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      09-08-2021, 02:11 AM   #1
mickeyvalentine
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Brake change F10 550i, advice?

I'm not great with titles. Sorry.

So I'm fairly new here, but a lurker. I don't like posting since I had a bad experience with another car forum.

I'm planning to change my brakes this weekend on my LCI 550i M-Sport. I love RockAuto and I had a coupon. So I got.

Front Rotor: https://bit.ly/2X1TCQ8
Front Pads: https://bit.ly/38NhV6T
Front Wear Sensor: https://bit.ly/3yTAT6D

Rear Rotor: https://bit.ly/2VoDrM9
Rear Pads: https://bit.ly/2X4K5rC
Rear Sensor: https://bit.ly/3zXCkCb

I wanted to get SS lines but let's see how the OEM lines feel first. This is what I will eventually get.

https://bit.ly/38TtlWA

Then I read this thread and had a sigh of relief that I didn't have a missing rotor.
https://f10.5post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1824606

Now after putting off my striped gouged pulsing rotors for 2 months I am now ready to start. Or so I thought after reading these threads.

https://f10.5post.com/forums/showthr...ht=brake+fluid

https://f10.5post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1823652

https://f10.5post.com/forums/showthr...ht=brake+fluid


I see lsturbointeg and BrowBMW have some experience with this. Unspec as well but with ISTA.

Any further advice? Besides what I have read. I'm used to the ONE TWO THREE HOLD NO MOM I SAID HOLD HOOOLDDD kind of brake changes. Do I really need the motive brake bleeder? Do I really require ISTA? I have BimmerLink and BimmerCode as well as this ODB tool https://amzn.to/3l0LOq5 which does Bluetooth to my laptop quite well. If I wanted to start with ISTA where do I go? I really do want to bleed the DSC and ABS units. Should I wait another weekend?

Also what if I want to powder coat my calipers/hangers in the future? I assume I would need to do the process again. (it would be timed with SS line install)

Another side tidbit, I did use the search tool but could not really find what brand brake fluid anyone prefers to use aside from the BMW DOT 4 Fluid. Would DOT 5.1 be a good idea?

Like I said above, I'm used to the walmart supertech bleed it out with a partner into a glass jar and dump it... well not in the toilet or on the annoying neighbors car.

Sorry for the long read. I just want to make sure I'm doing this right with all the tools and software available to me without having to stop mid job and be stress free. And completely at home.

Thanks for any advice!
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      09-08-2021, 12:07 PM   #2
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When I had my old 550i, I did a full brake upgrade. X5M front 4 piston brake calipers with 396 rotors, and 750i rear rotors with M5 calipers.

I did the old school bleed er roo but with assistance from my fiancť to pump the brakes. Granted, it is advisable to use ISTA or other methods of accessing the abs and such for a proper bleeding procedure since it took me 2 days to fully bleed out the air to get that awesome firm feel from the pedal. It did feel quite squishy and almost to the floor during those first couple of days and more old school bleeding and driving. There are special procedures on pre bleeding the rear calipers as well in the bmw manual that you have to physically rotate the caliper to release all trapped air lol.

If you are planning to play with your brakes often and need to do the bleeding, then it would be wise to get the tools such as a power bleeder, a computer, OBS connection tool, and the proper software. Then learn how to use it as well.

If you are doing this only once or twice…..then this alternative may work in your favor:

Call the dealership of choice for pricing on full brake flush**

Get all your upgrades or new parts all in one shot. New rotors, pads, and even remove your calipers to have them painted and such. Or go big and upgrade sizes. Research, research, research and look at your finances to allow such.

Then old school bleed the best you can to make it drivable to the nearest BMW dealer.

Go to the dealer and ask for a full brake flush. It only cost me 90 dollars and it is done right with new fluid.*** this is a good time to call prior to do anything to make sure you have the money and if it’s cheap enough to do this. They randomly do specials on this so take advantage of you are only doing this job once or twice.

Enjoy the car without worry.
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      09-08-2021, 12:13 PM   #3
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And to get the story straight, I first got the car and then install the X5M brake kit. Then after some time, I went to the bmw dealership and use their services for a full flush. Then I went ahead and upgraded my rears.

Still have those awesome braking power and feel until the day I have to let her go

Maybe one day we may cross paths once more……but that Audi R8 or a Porsche is calling my name after I settle my new first home lol.
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      09-09-2021, 12:49 AM   #4
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That was one of my goals, eventually install a BBK from another BMW model range, short of ordering the r1 concepts, dinan or CEIKA kits which I cannot afford and would rather get my exhaust done for that. I never thought of using the 750i for the rears though. Iíll have to note that in my idea book. I was thinking more in the 400mm+ range though for the rotors and 6 or 8 piston front and 4 piston back. But thatís for another time.

