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Instructions written July 2000

This Mov'it/Porsche brake kit has been discontinued, but instructions remain available to assist current owners and anyone else interested in fabricating their own system.  Various options available from StopTech and Brembo are significantly easier to install.

It can be intimidating to deal with boxes of calipers, rotors, adapters, bolts, shims, and lines when you've never done anything like this before.  

Since the Mov'it kit came with no documentation, I decided to use my own installation as a template.  Hope this is helpful.

If you are installing a big brake kit on a BMW E39 5-Series, you can often sell your old parts to offset some of the cost of the upgrade.  

E39 528i owners frequently upgrade to the larger 530i/540i or even M5 brakes.  Thus, there may be a market for your old take-off parts.  If they're in good shape, they will do more good on someone else's BMW, rather than sitting in your basement.

 


Safety Warning:

Working on your own car can be dangerous.  Even quality jack stands can collapse if not positioned properly, and a floor jack can fail suddenly and without warning.  You can be seriously injured or even killed if you do not follow proper safety procedures.  Please use a floor jack and quality jack stands to support your car so a failure of any single support is less likely to result in a car falling on you!  Zeckhausen Racing LLC assumes no liability, expressed or implied, for the improper installation or use of these components.


 

Disable Brake Pad Wear Sensor

BMW uses a sensor to monitor the condition of the driver-side, inboard front pad.  When the pad is worn, a wire embedded in the plastic tip of the sensor is cut by the rotor and a warning appears on the dash. The Mov'it kit requires us to disable this function.

For Mov'it and Brembo brake kits, we need to disable this function.  StopTech kits retains the warning function.

 

Follow the sensor wire back to where it enters a small plastic box attached to the inside of the inner fender.  The box has a hinged door which snaps open.  Both the brake wear harness and the ABS sensor harness terminate in this box.  Disconnect the brake pad wear sensor harness by squeezing the retaining tabs and pulling it straight out.

Cut the harness a few inches from the connector.  Strip the wires and twist the ends together.  Solder the ends and cover with electrical tape or heat shrink tubing.  Then reinstall the connector inside the plastic box on the inner fender.

To reset the warning, turn the ignition key to the run position but do not start the car. After 45 seconds, the warning resets.

 

Remove Stock Brake lines

In order to remove the old rubber brake lines, you must use the proper tools. An 11mm flare wrench is essential to loosen the brake line fitting at the end of the hard line, located inboard of the shock absorber.  An open end wrench will round off the edges of the fitting and then you'll be in serious trouble.  Do not proceed without the proper tool!  This is a good time to make another trip to Sears.

An adjustable wrench is a used to stabilize the steel fitting on the end of the rubber brake line while you loosen the fitting on the hard line.

The metal fitting at the end of the rubber brake line passes through a bracket on the inner fender and attaches to a fitting on the hard line.  A spring clip is squeezed between the two fittings.

Place a drip pan on the floor below the brake line to catch dribbling brake fluid.

Use the 11mm flare wrench to loosen the nut below the spring steel clip.  It may take some force to break this nut free.  Once it's loose, use a stubby 11mm wrench to remove it, since there isn't much room for the longer wrench.

Hint:  Remove a bleed screw cap from one of your calipers and snap it onto the end of the dripping hydraulic line.  This stops the flow of fluid and allows you to take your time without draining all the fluid from your reservoir.

Remove Caliper and Rotor

Remove the caliper assembly (frame, caliper, pads, brake line) which is held in place from behind by two 18mm bolts. Use a breaker bar or a small air wrench.  It may help to turn the steering wheel all the way to one side to give you better access.

Do not discard the 18mm bolts.  You will reuse them to attach the caliper adapter in a later step. 

Remove the rotor retaining screw.  This is a 6mm allen screw.  (5mm on an M5)

Turn the steering wheel all the way to the left (opposite for driver side installation) and strike the rotor with a dead-blow hammer.  It may take some time before the rotor comes loose. Penetrating oil sprayed around the hub and in the bolt holes will help.  Don't let the rotor drop on the floor or on your foot!

Clean up Hub

The hub may be covered with rust, even if the car is only a few months old.  In order to keep the rotor runout to a minimum, you should remove this rust with a wire brush attachment on an electric drill.  After going over the surface with the wire brush, wipe on some anti seize paste, which will inhibit future corrosion and ease future removal of the rotor.

 

If you have 80,000 miles or more on your car, it's a good idea to install a fresh set of wheel bearings prior to upgrading the brakes.  Fortunately, bearing replacement is easier than it looks.  I've documented the process in my E39 Front Wheel Bearing replacement article.

