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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi

My 2006 9-3 SportCombi has a little over 45,000 miles on it. The rear wheels always had more brake dust accumulation than the front. Every time I bring it in for oil changes they measure the rear pad thickness (probably visually) and at 45,000 miles the rear pads are now fully worn and scraping while the front have over 50% of their pad left.

At my last oil change I mentioned to the mechanic that this seemed unusual to have this happen. I was trying to get them to do some further diagnosis, but all they did was quote me 650.00 for new pads and rotors in the rear. They seemed unconcerned about the fact that the front still had its original pads while the rears were now scraping into the rotors. I said no thanks to the brake job.

I bought new rotors and pads to install myself which I have done in the past.
The pads were about 55 dollars and the rotors were about 50 dollars each. Right off the bat I used a regular socket to try to get off the star bolt and proceeded to strip one of the bolts holding the caliper (frame) on. I went and purchased a correct socket after I ruined one bolt but I could not remove the ruined one. At that point I decided to just throw the fresh pads on despite the fact that there was a slight ridge on both ends of the rotor from the prior pads. I could not get the caliper piston to go back in. I loosened the bleeder and zippo.

Is there a trick to getting these pistons to go back in?? Was I supposed to turn it while I was exerting pressure??

Needless to say I spent one whole day just on the drivers rear and only managed to strip one bolt, and put the old pads in.

I also could not figure out how to get to my dam jack and lug wrench, broke off the little t -handle on the floor of the rear and almost ripped the two anchor loops out while trying to pull the whole thing up.

I wish I could hit the rewind button and start over.

Any thoughts on how to get the pistons to go back in would be appreciated

Thanks-Bret
 

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You must turn right while pushing in. THere is a special tool, but a large c-clamp combined with a channel lock pliers can do the job.

The rears wear out faster than the front b/c the front pads are ceramic from the factory and the rears are conventional compound. Ceramic pads last longer, and make much less dust, hence your findings.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the prompt response.

Thank you so much. Talk about feeling ignorant. I should have asked and researched before hand. Well, you live and you learn.
 

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I just finished the rears on my '03 Arc. Same situation. The rears were scraping and the fronts are fine. The rotors are worn on the front and have a slight ridge but nothing too bad. I ordered all 4 new rotors anyway and new pads all the way around as well.

The rear caliper frame requires and E18 socket. I don't know for sure what the fronts require. It is bigger than an E18 though. I didn't have one so I ordered a full set, should be here next week. BTW, when I was in for service last week the tech mentioned the brakes andI told him I was going to do the change. i mentioned I was doing it all the way around and he said I probably didn't need to since the fronts don't wear as quickly as the rears. That at least confirms what everyone else has been saying. It's normal for the rears to go quicker than the fronts.

From what I understand the front pistons can be pushed back in using a regular c-clamp. The rears though require a rewind tool. I tried to use needle nose pliers like some of the other members here have said they were able to do. I couldn't get it to work correctly though and after a half an hour of trying my forearms were toasted, I was worried I would slip off and puncture the rubber boot around the piston.

I went to Advance Auto and got their loaner Master ABS Brake Kit. It had a rewind tool and in less than 3 minutes I had the piston soun back in place. i was able to complete the other side in less than 20 miutes.

I started in on the front and realized I needed the E20 or E24 socket and stopped. I put the original pads back in since I am planning to replace them next week and they still had plenty of meat on them.

I can't really give you any tips on the jack though. I have a 2 ton floor jack that I use, I just put a 1" thick piece of oak on top of it and place it where the Saab jack would normally go.

Good luck!
 

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The rears wear out faster than the front b/c the front pads are ceramic from the factory and the rears are conventional compound. Ceramic pads last longer, and make much less dust, hence your findings.
i have to replace my rear pads soon and don't have the money to replace the fronts as well (plenty of life left). i've been hesitant about ceramic pads since something has to give, whether it's the pads or rotors. less brake dust would be nice, but longer life rotors are even better when you're in college. i was going to get OEM rear pads, but should i go with ceramic since the fronts are already ceramic? why is it that my front brake dust is just as bad as my rears (very even brake dust, though a lot) if they are indeed ceramic?
 

