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HomeTech Articles > 993 Technical Article:

Pelican Guest Technical Article
Permission to publish this article is provided generously by
Robin Sun at
Be sure to visit his site for loads of 993 info!

DIY brake pad and rotor change
(10 pictures to load)

This DIY will show you how to change the 993 front brake pads, and same procedure to change out the rear pads.

The skill level of this DIY in a skill of 1-10 (10 being the hardest) is a 5

Everyone has a different method of changing brake pads the most commonly used method is to lift the retainer and pry the pistons back in and remove the old pads.  This procedure may be a little difficult with factory pads since there are the dome shaped anti squealing shims on the back of the brake pads.  The method showing here gives you much more room to work with and lessor of a chance you may damage your rotors. 

(1). Put the car on jack stands.

(2). Remove the wheel, remove the brake pad sensor wire from the holder by sliding the hold down first.

(3). Use a vise grip pliers to squeeze the center of the brake pad retainer and use a flat screw driver to pry up the retainer. Once the retainer can be swing up you can remove the sensor wires from it.  And unplug it at the terminal.

(4). Unbolt the two caliper mounting screw 10 mm hex.  These pictures shows the upper and the lower bolts to remove.

(5).  A little modification at the brake line clip will make things a lot easier for you.  For some reason there are no opening at the  brake line holder on the strut, the only way for you to remove the brake line away form the strut is to loosen the brake lines which means you let air in the brake system and you will need to bleed the brakes later.  I found it to be much easier if you make a little modification to the brake line holder.  Use a Dremel motor tool with a cut off wheel attachment and make a opening for yourself.  This way you can slide the brake lines out from the strut and you would have no possibility of bending the brake line by accident when  working on the caliper.
The left picture shows the brake line holder with the clip, the clip can be lifted up by using a flat screw driver, the right picture shows the modification I made using a Dremel cut off wheel on the brake line holder.  Now the brake line can be easily moved away from the strut.


Here is a picture of the brake caliper completely off and can be easily worked on.   No coat hangers or wires to tie it up.    Use a C clamp to squeeze the pistons back in so there will be enough room to clear the rotors once the new pads are installed. Now you can remove the brake pads from the caliper, you may need to use a flat screw driver to pry it out from the pistons. If you added brake fluid in your reservoir because the fluid level went down since the pads were worn out you need to use a turkey baster to suck some out first, because when you squeeze the pistons back in the fluid level will rise and it may over flow the reservoir.  Also to remove the cap on the reservoir will help ease the process of squeezing the pistons back in. 

To remove the rotor you will need to unscrew the two Philips screw that holds the rotor in place.  Some screws may be rusted on, recommend using a impact screw driver to remove them.  Once the screws is removed the rotor will come right off. 

For your first time DIY guys please read this important message from Ray Calvo first:

Do you change your own brake pads?  If so, keep one thing in mind.  After replacing the pads, they are NOT going to be flat against the brake rotor.  What this means is that when you get in the car, pull out of the garage, and first hit the brakes, the pedal might well go right to the floor with no braking!  To avoid this, after replacing the pads, get in the car and pump the pedal slightly but several times to push the pads flat against the rotors.  Once you feel firm resistance in the pedal, the car is ready for driving.

I have failed to do this and nearly clobbered my neighbor's pickup truck when I have pulled the Porsche out of the garage - not once, but twice!


Comments and Suggestions:
stevo Comments: Regarding this "This DIY will show you how to change the 993 front brake pads, and same procedure to change out the rear pads" article. The links to all photos after the first one are broken. Can somebody fix this article?

