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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > rear brake review: Centric + Textar = cost effctive



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      07-02-2013, 02:46 PM   #1
AllBlackBimmer
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rear brake review: Centric + Textar = cost effctive

OK, so I did my rear brakes on my 328i a few months ago and wanted to wait a little before I wrote a review, well, it's been a few months and here goes:

First, I only did rear brakes once before in my life back in highschool on a mitsubishi eclipse... and now its 10+ years later and first "major" DIY on my BMW. I was a little nervous at first, but in the end, it's just a car.

Second, I searched and googled rotors and pads for AT LEAST a month before buying. originally i was going to go with HAWK HPS or STOPTECH STREET PERFORMACE pads, BUT through reading reviews, they did not "bite" like OEM pads and I liked that feeling. I do not track my car ever, and is my daily driver, so i ended up going with OEM Textar pads in the yellow box. YES, they dust, but I can live with it. I have black wheels which helps.

As far as rotors, I just wanted something that withstood northeast winters and were decent. I was going to go with Zimmermans (which are fine) but I ended up with Centric rotors - more on that later.

Through much research and with the help of some vendors, I finally made my decision:

OEM Textar pads = $60 bucks
Centric Premium Rotors w/ the black coating on the vanes and hubs. 2 rear rotors for about = $120


I'll start by saying, this is prob the most cost effective solution for brakes that match OEM qualities. If you are looking for an "upgrade" or track quality, you may want to go with other pads.

Review:

Install was a breeze and there are many good DIY's i found on here that helped greatly!!

PADS:

I applied anti-squeal to the backing on the pads, and the "slots" they move in as suggested by others... and after 3+ months of use... NO SQUEAL and NO NOISE.

The pads work like OEM (gee, go figure, they should ), so not much of a change there. I got the "yellow box" Textar pads which are made in germany and comes on our cars from the factory. Brake dust is the same as it always has been.

ROTORS

As a note, I went with “blank” rotors.. as drilled and/or slotted is pretty much nonsense. OK, yes, if you track your car heavily, maybe some slots will help, but at the end of the day, people but drilled or slotted for the looks, NOT the performance. Besides, drilled rotors are prone to micro-cracks.

OEM BMW rotors are not coated as I've been told and will rust... All rotors rust yes, but the centric rotors with the black coating is supposed to hold up a little better over time. I recently changed to my summer wheels and took a look at my rotors and no rust! (yet)

the Centric rotors are very high quality IMO.

For those of you that do not know about Centric - this is what I have found out through my research and talking to vendors...

Centric is a huge supplier for other brake companies. Many other brake companies will buy centric rotors as their “base” rotor and may do some of their own drilling or slotting, etc. to brand the rotors their own. A prime example of this is R1 Concepts. R1 Concepts make great products and do a great job at marketing (insert picture of Hot girl at R1 vendor stand) but at the end of the day, they are buying Centric rotors and then perform their own drilling or slotting. Centric revolutionized the rotor industry by creating a special part number code that can be applied to all rotors. That is why centric is “special”. They are a huge company and creates “standards”… their products are “as-good” as OEM, but of course there are other rotor companies out there that product high quality rotors, but for the price of Centrics and the quality, you can not go wrong! .. even if tracking the car, the Centric rotors will hold up.

All in all, the Centric rotors are great value for the money and compare (or even better) than the OEM BMW rotors. great for street or track use.

I was going to go with Zimmerman Z-coat rotors whcih are still good IMO, but the centrics are pretty much coated as well, and were a little cheaper.

CONCULSION

If you are looking for a cost effective way to replace your brakes and want OEM feel and quality, then you CAN NOT go wrong with the textar pads and centric rotors. I have to do my front brakes in a few months and will be going with the exact same setup.

This is the best way to do a brake job IMO, if you aren't looking to "upgrade" your brakes.

Obviously, brakes are a very subjective matter and everyone has their own opinions and thoughts. At the end of the day, I wanted OEM-style braking and didn’t care about brake dust, so that is why I went with what I did.
Many people complain about dust and I get it, it is a pain in the ass, however, dust goes hand-in-hand with brake stopping power…. Go look at any “performance” car or track car and take a look at the wheels… covered in dust? Yep. Dust is just part of it. Good some good non-toxic wheel cleaner!

For about $200 and an afternoon spent in the garage, my BMW had new rear brakes! (Yes I changed the sensor too, but I did that about 2 weeks later since I forgot to order one originally)

NOTES

I was going to go with Hawk HPS pads, but MANY have said initial bite is not the same as OEM, and that is a feature I really like out of the OEM brakes. Brakes are something that makes a BMW a BMW… go try to stop in a Merc Benz or Audi and you will be crying to OEM BMW Brakes!

