Phase 1 Brake Calipers - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Phase 1 Brake Calipers

My calipers are Bendix (exact number engraved on them looks to be L10 ATSF11 54/22 Bendix).

The care is from March 98 so one of the last Phase 1s.

I ordered Ferodo DS2500 pads and new discs from Andrew at Alfaholics. I did this without checking the car and went for the Lucas shape pads as I was in a rush but Andrew said no probs if they are wrong and I can swap them for the ATE version.

Any idea whether the ATE version fit on the Bendix calipers? The Lucas are definitely a different shape.

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(Post Link) post #3 of 5 Old 08-01-12 Thread Starter
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Just to confirm- ATE pads fit the Bendix calipers.

I have now fitted new standard Delphi pads and discs to the rear. Brembo grooved performance discs to the front, Ferodo DS2500 pads, braided steel hoses all round and had the corroded metal lines to the rear brakes replaced. New fluid is Motul Racing Super Dot 4. All done by specialists I trust 110%.

I only drove 50 miles in bad traffic on them and the car will now be left unused for 3 weeks. The new set-up feels absolute rubbish. No real difference to the old set-up with my old perishing hoses (MOT advisory), warped and rusted illegally worn discs, corroded brake lines and knackered pads. The only thing that has changed is the shuddering which has disappeared with new front discs. If anything, it feels more spongey than before.

While the brakes were being changed, I drove a 156 2.5 V6 from a friend who reckons he hasn't changed his standard pads for over 20k miles and a knackered old 145 on standard pads. Both these left my new set-up for dead in terms of braking sharpness and "bite".

In fairness, I have not bedded in the new pads and I have heard conflicting advice about whether to just drive normally or do 6 sharp stops from 100mph. Some reckon the second way does not really improve anything but just makes the pads "noisy". At the moment, I feel "noisy" would be preferable to "spongey" if it comes down to that choice.

Should I concentrate on bedding the pads in, look at new calipers or resign myself to the fact that GTV twinnie have poor brakes? How can GTV brakes be worse than 145 or 156 systems? My old 1984 33 had sharper brakes than a model designed 12 years later. I'm disappointed, especially as on paper I should have one of the best set-ups possible. In reality, I reckon performance is no more than MOT minimum for safety.

Comments, thoughts, opinions?
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Definitely bed them in properly - also some performance pads give best power when hot and are rubbish if cold...

Maybe someone else with those pads can confirm or counter this?

This may help:

Maybe ask them bleed the system again?

Last edited by Turtle4288; 08-01-12 at 10:35.
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Possibly if you'd done all the work yourself you might feel better about it (it's always easy to expect more from experts) but hopefully it is a case of waiting for the pads to bed in fully (over the course of several weeks normal use - no hard stops as that will overheat and glaze the pads).

Then bleed the brakes again - the old two-person way is always effective (I have a Gunson Eezibleed pressure setup which doesn't really fit the reservoir properly - I use it with the bottle empty just to pressurise the reservoir, rather than to try and automatically fill it).

Both my Spiders have impressive brakes - light and very little pedal travel - with my 156 being nearly as good (it has a full set of fairly new discs/pads), but I am told they're all rubbish by someone who drives a 1991 Nissan Bluebird. His brakes are amazing - original discs (massive ridge of about 3mm, grooves from wear) brake fluid never changed but pads replaced five years ago. And he's right, the Nissan will lock the wheels with very little effort on the pedal, so yes, we are just wasting our time and money on the vanity of having new brake discs. They'll never be any good compared to the puny discs/drums and no ABS on Japanese cars but as far as the Alfa goes, they'll be the best you can get. It's a heavy car but those early Bendix/ATE setups are a big disc, more than sufficient, they're as big as you get on a BMW 525 of the same era... interestingly it turns out those have crap-feeling brakes too!

If you measure the brakes by how little effort it takes to feel sharp braking, any old Japanese or new budget car will win any time, and meanwhile the MOT test requirements are ridiculously low anyway. Actual braking from 100+ mph might give quite different results. I've tried to convince my friend that his brake fluid might boil and his discs might warp or shear during hard use, but of course, why fix what isn't broken...

To focus the mind it might help to consider test results from when the GTV was new:
Autocar, 27 March 1996, 2.0TS, 70mph to 0, 52.2 metres
Performance Car, October 1995, 2.0TS, 70mph to 0, 168 ft. (51.2 metres)

Top Gear, September 1999, 3.0V6, 70mph to 0, 48.7 metres
In the same test, an Audi S3 scored 46.5 metres and a Lotus Elise 111S scored 54.3 metres.
The Elise is a much lighter car, so its brakes must be especially bad...

See also and note the 'highway code' figure of 244 ft., and the Lexus result of 139 ft. And the Porsche result of 170 ft., about the same as the 2.0TS GTV, then...


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Last edited by alexGS; 08-01-12 at 11:37.
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