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.

 

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02.06.2007: Jacked up
Raise the car and secure it on jack stands. Take off the front wheel.

 

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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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02.06.2007: Guide pins
Take the plastic caps off the guide pins and unscrew the pins using a 7 mm Allen wrench.

 

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02.06.2007: 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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02.06.2007: 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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02.06.2007: Rotor
Remove the bracket and the rotor from the hub.

 

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02.06.2007: Cleaning
Use a wire brush to clean the rotor surface thoroughly.

 

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02.06.2007: Cleaning
Clean the calipers from dirt and caked-on brake dust.

 

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02.06.2007: 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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02.06.2007: 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.

 

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02.06.2007: Pads
A new set of Hawk HPS brake pads.

 

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02.06.2007: Rotor
Brembo rotors slotted by Taliaferro.

 

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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.

 

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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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02.06.2007: Caliper
Put the new pads in and slide the caliper on.

 

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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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02.06.2007: Retaining spring
Install the retaining spring.

 

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02.06.2007: Done
Tighten wheel bolts to 81 ft-lbs and lower the car to the ground.

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