I also was convinced I was going to go with STOPTECH street performance pads until I read a review about buildup on the rotors when used in harsh winter climates. I live in PA so have to deal with snow, salt, etc. Apparently, “some” people had issues with corrosion building up on the rotors. What I found out was, the STOPTECH pads are much softer than OEM pads, and thus do not “scrub” the corrosion off of the rotors. How much I buy into this I am not sure, but in the end, this WAS the reason I went with OEM Textar pads as opposed to the STOPTECH’s.

Sorry for the long “review”, but I hope this will help others when choosing brakes for their BMW. If you want “higher performance” out of your brakes, start with the brake fluid first, not the pads, as the fluid has a great effect. If I had a 335 I would go with the same setup unless I was tracking my car.
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      07-02-2013, 06:23 PM   #2
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I went with Centric High Carbon rotors f/r and Stoptech Pads fr/r. The pads were great. Bite was great but you needed more modulation. Where as OEM was grabby, not that it's bad. After 2 months, the Front rotor warped/or had build up. I rebedded the pads 3 times and it still shook. So I fnally replaced the fron rotors with Zimmerman Zcoated in May...and no warping. I also replaced the pads all the way around with Textar OEM pads, it dusts more and squeals a little, but it stops harder and more consistent than the Stoptech pads. I drive very hard, and It seems the Stoptech pads needed more modulation after they got hot, where as the Textar OEM didn't seem to need as much modulation and kept that BMW bite. As for the Zimmerman Zcoat rotors, they haven't warped in more than 2 months of hard driving. I reported my issues with the Centric Rotors with Tire Rack, where I purchased them, and they basically told me I was out of luck. I couldn't believe it, but I guess you get what you pay for...ie. Chinese made products vs. German made products.
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      07-02-2013, 08:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartman619 View Post
I went with Centric High Carbon rotors f/r and Stoptech Pads fr/r. The pads were great. Bite was great but you needed more modulation. Where as OEM was grabby, not that it's bad. After 2 months, the Front rotor warped/or had build up. I rebedded the pads 3 times and it still shook. So I fnally replaced the fron rotors with Zimmerman Zcoated in May...and no warping. I also replaced the pads all the way around with Textar OEM pads, it dusts more and squeals a little, but it stops harder and more consistent than the Stoptech pads. I drive very hard, and It seems the Stoptech pads needed more modulation after they got hot, where as the Textar OEM didn't seem to need as much modulation and kept that BMW bite. As for the Zimmerman Zcoat rotors, they haven't warped in more than 2 months of hard driving. I reported my issues with the Centric Rotors with Tire Rack, where I purchased them, and they basically told me I was out of luck. I couldn't believe it, but I guess you get what you pay for...ie. Chinese made products vs. German made products.

Disagree with the centric rotors...

...funny how people think Chinese stuff is crap but then want the latest computers and tech from there...

But I have the answer to your problem. The stoptech pads aren't "hard" enough, and much softer than oem... This means that if you get any buildup on the rotors, the soft stoptech pads are not "scrubbing" off the deposits... Doubt the actual rotor was warped....

Maybe all that is nonsense, but the oem Textar pads are where it's at. But bite me decent street use. Not suitable for track use, but I don't track my car.

Be interested to see your results if you went with your old "warped" centric rotors with those new pads....
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      07-02-2013, 08:47 PM   #4
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I used the Centric high carbon as well as they were only slightly more expensive (as in a dollar or two) more than the Premium, which is pretty much the "standard" Centric rotor (C-tek is bargain, no coating; Premium has the coating, would assume that the main difference between Premium and high carbon is the alloy) but Hawk HPS pads.

Yes, if you like the bite of the stock pads, you will probably not be happy with the HPS. However I do not find them bad for regular use. I am liking the greatly reduced dusting. I don't track the car so I can't report on how they hold up to repeated hard stops.
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      07-09-2013, 10:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
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I used the Centric high carbon as well as they were only slightly more expensive (as in a dollar or two) more than the Premium, which is pretty much the "standard" Centric rotor (C-tek is bargain, no coating; Premium has the coating, would assume that the main difference between Premium and high carbon is the alloy) but Hawk HPS pads.

Yes, if you like the bite of the stock pads, you will probably not be happy with the HPS. However I do not find them bad for regular use. I am liking the greatly reduced dusting. I don't track the car so I can't report on how they hold up to repeated hard stops.

Yea, I think the premium rotors ARE the high-carbon ones, because those are the ones I recieved... you can get cyro treated rotors and they are about 20 bucks more each.

