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      03-26-2016, 03:34 PM   #1
Nismo G
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Upgraded Front Brakes - Hawk 5.0 and Z4 35is Rotors

This thread could probably go in the brake section, but I figured i'd post it here since us XI guys don't get as much love...and it is a little upgrade for us.

A quick background...I bought the car used about 2 years ago (I am the 2nd owner) with 61K miles on it, and an extended 3 year 90K mile bumper to bumper warranty. The iDrive system has never given me any indication that the front pads and rotors were in need of replacement.

When I was installing my coilovers a few weeks ago, I noticed that my front rotors were absolutely shot! The driver side rotor had a decent size chip missing, which was causing some concerning vibration and noise while stopping. Thankfully I was replacing the suspension and happened to notice it or I definitely would have had brake failure.

I immediately got online and was considering all options. I contacted ECS Tuning, as they have very competitive pricing and an outstanding selection. By chance I needed to replace my valve cover gasket and had a scheduled appointment with Turner Motorsports, so I ultimately order the pads and rotors from Sean at Turner (very pleasant to deal with BTW), as I was going there anyways. Just as a note though, ECS tuning was awesome to communicate with, and really did an amazing job at helping me select what I needed. I would recommend Turner and ECS Tuning any day of the week.

Now onto the selection. I wanted something that had slightly better performance than stock as I will not be tracking the car regularly. My daily commute consist of stop and go traffic for about an hour each way. After reading reviews and talking to ECS tuning about different pads and the noise that some pads come with, I decided to go with the Hawk 5.0 pads. The pads have greater thermal properties than the OEM pads with a operating temperature that maxes out at about 900F vs OEM at about 700F. The friction rating (MU) is about .53 vs OEM at about .38. This basically means that the same amount of Pedal force will create more stopping power.

If you look at the back side of your pad you will notice it has two capital letters next to each other. Ideally with a street pad it will work at cold operating temperatures and high operating temperatures. If the first letter is lower than the second letter (FE), the pad works better at high temperatures and will need to be warmed up for maximum stopping power. Conversely, if the second letter is lower than the first (EF), the pad will operate better under colder conditions and will fade at high temperatures.



The Hawk 5.0 pads actually have a FF rating, meaning that they work efficiently at both low and high temperatures. Basically you have equal performance under both cold and hot temperatures. The pad still can't handle extreme temperatures and will eventually fade, but can be used on light track days.

Here are what the pads look like:


Now on to the rotors. Again, I decided to go with something that would be a slight upgrade over stock, so I opted for the OEM Z4 35is two piece rotors. They are a slight improvement in weight over the OEM e90 rotor; weighing in at 22.8 pounds vs 23.75 pounds. We end up saving about 2 pounds of unsprung weight, which is equal to about 6 pounds of unsprung weight These rotors do have slightly better cooling features as well due to the aluminum hat two piece design.

Here are what the rotors look like:




Installed:




As for how they feel? They feel great! Extremely smooth and the initial bite is definitely better than stock, but keep in mind I came from rotors and pads that probably only had 300 miles of life left on them. All in all I am extremely happy and would recommend the upgrade to anyone looking for a slight improvement over stock for minimal cost.
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Last edited by Nismo G; 03-27-2016 at 02:00 PM.
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      03-16-2017, 08:37 PM   #2
meyergsr
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Good write up. How are these pads and rotors holding up a year later? Would you do the same combo again?
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      03-16-2017, 09:58 PM   #3
Nismo G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meyergsr View Post
Good write up. How are these pads and rotors holding up a year later? Would you do the same combo again?
So far they are holding up great. I haven't had any complaints and I would definitely use the combo again.
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      03-16-2017, 09:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meyergsr View Post
Good write up. How are these pads and rotors holding up a year later? Would you do the same combo again?
So far they are holding up great. I have hadn't had any complaints and I would definitely use the combo again.
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