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Submitted By: fixb52s
Date Created: 04-25-2006
Description: This car shakes! Not in a good way though. The tires sat flat for a long time, and even though they hold air, they are flat spoted to the point that they probably cannot be balanced. The wheels are also toast.
Related Projects: 1989 BMW 325ic Restoration
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Dirty wheels
The wheels need a good bath. They have a coating of brake dust that turned them black.

A toothbrush is a great tool to use when cleaning wheels. A wheel cleaner designed for clear coated wheels was used.

Bad wheels
Crap! These wheels were chromed, but the brake dust ate through the plating and attacked the wheel. It will cost too much money to have them replanted. They could have them bead blasted and clear coated, but these wheels are not worth the expense. New wheels are the only option.

This is a set of bad brakes. I was told these brakes were "just replaced" by Midas when the previous owner bought it (yea, right.) He would have only put about 29K on them. These brakes look like they are from the factory. The rotors were worn beyond turning and there was a deep lip on all 4.

Remove the caliper bolts/pins and hang it to the side with a coat hanger or wire. The calipers look fine and do not appear to bind or leak, so they will just be cleaned up. The bolts holding the caliper bracket and the rotor were soaked with PB Blaster. They came out with little fight.

This picture shows the lip in the rotor. These must have been like this when (if) "new" pads were replaced at it's last "brake job".

This is the hub with all the brake parts removed. The bearings are still in good shape. All the parts and the calipers are cleaned with brake cleaner.

New front rotor installed after being sprayed clean with brake cleaner. All new parts, including the pads are sprayed to remove any oils from manufacturing and packing.
New front rotor

Moving the piston back
A c-clamp and an old brake pad are used to retract the caliper piston prior to installing the new pads. This step is required because as the pads wear, the pistons come out to take up the slack. New pads are a lot thicker, so the pistons have to be moved back to allow room for everything to fit.

The difference in new vs old pads can be seen here. Even though the shape is a little different, they still work. The electrical things on the pads are the brake wear sensors. When the pads wear down to these sensors, they contact the rotor, grinding off the plastic and breaking the wire. When the wire breaks, the light circuit is opened, making the light on the dash come on. These pads should have been replaced a long time ago.
Old and new

Rear parking brake
This is what the rear parking brake shoes look like. They are a mini brake system that works inside the rear rotors. these pads looked to be in good shape, so I just cleaned them and lubricated the moving parts with anti seize compound. 1 year later the shoe material disingrated and had to be replaced. When doing brakes, do ALL of them at the same time.

The rear brakes completed. They did not take too much time to do and now the car will safely stop. The brake system was also flushed with new brake fluid to ensure years of trouble free stopping.
New rears

New wheels
A new set of rims and tires from Sears (yes, Sears). Just over $600 out the door. I could have went with a better/larger wheel, but I am cheap, remember? A little paint also helps the caliper stand out.


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