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P3 Brake Job

beastmode13

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 6, 2018
918
1,184
NorCal, USA
For the past few days, I've spent more time than I wish to upgrade the brakes on my P3. The biggest reason for the time suck is due to a lack of necessary information on how to service the car. For the benefit of the community and my ever forgetful memory, I will document my brake related journeys here.

The plan was to have a Mrs. approve or unnoticeable upgrades that increase the capability for HPDE events. The setup I decided to go with is the Racing Brake 380mm BBK with 4-pots caliper for the front, for the rear Racing Brake 2-piece rotor. I order these parts in January, finally got the parts in April. This first post will be on the front BBK install. The rear rotor RB sent me does not fit P3, so I am working with RB to resolve this soon.

The RB front BBK is a great kit. It comes with a complete set of front, and rear stainless line, which I'm 99% sure is by the same manufacturer for the SS line MPP offers. I didn't know RB would include the rear lines as well, so in advance, I purchase a set from MPP. MPP SS lines have a blue plastic/rubber coating, while RB has no coating, just raw SS. If anyone is interested in a set of SS line for their Model 3/P3 DM me for a deal.

Model 3/P3 front caliper is 4-pots, due to the shape the maximum rotor these can accommodate is 365mm. So new caliper is required when going to 380mm rotor. RB has an option for 6-pots caliper for P3 upgrade that is part of their X/S upgrade kit; for me, it will most likely violate the Mrs. rule.

The numbers:
RB caliper - 4.728kg (-0.664kg)
P3 caliper - 5.392kg
RB rotor - 380x32mm, 10.446kg (1.654kg)
P3 rotor - 355x25mm, 8.792kg
Net weight gain - 0.99kg, 2.178lb per side.

The preparation:
- Read through MPP BBK instruction multiple times, it is quite good - MPP Page Mill 365mm Big Brake Kit Instructions
- Have zip tie ready to hang up the stock caliper before complete removal
- Paper towel for wiping up brake fluid
- Remove the cap of the brake master cylinder reservoir to alleviates the pressure in the system for pushing piston/pads into the caliper.
- Loosely secure the SS brake line to the new caliper
- Get a 11/12mm brake line wrench, these will be used for the nut on the brake fluid hard line. You don't want to strip this with a regular open end wrench, brake fluid makes everything slippery.

The instruction: (all torque numbers are for your reference)
- Remove the stock caliper by removing the two bolts on the back side. I notice by feeling the torque of the stock bolts from the factory felt a lot less than the 77lb/ft called out in the MPP instruction
- Slide the caliper off and hang the lower control arm or where ever that will not cause a pull on the brake line
- Remove the rotor
- Remove the dust shield. Reinstall the three Torx bolts with some weak Loctite back onto the control arm. I tend to lose small things or forget what they were for, doing so help met avoid these two problems.
- Install the RB rotor onto the hub. Use the small stock bolt to hold the rotor in place
- Slide caliper onto the rotor, secure the caliper using the two stock bolts. Referencing Bentley service manual for other cars of similar brake bolt sizes I decided to reduce these bolts to 70lb/ft which is slightly lower than MPP spec but still feels tighter than stock. Will check on these bolts after some miles.
- Install the SS line bracket onto the suspension arm, do not tighten this now so the twist of the line could be adjusted once both ends of the line is connected
- Liberally spray the connector and perch where the stock rubber line is connected to the hard line. Make sure there is no sand and other object on the perch and connector.
- Use a pier to pull off the connector retaining clip
- This next few steps requires quickness to minimize amount of brake fluid mess. I like to place a box with peper towels underneath the car to catch dripping brake fluid
- Break the torque on the brake line connector, 1/2 turn is all you need to get the nut loose enough for finger turning the rest of the way
- Connect the new SS line to the hardline, hand tightening it until the two parts meet
- With both side of the new SS brake line still lose, adjust the twist of the line so it would allow movement without rubbing other parts for the entire suspension travel. Once the twist and position of the line is deemed acceptable, tighten both ends of the SS line. There is no torque spec on these, I go by feel, which end up roughly being 1/16 ~ 1/8 turn after the parts touch.
- Clean off the brake fluid
- Install the retaining clip
- Now repeat on the other side
- Bleed the system once booth side are installed

RB BBK caliper.JPG


Hello big boys. The mounting bracket is preinstalled by RB.


boxed wrench.JPG


Well worth the money.


dust shielf.JPG


Yep, that is a dust shield on a Tesla. Note the stock caliper hanging there with a ziptie.