Interesting. Thank you for all that. I do plan on going down in there a few more times, enough to justify not going to the dealer or an indy. Aside from that Iím more the person who has to do it themselves or it really isnít done the best it could have been.

Based off what you said I did Amazon a Motive power bleeder for euro cars https://amzn.to/2X7PwWM and the ENET Cable just in case my Bluetooth one does not work. https://amzn.to/3l9H55o

What is this about rotating the caliper? And Pre-Bleed? I saw it mentioned elsewhere but they didnít go into detail. Although I have found procedures online somewhere that I can use so I will take a look there. Unless someone knows of a user friendly guide? Odd thing to do.

I get what you mean, put all that work and have to watch her go. But yeah those R8s are eye catchers even still. I play a lot of video games and the Final Fantasy XV One off Audi R8 looks so majestic to me.



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      09-09-2021, 12:25 PM   #5
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I can assure you that the X5M front brake setup and the rears using the 750i rotors and M5 calipers would be very sufficient to stop the heavy car from illegal speeds and overall a great setup that won't kill the wallet at all if researched properly. Also, it is the most user friendly since they are all bolt on without modifications. The fronts will require a 4mm spacer between the caliper and the mounting point on the spindle while the rears only needed the M5 caliper carriers if you have the 550i since they share the same caliper design.

It would make more sense in your situation to build up your tooling in order to comfortably do the job without fail.

The prebleed was simple. You crack the bleeder screw while the caliper was not installed and allow fluid to pass through while physically rotating the caliper around to release any trapped air. It does sound quite silly and to be honest, I don't know if it mattered vs doing the old school bleed or better yet with the ISTA and power bleeder procedure.

You can find all that info on newtis.info where all the manuals for various BMW are located. You may need someone to refer you to the page since recently they took it down due to legal reasons and "right to work" on our own vehicles.

Believe me, the moment I saw the car drove away from me, I broke down. I'll be honest here since it was one of the most involved cars I ever own and all the mods I did to it to make her last so long. 5 years ownership and put over 60k miles since purchase. The next owner will be happy to see her knowing that the valve seals were done so there is no oil consumption, brand new water pump, pulleys, belts, fresh oil change and such. 90 degree T-stat to keep it running cool and more maintenance items.

But... I have to grow up, get my first home, build a more stability for my finances so I can upgrade myself later in life. I did rent a 2008 Audi R8 for a couple days and the price tag of 75k for a low mileage, 6 spd manual example is quite attractive.

Hope it all goes well, treat her right and she will most likely will give back lol.

I said mostly because N63 and the TUs are still unpredictable. Just the nature of the beast.
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      09-09-2021, 12:42 PM   #6
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Chiming in:

- You do not need ISTA if you did not take the calipers off and expose the lines to air. The ISTA process is for bleeding, not changing the brake fluids. If all you're doing is pushing out old fluid, it's fine to do a traditional fluid change since there's really no air being introduced to the system.

- Motive power bleeder is 100% nice to have. It makes bleeding brakes a one man job, since it pressurizes the system for you. You also don't need to do the frantic "HOLD NO HOOOOOOOOOOLD OKAY LET GO" thing as you close and open the nipple since the system is always pressurized and won't so easily suck up old fluid/air. You also get the benefit of not having to risk the reservoir running dry and getting air into the master, which is a bitch to bleed since you have to get the air out a really, really, long distance. For 50 bucks, it's well worth it.

- No 4 pot rears will work on our cars, AFAIK, due to the electronic parking brake. Even M5's use the single pot floating calipers, and tbh it's more than enough given how front heavy our cars are.

- A pre-bleed is where you let the air bleed out naturally before you do a "powered" bleed. It's really not that necessary. Unsure about rotating calipers though, since our calipers are specific to each corner.

- You need DOT4 Low Viscosity (LV) fluid. I use ATE SL.6. I would avoid using DOT 5.1, as I'm sure there's a reason BMW didn't spec DOT 5.1 fluids even on M cars. Maybe due to the fact that the higher the boiling point, the faster it accumulates water.
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      09-09-2021, 02:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 550iFreak View Post
I can assure you that the X5M front brake setup and the rears using the 750i rotors and M5 calipers would be very sufficient to stop the heavy car from illegal speeds and overall a great setup that won't kill the wallet at all if researched properly. Also, it is the most user friendly since they are all bolt on without modifications. The fronts will require a 4mm spacer between the caliper and the mounting point on the spindle while the rears only needed the M5 caliper carriers if you have the 550i since they share the same caliper design.

