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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 01-05-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
bmw golf guy
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325xi brake pads

So I have brake dust covering my rear wheels. I am needing new brake pads and probably new rotors also.

Any recommendations on brake pads that don't leave a lot of brake dust? And any recommendations on how to remove the current brake dust from the wheels?
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:32 PM   #2
DavidDee
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http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-34...ci-z3-set.aspx

I went with Axxis Metal Master pads. I really like them, they bite in any weather condition and leave very very little brake dust. A world of a difference compared to stock.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:28 PM   #3
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There's many dustless pads to pick from. One concern is some of them have poor cold performance. Meaning, unless the pads are warmed up, they have bad grip requiring more pedal pressure etc. Some owners may not care about cold fade like the track crowd who know this and warm them braking before hitting the course. They want no fade when hot and often swap between street and track pads per event. Dustless street pads including ceramics may have this cold fade property and you may not like it.

Running stock composition pads will produce dust but it's certainly manageable. When dust is fused to the wheel requiring solvents and elbow grease to remove, we're talking a neglected car. Normal build-up basically washes off every couple weeks with a hose and a little wiping. I have a sponge stick with a micro-fiber material wrapped around it that when jabbed around the spokes can zoom through a wheel in 30 seconds rinsing shiny clean. That's every two weeks or so.

The stock pad design will yield the best braking feel and pedal feedback in all conditions. There are dustless flavors that come close. I think with all the suppliers out there, that BMW would have changed over if something had equal to or better performance with less dust? So far they haven't.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:57 PM   #4
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There's many dustless pads to pick from. One concern is some of them have poor cold performance. Meaning, unless the pads are warmed up, they have bad grip requiring more pedal pressure etc. Some owners may not care about cold fade like the track crowd who know this and warm them braking before hitting the course. They want no fade when hot and often swap between street and track pads per event. Dustless street pads including ceramics may have this cold fade property and you may not like it.

Running stock composition pads will produce dust but it's certainly manageable. When dust is fused to the wheel requiring solvents and elbow grease to remove, we're talking a neglected car. Normal build-up basically washes off every couple weeks with a hose and a little wiping. I have a sponge stick with a micro-fiber material wrapped around it that when jabbed around the spokes can zoom through a wheel in 30 seconds rinsing shiny clean. That's every two weeks or so.

The stock pad design will yield the best braking feel and pedal feedback in all conditions. There are dustless flavors that come close. I think with all the suppliers out there, that BMW would have changed over if something had equal to or better performance with less dust? So far they haven't.
I found the metal masters to be a happy medium. I haven't ever felt any problems with them in the cold. They've seen temperatures of -30 and still didn't have a problem.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:40 PM   #5
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^^ Good information. I'm sure they're less-dust not dust-less.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:31 PM   #6
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Performance Friction Z-compound outperform BMW pads in all areas.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:15 PM   #7
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Performance Friction Z-compound outperform BMW pads in all areas.
yeah but they still dust like pigs



i like my axxis/pbr deluxe (ceramic) for daily driving
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:21 PM   #8
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Pads I have used: Padig Sport Pads, less dusting and very good all round stopping power and no fade. Metal Masters, very little dusting but cold they require more "pedal pressure" and slightly more fade in heavy wetness. Full ceramic pads, almost no dusting, very good stopping power cold or hot with no fade, will squeal a little bit first application of pedal when damp, i.e. sitting overnite in the rain as some dampness "seeps" onto rotor surface and pad surface, goes completely away during first application, i.e. backing out of driveway.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:23 PM   #9
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Pads I have used: Padig Sport Pads, less dusting and very good all round stopping power and no fade. Metal Masters, very little dusting but cold they require more "pedal pressure" and slightly more fade in heavy wetness. Full ceramic pads, almost no dusting, very good stopping power cold or hot with no fade, will squeal a little bit first application of pedal when damp, i.e. sitting overnite in the rain as some dampness "seeps" onto rotor surface and pad surface, goes completely away during first application, i.e. backing out of driveway.
So, with that experience, what is your preferred choice next order? Ceramic? What brand?
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:32 PM   #10
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I've just outfitted my other E46 with a complete set of cross-drilled rotors and full ceramic pads from R1 Concepts. Perfect fit of the rotors (and yes I know there are quite a few of you here that swear only by OEM BMW rotors for street use) and the full ceramic pads they have are great. What little dusting there is washes off easily without using wheel cleaner(s) and the inside of the wheels stay clean. No fade in heavy rain or in very spirited twisty driving. Didn't like the Metal Masters because of having to "warm" them up first like racing pads so that they would work, however, once warmed up, they worked excellent. The Pagid Sport pads are now very hard to get and are very expensive, they were much better than the Pagid "Reds" (my opinion) that are easy to come by. I might be tempted to try Cool Carbons next time around to see if they are in any respect better than the full ceramic pads from R1 Concepts.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:29 PM   #11
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^ ^^ I don't know why anyone would use ceramic pads- they barely stop the car.

PFC-Z dust rinses off with just a bit of water pressure. I ruined a set of Pagid Sports in an hour at the track- not a good product.

PF makes the best pads for a BMW- by far the most popular at the track too.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:40 PM   #12
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I really like Hawk brake pads. HP Plus or HPS would be great depending on what kind of driving you do. HP Plus stops better, HPS is a better pure-street pad.

Hawk HPS are very low dust, easy on rotors and for me lasted over 100K miles on my VW

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/hw...mw/model/325xi

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/hw...mw/model/325xi

I got my rotors from online, I think the fronts were eibach and the backs were some generic type brand... front rotors are much more important.

