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      07-28-2017, 09:34 PM   #1
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Path to the MPPK through the MPBS on my 340i (Journal)

So after getting my 340i from the dealership after a long wait (Full story here: http://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho....php?t=1375450 ) I was a little disappointed that it did not come with the M Performance brake system.

After many months of deliberation I finally made up my mind to import the brakes so I can in the future upgrade to the MPPK. Ive read a thread or two in these forums and concluded it's an upgrade worth the effort.

My first problem was that there is only one authorized BMW dealership in my country, and the prices for the brake system in any of the colors is the equivalent of 8,500$ plus installation. This didn't sit well with me at all, considering I checked online and saw that the price is actually 1,200$ to 2,200$ tops!

There were a few challenges that came to mind when I started looking into the next natural step: importing them myself. For one air freight, as they charge not only by weight (in pounds) but also by volume. Secondly, the SAT (local equivalent of the IRS) has a bad record of charging arbitrary taxes depending on who deals with your individual case, how that person is feeling, whether the moon is waxing or waning, etc... This on top of the fact that according to their internet portal, the supposed tax to be charged on car parts is already high at 34% over their value plus the freight charges combined. (total rip-off)

So my first step was to scout online dealers that had the brake system available. While it might seem easy at a glance, it seems most places require a US issued credit card, which I don't have. So I went to Ebay and found several options.

Out of the available options I had to make sure the part number was compatible with my car. I made contact with an engineer at the BMW dealership who was introduced to me as a sort of "BMW genius". He checked his computer and gave me a green light. I hope that for all the trouble I've had to go through to date, he's not wrong! Haha

Next, I spoke to the man in charge of the imports department at the courier. I negotiated a better rate of .90 cents of a $ per pound vs the regular 2.50$ given the large amount of lb I'd be bringing in (Online dealership estimated 110Lb, so I calculated 140 lb. Ended up being 160 lb) at the cost of time. If I was willing to wait 3 to 5 days longer the fee would be more favorable. He advised me to register as a car parts importer at SAT (local IRS) to get better treatment by the agents once the package was physically here, which I did, with a little help from my accountant. I won't have to pay annual fees nor be on a different tax regimen, so fine, just went for it.

So after months of groundwork, I ordered. The package reached Miami two weeks ago, and my country last Friday. Immediately it ran into trouble. SAT gave it a red light, which meant that the form and invoice submitted had to undergo a physical revision vis-a-vis the package by a designated agent. This meant a further delay of 3 to 5 days. On Monday it turned out the system was down all day, some sort of cyberattack.

Today, after 8 months of planning, they are finally here! Taxes ended up being 364.48$ (24%) and the courier costs came to 400$ (apparently these were not included in the taxable amount for some reason) for a grand total of 2234.48$ which is a saving relative to the local dealership price of 8500$ of around 73%

Originally I had planned to repaint the calipers to a black color with 3 subtle red stripes. The version I picked seemed to be bright yellow in the pictures online, but in person the tone is completely different and more closely resembles gold, which I think creates a nice contrast with the car's arctic grey metallic. I grew to like them in person.

Now I've negotiated with the dealership for a discount on the install. We'll see how it goes, I'm going to take the car and the kit in tomorrow.

It's been a looong journey to get to this point. But I think it will be worth it.-
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Last edited by Aberle; 07-29-2017 at 11:39 AM.
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      07-29-2017, 11:32 AM   #2
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Wow! That's crazy what you had to go through. Thanks for sharing, seems we have it easy in the U.S. ...

Post some pictures when it's finished!

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      07-29-2017, 05:02 PM   #3
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Thank you sir. I went to drop it in today. Here are a few pics to compare the before and after later on.

As mentioned, the brakes seemed like a bright yellow color while checking them out online, but more closely resemble gold in person. It seems it's difficult to capture the exact tone in a picture, but one of these came out really good.

I wasn't too reassured by the head mechanic at the BMW shop/dealership telling me: "To be honest, we've never installed a full brake system like this before." when we made an inventory of everything I was dropping off along with the car. But hey, at least BMW offers me warranty regarding the installation. I figure that since they are the locally certified "experts" in these vehicles, who else would I turn to?

