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Front Brake Pad Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Brake Pad Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$50 to $400

Talent:

****

Tools:

13mm wrench, pliers, screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

Porsche 955 Cayenne (2004-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne GTS (2008-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne S (2003-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne Turbo (2003-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne Turbo S (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Front Brake Pads, Brake Pad Wear Sensors

Hot Tip:

Do not work on hot brakes

Performance Gain:

Better braking

Complementary Modification:

Replace brake discs

Replacing your brake pads is one of the easier jobs to perform on your Cayenne. In general, you should inspect your brake pads about every 10,000 miles and replace them if the brake lining of the pad has worn down enough to trigger the brake wear warning sensor. Once you see the brake wear warning light message in the center display screen, you should change the pads as soon as possible.

If you ignore the warning light and keep driving, the brake lining of the pad will wear away completely and the metal backing plate will start to grind into the metal face of the rotor. Using the brakes during this condition will not only give you inadequate braking, but will also begin to cut grooves in your brake discs. Once the discs are grooved, they are damaged, and there is often no way to repair them. Resurfacing will sometimes work, but often the groove cut will be deeper than is allowed by Porsche specifications. The smart thing to do is to replace your pads right away.

The procedure for replacing pads on all the wheels is basically the same. There are slight configuration differences between front and rear brakes, but in general the procedure for replacement is similar.

Locate the wheel lock key from the tool kit in your Cayenne.
Figure 1

Locate the wheel lock key from the tool kit in your Cayenne. In this photo, you can see how the splines on the key fit the splined surface of the wheel lock.

With the car still on the ground, place the wheel lock key over the lock.
Figure 2

With the car still on the ground, place the wheel lock key over the lock. Then use the lug wrench to loosen the wheel lock and the other four lug bolts. It's important that you only slightly loosen the lug bolts. Once loose, jack the car up, secure it on jack stands and remove the wheel. See our article on Jacking Up Your Cayenne for more information.

Shown here is the complete front brake assembly on your Porsche Cayenne.
Figure 3

Shown here is the complete front brake assembly on your Porsche Cayenne.

Removing the 13mm bolt (green arrow) holding the brake pad retaining pin in place.
Figure 4

Removing the 13mm bolt (green arrow) holding the brake pad retaining pin in place.

Now use a punch to gently hammer out the retaining pin.
Figure 5

Now use a punch to gently hammer out the retaining pin. Keep in mind that this pin also holds the brake pad retaining spring (green arrow) in place. You may want to hold the spring down slightly as the pin slides off of it to relieve the tension.

Remove the wiring for the brake wear sensor (green arrow) by pulling it out of the groove cast into the caliper.
Figure 6

Remove the wiring for the brake wear sensor (green arrow) by pulling it out of the groove cast into the caliper. You'll also need to pry off the brake bleeder screw dust cap as it also holds the wiring in place (yellow arrow).

Now press the tab on the electrical connector (green arrow) and pull the brake wear sensor plug (yellow arrow) off.
Figure 7

Now press the tab on the electrical connector (green arrow) and pull the brake wear sensor plug (yellow arrow) off. These can sometimes be a bit tricky to release. In some cases, you may need to clean the sensor with some brake cleaner spray.

Now pull the brake wear sensor wiring (green arrow) out from under the clip (yellow arrow) on the pad retaining spring.
Figure 8

Now pull the brake wear sensor wiring (green arrow) out from under the clip (yellow arrow) on the pad retaining spring.

Sometimes, the old brake pads can be stuck in the caliper, preventing them from being removed.
Figure 9

Sometimes, the old brake pads can be stuck in the caliper, preventing them from being removed. In this case, you can use a screwdriver to pry the pads back. Take caution when doing so. The pads should pry back with moderate effort. Don't force them back if they are stuck. This is an indication that you may have a stuck piston in the caliper.

Once the pads are free, pull them up and out of the caliper.
Figure 10

Once the pads are free, pull them up and out of the caliper. Now look inside the caliper. You should clean this area. Make sure that the dust boots and the clamping rings inside the caliper are not ripped or damaged. If they are, then the caliper may need to be rebuilt

Shown here is the caliper with the brake pads removed.
Figure 11

Shown here is the caliper with the brake pads removed. At this point, you should inspect the brake discs carefully. Using a micrometer, take a measurement of the disc thickness. If the disc is worn beyond its specifications, then it's time to replace it along with the one on the other side. See our article on Replacing Front Brake Pads for more information.

Now install the new brake pad into one side of the caliper.
Figure 12

Now install the new brake pad into one side of the caliper. You may want to spray the back of the brake pads with some anti-squeal glue. This glue basically keeps the pads and the pistons glued together, and prevents noisy vibration. Some brands of pads may come with anti-squeal pads already attached to the rear surface. Anti-squeal pads can also be purchased separately as sheets that are peeled off and stuck on the rear of the pads.

