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Old 09-29-2012, 04:29 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 2,747
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330ci
Brass guide bushing set owners - need experience advice

I am going to ask that only people who have actually installed brass guide bushings on their e46 brakes respond here. I am familiar with the Pro's and Con's that various forum members have with these, so I am not really interested in opinions about if you should or should not install these. Like anything else on here, there are lots of people who discourage these, and are quick to do so.
What I am looking for is input from people who have ACTUALLY installed them. I would like to know a few things:
- Do you think they improved your braking feel, and wear?
- Have you had any issues with them binding, and if so, do you feel like they are more likely to bind?
- Do you reccomend them for a street car, or is this something better suited to Autocross usage?
- Would you install them again, or did you have a set, and remove them for some reason?
- Do you feel like the improvements (if they were an improvement) were worth the cost?
- Do they require regular lubrication, or are they a low maintenance item?

I am somewhat on the fence about these, and have seen plenty of arguements about why you should not use them, but I have not seen much feedback from actual owners, who can offer an informed opinion, rather than people who have not used them, expressing their opinions about them. It seems like owners avoid the debates. So, any owner input would be appreciated.
Again, I am more than familiar with the negative opinions about these, but unless you have actually used them, I can read, and have probably read your opinions, so I really don't want your input. No offense, but I am not looking for debate, just experience. Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:58 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,195
My Ride: 2003 330Ci
I installed these about two years ago.

I didn't notice an improved "feel" in braking. Wear does seem to be slightly more even.
No binding issues (I do clean and lubricate them at every oil change, BMW suggests checking and lubing the brake pads and calipers at every inspection)
99% of my driving is street driving, I have been doing one track day every year for the last 5-6 years.
Yes I would install them again.
The cost was not that high, my brake pads seem to be lasting longer now. If I wasn't tracking my car, I wouldn't spend the money for them. AutoX would be a toss up.
They do require lubrication, cleaning and lubricating once a year would probably be fine in Charlotte, maybe twice a year in more northern climates that have salt/sand used during snow.
I use the ATE lube from Turner-

I suspect if you ran R compound tires for track / AutoX you would see a larger difference.
Discounts on new and CPO cars.
Most Dealers offer a parts discount, BMP Design 10% off

Last edited by shanneba; 09-29-2012 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:02 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Dallas, TX (USA)
Posts: 2,213
My Ride: E46 330i
Got them in both front & rear sets.
Originally, I've installed them to fix a "noisy" brake pad problem which I attributed to worn/deformed & slightly torn rubber bushings. The brake guides/carrier can visibly be seen "twisting"/shimming against the caliper (using hand pressure) with these old/worn stock rubber bushings and pins. The pins themselves has markings in them from rubbing/torquing within the deformed bushings.

What I have noticed with these new brass bushings:
- more direct / immediate brake response
- smoother brake actuation
- less brake dust

Full disclosure:
I did replace the old stock rotors with Brembo cross drilled & slotted rotors along with a fresh set of brake pads. So some of the listed observations could be attributed to these with the combination of the brass bushings, I can't honestly say for sure.

However, the main point is to check/replace those rubber caliper bushings if they are worn/ "out of round"/deformed where it allows the pins to shimmy.

Last edited by BimmersGarage; 09-29-2012 at 10:03 AM.
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