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      04-21-2017, 01:59 PM   #1
chadillac2000
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Rebuilding My E82 135i Brembo Calipers and Bleeding the Brakes with INPA

I don't typically double post things that I place in my build thread, but I felt like this needed to be searchable as it could help some fellow owners out -- especially the INPA bleeding bit. Forgive me for the long post and copy/pasted sections.

--------------------------------------------------------------

A few months ago I embarked on the journey of completely replacing my brake system.. I started with the ECS Performance front/rear service kit complete with 2 piece drilled/slotted front rotors, GEOMET drilled/slotted rear rotors, front/rear Hawk HPS pads, Pentosin Super DOT 4, pad sensors, ECS stainless steel exact-fit lines and new installation hardware.









The first order of business was to get the car in the air. With the lowered stance, even with a low-profile jack, getting the car up in the air is a time consuming affair. I can only imagine that when the new aero parts are bolted into place that this will only become more challenging.





Wheels off to expose the before picture of the stock brake system.





Now, time to unpack all these parts I’ve accumulated.





As recommended by a fellow forum member, I decided to give the non-friction part of the rear rotors a blast of high-temp black paint to match the 2-piece look of the fronts. Prepared them with a little tape, three coats of paint and voila! I also gave the dust shields and caliper brackets a fresh coat of high temp black.







The old hardware came off without too much fuss, thanks to a few YouTube videos for clarification. Old sensors, pads, and rotors were tossed – calipers were packed up and shipped out for powder coasting and rebuilding. Then I went ahead and connected the new sensors, mounted the rotors and positioned the ECS stainless lines. Visually, I’m very impressed. The new calipers should really make everything pop.







Fast forward a few weeks later when I received my calipers from the rebuilding and powder coating process.

I first contacted Josh at Detective Coatings a few months ago to begin preparations for this latest tear down. He was more than helpful from beginning to end, and we first began by discussing pricing for his services. For $500 (not including shipping in either direction), all four calipers would be disassembled, stripped, powder coated a color of my choice, and rebuilt with new seals and dust boots. I sent the money, scheduled the time within a few days of when I'd be sending them (he ordered the rebuild kit at this time), and settled on Illusion Red for the color. I hoped the final result would be resemble the same red found on the Blackline taillights.

Fast forward a month and the car was up on stands and I had the old brake system off the car. I quickly packed up the calipers and got them shipped out to Savannah, Georgia from my location in North Carolina the very next morning. Josh confirmed delivery the next day and he began work.

A few days after that I get an email saying we have a problem. As Josh and I soon discovered, these OEM calipers have pistons that have ceramic inserts. The problem is these ceramic inserts warp over time because of heat and use, leaving them unusable when rebuilding.

These aren't my pictures, but for reference:







Since we hadn't thought to order replacement pistons, now we were left trying to locate a set. After some research and a bit of calling around for pricing comparisons, we located a full replacement set in all aluminum from Stoptech. The only downside -- an additional $355. At this point I was in at $855 plus shipping both ways.

Although this was a bit more than I had budgeted just for the calipers, they were now fully rebuilt with upgraded, brand new parts and when I pulled them out of the box yesterday upon arriving home from work, they certainly put a smile on my face.

I can't wait to bolt these up, bleed the system, mount up my ARC-8s, and get my 1er off jack-stands and on the road again. But until then, let's appreciate the beauty of Josh's work.













it was now time to move on to re-assembling all the brake components; the last task standing between me and getting my so-called daily driver back on the road. I'd already mounted the new rotors and mocked up the ECS SS exact-fit lines, so I began to put together the calipers with new pads and hardware.



Starting with the rears I grabbed the Hawk HPS pads with built in shims. I did quite a bit of research as to whether or not to keep the OEM shims on top of the integrated Hawk shims, and only gathered a bunch of conflicting information. Hawk states not to re-use, but a lot of users claim clunks and other noises attributed to the pad moving around a bit. I decided to re-use the rears to avoid this. Unfortunately I threw away the OEM pads on the front without prying off the OEM shims first, so I was forced to install the fronts with the Hawk HPS integrated shims only. I hadn't heard as much complaints seemingly about the fronts making noise, but only time will tell. I used the included grease on all contact points, and then the visible excess clean once assembled.



