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      01-08-2019, 07:53 PM   #1
NicksN20F30
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328i brake system upgrade thoughts

I have a base 328i with the stock base brakes. Personally I think they are awful (at least for my spirited driving) and definitely don't make me feel comfortable under heavy braking or braking from high speeds.

I'd like to purchase a BBK, but the price for a kit is extremely expensive (brembo, stoptech, even oem m-sport, etc.) I know brakes are not something to cheap out on so I come here asking for any thoughts on how to improve my brakes.

I was thinking about getting drilled rotors, carbon pad and better brake fluid. No specific brands yet, just thinking about cheaper alternatives to shelling out $2k-$3k for a BBK.

Any thoughts on this? Also suggestions on brands for pads & rotors appreciated. Or would this all be a waste of money in the end?

As ugly as the base brakes are and how much I'd love a nice set of fat brembo's, stopping more reliably is most important.

Or should I just save $$$ and eventually get a BBK?

Note: My brake system is in good condition. The pads have plenty of life left on them, rotors are good, no warping or rough spots and my brake fluid is fine as well. So that isn't the reason for the poor performance of these brakes.
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      01-08-2019, 08:05 PM   #2
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You will see a nice improvement with just changing the pads. Drilled rotors only benefit you if you do a lot of extremely hard braking (allows the gasses to vent) which is more for track use. Brake fluid doesn't really do much.

Brembo should have replacement pads for your setup.
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      01-08-2019, 08:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
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You will see a nice improvement with just changing the pads.
Agreed. Look at the options for Porterfield & Hawk pads. Usually you can expect more dust on your wheels with improved braking.
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      01-08-2019, 08:16 PM   #4
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I'm on the same stock brakes. Just pads alone will help a lot, I'd suggest trying that first. If you're going to upgrade rotors, go slotted over drilled. The combination of RBF 600, EBC Reds, ECS slotted rotors, and SS lines performs better than you'd expect on track. There are many pad options, for a OE+ try out Akebono, further than that an Porterfield or EBC offering.

Just know that brake performance is really dependent on tires. Big brakes are good for big heat absorption, not necessarily stopping quicker.
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      01-08-2019, 08:21 PM   #5
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Thank you everyone for the feedback so far. I will look into suggested brands and it's good to know I have other options. I can't see myself tracking the car so it doesn't have to be over the top. I'm also going for a kind of sleeper build in the sense that I don't have many aesthetic mods but rather performance. So base brakes with better stopping power should be perfect. Eventually I'll buy a BBK, keep the bright colors down but for now, this helps a lot. Thanks again everyone
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      01-08-2019, 08:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicksN20F30 View Post
Thank you everyone for the feedback so far. I will look into suggested brands and it's good to know I have other options. I can't see myself tracking the car so it doesn't have to be over the top. I'm also going for a kind of sleeper build in the sense that I don't have many aesthetic mods but rather performance. So base brakes with better stopping power should be perfect. Eventually I'll buy a BBK, keep the bright colors down but for now, this helps a lot. Thanks again everyone
Let us know which pads you choose since I and probably others will be looking to also upgrade their pads
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      01-08-2019, 09:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicksN20F30 View Post
Thank you everyone for the feedback so far. I will look into suggested brands and it's good to know I have other options. I can't see myself tracking the car so it doesn't have to be over the top. I'm also going for a kind of sleeper build in the sense that I don't have many aesthetic mods but rather performance. So base brakes with better stopping power should be perfect. Eventually I'll buy a BBK, keep the bright colors down but for now, this helps a lot. Thanks again everyone
Let us know which pads you choose since I and probably others will be looking to also upgrade their pads
if you want the brembos/bbk sometimes you'll see it in the marketplace for sale $1200 to $1500. you can also look in the m3/m4 forum for the blue brembos $800 to $1k. rotors wont work so you'll have to buy new ones.
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      01-08-2019, 09:03 PM   #8
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Will do. Looking around, hawk has both front and rears at good price point for street and light track pads. But will keep looking. Will update once decided.
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      01-08-2019, 09:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Tony_ View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicksN20F30 View Post
Thank you everyone for the feedback so far. I will look into suggested brands and it's good to know I have other options. I can't see myself tracking the car so it doesn't have to be over the top. I'm also going for a kind of sleeper build in the sense that I don't have many aesthetic mods but rather performance. So base brakes with better stopping power should be perfect. Eventually I'll buy a BBK, keep the bright colors down but for now, this helps a lot. Thanks again everyone
Let us know which pads you choose since I and probably others will be looking to also upgrade their pads
if you want the brembos/bbk sometimes you'll see it in the marketplace for sale $1200 to $1500. you can also look in the m3/m4 forum for the blue brembos $800 to $1k. rotors wont work so you'll have to buy new ones.
Was looking around there for some as well. I'll keep looking and maybe a good deal will pop up. Thanks
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      01-08-2019, 10:08 PM   #10
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You can also look for used 335i brake set, that should be good upgrade at low cost.
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      01-09-2019, 02:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicksN20F30 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwchue View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Tony_ View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicksN20F30 View Post
Thank you everyone for the feedback so far. I will look into suggested brands and it's good to know I have other options. I can't see myself tracking the car so it doesn't have to be over the top. I'm also going for a kind of sleeper build in the sense that I don't have many aesthetic mods but rather performance. So base brakes with better stopping power should be perfect. Eventually I'll buy a BBK, keep the bright colors down but for now, this helps a lot. Thanks again everyone
Let us know which pads you choose since I and probably others will be looking to also upgrade their pads
if you want the brembos/bbk sometimes you'll see it in the marketplace for sale $1200 to $1500. you can also look in the m3/m4 forum for the blue brembos $800 to $1k. rotors wont work so you'll have to buy new ones.
Was looking around there for some as well. I'll keep looking and maybe a good deal will pop up. Thanks
yea I found a set of m3 calipers with pads for $900 and then bought some drilled slotted rotors for $300. About $100 in brake bleed pump and brake fluid. There was a used gold BBK for $1200 but I wanted the blue to match my estoril blue car. so $1300 was worth it
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      01-09-2019, 08:59 PM   #12
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Don't waster your time upgrading the rotors, you will not notice any improvement there. Also, unless you're on the track, where you could potentially boil over the fluid, reg brake fluid is fine. Just make sure your bleed the system often to get the air out. You will notice the brakes being more "responsive" when you do. Just takes the mushy feel out of the system by removing the air out of the lines. Stainless steel lines also would help with that.

