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-   -   Do my own brakes? (http://babblers.org/showthread.php?t=535)

Glen Baker May 14th, 2001 09:46 AM

Do my own brakes?
Just discovered this site, very cool.

I've got a '97 Boxster (allegedly the first to come into california, but that's another story). I just hit 30K and Ray at S-Car-Go pointed out that my brakes are, well, shot. The rotors are pretty badly lipped and the pads are almost to the wear sensors.

Since I'm not a total idiot with a wrench (close, but not total), I'm considering doing the brakes myself to save a buck or two.

Questions: anything I should know before I dive in?

I've found some fairly cheap OEM parts from Vertex Auto (www.vertexauto.com). Their price on rotors is about half of what I find elsewhere. Any words of wisdom on rotor/pad selection?

The car is used as a daily driver (just to make me smile every morning), I'm not looking for frozen rotors or other exotics...just want the brakes to work when I step on 'em!



doug_d (Cameron Park, CA) May 14th, 2001 10:03 AM

Re: some info
hi glen,

brakes and rotors are pretty easy. some very helpful person will provide you with a link to detailed instructions with pictures very soon. several exist, but i can't find it right now.

as for the oem rotors, note that the porsche rotors have treated hubs that don't rust easily. most oem rotors are not treated and the hubs will rust badly, quickly. i painted my rotor hubs with high temp paint. after about a month, they look like they'll hold up well.

doug_d (Cameron Park, CA) May 14th, 2001 01:59 PM

Re: the link...
see the link for detailed pad instructions.

and here are rotor tips i copied from a post from "Douglas ?".

Remove the two caliper bolts and the screw which holds the brake line coupling between the flexible hose and the metal tubing. Suspend the caliper (a coat hanger works well) so that it is not hanging by the brake hose. Remove the two Phillips head screws from the rotor. Remove the rotor from the hub (make sure the parking brake is released if a rear wheel). If the rotor is stuck on the hub, use a screw (forgot which size) in one of the other small holes in the rotor to force the rotor off of the hub. Clean the hub well. Coat the hub (the surfaces that will contact the rotor) with a very thin layer of Optimoly grease. Install the new rotor. Reinstall the caliper using new caliper bolts - torque to 63 ft-lbs.

trygve's pad change

Glen May 14th, 2001 03:24 PM

Re: the link...
Thanks! Looks pretty straightforward, now all I have to do is get the parts and figure out what those "wrench" things are that you're supposed to use.. :-)


Tool Pants May 14th, 2001 08:15 PM

I too, will do my own brake pad and rotor change
When it is time for my '97 with over 30k miles. It is just a car and I have worked on other cars with 4 wheel disc brakes.

I did not see the "wrench" things in Trygve's instructions, or I might be able to figure it out.

Pic of my 30k service I did myself.

Jeff Lopez


JayM May 15th, 2001 12:26 AM

I changed my pads this weekend using Trygve's instructions
It was pretty straightforward, but I did note a couple of things which might help even more. First, I had not melted the wear sensors so I was planning to re-use them, but I found that it was virtually impossible to re-install them in the new pads, even after cleaning the sensors. When I finally checked the new pads against the old ones it turned out that the holes for the sensor in the new pads was slightly smaller. An earlier application with a carbide-tipped drill bit would have saved a me lot of grunting and swearing.

Second, I recommend attaching the drain hose to the bleed nipple on the caliper BEFORE you open it (you can guess what happens when you don't...)

Finally, Trygve mentioned that there is an extra pin on the replacement pads which didn't line up with the notch on his calipers, so he just twisted it off. My replacement pads also had the extra pin (extra relative to the OEM pads), but it does fit perfectly into the notch in my caliper. Go figure.

BTW, I installed a set of Mintex pads, which I have heard give better performance than the stock pads (mine were Bremo's) but don't squeak as much as the Pagids. You can get them from Automotion (don't believe the website, which says they don't have them for Boxsters).

Glen May 15th, 2001 08:39 AM

Thanks for the responses
I really appreciate the quick responses, thanks!

I just ordered a set of pads, rotors and sensors from Vertex. All up I'm looking at about $250.00 in parts and, from the sounds of it a couple hours, of my time. That sounds like a pretty fair savings over the $550.00 that the local dealer quoted for the job.

Thanks again,


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