You may find that you need to push the pistons back inside the caliper if the brake pad does not fit in.
Figure 13

You may find that you need to push the pistons back inside the caliper if the brake pad does not fit in. This is because the new pads are thicker than the old ones, and the piston is set in the old pad's position. You can do this by using a block of wood or a screwdriver as shown here. It is important that you only press on the metal portion of the piston to avoid damaging the rubber dust seals around the edge of the piston. I recommend you reinstall one of the old pads and place a screwdriver between it and the disk to push the pistons back in. There should be very little resistance when you push the pistons in. Do not force them. Be aware that as you push back the pistons in the calipers, you will cause the level of the brake reservoir to rise. Make sure that you don't have too much fluid in your reservoir. If the level is high, you may have to siphon out a bit from the reservoir to prevent it from overflowing. Also make sure that you have the cap securely fastened to the top of reservoir. Failure to do this may result in brake fluid accidentally getting on your paint.

Now take the new brake wear sensor and press the plastic tab (green arrow) into the tab on each brake pad (yellow arrow).
Figure 14

Now take the new brake wear sensor and press the plastic tab (green arrow) into the tab on each brake pad (yellow arrow).

Route the pad retaining spring underneath the red brake wear sensor wire and clip the wire into place on the spring.
Figure 15

Route the pad retaining spring underneath the red brake wear sensor wire and clip the wire into place on the spring.

Clean and lightly lubricate the brake pad retaining pin with high temperature grease.
Figure 16

Clean and lightly lubricate the brake pad retaining pin with high temperature grease. Then press it into the caliper, through the outside brake pad and over the retaining spring. You may find it helps to press the spring down and you press the pin though the caliper.

It's important that you take note of the orientation of the pad retaining pin.
Figure 17

It's important that you take note of the orientation of the pad retaining pin. In thisPicture you can see the end of the pin misaligned with the caliper housing. If this happens, use a pair of pliers to rotate the flats on the pin until they line up with the caliper.

Here is the caliper retaining pin lined up correctly.
Figure 18

Here is the caliper retaining pin lined up correctly.

Use a hammer and drift to lightly tap the pin all the way in.
Figure 19

Use a hammer and drift to lightly tap the pin all the way in. Once seated, re-install the 13mm bolt on the other side of the pin and torque it to 30Nm (22 ft/lbs.).

Figure 20

Now route the brake wear sensor wiring under the bleeder screw dust cap (green arrow) and plug it into the wiring harness (yellow arrow)

Locate the tire centering tool from the tool kit and screw it into one of the holes on the hub.
Figure 21

Locate the tire centering tool from the tool kit and screw it into one of the holes on the hub. This tool helps you refit the wheel onto the hub.

Slide the wheel over the centering tool until it sits flush on the hub.
Figure 22

Slide the wheel over the centering tool until it sits flush on the hub. Once in place, screw in one of the lug bolts to hold the wheel down and remove the tool. Now install all the lug bolts and torque them to 160Nm (118 ft/lbs.). When finished with both sides, press on the brake pedal repeatedly to make sure that the pads and the pistons seat properly. Also check the master cylinder brake fluid reservoir and top off the fluid if necessary. Brake pads typically take between 100 and 200 miles to completely break in. It's typical for braking performance to suffer slightly as the pads begin their wear-in period. Make sure that you avoid any heavy braking during this period.

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Comments and Suggestions:
JG Comments: Some of your brake pad sets show the sensors in the pic of kit items. This is suggesting the sensors are included. One of the items I'm referring to includes Brembo which is OEM supplier. Can you clarify if these also include the sensors? Examples are p/n: D-81014A-OSM-INT, P85065N-INT, 955-352-939-04-M914.
May 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: the Pelican Parts specialists can.
Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
glenny boy Comments: Is there a replacement part for the wiring harness plug...for some reason went to change pads & sensors & plug is smashed...prev owner
May 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention what vehicle you have. But if the part is available, Pelican parts can get it.

For an instant response, give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ron Comments: Can I use ceramic pads for my 2014 Cayenne? Also, how can I tell if rotors need to be replaced? 60k miles I have a pic.
March 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can use ceramic. Measure the rotors to see if they are in spec. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Danny Comments: Can I cut the sensors wires and not use them? Thank you
January 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, that will remove the warning system. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Danny Comments: I changed front pads and used the old sensors. You said that the warning light will reset once the system sees the new sensors. What about old sensors? My brake pad light is still on. Can I turn it off myself? Thanks a lot
January 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Without new sensors, the light will not turn off. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Steve Comments: Must I replace the brake wear sensors? My warning light has not yet come on. I am replacing them a bit early. Can I reuse the old sensors?
August 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If they are in good shape, you can. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jreey Comments: Will the brake wear sensor light go off after I replace brake pads?
February 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you replace the brake wear sensors when replacing the brake pads, the brake pad wear light will automatically reset once the system sees the new sensors. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Thrilloughby Comments: Fantastic detail in this post, thank you. I did front rotors and pads in just under 3 hours, which for a weekend warrior seems like a win. Also saved myself about $1,000...so definitely a win!
August 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
dzlndan Comments: Thanks Wayne this is a tremendous help. It's nice to have somewhere to look before I tackle a job. Just so I know what I'm in for. Just wondering thou, do you know what are the best type pads to get. When I started looking for the replacement pads I found a lot of options and some great differences in pricing ranging from 50$-$250. Is there that much of a range in materials? I have an 06 turbo s
July 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, low price usually lower quality, high price 0 usually higher quality. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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