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Brake Rotor Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Brake Rotor Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2.5 hours

Tab:

$350

Talent:

***

Tools:

6mm Allen bit, set of sockets, 16 mm socket, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Front or rear brake pads, brake pad wear sensors

Hot Tip:

Clean brake caliper

Performance Gain:

Proper brake function

Complementary Modification:

Flush brake fluid

You should check your brake rotors every major service that you perform on your BMW. Inspect your brake rotors for cracks, scoring or replace them if you have a pulsation when braking. Brake rotors can look OK and still be worn out. If there is a ridge around the edge of the brake rotor, this is a good sign that they are worn out. Measure the brake rotor thickness to determine if they need replacing using a micrometer. When measuring, measure in a few different spots and use the lowest number. Factory BMW rotors have the minimum thickness stamped on the brake rotor hub flange.

  • Front brake rotor minimum thickness: 3.0 6-cylinder,4.4 liter 8-cylinder 28.4 mm (1.12 in)
  • Rear brake rotor minimum thickness: 3.0 6-cylinder,4.4 liter 8-cylinder 10.4 mm (0.49 in)
  • Front brake rotor minimum thickness: 4.6 8-cylinder 34.4 mm (1.35 in)
  • Rear brake rotor minimum thickness: 4.8 8-cylinder 18.4 mm (0.72 in)

It's a good idea to inspect and replace your brake pads when replacing the brake rotors. See our tech article on brake pad replacing. Always replace brake rotors in pairs by the axle.

Lift and support the axle of the vehicle you are replacing the brake pads on. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Remove the wheels on the axle you are replacing the brake rotors on.

Using a flathead screwdriver, remove the brake caliper anti-rattle spring (green arrow) by prying it out while securing it with your hand.
Figure 1

Using a flathead screwdriver, remove the brake caliper anti-rattle spring (green arrow) by prying it out while securing it with your hand. The spring can pop off and go flying. Be sure to hold it steady.

Using a flathead screwdriver, slowly press the brake caliper piston in.
Figure 2

Using a flathead screwdriver, slowly press the brake caliper piston in. This allows the brake caliper to be pulled off the brake rotor easily.

Working behind the brake caliper, remove the two 16 mm (rear rotor is 16mm) brake caliper bracket mounting bolts (green arrows).
Figure 3

Working behind the brake caliper, remove the two 16 mm (rear rotor is 16mm) brake caliper bracket mounting bolts (green arrows). Remove the brake caliper bracket from the wheel carrier and hang it using a piece of metal coat hanger or a strong bungee cord. Do not allow the caliper to hang from the brake hose.

Next, using a 6mm Allen bit, remove the brake rotor mounting fastener (green arrow).
Figure 4

Next, using a 6mm Allen bit, remove the brake rotor mounting fastener (green arrow). Then remove the brake rotor from the hub. For those northern tier vehicles subject to the rust and corrosion of the winter months you may find that the brake rotor fastener will not come loose with normal pressure. Don't add too much pressure you may round out the Allen hole. Instead use an impact driver and a hammer to break the bolt free.

After removing the rotor, clean the wheel hub using a wire brush.
Figure 5

After removing the rotor, clean the wheel hub using a wire brush. Remove all corrosion and rust from the hub before installing the new rotor. Install a new brake rotor and tighten the mounting fasteners. Then reinstall the brake caliper and tighten the bracket mounting bolts. Once the calipers are installed and the fasteners are tight, press the brake pedal to pump the brakes up. Once the brake pedal is hard to push, install the wheels and check the brake operation.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Juan Comments: How do you remove the low caliper bolt in the rear, the sock is in the way and I can't get my socket in ?
July 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Use a wrench of the same size. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ABlack Comments: Don't forget about the little rotor retaining bolt. There's rarely enough corrosion to warrant severe, repeated hammering.
November 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: YES. Thanks for the Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
David Comments: removing the brake caliper and pads was a smooth operation. Likewise, removing the mounting fastener from the rotor was no problem,but, the rotor still will not budge. I don't want to use too much force and damage something.I'm open to suggestions.
October 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try hitting it from being using a large soft-faced hammer, like a rubber deadblow. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:40:34 AM