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Old 07-20-2004, 09:48 AM   #1
AndyK
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Question Brake job - how long should it take a mechanic?

I bought new Zimmerman rotors and metal master pads, and really don't have the time (or tools) to do it myself. I called my mechanic to see what he would charge me. He said it could take 3-5 hours to do!? Broken down, he said pad and rotor removal and installation could be an hour each axle, then another hour for bleeding and refilling the brake fluid. The extra time might be needed if something is stuck, frozen, etc.

Does this sound reasonable? I can see paying $240 (3 hours)...but anything more than that seems harsh to me.

If I had a lift, and a bleeder...and the time...maybe I would try it. But right now, I need it done fast and right.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-20-2004, 09:56 AM   #2
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Andy,

Do it yourself. You'll be amazed at how quickly you can get it done. This is one job you don't need a lift for, a jack some jackstands, and some basic tools ($240 dollars would more than cover everything you need).

There are some things on these cars that will make you cry when you go to work on them, and then there are things like the brakes that are so easy to get apart you wonder why everyone doesn't do it that way.......

Best of luck...
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Old 07-20-2004, 09:59 AM   #3
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The key words are fast and right.. 3-5 seems like a lot of time- pressure bleed and refill takes all of 20 minutes.

I think I could do it in 5 hours without a lift, and consume a few beverages and take a few breaks (pun intended!) and I take my time on brakes.

Dont forget to cut the new brakes in properly!

EDIT: If you do it yourself soak the pins and retaining clips with PB blaster a day before removal- goes much faster.
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Old 07-20-2004, 10:01 AM   #4
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Aren't there any local guys with tools?
Do a weekend GTG with the local Rennlisters and do the brakes. Ian's right, it's a pretty easy job.
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Old 07-20-2004, 10:06 AM   #5
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I don't wanna bother other family guys by having them spend 4 hours in my driveway on a Saturday or Sunday. My original idea was to do the pads and rotors myself, then bring it to a mechanic to power bleed and refill.

Then I started adding up how much time it would take to get the car on jackstands, take the wheels off, etc, etc. Hence my call to the mechanic.
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Old 07-20-2004, 10:27 AM   #6
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hey andy if you get the power bleeder from paragon its as easy as pie...and it helps if you have an air compressor and impact wrench for the lug nuts (total cost much less than $240) good luck!
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Old 07-20-2004, 10:44 AM   #7
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Your neighbors might not find it to be a bother -- as long as you don't do this every weekend. In my apartment, my neighbors find it amusing and comforting that someone actually know how to work on cars -- and on porsches at that. I also let their kids help out, which their parents are more than happy to allow (so the kids can do free oil change in the future).

Going back to your mechanic, you might be getting a high quote on labor because you're supplying the parts. You just took away their margin on supplying parts, so he might be making up for it.

Another thought: do you reallly need a Porsche specialist for this job? The hourly rate for a regular mechanic must surely be lower.
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Old 07-20-2004, 11:54 AM   #8
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Good point. I could bring the car to the local mechanic @ $60 an hour, assuming there's no "Porsche specific problems" that would require a 944 expert?

I just don't like the extra 2 hour wiggle room my mechanic says he may need. That turns a $240 bill into a $400 nightmare for a "simple" job. And it never works out to "this only took me 2 hours, so I'm charging you less" with this guy!
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Old 07-20-2004, 11:58 AM   #9
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You guys are insane, if you are doing pads and rotors (front only), it should be done in less than 45 mins, including time to jack it up, take the wheels off and replace the parts. There is no reason to bleed the brakes (though it is a good idea) as you dont need to open up the bleed screws to do that work.

This is the easiest job ever, gross margin is in the high 80% range as most techs can do this in no more than an hour (if they are slow and use hand tools). If the rotor is rusted to the hub, who care, you are replacing them, grab a BFH and get to it.
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Old 07-20-2004, 12:03 PM   #10
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It's both front and back pads and rotors.
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Old 07-20-2004, 12:13 PM   #11
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what's a bfh?
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Old 07-20-2004, 12:13 PM   #12
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"Big F'n Hammer"?
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Old 07-20-2004, 12:15 PM   #13
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Andy double that amount of time, he is not far off 2 hours for front and back at a shop is about right. It can be done at least that quick at the house with hand tools. Unbolt caliper from spindle, unscrew rotor, put on new rotor, screw it in. Pop pads out, compress caliper pistons, pop pads in, place new caliper on new rotor, tighten. Done X4, whole car done.
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Old 07-20-2004, 12:23 PM   #14
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Andy, I have to say it's super easy. I really think you could do this. Who knows, after the feeling of success with doing this job, you may feel inclined to do more of your own repair/maintenance work
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Old 07-20-2004, 12:23 PM   #15
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2 hours I can see. But my guy says 3 hours (adding an hour for bleeding and filling) minimum...more like 4 or 5!
I would have to buy:

Jack stands
large torque wrench (for proper lug nut tightening)

I already own a cheap floor jack.

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Old 07-20-2004, 12:23 PM
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