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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering upgrading my brakes to something much better in feel and more suitable for track days.

The plan is changing to 355mm floating disc 8 spot WP setup. A hardly used set is only $1500 US.


The price seems right and a great alternative to brembo or others .I know they might not be Brembo but would be vastly better than OE.

But how much does the original 540i disc and caliper weigh?

I wish to know this to compare the savings in unsprung weight of the WP setup

As I run BBS style 42 in 17", I will need to change to 18".

I will go light for rims but not too expensive.

The aim is to have no more extra weight than the original setup.


Any thoughts and weights would be much appreciated.

Monty
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I have considered all sorts of setups and want the best braking for the small pile of dollars I have.:sad3:

Big Brembos would be great but can only afford 2nd hand and that means having mounts made I expect. Also this would only provide the calipers and still the discs would have be purchased.

The main aim of the game is much better brakes with out a weight penalty and ideally even lower unsprung weight for better steering and handling.:biggrin:

The other question is how much better would a 355/360mm setup be over say a 330mm set that would allow me to keep the 17" rims.:dunno:

Are the bigger sets worth the extra weight and cost esp since that means 18" rims.:dunno:

Any thoughts are really helpful:D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The WP pro I can get for $1500 almost new.
They are 360mm 8 piston, with alloy floating hats.

They should be nice and light.

Another choice is the K-sport in 8 piston, alloy hats, floaters etc

These are surprisingly cheap through the UK at only $1250 for a 360mm set


Or to allow keeping my current BBS rims and slick spares in 17" are 330mm 6 or 8 spot for only $1120.

These are fantastic prices- at least double in US and triple in AUS.
 

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Monty,

FWIW - i was going to go down the Ksport route and instead i put on some Pagid yellow ceramic pads - Im not looking for any more braking now. There are two main problems with the standard setup as far as i am aware; overheating/fade and pedal feel. The Pagid pads take care of any issues with fade and they allow you to keep the stock rotors which are really very good. I wasnt entirely convinced about the quality of aftermarket rotors available for the other options. The Pagid pads are as per the ring taxi, id be happy to tour the ring in the M5 with these brakes :)

ps. another must do fix is to open the brake cooling ducts.
 

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FYI I bought the D2 380mm front (12-pot) and 356mm rear (6-pot) on the summer 2008 and ended up returning them and getting my money back after a big hassle. It turned out the carriers were not designed for the E39M5 alltough they were correctly labeled for the E39M5 (calipers ended up in the wrong angle and would not line to the disc) and the issue was dealt by D2 just by telling to make my own brackets. Luckily I got my money back and went Brembo after that.

As far as know the K-sport is basically the same as D2 so just that you are aware of the problem. It might be fixed or not an issue with K-sport but better safe than sorry.

The non-M should not have the same problem as my friend had the D2 356mm front kit in his e39 535.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice guys.

I will have a rethink.

If quality and fitment are such then may be better off just doing the Pagid Yellow for now.

But I still want some nicer brakes.

I would go big brembo off a porsche if I could find mounts.
 

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Monty, the pagids are not cheap - but they are still a lot cheaper than any BBK. The standard discs we have here in the UK seem to have alloy centres with floating rotors - not too bad. The pagids have no difficulty getting the antilock system working, they bite a lot better than stock pads and dont come close to fade. Ive missed the nurburgring this year but hopefully will make it next season, im confident they will work as well as the Brembos on a previous Porsche, they dont look as good though!
 

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I run Pagid yellows on the BBK in my race car (not a BMW) and they are awesome. Great pad, and in my opinion worth the price. Mine are $420 for the front set, but I get two weekends of abuse on them. You dont need a BBK until you are pushing the caliper pistons through the pads. If the pads are fading and crumbling, add cooling/get better rotors/higher temp pads. There is a lot that can be done with the OEM brakes.
 

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Viable alternative

With active brake cooling ducts, the "Euro" floating rotors (aluminum, center hub) and the right pads your
brake performance can be exemplary. If you can tolerate the large amount of dust, the Hawk HP+ pads
will give you an unbelievable degree of braking torque, their cold-bite is exceptional and brake-fade is
virtually non-existent. Plus, cost for front pads run about $125 per set.

