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  #1  
Old 05-05-2011, 12:30 AM
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Last ditch effort to eliminate dreaded brake 'chudder"

I've been living the nightmare of the dreaded X5 brake 'chudder' steering wheel shakes for about 4 or 5 years now. I feel like I've tried everything.

Its caused by uneven brake deposits on the rotors and the pads. Deposits are normal, and good. You want the brake pad material to transfer into the cast iron rotors. That's brake bedding. But, this layer has to be even, otherwise you have a 'grab' / 'slip' / 'grab / 'slip' chaos pattern that sets up a vibration with the brakes that transfers to the steering wheel. Replace the pads, massively rebed them in until smoking, or sand them down.. voila.. the chudder is gone for 2 months. .. until the uneven deposits come back. All cars get uneven deposits. Its the darned suspension design of the 5 series. I have two Z3's, both with 'no dust' pads and I've never had a single problem. The suspension arms are shaped differently and come in from more of a side angle. Uneven deposits don't cause vibrations.

On the X I've had the front strut arms replaced (that replaces both sets of front bushings). Made a 15% improvement. Still violent steering wheel shake when braking above 55mph.

I've replaced the rotors, and replaced the Centric Posi-Quiet ceramic pads (near zero dust.. is the attraction to these pads) with Stop Tech Street Performance pads to introduce some bite to clean off the un-even deposits. Same pattern. All great for 3 months, then the F-ing chudder is back! AND.. my wheels are completely covered in brake dust. Worse than factory pads.

I've made the following decision; I'm replacing the rotors one last time, but I'll use slotted and cross drilled in the hopes that it will introduce some 'anti-chaos' pattern for the brake pads. I'm going back to low dust pads. If necessary, I'll replace them once a year.

Another $400 and a weekend lost.

I'm so tired of this, but I don't know what else to do. I love my X5, but I hate the fucking brakes. Blackened trashed brake dusted wheels.. after only 5 days of driving, is unacceptable. But so is massive steering wheel vibration every time I brake above 55.

Any last ditch suggestion welcome.
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2011, 01:52 AM
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I wouldn't be looking to the brakes at all, but rather to the front suspension. Something is loose. The brakes are simply setting it off. The shudder is in the suspension or steering linkage.

I certainly wouldn't put up with it for five years.

Edit:

Suggest you read these two threads:

http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...installed.html

http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...r-part-ii.html
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Last edited by JCL; 05-05-2011 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:33 AM
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Do you ride your brakes around town? This seems to be a pretty common problem with people who seem to always be on the brakes. The rotors hotspot, and you get the juddering on the highway.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:22 AM
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I used to have an issue with my M3 and X5. After some research it seems that BMW had these issues a LONG time ago and after much research on their part, figured out the proper combination brake pad compound and rotor alloy to avoid it. After trying many many diff combination...I went stock rotors and pads from the BMW dealer....no more issues on either cars.
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:07 PM
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I've seen it happen even with stock pads/rotors. Riding around constantly on and off the brake pedal (as opposed to letting the car coast) and mashing down on the pedal when stopped (vs just putting enough pressure to keep the car from idling away). These are the things that cause this sort of judder.
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:43 PM
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I certainly agree with JCL to have someone look at your suspension...many places will do it for free.

I know you said you did some replacement....but I would still have it checked. Weasel always stresses to make sure load is on the car with suspension replacement and others have induced early wear by not following his advice. Not sure who did yours....
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recklessspyder View Post
I certainly agree with JCL to have someone look at your suspension...many places will do it for free.

I know you said you did some replacement....but I would still have it checked. Weasel always stresses to make sure load is on the car with suspension replacement and others have induced early wear by not following his advice. Not sure who did yours....
Because of the board's cautions on this, I asked my mechanic to make sure he lowered / loaded the car before tightening the new bushing bolts. He confirmed that he did.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerry_miranda View Post
I used to have an issue with my M3 and X5. After some research it seems that BMW had these issues a LONG time ago and after much research on their part, figured out the proper combination brake pad compound and rotor alloy to avoid it. After trying many many diff combination...I went stock rotors and pads from the BMW dealer....no more issues on either cars.
I've given some thought about the OEM recommended rotor brand thing.
On the pads... the OEM recommend Pagid or Jurid pads leave too much dust. THey turn the wheels dark after only a few days I'm afraid.
But I appreciate the input.. because I was wondering if this situation is exactly what you're saying.. BMW knows about it and has painted themselves into a corner where only one kind of rotor and pad combo gets around the engineering problem.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCL View Post
I wouldn't be looking to the brakes at all, but rather to the front suspension. Something is loose. The brakes are simply setting it off. The shudder is in the suspension or steering linkage.
I really like and trust my indi mechanic. Of course, there's no way to tell for sure if he's just shining me on, but he assured me that he inspected and then torque tested all the suspension components and couldn't find any significant wear... except in those front struts. I guess I could take it back.

Since they were just replaced, its too late to go with the heavy duty rubber bushings. Although that's a great find. I'll keep that in mind... as I had hoped to keep this car for another 8-10 years.

I just seems to me that slotted and cross drilled rotors would introduce enough surface differentiation in the rotor that the pads would be less likely to 'dominate' with uneven deposits. I realize it wouldn't 'clean them', but still, there'd be less surface area to develop deposits on, right??
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E55AMG2 View Post
I've seen it happen even with stock pads/rotors. Riding around constantly on and off the brake pedal (as opposed to letting the car coast) and mashing down on the pedal when stopped (vs just putting enough pressure to keep the car from idling away). These are the things that cause this sort of judder.
Not sure I understand. I don't drive in the city with my foot hovered over the pedal, and braking slightly and often, if that is what is meant. I'm generally a late braker. But.. you are mentioning another behavior that I do have; Once I'm done braking med to hard-ish and come to a stop, I let off all but the minimum pressure needed to keep the car from moving. I developed this habit after reading on forums that hard braking (that's me) followed by hard on pedal at a stop, can 'stick' the pad to the rotor from the heat not having anywhere to escape, and when you finally let off you 'pop' some of the brake pad material off on to the rotor face... IOW.. leave an uneven deposit. You're saying mash harder? Even after braking hard (lots of heat)?
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