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From digest.v6.n877 Mon Jul 14 06:24:37 1997
From: Geiger Lee <>
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 07:53:22 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Amateur DIYer - <E30> brake pads

Hello all.

Yesterday I changed the pads on my '91 325iC. I ordered the Repco/Axxis Deluxe pads from Eurasian and new lining sensors for around $60. A torque wrench from Imparts for $25 and various other tools, wrenches, lubricants, etc. for $35. All total $120. My local mechanic wanted $110 per axle and the dealer wanted more. I had planned to buy stock pads until the dealer quoted me $82 per axle for pads alone.

Prior to this work, the only other things I had done to this car were to replace the air filter and the radio antenna mast. Doing something as crucial as brakes had me nervous so I came to the digest for suggestions. About a dozen people gave their advice and I had the Bentley's manual.

Good pieces of advice I received: 1. Buy a brake caliper spreader instead of a C-clamp - $8, 2. use Repco Deluxe, 3. order new sensors, 4. use bungee cord to hold up caliper, 5. be careful not to push piston in too far to prevent brake fluid from pushing out of the brake fluid tank (unfortunately it still happened).

Some mistakes made: 1. on the advice of several who said to use anti-squeak compound, I used the "goo" kind. On the first wheel I didn't give it enough time to dry and had to go back and clean off the pad carrier and caliper, 2. brake fluid spill (see above), 3. in trying to remove one lug bolt, the lug wrench slipped a little and when I torgued it, it twisted the top of the nut strangely.

As I am very much a detailer-type person, I took the time while the wheels were off to soak them in Simple Green (unabashed testimonial) and give them a good cleaning. Larry Reynolds article in the Roundel gave some good advice there.

Time-wise it took me 2.5 hours. This included one trip to the car parts place, detailing the wheels and test drive after each axle. I feel next time it will take about one hour. We'll find out soon as the Quest minivan's brakes have been loud lately. It will be interesting to compare German design with Japanese (or is it Ford's) design.

All in all, a very easy, satisfying first project for someone who has been lurking on the digest for a long time and wanted to DO SOMETHING like everyone else here has.

I hope that any other "lurkers" out there will be inspired to put down the mouse and get out there and try it. If you do, EMail me and I would be happy to send to you the collection of pieces of advice I received.

Thanks to all who helped!
Geiger Lee
'91 325iC <E30> 45K miles

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