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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Thu, Jul-28-2016, 01:03:40 AM   #21
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Default Best BBK for E46 M3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
Briefly making the case for why I have felt no need to move on from my brembos:
-totally silent on the street
-awesome street pads (brembo's own)-- as good as the stock pads on the M3
-tons of pad options in general (including stoptech and pfc)
-tons of rotor options (including stoptech, though once was enough for me on that)
-no pad knock back
-durable finish on the calipers
-long life on the calipers (I'm 120,000 miles into mine, including ~10,000 track miles, haven't needed a rebuild yet)
-awesome pedal feel

Things that are good enough:
Pad swap ease. Calipers can stay on, but it's more of a pain than other systems out there

Things I don't like:
Barrel clearance (can't run any 17" wheel with the 355/4 brembos)
-pad thickness. They're not bad by any stretch, they're just not crazy good like some of the other options (PFC, Essex AP)

Overall, I like that they're only better than stock-- winter, summer, street, track-- nothing gives me regrets. And the pad shape is so ubiquitous, that any new compound that comes out from any company will be offered.

My car is street first, track second-- if it was a decicated track car, I'd likely go for something with thicker pads. But with my priorities for it, I think the brembos are the best option out there.


Well damn. That's a compelling argument for me to get the Brembos.

I'm planning on dailying the car for years to come. The only thing that might be a deal breaker is not being able to run 17s.
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Old Thu, Jul-28-2016, 01:26:49 AM   #22
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Default Re: Best BBK for E46 M3

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Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
Here are my complaints with stoptech:
1) There's no good street pad option
2) the finish on the calipers is crappy and fades quickly
3) pad knock back SUCKS-- and stoptech seems to suffer from it far more than any other BBK I've experienced
4) On the e46, a LOT more trimming is required for installation. Some of which is a big PITA. Not an issue for race cars, but for street cars where you're keeping the dust shields... very annoying.

I do think they have the slickest pad swap mechanism, though.
Just on this, i fitted my StopTech ST-40's a couple weeks ago.

-The street pads they ship with seem really good so far. However I have yet to try and buy another set, although they use a fairly common pad shape supposedly. we'll see how we go.
-Can't be worse than the Brembo's I had on my evo! the first time they get hot, say goodbye to your paint. Be interested to see how this progresses after a few track sessions with the ST.
-Haven't experienced this at all yet. Early days so cant comment.
-I didn't need to trim anything for the front, just bent the lower part of the dust shield back a bit and that was it.
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Old Thu, Jul-28-2016, 01:35:33 AM   #23
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Default Re: Best BBK for E46 M3

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Originally Posted by Headlock View Post
Just on this, i fitted my StopTech ST-40's a couple weeks ago.

-The street pads they ship with seem really good so far. However I have yet to try and buy another set, although they use a fairly common pad shape supposedly. we'll see how we go.
-Can't be worse than the Brembo's I had on my evo! the first time they get hot, say goodbye to your paint. Be interested to see how this progresses after a few track sessions with the ST.
-Haven't experienced this at all yet. Early days so cant comment.
-I didn't need to trim anything for the front, just bent the lower part of the dust shield back a bit and that was it.
The brembos that come on evos are nothing like the brembos in their BBK. They make a huge range of quality, from the brakes they sell to jeep to the brakes they sell to Ferrari. Evos aren't near the top of that spectrum. Their BBKs are.

I meant the trimming on the rear, not the front.

I'm running the stoptech pads on the M5, because I haven't found a better option in the ST-40 pad shape. But... I'd say they're acceptable at best. Certainly not good. No where near as good as the stock BMW pads or the brembos street pads. I briefly ran them on my parents non M e46, but turns out they leave absurd deposits if not driven hard.
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Old Thu, Jul-28-2016, 01:56:17 AM   #24
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Default Re: Best BBK for E46 M3

yeah fully agree re. quality of brembo's, although i wonder how much improved the paint is on their aftermarket solutions compared to those oem's. Not a big deal to me at any rate, i figure if you're using those kind of brakes for what they are for, a bit of heat fade is inevitable.

perhaps my view of the pads are compared to the ones i was running before, they seem about the same. I'll be finding something else to run at the track very soon.

I'm interested to see what happens re. the knock back. I didn't know it was such an issue until after I bought the kit. The price was very right on them, I did look at AP's etc. but it was hard to justify the extra cost.
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Old Thu, Jul-28-2016, 03:11:56 AM   #25
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Default Re: Best BBK for E46 M3

For me, OE brakes on an E46 M3 will work fine but I went with a 4 wheel ST40/355mm stoptech kit mostly for cost, reliability, and availability of parts. I've used Stoptechs for the past 7 years. The best part about running the ST40 caliper is you can ALWAYS find pads. There's always older Porsches and with some minor grinding...you can fit a lot of different FMSI pad shapes in an ST40 caliper. Most of the differences in pad shape are with the tabs at the top of the pad and some are 1mm thicker. Not an issue with worn rotors.

On the E46 M3, their friction discs are the same front and rear so you can actually rotate them front to back along with the pads. I rotated my front discs to the rear after 30 days. My rears were at 31.8mm (.2mm from new) with no heat cracking so I can easily go another 30 days before I need to buy another set of front friction discs.

Not saying its never happened but I've ran Stoptechs on my E46 330, E90 M3, and E46 M3 and never had pad knockback. I run pads to about 2mm and the pedal has been firm every time.

I think the Stoptech Street Performance pads are about as good as stock with some more heat tolerance with a trade off of a little less bite and more dust. I DD them on my E90 M3.

