996 Turbo Brakes

996 Turbo Brakes

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ScienceTeacher

Original Poster:

335 posts

131 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
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I have a manual '04 Turbo, owned since Jan '14. It's probably a keeper. I don't do track days but I like to press on when behind the wheel - I have other cars so only drive it for pleasure. I have always found the brakes underwhelming. I appreciate they seem to work better when warm and do need a very firm push, but still.. I like to schedule early maintenance and replacement rather than waiting for things to wear out, but I am not made of money and need to be prudent. The car is maintained at the redoubtable 9E. I am looking to improve the braking experience. I am not at the stage where fade is an issue, but you never know. I envisage the following options and include my thoughts on pros and cons. Any learned opinions from the PH massive would be appreciated.

1. Full house: GT3 front calipers, Girodiscs all round, refurbed rear calipers, braided hoses, RS29 pads. Pros: within reason the best solution and likely to be durable - lighter discs improving unsprung mass. Cons: Expensive (5.5K), spacers needed which increase mass and might look odd, there could be an issue with brake pipes seized and a gear box drop for new hoses..!
2. GT3 fronts, regular pads, braided front hoses. Pros: proper hardware upgrade. Cons: Still fairly costly (3.5K), rears could still be dicky, spacers needed, increased unsprung mass.
3. Front and rear calipers refurb, new discs (possibly Giro), braided hoses, RS29 pads. Pros: keeps the car originalish but nicely updated, less expensive, should improve initial bite and tenacity. Cons: Ultimately the same calipers and discs, Girodiscing seems silly without bigger calipers, but not certain, and is very costly, at least same total as point 2. Without Giros cost is more sensible 2.5K or so.

There are clearly some combinations not accounted for, but the above seem like sensible choices. I would like to feel the improvement and would also like to invest in the car. I am not that into modding and like my cars to at least look pretty stock. I have not gone for any power upgrades but do slightly lust after a 9E stage 1, with new IC. Slippery slope...

Any views / solutions appreciated.

Edited by ScienceTeacher on Wednesday 2nd August 22:46

Slippydiff

10,565 posts

169 months

Thursday 3rd August 2017
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There's a pair of mechanically and aesthetically refurbished 6 pot calipers for sale on 911uk. I sold them to the current vendor 12-18 months ago. He bought them for his 996 Turbo but has changed his plans.
New they're £1100 plus vat each. He's asking £1500 for the pair with the correct hardlines. I had them refurbed, they are as new.

http://911uk.com/viewtopic.php?t=121170

Don't bother upgrading the rear calipers or discs, do pads if you must, but there's no need.
Don't mess about with Giro discs on the front, get the best quality 350mm discs you can off Euro Car Parts or Design91. Fitting lighter more expensive discs to reduce unsprung weight on a 996 Turbo is not a good or worthwhile investment of your funds.

A pair of these would be good (they're the 997 Turbo items) :

http://www.eurocarparts.com/ecp/c/Porsche_911_3.6_...

Front pads you could do RS29's, but they're overkill for fast road use, if Euro or Design911 do OE Pagids, use them :

http://www.eurocarparts.com/ecp/c/Porsche_911_3.6_...

Braided lines are ok, but not a necessity. Decent brake fluid is, so go with Castrol SRF, Endless or Motul.
Using secondhand calipers you should be able to do a good upgrade for a lot less than the figures you've been quoted.

This might come in handy too : http://911uk.com/viewtopic.php?t=122344&sid=d0...

Edited by Slippydiff on Thursday 3rd August 07:28

996TT02

2,973 posts

86 months

Thursday 3rd August 2017
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IMHO brakes needing a push (mine are the same too) is all about how much assistance you have, and not the size of the discs etc. OH's previous diesel Ford Fiesta had brakes that were close to unusable, there was so much assistance - just "covering" the brakes precautionarily in a hurry would result in passengers straining hard on seat belts. I hated that car, undrivable.

STiG911

966 posts

113 months

Thursday 3rd August 2017
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Morning!
I agree with pretty much everything that Slippy says - don't get too carried away on upgrading your brakes when just renewing tired brakes with the standard items will give you back the confidence you feel you're missing (Particularly if yours are corroded on the inside face - a known issue for 996 / 997 owners)
Yes, Giro discs are silly money but for good reason; they're designed to be spanked senseless on track days - theres is no benefit for even fast road use for the outlay. You could replace your standard brakes every two or three years and still get the same performance on fast road use.
Same with pads - RS29 are way too hard for fast road use. Go RS14 if you must, but standard Pagid (OEM) pads offer great feel per £

Your 996 Turbo setup is the same as my '05 997 C2s, and back in March I replaced all four corners with Genuine Brembo Discs and Pagid Pads from Euros at a whisker under £420 including the rattle springs (It's a waste of time replacing the damping pads, trust me) The discs look the business as they've got a painted finish to the bell housing and cooling fins, so they won't rust like the standard discs from Porsche will. I'd say this along with a better fluid will see you right thumbup

NBTBRV8

1,955 posts

154 months

Thursday 3rd August 2017
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When I had mine I initially just fitted RS29 pads and new fluid and did a track day to find that the brakes never faded, they held up really well. I then upgraded to standard GT3 and found that the pedal feel didn't improve and there was still a lot of pedal travel even after multiple bleeds. They braked about the same as the standard set up with RS29. So for road use I'd just upgrade your pads. But the GT3 brakes do look good inside the wheels.

