Re: Brakes - inherently poor on 156?
The brakes on the 1.9 JTD are not good. The front end of course is very heavy and there is a lot of weight to pull up when applying the brakes. Also with new discs/pads it does take quite a while for the pads to bed in. Among other things this may be due to the fact that the pads are quite heavily chamfered, this reduces the initial area of the pad in contact with the disc. This improves as the pad beds in and wears down, progessively increasing the area of pad on disc.
The friction material of the OE pad is also not really the best quality in terms of encouraging even mildly aggressive driving. With the standard OE set-up it's a very brave person to drive anywhere near as quickly as the badge and engine deserve, at least until the pads are well bedded in.
Basically the standard set-up is not acceptable. Alfa Romeo should have considered a 305mm set-up with four piston calipers for these very heavy engines. How on earth the same set-up copes with the 2.4 engine heaven only knows. There may also be brake servo issues as I really don't think this is fully up to the task either. I am about to do a mild upgrade to mine, including some Ferodo DS pads and perhaps uprating the brake fluid (it needs changing anyway). Folks on here suggest this improves things noticeably, but at the end of the day you have to accept the fact that, through cost-cutting exercises, the brakes on these cars are far from acceptable. The same applies to the suspension set-up as well (another Alfa gem of cutting costs), but that's another story.