Naked Hub.JPG


Naked hub


RB Rotor.JPG


380mm pizza pie

BBK alignment.JPG

It is hard to see in this photo, but the rotor is dead center of the caliper.


Brake line routing.JPG

Routing of the brake line. There is actually +2" of air between the brake line and the CV boot.


MPP brake line.JPG


Hello, MPP blue SS lines.


RB BBK.JPG


One side is done.


RB+VS16 closeup.JPG


Plenty of clearance between caliper and wheel barrel of 19x9" VS Forged VS16.
 

Orwell

Member
Oct 1, 2018
316
243
Atlanta
Did you get a chance to measure the piston sizes of the new caliper to compare it to stock?

How does your brake pedal feel?

I'm wondering if your front-rear braking bias has changed.
 

beastmode13

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 6, 2018
918
1,184
NorCal, USA
Did you get a chance to measure the piston sizes of the new caliper to compare it to stock?

How does your brake pedal feel?

I'm wondering if your front-rear braking bias has changed.

Brake feels great! It is firmer and more responsive compared to my recollection of stock setup; however, this could the result SS lines, not the calipers. I'll ping RB to see if I could get the piston diameter. Will measure of the stock caliper later this week.
The real test comes at Tesla Corsa 4.
 

MasterC17

Active Member
Dec 3, 2015
1,328
2,083
USA
Brake feels great! It is firmer and more responsive compared to my recollection of stock setup; however, this could the result SS lines, not the calipers. I'll ping RB to see if I could get the piston diameter. Will measure of the stock caliper later this week.
The real test comes at Tesla Corsa 4.

I already measured the stock caliper pistons, 42mm.

Just to confirm, this is the 355x32 setup? https://www.racingbrake.com/RB-Track-Duty-BBK-355x32mm-for-Tesla-All-Model-3-p/2620-k.htm

Also which pads did you select?
 

beastmode13

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 6, 2018
918
1,184
NorCal, USA
I already measured the stock caliper pistons, 42mm.

Just to confirm, this is the 355x32 setup? https://www.racingbrake.com/RB-Track-Duty-BBK-355x32mm-for-Tesla-All-Model-3-p/2620-k.htm

Also which pads did you select?

I have the 380x32mm with XT910 setup. https://www.racingbrake.com/RB-Track-Duty-BBK-380x32mm-for-All-Tesla-Model-3-p/2605-k.htm

Looking at my photo of 380mm inside a 19" wheel, I would think the advantage of 355x32mm setup would be the option of running 18" wheels, plus lower weight.
 
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beastmode13

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 6, 2018
918
1,184
NorCal, USA
Here is my conversation with RB and write up in GTR forum on XT pads comparison.

"XT910 is our default and most popular compound for "motorsports style" or "spirited" street driving, but we have other higher mu compounds available if ever needed (usually only the front) later when you feel it's insufficient you can then try other compounds, but I don't believe you would want XR1 which is a compound made by Cobalt Friction only for dedicated track racing only."

FYI here is a long term review by a GT-R driver on different XT compounds,
Racing Brake xt970, xt960, xt910 - Brakes
 

MTSN

Member
Mar 17, 2019
309
450
Denver
Oh those are pretty! I spent my weekend (literally 25 hours Saturday and Sunday) cutting, grinding, bolting/unbolting mods to me and my buddy's Land Cruisers, so I appreciate seeing Tesla owners getting after it.
 

beastmode13

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 6, 2018
918
1,184
NorCal, USA
Did you get a chance to measure the piston sizes of the new caliper to compare it to stock?