Cleaned up all the hardware with a wire brush because I couldn't imagine putting filthy hardware back on these gorgeous calipers.



I took my sweet time re-assembling everything as to ensure no problems once I was finished. I also attached the ECS SS exact-fit lines while they were on the bench.







The fronts went on easily, as did the rears. Whoa -- what a visual upgrade at the very least! I had to take a few shots as I took in the new view.





Next it was time to hook up the pressure bleeder and bleed all four corners. This sounded simple in theory, but would be far more difficult than I had originally anticipated for a few different reasons.

I'm usually one to completely plan out an install before taking it on, but for whatever reason, I was oblivious to the amount of air that I would have enter the system by removing the calipers and letting the fluid slowly drain out over the next few weeks. I assumed I'd be replacing the lines and hardware along with completely flushing out the system, so it wouldn't matter.

The first red flag came when I opened the brake reservoir after connecting all the new lines and calipers to emptiness. I still wasn't worried as I figured I would be flushing the system anyways. At this point I quickly realized that the one liter of Pentosin Super Dot 4 was absolutely not going to be enough to do a complete flush. Luckily my local Autozone had a few more liters on hand, so I quickly made the trip down the road and picked up the last two they had in stock to have on hand.

I filled the brake fluid reservoir, which took nearly an entire liter. Once that was at the max-fill line, I added a good amount of Pentosin Super DOT 4 to the inside of the pressure bleeder, attached the Euro fitting to the reservoir, and pumped the pressure up to 15psi.



Using the routine bleeding pattern, I went to the passenger side rear wheel and attached the bleeder bottle. The rubber nipple slid securely over the bleeder valve and left plenty of access the 11mm nut for opening/closing.



I crack open the rear bleeder screw and nothing. I double check all the connections, while the bleeder screw is open and the pressure bleeder is pressurized and still nothing. Eventually I get a little trickle of fluid. Same with the driver's side rear caliper. Over the next few hours I went to each wheel trying a combination of dry bleeding, pressurized bleeding, and standard two person bleeding. I eventually got the fronts bled with no air bubbles and plenty of flow coming through the drain tube, but no dice with the rears, especially the passenger side rear. Pedal feel eventually got decent, but as soon as the car started, it would become intermittent to the point where I wasn't comfortable doing a road test.

I removed the ECS line and bleeder screws to ensure the lines were free of any debris and confirmed the same amount of low flow from the OEM hard lines that run under the rear differential.

Since I've tripled-checked that there are no blockages, no kinked or bent lines, and the fact that everything is basically brand new, I believe there is some air in the ABS system that I must have introduced over the course of the car sitting on jacks with the brakes disconnected. The only solutions to this are a dealership visit to use their GT1, or what I'll be trying tonight, the INPA bleeding process. I haven't seen anyone confirm that it will work on the E82, but I will answer that soon enough. INPA bleeders claim a better pedal feel when compared to traditional bleeding methods.

As I mentioned in my last post, I suspected air had crept into system and was impeding flow to the rear calipers. This made bleeding the rear brakes impossible no matter the method I tried. This was especially frustrating considering how badly I just wanted to drive the car after sitting for so long. As usual when I find myself in a pickle, I headed to Google. Since I had went back through everything and double checked for blockages, I could either head to the dealership to connect to their system or find a way to bleed the lines with INPA. These seemed to be my last two options before dis-assembling everything and checking for some type of hardware issue with the caliper itself.

With the help of my trusty Windows 32-bit I snagged off eBay to code my injectors and the INPA K+DCAN cable I decided to attempt to bleed the brakes via computer before exploring the dealership route. I searched for hours after calling it quits the night before, and found no one that verified that this process had been performed on an E82 platform. This left me skeptical that I would be able to connect to the DSC system that could flush and bleed all four brakes properly.

