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      08-05-2008, 10:04 PM   #1
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M owners Brakes How do you like them Track?

I am continually stuptified why BMW comes out with these single piston brakes. The M3 has a ton of cutting edge stuff in the motor suspension etc.
But why does BMW cut corners on the calipers? EVERY peformance car you can think of has multipiston brakes and its almost a visual cue to look at. you can tell in some cars that the car has special brakes like on my GT3. I have the Ceramic brakes and it has a special yellow caliper with the Porsche logo
on the side. BMW has an ugly gray non item.
Even the BMW performance brakes are gold 6 piston calipers. ANd they fu@ked up that design too looks like a banana caught in the wheel.
Ferrari decorates their calipers with optional colors.
BMW has many great developments in the auto world and drops the ball
on the brakes. Any one know the story? Doesnt BMW wonder why the
Brembo upgrade package for the M3 is so popular?
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      08-05-2008, 10:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulGT3 View Post
I am continually stuptified why BMW comes out with these single piston brakes. The M3 has a ton of cutting edge stuff in the motor suspension etc.
But why does BMW cut corners on the calipers? EVERY peformance car you can think of has multipiston brakes and its almost a visual cue to look at. you can tell in some cars that the car has special brakes like on my GT3. I have the Ceramic brakes and it has a special yellow caliper with the Porsche logo
on the side. BMW has an ugly gray non item.
Even the BMW performance brakes are gold 6 piston calipers. ANd they fu@ked up that design too looks like a banana caught in the wheel.
Ferrari decorates their calipers with optional colors.
BMW has many great developments in the auto world and drops the ball
on the brakes. Any one know the story? Doesnt BMW wonder why the
Brembo upgrade package for the M3 is so popular?

This is why. (linky)

And this helps, too. (another linky)
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      08-05-2008, 10:33 PM   #3
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I dont buy it I have never had a M3 out brake my GT3 anywhere and in most cases if I am going to over take a BMW I can count after he brakes several counts then I brake and I can go deeper.
There is a reason that no other performance manufacturer uses this set up.
The most seasoned mechanics in the tracking wolrd out here (and I have 6 tracks
to choose from here with Willow Springs being 50 minutes from my house) have
told me when I got my Z4M, make sure you change the brakes.In fact if it was good
you would see racing setups with this setup and I have NEVER seen it. Only on
stock BMWs at the track have I seen this. If you look around at the track I would say
40% of them have Brembos
The stock brakes are fine for street but even the BMW performance brake upgrade is a multipiston setup
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      08-05-2008, 10:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulGT3 View Post
I dont buy it I have never had a M3 out brake my GT3 anywhere and in most cases if I am going to over take a BMW I can count after he brakes several counts then I brake and I can go deeper.
There is a reason that no other performance manufacturer uses this set up.
The most seasoned mechanics in the tracking wolrd out here (and I have 6 tracks
to choose from here with Willow Springs being 50 minutes from my house) have
told me when I got my Z4M, make sure you change the brakes.In fact if it was good
you would see racing setups with this setup and I have NEVER seen it. Only on
stock BMWs at the track have I seen this. If you look around at the track I would say
40% of them have Brembos
The stock brakes are fine for street but even the BMW performance brake upgrade is a multipiston setup
Cool, now you can save yourself the money and not buy the M3 or any other BMW, and just stick to manufactures that use those multi-piston breaks that are so much better......
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      08-05-2008, 10:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Cool, now you can save yourself the money and not buy the M3 or any other BMW, and just stick to manufactures that use those multi-piston breaks that are so much better......
I really want to have an adult conversation here. PLEASE. My question is REAL and I want to know why BMW makes this compromise in this, one of the three most important attributes with sport cars, acceleration, braking and handling.

And for your information I have TWO BMWs in the garage right now(of four including an M).
WHen talking best brakes in the world BMW never enters the conversation if you are honest with yourself.

