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      04-21-2012, 12:18 PM   #1
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Time for a BBK -- questions/opinions wanted.

Believe that I've chewed through my last set of BMW rotors. I'm envious of track regulars that make the stock setup work, but that's just not been my experience. Not with my E39 (perhaps not surprisingly), and now same story with the E90. I've tried OE rotors, aftermarket rotors, race fluid, stainless lines, various types of street/track and track focused pads. I've always been mindful of bedding procedures, don't ride the brakes on track, etc. All of the setups have given me adequate performance for a limited time, but no rotor life. And perhaps most frustratingly, violent feedback through the steering wheel throughout the sessions as the temps increased. So, I'm hoping a BBK will be the answer.

I know most ideally I'd do both front and rear, but budget is a concern and I was thinking that I'd do only front. Consensus seems to be that for a novice-intermediate driver, fronts only should do. Agree/disagree?

I have the OE 18 in. wheels. Believe that this is a limiting factor as far as options, but not entirely sure. I know that the Stoptech ST-40 kit will fit, but will the ST-60? Other kits like Alcon, AP racing? (I'm undecided at this point.)

For those that track with a BBK, what kind of rotor life are you getting? What should be the expectation?

I mentioned above the steering wheel feedback under braking as the track day progresses -- does or doesn't happen with a BBK?

I'm willing to change out pads for track days, but would put up with some noise on the street to run one pad. (As a reference point, I ran Hawk HP+ pads on the street for a time and my family nearly abandoned me.) At the same time, I'm willing to put up with some fade on track for everyday drivability. Recommendations?

Lastly, I know that there are many kits available and all have merit. If you have any particular reasons why you're happy with your choice, please feel free to share.

Thanks for reading, and sorry for all of the questions. I want to do this right once and for all and be rid of this recurring problem... Thoughts and feedback from members and vendors much appreciated.

EDIT/UPDATE: Time to update this 'here's my problem' thread with the resolution..



Stoptech ST-40 fronts with Pagid RS-29 pads. First track day is next Monday, but if my two relatively lengthy and aggressive bedding sessions are any indication, performance with this setup is absurd, ridiculous.. f-ing awesome. A bottomless pit of stopping power. My tires are now the weak link.

Quiet as a mouse so far. No squealing whatsoever, and sufficient when cold. I plan to leave the Pagids in full time unless characteristics change.

Thanks to Omar @ Velos Designwerks for the Stoptech kit and Richard @ M-World for the pads.

Last edited by FormulaMMM; 06-21-2012 at 07:45 PM.
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      04-21-2012, 12:23 PM   #2
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No offense, but by the way you describe it, it seems you are indeed hard on brakes even though you suggest not. I don't think a BBK is gonna save you from this. Also, the words budget and BBK are somewhat mutually exclusive. Consumables generally cost more.
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      04-21-2012, 12:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by THE TECH View Post
No offense, but by the way you describe it, it seems you are indeed hard on brakes even though you suggest not. I don't think a BBK is gonna save you from this. Also, the words budget and BBK are somewhat mutually exclusive. Consumables generally cost more.
I probably am... Just meant that I'm not making any of the traditional mistakes, e.g. riding the brakes 1/2 way down the straights. My local track is unavoidably pretty tough on brakes.

To clarify re: budget -- I'm prepared to spend what's necessary on a front BBK and the consumables moving forward. I guess I was just hoping not to spend $6-7k on f & r straightaway.
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      04-21-2012, 12:53 PM   #4
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First, if you haven't had significant problems with fade, then it sounds to me like you're on the wrong pads. The shaking is from pad deposits on the rotors. You say you've tried track oriented pads, but have you tried real racing pads like the Pagid RS19's or RS29's? If you're having shaking problems with those, then something else is wrong, like ball joints or something.

Second, as THE TECH said, you could probably gain some benefits from managing the brakes better. I've seen (and posted about) professional race drivers in my car on stock brakes and tires having no problem catching and passing heavily modified cars on a track that's notorious for brake problems. They just manage the brakes differently.