Never the less, I headed back to the garage after I got off work to give it a shot. First up was getting the car back off the ground. The side skirts extensions and front lip make this an adventure! I also hooked up my battery charger just in case. Luckily I have about 5 low profile jacks and a few jack pad inserts at my disposal. I connected to the car just the way I would when I was coding the injectors -- ignition on.



From there I started exploring the possible options that this software allowed. I began by selecting my chassis code, which for this instance was E87. By selecting E87, that opened up a few different options. From there I selected Chassis, followed by Dynamic Stability Control.



That brought up warning messages about non-matching languages and versions.





If you continue to hit OK, you'll find yourself at another main menu. From the screen below, I pressed F6 to Activate.



Now we had arrived at what I had been looking for and my skepticism of being able to connect began to subside somewhat.



I had picked up a few more liters of Pentosin beforehand because I knew I'd be flushing quite a bit of fluid through the system. I used this to top off the reservoir and closed the cap. I reattached the bleed bottle and fitting over the bleeder screw of the right rear caliper and made sure that the end of the hose in the bottle was submerged under fluid as to not suck up any additional air bubbles back into the system. At this point I went back in the car and selected DSC rework bleeding RR from the menu. A notification then popped up instructing me to go to right rear caliper and loosen the bleeder screw.



I did just that, then returned to the driver's seat and selected Ok. What happened next nearly blew my mind. Luckily I was on my toes, because the first time caught me off guard. I was immediately given a set of on-screen "live" instructions on how to work the brake pedal while the system was doing its thing. This involved 2-3 minutes of activating/releasing the brake pedal, pressing the pedal down 80%. etc. The entire time the DSC module is vibrating audibly as it pushes fluid through the system. I was amazed. Here's a quick video of this in action:



If you watched the entire video, once the sequence is complete, you will receive another notification that directs you to close the same bleeder screw you opened before.



After just one round of flushing, the tube extending from the bleeder screw to the bottle was completely full of fluid with no visible air bubbles. This was a very welcomed sight. After closing the bleeder screw and selecting Ok once again, I headed back to the brake fluid reservoir to find it quite low. I topped it off again and proceeded to do the exact same process on the other three corners using the same RR, RL, FR, FL technique and topping off the fluid after each corner. Then I re-bled the entire system a second time just to be sure and topped off the brake fluid reservoir one final time before firing the car up, but I could already feel the pedal was far better than before.

Let the ignition turn on for a few seconds to prime the fuel pump (something I habitually do now) and hit the start button. The car fired right up, stumbled for a quick second under cold start, and then cleared up indefinitely as the cold start mode finished and the RPMs settled down. For such a tame tone when warm, this catless setup is loud under cold start. Makes me want to explore the MHD option to disable this. I ensured that there were no leaks with the new water pump, that the belt system was functioning properly, and that there were no other liquids dripping anywhere.

Success! Pedal feel is a little softer than before, but is to be expected with all new hardware and no bedding yet. The conditions outside were wet and slippery so I figured I'd save bedding the brakes for another day this weekend even though I was dying to get the car back on the road. I'll report back with more pictures and comments on the new brakes when the weather clears!

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      04-21-2017, 03:11 PM   #2
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Very interesting! Thanks for your effort in sharing the experience.
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      04-21-2017, 03:20 PM   #3
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I can't wait to to bleed the lines and flush the fluid now!!

Good thing I already have INPA installed and have already connected to my car before!

Amazing write up. I vote to sticky this in the DIY section!
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      04-21-2017, 07:13 PM   #4
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Look awesome
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      04-21-2017, 09:01 PM   #5
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Nice job, and nice photos. Thanks for sharing. Your calipers have a new lease on life!

Your wheel studs make me want to mount mine along with my track wheels.
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      04-21-2017, 09:12 PM   #6
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Thanks for the INPA bleeding details- I'm not too far from doing my own brake job and have been looking for details on this method!