Now can somebody answer my question. I dont want a pissing match or flame war. I just want to know BMWs reasoning behind this. Do I have to go to a Porsche board to ask?
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      08-05-2008, 11:01 PM   #6
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Paul,
I know what I'm talking about. If you were at Laguna two springs ago (07) for either the BMW or Audi track days, and you were running in the advanced group, you were probably out braked by my M3.

Braking performance is not determined by how many pistons your calipers have. It's determined by the friction of your pads, the friction of your tires and the heat management of both. The weakest part of my braking system at Laguna was shock set-up, not fade or lack of stopping power.

My braking feel could be improved if I spent $4k on performance friction calipers to clamp my stock size performance friction rotors, but the car isn't going to stop any quicker. Stuka's picture of the bent brake pad was the result of someone not taking proper care of the stock calipers, not of an inferior design.

The one advantage good quality multi-piston calipers have is light weight. I could shave a few more pounds of unsprung weight with the previously mentioned PF calipers.

You know, they say the same thing about guys who buy big red calipers as they say about guys who buy Porsches ...

Just kidding. Can't believe you're lucky enough to live in Mammoth. If I ever sell my place in Lake county, I might get a place in Incline (Nevada taxes).
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      08-05-2008, 11:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiation Joe View Post
I agree with u Radiation JOE. I had my E36 M3, supercharged, with all the MODs you can think, and people with B4 S4s couldn't outbreak my butt, and try to take me on the corners. ANd to think of it, I had Brembo slotted, not crossed cheesy drilled, rotors with some PAGID pads.
ANyone is thinking about upgrading to a four pistons, think again. All you need is some good ATE SUPER BLUE brake fluid, stainless steel lines, PAGID pads, and BREMBO Slotted. Cost: around 300 to 400 dollars vs. $3000.
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      08-05-2008, 11:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiation Joe View Post
Paul,
I know what I'm talking about. If you were at Laguna two springs ago (07) for either the BMW or Audi track days, and you were running in the advanced group, you were probably out braked by my M3.

Braking performance is not determined by how many pistons your calipers have. It's determined by the friction of your pads, the friction of your tires and the heat management of both. The weakest part of my braking system at Laguna was shock set-up, not fade or lack of stopping power.

My braking feel could be improved if I spent $4k on performance friction calipers to clamp my stock size performance friction rotors, but the car isn't going to stop any quicker. Stuka's picture of the bent brake pad was the result of someone not taking proper care of the stock calipers, not of an inferior design.

The one advantage good quality multi-piston calipers have is light weight. I could shave a few more pounds of unsprung weight with the previously mentioned PF calipers.

You know, they say the same thing about guys who buy big red calipers as they say about guys who buy Porsches ...

Just kidding. Can't believe you're lucky enough to live in Mammoth. If I ever sell my place in Lake county, I might get a place in Incline (Nevada taxes).
NOW I DOUBLE AGREE WITH YOU ABOUT THE FRICTION> PEOPLE MISS THE CONCEPT, and think that having 4 or 6 pistons will determine better braking; when in reality, it is the friction.
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      08-05-2008, 11:10 PM   #9
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Joe you dont think that has anything to do with your superior driving skills? not even a little bit?
So is that one part of the answer? Multipiston calipers weigh less than the BMW stock design? I know that the PCCBs on my car dropped 48 lbs over iron rotors.
I have Mammoth on my sig BUT ( I am here in Mammoth now we have a fire 3 miles from town!!) my son lives here while he goes to college up here. I live an work in Ridgecrest as an flight test engineer for the Navy. When I retire I will live here in our place. I am thinking of selling both places and moving to the Reno area or maybe
Idaho.
I dont run in an advance group. I run in the middle group and I always go deeper into corners than 2 cars - Corvettes and BMW's usually M3's Occaisionally M4's
But if they were the best brakes in the world I want to know why NO one else uses them in performance driving NOR are ANY single piston design used in UPGRADES?
Also I will bet that fade in the BMW brakes are more apparent than in the GT3 PCCBs.
I had a brake problem in my brand spanking new 335i 2 weeks ago and I had to basically bed them in. It took 7 50-0 stops to induce fade. Thats 6 corners less than
Buttonwillow in ONE lap. Also the FEEL in the Porsche brakes is much more sensitve.
ANd thanks for keeping the conversation civil I appreciate it!!
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      08-05-2008, 11:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulGT3 View Post
I really want to have an adult conversation here. PLEASE. My question is REAL and I want to know why BMW makes this compromise in this, one of the three most important attributes with sport cars, acceleration, braking and handling.