Third, if this is really about getting a BBK (as opposed to not getting one in my two points above), then the small Brembo 365mm kit or the Stoptech 355mm kit will fit under the factory 18's. The AP Racing kit will fit with a 10mm spacer. All of them will work well for you, and the Stoptech pads are excellent. I'm running them on my Mustang Brembo as street pads and they're very likeable.

Last edited by JAJ; 04-21-2012 at 12:58 PM.
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      04-21-2012, 02:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
First, if you haven't had significant problems with fade, then it sounds to me like you're on the wrong pads. The shaking is from pad deposits on the rotors. You say you've tried track oriented pads, but have you tried real racing pads like the Pagid RS19's or RS29's? If you're having shaking problems with those, then something else is wrong, like ball joints or something.

Second, as THE TECH said, you could probably gain some benefits from managing the brakes better. I've seen (and posted about) professional race drivers in my car on stock brakes and tires having no problem catching and passing heavily modified cars on a track that's notorious for brake problems. They just manage the brakes differently.

Third, if this is really about getting a BBK (as opposed to not getting one in my two points above), then the small Brembo 365mm kit or the Stoptech 355mm kit will fit under the factory 18's. The AP Racing kit will fit with a 10mm spacer. All of them will work well for you, and the Stoptech pads are excellent. I'm running them on my Mustang Brembo as street pads and they're very likeable.
No, never full-fledged race pads. Stoptech Street Performance, Hawk HP+, and most recently Cool Carbon.

Thanks for the feedback on BBK fitment and pad choice. Stoptech Street Performance & slotted rotors was by far the best combination I've tried with my stock setups.
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      04-21-2012, 02:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LM3 View Post
Stoptech Street Performance & slotted rotors was by far the best combination I've tried with my stock setups.
If you're running at a track that's hard on brakes then I'd suggest you go with the recommendation above and use some real track pads (not the dual purpose stuff). One track near me (CMP) is notorious for being hard on brakes. I can fry a stock set of pads in one day, track pads will use 50% of the pad material in 2 days.

Not sure why you are having such trouble with rotor life unless you're not really wearing out the rotors but having pad material deposited on the rotors which will give you a pretty strong steering wheel judder. The only place I've experienced that is Road America after 4 days of track sessions using track pads (Pagid RS19s) and within about a week of street use, rotors were back to a smooth surface. Ask your friends at the track and see what they say.
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      04-21-2012, 02:50 PM   #7
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I'm shopping for BBK too. I was going to get ST60,ST40 but it just too big to fit under my 18 snow wheels. Now choosing between 365/345 Brembo VS AP 368/356 both cost the same. I use ST pad on my OEM brake with good result on the track, maybe because my track is not too hard on the brakes, only one 140-70 brake.
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      04-21-2012, 03:32 PM   #8
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HP+ should hold up pretty well. APEX was just running a special on PF01 pads for $119. Don't know if they're still selling them for that price.

Sounds like you may need some ducts or different pads like others have said.
As far as consumables, the StopTech's will be considerably cheaper than any other BBK.

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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      04-21-2012, 05:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorH View Post
Not sure why you are having such trouble with rotor life unless you're not really wearing out the rotors but having pad material deposited on the rotors which will give you a pretty strong steering wheel judder. The only place I've experienced that is Road America after 4 days of track sessions using track pads (Pagid RS19s) and within about a week of street use, rotors were back to a smooth surface. Ask your friends at the track and see what they say.
Probably deposits I guess. Wheel shake doesn't go away for me though. Goes up in intensity with heat, but doesn't go away once back on the street.

