Jump to content
535i Andrew

F10 535i Front Brake Discs and Pads replacement DIY

Recommended Posts

At 49,400 miles my F10 declared that it had 1100 miles to go on the existing front pads.  I had previously measured the brake disc thickness and they were virtually right on the limit so they were replaced too.

 

Tools I used.

 

Trolley jack

6mm Allen key for brake disc retaining screw

9mm Allen key for brake caliper slide bolts

17mm socket for wheel bolts

18mm socket for caliper cradle retaining bolts

11mm combination spanner for bleed nipples

3/8" torque wrench 16Nm (disc retaining screw)

1/2" torque wrench 140Nm (wheel bolts)

Caliper piston retraction tool (spread type not rotational)

Brake bleed kit and container for brake fluid

Large flat blade screwdriver

Long nose pliers

Wire brush

Brake cleaner

and a hammer!

 

Jack up and remove the relevant road wheel.

 

Whilst the assembly is still complete I took the opportunity to slacken all the fixings while everything was still rigid so I knew everything was free.

 

IMG_3_4194.jpg

 

Counter holding the brake disc with large screwdriver between the caliper and caliper cradle to allow you to undo the brake disc securing screw.

 

Prise the brake caliper retaining spring clip to the rear of the car and it should pop off.

 

IMG_7_4197.jpg

 

Working to the rear of the hub prise off the two black plastic caps over the caliper retaining bolts to expose the caliper slide bolts.  The two hex head bolts are the caliper cradle retaining bolts.

 

Before I went any further I had to unclip the brake pad wear sensor from all its plastic and metal clips.  The ABS sensor wire runs thru the same clips and needs to be moved out the way first to free out the brake pad wear sensor wire.

 

IMG_9_4202.jpg

 

The screw driver is pointing to the middle clip on the hub.  There is a vertical one to the right and another one that you can see to the left. I had to gently spread these to get the wiring out. The lower wire is the ABS sensor and below that again is the hydraulic hose.  These proved tricky, particularly the one to the right of the screw driver.  The pad wear sensor is only on the nearside on the front axle.

 

IMG_12_4205.jpg

 

Unplug the wear sensor from the socket in the black box at the top of the wheel arch.  Mine was full of grit!  Top plug is the pad wear sensor.

 

I then started with the rest of the dismantling. 

 

IMG_13_4199.jpg

 

The 9mm Allen key bit in action to remove the caliper slide bolts.  Hand up who has a 9mm Allen key in their tool kit?  Remove the two slide bolts, you may need a pair of long nose pliers to pull them free of the rubber guides once fully unscrewed.

 

IMG_14_4201.jpg

 

As my pads and discs were quite worn the caliper piston was virtually fully extended, looking at the picture above thru the inspection window in the caliper, (left to right) you can only see a slight bit of the disc, whats left of the friction material on the pad (above and below the wear sensor), pad backing and the pistons rubber boot. 

 

IMG_15_4216.jpg

 

This amount of wear means the caliper needed to be levered to the inside of the car to clear the cradle when attempting to remove it.  I cracked open the bleed screw to expel the fluid rather than force it back up the brake lines to prevent reverse pressure on a seal or putting dirt back up the lines. This meant I wasn't fighting against hydraulic pressure when levering the caliper.

 

Lift the caliper rearwards to clear the cradle and I placed it on an upturned builders bucket to support it so as not to strain the hydraulic hose.

 

To remove the disc you first need to remove the caliper cradle. 

 

IMG-16-4217.jpg

 

Breaker bar and 18mm socket on lower bolt.

 

Caliper cradle came away and I then liberally cleaned it with brake cleaner (thanks @GoNz0 for the Normfest recommendation, it worked a treat) and a wire brush.

 

Remove the brake disc securing screw and lift off the disc.  I fitted two of my wheel alignment tools so as to prevent the disc falling off the hub.  The nearside fell off onto the wheel alignment tool. but the offside needed to be persuade to leave the hub with a hammer.

 

Given the number of complaints on this forum from vibration from the wheels and or brakes, I made sure the hub flange was fully clean from rust and muck. Another wire brushing.

 

IMG_19_4221.jpg

 

Hub face wire brushed clean.

 

Brake splasher shield is pretty manky, I think we will here of these rusting thru in a few years.  My dad got his replaced under warranty.

 

I then used my caliper piston retraction tool to force the piston back in the cylinder.  Again I opened the bleed screw to expel the fluid via brake bleed kit.

 

IMG_17_4223.jpg

 

Piston retraction tool inserted between the brake pads.  Gentle pressure on the tommy bar was all that was needed.  

 

IMG_18_4224.jpg

 

Photo is a bit fuzzy, sorry, but here is the brake bleed kit set up before I started to retract the piston.

 

Start putting things back together now.