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I actually have TONS more front brake dust on my 9-3 than I do rear dust. The rears wore out much quicker though, go figure.

I haven't heard that the fronts are ceramic from the factory though. Could well be.
 

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vf171 said:
I actually have TONS more front brake dust on my 9-3 than I do rear dust. The rears wore out much quicker though, go figure.

I haven't heard that the fronts are ceramic from the factory though. Could well be.
The fronts are ceramics on recent models....2006 and 2007 (I think).
 

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I just did the brakes on the rear of my 03 9-3. The piston does have to be twisted back in. I went out and purchased a kit from NAPA with different adaptors for many different cars. Unfortuantly not the one for the SAAB. I went to Autozone, and they did not have the correct adaptor. I talked with my Snap-On guy and he did not have the correct adaptor. He called another Snap-On guy who services a SAAB dealer and said that i needed an adaptor from Assenmacer tools -www.asttool.com . With that adaptor and the Snap-on press it worked perfectly. By the way I tried to twist the caliper back in with pliers and ended up ripping the boot on it, so I also had to replace the caliper. Any other questions, let me know
 

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JHerb42 said:
I just did the brakes on the rear of my 03 9-3. The piston does have to be twisted back in. I went out and purchased a kit from NAPA with different adaptors for many different cars. Unfortuantly not the one for the SAAB. I went to Autozone, and they did not have the correct adaptor. I talked with my Snap-On guy and he did not have the correct adaptor. He called another Snap-On guy who services a SAAB dealer and said that i needed an adaptor from Assenmacer tools -www.asttool.com . With that adaptor and the Snap-on press it worked perfectly. By the way I tried to twist the caliper back in with pliers and ended up ripping the boot on it, so I also had to replace the caliper. Any other questions, let me know
Wow, good to know. For everyone else's benefit, the piston adaptor part number is #V450.
 

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For 2006 and up 9-3's the front pads are ceramic. I too have the strange front wheel clean, back wheel dirty syndrome. My rears are worn out at 30K. I'll be replacing them one Saturday when i get the chance.
 

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Dang I guess I hit the mark too. At 35k miles, my rear pads and rotors need to be replaced. Ordered some large rear sport rotors and got some new pads, will have them installed probably whenever they get here in the mail.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks All

After a failed attempt last Friday and two stripped bolts. I went back on Sunday armed with the Advance Auto Kit(they charged me 99.00-you get it back upon return)

Get yourself the correct star socket (mine saysn torx e-18) for the bolts that hold the caliper bracket on. On my 2006 Sport Combi 2.0- the top bolt is obscured by a suspension bolt. I could not get my star socket on to this bolt(keep in mind this is only neccessary when replacing the rotors) and initially I rounded it off using a 14 millimeter socket. Thank god for the "rounded bolt removers" that I bought at sears.

They must make a box wrench in these configurations. I managed on the other side by using a deep 8pt 9/16 socket to break it loose. I then very carefully used a 14 millimeter to work it out. These bolts were hard to get out THE WHOLE WAY thanks to the liberal amount of loctite the factory uses.
My new torx socket worked fine for the bottom bolt. If you get to your brakes before they eat into the rotors- then you don't have to worry about this.

Be careful when you screw back in the 7mm allen head bolts that(get yourself a 7mm allen head socket)which hold the top cover (the only piece you need to take off if your doing pads only) of the caliper. I immediately started one back in ****eyed and had to re-tap it.

The Advance Brake kit which my store clerk didn't know they had(just tell them to double check) made twisting the rotor in a breeze. I loosened the bleeder in when I did mine, tightening it back up after I fully compressed the piston.

Don't let my bad luck due to lack of tools and knowledge scare you.
I would rate this job as being very doable. Grab a friend for moral support.
Saving six hundred bucks versus having the dealer do it it well worth it.
I honestly can't believe they get that much money from folks.
 
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