@MasterC17 - stock caliper pistons, 42mm - for a combined four piston area of ~ 5,539mm2
RB460 caliper - 40 and 44mm - for a combined four piston area of ~ 5,550mm2

The RB460 is only 0.2% larger than stock; any change in front/rear brake bias would be insignificant.

The dual piston sizes design has the advantage of better pad wear. Read the fundamental physics of it here - https://www.quora.com/Why-do-BMW-br...-that-are-different-sizes-in-the-same-caliper
 

beastmode13

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 6, 2018
918
1,184
NorCal, USA
Stock P3 front caliper bleeder valve is M10 x 1.0 with overall length about 31.5mm. Speed Bleeder replacement part #SB1010S - Speed Bleeder Sizes These replacement valves makes bleeding brake a one-person job with just a wrench and catch can.
 

beastmode13

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 6, 2018
918
1,184
NorCal, USA
Flushing and bleeding brake. There are lots of brake flushing info online already, so I'm just covering some basics and unique tricks I use. Rule of thumb on sequence for bleeding brake, using the location of master cylinder reference point, start with the farthest then work your way toward the closest. On Model 3, the sequence is RR, RL, FR, FL.

I have developed a habit of using ATE SuperBlue as a flushing fluid to clear out the entire system of old fluid, then flush the system again with the desired fluid. The blue color of ATE SuperBlue makes it easy to spot the transition of old to new fluid in the flushing process.

IMG_1868.JPG

The stock fluid is flowing out. There are two valves on the RB caliper, flush the outside one first then the inside one.

IMG_1869.JPG

ATE SuperBlue is flowing out, and this means factory fluid is completely flushed out of this line.

I have been using Motive Power Bleeder for years but didn't have the proper cap for Tesla, so I decided to get a Capri to try it out. If you are debating which pressure assist bleeder to get, save your money and get the Motive Power Bleeder with 1118 adaptor, this is what Tesla Mobile Service is using. Capri is slow and loud and requires an external pressure pump/tank. Eventually, I will replace all the bleeder valve on my car to Speed Bleeders, which is perfect and the most efficient way to do a quick bleed. Will use Motive Power Bleeder if I want to flush the entire system.

IMG_1919.JPG

A good catch bottle will save you a lot of cleaning up.

IMG_1921.JPG

Motive Power Bleeder pushing new Motul 660 under 10~15psi of pressure, pump the handle on top of the tank pressurize the system.
 

beastmode13

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 6, 2018
918
1,184
NorCal, USA
A brake job will not be a brake job if rear brake or rebuild is missing. On this post, I will cover P3 caliper rebuild. Who would have guessed a single piston caliper would cause so much problem. I underestimated this guy and paid the price.

If you are sick of the long post with large pictures, here is the takeaway: 1. Turn the screw clockwise to retract the shaft/pad, pay attention and go slow. 2 One way to release the parking brake is to put the car in tow mode. 3. A hacky way to release the parking brake is to disconnect the parking brake motor and remove it from the caliper and unscrew the drive shaft clockwise while pressing the piston/pad to retract the piston.

leaky backside.JPG

The back side of the caliper when you forgot to install a rubber seal on the shaft. Note the shaft is only held in place with a tension ring, there isn't a groove for the ring to lock into.


drive screw head.JPG
The drive shaft is made up of two threaded parts, the front end with the cross head. The backend is with the female torx shown in the photo above.


poor man press.JPG

I am using a vise clamp to push out the shaft from the tension ring.


screw in piston.JPG

Note how the cross fits into the piston. You can rotate it 90, 180, 270 degrees, it will be the same.

driving screw.JPG

Pay attention to the order of these parts. Small washer, o-ring seal, larger bearing washer, roller bearings, larger bearing washer which is attached to the bolt shaft.

roller bearings.JPG

Note the ridge in the middle of the roller bearing, this is the proper orientation.

IMG_1893.JPG

The nake piston.

piston+boot.JPG

Pull the boot back onto the piston from the bottom of the piston. Once the boot is on the piston, make sure the front lip is boot is not folded over.