You can get quality rotors from NAPA, autozone, etc if you get their better brand

Last edited by bikesandcars; 01-06-2013 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:03 PM   #13
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Like everything else, members here have their favorites and their unfavorable items such as brake pads, rotors, oil, brake fluid, etc. Would I use the full ceramic pads for a day at the track, NO, but they work perfectly well for spirited street driving and everyday driving without having the annoying dust build up which can ruin the finish of any alloy wheel. Not sure if you were talking about he old red Pagid Sport Pads or their newer replacements, but the older ones were great, lower dusting and very little fade when warmed up during track events.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:14 PM   #14
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very true.. brake pads are somewhat like oil... very few people have enough experience running various kinds to failure to know how every brand compares... and by the time they do the manufactuerers change something.

In brake pads you definately get what you pay for. All the marketing hype in the world doesn't matter... the best brand at Napa / autozone doesn't compare to the folks that make brakes for racecars.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:19 PM   #15
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Let's all just agree that anything made by Hawk is complete garbage.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:51 PM   #16
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Let's all just agree that anything made by Hawk is complete garbage.
Are you joking or trolling

I find hawks work great
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:40 PM   #17
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Are you joking or trolling

I find hawks work great
Yeah, Kub's not your basic joker or troll up here.

With absolutely no experience or any real information, I've read Hawk street pads were poor performers. Reading is reading, how owners test rate products may be subjective but at least, is real world. Sometimes a myth is born that is based on reading alone. It's often really hard to tell what's up?

Look at user comments buying your next mobile device. You'll never find a model where all user reviews are positive. Same with oil and pads, lot's of crazy talk and product passion that's actually kind of funny at times.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:39 PM   #18
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With absolutely no experience or any real information, I've read Hawk street pads were poor performers. Reading is reading, how owners test rate products may be subjective but at least, is real world. Sometimes a myth is born that is based on reading alone. It's often really hard to tell what's up?

.
I'm not going to be buried with a set of hawk pads... far from it.. but I have found they make a good product IF (very important) you choose the pad that meets your application. Their variety of pads lets you get very specific braking characteristics depending on what you choose.... it also lets you choose something you don't like.

Example: The HPS pads wear like iron, very low dust and noise.. but.. they are not very aggressive, they feel much like a stock type pad in friction level (though they resist fade very well). If you buy them thinking about a friction upgrade you might not be happy... then post bad on forums etc.

All I know is I've used their blue's and 70's racing and HP Plus (better friction) and HPS (long lasting) on the street and have been happy.

On our Fiat endurance racer a set of hawk blue's will last over 14 hours of racing and lock the fronts with no fade on a non-vented rotor... I can't say they make a garbage product.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:49 PM   #19
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... I can't say they make a garbage product.
Well there you have it. A proper review and good information from experience.

I think these forums and the stupid Internet are actually complicating our decision making practice. In times of yore, we'd drop by the ol' auto parts store and buy the needed part from the guy who drug out from the back. No research was needed, you trusted the parts guy.

Now I spend way too much time hunting for the "best" thing out there. These are stupid hours I'll never get back!

If it's a quality part and works - then be done with it.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:59 PM   #20
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A word about China

First in response to Kubica, the last I heard, Centric Posi-Quiet pads were manufactured by OE Quality Friction in Canada. Whether this is still true, I don't know. In fact I was curious so I went to our shelf and lo and behold, they do not state a country of origin so until I can confirm, I can't say.

So here's my 2 cents worth on China:

Up until about 20 years ago, Chinese auto parts were pretty much, garbage. But, as the US did with Japan after World War Two, we went over there and showed them how to eat our lunch

What does this translate to? Pretty much any legitimate auto parts supplier that imports parts from China uses factories that are ISO and other "international standards boards" certified so that quality is reasonably assured. Is all Chinese product high quality? Absolutely not but the world as we know it is becoming more and more dependent on Chinese goods (look at your shoes and clothes) so unless you are against Chinese products for altruistic reasons, you might as well forget it. And if altruism is your motivation, think about this: While I'm all for supporting my country's jobs and products, I feel that our government is doing everything in it's power to kill our competitiveness and is sending our jobs away. Case in point: Gov't regulations and unions have ELIMINATED the US steel industry. There is no such thing as a US made brake rotor! It's hard to support the home team when the home team isn't supporting it's self!!

Back to the matter at hand. Our Beemers are now made with TONS of Chinese and other non-German componentry and don't be fooled by brand names. Our store has lots of parts packaged by Lemfordor, Bilstein, Ate, Zimmerman, Meyle, Ruville, Brembo, Febi, etc. etc. etc. that are made in China, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Hungary, India, Pakistan and Israel to name a few. Very traditional lines such as BCA/National bearings and seals that have NEVER been Chinese have also now crossed the line. SKF has yet to follow.

So yep, I put Dorman window regulators and motors that are Chinese and a Behr (made in China) coolant recovery tank in the 2002 325xi I had at less for than half the cost of the factory ones. Will they last as long as the crappy original ones? Probably, but if not I can replace them again and STILL be ahead. I also did brakes on all four corners of my 2004 330xi with Centric Chinese rotors (the originals had bigger lips at 38,000 miles than Bubba Blue) and Posi-Quiet semi-metallic pads about a month ago and they are AWESOME. I drive up and down a winding mountain pass everyday (with a bit of gusto I might add ) and have never had any fade or warping.

I guess the point of my diatribe is that for me, being an anti-Chinese elitist is in terms of real world practicality, virtually impossible. I think it is tragic and catastrophic that we are doing everythig we can to strengthen a country that at the end of the day is fundamentally our enemy but if our government betrays us, I'll go wherever I have to for the best combination of quality and value..

Last edited by chilone; 01-12-2013 at 05:59 PM. Reason: spelling
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