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E28 M535i brake upgrade. Anyone done this before?

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Hello all. This is my first topic and it's a biggie. I'm looking for some knowledge and experience on this one as I've spent two days trawling the forums with no luck, after spending several weeks chasing down various people, to not much avail.

My E28 M535i had standard brakes which I completely destroyed at Castle Combe, and I mean completely. Three ruined discs, one seized caliper, a complete set of barbequed pads and one passenger scared witless. Had immense fun doing it though, even though I nearly collected a spinning AC Cobra Coupe coming out of a wet Quarry corner!

I've decided to upgrade all of the brakes. After a long discussion with Stuart The Parts Guy (that's all I know him as) at Munich Legends I've decided against E34 5 series bits as, whilst newer, they're still single piston fist type calipers with marginally larger discs. I've looked at big brake kits from independent sources and I'm not willing to spend that kind of money.

An aquaintance in the BMWCC is running and tracking an E28 M5 with 840Ci calipers and discs on the front. The mod is fantastically simple, very nearly just a bolt-on job and provides multi-pot floating calipers with a much better disc. The unions are the same size too, so braided hoses for standard M535i brakes will fit straight on (mine's a mid-'86 DC72, which was produced with M5 brakes. Earlier cars had standard 535 brakes, which have different pipes) and I can get EBC discs and Yellowstuff pads to fit most things. Cost is middle of the road, so this is what I'm looking at. Stuart suggested looking at 840 Sport calipers as they're Brembos, but I don't know if they'll fit or what they cost.

My main problem is the rears. Nobody I've found seems to have changed the rear brakes at all, except for pads, as no one else seems to have had a problem. I'm determined to upgrade the rear calipers and discs, but I can't even find out what will fit. Stuart suggested I try to find out what Alpina did to their E28s as they often just bolted on bits from larger BMWs to get a relatively simple and cost effective performance upgrade, but I'm having enough trouble finding sources on E28 Alpinas in general, never mind specifics like calipers and discs.

In case anyone else is interested, I've included the e-mail from Tim, the fellow with the M5. What he doesn't say here is that you have to get a good set of pliers or grips and bend the lip on the dust shield straight so that it doesn't foul the disc. My regular independent (an old ex-BMW mechanic) also says I should get the 840Ci mounting brackets for the calipers to allow for the larger disc diameter, otherwise it's a straight fit.

Any help with this one will be appreciated.

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Hi Martin, managed to get the videos to play through Quicktime-brillint ,thanks !

Part numbers for front brake kit as follows:

Rotors(Discs) from Eurocarparts 104110050 ventilated from E38,E31 Approx £108 pair

Brake Pads 840 Ci GDB1269 car factors approx £35 set Standard Road pads,but I changed these for EBC reds

Pad Fitting Kit 840 Ci PFK481 car factors approx £12

Caliper Bolts 840 Ci B34.11.6.767.217 ,4 required, £1 each from BMW

N/S Caliper 34.11.1.161.177 ,approx £340

O/S Caliper 34.11.1.161.178 approx £340

About £850 worth but stops the car!!

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P.S. Why is the text box going nuts while I'm typing? It does this to me every time. Anyone else?

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i have a doc on this

Many people have started upgrading the brakes on their E28s. Well here is a list of BMW brakes and the cars they come off of, which fit the E28.

Notes to keep in mind:

1. You may need larger wheels and tires if you increase the size of your brakes.

2. Remember that the pads are different then the stock E28 brakes.

3. Prices in Euro are not a definitve and are for new items - you may find some differences depending on dealer. So please dont take as the prices as absolute gospel!!

Front Brakes:

E32 (all models, 735, 740, 750)

The calipers are single piston. To be used with 302mm diameter x 28mm thick rotors.

Caliper part #: 34 11 1 160 363/364 (199.50 Eur)

Rotor Part #: 34 11 1 159 896 (superceded by 34 11 6 756 090) (72.30 Eur)

Carrier Part #: 34 11 1 160 365 (91.80 Eur)

Note: E36 US M3 pads can fit this application.

