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      02-25-2018, 03:51 PM   #1
NinjaDog
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Do 135i's really need BBK for the track?

Hi guys, I've recently purchased a 135i, and from where I'm looking, it has pretty meaty calipers(Brembo?) and rotors. But everything I hear is that they should be replaced with BBK when doing anything (might be an exaggeration) at the track. From where I stand, I feel like braided brake lines, racing pads and rotors would go a really long way and save me thousands on a BBK kit, which should only really be a requirement when the car is really getting pushed/long distance lapping. But then again I haven't tested this theory myself.

What am I missing here? Thanks
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      02-25-2018, 05:46 PM   #2
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If you look around at a few different threads you'll find that the BMW pistons are ceramic and overheat when pushed hard. They also break down and need to be replaced. One mod that guys have done is replace them with 3 series brakes (gray or blue) brembos. Other option is big brake kits.
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      02-25-2018, 06:05 PM   #3
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Is a piston replacement a viable option? or just easier to replace?

What is the difference with the 3 series brakes?
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      02-25-2018, 06:32 PM   #4
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Best advice is to drive the car on a track first and see how it performs for yourself. No need to spend thousands if you donít need to. Plus, you may want to save the money for upgrades coilovers which will really benefit you on the track.

I did 7 runs at Palm Beach two weeks ago with stock rotors, ECS stainless steel lines, Motul 600 fluid, and Hawk DTC-60 pads, and the car performed beautifully.
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      02-26-2018, 04:59 AM   #5
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pads and fluid (high temp) is all you need for light track duty.
make sure you do a cool down lap or two before coming into the pits.
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      02-26-2018, 04:00 PM   #6
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Pretty sure there is a SS piston replacement available. Not sure how they hold up though. Think a few folks on here have rebuilt their stock Brembos with better internals rather than scrapping the whole setup.

Rotors pads and fluid go into your fade threshold too.
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      02-26-2018, 04:45 PM   #7
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I'd probably spend the money towards the bigger issues (suspension, open diff, tires, subframe bushings) than I would the brakes if yours are fine.
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      02-26-2018, 09:27 PM   #8
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I've been using Turner Motorsports replacement pistons for about 3 years now. Once a year, I rebuild with new seals. It's a pain, but saves money.
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      02-27-2018, 01:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeo View Post
I've been using Turner Motorsports replacement pistons for about 3 years now. Once a year, I rebuild with new seals. It's a pain, but saves money.
Is there a reason for the regular rebuilds? would a BBK require the same amount of rebuilds?

Also was there any further resolution on which rebuild kit was better?
Stainless (RB) vs aluminium (stoptech)

Last edited by NinjaDog; 02-27-2018 at 10:56 AM..
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      02-27-2018, 12:07 PM   #10
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A few of the members here who rebuilt the stock calipers with upgraded pistons and seals eventually had to go back and fix them again

At the rate of my use I am going through rotors every 6 days and a set of front pads every 4 days. Plus an impending rebuild that might not be a permanent solution and its possible a BBK might pay for itself in rotor and pad savings, while retaining a lot of it's original value.

I suggest doing two or three track days. That should be enough for you to revisit the question and decide if your pace and frequency makes a big brake kit economical.

I simply have no desire to rebuild the brakes, so I'll be getting stoptechs.
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      02-27-2018, 12:26 PM   #11
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I rebuilt mine a couple of years ago with the Racing Brake piston upgrade. They are "vented" stainless steel and after 3 years of Nurburgring and Spa Francorchamps track days, they have performed flawlessly.

Also I have Stoptech Slotted rotors, SS brake lines, Motul RBF 600 and PFC 08 track pads. For the street I have Stoptech pads.
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      02-27-2018, 11:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Is there a reason for the regular rebuilds? would a BBK require the same amount of rebuilds?
After a lot of track days (maybe 20), I'll see some fluid seeping on the calipers. So I order new seals, and rebuild them. I don't have personal experience with the RB setup.

I would hope that a big brake kit wouldn't require rebuilds at all; or at least not for a very long time. I've been running PFC08 pads, but have recently been trying ST-43 pads which bite harder and seem to last about the same. I ran them last year and really liked them.
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      02-28-2018, 05:23 AM   #13
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Thanks for the feedback, piston replacement seems to be a good upgrade.
At the moment I'm considering pistons, pads and brakelines. Will using the stock rotors cause issues on the track or just get damaged quicker?
I can replace them later when required.
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      02-28-2018, 06:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsabor67 View Post
I rebuilt mine a couple of years ago with the Racing Brake piston upgrade. They are "vented" stainless steel and after 3 years of Nurburgring and Spa Francorchamps track days, they have performed flawlessly.

