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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:48 PM   #1
jkaero
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Brake Upgrade on AA SC 325xi

Im looking to upgrade the brakes on my AA SC 325xi. Lately Ive been thinking that given the loads of new power brake fade may become an issue. I do not track my car but I was thinking this could happen under normal (read aggressive) driving.

Since I dont track my car I dont really want to spend the $$$ on a bbk. How difficult is it to put 330 brakes on the car? Has anyone actually done this? (I found some old threads but it seemed like a lot speculation) Would this be enough breaking for the new power?

Is there another option I should explore?
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Old 08-16-2008, 10:17 PM   #2
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You could look into OEM rotor replacements with Turner slotted rotors or the Brembo OEM cross-drilled or slotted rotors. And pair them with Akebono Euro ceramic pads.
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Old 08-17-2008, 03:57 AM   #3
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330 brakes will give you enough braking power if you pair a quality rotor with a performance brake pad.

Putting 330 brakes on your car is pretty simple. If you've ever done brake work to your car, you were pretty much half way done with the swap. If you havent done brake work on your car before, its pretty simple if you plan ahead and have the right tools on hand.

There should be conversion threads that will give you all the information you need, but basically you need 330 calipers, rotors and carriers. (And maybe brake lines, someone please verify!?)

Your 325 caliper comes off, the carrier comes off and the rotor comes off. Install a new 330 rotor on, bolt the 330 carrier on, and bolt the 330 caliper on.

The most cost effective path is to find the 330 calipers and carriers used. Then you buy new 330 sized rotors and brake pads. With the brake pads, there are tons of threads on pads, but you basically do not want a pad that focuses on advertising it is a low dust pad. Low dust pads generally do not bite as well as other pads. Look into Hawk brake pads....

Pair that with a OE quality rotor as well. You can buy a original style rotor or you can consider buying 330 rotors that are either slotted, drilled or both. Again, some searching around should give you the info you need to make a decision.

Finally, flush your fluid out with a good brake fluid. I recommend ATE Super Blue for that.
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:08 AM   #4
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http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=598389

the rear upgrade is more involved. must swap out trailing arms and some other bits to get the parking brake to work.
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:33 AM   #5
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It's a good idea to make sure your braking system is in good working order, but you do not necessarily need to upgrade your brakes.

The two big variables that put heat into your brakes are the mass of your car and how severely you are trying to decellearte. With the SC kit, you really haven't significantly changed either of those. The SC kit will change how quickly you can accelerate, but when it comes time to brake it only matters how fast you are going, not how you got there.

Insofar as brake fade goes, the issue there is how quick you are cycling between braking periods. If that time is too short, the brake system doesn't have time to shed all the heat you put in to it from one braking period before you start putting heat into again at the next braking period. That's the issue faced by cars on curvy tracks and why they use bigger brakes to increase the ability of the system to absorb and shed heat. Off the track though, while bigger brakes offer the same benefit, you don't necessarily need them because you also have the option of slowing the h3ll down and not driving like a jack@ss. (not that I'm accusing of that, just making a general point).

The important thing to keep in mind is that while bigger brakes do have benefits, but they also have penalties, namely increased costs and increased unsprung weight (although by spending enough money you can avoid the wieght issue). The bottom line advice is to try and seperate out how much you want bigger brakes from how much you need bigger brakes. If you haven't had fade problems before the SC kit, you shouldn't have them after it assuming your driving habits don't get too nutty. If you want for larger brakes is the dominant issue, then by all means get them. Otherwise, I'd focus on optimizing the brakes you've got with fluid, pad, and rotor choices.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:03 AM   #6
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^ smart man.

I would agree with everything above, except to say that when entering a corner on a spirited drive (on curvy country roads, or at the track), the SC'd car will be traveling at a higher speed compared to a stock car. bigger/better performing brakes are def. a reassurance when you are consistently braking from higher speeds than you were previously.

That being said, unless you see track duty, I wouldn't drop the coin on a big ol' Brembo kit, if braking is your prime concern. A 330 upgrade with the right running gear should suffice, and is quite cost effective.
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:27 AM   #7
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If you're experiencing fade on the street you're driving too fast, seriously. If you're not looking for the BBK look, I'd just upgrade the pads/rotors/lines, and call it a day.
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