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So I’m gong to need brakes sometime this year

I’d like to put on drilled rotors for the look. I don’t track or do canyons.

What’s the consensus on drilled? Did they solve the cracking issues?

If I install Eline (Chinese) from Amazon will they last 50k miles? Or will I have to redo it in 20k?

I put brakes on so seldom I don’t even know what the industry standards are.

Thanks.


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For these cars, drilled isn’t much of an upgrade if at all. They’re more expensive, more prone to cracking, and blanks do great. I would just get better blanks.
 

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For these cars, drilled isn’t much of an upgrade if at all. They’re more expensive, more prone to cracking, and blanks do great. I would just get better blanks.


While I agree I was just going for looks.
 

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While I agree I was just going for looks.


Your car, if you want it, go for it! My first brake DIY was drilled rotors, be prepared that because of the holes, there’s a, what’s the word. It was so long ago, but there was an unforeseen noise that came under medium to hard braking. I think it was because of how air is under pressure or vacuum in the holes as the pads clasp the rotor. YMMV of course.
 

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Your car, if you want it, go for it! My first brake DIY was drilled rotors, be prepared that because of the holes, there’s a, what’s the word. It was so long ago, but there was an unforeseen noise that came under medium to hard braking. I think it was because of how air is under pressure or vacuum in the holes as the pads clasp the rotor. YMMV of course.


Is the cheap (Eline) ok in your opinion or should I go with the more expensive Brembo/Stoptech/etc rotors?
 

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Is the cheap (Eline) ok in your opinion or should I go with the more expensive Brembo/Stoptech/etc rotors?


I think eline is what I had. Although there wasn’t anything inherently wrong with the product, the way it performed is not something I’d ever want to do again. The noise, honestly the way the steel looked. It looked like a cheap product, and there something always just. Weird, about the feel of the brakes. Nothing insane just, off.

It’s like when you eat the same fast food at a different location than usual - it’s fine to eat, but it’s not the same as what you’re used to, but you it’s close enough and you accept it as the same. But given the choice between that new location and the old, you’d probably prefer the original choice. Hope that analogy makes sense.
 

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I think eline is what I had. Although there wasn’t anything inherently wrong with the product, the way it performed is not something I’d ever want to do again. The noise, honestly the way the steel looked. It looked like a cheap product, and there something always just. Weird, about the feel of the brakes. Nothing insane just, off.

It’s like when you eat the same fast food at a different location than usual - it’s fine to eat, but it’s not the same as what you’re used to, but you it’s close enough and you accept it as the same. But given the choice between that new location and the old, you’d probably prefer the original choice. Hope that analogy makes sense.


Thanks for the info.

After having done some reading it looks like Zimmerman are made in Germany and FCP has a drilled set for sale.

Now I just need to decide which pad to use. :-/

There’s a lot of choices!

Suggestions?
 

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PFC-Z pads. Great possible modulation when cold, one or two good stops makes it bite right at the top and hard. Lots of brake dust if that's important to you though.
 

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I have spare new rear M3 rotors and M3 calipers.
Your write up talks about machining the front carriers to put M3 on 330i.
Already have csl upgrade on front.
What is required to put the rear M3parts on my 330i?
 

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Anyone noticed that rear calipers are different between 330i and 330xi\xd ? Xi\xd calipers are 34216768423\34216768424 , and RWD calipers are 34216765883\34216765884

https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/partxref?id=EV53-USA-06-2002-E46-BMW-330i&mg=34&sg=10&diagId=34_1013&q=34216765883&series=E46 RWD 42\22
https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/partxref?id=EW53-USA-06-2002-E46-BMW-330xi&mg=34&sg=10&diagId=34_1013&q=34216768423&series=E46 AWD 40\22

Interesting enough - both 40\22 and 42\22 calipers are listed as proper rear calipers for Euro 325i :eek:

So is it any real life difference between 330i and 330xi? I'm planning to rebuild my calipers\buy rebuilt ones, and I'm curious about if installing RWD calipers will get any measurable pros\cons
 

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I picked up a set of xi trailing arms Friday in anticipation of doing this swap and got to wondering if I should bother with the intermediary step of using 330i calipers and rotors or if I should go straight to where I'll ultimately end up, which is the 996 calipers on Rally Road brackets and CSL rotors. In researching that I noticed that Rally Road suggests using E38 750i rear rotors as that gets you the 327x20 rotor size, but retains the 325i's 6-1/2" parking brake drum. Does anybody have any input to further confirm this? I was kind of surprised that I hadn't seen this as an option anywhere else.

I'm still going to use the xi RTAs that I got as it will be much easier to clean them up and have them rebuilt and ready to go when it comes time to do my swap, but I thought that it might deserve mention in this already great thread.
 