My last track day, they were letting everyone run double sessions and I ran over 225 miles that day. Even
with these 40 minute sessions, I never had a glimpse of fade even with two of the turns requiring braking
from 140 down to 50-60 mph. With the Euro rotors and brake cooling there was also far less thermal transfer
onto the hub and wheels, creating less increase in tire pressure, as verified with I-R temp gun, plus they
help maintain a more even, "average temp" for the friction ring (less temp swings).

Can't see any reason (other than the look), to "upgrade" my brakes. They just work great (with above changes).

Regards,
Alan
 

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Can't see any reason (other than the look), to "upgrade" my brakes. They just work great (with above changes).
I know this has been debated all the way but there really is a big difference between improved euro stock brakes and a proper bbk. Altough the stock set with proper updates do work in the track they really don't give you confidence in the faster speeds (lets say 160km/h+). Beast is a heavy car and the brakes feel it. With Brembos the difference is night and day. Feels like your face is coming off when you hit the brakes. So one can definately feel and see the difference and it's not just about looking good. Just my 0.0365eur. ;)
 

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I know this has been debated all the way but there really is a big difference between improved euro stock brakes and a proper bbk. Altough the stock set with proper updates do work in the track they really don't give you confidence in the faster speeds (lets say 160km/h+). Beast is a heavy car and the brakes feel it. With Brembos the difference is night and day. Feels like your face is coming off when you hit the brakes. So one can definately feel and see the difference and it's not just about looking good. Just my 0.0365eur. ;)

This is all very true. The BBK on my Evo is amazing, but until you drive the car to the point where you are requiring the BBK, there is no reason to upgrade. The OP hasnt mentioned his track experience, but usually by the time you are requiring a BBK you know exactly what youre looking for and this thread would never have been made. I advise optimizing the OEM package with cooling and good pads/rotors and running with that for a while before dumping the cash into a BBK. I went BBK on my Evo because I was overheating, cracking rotors, and wanted to maintain my straight line speed REAAAALLLY deep in to the corner :wroom:
 

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Its a bit of a ****ty reply though isn't it?

Surely the point of a forum is to be able to ask advice from those better in the know to either peform a task you're unsure of, or glean info on products that others have experience of before spunking your hard earned on it.

If every case was "by the time you do do the job you should have researched enough about (insert topic here) it to already know, you wouldn't have needed to start this thread" then it would be a pretty empty forum.

Regarding bigger brakes giving a better one off braking performance i can't say i agree.

First off let me start by saying that if you are using the reasoning behind getting a BBK because of track use, then yes, its probably an idea for the best, as the stock setup overheats way too quickly when used in this manner, especially on smaller tighter circuits. However, if its purely because you think that on the road, everytime you use the brakes, a BBK means you'll stop a lot quicker, then thats poor judgement

If the stock setup can be utilised hard enough to either lock the brakes or get the ABS light flashing, then really thats about as hard as you can stop. Reasoning behind BBK's are because the stock setup and fluid won't stand up to repeated regular heavy use such as on track, and you'll simply overheat components causing fade and loss of braking performance. A BBK is far more efficient primarily due to its size and design of disc and caliper, and dissipates heat a lot better than a cast iron single caliper piston and 1 piece disc affair. Although the floating disc design of the Euro M5 makes some headway into that argument over its USA counterpart

Once the stock setup is up to operating temp it can easily be used hard enough to light the ABS. Given that this is pretty much all a BBK could do also, i fail to see how it could "rip your face off" when stomping on the middle pedal. This is given that pads are the same across both sets

The stock setup won't repeatedly make you feel this way i agree, due to reasons above, but those looking into a BBK under the impression the car will stop from a given speed any quicker on a one time stop test will be sorely dissapointed.

CPR based over here in the UK who work closely with Evolve cite the Ksport kits as very good value for money. Sure, they won't be up to AP standard, but they are not AP money either. IIRC they are pretty much copies of AP gear though. They are dust sealed for road use and so should last through the winter, although the standard pads that come with the kit i'm told aren't the best, you can upgrade to something like Performance Friction pads readily.

