Front brake pad and rotor replacement on a 1999 Saab 9-5. This guide will also apply to NG900 and 9-3. Another guide is available if you're looking to upgrade your brakes with 308 mm rotors and Aero calipers.

After the installation, an aggressive bed-in is recommended. Find a street with low traffic and a high speed limit. Do a series of moderate intensity stops to heat up your brakes (or roll with a brake pedal slightly engaged). Then do a series of really hard stops from 100 km/h to 10 km/h. Brake as hard as you can, almost to the point of locking the wheels, but never come to a complete stop, always keep the car moving. Do it 8-10 times, you might notice a strong burning smell and some brake fade by the end of the series - this is normal. Drive the car for another 10 minutes to let the brakes cool down.

Tools and supplies:

  • Torx E20 socket: caliper bolts (2002+ 9-5);
  • 18 mm socket: caliper bolts (1999-2001 9-5);
  • 17 mm socket: wheel bolts;
  • 10 mm Allen socket: caliper bolts (NG900/9-3);
  • 7 mm Allen socket: caliper guide pins;
  • 5 mm Allen socket: rotor index screw;
  • impact driver, drill and screw extractor (optional);
  • wire brush;
  • torque wrench;
  • anti-seize grease;
  • car jack and stands.
02.06.2007
Jacked up

Raise the car and secure it on jack stands. Take off the front wheel.
02.06.2007
Rotor screw

Remove the caliper retaining spring and undo the rotor index screw. If the screw is stuck, you might have to resort to more serious measures.
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Guide pins

Take the plastic caps off the guide pins and unscrew the pins using a 7 mm Allen wrench.
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Caliper

Slide the caliper off the rotor and suspend it on the strut to prevent the strain on the brake line.
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Bracket bolts

Undo two caliper bracket bolts - 18 mm wrench on 1999-2001 9-5, Torx E20 on 2002+ 9-5, 10 mm Allen on NG900 or 9-3.
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Rotor

Remove the bracket and the rotor from the hub.
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Cleaning

Use a wire brush to clean the rotor surface thoroughly.
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Cleaning

Clean the calipers from dirt and caked-on brake dust.
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C-clamp

Use a C-clamp to slowly compress the piston back into the caliper. It's easier to do while the old pad is still in. Consider bleeding the brakes afterwards.
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Reservoir

While compressing the piston, watch the brake fluid level - it will go up and may overflow. You might need to extract some before you put the cap back on.
02.06.2007
Pads

A new set of Hawk HPS brake pads.
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Rotor

Brembo rotors slotted by Taliaferro.
02.06.2007
Index screw

Install the new rotor, apply some anti-seize on the index screw and put it in. Don't tighten the screw too hard if you don't want to fight it the next time you're doing your brakes.
02.06.2007
Bracket

Install the caliper support bracket. Apply some Loctite on the bolts and tighten them to 86 ft-lbs. Lubricate the pad sliding grooves with anti-seize to ensure smooth operation.
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Caliper

Put the new pads in and slide the caliper on.
02.06.2007
Guide pins

Clean and lubricate the guide pins before inserting them. Tighten to 20 ft-lbs. Put the caps back on.
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Retaining spring

Install the retaining spring.
02.06.2007
Done

Tighten wheel bolts to 81 ft-lbs and lower the car to the ground.

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