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//Binary is in my DNA
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I picked up a set of xi trailing arms Friday in anticipation of doing this swap and got to wondering if I should bother with the intermediary step of using 330i calipers and rotors or if I should go straight to where I'll ultimately end up, which is the 996 calipers on Rally Road brackets and CSL rotors. In researching that I noticed that Rally Road suggests using E38 750i rear rotors as that gets you the 327x20 rotor size, but retains the 325i's 6-1/2" parking brake drum. Does anybody have any input to further confirm this? I was kind of surprised that I hadn't seen this as an option anywhere else.

I'm still going to use the xi RTAs that I got as it will be much easier to clean them up and have them rebuilt and ready to go when it comes time to do my swap, but I thought that it might deserve mention in this already great thread.
I think the Xi uses the 185mm parking brake drum, same as the 330. The 325 like mine uses the 160mm parking brake drum and the 750i info is something I have not heard of either. 160mm is so small, I can't imagine the 750i using that size but lets find out!

The parking brake is something I still need to deal with on my BBK. Some have made 12.5mm spacers pressed and pinned into the rotor drums and some have fabricated special shoes with a set of 325 and 330 shoes together.

The 750i rotor sounds interesting for sure. Can you provide a link to the Rally Road 750i rotor suggestion info? I looked on their site and can't find it
 

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I think the Xi uses the 185mm parking brake drum, same as the 330. The 325 like mine uses the 160mm parking brake drum and the 750i info is something I have not heard of either. 160mm is so small, I can't imagine the 750i using that size but lets find out!

The parking brake is something I still need to deal with on my BBK. Some have made 12.5mm spacers pressed and pinned into the rotor drums and some have fabricated special shoes with a set of 325 and 330 shoes together.

The 750i rotor sounds interesting for sure. Can you provide a link to the Rally Road 750i rotor suggestion info? I looked on their site and can't find it
This is absolutely right, and the reason that I went and got these trailing arms out of the yard.

I cross referenced every which way on RealOEM, and while the E38 750i doesn't appear to use any of the same parking brake hardware as the E46 325i, it does appear to be the same general diameter.

I've seen the suggestions for sleeving the drum section of the rotor, fine until you need to replace rotors, and even custom shoes, fine until you need to replace shoes, and found neither to be ideal and thus opted to do it right and swap the trailing arms, axles, and output shafts.

Rally Road mentions the 750i rotor just in passing on the page for their rear 996 non-M brackets. I should probably reach out to them for clarification, you'd said that you got great customer service from them. I'll do that after the holiday.

Rally Road said:
The E38 750i rear rotors are the same 328x20mm size and offset as the E46 M3 rear rotor, but have a smaller parking brake to help retain that function.
 

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This is absolutely right, and the reason that I went and got these trailing arms out of the yard.

I cross referenced every which way on RealOEM, and while the E38 750i doesn't appear to use any of the same parking brake hardware as the E46 325i, it does appear to be the same general diameter.

I've seen the suggestions for sleeving the drum section of the rotor, fine until you need to replace rotors, and even custom shoes, fine until you need to replace shoes, and found neither to be ideal and thus opted to do it right and swap the trailing arms, axles, and output shafts.

Rally Road mentions the 750i rotor just in passing on the page for their rear 996 non-M brackets. I should probably reach out to them for clarification, you'd said that you got great customer service from them. I'll do that after the holiday.
From my research, the E38 parking brake drum is 180mm, a little smaller than the 185mm of the 330/xi rear rotors but not small enough for the 325.

I am also avoiding the ring for the exact same reason of the ability to swap rotors without additional machining and as far as the shoes go, the current ones have been on there 18 years and still good so I can't imagine wearing out a custom set in any amount of time. :dunno:

I would try shooting Eric a message from his website, he called me in less than an hour. He is probably working today.
 

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Alright, I've got that sorted. Rally Road was referring to using the 750i rotors when doing the 996 brake upgrade on your E36 M3 as they have a 334x32 dimension with the same 180mm parking brake drum as the E36 M3. Unfortunately this won't work for the E46 325i's 160mm parking brake, so the 330i trailing arm swap is completely necessary unless you want to sleeve your parking brake drum or use custom pads.
 

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Is there any reason rear upgrade kits are not widely available for OEM M135 etc upgrades? The dust shield seems to be a direct replacement from 330 to M3. Is it due to the parking brake/hoses/caliper replacement not being made with a revised bracket?
 

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Is there any reason rear upgrade kits are not widely available for OEM M135 etc upgrades? The dust shield seems to be a direct replacement from 330 to M3. Is it due to the parking brake/hoses/caliper replacement not being made with a revised bracket?
Without knowing anything about brake bias or pedal feel... There were threads with some information before.

- Rear 135i does not fit with 330 disc offset is wrong: https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpost.php?p=14223342&postcount=33

- Rear 135i fits with e46 m3 disc, 2mm of the disc is not swept: https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpost.php?p=16009864&postcount=39

I don't know the implications, if any, of a 2mm rust ridge that never wears on the outside edge of the disc.
 

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