Brake Pad Recommendations

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TheWolfman
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Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:06 pm

Looking to replace my front Brake Pads ASAP as my brake pedal has to travel nearly all the way to the floor .. and is rather spongy to say the least! :o

So many options out there... best bang for buck?
TheWolfman
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Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:17 pm

Looks like it's between Zimmermann and Eicher at the moment...
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Brianmoooore
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Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:54 pm

I doubt if excess brake pedal travel is anything to do with your brake pads. They are (should be) self adjusting.
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TheWolfman
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Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:55 pm

You dont think so Brianmoooore?

I was kind of worried about that too, seems like Booster & Master Cylinder is working.Did the ol 'Pump Test' etc.Pedal firms up until ignition is on, then slops up. Brake warning lights are on and has coincided with low pedal etc.I've checked for brake fluid level and leaks....could be air bubble alongside worn pads maybe? Or any other ideas?

I think the pads are well gone to be honest, haven't changed them since I got the motor and let's just say that the fella I bought it off's MOT was most definetly NOT legit!
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Brianmoooore
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Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:33 pm

First thing to do is to check the brake linkage. The RHD conversion on the E30 brakes was a bit of a fudge, with the brake cylinder being left in the LHD position, and connected to the brake pedal by a linkage with many pivot points. A small amount of wear in all of these adds up to make a big difference in pedal position and the amount of throw available.
The pull rod that goes across the car in the cabin, behind the heater box, has a LH thread on one end and a RH thread on the other, so turning it adjusts its length. Loosen the lock nut and turn it until the brake pedal lifts up to just short of how high it can go. There are two flats on the rod, near where it passes the clutch pedal, that allow you to turn it with a 7 (?) mm spanner.
Do you have drum brakes on the rear? The shoes should adjust for wear automatically, but the mechanism can seize, resulting in a lot of pedal travel being used in just pushing the rear cylinders out.
Are the front wheel bearings good? Any wobble in a wheel with a disc brake will push the pads further off of the disc than intended, and will use pedal travel just pushing them back in again.
Are all the rubber brake hoses good? Ideally you need the car on a ramp, and someone pushing the brake pedal hard with the engine running. Defective hoses can swell alarmingly.
Has the brake fluid been changed in the last two years? Is it bled properly? Bleed it right through with a pressure bleeder and new fluid.
Finally, if none of the above, brake master cylinders can become defective and allow air into the system.
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TheWolfman
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Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:49 pm

Great thorough info there my man!Really appreciate that.

I will check that linkage for sure, and go through all those points and try to eliminate the problem.I'm planning on some point to do complete overhaul of brake system,but for now just need it running so I don't need to brake like a granny!

Question still remains on which Brake Pads zoners are into though?
TheWolfman
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Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:51 pm

One thing I do know is that the previous owner disconnected the ABS warning system, which sounds kinda dodgy to me..
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paultv
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Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:31 am

So do you have no abs light at all? Did they pull the bulb or what?

You need to re connect it all so the light comes on at ignition at least, then you can analyse the fault from what the abs light does after you start driving off.

Sounds like it's time to overhaul the entire system, you can test the servo in situ as well to rule it out.

After trying cheaper pads ATE, Brembo, etc I followed the OEM information and fitted Textar 444 at the front and Jurid for the rear discs. Best set up for good cold bite in my opinion.

Paul :-)
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Brianmoooore
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Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:58 am

TheWolfman wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:51 pm
One thing I do know is that the previous owner disconnected the ABS warning system, which sounds kinda dodgy to me..
Well, that confirms the dodgy MOT cert!

ABS fault needs sorting without doubt, but is nothing to do with your brake problems as described.
As for what pads, the short answer is something reputable that you've at least heard of. Plenty here: https://www.autodoc.co.uk/car-parts/bra ... 5-i?page=4 Makes like Ferodo, Jurid, Ate., etc.