Steve Rance

4,969 posts

177 months

Thursday 3rd August 2017
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Some good advice on this thread.

Basically, if they are functioning properly, you wont need to upgrade the standard brakes on a 2004 turbo. The calipers may need a refurb but i doubt it. Either way, Its not that expensive to get done.

I'd start by replacing discs and pads as advised above. Make sure that you bed your pads correctly. Lots of people glaze thier pads after fitting. That really effects braking efficiency. If you still lack stopping power, send your calipers off for a refurb - but i doubt that you will need to do that.

Fast Bug

7,370 posts

107 months

Thursday 3rd August 2017
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I changed to Pagid Blue pads, braided hoses and a better brake fluid on my C2, it made the world of difference

ScienceTeacher

Original Poster:

335 posts

131 months

Thursday 3rd August 2017
quotequote all
Slippydiff said:
There's a pair of mechanically and aesthetically refurbished 6 pot calipers for sale on 911uk. I sold them to the current vendor 12-18 months ago. He bought them for his 996 Turbo but has changed his plans.
New they're £1100 plus vat each. He's asking £1500 for the pair with the correct hardlines. I had them refurbed, they are as new.

http://911uk.com/viewtopic.php?t=121170

Don't bother upgrading the rear calipers or discs, do pads if you must, but there's no need.
Don't mess about with Giro discs on the front, get the best quality 350mm discs you can off Euro Car Parts or Design91. Fitting lighter more expensive discs to reduce unsprung weight on a 996 Turbo is not a good or worthwhile investment of your funds.

A pair of these would be good (they're the 997 Turbo items) :

http://www.eurocarparts.com/ecp/c/Porsche_911_3.6_...

Front pads you could do RS29's, but they're overkill for fast road use, if Euro or Design911 do OE Pagids, use them :

http://www.eurocarparts.com/ecp/c/Porsche_911_3.6_...

Braided lines are ok, but not a necessity. Decent brake fluid is, so go with Castrol SRF, Endless or Motul.
Using secondhand calipers you should be able to do a good upgrade for a lot less than the figures you've been quoted.

This might come in handy too : http://911uk.com/viewtopic.php?t=122344&sid=d0...

Edited by Slippydiff on Thursday 3rd August 07:28
Guys, thanks for the detailed replies and technical info. I appreciate Slippy's first offer and may have a look, but also acknowledge the view that fluid, hoses and pads may be my answer.

Question: from an assistance point of view is there any way to adjust the brakes so that they assist more? Also, will the GT3 brakes just feel the same unless stopping from from very high speed or where fade is a factor?

My feeling is that my wife's golf will stop in a shorter distance from 60 and I do press the pedal really very hard in the Turbo. Perhaps it's just perception. Also if the Turbo's brakes are warm it may be a lot better.

As an interesting reference point, my last 996, a Carrera cab, had a VERY sensitive pedal like mentioned on OH's Ford. It was annoyingly so. What I'm saying is, that the standard Porsche braking hardware seemingly can be made to be very sensitive. How?


Edited by ScienceTeacher on Thursday 3rd August 20:40

Slippydiff

10,565 posts

169 months

Thursday 3rd August 2017
quotequote all
ScienceTeacher said:
Guys, thanks for the detailed replies and technical info. I appreciate Slippy's first offer and may have a look, but also acknowledge the view that fluid, hoses and pads may be my answer.

Question: from an assistance point of view is there any way to adjust the brakes so that they assist more? Also, will the GT3 brakes just feel the same unless stopping from from very high speed or where fade is a factor?

My feeling is that my wife's golf will stop in a shorter distance from 60 and I do press the pedal really very hard in the Turbo. Perhaps it's just perception. Also if the Turbo's brakes are warm it may be a lot better.

