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M3AN

e36 M3 Brakes, Street & Infrequent Track, OEM or Aftermarket?

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I need new brakes, all of them. My front and rear rotors are worn, my brake lines are 150k kms old and my rear pads are shot... :(

There have been a couple of brake discussions here recently that have had me fascinated and I need to decide where to go. Some of my price research so far indicates:

OEM Rotors/Calipers/Pads/Lines - 4 corners (F315mm)

NZ Dealer - $2800 ("floating" front rotors, 6 lines)

NZ OEM Discount - $2000 (as above but may not have BMW branding)

US OEM Discount - $1700 (as above, approx NZ$ inc shipping and duty)

NZ non-floating - $1400 (one piece front rotors)

BBK Rotors/Calipers/Pads/Lines - 4 corners (F325mm)

UUC/Wilwood BBK - $3000 (6-pot (sl6) + 4-pot (sl4), one piece rotors, landed)

UUC/Wilwood BBK - $2500 (4-pot + 4-pot, one piece rotors, landed)

UUC/Wilwood BBK - $3500 (6-pot + 4-pot, two piece front rotors, landed)

Essex - $5000+ landed

Brembo - $4200+ landed

AP Racing - $6000+ landed

StopTech = $?

Racing Brakes = $?

Others = $?

Now, I really have a street car that sees the occasional corporate track day and the less frequent club track day. I realise the stock brakes on the 3.2 e36 M3 are great but when you weigh up the above prices it seems silly not to consider a BBK. And to be honest I'd put a certain (unknown) value on the bling factor of a BBK.

Does anybody have anything bad to say about the Wilwood SL6/SL4?

If I went with this combo I'd probably elect to trade pistons for rotors (i.e 6 piston 1 piece instead of 4 piston 2 piece), given my limited track days I think a two piece (floating) rotor might be overkill with a BBK? The UUC package has the advantage of using any e46 M3 compatible rotor which is appealing.

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Be interested to see what you end up with. All my rotors will be needing replaced soon. Also did you try schmeidmann? They have oem floating fronts at a reasonable price and plenty aftermarket stuff

Edited by euroriffic

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I put a set of Wilwoods on my E30. After 3 race meetings the brakes jammed on. The pistons were pitted to hell. I took them back to the supplier who said the pitting was normal. I contacted Wilwood who offered me another set of the same brakes. I am not sure if they followed my advice but if they did they did will be walking funny.

I have a set of very lightly road used AP brakes and rotors but they only fit under 18 inch rims so I can't use them on my car.

Edited by FIAT 131R

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Those are some good prices for BBKs. I briefly considered for my 540i and it was north of $2.5K per each pair - and those were the cheapest! Brembos more like $5K a pair by the time they're landed and taxed. Where did you find those prices?

In the end I got OEM - all four rotors, SS lines and decent racing fluid for around $700 (and all bought in NZ). BBK didn't come close.

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Agree with Jeffbebe, the landed price will scare you. Its alot of steel to be airfreighted!

Look for the Front and Rear Stoptech Kit.

It has 4 rotors, 4 sets of pads, 6 brake lines, Fluid. All for a reasonable price.

I looked into this before I sold the beast, and this is probably what I would of got, had I kept the car.

Also, if you can afford to spend money locally, go see Ross at BM Workshop and he will have the ideal solution for you.

Cheers,

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Couple of comments. Look at 'kiwi shipping' (mainfreight) for reducing the freight cost. Many of my US$800 freight quotes dropped to NZ$250, slow boat thou.

When considering BBK's, especially 6pot or anything 310mm+, investigate your wheel clearance. You don't want any surprises where things don't fit of you have to then run spaces which might then require a cert.

In general, you get what you pay for here.

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Be interested to see what you end up with. All my rotors will be needing replaced soon. Also did you try schmeidmann? They have oem floating fronts at a reasonable price and plenty aftermarket stuff

I should remember to look there every time! I had a look over the weekend they come to ~NZ$770 + shipping. I'd need to use a freight forwarder to get them here cost effectively. About 20 kg's without the rear rotors and over 40 kg's with them! Since they're nothing special I could get those locally anyway.

I put a set of Wilwoods on my E30. After 3 race meetings the brakes jammed on. The pistons were pitted to hell. I took them back to the supplier who said the pitting was normal. I contacted Wilwood who offered me another set of the same brakes. I am not sure if they followed my advice but if they did they did will be walking funny.

I have a set of very lightly road used AP brakes and rotors but they only fit under 18 inch rims so I can't use them on my car.

Sounds like a bad experience, I'd expect an explanation as well. Do you know what year they were?

Couple of comments. Look at 'kiwi shipping' (mainfreight) for reducing the freight cost. Many of my US$800 freight quotes dropped to NZ$250, slow boat thou.

Yep, I'll need to use the slow boat method from either Europe or North America and yeah, I'm basing my calculations on 0.25m3 for a full set at about NZ$300 (plus duty of course).

Those are some good prices for BBKs. I briefly considered for my 540i and it was north of $2.5K per each pair - and those were the cheapest! Brembos more like $5K a pair by the time they're landed and taxed. Where did you find those prices?

In the end I got OEM - all four rotors, SS lines and decent racing fluid for around $700 (and all bought in NZ). BBK didn't come close.

I was meaning to imply that you couldn't expect to pay less than the indications above and you may pay more. I may have been a little light on the the NZ duty though so perhaps add another 200 or so to my bottom estimates. And my other prices were also a little high so the relative difference is higher. See below for corrections...

