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Old 11-04-2017, 01:46 PM   #1
wc123wc
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E39 530i brakes



Hi guys, I need help figuring out the best brakes for the E39. I have a 2003 530i and the front brakes are no good: the steering wheel and brake pedal shake when I brake. It's more noticeable are highway speed; less noticeable at lower speeds, or when the car is heavy (full gas tank), or wet.

I don't think it's the thrust/control arms because they are all new including tie rods, etc. And I don't think it's my driving style (I am the only one who drives the car) because I am a pretty easy on the car--I don't accelerate and stop abruptly and I don't race!

Actually, this is my 3rd E39 and all three had bad front brakes after a while. All brakes I put on them were OEM, so I am wondering if I should buy a different brand. To be fair all my E39's had high mileage (above 200k) so may be the front shocks are no good and they dip too much when braking biting into the rotors. I don't know. I think it's pad deposit on the rotors.

Anyway, I am wondering if I switch brands from OEM to something else, I might help preventing this from happening. Because every time I put new OEM brakes on the front, give it few months then it goes bad (they still brake well, they just shake).

What brands do you suggest? Has anyone had the same problem and was able to fix it? Is switching brands a good solution...or is it something else?
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Old 11-04-2017, 06:58 PM   #2
kenmar
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I heard that the E39 had thrust arm issues which could cause braking problems, but it seems that you've already looked into that.

I had front brake problems on my truck, so I got a lazer temperature gun. To my surprise, the temperatures were almost twice as high as those on my BMW. I got new rebuilt front calipers and the problem persisted, so I'm thinking that it's a design issue. I switched to Centric cryogenically treated rotors this spring and so far, so good. Cryo rotors are supposed to last a lot longer and take a lot more abuse. Not sure if this is applicable or warranted in your situation.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:58 PM   #3
wc123wc
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Thanks for the reply.

How much do these cryo rotors cost? Where do I buy them from?
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Old 11-06-2017, 12:47 PM   #4
kenmar
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Not sure where you can buy them locally. Both Tirerack and rockauto.com sell them and have all-in pricing (i.e. preferred brokerage fees with NO extra courier/duty charges). Rockauto is the cheapest I could find.
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:39 PM   #5
PatrolOne
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Are all of the suspension components new? Struts are worth a look, if they are really worn you might get more vibration.

Check your wheel bearings too, early sign of failure is vibration under braking, noise comes later. I had problem until I replaced bearings and tie rod ends
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:46 PM   #6
VW_2_BMW
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The problem is certainly not with the OEM rotors and pads. That much is for sure.

You need to ensure the calipers are in good shape. Disassemble completely and inspect for wear, replace and re-lubricate parts as required.

Sounds like you've ruled out the only other potential cause, which is worn bushings and/or ball joints on the lower control arms.

Doubtful it's the shocks unless they're completely shot, in which case you should be replacing them regardless.

I wouldn't put OEM brake parts on these high mileage cars anyways. Many good cheaper alternatives to choose from. I just installed Zimmermann coated rotors and TRW pads on my 530 with excellent results. I normally run Akebono euro ceramic pads but the TRW's were half price (albeit dusty).
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