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      03-30-2007, 04:40 AM   #1
ImOntheWater
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Question E92 M3 Brakes

I haven't seen this issue discussed much anywhere, so I thought i'd start a new thread regarding the new M3's brakes. From the pics that i've seen it looks like BMW have again stuck with Single Piston floating calliper brakes, as with the previous generation M3.

If I recall correctly, the ultimate stopping power of the brakes is not in question, as the M3 CSL had one of the quickest 60-0 times i've seen, being around 2.3secs (quicker than a GT3). However, once on track, they quickly begin to fade compared with a multi piston calliper setup. (Brakes was one of the main upgrades for people thinking of tracking their CSL)

Multi--piston Monobloc Calipers are both lighter and stiffer, and give a more even pressure on the pads ... and they happen to look a hell of a lot better. I think it is in this area that BMW are getting left behind by Porsche and Audi (and possibly MB). These 3 also offer Carbon-ceramic discs as an option (albeit very expensive).

You don't see racing cars with single piston callipers now do you?! I'd like to see BMW putting more effort into this area, as I can just see the first review in EVO or whoever, with the massive praise for the dynamics and speed, but the same old comment about wilting brakes.

Just my 2 pence worth.
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      03-30-2007, 05:26 AM   #2
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the question for me isn't WHETHER i'll replace the stock M3 brakes..... but rather WHICH brakes i'll be replacing them with.
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      03-30-2007, 06:01 AM   #3
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From my experience and most articles I read on M brakes they are more than good enough. BUT why not offer an upgraded system for drivers that want better brakes for tracking or just simply bragging rights. How many people really need ceramic brakes, if you on the road and “need” them you are simply driving way to fast.

I have found that with a simple change of brake pads that the brakes on the E46 M3 are adequate for most track use.

Good post though. It is our job to comment and give our opinion. You will be surprised at how closely the big manufacturers monitor credible forums.
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      03-30-2007, 10:02 AM   #4
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I agree. While BMW's brakes or some of the best in the industry, they need to start offering more advanced braking systems if they want to stay ahead of the game.
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      03-30-2007, 10:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cncmastr View Post
I agree. While BMW's brakes or some of the best in the industry, they need to start offering more advanced braking systems if they want to stay ahead of the game.
, I feel BMW has the worst brakes. The brake feel is horrible and braking and fading is worst than my old Evo and 911 turbo.

Even the new Concept X aka: evolution 10 has two piece rotors brembo brakes. Being a 08 models i truly hope BMW raise the bar and use 4-6 piston brakes so it's not an on or off switch with fade.
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      03-30-2007, 10:42 AM   #6
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So far my experience is, their normal brakes are sufficient, M brakes not up to par...

Not willing to use multi piston caliper is plain stubborn!
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      03-30-2007, 11:51 AM   #7
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99% of M3s will never see a track.. the breaks are fine for quick street driving.
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      03-30-2007, 01:02 PM   #8
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Many people say that the standard brakes are fine for the road. But I have never found that. Never. They don't warp, as is often misunderstood but merely overheat the pads causing uneven deposits to build up on the disc face. It is possible to use the standard sliding pot calipers on the track without any serious problems, provided the pads are changed to something like a Pagid RS19 or 29, but they're still not comparable to a good set of AP six pots.

Case in point; my CSL has the 6-pot AP's whilst my Z4M Coupe is fitted as standard with the CSLs standard brakes. Driving both back to back there is a massive difference in braking competence.

Perhaps if you measured absolute stopping differences there would not be a big difference, but the improvement in feel, bite and the ability to modulate braking progression is so significant that nobody would have any question over which was preferrable. Driving with standard brakes I find myself saying "they are ok..aaay", but with the AP six pots I immediately feel they are everything I could want in brakes and more. They match the competency of the rest of the car, whereas the standard brakes just aren't as impressive as the other dynamic capabilities of the car. They are a 'compromise' and that sticks in my throat.

Be in no doubt that when we test the new M3 in EVO we will be pointing a big finger at the brakes if they are anything less than impressive.

Interestingly though the new 135ti that is doing the tour of BMW facilities at the moment is wearing a big set of Brembo 4-pots with 355mm discs. It will be launched in less than a year and will make the M3 look a little silly if it is fitted with the better stoppers...
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      03-30-2007, 01:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Be in no doubt that when we test the new M3 in EVO we will be pointing a big finger at the brakes if they are anything less than impressive.

steve, you work for evo magazine?
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      03-30-2007, 01:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
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steve, you work for evo magazine?
They don't pay me, but I work with them every few months on an article or group test. You'll see me listed in the "It wouldn't have been possible without...". I contributed to the copy about the M3 GTR in the current issue. Yay!

This month we did a track comparison of the new Porsche Cayenne Turbo against the ML63, it should be out in the shops any day now.

I've been an interloper in EVO, Performance Car, Autocar and Top Gear for a few decades now and am fortunate to be invited along to share my viewpoints and drive the wheels off the press cars.

You can guess what my next assignment will be..
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      03-30-2007, 02:53 PM   #11
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# of pistons

I posted this some time ago. It is a pretty clear shot of the brakes. It is not entirely clear if they are multi-piston (usually easy to tell but these are darn tricky) but they sure look a lot bigger than the E46 M3 brakes (calipers and rotors).