On the other hand, if the brake system installation somehow fails, you have to survive the ordeal in order to make a claim in the first place so... I'm not sure it makes any difference.
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      07-29-2017, 06:04 PM   #4
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A lot of work to align the purchase, but totally worth it!
Share more pics after installation 👍
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      07-31-2017, 07:04 PM   #5
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A lot of work to align the purchase, but totally worth it!
Share more pics after installation 👍
Definitely!

They've started working on it, I was told it will be ready by tomorrow. We'll see.
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      08-02-2017, 07:04 PM   #6
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The day has finally arrived!

I was so relieved that they actually fit. There was some doubt there as two of the ebay dealerships mentioned that my car was "Euro spec" and thus incompatible with parts sent to the US. The engineer specialist from the local BMW said they WOULD fit however, so I just went for it.

Managed to get a 10% discount for the installation which came to a grand total of 491.80$ thus completing the objective I set for myself of getting some sort of reduction in price out of every step of the process.

The path is now clear for the MPPK, which I'll be getting around December. Can't wait!

Keeping the enthusiasm alive.-
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Last edited by Aberle; 08-02-2017 at 07:49 PM.
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      08-03-2017, 12:12 AM   #7
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Your car looks fantastic, great work!

Your dedication to getting what you want is paying off!

Charles
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      08-03-2017, 01:13 AM   #8
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Your car looks fantastic, great work!

Your dedication to getting what you want is paying off!

Charles

Thank you!
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      09-16-2017, 08:33 AM   #9
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Looks great op I'm certainly looking to do the same in the near future.

Did the dealer mention anything about the coding that went along with the installation?
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      09-16-2017, 09:40 AM   #10
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Looks great op I'm certainly looking to do the same in the near future.

Did the dealer mention anything about the coding that went along with the installation?

Thank you! He only mentioned the fact that the onboard computer would not allow the MPPK in the future if the brakes were not coded in.-
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      11-15-2017, 06:41 PM   #11
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After many months of wait the time has finally come to start looking into the logistics of purchasing and importing the MPPSK!

I spoke to the head engineer over at the BMW dealership and he told me to ask the sellers whether the part number (11122444531) was compatible with my vehicle through the VIN number... even though it matches the number he gave me for the part. I am a little confused as to how the part number could be an exact match and still not be compatible. Perhaps the more experienced gents out there can chime in on this issue? I imagine it might have to do with certain BMW's being produced for the US markets and having different emission standards than the parts developed for the European version of the car (which mine is).

I've written the sellers in the US over the past few days but the information has been extremely sloooooooow in coming my way.

I guess this question could be easily resolved through a simple conversation with the vendors, but I tried making an international call and it kept breaking down unfortunately.

Would appreciate advice.-

Last edited by Aberle; 11-16-2017 at 09:58 AM.
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      11-16-2017, 11:13 AM   #12
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Well, it's been very frustrating so far. Been writing two different dealerships near Miami for 4 days and only yesterday received a reply from one of them. He only copy and pasted the information listed on the webpage and said it wasn't a problem to ship to a courier in Florida. Which was only mildly useful. No word on my questions regarding compatibility, or dimensions and weight of the box.

So last night I went for it and placed the order...

this morning I got an e-mail saying they can't accept online orders over 300$ which creates all sorts of problems for me on paypal, since their refund policy requires for me to have a US based bank account, which I do not have. I get the money back as credit, but it remains on paypal

You'd THINK the sales person would have mentioned this 300$ online restriction when I asked for a quote on a 2850$ part and mentioned it would be shipped to a courier!

Any recommendations with regard to online vendors? Ebay only lists BMW of El Cajon California, but they made me waste a week when I purchased the M brake kit some months ago only to cancel my order without any explanation whatsoever.

This would be so much easier if my local dealership didn't go for such reptilian prices. ( selling you something that's worth 1000$ for 10,000$)
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      11-17-2017, 04:22 PM   #13
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I would give them a call back and explain that the $300 restriction was not explained to you, and ask for an exception or an alternate method you can pay them.

