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E60 (545i) Front Brake Pad and Disc Replacement

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Andrew Rolland View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Andrew Rolland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: E60 (545i) Front Brake Pad and Disc Replacement
    Posted: 26-February-2012 at 17:35

E60 (545i SE) Front brake pad and disc replacement.  I also bleed all four callipers.  See this post for more details on how to bleed the E60 braking system.

 

Tools you will need

 

Trolley jack

Two axle stands and blocks of wood to protect jack points

Large flat blade screwdriver

6mm Allen key for disc retaining screw

7mm Allen key for calliper retaining bolts

8mm Allen key for pollen filter removal

T25 Torx bot for removing pollen filter base unit

18mm socket for calliper cradle retaining bolts

11mm open ended spanner for front bleed nipples

9mm open ended spanner for rear brake bleed nipples

Long nose pliers

A brake bleed kit

Two litres of BMW DOT 4 Brake Fluid

My dad and my mate Chris to help.

 

My CBS servicing had indicated on Saturday that there was only 2,200 miles to go in the pads, I could feel a lip on the extreme edge of the discs and I could see that there wasn’t much in the way of pad friction material left so I replaced both discs and all four pads.  I also bleed the system which wasn’t due to April but I might as well all do it together.  Pads and discs are original to the car when it rolled off the production line in May 2004, 70,500 miles ago.  A new brake pad wear sensor is required as the iDrive system will not reset with a worn sensor fitted.

 

I used Textar E60 brake pads, Pagid brake pad wear sensor (both bought from Eurocar Parts) and genuine BMW brake discs.  The pads are standard across the decent models of the E60 range so pads for my beast will fit anything from a 525i upwards, but the discs are different on the V8 E60s from the other models.  My discs are a monstrous 348mm in diameter.  Which meant sourcing the pads was dead easy but the discs proved problematic.  I ordered Jurid discs, thinking they were OEM but they didn’t fit, were single piece and weighed 12kg.  They went back and a pair of genuine discs were ordered from BMW Harry Fairbairn who very kindly beat other dealers prices.  All other aftermarket brake discs are not two piece and are thus very heavy at 12kg and not 10.5kg.

 

OEM brake pads at ATE, the calliper and cradle were stamped ATE also.  The discs are not marked with anything to indicate the manufacturer.  No advice was obtained as to who make the genuine discs from my E60.

 

Jack up via the centre cross member mount (part #9) and place axle stands at each front wheel jacking point.  Because I have sports setting suspension, my E60 is lower than the normal SE so I have to drive it onto planks of wood to allow sufficient height for me to slid in my trolley jack under the centre jacking point

 

Remove each road wheel.

 

You are now looking at this

 
 
Remove spring retaining clip using flat blade screwdriver, lever towards rear of car.

 

The nearside wheel has the brake pad wear sensor which is clipped to the inboard pad.  The calliper is a floating calliper so only has one piston on the inboard side.  The calliper is fixed to the cradle via two bolts (7mm Allen key).  The calliper bolts are behind the two black plugs which need to be prised out, once the bolts have been undone you may need to pull them out using a pair of pliers.  The two hex bolts are the calliper cradle retaining bolts.

 

 

On the nearside only, unplug the brake pad wear sensor from within the black box fitted to the back of the wheel arch.  The sensor is the white one, press the small clip and pull apart.

 

 

You now need to unclip the rubber grommet on the sensor lead from the bracket in the strut

 

 

Once you have removed the calliper bolts you need to retract the piston in the calliper to allow it to be lifted clear of the disc (partly because my discs were so worn and had a lip to clear) and the calliper cradle.  To do this I undid the bleed nipple and pulled the calliper towards the hub, this has the effect of retracting the piston, the displaced fluid going out the bleed nipple and via my brake bleed kit into a jam jar and not up into the ASC/ABS unit. 

 

Calliper removed showing pads still clipped in place.

 

 

Calliper tied via string from the coil spring and supported by trolley jack, using a screwdriver to lock the disc to allow the disc retaining screw to be removed (6mm Allen key) using the cradle to brace against.

 

 

You need to unclip the pads from the calliper, I had to tap the outside pad out with the rubber mallet but the inboard pad simply unclips from the piston and then clip in the new pads.  Calliper with pads removed showing piston and seal.

You may need to retract the calliper piston a bit more, firstly undo the bleed nipple and fit brake bleed kit to catch the fluid, if it won’t move my hand use a G clamp and a block of wood to retract it….as the new pads and discs are a lot thicker than the ones I took off.  This is where I ran in to a problem on the offside wheel.  I could not get the calliper piston to retract even though the bleed screw was open.  I removed the bleed screw from the calliper after first clamping the hydraulic hose.  Turns out the bleed nipple was blocked.  I used a single strand of BT wire to clean out the bore which was full of grit and sludge.  The rubber cover to the nipple wasn’t fitted over the nipple allowing muck to get in.  The photo below shows the cleaned up nipple and the grit I removed from it.

 

Before you can remove the disc you need to remove the calliper cradle.  Photo below shows the two bolts you need to remove viewed from above

 

 

Cradle removed

 

 

You now need to persuade the disc to come away from the hub. This was achieved by my dad rotating the disc while I hit it with a rubber mallet.  Few blows and the disc came away.

