Big Brakes Have Arrived - 2002 BMW M3 Long-Term Road Test

2002 BMW M3 Long Term Road Test

2002 BMW M3: Big Brakes Have Arrived

July 23, 2008

Stoptech big brakes.jpg

Here are most of the Stoptech parts needed for the brake upgrade we've got planned. Not pictured are the stainless steel lines for all four corners. The rotors on the left are the company's patented Aerorotors(TM) which use an aluminum hat and are part of the front big brake kit. The stiff four-piston calipers and steel lines should reduce compliance and improve pedal feel. The rotors on the right are Stoptech's slotted Sportstop(TM) rotors (purchased individually with lines). Motul Racing Brake fluid will further the system's heat tolerance. Grand total: $2,640.

As I mentioned last time, we'll be using Axxis Ultimate pads which Stoptech recommends for "aggressive street" use. If we plan extensive track time for the car, we'll likely need pads designed for higher temperatures. Still, this system will substantially increase our brake system's total heat capacity over stock and should be more than capable of handling any hard street driving the car will see. In other words, this should solve our fade problem.

As several readers already mentioned, we aren't anticipating a substantial decrease in single-stop distance from 60 mph (our usual brake test). Distance reduction in single-stop tests from this speed is more likely achieved through stickier tires or weight reduction.

Look for details on installation tomorrow.

Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor @ 58,933 miles.

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