And for your information I have TWO BMWs in the garage right now(of four including an M).
WHen talking best brakes in the world BMW never enters the conversation if you are honest with yourself.

Now can somebody answer my question. I dont want a pissing match or flame war. I just want to know BMWs reasoning behind this. Do I have to go to a Porsche board to ask?
You are right about the BMW brakes not being in the same league as other manufacturers (my Audi has eight piston Brembos that are good for maybe 5 laps before they overheat). But honestly that's not a function of the Brembos not being up to the task, it a function of Audi's poor heat management of the braking system.

There are two real disadvantages to the stock BMW brakes. One is the rubber insulators that the guide pins are mounted in. They allow flexing of the caliper and uneven pad contact. It's the first thing I replace and will be done on my new M3 within a month of buying it. See the second link in my post above.

The second is more subtle, and can only be fixed by replacement. The stock BMW calipers are heavy. Multi-piston calipers are significantly lighter. However, 99% of the people that buy multi-piston brake upgrades also buy oversized rotors which defeats the advantage of the lightweight caliper. The best brake upgrade for a BMW M3 (BAR NONE) is a performance friction upgrade using stock size Performance Friction full floating rotors. Those rotors are significantly lighter than the stock BMW rotors. Anything else is just posing. [forgot to say the PF upgrade is with new calipers]

Hope that helped out.
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Last edited by Radiation Joe; 08-05-2008 at 11:33 PM.
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      08-05-2008, 11:23 PM   #11
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Thanks Joe thats all I was asking. I was looking at the M3 and I was thinking HOW nice that would look with the nice caliper under there with the M badge on the side. That made me start thinking why does BMW not use the multi piston caliper. The M3 rotor looks very nice and sturdy. I can understand your point about the bigger rotors too. iron rotors are heavy and if you start getting huge rotors like the ones on my GT3 (380mm) would be very heavy. The stock GT3 iron rotors are 350mm.
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      08-05-2008, 11:30 PM   #12
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I drool over the Porsche composite brakes. Eventually, the price will come down enough for us mere mortals to afford them. Until then, I'll live with my little pie tins.

I enjoyed yours and Stuka's conversations about GTx Porsches on the other forum. Education is good.
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      08-05-2008, 11:32 PM   #13
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If you are talking carbon fiber on the GT3 - well - youre talking apples and oranges here. So stop trying to compare. Additionally the GT3 carbon fiber are like 12k a set of rotors? Again - no comparison price wise.

If you are talking standard Iron GT3 brakes vs M3 - i'd have to say that the M3 brakes do compare favorably. However, I don't know how they compare on a track with fade issues. But the Porsche Braking systems (brembo) are known for their track prowess... I have tracked my GT3 - I have NOT tracked my M3 yet. So I cannot say that the M3 is immune to fade. I have heard that it does suffer from it. Which would be dissapointing. But I can say that under 100% braking - The m3 does stop pretty damn quick. So much so that my friend who owns a carbon fiber 997 GT3 was pretty much stunned when he asked me for a "brake test" from 80mph. I was also pleasantly surprised as I had not done a brake test from 80 yet either.

I am not sure that the number of pistons equates to better braking in all circumstances either...