Were your replacement front rotors of the 'floating' variety?

Agree with Jeffbebe, the landed price will scare you. Its alot of steel to be airfreighted!

On a ship you pay by the cubic meter and not weight (although there are weight limits they're very, very high) which makes sense if you don't need them in a hurry. I agree that airfreight is frightening - Schmiedmann auto-quoted me US$560 for airfreight... :)

Look for the Front and Rear Stoptech Kit.

It has 4 rotors, 4 sets of pads, 6 brake lines, Fluid. All for a reasonable price.

I looked into this before I sold the beast, and this is probably what I would of got, had I kept the car.

Also, if you can afford to spend money locally, go see Ross at BM Workshop and he will have the ideal solution for you.

When considering BBK's, especially 6pot or anything 310mm+, investigate your wheel clearance. You don't want any surprises where things don't fit of you have to then run spaces which might then require a cert.

Thanks guys, appreciate and agree with the advice.

I looked at Racing Brakes and StopTech and I couldn't see any options anywhere near the UUC Wilwood offering... like 1 or 2 k more... :(

---

I've now spent a lot of time researching these Wilwood SL-4 and SL-6 calipers and they seem pretty legit. Despite the fact that there will always be some people that have bad experiences it does seem that Wilwood produce quality components. Given the comparative cost of BBK's it seems like the UUC deal is the logical combo.

So now the question is:

~$1700 local - OEM quality w/SS lines

~$1400 o/s + local - OEM quality w/SS lines (+3 weeks)

~$3200 Wilwood BBK (+3 weeks)

I'd rather buy local than save 20% on brakes to be honest... and then the difference is $1500 for a quality BBK with good cred value IMHO.

TBH I realise I'm unlikely to notice much of a difference but if you were offered a genuine BBK for ~$1500 over the (optimal) cost of OEM parts would you refuse?

Help me decide... ;)

Assuming the set in question as linked in the first post is high quality (and I do accept that) what questions should I now be asking?

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http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1012715

have a read of that article. It got my interest, as IMO the E36 M3 does not need a BBK for daily driving and light duty track days.

that is a quick google search that I found, I had a company in mind where I was going to purchase this from, but cant find it anywhere in my Chrome favourites folder. hmmmm

cheers,

Edited by nastnas

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Thanks for that link, I wasn't aware of that option. It's comparable to the Schmiedmann offering in terms of price but the WSB option only comes with 1 piece rotors.

---

I am acutely aware that an M3 doesn't need a BBK for good, even great braking and that good pads alone will suffice for the occasional track day. I don't people to think I believe otherwise.

However there's an undeniable allure with a BBK and when one has to do all four corners then that's the correct time to consider all options.

The final piece of the puzzle I need is to know if anybody is aware of a locally available, non-OEM 2 piece front rotor for the E36M (315x28) or the E46M (325x28)?

The optons I've narrowed it down to are:

  1. Complete OEM - undesirable because of the cost. The components are solid but simply don't justify the premium. (NZ$1800 - NZ$2000)
  2. OEM rear with aftermarket front rotors. If I can get good 2 piece fronts in NZ for a reasonable price then this will give me a stock setup and save a few hundred. (Price unknown, hopefully closer to NZ$1500 than NZ$2000)
  3. Aftermarket front/rear rotors. If aftermarket rear rotors are cost effective (locally available) then I see no need to use BMW rears. (Price unknown, hopefully closer to NZ$1300 than NZ$1800)
  4. Imported "stock setup" - not economical because of shipping costs unless I can't source non-OEM rotors locally. Shipping on this option would amount to ~50% of the cost of the parts. (NZ$1200 best price with slow shipping, duty included)
  5. Imported "minor upgrade" - not economical because of shipping costs unless I can't source non-OEM rotors locally. Shipping on this option would amount to ~50% of the cost of the parts. (NZ$1200 best price with slow shipping, duty included)
  6. Wilwood/UUC BBK - obviously the most expensive but you get a pretty slick setup that will take any non-competition activity that you throw at it. This setup also significantly reduces unsprung weight so you get a performance boost to boot. AP Racing actually copied the Wilwood SuperLite design for their street/track calipers and both get very positive reviews. I'm not concerned about SL6/4 quality but I have learned that Wilwood (and other brands) do make some crappy calipers too. (NZ$3000 - NZ$4000 best price with slow shipping, duty included)

Yep, a BBK is likely to at least double the cost for a marginal benefit (if any).

And my key question again just in case you didn't see it:

The final piece of the puzzle I need is to know if anybody is aware of a locally available, quality non-OEM 2 piece front rotor for the E36M (315x28) or the E46M (325x28)?

TIA

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Call cert man and check everything is good to go for brake modifications

Call up race brakes(or your other preferred supplier of 2 piece rotors). buy rotors

If they're wilwood rotors there are off the shelf bell mounts in many different offsets.

Next call up your preferred machinist (there are some that advertise they make bell mounts) and tell them you need bells at the dimensions needed

Buy hardware

Mount up and share images and great success story.

This is how i imagine it going

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Yeah. Unless you get some for of kit, OEM or aftermarket and pay the associated cost it all becomes a little overwhelming.

So I'm going to see RaceBrakes on Monday. :)

They actually recommend quite firmly against a BBK so it will be interesting to see what they have to say and how much it might cost.

Do BBK's need to be certed? RaceBrakes implies so in their info but I've not heard that before. That might be the deal breaker.

Edited by M3AN

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