As said above, the first relatively cheap upgrade would be to use a good pad combo with decent Euro spec discs. EBC yellows over here certainly in the UK, not sure if they are available in the US, are highly recommended by a lot of track day enthusiasts over here and are certainly a lot cheaper than other pads such as the dedicated Pagid's etc. Also, they offer a pretty good bite from cold, and so if your car isn't solely a track toy (and i'm guessing as an M5 it probably isn't) it means that you won't be driving it up the nearest tree every morning when you first use the car on the road
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Wow..............

Thanks for all well thought replies.

As in the first post-- I have a 540i and not a M5.
ost
So that means I am starting from smaller all steel discs- Not the M5 euro discs.

SO.....As I am in Australia,


A set of Euro discs are easily $500-600 for Aus.
A set of the wiz bang pads can be $200-400.

And still the small 540i calipers.

So add M5 calipers rebuilt for ? $300


At that rate to change to M5 Euro spec would be maybe $1000-1300.

Given the cost of say the K-sport at $1250 what would you do?

Oh and I want to use them in anger and confidence not just one off stops or eyeball popping.

The closet easy available track is tight and heaps of short straights.

Already have braided lines, new fluid.

So basically guys if ...... You owned a 540i and wanted much better brakes what would you do:thumbsup:
 

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Monty, i missed the fact that you have a 540... do they go fast enough to need a BBK??! Given you are set on replacing the callipers id try the Ksport stuff.
 

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Given the Ksports are multiple piston calipers and 2 piece discs, are bigger and better than standard M5 stuff that you DON'T have, AND are cheaper, i'd say the KSports
 

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The original post was "big brakes on the cheap". Acknowledging used BBK is a good deal, you also have to replace 4 wheels and 4 tires (17's to 18's). I am wondering if the "cheap" BBK is still such a good deal?

If you have go to 18's, you could probably pick up a set of M5 stock brakes from someone who did the BBK upgrade for way cheaper and should be an improvement with good pads, high temp brake fluid and open brake ducts.

Regards,
Jerry
 

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What we still dont know is if the OP is using the current setup to the full extent. Even on the 540 rotors, putting cooling and good pads may be sufficient for getting some more good seat time without spending the money on the BBK.

And as others have said, there isnt really any 'cheap' BBK. Price of the kit + possibly larger wheels + a more expensive pad (multiplied by how many sets you go through in a year)= not cheap. My Alcon 370mm bbk really ended up costing me 6k not including tires for the larger wheels. Check out tire prices in 18s vs 17s as well, its a big jump.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the replies guys...

I do use my brakes quite hard and am a late braker.

Yes seat time is a big plus and this is a priority for me- I be after lots of time in the seat in the next 12 months and will be really focus on my lines and braking points.

I do appreciate going to big brakes would need 18" rims- if I go M5 ones then this is still a requirement so costs the same anyway.

IF the smaller 330mm kits from say K-sport would provide a big improvement in feel, less fade and less unsprung weight then they might a good choice.


I already have spare 17" rims with slicks- so keeping this size if poss. would be a benefit.

The availability of 2nd M5 sets complete are very rare here in AUS so that means import and big postage.

Oh and yes a 540 can go fast enough to get me and my brakes into trouble- just not as quickly as a M5.

I would expect to have a spare set of pads for the track and change them when swapping to slicks.

I have absolutely No intention of spending mega bucks on this upgrade and am not really after the bling effect but function.

My track time will be training and lots of lap after lap stuff. I have no interest in Auto cross etc.

I guess a way to look at this is.......

Given the choice between M5 gear and 330mm 6 0r 8 piston 2 piece set and not need 18" rims would this be a better or at least equivalent setup.?

As going to M5 gear would be much dearer even 2nd hand when big wheels are a added.

Any comments welcome- i just want great brakes, I don't care about looks much or name brands.
 

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You can run OEM M5 brakes on 17" wheels. Check out the winter wheel spec for the M5, They are style 66's in 17's from the E39 sports
 
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