Check the condition of the discs themselves, especially their minimum thickness. BMW discs wear quite fast - they don't normally survive two sets of pads in my experience, and new ones don't cost lot. New pads on old discs will reduce braking power for some time as the pads shape themselves to the disc surface, as well as shortening pad life.
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paultv
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Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:32 am

One thing to watch - if you're bothered by this, the Textars I have do not have the indent to fit the pad wear connector - some of the other brands specifically do - many do not.

No idea why when they all state OEM.

Paul :-)
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http://bmwe30cabriolet-wdm.blogspot.de/
TheWolfman
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Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:03 pm

The MOT situation was kinda funny,it had an MOT done about 2 months before I bought it, and then in the week between me giving the guy a deposit and me actually buying it, he had it MOT'd again! Definetly made me question it's legitimacy somewhat I must say, but in that time he did also fit a new blower so that was good at least! Still to this day though the right headlight is literally just hanging on by one pin... I'll get around to sorting that soon.. honest officer! :o

Once again thanks for the wealth of information on this subject.

I was thinking about going for this set on the front:

https://www.cartech-one.co.uk/en/produc ... _by_search

My knowledge of ABS is very limited so I need to look into this a bit further.Got a looooong list of bit's I wanted to get sorted, hopefully I'll able able to contribute some stuff on here in the process which might help some fellow E30 nutters :mrgreen:

Good heads up on the disc's, had a quick peek earlier and the outter rim is pretty rusted and the disc 'face' is pretty shiney as expected indicating that there's probably been a lot of wear as they've clearly been on there a while.

Am I right to think that my booster/servo is working correctly as it seems to behave as expected when doing the pump test? It does however now seem to make a 'pumping' sound when pedal is pressed...which would indicate some kind of air in the system maybe?
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Brianmoooore
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Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:58 pm

TheWolfman wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:03 pm


I was thinking about going for this set on the front:

https://www.cartech-one.co.uk/en/produc ... _by_search

Only thing wrong with those is the price. £20 each is plenty for a reputable E30 vented front brake disc, so two of those plus decent pads doesn't come to anything near the price of the ones in the link.
There is NO advantage whatsoever in discs with holes (or grooves) in them when used with any road legal brake pad, or most race stuff these days. Race pads used to give off gases when used aggressively which had a 'hovercraft' effect between the pads and plain discs. The holes and grooves were added to allow these gases to escape.
It's normal to hear a hiss of air entering the servo, coming from behind the glovebox, when pressing the brake pedal after the engine is switched off.
First thing to do with the ABS fault is to reinstate the warning light and tell us what it does from switching on the ignition, through starting the engine, to driving away.
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reggid
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Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:53 am

the best stock pads will be jurid and textar.
E30 325is with M20B31
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flybynite
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Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:39 am

Although it is a couple of decades since I have put pads into an E30, These days I use ATE pads in almost everything.

Their bog standard pads have a tailored compound from a choice of about a hundred they use and I have always found they just work really well. Pagid make some very good competition pads (useless on the road) but that quality doesn't seem to filter down to the road pads in my experience.

As Brian says above, plain disks are the way to go. No reason to put holes in any disk today, grooves just generate noise and dust. If I had a Lamborghini there is a case for using J-hooks but not on anything I have :(

Some (but not all) Brembo standard disks are a step up in quality. You can tell them from the black painted non-friction area. Can't see them for an E30 at the moment. I have never had an ATE disk bad for balance or runout, they are what I use if I cannot get good Brembos.