Also, the finish on your calipers is sex! It's sooo deep it looks like you could dive in!
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      04-21-2017, 09:35 PM   #7
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nice socks! also, can you share the contact info of the man who rebuilt your calipers?
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      04-22-2017, 07:35 AM   #8
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Excellent writeup, and info on the INPA brakeflush.
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      04-22-2017, 10:56 PM   #9
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Always pushing the boundaries, aren't we? ;-)

Great write up. I've not had the hydraulic system apart yet, but will certainly keep this in mind for when I do.

I was kind of under the impression that we should be selecting E89 when using INPA, NCS etc with our cars? Could that have been the source of the warnings you initially saw?

I wonder what 'DSC pre bleeding'does? Worth a try?

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      04-23-2017, 12:30 AM   #10
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This should be, or at least the INPA bleeding part, in the DIY section
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      04-23-2017, 01:33 AM   #11
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Interesting.

Has anyone ever tracked a car with the rebuilt calipers?
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      04-23-2017, 05:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray_Panther View Post
I can't wait to to bleed the lines and flush the fluid now!!

Good thing I already have INPA installed and have already connected to my car before!

Amazing write up. I vote to sticky this in the DIY section!
This was much easier than both the traditional two-man and pressure bleeder methods and seemingly more effective as it bleeds the entire system including the ABS system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tock172 View Post
Nice job, and nice photos. Thanks for sharing. Your calipers have a new lease on life!

Your wheel studs make me want to mount mine along with my track wheels.
I'm loving the wheel studs so far. Made mounting up the wheels quick and painless. I'm not running spacers, but if I were, even more reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1and1 View Post
Thanks for the INPA bleeding details- I'm not too far from doing my own brake job and have been looking for details on this method!

Also, the finish on your calipers is sex! It's sooo deep it looks like you could dive in!
They turned out exactly as planned. Red calipers have been done a million times, but there's a reason for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain slowly View Post
nice socks! also, can you share the contact info of the man who rebuilt your calipers?
Josh at Detective Coatings

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianc View Post
Always pushing the boundaries, aren't we? ;-)

Great write up. I've not had the hydraulic system apart yet, but will certainly keep this in mind for when I do.

I was kind of under the impression that we should be selecting E89 when using INPA, NCS etc with our cars? Could that have been the source of the warnings you initially saw?

I wonder what 'DSC pre bleeding'does? Worth a try?

ianc
I haven't seen the E89 reference when it comes to INPA. I'm not sure why you'd select the Z4 chassis (E89 option) over a fellow 1-series chassis (E87 option). I'm fairly certain I connected via the E90 option for coding my injectors, but the E87 option was the only one that allowed me to get into the Dynamic Stability Control option with success. All the others brought up connection error messages that would not allow me to pass through.

I only tried the DSC rework options, none of the others, but I'm sure it couldn't hurt to explore. I still plan on bedding in the brakes, driving around for a few thousand miles or so until my next oil change, and bleeding the brakes one last time to just to be sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrostyDC4 View Post
Interesting.

Has anyone ever tracked a car with the rebuilt calipers?
I think some of the track guys have rebuilt their own calipers with aftermarket seals, dust boots and pistons, but I haven't done that much research into how they've held up. Mine won't be seeing much hard action besides the occasional spirited drive through the mountains.

----------------------------------------------------

I'm eager to bed the brakes in so I can give some reviews, but the weather has been non-cooperative for the past 72 hours.







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      04-23-2017, 06:32 PM   #13
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Those pictures make your car look like a hot wheels toy. Our 1ers are small.
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      04-24-2017, 11:54 AM   #14
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Great write up man. I've got the same ECS rotor package sitting in my garage ready to go on as well. I opted for Carbotech's 1521 pads, as I wanted a lower dust option. I too am planning to shoot the rear rotor hats with black high-heat paint, definitely completes the look. That brake bleed process is crazy, had no idea this existed! Again, thanks for posting.
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      04-24-2017, 02:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewy_604 View Post
Great write up man. I've got the same ECS rotor package sitting in my garage ready to go on as well. I opted for Carbotech's 1521 pads, as I wanted a lower dust option. I too am planning to shoot the rear rotor hats with black high-heat paint, definitely completes the look. That brake bleed process is crazy, had no idea this existed! Again, thanks for posting.
I'll have to let you know how they perform, but they look absolutely phenomenal. Good call on hitting the rear rotor hats with paint, it really matched up the fronts and the rears without the need for a two piece option back there.

