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Rear Brake Pad Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Brake Pad Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$30 to $350

Talent:

**

Tools:

Pliers, flathead screwdriver, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, lug wrench, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)

Parts Required:

Brake pads

Hot Tip:

Don't damage the dust caps

Performance Gain:

Car stops better

Complementary Modification:

Replace rotor or disk

Replacing your rear brake pads is a very easy job to perform on your Porsche 944 and a great way to get started on "Doing it yourself". In general, you should inspect your brake pads and rotors about every 25,000 miles, and replace them if the material lining of the pad is worn down enough to trigger the pad replacement sensor or there is less than a quarter-inch of material on the pad. In reality, most people don't inspect their pads very often, and usually wait until they see the little brake-warning lamp appear on the dashboard. It's a wise idea to replace the pads, and inspect your discs as soon as you see that warning lamp go on. Always replace you pads in pairs. If one side of the calipers' pads is wearing down more than the other it is a sign that you have a sticking caliper and/or a faulty brake line and should inspect the brake system.

If you ignore the warning lamp, you may indeed get to the point of metal on metal contact, where the metal backing of the pads are contacting the brake discs. Using the brakes during this condition will not only give you inadequate braking, but will also begin to wear 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 OEM specifications. If your pads are grabbing or pulsing when you come to a stop, there is a very good chance your rotors are warped and in need of replacement as well.

First thing you need to do is get the car up on jack stands and the rear wheels removed. Please refer to our article on jacking up your car for more information.

Before removing the pads you will need to remove the spring clip (red arrow) and the brake wear sensor (yellow arrow).
Figure 1

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

You will also want to check your brake fluid reservoir.
Figure 2

You will also want to check your brake fluid reservoir. You will need to compress the caliper pistons, which will cause brake fluid to travel back up into the reservoir. You need to make sure there is room for it (red arrow). Carefully clean around the reservoir before you open it, as you do not want any dirt or debris getting into it. Be prepared to use a turkey baster or fluid pump to extract some of the brake fluid if necessary. Make sure whatever you use is clean; you do not want any contaminants getting into the fluid.

You will need to loosen the wear sensor to replace the brake pads, so release it from the caliper and where it clips to the brake lines (red arrows).
Figure 3

You will need to loosen the wear sensor to replace the brake pads, so release it from the caliper and where it clips to the brake lines (red arrows).

If your sensor is not damaged you can reuse it.
Figure 4

If your sensor is not damaged you can reuse it. Our sensor has been worn down and needs replacing. If your sensor needs to be replaced, follow the wiring until it comes to the plug located under the trailing arm and simply remove it from the mount. Unplug it and plug in the new 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 5

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.

These pads are worn past safe usage and should have been replaced a while ago.
Figure 6

These pads are worn past safe usage and should have been replaced a while ago. You can see the wear sensor has been making contact with the rotor (yellow arrow) and the pistons are almost fully expanded (red arrow).

Use a screwdriver between the pads and rotor and push the pads back against the caliper pistons until you can pull the pads out.
Figure 7

Use a screwdriver between the pads and rotor and push the pads back against the caliper pistons until you can pull the pads out. You can see that the wear sensor has been rubbing against the rotor for a while (red arrow).

The material is thin enough on the pads that they have cracked in half (red arrow).
Figure 8

The material is thin enough on the pads that they have cracked in half (red arrow). Do not let you pads get worn down to this point. Make sure you check them regularly and change them before they get to this state.

Use the old pads and a large flathead screwdriver to push the pistons back into the caliper (red arrows).
Figure 9

Use the old pads and a large flathead screwdriver to push the pistons back into the caliper (red arrows).

Make sure to check the reservoir.
Figure 10

Make sure to check the reservoir. If the pads were really worn like ours and the fluid level was high, you will need to push the pistons a fair ways to make room for the new pads. If that happens, use a turkey baster or fluid pump and carefully remove some fluid from the reservoir (red arrow).

Here you can see that the pistons on the outside of the caliper have been compressed back to make room for the new pads (red arrows), while we still need to finish compressing the inside pistons (yellow arrows).
Figure 11

Here you can see that the pistons on the outside of the caliper have been compressed back to make room for the new pads (red arrows), while we still need to finish compressing the inside pistons (yellow arrows). Before installing the new pads, make sure to check the condition of the dust boots on the pistons for damage. With everything inspected and the pistons back you are ready to install the new pads. Install a little anti-squeal to the back of the new pads and insert them into the caliper. Installation is the reverse of removal. Do NOT forget to top up the fluid and put the cap snuggly back on the reservoir. Pump the brakes a few times to move the pistons into position on the pads. Always follow the break in instructions that come with your new pads.

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