E28 M5/ E24 M6 (US and Euro)

The calipers are 4 piston. To be used with 300mm diameter x 30mm thick rotors. E32 302mm diameter x 28mm thick rotors can be substituted.

Caliper Part #: 34 11 2 225 002/003 (432.60 Eur)

Rotor Part #: 34 11 2 225 007 (102.60 Eur)

Substitute Rotor Part #: 34 11 1 159 896 (superceded by 34 11 6 756 090) (72.30 Eur)

No carrier.

E34 (all models, 525i/535i/530i)

The calipers are single piston. To be used with 302mm diameter x 22mm ventilated thick rotor.

Caliper Part #: 34 11 1 160 367/368 (194.00 Eur)

Rotor Part #: 34 11 1 160 936 (75.50 Eur)

Carrier Part #: 34 11 1 160 366 (91.80 Eur)

E34 (540i)

The calipers are single piston, floating. To be used with 302mm diameter x 28mm thick rotors.

Caliper part #: 34 11 1 160 363/364 (199.50 Eur)

Rotor Part #: 34 11 1 159 896 (superceded by 34 11 6 756 090) (72.30 Eur)

Carrier Part #: 34 11 1 160 365 (91.80 Eur)

E34 M5 3.6 ,E34 540i Sport

The calipers are single piston. To be used with 315mm diameter x 28mm thick rotors.

Caliper Part #: 34 11 2 226 407/408 (also 34 11 2 226 873/874) ( 281.00 Eur)

Rotors Part #: 34 11 2 226 385 (100.50 Eur)

Carrier Part #: 34 11 2 226 875 (136.50 Eur)

E34 M5 Euro Nurburgring brakes

The calipers are 4 piston calipers, to be used with 345mm diameter x 32mm thick directionally ventilated rotors.

Caliper Part #: 34 11 2 227 115/116 (555 Eur)

Rotor Part #: 34 11 2 227 735/736 (198 Eur)

No carrier. [Note these brakes were available on EURO 850CSi.]

E31 (up to 8/93)

The calipers are single piston. To be used with 324mm x 30mm thick rotors

Caliper Part #: 34 11 1 160 325/326 (215.00 Eur)

Rotor Part #: 34 11 1 159 895 (77.50 Eur) [Note]

Carrier Part #: 34 11 1 160 327 (94.50 Eur)

E31 (after 8/93)

The calipers are four piston, known as “Brembo” brakes. To be used with 324mm x 30mm thick rotors.

Caliper Part #: 34 11 1 161 177/178 (289.00 Eur)

Rotors Part #: 34 11 1 161 086 (superceded by 34 11 6 756 087) (100.50 Eur)

[uS 850CSi Rotor Part #: 34 11 6 757 746 (75.50 Eur) (same used on E32 750i Euro, and E38 and E39 V8 engine cars). Note: US 850CSi rotor Part #746 is used with calipers #325/326. Note: Although #746 is the same rotor used on E38s and E39s, the carrier's bolt spacing to the struts on E39s/E38s are not the same as E24/E28/E31/E32/E34.]

No carrier.

Rear Brakes:

E34 non-vented (535i/530i/525i)

The calipers are single piston. To be used with 300mm x 10mm thick solid rotors

Caliper Part #: 34 21 1 157 557/558 (superceded by 34 21 1 160 381/382) (135.50 Eur)

Rotors Part #: 34 21 1 162 305 (superceded by 34 21 1 160 305) (49.00 Eur)

Carrier Part #: 34 21 1 160 383 (83.10 Eur)

E34 vented (540i/M5/540i Sport)

The calipers are single piston. To be used with 300mm diameter x 20mm thick vented rotors

Caliper Part #: 34 21 1 159 657/658 (superceded by 34 21 1 160 399/400) (155.00 Eur)

Rotor Part #: 34 21 1 165 265 (70.80 Eur)

Carrier Part #: 34 21 1 160 384 (83.10 Eur)

E32 non-vented (735)

The calipers are single piston. To be used with 300mm diameter x 12mm thick solid rotors. E34 solid rotors are required. Carrier information as to which is acceptable is unavailable at this time.