The bleed process was new to me as well. It wasn't until I found people with similar problems when traditional bleeding that I uncovered the ability to use INPA to help out.
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      04-24-2017, 04:01 PM   #16
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Fantastic info. Thank you!
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      04-24-2017, 06:30 PM   #17
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Probably some of the best photos I've seen included in a DIY/write-up like that. Good read too.
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      04-24-2017, 11:13 PM   #18
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Definitely doing the brake bleed procedure ASAP. Thanks for the info.
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      04-26-2017, 12:45 PM   #19
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This is a contender for thread of the year! Thanks for posting.
Two questions: is it possible at all to bleed the brakes in the traditional way on these cars? I know you said much of the brake fluid had drained and there was a lot of air in the system when you put it back together.
And secondly, is "bedding" in brakes really a thing?
Or is it a myth? I have never intentionally bedded in new brakes.
I have been changing brakes for 40 years and I have never ever had a problem with noise, vibration, longevity, or braking performance. I always sand my rotors and pads with coarse emery paper to remove any glaze.
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      04-26-2017, 01:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlc45 View Post
This is a contender for thread of the year! Thanks for posting.
Two questions: is it possible at all to bleed the brakes in the traditional way on these cars? I know you said much of the brake fluid had drained and there was a lot of air in the system when you put it back together.
And secondly, is "bedding" in brakes really a thing?
Or is it a myth? I have never intentionally bedded in new brakes.
I have been changing brakes for 40 years and I have never ever had a problem with noise, vibration, longevity, or braking performance. I always sand my rotors and pads with coarse emery paper to remove any glaze.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlc45 View Post
This is a contender for thread of the year! Thanks for posting.
Two questions: is it possible at all to bleed the brakes in the traditional way on these cars? I know you said much of the brake fluid had drained and there was a lot of air in the system when you put it back together.
And secondly, is "bedding" in brakes really a thing?
Or is it a myth? I have never intentionally bedded in new brakes.
I have been changing brakes for 40 years and I have never ever had a problem with noise, vibration, longevity, or braking performance. I always sand my rotors and pads with coarse emery paper to remove any glaze.
Yes you can. You only need the INPA bleed if you let the reservoir get empty or suspect you have air in the DSC module.

Bedding is kind of personal preference. Certainly new pads will bed themselves to the rotors with regular driving but you can accelerate the process or improve it with a bedding procedure on the road. Sometimes if my brakes develop a noise then I'll go do a bedding procedure again and it'll go back to smooth operation. Usually no issues.
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      04-26-2017, 01:43 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDE82 View Post
Yes you can. You only need the INPA bleed if you let the reservoir get empty or suspect you have air in the DSC module.

Bedding is kind of personal preference. Certainly new pads will bed themselves to the rotors with regular driving but you can accelerate the process or improve it with a bedding procedure on the road. Sometimes if my brakes develop a noise then I'll go do a bedding procedure again and it'll go back to smooth operation. Usually no issues.
Correct -- usually no need to do it this way. But I'd much rather perform this method rather than the standard two man procedure or any of the pressure/vacuum options. Very easy to do with one person, but as always (and unlike with a pressure bleeder bottle) you will need to refill the reservoir after the INPA does its thing on EACH corner. It flushes quite a bit of fluid through the system during this process.

And +1 on the bedding. If it means anything, I always go through the bedding ordeal whenever changing pads or rotors.
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      04-28-2017, 07:44 PM   #22
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Well the weather finally cleared enough for me to spend some dedicated time with the new brakes. I found a desolate stretch of road and bedded in the new setup. Not only does this setup look sensational, but the stopping power is improved with the new pads and rotors. Time will tell if the dust is any different than the OEM pads. I also had a few hours to kill this evening, so I hosed off the car to knock off all the pollen and went to take some glory shots of the new setup.













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