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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 06-26-2013, 06:48 PM   #41
Mango
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BMW instructs the dry installation of caliper pins (bolts). Any grease applied could promote the buildup of debris that could negatively impact movement of the caliper. Also the bushings could deteriorate faster with all the crap on them. I'd just listen to BMW on this one. Carefully clean the inside of the bushing (preferably replace the bushings) and clean the pins/screws/bolts themselves using brake cleaner.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:16 PM   #42
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ahhh, so there is bushings in the calipers that should be replaced with each pad set then?
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:12 PM   #43
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I don't believe you need to replace the bushings unless they are damaged. When I did my front brakes I was all set with the grease, until I saw on the box that the new pads came in a picture of some grease with a big cross through it.

OP - I would definitely replace the caliper carrier. Buy one from a junkyard - its not a moving part so $150 for a new one is not worth it.

You may need a rebuilt caliper if the piston is not retracting properly, however I would first:
1. Using the old worn pads to pry on, pry the piston back into the caliper as far as you can (like fully).
2. Now install the new pads again, and the caliper back onto the carrier.
3. Make sure the caliper slides freely on the pins by testing with your hand. If you are unsure what freely feels like, repeat steps 1&2 on the other side (which was not binding) and compare. If the caliper is binding, try swapping pins from the other side. If it is now free, buy new caliper pins for both sides. If the pins make no difference, I'd consider a rebuilt caliper. If it does not feel to be binding at all, retracting the piston all the way may take care of the binding.
4. Assuming there is no binding issue yet, OR you've found and fixed it, now pump the brake pedal to push the caliper pistons all the way out.
5. Try spinning the wheel with the suspect caliper by hand. The pads should drag a little, but the wheel should turn. If it is binding now, you probably need a rebuilt caliper. Again, compare with the 'good' side.
6. Still no binding, go for a cautious drive. Keep the window down so you can smell if the brakes get really hot. Hop out frequently and check for heat coming from the brake. If it is binding it will be really hot - you will burn yourself touching the brakes or wheel, so proceed cautiously. If after gradually driving faster and farther both sides' brakes feel the same temperature, you have probably taken care of the issue.

Good luck!

Oh and don't lose faith. There is always the risk of making a mistake no matter how long you have been working on cars. We learn from our mistakes. Just be sure to keep yourself safe while working, and be sure your car is safe when you are done. I've learned from experience not to mess with my car when I really need it in the next few days. Sadly there is always a goof up waiting to happen, and its best to have a buffer of a few days to get spare parts, special tools etc. Like the fuel line I bent when changing my fuel filter when the dealer was closed ;-).

Last edited by dgknight; 06-26-2013 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:24 PM   #44
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Go to autozone and buy yourself a refurbished OEM caliper(s) parts.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:32 PM   #45
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Hey guys just as an update:

I've checked all my local stores Autozone, O'Reilleys, and NAPA and none of them carry the BMW Caliper Bracket (only the caliper itself).

I don't really know where else to look... On the website Parts Geek, they have this http://www.partsgeek.com/catalog/200...e_caliper.html

Do these seem like reliable things to buy? Should I just go ahead and order the first one?
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:38 AM   #46
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Oh darn, too bad. I think they were like almost half the cost at Autozone. You can always order it off www.autozone.com and get it shipped to your house or store. The core fee at Autozone was less too ($30 vs $50 on that website)

According to the pics on the link you gave us, the calipers show the BMW and ATE stamp. Same with the pics on Autozone.com
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:00 AM   #47
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These guys should easily be able to hook you up with a used but perfectly good caliper carrier - http://www.bmrparts.com/

As for the caliper, have you diagnosed that yours is bad? If your slider pins are corroded/contaminated and they are the issue, you are just wasting money on a new caliper, and it won't solve the problem.

If you gunked them all in grease, try cleaning them off with brake cleaner (and the guide holes in the caliper) first, and fully pushing back the pads per my instructions above.

Edit: Well actually since it comes with new 'installation hardware' it would solve the problem (new slider pins), but it would be an expensive fix if you don't need a new caliper.

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Old 06-29-2013, 04:13 AM   #48
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Call your local junk yards, that will be the cheapest way to go.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:10 AM   #49
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I don't think it is a metal on metal slide. I'm not entirely sure and I have done all the brakes and installed calipers twice all around. I never looked in the hole.
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the caliper slides on the pin for even pad pressure front and back

how does dry ensure this over grease?

is there a sleeve for non metal to metal contact?
There's no metal on metal slide. The pin slides entirely inside the rubber bushing. On most cars, the slide pins are sealed from the elements by the caliper bushing/boots -- with these ATE calipers, they're exposed sections, which may be why they say not to grease them. Doing so might attract a bit more dirt and road grime.

One other reason why greasing may not be advised is that most petroleum and even brake specific greases will cause brake rubber to soften and swell. I've used everything under the moon, and the only stuff I've found that will hold up to the braking environment without swelling the rubber is Niglube RX2 rubber grease.

OP, buy a tap and die kit, and run a tap through the marred threads of the carrier bracket. It'll always come in handy. If it doesn't hold, you could also stick a helicoil.

Last edited by Mr.Philadelphia; 06-29-2013 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:26 PM   #50
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Hey guys, I'm about to restart working on the brakes. I'm sort of scarred or paranoid about cross-threading. Any tips on how to prevent or look out for it?
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:30 PM   #51
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Put every nut or bolt on a few turns by hand before you put a wrench on it and you will never cross thread again.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:41 PM   #52
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Hey guys, I'm about to restart working on the brakes. I'm sort of scarred or paranoid about cross-threading. Any tips on how to prevent or look out for it?
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Put every nut or bolt on a few turns by hand before you put a wrench on it and you will never cross thread again.
This is how it's done. Don't force anything. If it's not threading in easily, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:35 AM   #53
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This is how it's done. Don't force anything. If it's not threading in easily, you're doing it wrong.
I want to use my hand to screw it in but unfortunately these slider guide pins can't be screwed in by hand because they are pushed into a hole and then you have to use an allen.... Any other tips? Or just be cautious is all I can do!
Thanks guys!
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:50 AM   #54
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If you're really concerned, use a hex key in lieu of of a socket and put the longer end inside the bolt head. It would an enormous amount of force to cross thread the bolt with the short end of the hex key.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:38 AM   #55
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Turn the bolt counterclockwise till you feel a click, then thread forwards. Very hard to crossthread if you do that.
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