I think, if I recall, these look exactly like the M5 brakes if those are single pot I´d guess we will be getting that system. Since those are rated for a 4000+ lb vehicle going about 195 mph. For the weight and speed of the new M3 it should only need about 70% the braking capacity of the M5 so this system should be quite good.

I know OEM BMW systems can be a bit inconsistent, but after a mild upgrade to my E36 M3 system, I find it adequate for medium speed track work and very hard street/canyon/twisty work. I have the two piece OEM M3 euro floating rotors, stock pads and aftermarket stainless lines. Very tough to over heat or warp this setup. On the other hand I have heard totally mixed stories about the E46 M3 setup.
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      03-30-2007, 07:02 PM   #12
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They are believed to be dual piston units, similar to M5/M6 units
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      03-30-2007, 09:42 PM   #13
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I would say the current M5's braking system is not so competent by current standards. Enough for normal road use but does not inspire confidence for briskier drives.
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      03-30-2007, 10:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esquire View Post
the question for me isn't WHETHER i'll replace the stock M3 brakes..... but rather WHICH brakes i'll be replacing them with.
What do you have in mind? Are we talking Brembo?

My new M3 will be seeing plenty of track time - its silly not to. What when you've got the greatest race track facility in the country right in your backyard.

I'm curious. Anyone have anything in mind on brakes, if deemed the new M needs it?
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      03-31-2007, 06:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
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What do you have in mind? Are we talking Brembo?

My new M3 will be seeing plenty of track time - its silly not to. What when you've got the greatest race track facility in the country right in your backyard.

I'm curious. Anyone have anything in mind on brakes, if deemed the new M needs it?
3.5 years of complete satisfaction, hauling me down from speeds of over 150mph at Spa Franchorchamps circuit without ever wilting. There really is no other choice for me..

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      03-31-2007, 11:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
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99% of M3s will never see a track.. the breaks are fine for quick street driving.
Agree. They should go in the CSL as an option.
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      03-31-2007, 01:23 PM   #17
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You guys think 420hp is still lacking, 400Nm is too little, 3600+lbs is too heavy, 6 speeds isn't enough, yet when it comes to brakes, you guys think the POS brakes with single-piston calipers and donut-sized rotors BMW put on their "motorsport" models are just fine? "Enough for a road car"? Why stop the over-engineering on brakes - the stuff that can actually save your ass? How come I never hear Porsche, Audi RS or even AMG owners complain that they got too many pistons, or their rotors are too big/light, or they got too much braking power?
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      03-31-2007, 05:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
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3.5 years of complete satisfaction, hauling me down from speeds of over 150mph at Spa Franchorchamps circuit without ever wilting. There really is no other choice for me..
What are those...? Details.
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      03-31-2007, 07:03 PM   #19
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What are those...? Details.
AP Racing. I wouldn't want anything else myself if I had a CSL.
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      04-01-2007, 11:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
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What are those...? Details.
Yes, those are the AP Racing 6-pots as standard fitment on M3 or CSL models. 355mm disc IIRC. I am running it on Pagid RS19s, although some people swear by the newer RS29s.

To give you an idea of how well they brake, I had a passenger riding with me around Donington Park in England, we braked for the hairpin before the main straight and despite wearing a seatbelt, he lifted right out of his seat and remained planted with head against the ceiling until I came off the brakes.

They are such a complete upgrade for the M3 that you would never ask for more. Only the fronts need upgrading too, since the rears are already good enough (provided the pads are upgraded also).
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      04-01-2007, 10:11 PM   #21
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The brakes will be fine on the street.

On the track the problem with the BMW brakes is not the unit itself. I know of many racers that use the stock caliper with good results. The problem is a lack of airflow into the brakes. As a result they get far too hot and fade pads, boil fluid, and wear rotors very quickly.

My last trip to the track in my e46 was to Laguna Seca, its a hard track for brakes. Still I destroyed two sets of front pads and a set of rotors in one weekend. Put new rotors on Friday, another set Monday.

With proper ducting of air to the rotors, they actually hold up very well. Still, I prefer the feel of the AP Racing (front) and Brembo (rear) on my other car.
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      04-02-2007, 07:34 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steved View Post
Yes, those are the AP Racing 6-pots as standard fitment on M3 or CSL models. 355mm disc IIRC. I am running it on Pagid RS19s, although some people swear by the newer RS29s.

To give you an idea of how well they brake, I had a passenger riding with me around Donington Park in England, we braked for the hairpin before the main straight and despite wearing a seatbelt, he lifted right out of his seat and remained planted with head against the ceiling until I came off the brakes.

They are such a complete upgrade for the M3 that you would never ask for more. Only the fronts need upgrading too, since the rears are already good enough (provided the pads are upgraded also).
Hi Steve,

IIRC you were one of the first on BM3W to put AP's on your CSL, and didn't you weigh the old calipers when changing over? Aren't the AP's a lot lighter than the standard BMW parts too, therefore reducing unsprung weight? That and the fact that they look awesome.

Bit off topic, but what's going on with BM3W? (My old sign in was Cslnut).
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