Overall, I think stoptechs are a good performing option which has the lowest long term running costs. I would imagine there are slight performance advantages with PFC and AP but at what cost?
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Old Thu, Jul-28-2016, 04:46:57 AM   #26
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Default Re: Best BBK for E46 M3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
Briefly making the case for why I have felt no need to move on from my brembos:
-totally silent on the street
-awesome street pads (brembo's own)-- as good as the stock pads on the M3
-tons of pad options in general (including stoptech and pfc)
-tons of rotor options (including stoptech, though once was enough for me on that)
-no pad knock back
-durable finish on the calipers
-long life on the calipers (I'm 120,000 miles into mine, including ~10,000 track miles, haven't needed a rebuild yet)
-awesome pedal feel
-they brake really freaking well

Things that are good enough:
Pad swap ease. Calipers can stay on, but it's more of a pain than other systems out there

Things I don't like:
Barrel clearance (can't run any 17" wheel with the 355/4 brembos)
-pad thickness. They're not bad by any stretch, they're just not crazy good like some of the other options (PFC, Essex AP)

Overall, I like that they're only better than stock-- winter, summer, street, track-- nothing gives me regrets. And the pad shape is so ubiquitous, that any new compound that comes out from any company will be offered.

My car is street first, track second-- if it was a decicated track car, I'd likely go for something with thicker pads. But with my priorities for it, I think the brembos are the best option out there.
I have Brembo 355/4's as well. Apex claims their 17x10 ARC8's will clear them.

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Old Thu, Jul-28-2016, 07:00:33 AM   #27
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Default Re: Best BBK for E46 M3

Sparta evolution brakes!
http://spartaevo.com/

new brand.. they need to prove themselves and they are doing stuff right! I've seen production pictures on their instagram... they look amazing and ive driven with these brakes on an M3 (2016) and drove it hard... amazing brakes!! no rattles like others.. no weirds sounds etc.

Check em out!
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Old Thu, Jul-28-2016, 01:18:41 PM   #28
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Default Re: Best BBK for E46 M3

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
For me, OE brakes on an E46 M3 will work fine but I went with a 4 wheel ST40/355mm stoptech kit mostly for cost, reliability, and availability of parts. I've used Stoptechs for the past 7 years. The best part about running the ST40 caliper is you can ALWAYS find pads. There's always older Porsches and with some minor grinding...you can fit a lot of different FMSI pad shapes in an ST40 caliper. Most of the differences in pad shape are with the tabs at the top of the pad and some are 1mm thicker. Not an issue with worn rotors.

On the E46 M3, their friction discs are the same front and rear so you can actually rotate them front to back along with the pads. I rotated my front discs to the rear after 30 days. My rears were at 31.8mm (.2mm from new) with no heat cracking so I can easily go another 30 days before I need to buy another set of front friction discs.

Not saying its never happened but I've ran Stoptechs on my E46 330, E90 M3, and E46 M3 and never had pad knockback. I run pads to about 2mm and the pedal has been firm every time.

I think the Stoptech Street Performance pads are about as good as stock with some more heat tolerance with a trade off of a little less bite and more dust. I DD them on my E90 M3.

Overall, I think stoptechs are a good performing option which has the lowest long term running costs. I would imagine there are slight performance advantages with PFC and AP but at what cost?[
Having run both, I can tell you that your math is off. Up front costs and cost of consumables are lower on AP kit. By a wide margin.
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Old Thu, Jul-28-2016, 01:19:02 PM   #29
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Default Re: Best BBK for E46 M3

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Originally Posted by FK View Post
I have Brembo 355/4's as well. Apex claims their 17x10 ARC8's will clear them.




I know the Stoptechs clear the Apex 17x9.5 et35 with a spacer.


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Old Thu, Jul-28-2016, 01:44:29 PM   #30
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Default Re: Best BBK for E46 M3

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
For me, OE brakes on an E46 M3 will work fine but I went with a 4 wheel ST40/355mm stoptech kit mostly for cost, reliability, and availability of parts. I've used Stoptechs for the past 7 years. The best part about running the ST40 caliper is you can ALWAYS find pads. There's always older Porsches and with some minor grinding...you can fit a lot of different FMSI pad shapes in an ST40 caliper. Most of the differences in pad shape are with the tabs at the top of the pad and some are 1mm thicker. Not an issue with worn rotors.

On the E46 M3, their friction discs are the same front and rear so you can actually rotate them front to back along with the pads. I rotated my front discs to the rear after 30 days. My rears were at 31.8mm (.2mm from new) with no heat cracking so I can easily go another 30 days before I need to buy another set of front friction discs.

Not saying its never happened but I've ran Stoptechs on my E46 330, E90 M3, and E46 M3 and never had pad knockback. I run pads to about 2mm and the pedal has been firm every time.

I think the Stoptech Street Performance pads are about as good as stock with some more heat tolerance with a trade off of a little less bite and more dust. I DD them on my E90 M3.

Overall, I think stoptechs are a good performing option which has the lowest long term running costs. I would imagine there are slight performance advantages with PFC and AP but at what cost?
I've actually only experienced the pad knockback on the ST-60s, not the ST-40s. But there I was able to induce it on full thickness street pads without trying... and it was terrifying (didn't expect it). Awful to the extent that I stopped driving the car hard because I didn't find it enjoyable anymore.

My issues with the stoptech street performance are...
pedal feel isn't awesome
initial bite isn't awesome
in the rain they wash out faster than any other pad I've experienced (this is the main one for me)
in the winter, all the above are exacerbated
pad deposits if you drive slowly(never been an issue for me, but my parents ran into this)
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Discussing Best BBK for E46 M3 in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)