 

IMG_20_4231.jpg

 

I used my wheel alignment tools and a wheel bolt to position the disc tight up to the hub face to make sure it was perfectly aligned before tightening the disc retaining screw (Allen key bit is sticking out of it) to 16Nm.  Make sure you fit the right discs to the right side of the car as the discs on this car are handed.  Each disc hub has an arrow showing the direction of rotation.

 

Refit the caliper cradle and torque the bolts to 110Nm.  

 

IMG_21_4232.jpg

 

I then greased the contact surfaces on the cradle with copper grease.  This allows the pads to slide on the cradle.

 

IMG_24_4235.jpg

 

The pad has different metal cover over the backing plate which also form the sliding surface over the cradle.  This is to prevent squeaky brakes.  The outer pad sits on the cradle and the inner pad clips into the piston.

 

Lift the caliper on to the cradle and refit the slide bolts. 

 

I cleaned up the bolts using a wire brush mounted on my pillar drill.  The caliper cradle bolts were a bit corroded and had a bit of damage to the very ends of the threads (where they extend beyond the cradle and are therefore exposed) but the threads taper so clear the threads on the cradle.  I should have replaced these and I would recommend that you do that too.

 

IMG_22_4233.jpg

 

Caliper slide bolts, which were both the same size top and bottom, my E60 had different length bolts.  Tighten to 55Nm.

 

Using a pair of long nose pliers push the wear sensor into the inner pad and reroute the wiring thru its various clips and reconnect it in the box and secure the cover.

 

IMG_25_4239.jpg

 

Photo taken of the other caliper, where you can see significantly more of the disc and pad thickness than the earlier picture.  The wear sensor would clip into the gap on the inner pads backing plate.  The caliper is wet after I cleaned off some spilt brake fluid.

 

Refit the brake caliper retaining spring clip.  BMW recommend to replace this on cars older than 4 years but there was plenty of spring in mine and showed no signs of corrosion so they went back in after a bit of persuading/levering with a screwdriver.

 

IMG_4264.jpg

 

Nearside inner pad and disc.  Probably explains the vibration I was getting when braking hard at speed.

 

IMG_4267.jpg

 

Only fit for weighing in. 

 

IMG_4266_Galfer_and_ATE.jpg7

 

The old (original) pads are made by Galfer, the new pads I'm assuming are Galfer too as it had GA followed by the same number 5027.  No markings on either the old or new discs as to their manufacturer.

 

I bled out 500ml of brake fluid from each front caliper.  See this post for how I did that.

 

 

I then reset the service interval on the dash.  See this post for how I did that.

 


I then took it for a (spirited) test drive.  Brakes were much firmer to the pedal.  When braking the steering wheel remained perfectly straight.  There was no vibration felt in anyway on the car, from the steering wheel, brake pedal or through the seat. No squeals or squeaks either.

 

IMG_27_4256.jpg

 

After the drive I checked the temperatures of both discs and they were within a degree of each other but were cooling rapidly so no uneven brake force or dragging brakes.

 

The pads, discs, wear sensor and two 500ml bottles of DOT 4 brake fluid cost me £364 from my local BMW dealer after getting a bit of a discount.

 

Brake_service_price.jpg

 

BMW wanted £564 for the same job plus another £80 for brake fluid change.

 

It took me 1 hour to do the offside disc and pad change and brake fluid change.  The nearside took longer as I had to free out the wear sensor from all its clips and I took all but one of the photos on that side.  Up on a ramp it would be much easier and quicker!  So its not unreasonable to say I saved £250, labour was a few beers for my dad.

 

Good time spent working with my dad.

 

Sorted and quite happy that it went o.k.

 

I've now to take my wife and littl'un away for the weekend with the saving I made, rather than reinvesting it on the F10.

Edited by 535i Andrew
Caliper slide bolt torque added.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice write up, glad the spray worked. I set about my sump gasket this week and realised I had used my last 10 cans (great stuff) and had to do an emergency order!

 

But I digress.

 

Copper grease on a modern car :blink: https://textar-professional.com/textar-training-center/the-use-of-copper-grease-on-modern-brakes/

 

I use ceramic grease for the brakes and Normfest offshore silver spray on the hub :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, GoNz0 said:

Copper grease on a modern car :blink: https://textar-professional.com/textar-training-center/the-use-of-copper-grease-on-modern-brakes/

 

I use ceramic grease for the brakes and Normfest offshore silver spray on the hub :)

 

Like the link.  Old school mechanics, yup that's me lol.  I used a tiny smear on the contact points. 

 

Point noted for future though, thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, 535i Andrew said:

 

Like the link.  Old school mechanics, yup that's me lol.  I used a tiny smear on the contact points. 

 

Point noted for future though, thanks.

 

I use the BMW specified ATE Plastilube.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Matthew Ashton said:

 

I use the BMW specified ATE Plastilube.

I thought that was just for the pistons?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, GoNz0 said:

I thought that was just for the pistons?

