OverhaulIt was time to overhaul the front brakes on my second 75. It had probably not been used in a while before I bought it, and the brakes were pretty awful.
The discs were well worn and I decided that while I was at it I would replace the flexi brake lines with Goodgridge ones, put on new discs, change the pads and use this all as an excuse to get my callipers reconditioned.
I've mentioned these guys before, but I just _love_ what these guys BiggRed do with our callipers. Take a look at the following before and after photos and tell me you're not impressed.
Absolutely class A1 job!
Anyway, the following are the steps I followed to do the job. It's all pretty straight-forward so long as you don't mind messing with this kind of thing.
Note: In my case I had obviously taken callipers off a donor vehicle previous to this entire job so I was able to do the lot in one afternoon. It goes without saying that, if you don't have a spare set, then your 75 will be off the road for a while while John at BiggRed sorts them out for you.
- Loosen wheelnuts (both sides). Jack up the front and support on axle-stands. Remove the wheels and soak soak soak the union of the hard-line to the flexi brake hose.
- Remove the pads. Pop the retaining pins through using a punch or some such. I use a three-inch masonary nail. Remove the anti-rattle spring and remove the pads. Loosen the pads first by pushing them firmly back away from the disc towards the calliper. Some people say to remove some fluid from the resevoire first using a turkey-baster or some such, but I've not really found the need to do so.
- Disconnect the hard-line from the flexi brake hose. Use a good quality flare-nut wrench (15mm) on the nut; you need a good grip on that sucker! The flexi is 17mm.
I do this at this stage so that I can immediately attach the new stainless hose.
This should have a cap on the other end of it which will stop the brake fluid from piddling everywhere. Also, I want the old flexi-hose to come off with the calliper as a couple of things are much easier that way.
- Remove the calliper. To do this you need only to undo the two retaining nuts (19mm I think) on the back of the calliper attaching it to the hub carrier. These nuts are tightened to 80-odd Nm and will require quite a strong lever to help you get them off. Using an ordinary length socket wrench is just asking for a hernia and bloody knuckles. Take off the calliper complete with the old flexi-hose and soak soak soak the hard-line connectors on the calliper with WD40. I was making up new hard-lines anyway so I didn't much care, but the old lines can break quite easily when you try to remove the flexi, so take care to soak them well if you need them.
- At this stage I loosen the hub to disc retaining screws.
- Take off the bearing dust cover and remove the outer bearing. To do this, first un-peen the retaining nut, undo the nut and remove it and the keyed washer beneath it and then the bearing race itself.
- At this point the hub and disc together will both slide off the spindle. Undo and remove the hub to disc retaining screws and separate the hub and disc. I have generally found that when an Alfa manual says simply "separate piece A from piece B' you can be fairly sure that a lump hammer and some brute force will be required in short order. This case was no exception.
- Take the newly freed hub and fit it into the new disc (with said lump-hammer once again) and tighten the retaining screws. Pay attention to the orientation of these screw-holes when fitting the hub to the disc as it will correctly line up in only one way..
- Clean the new disc with petrol to degrease it. Wash your hands and then refit the disc & hub to the spindle. Being careful not to get any grease on the disc refit the outer bearing race, the keyed washer and the retaining nut. Tighten the retaining nut to 24Nm while rotating the hub to let the bearings seat properly. Loosen the nut 1/3 of a turn, and then retighten to < 1Nm. Re-peen the nut to stop it slipping. I should really have put in new bearing while I was at it, but I didn't think of it in advance.
Refit the bearing dust-cover.
- From the old brake-hose, cut off the rubber retaining clamp as the stainless ones don't have them, and they're handy to keep the hoses tidied away. Below you can see the rubber part I'm talking about fitted to the stainless hose.
- Now the old calliper should be well soaked by this stage, so you can try getting the old hard-line off if you need it. I made my own so was not too worried when one of the lines twisted and broke on me.
- Attach the new flexi-hose to the calliper mounting bracket and then to the calliper hard-line. If you work quickly it can be done with minimal fluid spillage.
- Now remount the calliper, tightening the bolts to 82Nm.
- Fit new pads, old ones will be worn in the pattern of your old discs and will quickly wreck your shiny new ones. I wanted to use new brake pad fitting kits too, but the ones I got off eBay were wrong. The pins were too short, perhaps they were not for the vented discs on the TS . Anyway, here's a shot of the calliper mounted with new hard-line at the calliper, new Goodridge stainless hoses, new disc, and with the rubber hose-clamp in position attaching the hose to the bracket on the upper wishbone.
- And here's the finished job complete with shiny new wheel nuts.
- So then just bleed the brakes and away you go. I use a pressure bleeder and an easi-bleed bottle at the bleed nipple. A little 'belt-and-braces' I suppose, but it always works for me .