Extending the Brake Life of Floating Rotors

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A while back at Bimmerfest last year I came across a fine gentleman claiming to have a rare set of Euro spec brake rotors just sitting in his garage, new in the box! After inspection and negotiating a price, I picked up the set as well as a full set of pads and quietly put them away in the garage for that fateful day when I would need to perform a complete brake job.

You see, the rotors, pads and calipers on this CSi are all rare 13.6-inch Euro spec vented discs incorporating cross-drilled/cryo-treated floating rotors that were on the car when I bought it. Replacing them, I knew, would eventually be an expensive if not time consuming proposition. So when I was approached to take this set off his hands and store them for future use, I jumped at the chance!So lately, I’ve noticed a wheel shimmy under braking. It bugs the heck out of me and after checking all the regular stuff, I noticed the front rotors were a bit out of true. I’ve not over heated them so the only explanation could be that I have not let them cool down enough before washing the car after a spirited driving session. The feedback from braking has gotten worse since owning the car.

The pads that are still on the car have probably about another 20K miles left on them so what to do? I don’t want to put on a new set of rotors and old pads. Don’t want to do a full brake job and just waste the pads I have. If I’m going to go to the trouble of doing a brake job, I am a fan of going ahead and doing it all; rotors, pads, sensors on all four wheels. No sense having to come back in six months after doing half a job anyway…

So I’m not usually a fan of spinning warped rotors to try to true them in an effort to extend their life. Usually they’re too close to the width limit and tend to go out of true soon after taking the time to do it.

But these rotors are special, rare and hard to find. So it’s worth the effort. And I will tell you my biggest fear was just finding someone willing to spin them given that they’re cross drilled. I called four places, all of who refused to touch them… until I found Joe at VW Paradise in San Marcos.

Joe spun those suckers flat, both of them in about twenty minutes! I slapped those suckers on and was eager for the test drive. The car brakes like brand new again! True and straight. And I have Joe to thank for that.

So if you’re looking for a top notch shop to quickly and professionally spin a set of rotors for you, I definitely recommend Joe at VW Paradise: 1510 Grand Avenue in San Marcos (760-744-9038).

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About the Author:

I am an 8 Series nut. In 2009 I restored a '92 850i to peak condition and subsequently sold it - which left me depressed. So I embarked on catching my White Whale: this '95 850CSi Chassis #CD00166. I’m opinionated and swear constantly, but I have friends in spite of myself. I am funnier than my wife realizes. Please tell her. Cheers!

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