I am getting ready to do a brake job and would like to see those photos in the article.
March 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The photos load for me. Try refreshing your browser. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
D Comments: do the sensors need replaced on every cpad change? Is it different if they activated the "warning" or not? Is the worst that I am risking is having to check it manually, like my other vehicles?
Thank you.
October 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: usually they have to be replaced, as they do not survive being removed fromt he old pads. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
prrussd Comments: I have a '96 993 C4 with the special boosted brake system and am getting ready to put in new pads, rotors, and stainless lines all around, as well as to flush the system. I'm familiar with a standard hydraulic brake system flush, but Is there any special procedure required for with regard to the accumulator and pump system? Also, about how much fluid does the system hold? Thanks.
August 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: be prepared with three pints of fluid. Bleed it as you would a normal brake system. As long as you don't induce air into the system, you should be OK.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
ed Comments: I have found it a lot easier to open both bleeders on the caliper, then spread the pads, there is very little fluid that comes out.Close the bleeders and you are set to go. All you have to do is top off the master cylinder.
April 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
pjf Comments: i recently replaced the pads and rotors on my boss's 97 993 and he had mentioned before and still it is sticking when parked you go to back out and it seems stuck a little more power and it breaks free and seem to stay free it does not do this on a regular basis any ideas also it squeels a little from the rer brakes only when applied lightly help!
April 12, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check if a caliper is hanging up. Press and release the brake with the wheels off the ground. Once released the wheel should spin freely. If they all do, do the same with the parking brake. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Hurdigurdiman Comments: Has anyone ever noticed when doing a brake job, under normal braking or even track braking, which, if either set, front or rear brake pads, wear out more than the other? I just did a brake job on my 1999 C2 996 and only needed to replace the rear brake pads. Just wondered if this was normal. Can anyone shed light on this subject. Thanks.
By the way my pads would not come out without me first taking the caliper off. That then allowed the backing spiders on the rear brakes and the alloy type top hats which slide in to the front pistons enough room to easily slide out after squeezing the pistons and pads back with a vice type wrench. Use a soft rag or cardboard on the outside of the caliper so not to mark the caliper with the pipe wrench. I removed the front pads to check and found them with plenty of wear left so did not replace them. The torque on the caliper bolts is 63 foot / pounds. I removed the spiders with a wood chisel and replaced them into the pistons before dropping in the new pads. No goo or glu added figuring they would stick to the back of the new pads when heated under normal braking circumstances. The same for the alloy type top hats although I didnt need to take them off. No vibration or squealing and a rock hard pedal is the result. Dont forget to replace the top on the brake fluid reservoir under the hood. removed or at least slackened before squeezing the pads back
November 28, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Usually I find front brake pads wear the fastest. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Andy Comments: It may be easier to push the pistons back into the caliper before unbolting the caliper from the suspension and pry the pads lose with the caliper unmounted
October 3, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
tony Comments: do you need to change the rotors every time you change the pads?
November 13, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Nope, only if the rotors are scored, or are worn beyond the wear limits. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
GT Comments: Can the brake pads be changed witout removing the caliper?
January 17, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Cupomeat Comments: A few points to help other people do this job;
1. With the cup silencers it is practically impossible to remove the old pads without taking the caliper off. If you have the stock cup spring silences, which I recommend and are only about $18 for the whole car you will need to pull the caliper.
2. The rotors have threaded holes in the "hat" portion of the rotor for the express use to push the rotor off of the hub. It is very easy to thread in two M8 i think bolts until they are a little tight, then whack the rotor and it comes right off.
Good luck and I hope that helps.
October 5, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
david3299 Comments: Any recommended torque settings for any of the above items?
June 26, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have them handy here, but the Bentley manual has them listed for all brake components. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
coppersmith99 Comments: Sorry for the typo - to be clear - do not cut a notch in your brake line retaining clip. Undo the bolt.

Also, if your car has brake pad vibration dampers, Porsche says you need to install new ones with new pads. That's an additional $120. I pried the dampers off the old pads and used them again. While the glue is not as sticky as when new, the heat and pressure from the brakes was more than enough to bond the old dampers to the new pads.

Also, if whacking rotor with mallet, make sure the car is properly and securely supported. Start with light whacking, which often does the trick, and increase whacking as necessary.
May 18, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
coppersmith99 Comments: First, the plastic retaining clips on my 60k 966's brake sensors were beyond dry and brittle. No chance of removing and re-installing. I just cut the wires, closed the circuits to keep the dash light off, and did away with this nonsense. Also, no need to remove the sensors from the terminal if you are re-installing them.

Second, you don't have to remove the caliper to replace the pads. Spread the pistons, remove the clip or pin and retaining plate, remove pads, remove vibration damper if appropriate, install new pads and dampers in reverse order. cut the brake line clip. I prefer to pull the caliper as it is only two more bolts and provides more room to work, but it can be done without.

Most importantly - do not use a cutting tool right by your brake line and modify your car in a way that technically nullifies the warranty! Remove the 10 mm bolt that holds the brake line retaining clip to the suspension arm. On my 966, you will have to support the caliper with a box or wire, as the flexible portion of the brake line barely gives you enough room to remove the caliper from the rotor.
May 18, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Wheels Comments: Rotor doesn't slide off. I'm woundering if the parking brake is a shoe brake and pads are possibly hanging up on lip-due to wear. If so, do I need to adjust park brake to retract enough to pull rotor off.
April 24, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sometimes the rotors can be really stuck on the hub, so you have to whack it with a rubber mallet as hard as you can. Really - yes, as hard as you can. You're not going to damage the rotor (It's an old rotor anyways), nor the strut. Sometimes it takes 20-25 whacks, but it will come off. And yes, make sure that you have the parking brake loose (make sure the wheel can turn) prior to smacking it with the rubber hammer. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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