E46Fanatics - View Single Post - 135i Brakes on a 330i
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:19 AM   #39
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: South Africa
Posts: 257
My Ride: 2004 330i
Well here is some thread necromancy of note.
(I blame laziness, procrastination and spending more money and time than I should have on my 540i/6 project car)

But it is finally update time.

Aaaand the rear calipers are on:

(I have also decide to go the BMW performance caliper route since my last update)

The basics that you will need to do this:
-A set of BMW performance rear calipers (or 135i rear calipers).
-A set of e46 M3 rear discs.
-A set of brake lines that are slightly longer than the standard ones

Far be it from calling this a DIY....as I don't have nearly enough in progress pics to call it a DIY.
So first off the e46 M3 discs have the same size handbrake brake drum as the standard 330i disc, so with regards to the handbrake at least they are a straight fit. However to do this on a non-330i you will first have to change your handbrake to the 330i or the M3 version, or run the car without a handbrake (not recommended). Not sure what exactly is involved with this, but I am sure someone will have posted info regarding this.
The M3 disc has an offset more towards the inside of the car, so this fixes the offset problem of the standard 330i discs.
Due to this difference in the offset the M3 disc do not work with the standard dust covers....so they either have to be replaced with M3 ones or the standard ones have to be modified. Seeing as the whole hub has to come out to remove the dust cover. I opted for the latter. The modification can be done in different ways, either the outside ridge can be cut off, this way the dust cover will be slightly smaller than the disc. The outside ridge can also be bent or mangled out of the way with pliers and a hammer.
This is how I modified the dust covers:

I cut from the outside into the dust cover up to the point where it flattens out. I did this in smallish segments all the way round outside of the cover to be able to bend back more easily.

Afterwards I have the outside a spray with some black paint just to hide where it was cut and to help prevent rust. The paint should be enough for rust prevention where I live but if you live where it snows or close to the coast you might have to take some proper rust prevention steps.

Test fit the discs and look at the back to make sure that it clears the cover:

When disconnecting the old calipers it is best to disconnect them where the rubber hose connects to the hard line. Reason being the standard rubber brake hose is to short so cannot be used. And the fitting at the caliper is too long so it does not allow a small bend radius (this being part of the fitment problem). Best would be to have a brake line made up with a 90 degree fitting at the caliper end.

With the brake lines in place it is just a matter of fitting the calipers and installing brake pads and bleeding the brakes. It is also a good idea to flush the brake fluid while you have the calipers off.
One thing that should be noted on the calipers is that as standard they mount to the front of the discs whereas on the e46 they mount to the rear of the disc....so the left hand one should be mounted on the right and the right hand one on the left. The short of it is they should just be mounted with the bleed screw on top, else you will not be able to bleed the brakes.

And that is pretty much all there is to it.

Some more fitment pics:

Some other things that can be considered is to have a machine shop cut 2 or so mm off the radius of the M3 discs, as the pad does not make contacts with that portion of the disc. This will also give more clearance between the disc and the calipers. Also the the rear discs from an e60 530i can also be considered...not 100% sure but they might also work.

I hope this is of help, if anything is unclear please feel free to ask or PM me, and I will do my best to help.

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Sankekur is offline   Reply With Quote