I think any one of the main brands of pads, ATE, Jurid, Pagid, Textar etc along with some good plain disks will be all you need. No point spending more where you don't have to as it sounds like you have enough to spend on the rest of it. 8O
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ChrisHC
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Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:29 pm

Brianmoooore wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:33 pm
First thing to do is to check the brake linkage. The RHD conversion on the E30 brakes was a bit of a fudge, with the brake cylinder being left in the LHD position, and connected to the brake pedal by a linkage with many pivot points. A small amount of wear in all of these adds up to make a big difference in pedal position and the amount of throw available.
The pull rod that goes across the car in the cabin, behind the heater box, has a LH thread on one end and a RH thread on the other, so turning it adjusts its length. Loosen the lock nut and turn it until the brake pedal lifts up to just short of how high it can go. There are two flats on the rod, near where it passes the clutch pedal, that allow you to turn it with a 7 (?) mm spanner.
Do you have drum brakes on the rear? The shoes should adjust for wear automatically, but the mechanism can seize, resulting in a lot of pedal travel being used in just pushing the rear cylinders out.
Are the front wheel bearings good? Any wobble in a wheel with a disc brake will push the pads further off of the disc than intended, and will use pedal travel just pushing them back in again.
Are all the rubber brake hoses good? Ideally you need the car on a ramp, and someone pushing the brake pedal hard with the engine running. Defective hoses can swell alarmingly.
Has the brake fluid been changed in the last two years? Is it bled properly? Bleed it right through with a pressure bleeder and new fluid.
Finally, if none of the above, brake master cylinders can become defective and allow air into the system.
A friend of mine has a 1984 635 Csi, which has similarly poor brakes. As it is a near contemporary, I have suggested to him that it may have a similar set-up, does anyone know if that is the case?
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Brianmoooore
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Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:51 am

The mechanism involves two bell cranks and a pull rod, so there are similarities.
http://2009.bmwfans.info/parts/catalog/ ... se/pedals/
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TheWolfman
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Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:34 am

So in the end I just went with what I could get at Europarts at a decent price as there was 50% on Brake bits as an Easter Promotion.This allowed me to get all four discs & pads
(Pagid) ,cleaner and new brake fluid for £120. Considering that was the price I was just going to pay for the front that's pretty sweet :D

I wanted to get some new shoes for the back but they were out of stock, so just need to get hold of them.

I will hopefully get around to fitting this week and flushing brakes etc.I'll keep you updated with how it goes etc
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Brianmoooore
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Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:54 am

So you do have drums at the rear? It's important that the hand brake cables do not have any tension on them with the handbrake fully off, otherwise the self adjusting mechanism for the rear shoes won't work, resulting in a long pedal.
The uninitiated, including many 'professionals' in the garage trade who should know better, see the adjuster nuts at the base of the handbrake lever as a way of tightening up the handbrake, which it will for a short period. The nuts at the handbrake are a one time only adjustment (with a check a few weeks later) when fitting new cables, which must be set so that they are just slack with the lever fully down.
This applies to E30s with rear discs as well, as well as all other BMW models with a similar handbrake arrangement.
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TheWolfman
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Thu May 09, 2019 7:21 pm

Wellll.... so it turns out that I do indeed have Drums at the rear, although checking the parts suggested that I had discs on the back.Once I got the wheels off though,I most definetly had Drums, so those rear discs went back pretty sharpish.Upon getting the system bled and looking at the front brakes the drivers side was seizing and the whole lot was in a pretty bad state so I took the decision to give them a complete overhaul, rebuild them and fit new hoses.To say that it was a supreme pain in backside would be an understatement! :mad:

Got them cleaned up nice now though ,and ready to paint:


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IMG_1673.jpg
TheWolfman
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Thu May 09, 2019 7:31 pm

Paint job done:

IMG_1679.JPG
Lookin' tasty right!??..... :cool:

Just kidding obviously.That's just the ol' K-Rust on there doing it's thing.