Iíll take your word for it. Did you do a thread on your upgrade/retrofit? I am very interest in this. Iíll do search on my own as well. Owning the 550i will definitely make it easier for me lol. Itís honestly not as easy on the F10 as it was on my E38 and E46. The upper control arm on the F10 scares me at how tight they fit it all. But then again just look at any new STI and the tolerance between the caliper and wheel is like 2 dimes.




Quote:
Originally Posted by 550iFreak View Post
It would make more sense in your situation to build up your tooling in order to comfortably do the job without fail.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unspec View Post
- Motive power bleeder is 100% nice to have. It makes bleeding brakes a one man job, since it pressurizes the system for you. You also don't need to do the frantic "HOLD NO HOOOOOOOOOOLD OKAY LET GO" thing as you close and open the nipple since the system is always pressurized and won't so easily suck up old fluid/air. You also get the benefit of not having to risk the reservoir running dry and getting air into the master, which is a bitch to bleed since you have to get the air out a really, really, long distance. For 50 bucks, it's well worth it.

Definitely am now prepared material wise. I do like those benefits, I didnít want the hassle. Besides its all pros in my eyes for the price. I do have a mightyvac but I really do not understand (and I donít want to because it seems harder than it should be) how people use that to bleed the brakes. I use it for sucking out fluid from the reservoir (coolant or otherwise) if I fill it too much.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 550iFreak View Post
The prebleed was simple. You crack the bleeder screw while the caliper was not installed and allow fluid to pass through while physically rotating the caliper around to release any trapped air. It does sound quite silly and to be honest, I don't know if it mattered vs doing the old school bleed or better yet with the ISTA and power bleeder procedure.
Iíll try it out, if they designed it that way then it must be necessary. Thank you for that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Unspec View Post
- A pre-bleed is where you let the air bleed out naturally before you do a "powered" bleed. It's really not that necessary. Unsure about rotating calipers though, since our calipers are specific to each corner.
So natural bleed first, then hook up the Motive and execute the powered bleed. Interesting. Yeah the rotating the caliper is quite confusing. My understanding thus far: I do not think it means rotate installation position on differing hubs, but rather the rotation of the piston within each caliper or quite literally, a slow spin and rotation of the caliper in hand to release any air bubbles. Which also doesnít seem impactful as that is what pressure bleeder would accomplish. I donít know.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 550iFreak View Post
You can find all that info on newtis.info where all the manuals for various BMW are located. You may need someone to refer you to the page since recently they took it down due to legal reasons and "right to work" on our own vehicles.
Shhhh first rule of fight club!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Unspec View Post

- You do not need ISTA if you did not take the calipers off and expose the lines to air. The ISTA process is for bleeding, not changing the brake fluids. If all you're doing is pushing out old fluid, it's fine to do a traditional fluid change since there's really no air being introduced to the system.

- No 4 pot rears will work on our cars, AFAIK, due to the electronic parking brake. Even M5's use the single pot floating calipers, and tbh it's more than enough given how front heavy our cars are.

- You need DOT4 Low Viscosity (LV) fluid. I use ATE SL.6. I would avoid using DOT 5.1, as I'm sure there's a reason BMW didn't spec DOT 5.1 fluids even on M cars. Maybe due to the fact that the higher the boiling point, the faster it accumulates water.
ē I do not plan to remove calipers or lines this time around but I have been known to remove a caliper now and again on previous vehicles if the caliper was uncooperative with the pad change while still attached to the line. In the FUTURE I do plan to remove the calipers or maybe even do a upgrade as 550ifreak did. As well as SS lines. I got the cable, now I just need the programs. Edibas, insta +/p/d, ncs and all those good tools. I just cleaned my hard drive so I have 1 TB of space on one and 2TB on the other.

ē Oh really?! That is quite interesting. I had no idea. To be honest, aside from the auto hold I use at the In n Out drive thru, I would rather get rid of the Electronic parking brake. But I donít ever see myself figuring out a way to elegantly install a hand brake. Single pot it is.

