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

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Old 10-20-2008, 01:34 PM   #1
chrispedoe
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330 brakes to M3, worth it?

Just looking into slightly modding my brakes at the moment as i'm planning on going FI on the car, question is, is the M3 setup going to be worth going for. Found dimensions of 325x25 for the 330 and 325x28 for the M3 so only 3mm thinkness difference which i appreciate will make a bit of difference but is it enough to warrant the change? Are the calipers much better? Bigger pads?

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Old 10-20-2008, 01:40 PM   #2
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Probably not worth it. The caliper carriers are different so you'd need to get all new rotors, calipers, carriers, and some other minor stuff. If you want to spend $$$ then just get an aftermarket BBK but, in general, the 330 has some pretty huge brakes stock and just getting new rotors and pads will save you a lot.
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Old 10-20-2008, 02:09 PM   #3
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Stock 330 brakes are perfectly adequate unless you plan on tracking the car. Since you have a vert, I'm going to guess that's not an issue for you.
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Old 10-20-2008, 02:30 PM   #4
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in a word, no. get some stainless lines, a more aggressive pad, and you will stop fine.
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Old 10-20-2008, 02:42 PM   #5
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thats it.. that the only difference? are the calipers pistons the same? i find it hard to believe thats the only difference.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:04 PM   #6
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thats it.. that the only difference? are the calipers pistons the same? i find it hard to believe thats the only difference.
yep, that's about it. they're just slightly larger but the M3 is still a single piston design and, like was said earlier, they are the same overall diameter. only major change is the carrier. do a search, this has been well documented.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:00 PM   #7
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Stock 330 brakes are perfectly adequate unless you plan on tracking the car. Since you have a vert, I'm going to guess that's not an issue for you.
it is an issue, quite likely be going to the ring in it and do a track day or two in the future, been quite impressed with the handling of the car so far, bit of flex but not what i would call a huge amount, brakes have been the weak point with some spirited driving


Think i'll go for the change of pads and discs and some stainless brake lines and see how that works
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:50 AM   #8
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yep, that's about it. they're just slightly larger but the M3 is still a single piston design and, like was said earlier, they are the same overall diameter. only major change is the carrier. do a search, this has been well documented.
No, I know its still a single piston, but I am curious if the M3 has a larger piston than the others. In all my searching all I see is sepcs on the rotors.
No specs on the piston diameter, or pad swept area.
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Old 10-22-2008, 03:41 AM   #9
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Ironic, i was just telling my friend with an M3 that the 330ci brakes and the m3 brakes a practically the same. He doesnt beleive me.
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Old 10-22-2008, 03:58 AM   #10
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it is an issue, quite likely be going to the ring in it and do a track day or two in the future, been quite impressed with the handling of the car so far, bit of flex but not what i would call a huge amount, brakes have been the weak point with some spirited driving


Think i'll go for the change of pads and discs and some stainless brake lines and see how that works
Save your money, keep the stock brakes, maybe go for a more agressive pad / disc combo.

Spend the money on your suspension. I've got a vert, and even though it's a 2.0, coilovers, ARB's and a strut brace have transformed the handling, which will make more real-world difference if you go to the 'ring/track
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:13 AM   #11
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While suspension is critical, brakes are immensely important on track.
The best tires and suspension won't mean crap if you can't stop at the end of a long straight for a hairpin. If he's going to the ring, he's gonna need some brakes.

If the only difference is rotor thickness, it may not be worth the money, he'd be better off getting some 2pc rotors better pads, and upgrading the brake fluid.

I say brakes 1st, suspension 2nd.
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:17 AM   #12
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I'm still asking tho. Could it be that the M3 has the same diameter brake rotors, slightly thicker, but having a larger brake caliper piston?
Or just simply a larger brake caliper.
Do the 330s and the M3s use the same size brake pads?
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snikwad View Post
I'm still asking tho. Could it be that the M3 has the same diameter brake rotors, slightly thicker, but having a larger brake caliper piston?
Or just simply a larger brake caliper.
Do the 330s and the M3s use the same size brake pads?
The M3s use a slightly larger rotor. I know because I upgrade my brakes with the UUC/wilwood kit which uses the same size as rotor as the E46 M3. The M3 rotor is a little bigger and thicker than the 330 rotor.

The whole PIA in upgrading to OEM M3 brakes is you need to fabricate/find a bracket.

There is a noticable difference in pedal feel with the UUC/Wilwood kit which feels MUCH better than OEM. But it is hard to tell how much is due to having new pads and rotors.
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:13 AM   #14
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The M3s use a slightly larger rotor. I know because I upgrade my brakes with the UUC/wilwood kit which uses the same size as rotor as the E46 M3. The M3 rotor is a little bigger and thicker than the 330 rotor.

The whole PIA in upgrading to OEM M3 brakes is you need to fabricate/find a bracket.

There is a noticable difference in pedal feel with the UUC/Wilwood kit which feels MUCH better than OEM. But it is hard to tell how much is due to having new pads and rotors.

well according to what these cats are saying its the same dia. but thicker, which would be a part of why it feels better, but stock for stock, does the M3 and the 330 use the same size caliper piston?

If they are indeed the same size but just slightly thicker, how else are they making the heavier M3 outbrake the 330?
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:26 AM   #15
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If you are going to the ring, make sure you are at least using DOT4 brake fluid. The first half is all downhill and is brutal on braking systems. I've seen a stock brand new M3 boil its brakes on the first half, no joke.
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:43 PM   #16
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If you are going to the ring, make sure you are at least using DOT4 brake fluid. The first half is all downhill and is brutal on braking systems. I've seen a stock brand new M3 boil its brakes on the first half, no joke.
Thanks, all the fluid will be getting changes before going there. Been there driving before, loads of fun if slightly nerve racking for the first lap
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:45 PM   #17
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well according to what these cats are saying its the same dia. but thicker, which would be a part of why it feels better, but stock for stock, does the M3 and the 330 use the same size caliper piston?

If they are indeed the same size but just slightly thicker, how else are they making the heavier M3 outbrake the 330?
I looked up the disc dimensions on the real oem site which is where it said that the m3 brakes were 3mm thicker but same diameter.
I'd imagine that the calipers have a larger piston and larger pad, can't find any info on the piston sizes.
No need for a new carrier as someone has mentioned, just use the m3 one from what i can work out
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:15 PM   #18
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honestly, in what you will pay for calipers and custom milled carriers, for 3mm thicker disc? just get some better tires and enjoy better braking that way. i don't see the benefit of going to M3 brakes on a non-M, ESPECIALLY from 330 brakes to M3.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:45 PM   #19
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if the M3 has a larger caliper piston it would be well worth it.
but no one seems to know.
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:28 PM   #20
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It would be worth it if someone mass produced a bracket...sponsors???
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