HPS pads are nice I hear, but i like the bite of the OEM pads so that is why I went with them
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      07-14-2013, 07:14 AM   #6
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Not sure if you posted it in your OP, but where did you end up buying your parts from? I'm just about due for a front brake set.

Rears will be due in probably around 9000 miles too...
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      07-14-2013, 07:07 PM   #7
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Not sure if you posted it in your OP, but where did you end up buying your parts from? I'm just about due for a front brake set.

Rears will be due in probably around 9000 miles too...
Tire rack for the rotors, turner motor sports for the pads both had great service and fast shipping.
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      07-19-2013, 02:18 PM   #8
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Thanks for your post. I'll be doing my 1st brake job and like you, am excited but have some trepidation. I like your phrase: "but in the end, it's just a car." lol! Anyhow, amazing how we all research and come up with different thoughts. I decided on Axxis semi-metallic for the OEM feel with less dust. Interesting note at this point is that the vendor (NOT TMS) shipped me 2 sets of rear pads. I called and after much back and forth, turns out their warehouse didn't have, and couldn't find, any fronts. Long story short they shipped me Centric PosiQuiets for the front. Not sure how I feel about mixing f/r pads, but we'll see how the car feels. Rotors still within spec and don't seem need replacing.
Question though on jacking up - I plan on using a floor jack (with hockey pucks) at the jacking points - any suggestions on specifically where to place the jack stands? Alternatively, if I place the jack stands at the appropriate jacking point near each wheel, where do I jack up the car? Any recommended central front and rear jacking point, though our cars have the plastic cover almost the entire length? Thanks!
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      07-19-2013, 02:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan335Xi View Post
Thanks for your post. I'll be doing my 1st brake job and like you, am excited but have some trepidation. I like your phrase: "but in the end, it's just a car." lol! Anyhow, amazing how we all research and come up with different thoughts. I decided on Axxis semi-metallic for the OEM feel with less dust. Interesting note at this point is that the vendor (NOT TMS) shipped me 2 sets of rear pads. I called and after much back and forth, turns out their warehouse didn't have, and couldn't find, any fronts. Long story short they shipped me Centric PosiQuiets for the front. Not sure how I feel about mixing f/r pads, but we'll see how the car feels. Rotors still within spec and don't seem need replacing.
Question though on jacking up - I plan on using a floor jack (with hockey pucks) at the jacking points - any suggestions on specifically where to place the jack stands? Alternatively, if I place the jack stands at the appropriate jacking point near each wheel, where do I jack up the car? Any recommended central front and rear jacking point, though our cars have the plastic cover almost the entire length? Thanks!

Where in PA are you located?

... I jacked my car up with the rear center lift point... its a steel cross member with some large "holes" in it... if you would search, I believe i made a thread confirming this location with some pictures.

I jacked up the car, then slid jackstands under the "jack points" that are in front of the rear wheels.

As far as the center lift point for the front... there is large plastic covering the front of the car, but there is a small "cutout" whena metal piece that is for the front central lift point... my floor jack is too big to get to it (due to car sitting low - i am just on OEM sport suspension) but get a couple of wood boards and drive up them to help lift the front of the car.

If you are mixing pads, I would just be careful with the material the pads are made out of... if you have semi-metallic in the rear, I would try to find the same pad compound for the front.

Also a consideration is the "grabbing force" (no idea what the technical term is) but if you have very "grabby" pads in the rear, and less "grabby" in the front, then it could compromise your braking.
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      07-19-2013, 03:02 PM   #10
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Where in PA are you located?

... I jacked my car up with the rear center lift point... its a steel cross member with some large "holes" in it... if you would search, I believe i made a thread confirming this location with some pictures.

I jacked up the car, then slid jackstands under the "jack points" that are in front of the rear wheels.

As far as the center lift point for the front... there is large plastic covering the front of the car, but there is a small "cutout" whena metal piece that is for the front central lift point... my floor jack is too big to get to it (due to car sitting low - i am just on OEM sport suspension) but get a couple of wood boards and drive up them to help lift the front of the car.

If you are mixing pads, I would just be careful with the material the pads are made out of... if you have semi-metallic in the rear, I would try to find the same pad compound for the front.

Also a consideration is the "grabbing force" (no idea what the technical term is) but if you have very "grabby" pads in the rear, and less "grabby" in the front, then it could compromise your braking.
I'm in Lehigh Valley - Eastern part of the state. Thanks for the info, I'll have to check out your post; hopefully the 335xi has a similar setup despite the added differential. As far as the pads ... yeah, no, i'm a little nervous, dude said they'd be a match. He probably says that because of the price point (I paid online for semi metallic f/r). I think they're both (Axxis and Centric) semi metallic. Fingers crossed.
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