Also I have Stoptech Slotted rotors, SS brake lines, Motul RBF 600 and PFC 08 track pads. For the street I have Stoptech pads.
I'm in the states but have basically done the same thing as above with great sucess. Racing Brake pistons, high temp boots, stainless steel lines, RBF600 fluid, Stoptech slotted rotors and PFC08 pads. I've also cut and folded in the dust shields to try and get some air flow to the back of the rotors. I ran about 10 track days last year at numerous tracks and only found the end of the brakes a couple times. PFC08 pads have been incredible as well.
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      02-28-2018, 07:42 AM   #15
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The brakes was the first area on my car that I upgraded. I bought the car used and the brakes that came on the car were at the end of their life and with a upcoming trip to the tail of the dragon I decided to go with the the ECS kit with the two piece rotors. I also ordered brake lines and fluid. The kit came with the two piece rotors for the front, slotted and crossed drilled rotors for the rear and Hawk pads. I ran this set up at the tail of the dragon and after they were bedded in properly they were amazing. I was still concerned about my pistons in the calipers so to prolong their life I have also installed some Hard Brakes titanium shims to help dissipate the heat. I have ran this set up on two track days including COTA and they have done amazing. Next time I need brakes I will be going to EBC USR rotors and yellow stuff pads.
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      02-28-2018, 11:41 AM   #16
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If you're fast, yes. Stock calipers are junk. Rebuilt mine, front and rear with RacingBrake pistons. Wish I bit the bullet and did a true BBK instead. Rear brakes can work with just the piston rebuild, front rotors way too small for the weight and pace of the car. Budgeting for a front BBK in 2019.
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      02-28-2018, 07:27 PM   #17
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Agree with

I have to agree with Sliiiiick, titium, asiflicious and drunkenup. I think they are saying to do nothing with your car until you have 3 or 4 track days. Then you, your instructor, your fellow drivers can comment on your needs. I've done a few track days with my 128 and my Audi on essentially OE brakes and never had an issue. Oh, and when I say nothing, I mean no mods. You'll need fresh brake fluid, at least 50% on pads and tires pumped up to 3-4 psi over spec. Good Luck
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      02-28-2018, 09:45 PM   #18
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As far as rotors go, I go cheap. They are going to develop spider cracks on track. As a rule of thumb if any of the cracks reach the edge of the rotor, then it's time to replace. Rotors are much much cheaper than brake pads.

I would like to know if the BBK is really worth it. With PFC08 or ST43 pads, I can't complain about pedal feel or the brakes ability to drop speed rapidly. If you basically never need to rebuild, the pads last longer, perhaps are cheaper (or at least cheaper because they last longer), and the same with rotors (last longer and are cheaper), then I think it's definitely worth it. With the stock configuration (+ pads, fluid), I'm never in the position where I can't engage ABS if desired.
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      03-01-2018, 03:39 PM   #19
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Even a stock 135i with street tires will need attention to brakes for track day use. You can get a lot of pad fade if using OE brakes, so you need to watch out for that and drive with adequate margin for safety. OE pads are not designed for high temperatures experienced in track day running. The stock pads may be usable if you are cautious, but personally I wouldn't risk it.

When you put R-comp tires on a 135i that is also fitted with engine cooling mods for track running you will place very high demands on the brakes. IMO the biggest failing of the stock brakes is the limited cooling capacity of the stock rotors. From what I have seen, even the 335i single piston brake setup has superior cooling to the slim 26mm front discs that are stock on 135i. The brake cooling may not be as bad on high speed tracks, but I found the lower speed tracks generally don't allow sufficient cooling and are more likely to overheat the brake pads and caliper. Without brake ducting you will get very high brake pad temperatures in this situation so even moderately race/rally style use pads will be pushed to their limits on the front of a 135i.
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      03-03-2018, 12:52 AM   #20
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Is there any simple ducting kits or guides out there that you would suggest?
I've decided to go for piston upgrade, pfc08 pads and SS lines so may as well throw in some ducting while I am at it

Edit: also, thoughts on bmw performance BBK?

Last edited by NinjaDog; 03-03-2018 at 01:39 AM..
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      03-03-2018, 02:06 AM   #21
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I think you will be generally ok without ducting until you are running R-comp tires. If you are running R-comps and run many consecutive hot laps, then ducting will definitely help. In my case when I was unable to run more than a few consecutive hot laps due to brake pad fading and also engine temps creeping up. I never installed brake ducting on my car as it generally causes trouble at full steering lock for a car that is daily driven.

Have a look at some examples in this thread

Don't bother with BMW performance brakes as the rotor is the same size.
If looking for an OE style upgrade, maybe consider the F22 M235i 4 piston calipers with the larger discs. A few people have done this swap.
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      03-04-2018, 04:07 PM   #22
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Will most certainly be running R comps. Does a BBK negate the requirement for ducting?
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