Caliper Part #: 34 21 1 160 353/354 (152.00 Eur)

Rotor Part #: 34 21 1 165 257 (60.50 Eur)

Carrier Part #: 34 21 1 160 355 (83.10 Eur)

E32 vented (740i/750iL)

The calipers are single piston. To be used with 300mm x 20mm thick vented rotors (E34 vented rotors must be used!)

Caliper Part #: 34 21 1 160 399/400 (155.00 Eur)

Rotor Part #: 34 21 1 165 265 (540i) (70.80 Eur)

Rotors that came on E32 Part #: 34 21 1 162 967 (will not fit E28/E24 application. Reference use only.) (69.80 Eur)

Carrier Part #: 34 21 1 160 384 (83.10 Eur)

E34 Nurburgring (M5 Euro)

To be sued with 328mm diameter x 20mm thick vented rotors.

Caliper Part #: 34 11 2 227 873/874 (191.00 Eur)

Rotor Part #: 34 11 2 227 844 (93.40 Eur)

Carrier Part #: 34 11 2 227 875 (127.00 Eur)

Here are an example list of stages of braking upgrades and the minimum wheel size you can safely fit. The amount of benefit you receive from the upgrade is mainly dependant on the pads and rotors you use.

Stage 1: E32/540i fronts

Minimum wheel size: 15” wheels

Stage 2: E28 M5/ E24 M6 fronts

Minimum wheel size: TRX, only *some* 15” wheels, 16” wheels

Stage 3: E32/540i fronts, E34 solid rears

Minimum wheel size: 15” wheels front and rear

Stage 4: E28 M5/ E24 M6 fronts, E34 solid rears

Minimum wheel size: TRX, only *some* 15”, 16” wheels front; 15” wheels rear

Stage 5: E32/540i fronts, E34/E32 vented rears

Minimum wheel size: 15” wheels front and rear

Stage 6: E28 M5/ E24 M6 fronts, E34/E32 vented rears

Minimum wheel size: TRX, only *some* 15”, 16” wheels front; 15” wheels rear

Stage 7: E34 US M5/US 540i Sport front and rear

Minimum wheel size: some 16” wheels front; 15” wheels rear

Stage 8: E31 front, E34/E32 vented rears

Minimum wheel size: some 16” wheels front; 15” wheels rear

Stage 9: E34 Euro, E31 850CSi Euro (Nurburgring brakes)

Minimum wheel size: 17” wheels front; 16” wheels rear

Rrecommend not to use slotted or cross-drilled rotors for use in daily driving application, and most other applications. slotted rotors give a different and strange vibration feeling through the pedal. This can be disconcerting in normal street use and even worse on track. also is has been said that slotted rotors have a tendancy to wear out pads very quickly. Cross-drilled rotors are generally more susceptible to cracking, and also increase vibration. Good quality normal rotors are best for almost all applications, including track use. (e30 m3 track lads use oem disks, braided hoses and uprated pads)

Good, dustless or low-dust road pads are recommended as the following (these are just a few examples, there are many other manufacturers of brake pads that offer good products).

1. PBR Deluxe and Metalmasters (US PAd) – good original equipment replacement. Best for daily use, in a variety of ambient temperatures.

2. Mintex, Pagid – slightly more aggressive pads. Good daily use, with some aggressive use. Better in warmer temperatures.

3. Porterfield R4S – aggressive pads that can be used on the street. These are better suited for hard street, auto-x, and Driver's School use. They work well under higher temperatures so cold stopping will be reduced.