Quote:
Originally Posted by paulGT3 View Post
I dont buy it I have never had a M3 out brake my GT3 anywhere and in most cases if I am going to over take a BMW I can count after he brakes several counts then I brake and I can go deeper.
There is a reason that no other performance manufacturer uses this set up.
The most seasoned mechanics in the tracking wolrd out here (and I have 6 tracks
to choose from here with Willow Springs being 50 minutes from my house) have
told me when I got my Z4M, make sure you change the brakes.In fact if it was good
you would see racing setups with this setup and I have NEVER seen it. Only on
stock BMWs at the track have I seen this. If you look around at the track I would say
40% of them have Brembos
The stock brakes are fine for street but even the BMW performance brake upgrade is a multipiston setup
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      08-05-2008, 11:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulGT3 View Post
I have Mammoth on my sig BUT ( I am here in Mammoth now we have a fire 3 miles from town!!) my son lives here while he goes to college up here. I live an work in Ridgecrest as an flight test engineer for the Navy.
I know where you're coming from. My house in CA backs up to BLM land. I check every day to find out where the local fires are.

Funny about flight test engineer. I just met a maritime engineer today that gets to play with one of the navy's fastest ships. I believe most if not the entire crew is civilian. No good weapons systems, though.
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      08-06-2008, 12:47 AM   #15
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Joe Thats all I do is weapons, Every time we fly its for a smart weapon.
Youre welcome on the GTX conversation. I am afraid Porsche is moving away from its history in favor of its bottom line and its stockholders instead of its customers.

Kevin I dont know why they are apples and oranges. If two cars are on the track at the same time and there are many M3s out when i am out I think its more than appropriate to compare brakes.

They are not carbon fiber they are ceramic composite. They are an $8K option and Dealers are coming out with replacement packages in the $5-7K range for replacements. AND if you use them correctly i.e. using Porsche Motorsport Green performance pads, then they will last ALOT longer than several sets of iron rotors again making them a comparable performance item.
They are more fragile, getting a rock in the rotor
after an off the track excursion you can damage the rotor. The New PCCBs are alot better than the ones I had on my 996 GT3. So I dont worry too much. And I had NO problem with the 996 GT3 and 20 track events.
I saw one 996 GT3 with PCCBs with a 100 track days and no issues but pad replacements.
But again, I wasnt trying to compare them i was asking what was BMWs reasoning for putting one piston calipers on their highest performing cars? I think multpiston calipers increase feel and if you look at it from
the engineering aspect (what I do for a living) more pistons across the back of the pad the more even pressure across the back of the pad during application of the hydrualic pressure. With one piston you really dont have that much control over the ends of the pad and most of the application pressure is just in the middle of the pad. From that perspective the more pistons the better.
You have to ask what are they thinking when they put Brembos on the ONE series? why on the 135i and NOT the M3? I dont understand the logic.
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      08-06-2008, 12:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiation Joe View Post
You are right about the BMW brakes not being in the same league as other manufacturers (my Audi has eight piston Brembos that are good for maybe 5 laps before they overheat). But honestly that's not a function of the Brembos not being up to the task, it a function of Audi's poor heat management of the braking system.

There are two real disadvantages to the stock BMW brakes. One is the rubber insulators that the guide pins are mounted in. They allow flexing of the caliper and uneven pad contact. It's the first thing I replace and will be done on my new M3 within a month of buying it. See the second link in my post above.