The Mov'it caliper adapters are engraved with lettering.  The left adapter is marked "A" and the right adapter is marked "AB".  In any Mov'it kit, the lettering of an adapter always faces the inside of the car, a TÜV requirement.  Thus, there is only one way to orient each adapter.

Two thicknesses of shims are included to properly align the Porsche caliper with the rotor.  Two of these shims will be installed between the caliper adapter and the BMW steering knuckle in the next step.

Note:  Brembo and StopTech kits do not require shims.

Install Caliper Adapter Bracket

Using the two 18mm bolts you removed a few steps back, attach the caliper adapter to the steering knuckle.  Use one of the thicker shims between the adapter and the knuckle for each of the two bolts.

Tighten the two bolts snug but do not torque at this time.  You may have to remove them later in order to add or remove a shim, depending on how the caliper lines up with the rotor.

 Install Rotor

Install the rotor over the hub.  Hold the rotor in place with two or more wheel bolts snugged gently.  It is necessary to hold the rotor flat so that the caliper may be properly aligned in the next step.

Here's a side shot showing both the rotor and the caliper adapter.  In the next step, we will install, then check the alignment of the caliper.  If necessary, we will add or subtract shims between the caliper adapter and the steering knuckle in order to move the caliper outboard or inboard.

 Install and Align Caliper

Install the Porsche caliper (with bleeder screws facing up) to the Mov'it adapter using two M12x1.5 allen bolts.  You'll need a 10mm allen bit for your ratchet.  The longer bolt goes in the lower hole.  Tighten snugly but do not torque yet.  Observe the centering of the rotor within the caliper.  If the caliper is too far inboard, use the supplied shims to move them outboard.  If it is too far outboard, replace the thick shim with a thin one.  Once you are satisfied the calipers are centered, apply a few drops of blue (medium strength) Loctite thread locker and tighten the adapter bolts to 75 lb-ft.  Then reinstall the calipers and tighten the caliper bolts to 60 lb-ft.

 

Install Brake Lines

The Mov'it kit comes with front and rear lines.  The longer lines are for the front.  Attach the banjo bolt to the Porsche caliper with a crush washer on each side of the banjo fitting and torque to 15 lb.-ft.

Attach the other end of the line to the existing brake hard line through the metal bracket.  Use a 17mm wrench to steady the brake line fitting while you use an 11mm stubby wrench to tighten the brake line nut.  Once it is snug, finish tightening with a flare wrench.  Wipe the lines and caliper clean so you can inspect for leaks while bleeding the brakes.

 

Bleed the Brakes

Bleed the brakes with the help of an assistant who can push the brake pedal while you crack open the bleed screw to release trapped air bubbles.  There are two bleed screws on each Porsche caliper, and you will need to bleed both, starting with the outboard one.  A few whacks with a rubber mallet will help release any bubbles clinging to the inside walls of the caliper.  A pressure bleeder is even better.  This is not a substitute for the manual process of pushing on the brake pedal.  Rather it is a supplement and helps you generate enough force to knock loose any stubborn air bubbles.

If you're not familiar with bleeding brakes, find an assistant who is or follow my bleeding instructions.

Breaking in your new Brakes

Reinstall the wheels and torque wheel bolts to 88 lb-ft. 

Follow my brake bedding instructions.

Now it is time to start thinking about installing rear brakes on the car!  Fortunately, there is a kit from Mov'it and a set of rear brake installation instructions from me.  This is a much tougher installation than the front brakes!  However, if you are installing Brembo or StopTech front brakes, there are rear kits available for both that are much easier to install.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please send email to info@zeckhausen.com.

The BMW 17" Style 66M wheel is a good choice for big brake kit, since it requires minimal spacers to clear the huge Porsche calipers.  You only need about a 4mm spacer.  However, the minimum thickness hubcentric spacer available is 10mm thick.

The StopTech big brake kit fits behind the 17" Style 66M wheel without any spacers at all.  It also fits behind the stock 18" M5 wheel.

The Brembo brake kit requires 10mm spacers for this wheel.

 Wheel Spacers

Most factory wheels for the 5-Series BMW, such as the 17" Style 32 (Radial Spoke) and the 17" Style 19 (5-spoke composite) require a 20mm spacer to clear the calipers.  An H&R 15mm hubcentric spacers is shown in the photo here.

Why is a thin spacer important?  The wider the spacer, the more likely it is for the car to tramline (follow crowning and grooves in the road) and to exhibit shimmy at high speeds.  You are better off if you can avoid spacers altogether.

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