ē Thank you. Finally a straight answer, Iíll amazon some right away. (https://amzn.to/3yTAIId) 2L should suffice, I think the procedure only requires 1L but if I spill... But yeah, I also assumed the same about 5.1 but a few of my colleagues swear by it. DOT 4 is the middle ground in my opinion of the water accumulation v. boiling. ALSO I do not know if 5.1 is good for the Electronic parking brake. I know DOT 3 would make it bind somewhat due to the viscosity.
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      09-09-2021, 02:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 550iFreak View Post
Believe me, the moment I saw the car drove away from me, I broke down. I'll be honest here since it was one of the most involved cars I ever own and all the mods I did to it to make her last so long. 5 years ownership and put over 60k miles since purchase. The next owner will be happy to see her knowing that the valve seals were done so there is no oil consumption, brand new water pump, pulleys, belts, fresh oil change and such. 90 degree T-stat to keep it running cool and more maintenance items.

But... I have to grow up, get my first home, build a more stability for my finances so I can upgrade myself later in life. I did rent a 2008 Audi R8 for a couple days and the price tag of 75k for a low mileage, 6 spd manual example is quite attractive.

Hope it all goes well, treat her right and she will most likely will give back lol.

I said mostly because N63 and the TUs are still unpredictable. Just the nature of the beast.
That was me with my í68 Mustang. A little bit of love in every wrenching of the nut and cursing at the engineers. Ha. You really did your due diligence. I still need to do the valve seals and 90į T-Stat. The turbos scare me though. First turboíd V8 for me. Thank you for sharing. I hope it goes well also.

Good luck with the home buying too.
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      09-09-2021, 02:54 PM   #9
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Thank you both for your knowledge on this. I think I am ready now,

As soon as the brake fluid comes in I will commence. Of course if something goes awry I'll be on here panicking

I'll update this after I'm done. If anyone else has any tidbits to add, please do. Experience is knowledge.
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      09-09-2021, 03:13 PM   #10
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Random question, why not get the parts off of FCP?
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      09-09-2021, 03:16 PM   #11
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Aside from Amazon? I have $200 credit with Amazon (for being healthy our work gives us Amazon gift cards) and I have one day shipping.
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      09-09-2021, 06:25 PM   #12
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FCPEuro has a life time replacement warranty. First round is on you, but then subsequent parts can be sent back to them for a refund.
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      09-09-2021, 07:16 PM   #13
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Why am I barely finding out about this? Wow.
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      09-10-2021, 08:46 AM   #14
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FYI. If you're just replacing the discs and pads, you only need to do a manual brake fluid flush. If you do end up replacing the brake lines as well, then no way around it you will need to do manual flush then run the ISTA DSC bleeding procedure. The pedal won't be the same without the latter. Trust me, I just went through it.

Manual procedure can be done without Motive Power bleeder (but highly recommended). The ISTA procedure requires it. It's one of those investments that you will definitely reuse over and over (at min every 2 years).

Get the upgraded version with the aluminum cap and make sure to flush the power bleeder and lines with denatured alcohol before storage. Forgot to do that one year and had the line explode on me under pressure. Not fun cleaning brake fluid all over the engine bay. Lol.
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      09-11-2021, 04:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spielnicht View Post
FYI. If you're just replacing the discs and pads, you only need to do a manual brake fluid flush. If you do end up replacing the brake lines as well, then no way around it you will need to do manual flush then run the ISTA DSC bleeding procedure. The pedal won't be the same without the latter. Trust me, I just went through it.
This is exactly why I want the software for that just in case moment if I make a mistake or just plain ole do a stupid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spielnicht View Post
Manual procedure can be done without Motive Power bleeder (but highly recommended). The ISTA procedure requires it. It's one of those investments that you will definitely reuse over and over (at min every 2 years).

Get the upgraded version with the aluminum cap and make sure to flush the power bleeder and lines with denatured alcohol before storage. Forgot to do that one year and had the line explode on me under pressure. Not fun cleaning brake fluid all over the engine bay. Lol.
Oh man!! Thanks for letting me know. If there is one thing I don't want is brake fluid exploding. Stuff will strip paint like toilet paper. I should have gotten the aluminium adapter version but that wouldn't have arrived in time. I think I can buy it separately in the future.
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      09-11-2021, 04:30 AM   #16
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So I spent the entire day attempting to get the damn ISTA rhinogold bmw tools working and boy are all the instructions all over the place. I don't know if that's because of BMW AG snooping around and its to throw them off or what. But it's working. Go'na test it out tomorrow before I start the brake job.

Tomorrow (today because its 1:30 am Cali time) is the big day though. Wish me luck.

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      09-15-2021, 04:57 AM   #17
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Success!

I got caught up with other errands but the whole brake change took the whole weekend. Mostly because they actually had never been changed before.