The second is more subtle, and can only be fixed by replacement. The stock BMW calipers are heavy. Multi-piston calipers are significantly lighter. However, 99% of the people that buy multi-piston brake upgrades also buy oversized rotors which defeats the advantage of the lightweight caliper. The best brake upgrade for a BMW M3 (BAR NONE) is a performance friction upgrade using stock size Performance Friction full floating rotors. Those rotors are significantly lighter than the stock BMW rotors. Anything else is just posing. [forgot to say the PF upgrade is with new calipers]

Hope that helped out.
Joe, do I take it you've decided on the M3 then? With your track/racing background, I think it'd be a better fit for you. If you do end up with the M3, I'm hoping you can give me some pointers and walk me through an install of brake upgrades for the M3. I upgraded the pads, rotors, and lines in my truck, but this feels like a different ballgame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiation Joe View Post
I enjoyed yours and Stuka's conversations about GTx Porsches on the other forum. Education is good.
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      08-06-2008, 12:56 AM   #17
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Even with the brake issue I think the M3 is the best car in the price range. I am considering one. People talk about the GTR its not a real option The prices with Mark up
are in the 110K range and up!
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      08-06-2008, 01:05 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulGT3 View Post
Even with the brake issue I think the M3 is the best car in the price range. I am considering one. People talk about the GTR its not a real option The prices with Mark up
are in the 110K range and up!
Exactly. To find a better car in the price range, I've been looking at various used options, like a 996TT, but that opens up an entirely different can of worms.
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      08-06-2008, 01:11 AM   #19
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This topic has been beat to death here. Braking performance is dominated by many things above piston count. Assuming you have enough brake power to lock at any speed you then have, roughly in order of importance:

1. Brake pad compound - provides enough friction and fade resistance
2. Swept area per vehicle weight - provide braking power
3. Brake thermal management/cooling (cooling flow and rotor design) - prevent rotor warp
4. Rotor design (floating, internal cooling fins) - prevent rotor warp
5. Brake system mass, i.e. rotor size (for thermal mass/management)
6. Proper brake fluid
...
...
7. Number of pistons in brake caliper

It is fairly obvious from your post that you are more worried about aesthetics compared to actual performance. Don't get me wrong I love the killer look of a flashy/racy BBK but it is not really money well spent.
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      08-06-2008, 01:14 AM   #20
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i agree with you Paul..... its a bummer for a Chrysler magnum to pull up next to you and you wish you had the same brakes!!.. thats just not right....

but the SRT models use Brembo..

and lets see... VW does too.. Porsche.. Audi. Mitsubishi.. Nissan.. Subaru.... and its no fluke....


but still BMW does nothing with brake... except put better ones on the 1 series!


i lost trust in a new M5s brakes a couple weeks ago after 1 lap.....

i haven't really tested the e92 brakes yet but can look at them and tell they are lacking... the design is a cheap and old one...


I have many laps on PCCBs and they are great... warming up is a little different then iron... but once up to temp they are wonderful... not even close to the same league as the M3s... also the suspension geometry of the GT3 is very good for braking....


i feel that the only thing the M3 is really lacking is 40hp and a multipiston style caliper....






and Joe.... you hafta run pf01s on your car to make it stop... ha! i wouldn't be bragging about that... those pads are designed for a car with Michelin slicks... and something that could pull well over 2 Gs under braking...

what kinda tires were u running on you M?


and talking about story's 2 years ago at Laguna... u need to get back out there man...
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      08-06-2008, 01:15 AM   #21
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Location: usa

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haha - paint your BMW calipers yellow and save $10,000 !!!!
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      08-06-2008, 01:22 AM   #22
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Drives: E92 AW M3
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: SoCal

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiation Joe View Post
The second is more subtle, and can only be fixed by replacement. The stock BMW calipers are heavy. Multi-piston calipers are significantly lighter. However, 99% of the people that buy multi-piston brake upgrades also buy oversized rotors which defeats the advantage of the lightweight caliper.
I just wanted to point out that even the oversized rotors are lighter than the OEM E92 M3 rotors.

OEM Front Rotor ____Brembo ______StopTech
26.6 Lbs ___________24.8 Lbs ____22.01 Lbs

OEM Rear Rotor _____Brembo ______StopTech
22.8 Lbs ___________17.0 Lbs ____19.33 Lbs
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