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      11-17-2017, 06:22 PM   #14
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I would give them a call back and explain that the $300 restriction was not explained to you, and ask for an exception or an alternate method you can pay them.

Charles
Yep, did just that. Unfortunately the salesman wasn't too accommodating regarding the exception, but at least he did silently provide support in passing along my request that the paypal transfer NOT be accepted, by which my credit card wasn't charged... avoiding me considerable trouble.

I wrote the ebay seller that sold me the M Performance Brake system in July, and he has since written me back giving me a very good price on the MPPSK though he does not have it in stock (He'd have to acquire it, but is willing). I've written a couple of other ebay sellers who seem willing to do the same.

All in all, I have not yet managed to complete a purchase, but at least things are moving forward a little faster than through the dealerships. One of the two I contacted on Monday through 3 different channels has not even replied yet! Overall I get the impression they are not too interested in closing deals.

This latest experience serves as a self-reminder of how much research and perseverance went into acquiring the brake system. The struggle is the glory as they say.-
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      11-17-2017, 06:43 PM   #15
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That's fantastic that the seller is willing to work with you again. I must say that we really take for granted how easy it is to order and get things in the US. It's a shame you have to go through what you are going through, but at the same time, kudos to you for weathering this out. MPPSK is awesome.

Could always try Dinan if it doesn't work out.

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      11-24-2017, 10:20 AM   #16
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Update: I placed an order on Monday. Last night (Thursday) I received an e-mail from the seller stating that they are doing everything possible to ship it to me but are running into problems. It appears I am the first customer to order that particular kit, and it's humongous: 71x59x11 inches... by which their regular carrier won't ship it. They are looking for quotes through other carriers but it would cost them 1300$ through the ones they have found.

I went back and researched my order of the brake kit back in July, and though the shape of the boxes was different, the volumetric space was roughly the same. I wrote the seller back suggesting they use Fedex Ground. We'll see.

It's not looking good at the moment.

He sent me a pic. Says the fan in the corner is 6 feet tall.-
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Last edited by Aberle; 11-24-2017 at 07:29 PM.
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      11-24-2017, 05:42 PM   #17
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It's sad to see that an enthusiast like you have to deal with so many problems when trying to get some parts easy to obtain in so many other countries.
I wish you best of luck in getting a good deal in a reasonable time!
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      11-27-2017, 12:05 AM   #18
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Update: the seller wrote back today saying they figured out a solution. They are going to split the contents of the box into two in order to abide by the limitations set by Fedex ground. I had gotten a 200$ discount on the kit, so I offered those 200$ to contribute to shipping costs. I was already willing to spend the money when I set out to make the purchase, so I figured I might as well put it to good use.

I also took advantage of the info they gave me the other day regarding box dimensions and weight and wrote the courier in Miami to figure out if they would be able to bring it in by air or if arrangements would have to be made to bring it by sea. Their response stated that air shipping is possible.

Things are back on track for the moment. Thanks for the good wishes!
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      12-15-2017, 01:57 PM   #19
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Update: After a year of planning and organizing it's finally here!

Dropped it off at BMW today for installation. So excited!
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      12-16-2017, 04:07 PM   #20
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Well, how's it sound? And do you notice the extra power!

Charles
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      12-16-2017, 07:18 PM   #21
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Well, how's it sound? And do you notice the extra power!

Charles
I was told it would take 2-3 days for installation and they would begin this morning since the stock exhaust needed to be cold. They close at noon on Saturdays so I guess it will be ready around Tuesday. Will post pics!
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      12-17-2017, 06:22 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aberle View Post
I was told it would take 2-3 days for installation and they would begin this morning since the stock exhaust needed to be cold. They close at noon on Saturdays so I guess it will be ready around Tuesday. Will post pics!
Yeah, not many dealers have the know how to install such a kit unfortunately

It's supposed to be a simple 3 hour install but I guess it's better for them to take their time and do it right.

BTW, I'm sure your wait will be worth it
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