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natey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago IL
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Hard to change brake pads with 4-piston calipers?

I've read the Haynes manual procedure for changing brake pads on the regular 944's 1-piston calipers. It looks pretty easy. But, the last line of the entry says something like "later high-performance versions use 4-piston calipers, which are a lot more complicated, and should be left to the dealership".

I've got an '89 turbo, with 4-piston calipers. Are they really that much harder to change brake pads in? Is there a good write-up with pictures somewhere?
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1988 944NA (Someone else's problem now)
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:42 PM
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Nope, the easiest brake pad change you will ever do...

1) Remove wheels.

2) Compress clip, and rotate away from the pad.

3) Using a large screwdriver, lever the pad away from the rotor. Only do one pad at a time.

4) Using a pliers, remove the old pad.

5) Put the new pad in.

Repeat this until each pad is installed.

gb
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Old 03-22-2005, 01:48 PM
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Hey, good to hear it's easy! I could use some more info on step 2, though...what's the "clip"? I can't find pictures or diagrams of the 4-piston calipers, so I haven't got any feel for what's in there.

(Heh, it is pretty much guaranteed to be the easiest I ever do...also the hardest, and the first...I'm pretty new at this.)
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1988 944NA (Someone else's problem now)
1989 951 "Serena" (Still miss this one...)
2006 330i "Shadow" (6 speed, sport package, and nothing else)
2009 X3 "Ruby" (Because it snows here, and I have things to move)
Old 03-22-2005, 08:02 PM
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Well, take a wheel off your car and take a look at your own calipers, lazybones .

All kidding aside, that clip is easy to see once you are looking at the top of the caliper. Its fairly large, and usually silver in color, and looks like someone took some 1/4" alu wire and formed it into some artistic version of a celtic cross.

You'll understand when you look at it.
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Old 03-23-2005, 01:11 AM
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Unless the pads are siezed in-place, Porsche brakes are the easiest brakes to change pads in that i have ever worked on.

Every other car i've tried, you have to unbolt the caliper to get the pads out. Porsche pads slip out the top of the caliper, after you rotate the clip out of the way, as described above. (be careful with the electrical wires that go to the pad wear sensors, they get caught in the clip.) to compress the clip, you need a large pair of pliers, and grab the clip in the center, and squeeze the 2 pieces of wire together, along the longest axis of the clip. It should pop out of one of the ends.

You will need to find some way to compress the pistions back into the calipers, if you're putting in new pads. You can lever the pads back into the caliper, just don't damage the rotor doing that.

Are you changing the rotors as well? I would reccomend changing rotors unless they have very little wear. Changing the rotors adds complexity to the job. You'll have to remove the calipers to change the rotors.
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Old 03-23-2005, 05:01 AM
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Range rover calipers are definetely the easiest and porsche the second. Now it's a different story when it comes to rotors-range rover the HARDEST!
Old 03-23-2005, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by natey
Hey, good to hear it's easy! I could use some more info on step 2, though...what's the "clip"?
I believe it is called a butterfly clip. It can be compressed with channel locks. Very easy to do.

-Z.
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Old 03-23-2005, 05:51 AM
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Changing the pads is easy on 4 piston Porsche calipers. But bleeding the brakes is harder because the calipers have two bleed nipples. Twice as much work as the single piston calipers.
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Old 03-23-2005, 07:59 AM
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tifosiman: I just got the wheels back on it! I don't think my knees can take another half hour on the pavement...(lousy apartment parking lot).

Mike: Good info, thanks. Hadn't planned on replacing the rotors, I don't feel any pulsing when I brake. Don't know how old they are, though, maybe I'll get them measured when I get new tires in the next few weeks.

iobound: Hadn't planned on bleeding the brakes either, I figure a shop with a pressure bleeder could do it in a quarter of the time it would take me, plus they were just bled ~6k miles ago, and I'm not planning on disconnecting the brake lines.

Also, I thought they'd been working to do away with the BIG kernel lock since the 2.1 series, and replace it with smaller spinlocks? Good to see another linux nerd / porsche enthusiast around...


Thanks for the info, everyone. I think I will try this myself, before I go to the next DE event (yes, I'll be sure to break them in on the street first...)
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1988 944NA (Someone else's problem now)
1989 951 "Serena" (Still miss this one...)
2006 330i "Shadow" (6 speed, sport package, and nothing else)
2009 X3 "Ruby" (Because it snows here, and I have things to move)
Old 03-23-2005, 11:13 AM
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True. The BKL is largely depricated but it's sooo evil and unruley that I still love it :-;
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RPM also stands for Redhat Package Manager
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1988 944 NA w/4valve S motor (Daily Driver)
1992 965 Coupe 3.4 Liter, webers, GE60 (Garage Queen)
1998 Volvo V70 Wagon
2002 Barbie Electric Kids Jeep
Old 03-23-2005, 11:26 AM
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Once the wheel is off, you can change brake pads with nothing more than a Leatherman tool.

I had to do that trackside once. Worked great.
Old 03-23-2005, 01:59 PM
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