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BMW e60 Brake Rotor Replacement 5 Series DIY

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BMW e60 Brake Rotor Replacement 5 Series DIY

Old 05-11-2015, 10:31 AM
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Post BMW e60 Brake Rotor Replacement 5 Series DIY

Just thought I'd share this E60 Brake Rotor DIY video I put up on Youtube:


BMW E60 brakes consist of hydraulic brake calipers, one at each wheel. When the brake pedal is pressed, brake pads inside the calipers clamp the brake rotors (or discs) and slow down the vehicle. The parking or emergency brake on this BMW 5-Series uses an entirely separate braking system. A pair of mechanically operated cables attached to the parking brake handle actuate parking brake shoes inside the rear wheel drums (which are integral with the rear brake rotors).

This video covers:
BMW 525i / 525xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i / 528xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i / 530xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan/Wagon (2009-10)
BMW 535i / 535xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)
BMW M5 Sedan (2006-10)

You should check your brake rotors during every major service that you perform on your BMW E60. Inspect your brake rotors for cracks or scoring; replace the rotors 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. Using a micrometer, measure the brake rotor thickness to determine if they need replacing. When measuring, measure in a few different spots and use the lowest number.

Remember that your BMW E60 may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts I give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Most factory rotors and some aftermarket rotors will have a minimum thickness stamped on the rotor. This will be in the area of the hat or hub flange. Clean the rust away from the rotor to uncover the specs. There may also be a part number. It's a good idea to inspect and replace your brake pads when replacing the brake rotors. Always replace the brake rotors in pairs by the axle.

1. With your BMW 5-Series on the ground, loosen each wheel stud about 1/2 turn. This will help with removing them once the vehicle is jacked up. Lift and support the axle of the vehicle you are replacing the brake pads on. Remove the wheels on the axle you are replacing the brake rotors on.

2. Open the brake caliper bleeder cover and remove the pad wear sensor wire from the mount.

3. Pull the brake pad wear sensor out of the left side brake pad. Be very careful, as the sensor tends to break when removed. I like to use a pair of needle nose pliers to pull the sensor out.

4. Using a C-Clamp, slowly press the brake caliper piston in. This allows the brake caliper to be pulled off the brake rotor easily. This way there is less chance of damaging the caliper piston.

5. Working behind the brake caliper, remove the two brake caliper bracket-mounting bolts. The front caliper bracket is mounted with 18mm head bolts; the rear is mounted with 16mm bolts. These bolts were a real pain for me. If you have a pneumatic torque wrench, count yourself lucky.

6. Remove the brake caliper bracket from the wheel carrier and hang it using a strong bungee cord. Do not allow the caliper to hang from the brake hose.

7. Next, using a 6mm Allen bit, remove the brake rotor-mounting fastener. Then remove the brake rotor from the hub. If stuck, use a hammer or mallet to tap the rear of the rotor to free it.

8. Clean the wheel hub using a wire brush. Remove all corrosion and rust from the hub before installing the new rotor. Install the 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 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.

Congratulations! You have now changed your Brake Rotor on your BMW e60 5-Series.
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:32 AM
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Thanks for posting!
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Old 09-27-2015, 07:55 AM
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Default Great write up and video...

I have a question... It's not my first time changing brakes but it is my first time on my 2008 535i. After pumping the brakes (3 times) the pedal was hard so I put the wheels back on. As in driving I continually have to press the brakes 3 times for the pedal to stiff up. The first press goes straight to the floor. By the 3rd pump its stiff. The brakes work fine, at least the car stops. Lol. Any thoughts are appreciated. Also the pedal is not spongy or doesn't push my foot off so I don't think there is air in the line...
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Old 09-27-2015, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by J0el07 View Post
I have a question... It's not my first time changing brakes but it is my first time on my 2008 535i. After pumping the brakes (3 times) the pedal was hard so I put the wheels back on. As in driving I continually have to press the brakes 3 times for the pedal to stiff up. The first press goes straight to the floor. By the 3rd pump its stiff. The brakes work fine, at least the car stops. Lol. Any thoughts are appreciated. Also the pedal is not spongy or doesn't push my foot off so I don't think there is air in the line...
Something is wrong. Honestly, it isn't safe to drive like this.

First thought is there is air in your system. Did you change the brake fluid at the same time or otherwise bleed the brakes or open the bleed screws?

Second possibility is the brake booster is bad or vacuum hose is disconnected. Did you do anything in that area?
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Old 09-28-2015, 05:10 AM
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I tried bleeding the brakes so I know there is no air. I didn't mess with the booster but my brakes were really bad. Down to nothing. Could it be the master cylinder is going out and I did t notice before because of how bad the brakes were?

Also now something is off with the rims because by steering wheel begans to shake as I hit 45mph +....
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by J0el07 View Post
I tried bleeding the brakes so I know there is no air. I didn't mess with the booster but my brakes were really bad. Down to nothing. Could it be the master cylinder is going out and I did t notice before because of how bad the brakes were?

Also now something is off with the rims because by steering wheel begans to shake as I hit 45mph +....
Don't know what to tell you on the 45mph shake. Make sure all the lug nuts (bolts) are on securely.

I don't think this is your issues, but if bleeding the brakes ever ran the brake fluid reservoir dry, you are supposed to run some BMW computer procedure that pulsates the ABS to "loosen" air bubbles.

I've had a failed master cylinder before in a old Maxima. The rubber seals had essentially worn too much and they didn't hold the pressure of the pedal. I replaced the master cylinder or seals (don't remember) and all was fine. As as aside, I found out something interesting relates to brake bleeding. I disassembled the master cylinder. The bore of the master cylinder was super smooth in the *normal* pedal travel area of the seals. But, beyond the normal travel area, it wasn't so smooth. That led me to stop using the two-man (or one man and one wife) pedal brake bleeding method. Every time you do that method, you cause the seals to travel outside the smoothed bore area and I'm sure it causes faster seal wear just to bleed the brakes in that fashion. Get the Motive Bleeder and use that method.
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