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535i/635i brakes on e30 m3

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  • 535i/635i brakes on e30 m3

    Has anyone tried this? Apparently they are the same size calipers, but the piston on the e34 535i caliper is 57mm vs. 54mm. The dust seal broke on one of my m3 calipers and the piston got scratched up pretty bad. I've got a pair of 535i calipers laying around and I think I'm going to give it a try. I seem to recall hearing about this being done a long time ago. I'll report back...

  • #2
    So far so good. I installed brass pin bushings before I put them on the car. Pedal feel is very nice and firm. I'm tracking the car on Monday. We'll see how they hold up.

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    • #3
      I beleive they fit ok, but when you install the pads its too tight...........
      1988 Diamantschwarz



      "The original M3 is utterly brilliant in ways the people at M have either forgotten about or choose to ignore."

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      • #4
        I never really liked the idea of going with a larger piston caliper. We install the larger master cylinder to decrease pedal movement and increase firmness. Going to a larger caliper piston is the reverse. It will increase pedal travel and reduce firmness. Any improvement in firmness you feel now is due to something else. Possibly pad material, solid bushings, fluid change. But mechanically, a larger piston caliper will decrease firmness.

        Jake

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        • #5
          54 to 57mm pistons also means an increase of 10% in piston area. Tracked cars can already use more rear bias than stock. Adding 10% to the front is not really optimum. And as was mentioned, it also means 10% more pedal travel.

          But hey, it fits and is still better than tracking with scratched pistons :drive:


          [email protected]

          1969 2002 racecar
          1989 M3 racecar
          e39 Touring

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          • #6
            Just out of curiosity, since the 535/636 calipers will fit, does that mean that the rotors do to. I ask this because I have my set of Euro m635csi calipers (4 piston from factory!) and rotors that are freshly rebuilt with new pads and rotors, and I know that the calipers between the euro M6 and 635's and 535's are interchangeble. I also have the larger master cylinder from the M6.

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            • #7
              Not the same discs at all. M3 rotors are pretty flat while M5/M6 discs are deep.


              [email protected]

              1969 2002 racecar
              1989 M3 racecar
              e39 Touring

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              • #8
                so the calipers will fit but not the rotors?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by IamTHORvikingGod View Post
                  so the calipers will fit but not the rotors?
                  That is correct.
                  sigpic
                  2010 BMW Club Racing E30 M3 Touring Car Champion
                  2011, 2013 SCCA Runoffs Super Touring Under 3.0L Bronze Medalist
                  2011 SCCA Jim Fitzgerald Rookie of the Year
                  2012 SCCA Northeast Divisional STU Champion
                  2015 SCCA Runoffs STU Polesitter

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                  • #10
                    I run a E34 540 caliper at the front, stock at the rear with the 25mm MC. I can feel no increase inpedal travel. Since I fitted solid caliper bushings, the pedal is firm and stays like this for the whole trackday even with just upgraded road pads.
                    Deffo a very cost effective upgrade before you spend for a proper BBK. Deffo much better than stock. And fits behind ANY stock M3 rim


                    Goodbye M3, you served me well.

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                    • #11
                      I'm guessing e34 540 calipers might be the same as 535/635 - 57mm piston?

                      I got through the track weekend and the calipers worked just fine. Pedal feel has been the best I've ever experience with my e30 m3. Granted, it was probably more of a function of the solid bushings than a bigger caliper piston.

                      I too have a 25mm master cylinder - e34 m5.

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                      • #12
                        If you have a look in the EPC for a caliper rebuid kit you will find only 3 piston sizes used for the whole lot of sliding calipers. Don't have the diameters at hand, but there are a small piston (for the like of 318i) a medium size (like the E30 M3) and a large one which is used on almost everything upwards. (excepet the newer models).

                        Calipers itself are also shared, it's the bracket what makes them different.

                        Have a look for brake pads in various catalogues, you will be surprised. Even pads not listed for the M3 do fit (i.e E34 540 rear pads)

                        One of my wet dreams, to get all this cross ref lists from the manufacturers....


                        Goodbye M3, you served me well.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by UweM3 View Post
                          I run a E34 540 caliper at the front, stock at the rear with the 25mm MC. I can feel no increase inpedal travel. Since I fitted solid caliper bushings, the pedal is firm and stays like this for the whole trackday even with just upgraded road pads.
                          Deffo a very cost effective upgrade before you spend for a proper BBK. Deffo much better than stock. And fits behind ANY stock M3 rim
                          Is the caliper a plug & play deal or some modification is required?

                          TIA

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                          • #14
                            Hi Uwe,

                            I wish you would give the M3 caliper a try with your set up and see how it compares.

                            Jake

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                            • #15
                              I also don't follow the logic of this "upgrade". You end up with more forward bias, but the rotors stay the same. So the end result is the car slows down more for any given line pressure, but the pedal will be softer, the front brakes will run hotter, the stopping distances will be longer, trail braking into the corner may suffer, etc, etc. I can't think of any positive for this setup with larger front caliper pistons.

                              -Luis

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