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Old 09-18-2008, 12:51 PM   #1
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pads/rotors - how hard to DIY?

I've done pads and rotors on other cars in the past. I have never tried it on a boxster. my dad has done the pads on the boxster, but never rotors.

the car needs all new rotors/pads all the way around.

if i just order OEM stuff and break out a six pack, and sit down to do this in my garage - are there any special tool i need to do this on the boxster, or is it basically just like any other car in terms of difficulty?

the dealer wants to rape me to the tune of almost $1600 for front/rear rotors an dpads + labor. i can get the parts for less than half that..and the idea of doign the brakes myself sounds kind of fun.

thanks! just need to know if this is an easy DIY like i think it is...
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:04 PM   #2
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Its one of the first D.I.Y. i did to my old Box. Super easy,no special tools required,just make sure you have 10 pairs of latex gloves.

If you shoot me an email at gl-g100rcd@sbcglobal.net I can send you the D.I.Y. links I have.(at work now)
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:36 PM   #3
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thanks! i'll shoot you an email.

does anyone know if it is crucial that I used OEM porshce parts? If I go online, several internet sellers offer OEM parts, but they also have Zimmerman brake rotors, and I can get cross drilled rotors fo rless than standard OEM rotors.

is there really anything "special" about the OEM rotors? on a high end car like the porsche, i would wonder if maybe there could be some better tolerances or quality control on OEM rotos..but then again, rotors are just big hunks of iron..

cross drilled would look cool. i doubt i need them, but it would look nice.

i havne't checked part prices at the dealer but i'm sure it's nuts. i'll probably order parts online.

thanks for any suggestions, links to DIY instructions etc!!
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:37 PM   #4
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These are some good instructions. http://www.bombaydigital.com/boxster/projects/brakes/change_pads/ To compress the pistons I like to use pliers around the pad "ear" and caliper. It's super fast and easy. Put a folded shop towel between the pliers and caliper so not to scratch the paint. The first time I tried a fat screw driver per the DIY and snapped the shaft half way through.

Originally Posted by blinkwatt
just make sure you have 10 pairs of latex gloves.
Or auto mechanics gloves if prone to injury as I am. This coming from someone who (accidentally) put a drill bit through his left thumbnail ... twice.
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:09 PM   #5
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do I REALLY need to use OEM parts or can I use the "generic" parts that are available at many of the online retailers.

Like rotors - do I need POrsche certified OEM parts..or can I Just get Zimmerman rotors. is there REALLY any difference in the quality of the parts??

I don't want to get cheap crappy parts - but if I don't need to spend the money so the box says "porsche" I don't care. I just want decent quality at a fair price.

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Old 09-18-2008, 06:31 PM   #6
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To answer your question directly....No.. you don't need to get OEM Porsche brake pads or rotors. (OTOH....there's nothing at all wrong with going OEM. The oem pads are fine for everyday driving) And yes.. its an easy DIY job. No special tools needed.

There are quite a few very good alternatives from OEM. For pads...Mintex Red box, Hawk, Pagid, Axxis, EBC, and several (numerous) others. Likewise, zimmerman rotors are very good. However, when I changed my rotors a while back I got OEM from an on=line vender, for a very good price, because I didn't want to go with slotted or cross-drilled. OEM were cheaper and, imho just as good, if not better, than the after-market ones. (No worries about warping or cracking from the cross drilling) Google porsche brake pads, and rotors. You'll turn up quite a few vendors. Shop around for the best deal on what you want and go for it.

How do you know it needs rotors? Did you measure them? Are you changing the rotors just because the pads are worn out? How many miles on the car? What sort of driving do you do? For pads, the question you need to answer is .....how do you drive. Track time? auto x? Spirited street driving? This will determine, mostly, what pad you ought to consider. If you're doing just street driving with no track or auto x time, then OEM (which btw are very good except for the dust) or something like Mintex Red Box or Hawk HPS will do you just fine. If you get it to the track (which you should do) then something a little more aggresive will probably be better suited, at least for the track.

You DO NOT need to spend $1,600 at the dealer for new pads and rotors. (And unless the dealer gave you the measurements of the rotors I'd be skeptical about needing to replace them. You certainly might need them (rotors), but before you do, get an inexpensive micrometer at Harbor Freight and measure them yourself. (The wear limits are in your owners manual)

Brakes are one of the easiest DIY jobs on the car (other than an oil and filter change). Dealers charging $1,600 for this is outrageous!!! It takes as much time setting up and cleaning up as it does to change the pads. Even changing the rotors only takes about an hour or so, if you're taking your time. Ridiculous!!

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Old 09-18-2008, 06:53 PM   #7
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the car is a 2000 base. 73k miles. i just bought the car from my dad and it was at the dealer for a PPI. they said the rotors are worn enough to need replacing.

my dad has had the car since it had about 20k miles and as far as I know he has NEVER changed rotors..so these have 50k miles on them at least.

i will do spirited street driving. i will do no track driving - i mean I might go ONCE for fun, but it will not be a regular thing. i'd like to, but with a wife and three kids, sneaking off for a track day will be a tough sell. you don't know how hard i worked just to get the CFO to sign off an letting me buy the car!!

what do you all recommend? is there any real benefit to goin with the zimmerman or othe brand of cross drilled? i know they look neat, but if i don't care about that, is there any real benefit for street driving aside form teh look?

i wouldnt' mind a generic rotor and then some decent street pads.

anyone know a good online vendor with good deals on good parts?
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:59 AM   #8
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you know I never measured the rotors. i just took their word for it...

I believe the rotors on the car are original. so 73k on them. but the brakes no NOT show any signs of warpage as the pedal feel is firm and solid no pulsing.

there is slight wobble in the steering wheel - but I believe that is more likely due to the really worn out tires. they are being ordered this week and will be on by Saturday.

I guess I could just order pads and do those, and wait on teh rotors. assumign no cracks or warpage - how long does a rotor last before it truly goes under the wear limits?

in my experience, rotors go bad b/c of warpage/turning and then they get too thing. but it's the turning that thins them out - not everyday wear/tear...

the rotors are not cheap - if I go OEM. like $140/rotor. so if I could skip new rotors, I'd be saving myself almost $500.

is there anywhere I can just buy a cheap micrometer retial - and not have to order one online.. pepboys stock stuff like this?
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:58 PM   #9
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I went online looking for cheaper sources for OEM parts and found much cheaper prices at Suncoast POrsche in Florida.

Whereas Pelican wants about $140 for each OEM rotor, costing you $280 for a set, Suncoast sells a set for $209. equal savings on the rears.

their OEM front/rear pad sets are cheaper too.

buying the whole set of rotors/pads from suncoast nets me a total cost of about:


If I buy all new caliper bolts, 4 sensors, some brake fluid, and then some caliper paint/stickers to make my base model brakes all "pretty"...some brake fluid, and buy a bleeder tool - I'd be out the door for around $750-800.

the cheapest independent guy I have found wants $1300 for a full set of front/rear brakes - pads/rotors using all OEM genuine porsche parts.

so do it myself and spend $750 or so (i could even paint the calipers red if I want to)

or, pay a pro to do it, and spend $1300.

DIY would save me about $500

i was all resolved to just pay the mechanic to do it - now i'm thinking maybe of doing it myself and getting the parts from these guys. this is by far the cheapest i've found OEM parts.

no sales tax buying from out of state too!
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