Stories, how-to, and reviews from my personal tuner shop... my garage.

My collection of media including photos, audio, and video.

Specs, history, pros/cons, and stories about my own 330i.

BMW places on the Internet that I find useful.

Completed 4/21/2004

Install a Brembo GT Big Brake Kit on a non-M E46 3 Series.

WARNING: Since your braking system is a serious safety feature, I don't recommend this install to amatuers or weekend wrenchers. If done incorrectly, it can cause serious injury or death. You assume all liability and responsibility from the use of these instructions. This is information only.

1 - Brembo GT Big Brake Kit - Front (14.2" - 355mm)
     (EVOSPORT $3295 part# 1B1.8008A)
1 - Brembo GT Big Brake Kit - Rear (13.6" - 340mm)
     (EVOSPORT $2975 part# 2C1.8013A)
NOTE: There are many different options when ordering these brake kits. For example, calipers come in silver, red, or black normally, but can be special ordered in ANY color. The discs can be cross-drilled or slotted and also in one or two piece design. Prices will vary depending on options ordered. The prices above are for what I ordered (black calipers on cross-drilled two-piece rotors).

16mm, 14mm, 11mm, 10mm Wrenches/Sockets
Socket Wrench
11mm Flare Wrench (specifically made for nuts on brake piping)
10mm, 6mm Allen Wrenches
Tin snips or cutters
Rubber bands
Small plastic bags
1.5 Quarts Brake Fluid (new and unopened)
Small length of rubber tubing
Small clear plastic bottle
Jack Stands
Floor Jack
Wheel Chocks

1. Raise and support the rear of the car. I slide my floor jack under the cross-brace under the rear differential (NOT the differential itself!). Chock the front wheels and raise the car slowly until you can put jackstands in both rear jack points under the rear doors. When you set it on the stands, make sure it is solid. Go slowly and carefully.

2. Remove both rear wheels. DO NOT set the parking brake.

3. Start with the passenger (right) side rear corner. Remove the (2) two 16mm bolts holding the caliper to the trailing arm. Pull the caliper up and away from the rotor. Don't let it hang by the hose. Either have an assistant hold it or find a way to support the caliper.

4. Disconnect the factory brake line at the fender well mount (Photo B) using a 14mm and a 11mm flare wrench. You can use a normal wrench here, but be very careful. Flare wrenches grab the nut on all sides as to not bend or crimp the brake lines. A small amount of brake fluid will come out, this is normal.

5. Disconnect the brake sensor by pulling it straight out of the caliper (Photo C) and zip tie it out of the way, I used the control arm. It is no longer needed. Make sure it won't get caught in any rotating parts. Unsnap the brake line from the mount under the axle and remove the caliper from the car.

6. Included in the Brembo kit are new stainless steel brake lines from Goodridge. Stainless lines do not expand as much as the factory rubber and therefore provide a firmer, more controllable brake feel. Attach the new stainless line to the fender well line. You don't have to tighten it very much, just snug tight will make the connection. Wrap the other end of the stainless line with a plastic bag and rubber band to contain any excess brake fluid (Photo D).

7. Remove the 6mm allen screw holding the rotor in place and remove the factory rotor (Photo E).

8. You will notice the rear splash guard has a curved edge all around its perimeter (Photo F). This must be removed to fit the new Brembo rotors. The shield itself cannot just simply be removed as is supports the parking brake mechanism. I used tin ships to cut small sections away from the guard edge until the Brembo rotor could be fitted on the hub and spun freely without any rubbing (Photo G).

9. Once the guard has been cut to make clearance (Photo H), mount the new Brembo rotor and fasten with the 6mm Allen screw. There is a left and right rotor, so make sure you use the correct one on each side. The internal cooling vanes are curved and spin air away from the center of the hub like a centrifugal fan/water pump.

10. Each new Brembo caliper comes with a custom mounting bracket. Attach this bracket using the factory 16mm caliper bolts you removed earlier. The bracket fits between the rotor and the mounting brackets (Photo I). Lightly oil the bracket bolts and fasten the Brembo backet into place. Tighten to 48 ft-lbs.

11. At this point, you need to install the pads into the rotors. I chose to use Ferodo pads. Snap the large flat clip off the back and remove the pins. The pads will drop right in.

12. Install the new Brembo caliper over the rotor and onto the mounting bracket. Fasten in place with the included 10mm Allen bolts. There is a small arrow cast into the body of the caliper to show you the correct mounting direction. The arrow points in the direction the rotor will be turning while driving. Make sure the pads are aligned correctly on the rotor as they should cover the entire rotor surface.

13. Remove the plastic bag and rubber band from the stainless steel brake line, run it under the axle and clip the center nut into the bracket on the trailing arm. Remove the plastic plug from the back of the Brembo caliper and attach the line using the supplied 14mm Banjo bolt. Again, snug tight is enough here.

14. This corner is complete (Photo J). You should bleed the brake system as we go. Refer to my BLEEDING YOUR BRAKES page.

15. Repeat these steps on the left rear corner. The only difference is the lack of the brake sensor.

16. Replace the wheels and check for leaks and rotor/caliper clearance.

The front set is installed exactly the same as the rears, except:

A. Do the passenger side first again. This is to follow the correct pattern for bleeding the brakes as we go.

B. You don't have to trim the splash guard nearly as much (only around the steering tie rod end (Photo A). You may have to bend the rear "tongue" of the splash shield back away from the rotor. Temporarily mount the rotor and check for rubbing and make adjustments.

C. The mounting bracket is a little different (Photo L)

D. The brake sensor is on the left side instead of right. Again, remove it and fasten it up and out of the way of all moving parts.

E. The calipers are bigger! (Photo M)

You're done! You NEED to bed the new brakes now, refer to my BEDDING YOUR BRAKES page!

Photo N shows the complete brakes behind the wheel all bedded in nicely!


Photo A

Photo B

Photo C

Photo D

Photo E

Photo F

Photo G

Photo H

Photo I

Photo J

Photo K

Photo L

Photo M

Photo N


AWESOME! Not only do they work fantastic, they look great! The stopping power is FAR above the adhesive ability of the tires. I can easily lock them up anytime I would need to, giving ABS a run for the money. Yes, they are expensive, but with the plans I have for this car, I will need them. I am a firm believer in handling and stopping power before horsepower and these fit that parameter nicely!

  © MarvelPhx