AO Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: The land that Time forgot
Check the brake pipes just where they connect to the calipers.. You'll have to take the wheels off, peer through the spokes or get your head under the wheel arch to get a good look.
Alfa brake pipes (maybe not all..) have a plastic sheath to help protect the pipes but at the caliper it stops a few cm short (so that they can slide the pipe nut away from the end of the pipe before they flare the end).
That bit of exposed pipe gets shot-blasted to buggeration (inside the wheel arch, as it is) so whatever protection it has gets worn off and the pipe corrodes. If it gets too bad, it could burst (if the MoT man doesn't spot it first).
Also... check where the pipes to the front brakes pass from the engine bay into wheel-arch.. They're clipped in around here but if they pop out of the clip, they could touch the lower edge of the inner wheel arch and rub.. again eventually wearing through the metal of the pipe.
Also... at the same place.. if the pipe has been popped out of the clip for any reason, quite often the paint/plastic coating covering the pipe becomes chipped, as the clip is a one-way job and matey mechanic probably uses a screwdriver to force the pipe out rather than pressing the clip tangs out the way.. That exposed metal, sits back in the clip and water/spray sits in there between the clip and the pipe... causing the pipe to corrode. I've heard of one other '56 with pipe corrosion around the inner wing.
But any leak should be visible.
The good news is that your brake fluid level could have just been low (it drops as the pads wear) and you just pushed a load of air into the brakes.
If you can't find a leak and your pads are looking a bit shabby... stick new pads on there and get the brakes fully bled.. Job done.
Also have a peek at the clutch slave.. If that's weeping fluid (it uses the brake fluid reservoir) then that might explain why the brake fluid level dropped... In this case you need to put a new clutch slave cylinder on there .. but then you also still need to bleed the brakes.
No bullets for Chaingun..