As an interesting reference point, my last 996, a Carrera cab, had a VERY sensitive pedal like mentioned on OH's Ford. It was annoyingly so. What I'm saying is, that the standard Porsche braking hardware seemingly can be made to be very sensitive. How?
I've driven a few 996 turbos over the years, the brakes do vary, as someone else mentioned, once the pads have been "cooked" the brake efficiency does deteriorate heavily.
I remember test driving a stunning low miles X50, aero kitted car, it scared both me and the salesman who was in the passenger seat, witless, so poor was the brake efficiency.
Personally I think the 996 turbo was slightly under braked as standard. The 996 Mk1 GT3 used the same calipers and whilst they were just ok for fast road use (if in absolutely tip top condition), as many found out, they weren't really up the job on track.

The turbo weighs more and has waaaay more torque, combine the two and the standard brakes start to look marginal in my experience. The 997 Turbo with 30 more hp than an X50 996 turbo got the bigger 6 pots, and 350mm steel discs all round. As the Yanks would say, go figure.....

It may be worthwhile fitting new standard pads and discs and having the front calipers refurbished as there's a good chance the seals will be toast (literally) I use these guys : http://www.brakecaliperspecialists.uk/brake-calipe...
But if it doesn't address the issue to your satisfaction, you've already chucked a fair chunk of cash at the problem without sorting it.

Just to return to the 6 pot set up, it's not cheap, but you'll not make them fade on the road, they have so much more capacity to manage the heat generated. And when you compare the size of the four pot pad with those of the six pot, it is shocking how small the 4 pot item is. So with more friction material on the disc face and the additional leverage afforded by bigger 350mm discs, you should notice a big improvement, but I'd also say all these brake systems tend to feel a bit wooden until you've got decent amounts of heat in the pads and discs, only then do they have consistent (and good) bite and become easy to modulate accurately.

Click on the images below twice to open them full size, the difference in their dimensions becomes all too evident.

4 pot pad dimensions



6 pot pad dimensions ...... :



So the six pot pad is 2" longer yikes and has an additional 6mm on the annulus, all acting on a disc 20mm larger in diameter.



Digga

27,818 posts

229 months

Friday 4th August 2017
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I put a set of decent OEM spec front discs on, as I think the ones on the car when I got it were the budget Pagids (i.e. not their best offerings) and a set of Pagid RS29 pads in and it transformed the pedal feel. There's the tiniest of squeaks from about 10 mph to zero, but I actually quite like that, 'because racecar'. hehe

Scho

2,306 posts

149 months

Saturday 5th August 2017
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Digga said:
I put a set of decent OEM spec front discs on, as I think the ones on the car when I got it were the budget Pagids (i.e. not their best offerings) and a set of Pagid RS29 pads in and it transformed the pedal feel. There's the tiniest of squeaks from about 10 mph to zero, but I actually quite like that, 'because racecar'. hehe
Just done the above and my experience is the same. Rs29 all round, 330 brembro discs and new fuild. much improved pedal feel and a touch more initial bite. Also quite enjoy the odd squeal! Got my pads from here http://www.raceparts.biz cheaper than d911

Off on mini euro trip to ring and spa this afternoon, I'll let you know how they hold up!

ScienceTeacher

Original Poster:

335 posts

131 months

Saturday 5th August 2017
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Gents, your feedback and wise advice is seriously appreciated. I am still not quite sure, but I am much better informed and in a good position to make a sensible decision. Cheers.

Digga

27,818 posts

229 months

Saturday 5th August 2017
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The thing is, a good set of front discs and some upgraded front pads costs very little and IME and that of many others, should significantly improve pedal feel and performance. I've used mine on a trackday at the Nurburgring, admittedly wet, but still a decent test - they're more than up to road use.

It's a fairly low budget, high gain modification, which by no means stops you from going further if you so desire.

The Wookie

11,723 posts

174 months

Saturday 5th August 2017
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We (Alcon) do a two piece disc upgrade for the GT3, they're pretty readily available and a popular upgrade, best used with RS29 on track.

I've driven a mates 996 GT3 on track and the brakes were pretty wooden and vague, even with some better pads in. Our sales director's GT2 on our discs and RS29 on the other hand has a nice pedal and takes a decent pasting, even in his car with about 600bhp on track

911tt

13 posts

34 months

Monday 7th August 2017
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Complained about the brakes on my 2003 996 turbo a three annual inspections - nothing done - "they're normal". Had t o press pedal really hard to get adequate braking.

Another speciaist bled the brakes last weeks - instant great improvement. He suggested previous garage hadn't done the same as bleed nipples very hard to remove.

ScienceTeacher

Original Poster:

335 posts

131 months

Monday 7th August 2017
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Well gentlemen, I have chewed on this long enough and today took the plunge at JZM. Steve McHale was reassuring on the 'phone and seemed very experienced. GT3 (motorsport) 6pots, 997 front discs, GT3 pads, an inspection of rear discs and pads, steelflex hoses. Discussed other options. I like the idea of the extra capability - whether I need it or not; vanity perhaps, but not overkill. I hope I notice the difference...
Hopefully, all in, well sub £4K. Will keep you updated.

