took more time to replace than all of the other work. Routing and access to the junction box was a real pain.

If you don't need to change the sensor the job is a snap. Fronts don't have the electronic parking break.

Consider flushing your break fluid while you are there.
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      10-28-2020, 06:21 PM   #3
Eltee
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Just completed my front brakes. I've done it before and found it to be pretty easy if you have any mechanical ability at all.
I'd agree with rjahl that working with the sensor cable was the most time consuming.
You can use a C clamp to push the pads back. No real need to bleed the brakes.
I kept it simple by just getting the Power Stop kit that includes everything you need. Also wanted to try slotted, drilled rotors. Pads are low dusting which is great. Price is right too at around $250 for the front axle.
Please don't flame me for the caliper covers. My wife surprised me with them. I think they look pretty cool with the Z4 logo.
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      11-02-2020, 07:36 AM   #4
Go351
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eltee View Post
Just completed my front brakes. I've done it before and found it to be pretty easy if you have any mechanical ability at all.
I'd agree with rjahl that working with the sensor cable was the most time consuming.
You can use a C clamp to push the pads back. No real need to bleed the brakes.
I kept it simple by just getting the Power Stop kit that includes everything you need. Also wanted to try slotted, drilled rotors. Pads are low dusting which is great. Price is right too at around $250 for the front axle.
Please don't flame me for the caliper covers. My wife surprised me with them. I think they look pretty cool with the Z4 logo.
can you tell me what brand your rotors are an how have you found them. I'm in Australia and can not find any slotted or drilled rotors for the 28i 330mm diameter.
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      11-02-2020, 10:20 AM   #5
Eltee
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Check Powerstop.com I purchased mine through CARiD.com but in the US they can be found through a variety of vendors including Amazon, Walmart, Autozone.

The link to the ones I bought.
https://www.carid.com/powerstop/1-cl...ification_mail
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      11-02-2020, 12:58 PM   #6
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Just did my brakes this weekend as well. You can definitely do them yourself.
- Service mode is specific to rear brakes, so no need for fronts.
- Not sure of the context for the brake test, but it sounds unnecessary
- You will not need to bleed your brakes afterwards, so long as you don't remove a brake line, which you should not.
- No need for special BMW specific cleansing fluids are needed.

It's all pretty straight forward. You should have no problem. Do make sure to buy a pad spreader tool, as you'll need to compress the caliper piston to fit the now thicker pads and rotor.
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      11-11-2020, 05:18 AM   #7
Go351
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thanks
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