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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 02-19-2020, 09:54 AM   #1
Big-MAC
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Time for brakes on my 330xi

So...2003 330xi. Searching around, I have found that my brakes are a common upgrade on other e46 series...but are there upgrades for the 330xi?

From what I have read so far, the M series brakes require machining to install...which I'm not opposed to but there's usually an easier way...like 5 or 7 series equipment?

Don't misunderstand, the brakes on my car are amazing...but there's always room for improvement...
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Old 02-21-2020, 04:31 PM   #2
jmo69
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My Ride: 03 325xi 98 328is
Maybe more aggressive, aka dirtier, pads?
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Old 02-21-2020, 05:25 PM   #3
VpointVick
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What are you looking to spend? There's always the Boxster S Brembos that you can utilize with brackets from Rally Road, but the prices on those calipers have gone up to over $750, and you still need the brackets, rotors, and pads, not to mention refinishing and rebuilding the calipers.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:51 PM   #4
77'911
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You might be surprised how good the stock brakes are, when you:
1) flush out the fluid
2) install new pad and rotors (front and rear)
3) clean carriers and replace bushings
4) replace the hoses at all 4 corners (these cars are aging out to a degree, rubber components need a refresh).
The above mentioned items really improved our 330xi when we got it. The brakes are not Porsche, but are still respectable.
regards
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:37 AM   #5
BlizzardKing
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Minnesota
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My Ride: 2002 330XI
Year: 2002
Model: 330XI
Transmission: 5-speed
I second 77'911's sentiments. I have a 330XI and I'm always looking for affordable ways to improve it. A couple years ago I got some cross-drilled-and-slotted rotors and ceramic pads from ECSTuning.com. I've been really happy with them. Keep in mind that even the stock brakes should be sufficient to lock up the wheels (barring ABS kicking in, of course) at pretty much any speed.
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-ecs-part...66071xsgmtlra/
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-ecs-part...66073xsgmtlra/
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-akebono-...-kit/eur946kt/
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Old 02-22-2020, 08:53 AM   #6
VpointVick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlizzardKing View Post
I second 77'911's sentiments. I have a 330XI and I'm always looking for affordable ways to improve it. A couple years ago I got some cross-drilled-and-slotted rotors and ceramic pads from ECSTuning.com. I've been really happy with them. Keep in mind that even the stock brakes should be sufficient to lock up the wheels (barring ABS kicking in, of course) at pretty much any speed.
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-ecs-part...66071xsgmtlra/
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-ecs-part...66073xsgmtlra/
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-akebono-...-kit/eur946kt/
I recently put 330i brakes on my 325i wagon and got rotors that look just like that from R1 Concepts for $190 all in, and got the same Akebono pads from FCP Euro for ~$100.
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Old 02-22-2020, 09:17 AM   #7
Big-MAC
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I had already planned on the regular maintenance things and I'm actually impressed by the stopping power...I was just wondering if there was a cost effective swap for some better calipers mainly.
I'm not racing it so CD/slotts are not happening. It's my DD, so longevity is key. I commute 60 miles a day.
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:38 AM   #8
VpointVick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big-MAC View Post
I had already planned on the regular maintenance things and I'm actually impressed by the stopping power...I was just wondering if there was a cost effective swap for some better calipers mainly.
I'm not racing it so CD/slotts are not happening. It's my DD, so longevity is key. I commute 60 miles a day.
I hear you. I'm a believer in the value of blank rotors, especially as more and more evidence comes out that there's zero performance advantage to be had with the evolution of modern brake compounds that don't outgas the way that the old ones did back in the '70's when racers started drilling their rotors.

I used them purely for cosmetic reasons, given how much more visible my brakes are with the 18" ARC-8s on.
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:42 AM   #9
Big-MAC
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Not to dog on the youngsters in here, but it drives me nuts when people brag about CD/slotts when they really dont understand what they were designed to do...
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:39 PM   #10
dlmrun2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77'911 View Post
You might be surprised how good the stock brakes are, when you:
1) flush out the fluid
2) install new pad and rotors (front and rear)
3) clean carriers and replace bushings
4) replace the hoses at all 4 corners (these cars are aging out to a degree, rubber components need a refresh).
The above mentioned items really improved our 330xi when we got it. The brakes are not Porsche, but are still respectable.
regards
Stock BMW Brakes are pretty good. I'd follow this advice too.

dlm ny country
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:25 PM   #11
jmo69
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My Ride: 03 325xi 98 328is
I've got drilled and slotted rotors on my 325xi with ceramic pads. Bought them cheap and they get the job done. The pads are Powerstop and the rotors are probably chinesium. I don't drive a lot or hard so I'm good with them. I did rebuild the rear calipers.


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Alternative to expensive xi control arm bushings
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