A Porsche 996 911 front brake pads and rotors replacement is one of the most important general maintenance jobs you can perform on your vehicle. Whether driving on the street or the track, spirited driving increases the degradation rate on your front brakes. Replacement intervals are recommended every 30,000 to 50,000 miles, or sooner if you regularly track your vehicle. If you're experiencing any of the signs and symptoms below, it's crucial to inspect your front brakes visually.
On examination, apparent signs of wear are deep grooves on the rotors, a flared lip around the outer edge. You'll also be able to feel the rotor's wear through the steering wheel and pedal if it has become warped. For the brake pads themselves, check for brake dust on your wheel rims and if the pads are within the recommended thickness. Since brakes are vital for vehicle safety, prioritize their replacement if you encounter any signs and symptoms of failure.
Porsche Models and Years Applicable:
- 1999-2005 Porsche Carrera 911
- Incl. 4 and Targa models
Symptoms of failing Porsche 996 911 front brake pads and rotors:
- Illuminated brake indicator light
- A burning smell after braking
- Loud screeching or grinding noise while braking
- Spongy brakes
- Vibration while braking
How much will it cost to replace the Porsche 996 911 front brake pads and rotors?
If you go to an independent Porsche shop, expect between $950 to $1,100 in parts and labor to replace just your front brake pads and rotors. From a Porsche dealership, expect between $1,300 to $1,500. If you do this job at home and pay only for the parts instead, you can save at least $500. In the future, if these parts should need replacement again, know that our Lifetime Replacement Guarantee covers them.
How long will it take to replace the Porsche 996 911 front brake pads and rotors?
Replacing your front brake pads and rotors is an easy job that can go relatively quickly. The steps below are designed to be straightforward, so you shouldn't encounter any issues performing this job. It'll take about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on your experience.
Parts required to replace the Porsche 996 911 front brake pads and rotors:
Tools required to replace the Porsche 996 911 front brake pads and rotors:
- 10mm and 19mm Sockets
- 10mm Hex Bit Socket
- Torx 55 Bit
- Phillips Head and Flathead Screwdrivers
- Torque Wrench 5-75lb-ft
- Torque Wrench 30-250lb-ft
- Breaker Bar
- Hook and Pick Tools
- Caliper Hooks
- Wire Brush
- Electric Impact
Steps required to replace the Porsche 996 911 front brake pads and rotors:
Step 1: Remove the front wheel and the brake pad wear sensor
Take a 19mm socket and remove the lug bolts and wheel.
Next, remove the brake pad wear sensor. Behind the rotor on the wheel carrier, lift the metal tab and disconnect the white sensor.
The sensor wire is routed through a couple of retaining clips. Remove the sensor wire from the clip found on the backside of the strut body, and then from another clip as you continue along the wire.
The wear sensor wire is mounted on the interior and exterior brake pads. Since you're replacing this as part of the kit, you can simply yank them out. If they are giving you trouble, you can use a pick tool.
Step 2: Remove the front brake pads
With the sensor removed, you can now begin removing the retaining pin and clip that holds the brake pads together. At the end of that retaining pin toward the interior is a small cotter pin. Use a pick tool to remove it.
Use a hammer and a punch to push the retaining pin through, allowing you to remove the retaining clip. Since the retaining pin is holding back the clip through tension, it may shoot out at you as you remove the pin. Note the orientation of the retaining clip.
To remove the brake pads, insert the flathead screwdriver into the hole of the retaining pin to help compress the pistons. If you're replacing your rotors as well, you can shove a flathead screwdriver between the pads and rotors and pry them a little. That'll
With enough play to remove the pads, you can simply slide them out.
Step 3: Remove the caliper and brake pad shims
Remove the two 10mm hex bolts that mount the caliper to the knuckle. According to Porsche, the bolts are one-time use, so throw away the used pair.
Before removing the entire caliper, remove the 10mm bolt that holds the hardline bracket to the wheel carrier. This'll allow the caliper some room to move when you put it on caliper hooks. Once the caliper is off, hang it on a hook or with zip ties to keep the pressure off of the rubber brake hose. Then, remove the two brake pad shims found inside the caliper on each side.
Step 4: Remove the old front rotor and install the new one
Use a hammer to shock the rotor and free up any potential rust or corrosion holding the rotor in place. Then, remove the screws, and shimmy the rotor off.
Before you go ahead and install your new rotor, we suggest you take a wire brush or a wire wheel on a Dremel to clean any surface rust and dirt. In addition, you can brush some anti-seize paste around the rotor hub. The new Zimmermann rotors come with a zinc coating on them, so we highly advise installing them with brand new shop gloves to prevent contamination of the rotor's wear surface. You cannot clean these rotors with brake cleaner like you would with typical rotors. Install the two new set screws and torque them to 7lb-ft or 10Nm.
Step 5: Reinstall the front caliper and brake pad shims
The new brake pad shims are straightforward; simply fit them into the caliper's piston bores.
Reposition the brake caliper over the rotor, and thread in the new caliper bolts by hand to prevent cross-threading. The new bolts will require a T55 socket. Torque them to 63lb-ft or 85Nm.
Next, reinstall the 10mm bolt for the hardline bracket that sits on the wheel carrier, and then torque to 6lb-ft or 8Nm.
Step 6: Install the new front brake pads and brake pad wear sensor
The new brake pads are only inserted one way. Of course, make sure you have the brake pad material facing the rotor.
Take your new retaining pin and insert it into the caliper and through the pads. Ensure that the end with the retaining pin's hole is installed towards the inside of the caliper. The top portion of the retaining clip has a notch for the sensor wire to sit in, also, so you want to position it correctly before sliding your pin through. Then with the cotter pin lock the retaining pin in place.
On the brake wear pad sensor wire are two notches that key into the brake pads. The first end notch is inserted toward the exterior brake pad, and the wire is routed over the hook on the retaining bracket. The second notch of the wire inserts into the interior brake pad. The caliper has another notch for the rest of the wire to sit into.
Route the wire through the clip behind the strut body. With the metal tab still up, install the white end of the wire into the sensor plug, then close the metal clip over it.
Use a 19mm socket for the five lugs to reinstall the wheel, and then torque to 96lb-ft or 130Nm.
Porsche Torque Specs:
- Front Rotor Set Screws = 7lb-ft or 10Nm, of torque
- Front Brake Caliper T55 Bolts = 63lb-ft or 85Nm, of torque
- Front Hardline Bracket 10mm Bolt = 6lb-ft or 8Nm, of torque
- Wheel Lugs = 96lb-ft or 130Nm, of torque
With your new front brakes installed, it's clear that this was a straightforward DIY job that required only basic tools for success. As you return to spirited driving, rest easy knowing that you and others are safer on the road. If you're interested in more DIYs for your Porsche, you can visit porsche.fcpeuro.com and subscribe to our YouTube channel.