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Front Brake Caliper Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Brake Caliper Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$400 to $1,000

Talent:

**

Tools:

19mm socket, 17mm wrench, 14mm, 11mm flared nut wrench, pliers, flathead screwdriver, catch can or bottle, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, lug wrench, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)

Parts Required:

New calipers

Hot Tip:

Pre-soak rusted bolts in penetrant oil

Performance Gain:

Car stops better

Complementary Modification:

Replace rotor or disk

If your calipers are sticking, leaking or you are wearing down one side or your brake pads are disproportional to each other, then there is a good chance you need to change your calipers. If you have got to the point where you are changing them it is a good idea to do a complete brake job and change out the rotors, pads and give the system a good flush and bleed while you are there. Please see our articles on changing your pads, rotors and how to bleed your brakes. This article will cover how to replace your calipers.

First thing you need to do is safely raise and support your 944 or 951. Please refer to our article on jacking up your car for more information.

After replacing your calipers you must fully and properly bleed your brakes. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE THE VEHICLE WITHOUT FIRST BLEEDING THE BRAKES. Please see our article on bleeding your brakes.

You will need to remove the pads and wear sensor first.
Figure 1

You will need to remove the pads and wear sensor first. Before removing the pads you will need to remove the spring clip (yellow arrow) and the brake wear sensor (red arrow).

You can release the spring clip from the upper mount by grabbing the center section with a set of pliers and squeezing it in and down from the top clip (red arrow).
Figure 2

You can release the spring clip from the upper mount by grabbing the center section with a set of pliers and squeezing it in and down from the top clip (red arrow). Once free of the top it will pivot down on the bottom.

You will need to remove the brake wear sensor before completely removing the spring clip.
Figure 3

You will need to remove the brake wear sensor before completely removing the spring clip. Pivot the clip down and use a set of small set of pliers to gently remove the sensor (red arrow). Do not pull the sensor out from the wires or you will just damage it.

You are going to need to bleed the system when installing new calipers so opening the bleed screw will make getting the old pads out easier.
Figure 4

You are going to need to bleed the system when installing new calipers so opening the bleed screw will make getting the old pads out easier. Remove the protective cap (green arrow) and use an 11mm flared nut wrench (red arrow) to open the bleed screw (yellow arrow)

Connect a line to a catch bottle (red arrow) so you can collect the fluid as it escapes the caliper.
Figure 5

Connect a line to a catch bottle (red arrow) so you can collect the fluid as it escapes the caliper. Always properly dispose of brake fluid and any other fluid you remove from your vehicle. Brake fluid is toxic to people, animals and the earth.

The front calipers can be difficult to compress to remove the brake pads.
Figure 6

The front calipers can be difficult to compress to remove the brake pads. Sometimes you can wiggle them until you can get a large flathead screwdriver between the pads and rotor. I had to place a rag between the caliper to protect the paint and then use a set of pliers to squeeze the pads and caliper together (red arrow).

With the pistons in the caliper pushed back in you can simply pull the pads out.
Figure 7

With the pistons in the caliper pushed back in you can simply pull the pads out.

The red arrow points to the flexible brake line on the front of the car that needs to be removed to replace the caliper but unless they are new this is also a good time to replace the lines with new ones.
Figure 8

The red arrow points to the flexible brake line on the front of the car that needs to be removed to replace the caliper but unless they are new this is also a good time to replace the lines with new ones. The yellow arrows point to the fitting on the hard brake lines that needs to be released using an 11mm flare-nut wrench on the hard line and a 17mm wrench holding the rubber line. The green arrow indicates where the flexible line connects to the caliper; you will need a 14mm flared nut wrench for this. You are going to want to remove the line at the fender connection and not the caliper first. If you try and remove it from the caliper first the line cannot turn freely and will bind.

Begin by pulling the line out from the mounting bracket on the strut (yellow arrow).
Figure 9

Begin by pulling the line out from the mounting bracket on the strut (yellow arrow). There should be a rubber grommet on the line to protect it (red arrow).

Remove the mounting clip that holds the lines to the body bracket by pulling it out with a set of pliers.
Figure 10

Remove the mounting clip that holds the lines to the body bracket by pulling it out with a set of pliers. Some people like to remove this after you separate the lines but I like to do it first. You are going to be supporting the lines with two wrenches. Once the line is open brake fluid will get everywhere. Brake fluid is very slippery. You don't want to make a mess trying to get this off once there is fluid on it.

A required tool is an 11mm flare-nut wrench (red arrow) that fully wraps around the brake line nut (yellow arrow).
Figure 11

A required tool is an 11mm flare-nut wrench (red arrow) that fully wraps around the brake line nut (yellow arrow). If you use a standard wrench, then there is a high chance of rounding off the corners and permanently damaging the hard brake lines. These fittings are not very strong and will become stripped if you don't use one of these wrenches. The other disastrous thing that can happen is that the fitting can get stuck to the rest of the hard line. The fitting is supposed to turn and rotate on the end of the line, but sometimes it becomes too corroded to break free. When this happens, the fitting and the line will usually twist together, and it will break the line in half.

Be careful when you are removing this fitting to make sure that you are not twisting the line.
Figure 12

Be careful when you are removing this fitting to make sure that you are not twisting the line. You should counter hold the flexible line with a 17mm wrench (red arrow) while turning the hard brake line with an 11mm flared nut wrench (yellow arrow).

With the line separated fluid will drip out; either plug the end of the line or be prepared to catch and dispose of it correctly.
Figure 13

With the line separated fluid will drip out; either plug the end of the line or be prepared to catch and dispose of it correctly. With the line separated you can see the delicate flare on the end of the hard line (red arrow) and some of the corrosion that has built up (yellow arrow). NEVER put any sort of Teflon tape or Loctite on the threads (yellow arrow) or fitting. With the line separated you can use a 14mm flared nut wrench and remove the other end of the line form the caliper.

It is easier and safer to remove the flexible brake line from the caliper once the caliper is off.
Figure 14

It is easier and safer to remove the flexible brake line from the caliper once the caliper is off. That way you do not need to worry about brake fluid splashing onto the paint as you remove it but it is a good idea to use a 14mm flared nut wrench and loosen the line (red arrow) while the caliper is still attached to the spindle.

Use a 19mm socket and remove the two mounting bolts from the rear of the caliper (red arrows).
Figure 15

Use a 19mm socket and remove the two mounting bolts from the rear of the caliper (red arrows). Use care, as once the bolts are removed the caliper is free and can fall.

You can now remove the caliper from the spindle and rotor.
Figure 16

You can now remove the caliper from the spindle and rotor. Installation is the reverse of removal. If your new caliper did not come complete transfer over any missing components from the old one. Remember you now must properly bleed the brake system, not just the new caliper.



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