Looking like I'll swap pads with the BBK.
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      04-21-2012, 05:29 PM   #10
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Yep - sounds like pad deposits from less aggressive pads. Here's a cool trick - if you put on race pads (i.e. pfc01's) and drive it around town or back from the track - it will actually scrub off your rotor clean of deposits. Modern design of rotors these days nearly eliminate rotor warp. You'll cause other damage long before the rotor starts warping unless they're really really worn thin. When I had my OE's I thought my rotors warping but it turns out it was just street pad material getting deposited on the rotor.
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      04-21-2012, 07:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4sevens.com View Post
Yep - sounds like pad deposits from less aggressive pads. Here's a cool trick - if you put on race pads (i.e. pfc01's) and drive it around town or back from the track - it will actually scrub off your rotor clean of deposits. Modern design of rotors these days nearly eliminate rotor warp. You'll cause other damage long before the rotor starts warping unless they're really really worn thin. When I had my OE's I thought my rotors warping but it turns out it was just street pad material getting deposited on the rotor.
Yeah, I don't doubt that deposits are causing the wheel feedback. It's happening way too quickly for the rotors to be warping.

Thanks for the tip on the race pads scrubbing the rotors clean. I would buy some RS19's to attempt with my stock rotors, but I think I'll go BBK and put on the right pads from the start.
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      04-21-2012, 07:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by LM3 View Post
Yeah, I don't doubt that deposits are causing the wheel feedback. It's happening way too quickly for the rotors to be warping.

Thanks for the tip on the race pads scrubbing the rotors clean. I would buy some RS19's to attempt with my stock rotors, but I think I'll go BBK and put on the right pads from the start.
I recommend stoptech trophies! I ran with the included street/track pads and they didn't fade at VIR and we were booking it! I can't wait to run XR1/XR3's for one lap
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      04-21-2012, 07:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 4sevens.com View Post
I recommend stoptech trophies! I ran with the included street/track pads and they didn't fade at VIR and we were booking it! I can't wait to run XR1/XR3's for one lap
Thanks for the recommendation. I've heard nothing but good things about the trophies, and the ST-40 version would work with my stock 18's I think.

The non-mechanic in me would love to believe that I could run the Street Performance full time including track with no issues (especially deposits...). Why are you running the XR1/XR3 if the SP's worked for you at VIR? Not confident in their ability to hold up over many events?

Are you f & r, or just front? Thoughts on running just fronts? Thanks.
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      04-21-2012, 07:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LM3 View Post
Thanks for the recommendation. I've heard nothing but good things about the trophies, and the ST-40 version would work with my stock 18's I think.

The non-mechanic in me would love to believe that I could run the Street Performance full time including track with no issues (especially deposits...). Why are you running the XR1/XR3 if the SP's worked for you at VIR? Not confident in their ability to hold up over many events?

Are you f & r, or just front? Thoughts on running just fronts? Thanks.
I ran 8/10's at VIR. I plan on going all out at one lap - I'll aero by then.

I only got st60's for the front. The rears are not needed - the car is already balanced. But I am running XR3's on the stock rears

I have a set of XR1's for the front if you're interested. They have more than 90% - barely used. They are a tad bit better than pfc01's which are already awesome.
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      04-21-2012, 07:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by 4sevens.com View Post
I ran 8/10's at VIR. I plan on going all out at one lap - I'll aero by then.

I only got st60's for the front. The rears are not needed - the car is already balanced. But I am running XR3's on the stock rears
Got ya. Thanks again for the feedback. I'll probably just leave the Cool Carbons on my stock rears then. They should do. Not feeling anything whatsoever through the pedal, just the wheel jumping out of my hands..
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      04-21-2012, 07:51 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by 4sevens.com View Post
I have a set of XR1's for the front if you're interested. They have more than 90% - barely used. They are a tad bit better than pfc01's which are already awesome.
Don't think I'll have the option to go ST-60 due to my 18's. Different pads for ST-40's, right?
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      04-21-2012, 08:03 PM   #17
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Got ya. Thanks again for the feedback. I'll probably just leave the Cool Carbons on my stock rears then. They should do. Not feeling anything whatsoever through the pedal, just the wheel jumping out of my hands..
When I was shaking down the car last year (I ran stock) the deposits started building on the rotors. Then I switched out the pads for pfc01's. Within one tank refill, the race pads wore off all the deposits. it's went from violent shaking when braking hard to silky smooth.