Better pads (more performance oriented pads) will definitely help with stopping power. I like PFC pads from my experience (Porsches and M3), but have no idea if hey make a pad for the 3 series, i bet they do.
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      01-09-2019, 09:34 PM   #13
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I kinda knew rotors wouldn't make a big improvement, I figured I'd get some slotted half for the look and half because by the time I do pads and stainless steel lines (at the least), I'll probably need to replace the rotors anyways. I can't imagine I'd do a track day but on some spirited back road driving with many turns I may just get better brake fluid. Correct me if I'm wrong, but performance brake fluid wouldn't change braking for daily driving? So mine as well for those days of hard braking here and there.

Also I will check out used kits for 335 or m3. Would there be any fitment issues (besides wheels clearance)? Like with the brackets?
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      01-14-2019, 05:21 PM   #14
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I recommend stoptech rotors and pads
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      01-19-2019, 11:37 PM   #15
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I had StopTech Sport pads and stainless limes on my F22 and it made a big difference. I also went with ATE fluid and did a fluid flush and the pedal feel was awesome. Tons more brake dust though because of the softer pad compound. The wear sensors didn't fit the pads so I just tied them up. I am going this route with the F31 as well but will add slotted rotors from StopTech' cryogenically treated line. Spent less than $500 total and made a huge difference for street and mountain roads.
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      01-22-2019, 06:33 PM   #16
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I had the same dilemma as you. But from my experience race teams use stock brake sizes in endurance racing and it works for them. The setup just needs to be right.

Anyways here is my setup for fun spirited driving and back rounds that has not faded yet and brake feel is improved over stock Base brakes along with stopping power.

*E90 Sedan or Coupe 2007 to 2012 rotors are exact same as the F30 with 312mm front and 300mm rear base brakes*

Slotted Rotors (I Believe they are PowerSlot Rotors)
Hawk HPS 5.0 pads
Goodrich Stainless lines
Motul RBF600 Fluid
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      01-22-2019, 06:54 PM   #17
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I had the same dilemma as you. But from my experience race teams use stock brake sizes in endurance racing and it works for them. The setup just needs to be right.

Anyways here is my setup for fun spirited driving and back rounds that has not faded yet and brake feel is improved over stock Base brakes along with stopping power.

*E90 Sedan or Coupe 2007 to 2012 rotors are exact same as the F30 with 312mm front and 300mm rear base brakes*

Slotted Rotors (I Believe they are PowerSlot Rotors)
Hawk HPS 5.0 pads
Goodrich Stainless lines
Motul RBF600 Fluid
That's very helpful. I didn't know e90 rotors would fit. I guess I just never thought of it. I will probably good a similar route to this. Thanks
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      01-24-2019, 04:31 PM   #18
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Yeah, some pieces from the older gen usually are compatible with the new gen as I have found from time to time when I get the cars in to the shop and check on the parts etc.
For this setup I confirmed with NAPA, Autozone, and Oreilly. Also checked part numbers and all match and checked out. So Pulled the trigger and all fits and was the same. This only works if you are a Sedan or coupe and only get the Sedan or coupe brakes for the e90.
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