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996 Rotors Replace or Resurface?


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Im hearing alot of mixed info on rotors replacing or resurfacing them? Would like to hear it from you all! My fronts went out on me so I ended up replacing them and still have them as some places stated I could always get it resurfaced and keep them around for the next brake job I need to do. Rears are pretty low so would like to know which route I should go?

Some are stating due to the harsh pads usually when a brake job is needed the rotors are pretty worn out and should be replaced rather than resurfacing. Others are stating resurfacing is no issue at least once before replacing them.

If replacing is the choice than should I go aftermarket rotors or should I stick with Porsche? If aftermarket is good any recommendations? If its OEM where is the best place to purchase a set? Just need the rears done. Also what type of pads?

On another note anyone here in California Eastbay know of any good places to pick up OEM parts or even any online places? Ive been buying parts at the Porsche dealership and its been killing me!

Thanks in advance!

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Whether to replace or to resurface rotors is not based on whether or not they have been resurfaced before ("Others are stating resurfacing is no issue at least once before replacing them..."

As long as the rotors are of good quality, the only criteria should be whether they are worn down past their stated minimum thickness and whether they are out of round so much that they have to be resurfaced to a degree that will have them end up thinner than the minimum thickness.

If there is a thick lip around the outer edge of the rotor, that is an indication that you should measure the thickness of the rotors to make sure they are still within spec.

I don't have the minimum thickness specs in front of me, but many rotors even have the minimum thickness specs stamped on the outer edge of the rotor itself or on the rotor "hat".

Board sponsor Sunset Porsche (see the link under "Special Offers" at the top of every page) and also Suncoast Porsche in Florida usually have much better prices than the local dealer. They also have very good service.

Regards, Maurice.

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Whether to replace or to resurface rotors is not based on whether or not they have been resurfaced before ("Others are stating resurfacing is no issue at least once before replacing them..."

As long as the rotors are of good quality, the only criteria should be whether they are worn down past their stated minimum thickness and whether they are out of round so much that they have to be resurfaced to a degree that will have them end up thinner than the minimum thickness.

If there is a thick lip around the outer edge of the rotor, that is an indication that you should measure the thickness of the rotors to make sure they are still within spec.

I don't have the minimum thickness specs in front of me, but many rotors even have the minimum thickness specs stamped on the outer edge of the rotor itself or on the rotor "hat".

Board sponsor Sunset Porsche (see the link under "Special Offers" at the top of every page) and also Suncoast Porsche in Florida usually have much better prices than the local dealer. They also have very good service.

Regards, Maurice.

These rotors are factory Porsche so Im assuming they would fall in the good rotor category...right? After work today when I get home Ill double check to see if there is a thick lip on the rotor. If anyone is able to post what the minimum thickness spec is that would be great.

Ill look up those shops you've mentioned. Im located in California so servicing will be out of the question but if there cheaper than CA pricing including shipping Im all for it. Thanks again!

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These are not necessarily the correct specs for your 996, but they will give you an idea of the wear values from new to replace.

From the Bentley manual for a 986 Boxster:

The brake rotor machining limit is 22mm for the fronts and 18mm for the rears.

New rotors are 24mm thick for the fronts and 20 mm thick for the rears.

The brake rotor wear limit (before machining) is 22.6mm for the fronts and 18.6mm for the rears.

Since your rotors are OEM (they are "good" quality), you should be able to see the minimum values stamped on the side of the outside circumference of the rotor.

Sunset and Suncoast are for online purchases (unless you find yourself in Florida or Colorado, IIRC).

Regards, Maurice.

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According to "Porsche 996 The Essential Companion" by Adrian Streather, the allowable wear is 2mm per rotor (ie 1.0mm per side). For the regular 996 the new rotor thickness is 28mm front and 24mm rear. For the 4S and turbo it is 34mm front and 28mm rear.

When I just did my pads at ~70K Km I checked the rotors and all 4 had worn roughly 1mm measured at multiple points on each rotors. There were no cracks around the vent holes in the rotor. If I remember the spec was for any cracks to be less than 3mm from the hole but I'd have to check that. Since they were only 1/2 warn I left them on my car and will replace next time.

