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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Suspension & Braking

Suspension & Braking
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!

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Old 09-24-2008, 10:16 PM   #1
boostd92
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My Ride: 2003 O/B 330i ZHP
Akebono Euro : 300 mile review

I just got my '03 330i ZHP a few weeks ago. It needed nothing except the front pads were almost on the wear sensor.

I did my research on the forums here and heard that the Akebono Euro's were a good choice for low dust.

I love my car but DAMN... with OEM pads the wheels are dirty in ONE DAY, and I wax the wheels (not with "wheel wax" brand though, I should try that). I'm a clean wheel N AZI, and it was killing me to no end. And if any of you have cleaned ZHP 135's before, you know my pain!

I got the front set of Akebono Euros for $50 (my tirerack wholesale price). Turns out this is the FIRST brake job on the car at 60k.. not too shabby! Sadly this means the rotors were a mil or two under minimum thickness so I had to drop another $120 on OEM rotors.

To the review:

Initial bite is CONSIDERABLY worse than OEM. Coming from Honda/Toyota brakes, the OEM 330i brakes wow'd me with their bite. I really enjoyed it. I'd say the Akebono Euros initial bite is maybe 70% that of OEM right off the bat and it has been getting steadily better but starting to taper off. I'd say now it's about 80% of OEM. You DEFINITELY notice the lack of initial stopping power.

That being said, at medium to heavy braking they are almost identicle to OEM. They don't feel unsafe by any means. They still stop better than my little Civic with upgraded brakes. It can't outbrake my MR2, but the mid-engine has an unfair advantage (much more even brake distribution).

Now the best part! One day after cleaning the wheels and using OEM pads, I could swipe my finger and see a considerable amount of dust (and a finger swipe in bright silver ).

It's been a week and I have almost NO DUST AT ALL with the Akebono Euros. I swiped my finger across and there was barely anything on my finger at all and no swipe mark on the wheel. They look as clean as the day I washed them (last Friday?).

To the brake-feel people, I would NOT recommend these pads. I definitely feel like I lost that "bite" when you tap the brakes. But for everyone else, they brake just fine, better than most cars brakes, and have almost NO DUST.

I won't go back to OEM. To me, the constant wheel cleanings were not worth that extra bite.

Last edited by boostd92; 09-24-2008 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:10 AM   #2
Chris-TK
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You're the first person that has complained about the bite of the Akebono's. Thanks for the honest opinion.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:55 AM   #3
Rayce185
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Are these recommendable also with BBK's (in the appropriate size of course), or just for stock replacements?
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:19 AM   #4
JesLet
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I have these for front and rear with new set of Brembo blanks. I love it! NO dust at all!

About the bite, I see a minimal difference than OEM. A little less bite but it does the "hard braking" job.

I would still prefer these over OEM or semi-metallic pads.

Ceramic all the way!
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:12 PM   #5
alpine003
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Thanks for the review. I was having second thoughts after getting my Hawk Ceramics and thought maybe I should've went with the Akebono Euros instead.

My Hawk Ceramics behave almost the same as your description so pretty much a stalemate between the two, it sounds like.

One thing I might do in the near future is to add the SS lines and bleed the brakes again to maybe try to restore a better pedal feel and "earlier activation".
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:53 AM   #6
M-Spec Tuner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boostd92 View Post
Initial bite is CONSIDERABLY worse than OEM. Coming from Honda/Toyota brakes, the OEM 330i brakes wow'd me with their bite. I really enjoyed it. I'd say the Akebono Euros initial bite is maybe 70% that of OEM right off the bat and it has been getting steadily better but starting to taper off. I'd say now it's about 80% of OEM. You DEFINITELY notice the lack of initial stopping power.
Great...you're backing me up on how I feel about my akebono's. I did a rotor/pad job in the front and I noticed that I wasn't slowing down fast enough upon applying the brakes initially. I was going out of my mind and thought I needed to flush the brake system.

Oh well, I'll try axxis mm pads next time. Probably in another 5 years with the way the car gets driven, haha.
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:39 AM   #7
boostd92
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Originally Posted by M-Spec Tuner View Post
I was going out of my mind and thought I needed to flush the brake system.
uh... nothing I wrote was that drastic. If you can't stop your vehicle in time there is something else wrong.

I've got about 600 miles on them now and they stop great. They don't have the initial bite of OEMs, but they stop as well or better than other cars I've owned. No big deal.
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Old 09-27-2008, 12:25 PM   #8
Dunbar
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I know with my '03 Accord Honda switched pad types from the "high dust" OEM BMW style to the ceramic (Akebono) type which were installed at my first brake job (probably due to dust complaints.) I can't say I noticed any more than a very slight difference. That's why I wonder how big a difference it would be in normal everyday driving. I mean if you use engine braking and light braking pressure most of the time (which is how I drive 90% of the time) how much of a difference could there be?
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Old 09-27-2008, 12:43 PM   #9
boostd92
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Let me put it this way.

My father refers to his Audi S4, and most performance BMW brakes as "BTBs" which stands for "Big Toe Brakes." You only need your big toe to press on the pedal and you get massive initial bite.

Trust me, my 330i with Akebono Euros stops better than any Accord I've ever driven, OEM pads included. It just seems like BMW's specific semi-metallic compound has some crazy initial bite. You lose a noticable bit of that going to the Euros, but the car still brakes amazingly.
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Old 09-27-2008, 12:55 PM   #10
derek0606
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I love my akebono euros..... I have them on front and back.
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:44 PM   #11
Dunbar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boostd92 View Post
Trust me, my 330i with Akebono Euros stops better than any Accord I've ever driven, OEM pads included. It just seems like BMW's specific semi-metallic compound has some crazy initial bite. You lose a noticable bit of that going to the Euros, but the car still brakes amazingly.
Actually I'm referring only to initial bite which is going to be 90% brake pad type. I own a ZHP and the stopping power of the Accord does not compare in any way to a BMW. But I do recall being impressed by the Accord's initial brake bite when I bought the car but annoyed by the horrendous brake dust (just like my ZHP.) But when the low dust pads (OEM) were installed by the dealer in the Accord I just didn't notice much difference. I suppose it comes down to driving style which for me is 90% commuting, using engine braking and very light pedal pressure. I guess this is such a personal thing that there is not going to be a consensus reached on the subject.

Last edited by Dunbar; 09-27-2008 at 01:46 PM.
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