 

No, for all Brake contact and friction areas as shown here: https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/f11-530d-tou_201007/repair-manuals/34-brakes/34-21-rear-wheel-brakes/1VnXU6erZU

 

I use it on the hub rings when mounting the wheels too as per: https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/f11-530d-tou_201007/repair-manuals/31-front-axle-front-suspension/31-21-wheel-bearings-steering-knuckle/1R0NpLN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another good write-up! Not a massive difference to the E60 process by the looks. 

Nowt wrong with Coppaslip IMO. Served me well since I bought a tin for my bike in the late 70's - and I'm still on the same tin.

If it has a fault it's that it sticks like s*** to a blanket. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Matthew Ashton said:

Doh I had no idea, I bought a tube to put behind the caliper seals to stop clicking on new pads. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to specify the caliper slide bolt torque of 55Nm.  Should also point out that this torque is for the 9mm Allen key size caliper slide bolts which from what I can understand are specified on this size of brake disc 348 x 36mm which is part of the "High speed brake" option available on other models.

 

The size of caliper slide bolt on a F10 530d (348 x 30mm discs) as an example, is 7mm Allen key and the torque is correspondingly lower, 30-5Nm, (25Nm to 30Nm) that's the only difference if you want to follow the above.  The 30mm thick discs are not rotational specific, so you don't need to worry about which disc to put on which side.

 

I remember reading a while back about the different grease used on modern brakes, I forgot to get some.  I'll know next time. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Erhan said:

Excellent write up Andrew thank you, when you doing rears as mine coming soon :) 

 

You are welcome.

 

Ha, my rear pads were changed by the AUC dealer just before I bought it.  According to my idrive, they have 70,000 miles to go yet.

 

Its a bit more involved as you need to either, tell the car to put the handbrake into service mode or strip off the actuators and wind them back manually.  There are a few youtube videos showing the latter method without giving any warning messages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 535i Andrew said:

 

You are welcome.

 

Ha, my rear pads were changed by the AUC dealer just before I bought it.  According to my idrive, they have 70,000 miles to go yet.

 

Its a bit more involved as you need to either, tell the car to put the handbrake into service mode or strip off the actuators and wind them back manually.  There are a few youtube videos showing the latter method without giving any warning messages.

is it possible to put them in to service mode via ista? Mine seem got bit of meat on them however i get a vibration through the pedal but not steering, i tried the cruise control trick as someone suggested on here to see if it still vibrated and i felt. I got my front ones changed back in august shame it wasnt them as it would be still under warranty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Erhan said:

is it possible to put them in to service mode via ista? Mine seem got bit of meat on them however i get a vibration through the pedal but not steering, i tried the cruise control trick as someone suggested on here to see if it still vibrated and i felt. I got my front ones changed back in august shame it wasnt them as it would be still under warranty.

 

Yes it can be wound back via one of the ISTA service functions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, IINexusII said:

 

Yes it can be wound back via one of the ISTA service functions

 

Must get my ISTA working again.  No need for it at present, but for something like that task, it would be the best way to carry it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent stuff, mate, thank you. I will show this to my new mechanic (my 16 year old son) who I'm sure will have no problem following your instructions when the time comes.

 

You know what? This is a perfect example of the very best the internet has to offer. People like yourself, @Matthew Ashton and all the others that contribute stuff like this for everybody else for free. A wonderful thing.

 

It's why we put up with you. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, jannism said:

Excellent stuff, mate, thank you. I will show this to my new mechanic (my 16 year old son) who I'm sure will have no problem following your instructions when the time comes.

 

Just mind and get some of the right grease.;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Matthew Ashton said:

Great write up Andrew. Your old discs were well manky and I am a sucker for new shiny brake parts.

 

Thanks. It is nice to see the new discs, pity they are hidden behind my 327 wheels. It will look good when the 351s come  out of winter hibernation.

 

Worryingly, if you went on my dash with 1100 miles to go and looking at the outside face you would think all was o.k for another 1100 miles as it was a nice smooth shiny enough surface. As others have said don't rely on the computer!

 

But when you see what lurks behind on the side of the disc you can't see, you thoughts very quickly change. Don't get me wrong it's not like they were going to suddenly shatter, but braking performance would most likely be compromised. The tell tale I suppose is the outer perimeter of the disc it was very rusty. I don't think that's obvious in any of my pics. The first blow of the rubber mallet on the offside disc only dislodged a fair chunk of the rust off this edge with the disc remaining stuck fast. 

 

It it makes me now think about what condition my rear discs are in now.:o

 

My E60 front brakes survived for 70,000 miles, I wonder if these F10 discs are in poor(er) condition due to it living for the first three years of its life in cold, wet Aberdeen where there will be grit on the roads for 9 months of the year?  The E60 was from a positively tropical climate, Derby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×