 

I measure the thickness of the old disc, 28.10mm ahem, minimum thickness in 28.40mm!  The new discs are 30.00 mm thick so you aren’t really allowed much wear on the disc.  Still the pads and disc on my E60 have been on since new in June 2004 so not bad really for 70,500 miles.

 

Old and new brake pad wear sensor.

 

 

Old and new brake pads.

 

 

New disc and pads

 

 

Calliper cradle retaining bolts

 

 

Calliper retaining bolts which allows the calliper to slide, short bolt is top bolt.

 

 

To re-assemble, I fitted the discs first, I needed help here, to hold the disc in position while trying to align the brake disc screw.  I had cleaned up the hub flange and put a smear of high temperature grease between the surface of the hub flange and the disc.  This means it should come off in the future without having to hit it with a hammer!

 

Re-fit the cradle and torque bolts to 110Nm.

 

Clip new pads to the calliper, the pads have different clips, so only one pad will fit to the calliper and one will clip into the piston.

 

Lift the calliper with pads on to the cradle and re-fit calliper bolts and torque to 30Nm.  You will now notice that the calliper sits in a different position to the bolt heads as it slides its way along the cradle as the pads wear.  Re-fit plastic caps.  Re-fit spring clip, this was tricky again as the calliper is now in a different position on the cradle, it took two of us to persuade it into position.

The new brake pad wear sensor was clipped into place on the inboard pad, the new sensor is not long enough to touch the disc which equates to the 25,000 miles of wear which is an estimate of the amount of mileage before the sensor indicates that the pads are now wearing.  When the iDrive is reset it defaults to a value of 25,000 miles.  You need to fit a new brake pad wear sensor to allow the iDrive to be re-set.

 

 

Finished installation

 

Bleed the brakes, which is where my mate Chris came in handy, he stayed clean enough to get in the car to pump the brake pedal.

Re-fit road wheels and lower car to the ground.

 

Re-set the iDrive.  I reset the brake fluid, easily enough but I hit a snag with the brake pad warning.  It went to -9000 miles and lit up red on resetting.  A Google search later revealed that this is a common problem.  The cure to get it to reset is perseverance as it may take several attempts.  So after at least half a dozen attempts the system finally recognised the new wear sensor and re-set itself to 25,000 miles.

 

Lovely 25,000 miles to go before new pads may be required.  Although I got over 70,000 out of the originals!

 

 

Andrew

 
Edit to correct link


Edited by Andrew Rolland - 27-February-2012 at 08:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Inept Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-July-2012 at 22:06
Andrew  - how long does it take a competent mechanic to change/replace all four discs and pads.
 
Thanks for any info.
 
regards


Edited by Inept - 24-July-2012 at 22:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Andrew Rolland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-July-2012 at 15:25
A competent mechaninc should be able to do that in probably somewhere between 2 and 3 hours I would guess, assuming nothing went wrong i.e. siezed bolts etc.
 
I was only jacking up one wheel at a time, if it was on a ramp it would be a walk in the park in terms of access as you don't need to crawl about on a cold garage floor.
 
I think it took us about 4 hours including a full brake fluid change and the fact I was slowed down by a gummed up bleed nipple which I had to remove and clean out before I could retract that callipers piston.  And I'm just an untrained ape with a spanner.Wink
 
Now my CBS is saying 28,000 miles to go till front brake pad renewal and I've done over 2,500 miles since I changed them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Inept Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-July-2012 at 16:33
Thanks Andrew - It's just that I was charged just under 3 hrs albeit from an £42/hr Garage. So he was just about ok on time!  Thanks for prompt reply.
 
regards Tony
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andrew Rolland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-July-2012 at 08:19
Sounds o.k. to me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andrew Rolland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-January-2014 at 21:15
Originally posted by Andrew Rolland Andrew Rolland wrote:

Although I got over 70,000 out of the originals!


Which means that they should need replacing at 95,000 miles.

It's now nearly two years later and I have now done 82,100 miles, so 12,000 miles into the new pads and the iDrive is now saying



So they don't need replacing till 121,000 miles.

Just shows you that the CBS is watching you all the time, how you drive and adjusting accordingly the service intervals!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robin814 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-January-2014 at 22:02
Glad you seen the sense to change radio stations lol
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andrew Rolland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-January-2014 at 08:14
I wondered how long before someone would notice that!
 
First pics would have been when Chris Moyles was still doing the Breakfast Show.  When Moyles left, so did I!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-October-2016 at 20:02
Hi Andrew, brilliant talk through of how to take care of brakes yourself!Clap
My pads have just come up on the dash for re-newel so have been trawling web pages/youtube until I came across this. Some people have said use copper grease on the back of the pads but you have not mentioned this. What is the benefit of copper grease on the pads or is there any and why do some people do this?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andrew Rolland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-October-2016 at 22:43
I used copper grease on the contact points between the brake pads and the caliper cradle. You can see it in the "finished installation" photo, it's the copper coloured smears. You only really need it where the pads move over the cradle to stop any noise.

I never got any noise from the front or rear brakes after I changed them.

Edited by Andrew Rolland - 13-October-2016 at 22:48
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