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These are not necessarily the correct specs for your 996, but they will give you an idea of the wear values from new to replace.

From the Bentley manual for a 986 Boxster:

The brake rotor machining limit is 22mm for the fronts and 18mm for the rears.

New rotors are 24mm thick for the fronts and 20 mm thick for the rears.

The brake rotor wear limit (before machining) is 22.6mm for the fronts and 18.6mm for the rears.

Since your rotors are OEM (they are "good" quality), you should be able to see the minimum values stamped on the side of the outside circumference of the rotor.

Sunset and Suncoast are for online purchases (unless you find yourself in Florida or Colorado, IIRC).

Regards, Maurice.

Got it! Thanks for the clarifications. Ill look them up and see how good they are as Im needing to buy some things soon.

According to "Porsche 996 The Essential Companion" by Adrian Streather, the allowable wear is 2mm per rotor (ie 1.0mm per side). For the regular 996 the new rotor thickness is 28mm front and 24mm rear. For the 4S and turbo it is 34mm front and 28mm rear.

When I just did my pads at ~70K Km I checked the rotors and all 4 had worn roughly 1mm measured at multiple points on each rotors. There were no cracks around the vent holes in the rotor. If I remember the spec was for any cracks to be less than 3mm from the hole but I'd have to check that. Since they were only 1/2 warn I left them on my car and will replace next time.

Isnt it recommend to resurface them before putting on new brake pads? Im assuming you just replaced the pads and called it a day?

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I have never believed in the recommendation to automatically resurface the rotors before putting on new pads. If they are damaged at all (including grooves, pitting, uneven wear etc) than resurfacing may be able to restore them. I have heard the theory that resurfacing them helps the brake pads 'mate' with the rotor but I'm sure that a good break-in will do the same thing. In my opinion mechanics usually recommend resurfacing since the cost isn't that high and it reduces the chance of the customer coming back complaining of vibration in the steering wheel or other problems.

But it does reduce the thickness of the rotors.

My advice is to check the rotors visually and with an inexpensive micrometer paying particular attention to any cracks starting from the holes in the rotor. If they are fine, than get a good set of pads and seat them properly. There are some good posts on this site on how to break-in new pads.

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I have never believed in the recommendation to automatically resurface the rotors before putting on new pads. If they are damaged at all (including grooves, pitting, uneven wear etc) than resurfacing may be able to restore them. I have heard the theory that resurfacing them helps the brake pads 'mate' with the rotor but I'm sure that a good break-in will do the same thing. In my opinion mechanics usually recommend resurfacing since the cost isn't that high and it reduces the chance of the customer coming back complaining of vibration in the steering wheel or other problems.

But it does reduce the thickness of the rotors.

My advice is to check the rotors visually and with an inexpensive micrometer paying particular attention to any cracks starting from the holes in the rotor. If they are fine, than get a good set of pads and seat them properly. There are some good posts on this site on how to break-in new pads.

I will be off Friday so ill go in and double check the thickness, cracks, etc. If it all falls into category Ill just throw in new ones than. Saves me the hassle of resurfacing or buying new. Any recommendations on pads? Or shall I stick with OE?

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Sorry, no advice on the brake rotors but did benefit from others responses but being in the East Bay area myself and a longtime 996 owner, I have always had terrific experiences with Sunset Porsche in Oregon and/or Pelican Parts as they have a NorCal warehouse and can get parts out to you quickly.

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I did quite a bit of research before buying my pads, but I ended up just buying pads from OEM manufacturers. I believe Textar is the main manufacturers, and even the Bosche or Brembo pads have the name Textar stamped into the actual pad. My conclusion was that buying a set from Porsche would likely result in the identical pad but at twice the price.

Also there are options to get better breaking performance on the track, but you have to compromise on cold performance and noise (and possibly dust). I was about to try a set of "EBC Red Stuff" since they claim to generate less break dust, but the reviews weren't stellar. I'm happy with the Textars so far although they didn't quite stand up to the heat when I had them out for a track day.

