On October 28th we had 13 Porsche Gear Heads at the Patrick garage for a short session on the in’s and outs of brakes. There had been a few requests from members for a tutorial on how to change brakes on the modern Porsche for either track day or just regular maintenance.
We started with a basic explanation of how and what the brake system is, an enclosed hydraulic system. The principle that makes the system work is Pascal’s Law of Physics :A change in pressure on an enclosed incompressible fluid at rest is transmitted equally and undiminished to all points in all directions throughout the fluid, and acts at right angles to the enclosing walls. So when we create pressure by applying the brake pedal, that pressure is transmitted to all of the components in the brake system, thus moving either the pads or brake shoes.
I had the front brake drum off of the 356 and the wheels off of the 718 to illustrate the evolution of brakes and specifically Porsche brake systems. The 356 is a single circuit drum brake system with no power assist or antilock braking system (ABS). These brakes were very good in the day, they were large for such a small vehicle and have good stopping ability. The big draw back is heat dissipation as the drums and shoes will get hot during racing or spirited driving causing brake fade.
The 718 on the other hand is 4 wheel disc brakes with ABS, power assist and rotors that are vented, and drilled that dissipate heat and the gasses much more efficiently than the drum brakes.
After this discussion we did a quick demo on how to pull the pads and rotors off of the 718 front and rear, and how to bleed the brakes with a Motive Power bleeder tool. These are fairly easy projects that many DIYer’s can do with out a huge investment in special tools. The only “special” tools would be a T55 Torx socket and the Motive Power Bleeder.
There was a lot of great input from the group as many of them have experience with working on their brakes. Rich Barcelona was a huge help as he worked in the Brake Division for Continental Tire. Most of the donuts were eaten and the coffee seamed to be enjoyed by the group. Let me know if you have a project that is DIY and we can help at a tech session. Thanks to everyone for participating in the activity.
Article written by David Patrick