When I was running one lap last year after one event the shaking came back. After a brief inspection we found the taped on weights had fallen off due to heat - be sure to have them taped down with foil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LM3 View Post
Don't think I'll have the option to go ST-60 due to my 18's. Different pads for ST-40's, right?
I'm not sure - you'll have to check with ST. I'd imagine so. The XR1 pads are from stock fronts
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      04-21-2012, 08:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4sevens.com View Post
When I was shaking down the car last year (I ran stock) the deposits started building on the rotors. Then I switched out the pads for pfc01's. Within one tank refill, the race pads wore off all the deposits. it's went from violent shaking when braking hard to silky smooth.

When I was running one lap last year after one event the shaking came back. After a brief inspection we found the taped on weights had fallen off due to heat - be sure to have them taped down with foil.
I'm not alone... Good to know.

Noted on the weights -- had not heard that before. I'm probably missing some. Learning slowly but surely at the expense of my bank account.
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      04-22-2012, 07:13 AM   #19
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Yeah, I would be confident putting anything but a high temp pad on this car. It's fast and heavy. I'm using PF01s on stock rotors and they are doing well.

I would put in some ducts except my car is under warranty and I'm lazy.

I like the stoptechs. My aero rotors on my 330 have not worn very much...31.7mm of 32mm left after 5 track weekends.
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      04-25-2012, 07:32 AM   #20
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Good post. I just came back from NHMS in New Hampshire - my E90 can make it through almost the full day, with no pad fade, on Pagid RS-19 front and RS-7 in the rear. The last few laps of the last session, I was managing my brakes a little. I have stock rotors and I track-bed the pads (run stock pads on the street). I get zero pulsing through the wheel, even after swapping back and forth w/pads three times now.

The tip (VictorH and 4 Sevens) about driving for a few days w/the race pads to scrape-off the bedded material when the brakes are out of their operating temp? Spot-on.

To my mind, if this car had brake ducts...problem solved. The brakes have enough mass and great leverage w/the large factory rotors. Would love fixed calipers of a BBK for quick pad changes, but I'll deal with it.

I used Cool Carbons for my first track day and I had pad fade by the second lap session, even after a very careful bedding process. Once I upgraded to Pagids, problem solved. I'm going to look into the ducts as this is the real issue here. I'd save your money for now, although a BBK would be a nice upgrade for lower cost comsumables in the long run and pad changes at the track in 30 mins.

-Brian
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      04-25-2012, 07:41 AM   #21
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The tip (VictorH and 4 Sevens) about driving for a few days w/the race pads to scrape-off the bedded material when the brakes are out of their operating temp? Spot-on.
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      04-26-2012, 05:43 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsrbri View Post
Good post. I just came back from NHMS in New Hampshire - my E90 can make it through almost the full day, with no pad fade, on Pagid RS-19 front and RS-7 in the rear. The last few laps of the last session, I was managing my brakes a little. I have stock rotors and I track-bed the pads (run stock pads on the street). I get zero pulsing through the wheel, even after swapping back and forth w/pads three times now.

The tip (VictorH and 4 Sevens) about driving for a few days w/the race pads to scrape-off the bedded material when the brakes are out of their operating temp? Spot-on.

To my mind, if this car had brake ducts...problem solved. The brakes have enough mass and great leverage w/the large factory rotors. Would love fixed calipers of a BBK for quick pad changes, but I'll deal with it.

I used Cool Carbons for my first track day and I had pad fade by the second lap session, even after a very careful bedding process. Once I upgraded to Pagids, problem solved. I'm going to look into the ducts as this is the real issue here. I'd save your money for now, although a BBK would be a nice upgrade for lower cost comsumables in the long run and pad changes at the track in 30 mins.

-Brian
Cool. Thanks for sharing the thoughts and experience.

I think front ST-40 with proper pad rotation is the solution I'm looking for.
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