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Old 01-09-2006, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: X5world
Posts: 54
Xoutpost has disabled reputation
Contributed by: TurnAround

Driver8 asked for some info on
brake pad replacement.. how it went.. observations.. that kind of thing.
Mike, I almost emailed you directly, but then I thought.. there might be
others who could benefit from it.

BTW, for all I know, something similar to the following is already saved to
X5World. These are just my experiences.

On the pads, I went with Axxis Deluxe Plus. I couldn't be happier. I've put
them on all three cars now. I have almost 1,000 miles on the Roadster's
pads. I've thoroughly bedded them in. Their cold bite is about the same or
slightly less than factory. Many people might not even notice the
difference. A couple of stops.. and they're heated up. Their warm and hot
bite are a fair amount better than factory. I can basically launch my
eyeballs out of my head.

The X just got them this weekend. So far.. awesome cold bite. THe brakes on
the X5 are so much bigger than the Z3's. As with the OEMs.. with the Axxis
pads on the X5 I just barely have to touch the pedal to stop. I'll bed 'em
in this week. I'm half way worried I'm gonna flip the car over end to end.

The following is from a document I saved:


Here's a tool list, a tool resource list, a list of internet links for basic
instructions, and, some extra installation pointers I've figured out along
the way.

I wrote the instructions for the first time brake pad DIY person. Folks who
race and do their own mechanical work.. or just.. do their own mechanical
work, tend to leave out steps.. or perhaps are simply slightly tired of
explaining the basics. Since I was going through it anyway, I thought I'd
write down the basic stuff. Stuff I'll take for grant it in later years..
and maybe forget to tell someone who's just learning. You know.. leave out,
but entirely by accident.

Tool List:

- A Jack.

- (2) Jack stands

- Torque wrench (preferably 1/2" drive)

- 1/2" to 3/8" conversion head

- 2" to 3" socket extension

- 19mm 6 point socket head (but you might want a whole set)

- An 18" to 20" breaker bar (optional, but nice to have)

- 7mm allen / socket head.

- 7mm regular full sized allen wrench.

- A breaker pipe. (12" to 15" long section of hollow 1/2" pipe)

- 2 sryinges

- Brake cleaning spray.

- Brake grease. Anti-squeal, hi-temp.

- Needle nose pliers

- Small tip flat blade screw driver.

- Large tip flat blade screw driver.

Tool source and usage tips:

You'll need a jack. You could use the one that comes with your Car, but it's
not really meant for continuous use, plus it's hard to get to on some cars.
You can use it for a starter / learner job. Eventually, you'll want a good
jack though. I finally had to buckle down and buy one. It's a little
frustrating with jacks, 'cause they all seem to be made in China now a days.
You'll find other opinions on which kind to get. I'm NOT a harbor freight
fan, but in this case they had a few tools that ended up working quite well,
and saved a ton of money...


I really like it. So far, it's worked out really well. Many of their China
made tools are crap, but this one is really nice. My advice is not to buy
one of the really cheapo low end hydraulic jacks that they have... Sears
has... and all the auto parts stores have. The other problem you can run
into is that a car as high up as the X5 is too high for the typical jacks
you see for sale. $130 is cheap, for a nice jack, and that goes this high.
Normally good jacks are $450 to $800.

You'll need two jack stands. Again, there's lots of healthy debate on this
topic. I'd love to have those really nice sets available mail order, but by
the time you add the rubber pads and the shipping cost, yer lookin' at $70
or so. Plus I needed 'em sooner. Here's another HF link. Just make sure you
don't get stands that are too tall. These are the max size for workin' with
the Coupe (upper height of 15" or 16"). Slightly smaller might even be
better. They worked well with the X5.


If you don't have a torque wrench you should think about getting one. You
can always have the tire store torque the wheels, but that's a pain. I
bought a Craftsman half inch drive torque wrench and a set of 6 point metric
sockets (important to get 6 point and not 12 point). If you don't want the
set, you'll at least need a 17mm socket head for the smaller BMW's. 19mm for
the X5. Also buy an extension for the head. 2" will do. 3" or 4" will work
also. Without the extension, you won't be able to reach the bolts because of
the tires. While yer there, also buy a 1/2" drive down to 3/8" drive
converter head.... if you have other socket tools that use the smaller drive
size. Otherwise you won't be able to use the torque wrench for other things.
Wheel bolts are at 88ft lbs for the smaller BMWs. 103ft lbs for the X5

I also suggest you purchase a breaker bar from Harbor Freight. This is to
break the bolts loose on the wheels. Yeah.. you could use your torque
wrench, but it's a precision tool that should only be used to do the final
"set" of the torque. A brekaer bar is just a long handle with a socket
receiver on one end. I got the 18" one for $10. If you get one that's too
long, you won't be able to use it on the brake guide bolts .

You'll also need a 7mm allen socket head. Looks like a normal socket head,
but with a 7 mm allen wrench end stickin' out of one end. This is the tool
for removing the brake guide bolts. Note... that it'll prolly be a 3/8"
drive... hence the converter mentioned above. Special note for the X5; The
rear brake's guide bolts are very close to the rear shocks. So close, that
you can't squeaze in the allen head and any of the wrenches. What I had to
do was use a regular 7mm allen wrench (Bondus makes the best) to fit in
there. But then.. you need a section of hollow pipe to slip over the end of
the wrench so you can get some leverage on the allen wrench. Works like a
charm. You end up having to guess at the torque "feeling" because you can't
fit the torque wrench in there. That's ok. Just do a front brake first..
you'll get a feel for 22 ft lbs. Also.. this is on my X5 3.0. The 4.4, 4.6,
and 4.8 brake guide bolts might end up somewhere different and be easier...
or just as hard... to remove.