Edited by ScienceTeacher on Monday 7th August 19:40

Digga

27,818 posts

229 months

Tuesday 8th August 2017
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Well! It's certainly not the 'wrong' choice! Overkill, perhaps, but then so is a twin turbo 3.6 litre engine. hehe

I think you should use the brake upgrade as an excuse to get the car on track. Look forward to hearing how it goes.

ScienceTeacher

Original Poster:

335 posts

131 months

Tuesday 8th August 2017
quotequote all
Cheers, will let you know. The calipers will seemingly take a couple of weeks from Porsche Motorsport, the rest of the stuff is next day. Never done a track day and don't like the idea of bending my car. Perhaps I'll try someone else's first. I suspect it will be enormous fun - annoyingly so, perhaps!

Digga

27,818 posts

229 months

Tuesday 8th August 2017
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ScienceTeacher said:
Never done a track day and don't like the idea of bending my car. Perhaps I'll try someone else's first. I suspect it will be enormous fun - annoyingly so, perhaps!
When I bought my 996tt, it was about 5 or 6 years since I'd last driven a car on track. Prior to that, in the dim and distant past, I'd held an MSA licence and competed in sprints and hillclimbs for a while, as well as doing track days, but I was worried I'd be a bit rusty and, also, I'd never owned any sort of 911. I decided to go and do one of the half day courses at PEC Silverstone (in their car) - was a great idea and I'd highly recommend it FWIW.

I've recently booked to go back again to do the GT Experience.

ScienceTeacher

Original Poster:

335 posts

131 months

Wednesday 30th August 2017
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So, picked up the car today from JZM. I was delighted with the service and professionalism of the team. I met with director Steve McHale to start with, then met my technician, Ricky. Both were very knowledgeable and friendly. They have a wonking selection of motors for sale and one of the lads fired up the Carrera GT and moved it a few feet for my little boy, which was fantastic. The noise and smell indoors at close quarters was just the best. They have a great front of house team who are courteous and attentive. Plenty of lovely coffee and Ritz Carlton loos.
As a reminder, I opted for the 6 pot fronts which Steve ordered from Porsche Motorsport together with 997T discs, GT3 pads, Fischer braided hoses (they actually fit, unlike other brands) and the necessary spacers.
Before the exercise I had lacked a certain confidence in the brakes. The pedal seemed to need to be pressed very hard, but it did stop well from speed and never felt dangerous. There was approximately 1cm of slack travel then resistance to pressure, but a lot of force was needed to stop quickly. Unlike a new Fiesta I felt I could not ever quite stop the car on a dime even if going very slowly. The car seemed unable to do that sharp jerk that spills a passenger's coffee. This might be because I was bracing myself against the pedal to achieve it unlike the Fiesta where a light touch will do it. The brakes worked better when the discs were hot, though, and the higher speed braking seemed decent enough.
Findings: in summary, considerably improved performance, but a very different feel. The pedal now has 3cm of slack travel which feels weird and means it is harder to roll onto the throttle under braking and shifting down, I have to angle my foot up a bit where before it was well positioned. I think the push rod might be able to adjusted to remove this, but I don't know. The pedal then gently resists and the car slows. Press a little harder, and the car really starts to stop. Press harder still (not nearly as hard as before), and the car nose dives into an anti lock stop, impressively. It is much more confidence inspiring. Crucially, the car can jerk to a stop, instantly, at slower speeds, without having to push the pedal through the floor.
I will enquire as to whether the pedal push rod can be extended a bit to remove the 3cm of slack travel. The brakes would then be nearly perfect. The car does now seem to nose dive and I sense the front ABS acts first. I believe if I then press the pedal harder the rears will lock too. It is a 4 channel system and all 4 wheels are separately ABS'd. It is perhaps the case that the rears need a slight balance adjustment , but this could be rubbish.
I am not sure if the spare wheel fits, but Steve thinks it does. The spacers look fine and you at first don't notice them (15mm). The car arguably looks better. I noticed no difference in handling, but was nowhere near the limit on my return journey - never am, in fact.
The work was done with very little fuss - no rear brake pipes needed doing!! The bleed nipple on a rear caliper did have to be drilled out and replaced, but this is par for the course. I would recommend JZM without hesitation.
The car is marvellous. It looks beautiful to my eyes with the lapis and baby poo interior (actually works really well). The car has so much oomph in 4th gear at higher speeds, with huge shove on motorway overtakes. The brakes now seem to work very well and I sure have a lot more capacity. They look much beefier, too, which is a plus. I will report back on my findings as they bed in.

Edited by ScienceTeacher on Wednesday 30th August 17:13


Edited by ScienceTeacher on Wednesday 30th August 17:15


Edited by ScienceTeacher on Wednesday 30th August 17:19