I'm not sure about how to best go about painting them.The car is in 'Arktisblau', which I have some basecoat of. I'm kind of tempted to paint them in that, but that means a lot of priming, and clearcoating.I've painted a lot of bodywork ,but never calipers so not sure about it holding up as good as some dedicated 'Caliper/VHT Paint' but I've seen a lot of mixed opinions on this matter, though it would certainly be quicker,in which case I'd go for either a silver or black....opinions?
TheWolfman
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Thu May 09, 2019 7:33 pm

Also thankyou Brian for the Handbrake info.Will definetly come in useful when I get around to the 'backend'! I've got some new springs for the drums...I'm looking forward to that no doubt being an infuriating process!
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Thu May 09, 2019 11:08 pm

I was wondering how to tactfully tell you your paint job is crap :)
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TheWolfman
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Thu May 09, 2019 11:27 pm

:D You think that looks crap??Should have gone to Specsavers mate! I call it 'Purple Rain...

The K-rust is actually black as night now, looks kinda cool on it own.Decided to go against 2k, way too much aggro for something thats barely seen behind bottletops and more importantly I also need to get my wheels back on! Think some black hammerite may be the order of the day :beer:
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paultv
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Fri May 10, 2019 5:30 am

Simplest paint is specific colors of brake caliper enamel, fast drying rock hard and heat resistant, I've used this after cleaning and some K rust type treatment, paint on top, no piddling about with 2 pack, lasts for years, and my car does extreme mileage in all weathers.

Paul :-)
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http://bmwe30cabriolet-wdm.blogspot.de/
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Brianmoooore
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Fri May 10, 2019 8:22 am

paultv wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 5:30 am
my car does extreme mileage in all weathers.
For the benefit of anyone reading this who is unfamiliar with paultv and his E30, that is the understatement of the year!
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Fri May 10, 2019 9:06 am

paultv wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 5:30 am
Simplest paint is specific colors of brake caliper enamel, fast drying rock hard and heat resistant, I've used this after cleaning and some K rust type treatment, paint on top, no piddling about with 2 pack, lasts for years, and my car does extreme mileage in all weathers.

Paul :-)
i remember painting 2 wings & a bumper on a mates old mini in brake caliper painr, & it took a right beating over a good few winters,

that stuff is unreal.
if it's got t*ts or wheels it's bound to be trouble...............prove me wrong.
getting oral sex off an ugly person is like rock climbing.....don't look down ;)
TheWolfman
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Wed May 15, 2019 9:10 pm

Got the rebuilt Calipers on....brake performance is much improved, although I think now it's all basically happening at the front end.Had a few hairy moments when first driving around as the brakes were way more responsive I was locking them quite easily as I was so used to having to put my foot nearly all the way to the floor. One particular pant filling moment was about 5mins after going for the first drive after rebuild and naturally it started raining. I was coming down a hill and locked and slid for about 10 meters having to avoid getting intimate with the driver in front by bumping the verge to get some stopping assistance!!.... 8O :? :mad:

IMG_1710.JPG
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Anyone notice anything 'odd' about the second picture btw?
TheWolfman
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Tue May 21, 2019 11:20 pm

Turns out that there may well have been a reason for all the sliding around afterall! It seems that after rebuilding the front calipers all the braking was definetly happening almost exclusively on the front end. I noticed after a few days that the Brake Fluid Reservoire was really low, after having just topped it up to Max after finishing rebuild and bleed.after having a good nose around I noticed the back passenger side drum was leaking fluid quite badly...

IMG_1808.JPG
Fluid and Gunk ALL over the drum, the shoes had hardly anything left on them and what there was left had as much about possibility of creating friction as an ice cream between a well oiled bumcrack

Seems like maybe the whole brake system was maybe never really properly pressurised (but just full of air) and now it's up to pressure the drums cylinders reveal their true colours.

One thing that I thought might be a bit of useful info is that after having many a wrangling with stuck bolts, in particular HUB locator screws I've found the easiest method by far (after trying most ones I know) to get the f'in things moving is to use a centre punch and bang a notch into the bolts edge that you can then use to angle the centre punch and bang the screw in the right rotation to get it turning.

IMG_1812.JPG
IMG_1823.JPG
I'm sure that's no news to many, but thought photo's might help someone out there who's been banging their head against a grotty wheel hub trying to get one of these lil so-an-so's out
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