Inspection
What I absolutely despise about the wear sensors is that only two are equipped. But my smallest pad was at the corner that did not have a sensor. So what's the point of them (oddly enough the other sensorless corner also had these flat pads)


Cleaning & Quick Install
Being the OCD I am, I had to clean everything the best I could with gasoline and a nylon/brass brush. Dust cover and caliper mostly. I couldn't get the rust off the hub. They all looked just as dirty. but this is the rear right.

Before
After
And everything mounted

All the parts fit like a glove. The URO sensors were about half an inch longer which I attributed to rubber shrinkage. No issues with install.


Bleeding
Now the Bleeding procedure was another story. I don't know how anyone does it without ISTA or the Motive Pressure bleeder (godsend btw), it seems absolutely necessary. I did not remove any brake lines or open anything up. But I always bleed my brakes every job. That's just me.

ISTA was a hassle to get working but I did. I followed the steps computer bleeds, then I bleed. Then again driver side front (just following the protocol). But once I got to the passenger side front and rear, it wants me to pump bleed with the computer and I hear this AWFUL grinding and shaking as I depress the brake.

WHY!? Can someone explain this to me? I know for the driver side it does a pre bleed but why the noises from the passenger?

At the end of every bleed when you close the valve. This always occurred.


Not a lot of air but I feel better knowing its out.

Results
Amazing. When I brake, I don't have a rough grab and wobble. Or an aggressive uncomfortable release. I feel like they could use the SS lines to make it slightly stiffer. But I am happy for now. The Akebonos are dusting like crazy but they're not black so it isn't really noticeable. Probably due to the rotor choice but oh well. Definitely stops faster with more elegance and alot less effort.

Things to note
Although. things I wish I had known before starting:

ēFront Guide pins are 9mm hex allen (why does no one talk about this for the 550is? Had to make a trip to HF)
ēRear Guide pins are 13mm socket and 15mm open end wrench
ēWhen using ISTA, use a battery tender or something. I had to use the one from my 750iL till my CTEK one arrived. (Since my car was at a 10% state of charge)
ēBleeding actually took 2L of fluid exactly. I kept reading that only 1L was required but that wasn't the case for my situation.
ē(there was a few others I was mad about but I cannot remember right now)

In the end all the advice helped. I appreciate the help offered as well (sorry if I didn't get back to you).
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      09-18-2021, 01:37 AM   #18
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Photos are broken
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      09-20-2021, 02:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Photos are broken
Sorry about that. The img hosting I used was google drive but I guess I had to make an imgur. All fixed.
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      09-20-2021, 09:14 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by mickeyvalentine View Post
Sorry about that. The img hosting I used was google drive but I guess I had to make an imgur. All fixed.
Two tool tips:

For the hub cleaning, get a wirewheel that goes onto a drill, or ideally, a surface preparation pad. There's lots of 3M roloc wheel clones on amazon like these:

https://www.amazon.com/NYXCL-Sanding...dp/B086Q3XMJD/

If you're going to do this a lot yourself, invest in thin wrenches. These are what I have, in metric. Don't know why amazon stopped selling the metric wrenches:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078JDRMH2

Regardless, congrats on the brake job!
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      09-28-2022, 04:33 PM   #21
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So it's been about a year. 30k miles later.

I am very happy with the setup. Not really sure where the pad is going but they don't seem to be wearing that quickly at all. I brake hard most of the time except on my 25 mile commute to work. Rest of the time is fun time.

Dusting is virtually non existent. It's there, but it is blended with the silver color of the wheel. I haven't washed in two months and they only look dull in color rather than dirty.

I do have two issues now.

- When backing up then going forward (or vice versa) OR after driving some time then driving in a parking lot. I hear a clicking upon braking. I can only assume its the pad sliding around since they were not an OEM fit.

- While turning from left to right (or vice versa) I hear a different clicking. Like the sound of a zip tie on metal. I am wondering if it is the brake lines and/or wear sensors unclipping and smacking the metal bits down there when they flex during turns. It's pretty annoying and loud. I read here on this form that it could be cause by the control arms. But aside from the severe tire vibration, I don't have the exact same symptoms.

I am coming up on 100k in the next few days so I plan on replacing the suspension. I'll investigate the brakes and such then.


All in all. The pad and rotor combo was a great choice. Even if they are drilled and slotted.
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      09-28-2022, 05:35 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 550iFreak View Post
but that Audi R8 or a Porsche is calling my name after I settle my new first home lol.
FWIW, my indy is very down on Audi and does not recommend them.

Good luck.
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