E36 Brake Conversion: Retro-fitting '99 E46 328 Calipers and Rotors
rotor.JPG (40824 bytes)
The E46 rotor (left) is 1/2" larger than a stock E36.

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The E46 caliper and rotor mounted to the stock E36 knuckle.

front.JPG (48019 bytes)
The rear view shows that no modification is required.

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The new set up does not fit under a 15" stock E36 rim. The caliper is resting snuggly against the inside of the rim.

    If you can't do this conversion yourself, you may be driving the wrong car. It is as easy as changing the calipers and rotors. In fact, that is all that needs to be done. One thing you need to know, before you get too excited, is that the E46 caliper will NOT fit under a 15" wheel.

    It is important to note that both the E36 and E46 front rotors have the same bolt pattern and mounting circumference. However, the E46 rotor is 1/2" larger than it's predecessor. This increase in size necessitates the use of the E46 caliper and carrier. The stock E36 caliper simply will not work. This also bumps the wheel size up to a minimum of 16".  

     There are two advantages to using the E46 rotor on the rear. Not only are they 3/8" larger, but they are also vented. Installation is identical to the front conversion. The E46 calipers must be used under at least a 16" wheel.

rear.JPG (49163 bytes)
E46 (left) caliper and rotor
mounted to an E36 rear trailing
arm. A stock E36 is shown at the right for comparison. Notice the E46 fills out the rear dust cover.

rear2.JPG (48550 bytes)
This view pictures the vented E46 rotor next to the stock.

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The E46 caliper bolts on to the E36 trailing arm with no modification.