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Old 01-27-2008, 09:07 PM
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Brakes and Rotors: Go Aftermarket or keep stock?

Looking for some advice. My 2001 x5 3.0i is about 2 months away from needing F/R pads and rotors.

I want to make this a DIY repair. Cuz I am cheap and I want to learn how.

The question is whether or not I should go aftermarket or keep using the OEM parts

Desires:
1) low noise levels on braking
2) less brake dust
3) better real world stopping power (panic and traffic)

My thoughts were to put in Brembo slotted and Axxis pads up front and Brembo solids/blanks and Axxis pads in the rear

What do you think? Are there other brands I should look at?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:39 PM
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Everything is a tradeoff is design and manufacturing. The three things you are looking for are answered by three different products. You need to decide what you want, which balance of performance/cost/etc.

1) The lowest noise solution is OEM, hands down. That is largely why BMW specs those pads; they don't get warranty claims for noise, and they get good performance. Dust is the trade off. If I was buying rotors, I would buy OEM, Centric, or another quality jobber/will-fit brand. Brembo doesn't make the rotors in the factory size, they buy them from China and Mexico like everybody else. Get ones that are coated so they don't rust.

2) A good low dust pad solution is Axxis Deluxe (various trading names, PBR/Repco, Axxis, etc). Noise is not quite as good as OEM, probably 80-90% of the OEM quietness. Mine were acceptable, no squealing, but the first application after a week parked resulted in noise, which went away after one or two applications. Performance is either equal to OEM, or very close, depending on your perception. I would put them in again, because I get tired of cleaning wheels, the performance and pedal feel was equal IMO, and the minor noise on first application didn't bother me.

3) More performance means bigger rotors, or more clamping power (bigger calipers), essentially. Both the above pads (OEM and Axxis) have good performance within the limitations of the OEM caliper design. No sense going to Brembo or other vendors for more performance, unless you increase rotor diameter and/or cooling capacity, and you move to larger calipers, often with more pistons and floating disks. A rotor is a rotor, for performance, unless you drill it and compromise the structural integrity, then it is less of a rotor. Drilled and slotted doesn't increase the performance, but to many they look cool.

If you just want the high performance look, you can paint the OEM calipers or do a cosmetic upgrade with slotted/drilled rotors. Whichever rotors you go with, Axxis pads work well. Call Zeckhausen, who is a site sponsor. http://www.zeckhausen.com/

If you haven't already seen them, check the articles on the home page for the how-to guides.
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:29 PM
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JCL is right, you have to decide what is most important to you. There is a trade-off for everything. From what I have heard, slotted rotors will give you better stops in wet conditions, but will eat up your pads faster. I am considering using StopTech direct replacement slotted rotors (same size as OEM, just slotted) and Axxis Metal Masters when I replace mine in the near future, but I am willing to deal with a little more dust and noise for increased performance. I have that exact combo on my 325i and have been happy with it.

I think there have been many post about this topic. If you do a search for "brake rotors and pads" you may find additional info. If all else fails, you can never go wrong with original equipment.
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCL
Everything is a tradeoff is design and manufacturing. The three things you are looking for are answered by three different products. You need to decide what you want, which balance of performance/cost/etc.

1) The lowest noise solution is OEM, hands down. That is largely why BMW specs those pads; they don't get warranty claims for noise, and they get good performance. Dust is the trade off. If I was buying rotors, I would buy OEM, Centric, or another quality jobber/will-fit brand. Brembo doesn't make the rotors in the factory size, they buy them from China and Mexico like everybody else. Get ones that are coated so they don't rust.

2) A good low dust pad solution is Axxis Deluxe (various trading names, PBR/Repco, Axxis, etc). Noise is not quite as good as OEM, probably 80-90% of the OEM quietness. Mine were acceptable, no squealing, but the first application after a week parked resulted in noise, which went away after one or two applications. Performance is either equal to OEM, or very close, depending on your perception. I would put them in again, because I get tired of cleaning wheels, the performance and pedal feel was equal IMO, and the minor noise on first application didn't bother me.

3) More performance means bigger rotors, or more clamping power (bigger calipers), essentially. Both the above pads (OEM and Axxis) have good performance within the limitations of the OEM caliper design. No sense going to Brembo or other vendors for more performance, unless you increase rotor diameter and/or cooling capacity, and you move to larger calipers, often with more pistons and floating disks. A rotor is a rotor, for performance, unless you drill it and compromise the structural integrity, then it is less of a rotor. Drilled and slotted doesn't increase the performance, but to many they look cool.

If you just want the high performance look, you can paint the OEM calipers or do a cosmetic upgrade with slotted/drilled rotors. Whichever rotors you go with, Axxis pads work well. Call Zeckhausen, who is a site sponsor. http://www.zeckhausen.com/

If you haven't already seen them, check the articles on the home page for the how-to guides.
Great response. I will likely go with OEM blanks and Axxis deluxe.

Thanks!
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