Sorry I don't have many photos for the getting the boot/piston back in the caliper as I was too consumed on getting this done right. The trick is to take your time and lots of deep breath. Here are the steps:
1. Insert the two part drive shaft in fully retracted postion back into the piston. The shaft will not stay in position as the o-ring requires some force to be pressed into the space.
2. Pull the boot back down about 1/3 of way to the bottom edge.
3. Fully extend out the boot so you can have some boot to work with
4. Insert the lip of the boot on the the groove on the caliper, do the bottom half first and make sure it seated properly.
5. Once the bottom half of the seal is seated, work the top half in the caliper slowly. I use two figers in a pinch action to work the seal from the sides to the top. Took be couple tries to get the feel that the seal is seated.
6. When seal is completed seated slowly press in the piston. The piston will trap the seal into the piston groove. If the seal isn't seated properly you will see slight bulge in the seal.
7. After visual inspect slowly push in the piston farther in, adjust the rotation of the piston if need to fit into the cross end of the drive shaft.
8. Once everything is aligned, apply pressure to the piston face with your two thumbs. You will feel a satisfying snap of the shaft o-ring seated.
9. Place a wood block to hold the piston in place, then slowly turn the torx bolt counter-clockwise to extend the drive shaft/piston. If you didn't get the shaft o-ring seated with your thumbs, this will. Continue to turn the torx until there is no slop between the caliper/piston/wood block.
10. Place the caliper on the side with torx bolt pointing up, place a socket on the tension ring then hit it with a mallet to get it to seated down onto the shaft. DONE.
 

Msjulie

Active Member
Jun 26, 2016
2,449
1,809
Monterey Peninsula
@beastmode13 A random thought occurred to me seeing this last photo - how tough did those plastic gears seem to you? I wonder if there is any concern of their longevity over years of actuating and releasing the parking brake

Nice job with the post..
 

beastmode13

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 6, 2018
918
1,184
NorCal, USA
@beastmode13 A random thought occurred to me seeing this last photo - how tough did those plastic gears seem to you? I wonder if there is any concern of their longevity over years of actuating and releasing the parking brake

Nice job with the post..

The drive shaft has fine pitch, which means not a lot of rotational force is required for vertical movement of extending the cross end of the shaft. Without digging into the electronics, I suspect the drive shaft has stop motion that is based on the electric impedence of the motor, this serves as another safety measure so the gears do not expereince more force than necessary.

I think the gears, motor assembly will see more damage from hacks like me, than from its intended purpose of parking brake and brake hold at stops.
 

Nocturnal

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 23, 2018
6,874
38,649
Deepening Crisis!
How is this setup in regards to noise? I went aftermarket pads on my front brakes and I still get more squeaking than I'd like. Will be doing the rear pads and high temp fluid before my next racing event.
 

beastmode13

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 6, 2018
918
1,184
NorCal, USA
How is this setup in regards to noise? I went aftermarket pads on my front brakes and I still get more squeaking than I'd like. Will be doing the rear pads and high temp fluid before my next racing event.

So far, I have driven less than 150 miles with the new setup, but have done complete bedding of the pads. As typical of any post-install drives, I turn off the music and listen for noise, no noise at all. I bled the brakes a second time over the weekend, the brakes felt firmer and with more bite than stock.

For reference, here is my bedding process with regen on low:

3 x 40mph to 25mph - with a quick application of brake and release when speed is at 25mph
3 x 60mph to 40mph - same as the above application method. Drive for 5min or so without touching the brakes to let the brakes cool off. Park and not set the parking brake. My rotor temp when I park at this point is only around 50*C.
3 x 100mph to 80mph (will do this when I'm on my warm-up laps at the track)
 
Last edited:

beastmode13

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 6, 2018
918
1,184
NorCal, USA
Reference torque spec. I decided on these spec after referencing BMW and MINI service manuals I have available. *Use it at your discretion and risk*

25lb/ft - M10 Banjo bolt to caliper F/R (the copper washers are domed, so it will require almost a full turn of wrench after the first contact to reach torque)
10lb/ft - M10 brake line connector to hard brake line

Note: Do NOT use CRC green can brake cleaner, it will destroy the red paint on P3 caliper. O'Reilly is safe to use, didn't damage the paint of my stock P3 nor RB caliper.
 

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