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After one too many excursions over curbs of "just the right height" I managed to damage the trim panel that sits in front of the right wheel and extends forward, underneath the car, to the air dam. Probably wouldn't have cared except this panel houses the temp sensor, which I discovered dangling by its little wire one day. SO - I ordered a new panel (about $75 - ouch) and installed it just now. FYI, the install is a piece of cake - no other panels need to be removed.

BUT - this is the first time I had the car up on a jackstand and "exposed" - and I made an interesting discovery. There is a duct that looks suspiciously like a brake cooling duct - except there's really no way air can get to it. It isn't all that close to the engine or exhaust components. I cannot figure out what it is doing there.

Here are some pics:





It's a bit hard to tell from the pics, but the front of this duct is open.

Weird. The entire duct is covered up by the panel I was replacing. So no air can get in, and none can get out. What is up with that? Why is this thing there at all?

Seems to me that if you opened up the blank area inboard of the foglights, which is about 6 inches ahead of and 4 inches outboard of the inlet to this duct, a good deal of air would get to this. A bit more effort could actually physically connect this spot with the duct opening. You'd also have to remove a section of the trim panel so the duct's exhaust, so nicely angled already, could actually blast onto the wheel/brake.

Has anyone considered this? If you did and decided not to, why not?
 

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Would you want air (and possibly spats of water), flowing directly at the wheels? I'm sure it might help for brake cooling, but would there be any other benefits?

--Dan
 

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Greg,

Thanks for the info on the mysterious duct. Anyone that has ran an M5 on a big track has commented on the problem of brake overheating/fading after a few laps. Their could be a potential solution here if this thing could be made operational.

Has anyone else solved the brake fade problem short of installing the Porsche GT calipers and rotors?

John
 

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Greg, I noticed that also in April. I suppose the '99 M5 have ducts with hole in and the 2000 with no hole.

It is strange, I don't know why either.

Design gimmick... I looked on my M3 in April and there it is similar duxts, but this time there is a hole in the wheelhouse that points straight to the front brake disc. So on the M3 but not on M5. Strange. If I remember correctly there was this was clogged up also om the new M3.



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