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Maybe it's just me, but typically I use my pads to the point where either the rotors are shot OR they need to be resurfaced (and then replaced if they cannot be turned).

I tried replacing pads once on a differnent car without turning the rotors and it worked fine, but unscientically I don't think the pads lasted quite as long as with new or turned rotors.

If you have a couple sets of pads and swap often, (example track, autocross, etc) perhaps a different story...

If you experience any shimmy or unusual braking then certainly rotors are going to be suspect.

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Almost no modern sports cars have enough rotor left after one pad change to last a second set of pads - let alone a turning them.

I afraid that is just the way it is now. Thiner - lighter materials make cars lighter and less sprung weight but suffer shorter life.

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Sorry, no advice on the brake rotors but did benefit from others responses but being in the East Bay area myself and a longtime 996 owner, I have always had terrific experiences with Sunset Porsche in Oregon and/or Pelican Parts as they have a NorCal warehouse and can get parts out to you quickly.

I use Pelican Parts alot for my BMW as well. Ill check out sunset though.

I did quite a bit of research before buying my pads, but I ended up just buying pads from OEM manufacturers. I believe Textar is the main manufacturers, and even the Bosche or Brembo pads have the name Textar stamped into the actual pad. My conclusion was that buying a set from Porsche would likely result in the identical pad but at twice the price.

Also there are options to get better breaking performance on the track, but you have to compromise on cold performance and noise (and possibly dust). I was about to try a set of "EBC Red Stuff" since they claim to generate less break dust, but the reviews weren't stellar. I'm happy with the Textars so far although they didn't quite stand up to the heat when I had them out for a track day.

I dont do any sort of tracking on the car so Ill probably stick with OE pads. Thanks for the info.

Maybe it's just me, but typically I use my pads to the point where either the rotors are shot OR they need to be resurfaced (and then replaced if they cannot be turned).

I tried replacing pads once on a differnent car without turning the rotors and it worked fine, but unscientically I don't think the pads lasted quite as long as with new or turned rotors.

If you have a couple sets of pads and swap often, (example track, autocross, etc) perhaps a different story...

If you experience any shimmy or unusual braking then certainly rotors are going to be suspect.

No issues with the brakes just the rear are getting low so thats why I was asking. I still have some life on them but I like to replace them before I start hitting metal to metal like I did on my commuter car just recently. I wasnt keeping up with the maintenance on that car unfortunately!

Almost no modern sports cars have enough rotor left after one pad change to last a second set of pads - let alone a turning them.

I afraid that is just the way it is now. Thiner - lighter materials make cars lighter and less sprung weight but suffer shorter life.

This was in a previous post:

According to "Porsche 996 The Essential Companion" by Adrian Streather, the allowable wear is 2mm per rotor (ie 1.0mm per side). For the regular 996 the new rotor thickness is 28mm front and 24mm rear.

even if it falls under the allowable wear of 2mm? The car is not tracked nor driven hard?

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Unless you are changing pads freqeuently or just don't have that many miles on them, if the pads are worn down enough to need replacing, chances are the rotors are going to be beyond the wear limit as well.

If you are in doubt (or always), use a micrometer on them or remove the rotors and take them to your nearest machine shop to be measured (and then turned if they are still within spec). Machine shops (and auto parts stores who turn rotors) will measure your rotors for free if you do not have a micro meter.

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Unless you are changing pads freqeuently or just don't have that many miles on them, if the pads are worn down enough to need replacing, chances are the rotors are going to be beyond the wear limit as well.

If you are in doubt (or always), use a micrometer on them or remove the rotors and take them to your nearest machine shop to be measured (and then turned if they are still within spec). Machine shops (and auto parts stores who turn rotors) will measure your rotors for free if you do not have a micro meter.

You do have a point! Ill probably check out the specs on them this weekend and see how worn down they are. If anything after I figure out the coolant issue Ill probably take these off than and see about getting them resurfaced if they are within its limits. Thanks for the clarifications. Or I may just say hell with it and pick up a new set as I did the fronts.

