(Apologies in advance for the size of this posting)
I'm looking for any ideas/information from people who have knowledge or
experience of 155 brakes and particularly problems with poor/inefficient
My brother ('jase77') has a 2L TS and his friend is selling his 1.8 TS.
It's a nice car (metalic blue paint/rear spoiler/wide body) and there are
very few 155's near where I live (Fife, Scotland), but since I first saw
this car and then later when my brother bought his 155 I've been very
keen on getting one (can you blame me?).
Brothers car - Alfa 155 2L 16V TS Super P('97).
Car for sale - Alfa 155 1.8L 16V TS N('96).
When I was given the opportunity to drive my brothers car I was surprised
and impressed by the power and responsiveness of the brakes (nearly hit my
face off the windscreen). I've since read the magazine review of the 2L TS
available on this website that comments on their power and calls them
'snatchy' because of their responce.
The problem is - the 1.8 16V TS for sale has very poor braking power.
You have to push hard on the pedal and still don't get much responce.
An emergency stop is a serious leg workout and a worrying experience.
However, there is no judder, no pull and the pedal doesn't go right down
to the floor when you brake - they're smooth but very poor.
I'm used to having poor brakes as my previous cars have been old basic
models that were reaching the end of their lives (1L mini, 1.1L fiesta,
1.6L XR2) but even my girlfreinds 1.2 Clio seems to outbrake the car
My brother was of a simliar opinion when he tested the 1.8 (and he is
used to his own brakes), but the owner of the 1.8 believes there isn't
a problem (he hasn't driven my brothers car) and explains that the braking
ability hasn't changed in the time that he has owned the car (2 years).
I've put a lot of thought into the problem and:
- Discounted front discs/pads as the car has passed 2 MOT's (includes a basic
brake test) and has had pads replaced. Also discs don't appear to be badly worn.
- Expensive rear disc/drum assemblies were replaced about a year ago (and pads).
due to warp.
- Owner works offshore (2 weeks home, 2 weeks on oil rig) so car could have
slightly seized calipers, but, as he says there has been no change in braking
power from when he first bought the car, and there is no change after using
hard during time at home, also no pull to one side (as you would get if one
caliper was seizing).
- I don't know when the brakes were last bled and the fluid replaced, so there could
be air bubbles or old fluid, but I know what air in the fluid feels like from
previous experience and it doesn't have that 'spongy' feel.
The other end of the system is the servo, ABS and inlet manifold hose (to the
ABS/servo?). I don't have any knowledge/experience of this part of the braking
system, and don't know what to look for.
The car will probably be traded in this weekend if I don't decide to buy it,
so time is running out.
Any ideas of possible solutions or things to try to narrow the search?