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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 10-20-2013, 01:47 PM   #1
jmo69
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My Ride: 2003 325xi e36 328is
Brake fluid change

Did a brake fluid change on my 325xi yesterday, well 3/4 of it at least. I have a brand new BavAuto pressure bleeder that worked great once I got all the threaded fittings tight enough. My only issue was the left front caliper's bleed screw. I got the car up on jack stands and as I pulled each wheel off I sprayed PB Blaster on the bleed screws. None of them were overly rusted from all the years spent in the Midwest rust belt and a 9mm box wrench loosened three of them with a minimum of effort. The left front was a different story. The hex size is still a mystery because a 9mm was too small, 10mm was too big and 3/8" started to round it off. My theory is someone put the wrong size in and Loc-tited it in there to seal it. It broke off on my last attempt so I'll probably get a new caliper when I do the brakes down the road. I could probably get the old screw out with an extractor and my torch, but my concern is that the threads are messed up and a new one won't seal.





All of the online sponsor/suppliers carry reman. caliper's, any opinions? The reviews aren't the best, but seem to nit-pick. ?
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:04 PM   #2
tomoyer
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You can spring for a re-manufactured on at a good bit less money than a new one from the dealer and with the same warranty, they will want your old one for the core to re-build. The three bleeder screws you did happen to break loose without breaking them off, you should have removed them, cleaned them completely with a fine wire brush or steel wool, wiped them off and applied never-seize compound to the threads before putting them back in and bleeding the brakes. The never-seize on the threads will keep them from getting "frozen" in the caliper assembly the next time you change brake fluid and/or bleed the brake system.
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:08 PM   #3
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Oh, forgot this, the re-manufacutrered calipers include the "caliper mount", you will want to remove the caliper assembly from the mount because the mount will not fit your 2003 which has/had stock 16 inch wheels and tires, the cut out area for the rotor isn't deep enough (I haven't cross referenced it, but it must be the same caliper assembly that is used on another 3 series which had 15 inch wheels and tires (BavAuto, knows this and will only send you the loaded caliper assembly as they remove the caliper mount since it isn't correct, other sources send you the entire assembly per loaded).
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:33 PM   #4
bikesandcars
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she's a gonner!

I've tried drilling those things out and it has never been worth it.

+1 on anti-sieze, that has always paid dividends on a car I've kept. I use silver antisieze on everything I do for street cars, I like to think of it as good karma. I'm trying to make up for all the rusted stuff I've taken apart where nobody used it (and could have).

I suggest saving up for 2 rebuilt calipers..no need to go crazy, just a FLAS naked rebuild should be ok IMO. You would want to repair them as a "set" but no need to get everything unless you need pads.

Last edited by bikesandcars; 10-21-2013 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:52 PM   #5
jmo69
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I'm a firm believer in anti-seize too, too bad the last guy to work on that caliper didn't. I've seen the remanufactured caliper's on everyone websites and the part about not including the pad carrier bracket or having to remove the included one to reuse the old one. Seems like BavAuto might be the place to go, $81 shipped with $30 of that back after the core is returned. The pads are getting thin and the rotors have seen better days so those are on the to-do list.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:40 AM   #6
SamDoe1
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Try your local NAPA before you buy online. They typically have the same rebuilt units and it's a heck of a lot easier and cheaper to return the cores.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:15 PM   #7
jmo69
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Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
Try your local NAPA before you buy online. They typically have the same rebuilt units and it's a heck of a lot easier and cheaper to return the cores.
I just checked, they have one for $57.71 but not in stock at the store. Just have to order it and take the old one in when I pick it up to save the trip on the core. The $55 core makes it look like they only put $2.71 into the rebuild.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
I just checked, they have one for $57.71 but not in stock at the store. Just have to order it and take the old one in when I pick it up to save the trip on the core. The $55 core makes it look like they only put $2.71 into the rebuild.
They would probably charge you 57.71+55core if you didn't bring in one for the core charge.
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:23 PM   #9
Tele
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I bought my rebuilt calipers from turnermotorsport.com at $63 for front's and $57 for back's.
(Core charge is $70 and $60)

They are only sand blasted when you get them, so I gave them three coates of silver hot paint and on they went with new pads, (of course!) new stainless steel brake lines, and new fluid.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:54 PM   #10
jmo69
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This Thursday I'll be in Milwaukee, maybe I'll stop at one of the stealerships and pick up a bleeder screw in case I get brave and try to remove the snapped off one.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:45 AM   #11
SamDoe1
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Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
This Thursday I'll be in Milwaukee, maybe I'll stop at one of the stealerships and pick up a bleeder screw in case I get brave and try to remove the snapped off one.
I'll be in Milwaukee this weekend too.

I bet they charge you like $7 for that screw, you're probably better off getting it online.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:28 PM   #12
jmo69
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Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
I'll be in Milwaukee this weekend too.

I bet they charge you like $7 for that screw, you're probably better off getting it online.
Just got back from there and the stealership didn't have any of the parts I wanted. All brake related, bleed screw, dust cap and the plug that covers the guide pin. Said they'd all have to be ordered, apparently they don't bother with parts for our "old" cars. I figure I'll get them from FCP, I just need about $5 more to get free shipping, the cap, plug, bleed screw and a set of guide pins come to just under $20. I swapped in some brake pads last night because the existing ones were getting thin. Turns out e36 and e46 pads are the same and My old e36 pads were still in pretty good shape. they fit without any problems, but sure are noisy, hopefully after the wife gets home today they will have worn in a little.

They're still noisy, I'm going to get new pads this weekend and change them out, hopefully that will quiet them down.
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Last edited by jmo69; 10-31-2013 at 05:56 PM.
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