4. Porterfield R4, R4E, Hawk – track pads. Recommended not for use on the street.

Best Value recommendations:

1. E32/540i Front brakes (Stage 1)

2. E32/540i Front brake; E34 solid or E32/E34 vented rear brakes (Stage 3 or 5)

Best Performance Recommendation:

1. E32/540i Front brakes; E32/E34 vented rear brakes (Stage 5)

2. E28/E24 M5/M6 front brakes; E32/E34 vented rear brakes (Stage 6)

3. E34 M5/540i Sport (Stage 7)

Ultimate Performance:

1. E34/E32/E31 Nurburgring Brakes

hope that helps

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A mate has a set of 840 Brembos on his e28 M5. A good choice of brakes I think? I hope anyway as I have (paid for but not in my possession) a set that I shall be fitting to the front of my e28 too. As Mark has suggested e34 540/m5 rears are probably the best match for the Brembos.

...mine's a mid-'86 DC72, which was produced with M5 brakes. Earlier cars had standard 535 brakes..
All e28 535/m535s have the same single piston callipers, the e28 M5 used 4 pot front callipers.
Stuart suggested I try to find out what Alpina did to their E28s....
They didn't do anything, Alpina e28s use standard brakes.
...you have to get a good set of pliers or grips and bend the lip on the dust shield straight so that it doesn't foul the disc.
Or buy the e31 backplates which will bolt straight on.
My regular independent (an old ex-BMW mechanic) also says I should get the 840Ci mounting brackets for the calipers to allow for the larger disc diameter, otherwise it's a straight fit.
The callipers bolt straight to the strut leg they don't have mounting brackets.

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I am just about to upgrade the brakes on my 94' 525i sport, with e31 840ci brembo 4 pot front, which I paid £105 delivered for and are in useable condition. I found them on ebay, off a breaker that was advertising a front bumper for an e31. I have just bought some e34 540i rear calipers and discs off of some one on here for a good price, I plan on fitting standard discs all round as I dont want to pay £250+ for discs and then have them crack when I give them a thrashing, I will fit standard pads at first and then uprate them if I feel the cars needs it, I plan on turboing the car in the future. you can get pistons and seals from brakepartssuperstore.co.uk. I also plan on fitting black diamond braided hoses to beef up the pedal feel aswell, hope some of this was of use, cheers Jonesy

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Fantastic post eamo .....thanks .

I have fitted E34 3.6 M5 front 315mm vented discs and single pot ATE calipers to my E28 M5 with great results .

Bear in mind that an E34 M5 weighs in the region of 1850 kg .

We run the EBC Yellowstuff pads on our stripped out E34 3.6 M5 with standard discs and calipers and they performed faultlessly at the Nurburgring , Donington and Snetterton !

I have a set of E34 M5 calipers and discs for anyone considering this upgrade .

D

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Wow! That was much more than I was hoping for, thanks a lot fellas. Extra special thanks to eamo and jonah. It's so difficult to get accurate info about the older cars these days, but this should allow me to sort out some stoppers in short order. I'll let you know how I get on in due course. I hope to have it fixed in time for the National BMW Festival at Gaydon on 16 August. Is anyone else intending to go?

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I hope to have it fixed in time for the National BMW Festival at Gaydon on 16 August. Is anyone else intending to go?

Do bears shit in the woods! We will have our stand there again this year so pop over and have a chin wag! :)

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I have Genuine direct bolt-on Big Brake kit for all BMW 5 Series E28 and E34.

These are 850i Brake Calipers, Carriers, Pads and Brake Hoses.

BMW part Numbers:

Calipers : 34 11 1 160 325 (left) and 34 11 1 160 326 (right)

Carriers: 34 11 1 160 327

Clips: 34 11 1 157 687

Pads: 34 11 1 160 296

Genuine BMW/ATE.

Ferodo Break Pads

They are direct fit bolt-on upgrade to all E28 and E34 5 series cars - perfect for Racing, Track Days and "Fast Road" use.

These are probably the biggest BMW single-piston brake calipers of the era and feature massive 324X30 mm Ventilated brake discs.

These brakes are bigger and more powerful then ones fitted to pre-1994 BMW M5. The result is better brake cooling, fade-resistance and more "bite".

