BMW Cars 1999-06

Rear Disc Brakes


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Fig. The rear brake caliper assembly-E36 model shown

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Fig. Rear brake caliper mounting position

Older brake pads or shoes may contain asbestos, which has been determined to be cancer causing agent. Never clean the brake surfaces with compressed air! Avoid inhaling any dust from any brake surface! When cleaning brake surfaces, use a commercially available brake cleaning fluid.

The 3 series and Z3 series BMW rear disc brakes are a sliding caliper type disc brake system. The brake systems used by BMW are subjected to rigorous testing and must meet stringent DIN industry standards. The components of the brake system are designed to be compatible with one another. Aside from steel braided hydraulic brake lines, different brake pad compounds, there is very little that can be done to improve the performance and reliability of the original equipment brakes short of upgrading the entire brake system.

When replacing or repairing the brake components, for reasons of safety and liability, use original equipment components that meet BMW standards. If the vehicle is used for sporting events or closed course competition:

Inspect the brake components before each event
Flush the brake fluid at lease every 90 days
Replace any component(s) that are not within tolerance

The hardware used to mount the brake components to the suspension is a special design and grade of hardness. Substitution of brake related mounting fasteners is not recommended.

The rear disc brakes utilize a sliding caliper similar to the front disc brakes. The parking brake assembly is mounted in the brake rotor hat. This is known as a drum-in-disc design. This allows a simpler caliper design than those that incorporate the parking brake mechanism in the rear caliper. Most of the maintenance procedure are the same as the front disc brakes.

Dust and dirt accumulating on brake parts during normal use may contain asbestos fibers from production or aftermarket brake linings. Breathing excessive concentrations of asbestos fibers can cause serious bodily harm. Exercise care when servicing brake parts. Do not sand or grind brake lining unless equipment used is designed to contain the dust residue. Do not clean brake parts with compressed air or by dry brushing. Cleaning should be done by dampening the brake components with a fine mist of water, then wiping the brake components clean with a dampened cloth. Dispose of cloth and all residue containing asbestos fibers in an impermeable container with the appropriate label. Follow practices prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the handling, processing, and disposing of dust or debris that may contain asbestos fibers.