Buy a couple of large sryinges from a medical supply place (you know.. that
sell electric mobility scooters and bandages and stuff) or a well stocked

1 can of brake cleaning spray fluid, for cleaning the brake pad rack ears.
(Don't spray on paint or rubber (like the rubber brake piston boot). It'll
disolve yer car's paint in an instant).

One small tub of brake grease. I bought CRC brand. It's black. Brake grease
has additives that prevent squealing between the contact points on the pads
and the caliper. It's also hi-temp grease.. so it won't melt / migrate off
during heavy braking. DON't buy anything that orange or yellow or pink..
that stuf is a specialty product that's got latex and other additives in it.
An attempt by the industry to stop squealing, but that's not the real
problem, and all this special stuff will do is gum up your brake parts. Get
the grease. Look for key words like, "Stops squeal", "hi temp", "anti seize"
, "anti-squeal compound".

You'll need a 6" C-clamp. Again, HF has some of the crappiest tools, but man
I swear this one's a score... http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=4140

The quick release button is a major benefit when doing the brakes.

Brake pads. I can't recommend Dave Zeckhausen enough. As to the Axxis Deluxe
pads themselves, you might want to do some research. I had Mintex pads put
on my X5, but I'm not happy with them. They dusted too much, still. And then
deveoped a "clacking" sound / effect because the pad frames are slightly
smaller than they should be. Stock OEM pads stop great, but produce tons and
tons of brake dust. Might want to read through Dave's site.

Get yourself something comfortable to sit on. Yer gonna be on the ground for
a while! :-)


Read this and print it out.


Also read Dave's instructions on bedding brakes.


For installation I would add a couple of things to the instructions above.

1) Your jack points for the Coupe are those little black plastic cups on the
sides. No where else. X5... same deal.

2) On a Z3: Your jack stand points for the rear would be the loooong cross
member that runs all the way across the width of the car and sits just ahead
of the differential. Do not position the stand under any of the movable
suspension parts (like the trailing arms). Your jack stand point for the
front would be the cross member that supports the engine and the tranny. You
can't miss it, cause it's the frame member with all the bolts in it. Crosses
across the car sorta right where the engine and the tranny meet at the
clutch area.

On an X5: I used the anti-sway bar U-bracket as a good safe point. On the
front, try setting in right towards the end of the main front frame, where
it comes in and bolts to the uni-body (just behind and in from the wheel

3) Take the parking brake off and leave the car in gear. The P-Brake off
will let you examine the rotor for wear, plus, if you leave it on and jack
up the one rear side.. this puts a hell of an opposing torque on the two
opposite parking brakes (ask me how I know...).

4) If you do one wheel at a time and you don't try to jack the car up too
high, you don't need chocks for the other wheels. But remember.. rear wheel
drive.. no parking brake. That one other rear wheel in contact is ALL that's
keeping the car from rolling. On the X5 ... it's 4WD so you’re a bit more
stable. But don't be surprised in the car rolls a quarter inch while your
jacking it... for the slack to be taken up in the drive train. If in
doubt... use some wheel chocks.

5) Before you start, pop the hood, and then take the cap off of the brake
fluid resovior. For each brake piston you squeeze back with the C clamp...
get up and go check the resovior. You don't want it over flowing or you'll
have the mess of a lifetime. Typically, by doing one brake at a time it's
doubtful that you'd over flow the tank. But as you do do each one... just
keep checking the tank. Use the syringe to syphon off fluid when there's too
much. By the time you get to the 3rd brake, you'll almost certainly going to
need to syphon some off... cause see... as your old pads were wearing out,
you mechanic has been topping off the fluid. Your new pads are thicker, and
don't need as much fluid!

6) Study the little brake sensor dude before you pull him off the inboard
pad. See how the "ball" of metal on one side is facing the pad? That's the
same direction it needs to go back in. Use a pair of needle nose plyers to
coax the little brass clip out of the receiving notch. Don't pull on the
wire. No worries.. after the first one you pull out, you'll seee.. aahhhh ..
that's how the little guy snaps into there. Just don't lose the clip.

7) When you go to put the new pads in, you'll swear that you'd pushed the
piston back.. but now everything won't slide on and over the rotor. That's 'cuz,
while you weren't looking, that there piston DID sqoosh back out some.
That's their job and they likes doin' it. You have to take the C clamp to
the new inboard pad (don't install the outboard pad just yet) and squeaze
the piston back out.

8) Don't grease the guide pins (contrary to most other car's instructions).
BMW wants 'em dry. I think this is a mistake... but I won't argue with them.

9) Grease the brake pad ears liberally. See where they contact the caliper
on their back edge... and contact the caliper mount on their front edge? See
how they float around. If they're dry you run the risk of "CLACK CLACK"
every time you step on the brakes. Manual doesn't say to grease 'em. But do.

After you've cleaned up your first caliper, load up the new pads (inboard
and outboard). Now load up the caliper into the wheel housing. Study where
the pad plates contact the caliper. THOSE are the points where you need
grease. After you've done a brake or two, you'll get a feel for exactly
where and where not to put grease.

- Bill

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