As a comparison most E28s were fitted with 284 mm brakes and E34s with 302 mm discs so this is a rare opportunity to upgrade to massive front brakes.

Please note these brakes will not fit under 15 inch wheels. The minimum size required is 16inches.

I have not used them yet due to car being sorted out at this time. Also im looking of 16 e28 bbs alloys...M5..

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Right, after much research I'm going with 840/850 Brembos (post Aug '94) up front and E34 540 vented bits at the back. EBC discs and Yellowstuff pads all round and Goodridge hoses are on the way, as are some re-conditioned front calipers and E31 dust shields. I just need to source some rear calipers, dust shields and a couple of fasteners and I'm sorted. I'll post a list of the costs, part numbers of bits used, where sourced from, problems, etc. in due course. This isn't going to be cheap, but I think it'll do the job (bazooka to kill a mosquito)...

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I believe that the 540 i rear vented 300mm discs and single pot ATE calipers are the same as the E34 3.6 M5 parts , in which case , I've got a set for you £125 delivered .

D

they are.

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I believe that the 540 i rear vented 300mm discs and single pot ATE calipers are the same as the E34 3.6 M5 parts , in which case , I've got a set for you £125 delivered .

D

Thanks for confirming that duncan-uk. Give me a few days to sort some things out and I might have those calipers. I'll let you know either way shortly.

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I believe that the 540 i rear vented 300mm discs and single pot ATE calipers are the same as the E34 3.6 M5 parts , in which case , I've got a set for you £125 delivered .

D

I already have discs, pads and pipes. Would you be willing to sell the calipers without these bits? Are the calipers new, reconditioned, serviced or just removed from a car and sold as they are? Do you have the dust shields, mounting carriers and assorted nuts and bolts for them as well? Also, can you tell me the meaning of life and the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden?

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eamo and jonah again. You guys are fast becoming my new best friends. I'm afraid I'm not going to get the brakes sorted for Gaydon (DAMN!). I'll have to turn up in my current runaround (E39 523i se).

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Right, rear calipers should be on their way, courtesy of classic-md-autos. My next post will probably be a list of parts and costs. I'll try to keep it short, but brace yourselves for that one!

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AAARGH! Why does nothing ever work properly for me? The front calipers are on their way, but it seems that UPS have lost the rear discs and pads. A delivery company who deliver £250 packages to the wrong address. Awesome. And some random person happily signed for them. If they're attached to a Corsa, I'm going to get upset. I'll collate and write up the list of bits and prices shortly.

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IT'S FINISHED! IT'S FINIIIIISHED!!!!! Good grief, that took some effort. Here's a short version of events:

Destroyed standard brakes at Castle Combe, decided to upgrade. After much advice and consultation with bmw5 forum members and some specialists, decided to do a massive upgrade.

Spent one month trying to find second hand front calipers. Failed miserably, had to fork out for new ones (OUCH!).

Bought rear calipers from classic-md-autos. Thanks pal, that's nearly the only part of this which has gone right.

UPS lost rear discs and pads, then spent one month trying to find them. They failed, then spent two weeks getting a replacement set.

All that time, I forgot about the front discs and pads, which EBC hadn't despatched because they couldn't find the discs. That took another week and a half.

Order Goodrich stainless hoses. They turn up. They're the right ones. Amazement ensues.

Car urgently needed, don't have time to fit parts myself and MoT runs out. Have to pay long suffering regular independant to sort it for me. Boo.

I have it back for less than three hours, and three half-wits try to tag team me on a roundabout on the Oxford bypass. Flooring it and cutting two of said half-wits up evades another expensive 'event' (I had no alternatives but to go for a gap, or probably get crunched. I don't cut people up unless it's to preserve myself, especially on a busy roundabout).

That's the short version. I haven't even finished paying for everything yet. As soon as I have all of the prices, I'll post a comprehesive list of items, part numbers, costs and sources. I know I've been saying that for a while and I sincerely apologise for the delay, but this hasn't been easy. Anyone else considering this upgrade, you've been warned!

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