Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Maybe if I make this statement public...

...I'll stick to it.

"I, Tamara, do solemnly swear that I will spend my paycheck wisely on BMW brake rotors, rather than blowing it on frivolous things like antique rifles, gourmet beer, and books."

...but I've gotten so good at avoiding using the brakes (the front rotors are so warped they probably look like Ruffles potato chips) unless absolutely necessary the last couple months. A spin down Mourfield the other day was such a symphony of downshifts and engine-braking that it sounded like the soundtrack from the next release of Gran Turismo.

I could get Brembo OEM replacements from Tire Rack for $170+shipping, but I have neither the time, talent, tools, or tarmac to swap them out. Hopefully I can weasel an appointment at Gillespie this Friday... (That's a VFTP endorsement of Gillespie, BTW; I've been using them since I bought the Beemer five years ago, and have had uniformly excellent experiences.)

17 comments:

3yellowdogs said...

"...but I've gotten so good at avoiding using the brakes..."

Yeah, but you're putting a lot of wear on your clutch that way. And besides, this is a safety issue. Your faithful readers won't easily abide a hospitalization hiatus.

Get 'em fixed!

Tam said...

Yeah, I know: My clutch (and synchros) will thank me for it.

Anonymous said...

You aren't wearing the clutch if it's done right. You *are* wearing the throwout bearing, but those are pretty much made to last forever anymore.

I use the engine to brake with my truck, because I think I have a slipped belt in my left front tire. In fact, I used the engine to brake with my last car and the clutch was just fine after 92,000 miles of it, and probably another 50K if I hadn't wiped it all over the inside lane of I-40.

Clutches only wear when they're slipping. Match RPMs and you're eliminating 99% of the slip.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Frickin' blogspot software. I'm anon, above.

Tam said...

"I'm anon, above."

Heh.

Dr. Strangegun: International Man of Mystery. :D

mdl said...

Unless BMW does weird stuff with brakes, if you can take down your firearms you can swap rotors. 5 wheel nuts and then two caliper bolts or pins. I won't mention how wrong it is to abuse your little sports car with lack of maintenance. If you have off street outdoor parking you likely have space too. And you only need two wrenches, or a wrench and a punch. One of which is the same one you need to change the tire. Now as for the time, well that is a bit harder.

Anonymous said...

The first time I did a front brake job, it took me less than 1hr. I did it in the parking lot of my apt complex. It's probably one of the easier maintenance jobs to do unless your brakes are really odd.

Think of all the gourmet beer, books, and red meat you can buy with the savings. Or, use the savings to upgrade those components.

Chris

seanmiller said...

What mdl said. If you can do basic gun maintinance and repair, you can do the brakes on a bimmer.

1)loosen the lug bolts
2)jack up the front end
3)remove the lug bolts and wheel
4)Use a flat head screw driver (or some such impliment of prying) to press the pistons back into the caliper (i.e. wedge the screwdriver between the pad and rotor and push the pad back)
5)remove the two bolts on the caliper, and take it off.
6)remove the caliper bracket...two bolts
7)the rotor ought to come off easily, if not, loosely put one lug nut back in and smack the rotor with a rubber mallet
8)re-assemble in reverse order (rotor, bracket, pads, caliper, wheel). The only tricky part is lining up the holes on the wheel, rotor, and hub all at the same time.

I really need to do the brakes on my 88' 325i, but keep putting it off. And you have plenty of room over at CCA if they let you steal two spots for an hour ...

Standard Mischief said...

Front brakes may be an easy job, but one of the "Tees" she left out was textbook.

Some yo-yo suckered me into helping on a timing chain for a Audi. We got it all the way apart when he reveals that he's not sure what timing marks to use.

I offered to drive him up to the store, bud he didn't want to get a "crappy Haynes manual", besides, it was past midnight and we would have to wait a day.

So a 3 hour job took 5 hours with trial and error and manually turning over the engine a few times to be sure there was not an interference. We also took the spark plugs out too so we could probe the number one cylinder for top-dead-center.

Remember kids, reassembly is the reverse of removal.

Oh and I recommend TireRack, but use a disposable email address because they will spam you. I had access to a tire machine once and ordered tires via teh brownshirts. Because their warehouse is in tax free Delaware, it's like I got them overnighted for free. Mounting them by myself I saved at least half off (no road hazard insurance, but I carry a plug kit anyway).

T.Stahl said...

Hmm, I could do it for you.

Though it would be easier for me if you'd be driving a Unimog 1300L or a MB 1017A 5ton truck. ;-) And if you'd live a bit closer than 4,500mls.

No, if I'd be driving a Z3, I'd ask a certain guy at our shooting club (who's a mechanic at the lcal BMW Center) for instructions - and then do it myself.

And yes, changing clutches is really expensive!

Anonymous said...

Tam,
Brakes are for stopping! Gears are for matching engine speeds to maintain the power band.

Why not opt for the Wilwoods and really make a difference.

"Doing it on/in the road", maybe at VIR is where it's at!

comatus said...

Before you do your own brakes--and in addition to reviewing a crappy Haynes manual--quickly re-read Spider Robinson's "Antinomy Mine."
Briefly put, he's agin it. He did just finish Heinlein's last novel, though, so you could at least get an amazon discount on the pair (does amazon give an extra discount to amazons?), and have something to read in the waiting room...

Lizard said...

To quote Robert Heinlein: The secret of success in marriage is to make up a list of luxuries and necessities....and budget the luxuries FIRST.

I've never picked books over brakes, but books over food...not a hard choice at all.

cleanhead said...

What do yuh need brakes for? They just slow you down.

ExistingThing said...

I drank some brake rotors once. Beer's better.

Standard Mischief said...

Just a guess based on my limited knowledge:

I also heard that wages have increased on average. If there's a shortage of qualified workers such that corporations have to pay higher wages to hire and retain qualified employees, then worker productivity goes down. (I know productivity is five syllables, but I'm pretty sure it's something like payroll expenses divided by gross income ;-) Why they feel they can't just raise prices I have no idea. Tight money supply? Maybe the fed won't raise rates because they're afraid of throttling the economy or something. If the fed lowers rates them more people borrow money and the fed creates more of it out of thin air, thus increasing the money supply (no printing presses needed, we have binary ones and zeros now)

Even if I'm on to something here, exactly how everything interacts and whatever voodoo one needs to weigh each of the economic indicators to get the entire economy picture is usually beyond me.

Standard Mischief said...

crap. wrong post.

Obviously I'm not all here today.