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I had the front rotors and pads replaced at Porsche 2 years ago for a wopping $1150.00, never make that mistake again.

Yesterday one of the techs at the Cadillac Dealership I work at repaced the front pads with ceramic enhanced semi-metallic with Kevlar Pads. The front pads I took off were really still 90% there after 2 years and 20K miles. I saved them and we just put in new pads.

I bought Balo Coated rear rotors that I picked up at Pelican Parts for $117 for the pair including shipping, amazing. I used the ceramic enhanced semi-metallic with Kevlar also on the rear. I spent $190 for everything and gave the tech $100 for the install.

After one day of use, really quiet and dust is down by 75%. I have black wheels on the 996 and the dust from the factory pads was really bad. I had to clean the wheels every day.

Here is a link to eBay where I got the pads: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rear-Brake-P...91560661388863

Here is a link to the pads: http://www.ntadi.com/galaxypads.htm

Write to the seller and tell him you want both front and rear pads. I paid an unbelievable $73.88 for pads for all 4 corners with free shipping.

Edited by white99c2
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I had the front rotors and pads replaced at Porsche 2 years ago for a wopping $1150.00, never make that mistake again.

Yesterday one of the techs at the Cadillac Dealership I work at repaced the front pads with ceramic enhanced semi-metallic with Kevlar Pads. The front pads I took off were really still 90% there after 2 years and 20K miles. I saved them and we just put in new pads.

I bought Balo Coated rear rotors that I picked up at Pelican Parts for $117 for the pair including shipping, amazing. I used the ceramic enhanced semi-metallic with Kevlar also on the rear. I spent $190 for everything and gave the tech $100 for the install.

After one day of use, really quiet and dust is down by 75%. I have black wheels on the 996 and the dust from the factory pads was really bad. I had to clean the wheels every day.

Here is a link to eBay where I got the pads: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rear-Brake-P...91560661388863

Here is a link to the pads: http://www.ntadi.com/galaxypads.htm

Write to the seller and tell him you want both front and rear pads. I paid an unbelievable $73.88 for pads for all 4 corners with free shipping.

**** I just pulled the trigger and bought a rear set of rotors and pads. Ill keep those links and order those next time Im needing to do my fronts again. How do you like the semi-metallic? I was going to go with a set for the rear but ended up going with a PBR set. Being told its either equal if not better than OE.

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I did a pretty good job wearing them in last night and have to say they are really quiet and the big deal to me is the dust is way down. The feel of the pedal is great, the brakes grab way better than they did, my rear pads and rotors were tired.

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I did a pretty good job wearing them in last night and have to say they are really quiet and the big deal to me is the dust is way down. The feel of the pedal is great, the brakes grab way better than they did, my rear pads and rotors were tired.

I made the mistake with going with OE Porsche Rotors and Pads on the fronts which I probably wont go anymore. The rear I ended up going with a set of Sebro rotors and PBR front pads. Was going to go with Balo but they didnt have it in stock.

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I did a pretty good job wearing them in last night and have to say they are really quiet and the big deal to me is the dust is way down. The feel of the pedal is great, the brakes grab way better than they did, my rear pads and rotors were tired.

I made the mistake with going with OE Porsche Rotors and Pads on the fronts which I probably wont go anymore. The rear I ended up going with a set of Sebro rotors and PBR front pads. Was going to go with Balo but they didnt have it in stock.

I did the same, Sebro rotors and Lexar pads, I had all the set front and rear included handbrakes shoes and sensors for 600€

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I did a pretty good job wearing them in last night and have to say they are really quiet and the big deal to me is the dust is way down. The feel of the pedal is great, the brakes grab way better than they did, my rear pads and rotors were tired.

I made the mistake with going with OE Porsche Rotors and Pads on the fronts which I probably wont go anymore. The rear I ended up going with a set of Sebro rotors and PBR front pads. Was going to go with Balo but they didnt have it in stock.

I did the same, Sebro rotors and Lexar pads, I had all the set front and rear included handbrakes shoes and sensors for 600€

I learned from my mistake thats for sure. I paid over $600us for just the front setup alone.

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