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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I had a quick look and read of alfaworkshop on changing the front pads and discs. Been told from previous service there's about 8k miles left in them. I needed to know if its worth buying them from Alfa dealer or from another place? I'm only saying because genuine parts from manufacturers would supply sensors and retaining pins and other bits they recommend changing but on the other hand you wouldn't be advised to from halfords or other places. My other question was that can the retaining pins be re-used and how easy is it to change front discs and pads on 159?
 

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The sensors are built into the pads and will be with all aftermarket Reg90 approved pads, so no you don't need to buy them from an Alfa dealer!

Yes retaining pins can be reused and usually are (assuming you are talking about Brembo calipers).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I will take front wheel off maybe weekend if the snow isn't that bad and see if they are brembo or not. the brakes now squeal so i'd like to change them soon.
 

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http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Alfa-Romeo-159-1-9-JTDM-07-09-Front-Brake-Discs-Pads-/110745375593?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item19c8f05369

The above looks a good price, any local garage will be able to do for not a lot of money, if you supply the parts. Its an easy DIY job maybe 20-30 mins each wheel if youve never done them before. A large G clamp makes doing the fronts easier, but its a handy enough job even without a clamp. Just push back the piston slowly using the old pads stops you damaging the piston and take the reservoir top cap off and place a rag round it to collect any fluid thats expelled.
 

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It's easy, assuming you have skills with car brakes and the pins aren't badly seized.

Most aftermarket discs don't have painted centre sections, though Pagid from ECP do if this is a concern.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Stay away from Euro car parts

Hi All,

sorry about the long write up. just saving others from this un-needed mistake.

After much tinkering around the brakes over 2 weekends, i bought a pair of original allen screws from Alfa and I managed to undo the ruined allen screw and i realized when putting the new disc on that these are just [email protected], made from Pagid. the set of holes that the allen screw should go through was incorrectly machined and hence a non-standard fit and was not recessed to hold the head of the screw flush with the face of the disc, instead the head of the screw stuck out like a sore thumb. :mad:

not only that the front pads set also from Pagid had 2 pads, each with built in sensors. when i questioned ECP that only one should have it, they said just cut the wire off one of them and that's it :tut: I was deeply disappointed and decided to pay them a visit and get my money back. complained to ECP about their level of service, the stupid Pagid parts, and according to their system they gave incorrect wipers twice, 3rd time was guess work from ECP and i just got so pi55ed off and had to pick the correct one myself and for future reference explain to the salesman why these fit my car now. :rant:

they said they will contact Pagid over the parts and get some answers. not sure if their system also gave the wrong discs.

Just got back from Alfa parts shop today with my new discs and straight away i can tell these people don't mess around. the discs look like they were heat treated or slightly tempered and areas that were prone to rust were sprayed and protected. compared to the Pagid from ECP, Pagid discs looked they were made of softer steel.

after this unnecessary mess around something that should have taken an 1 hour max to fit took 2 weeks, i've learnt to buy original expecially with brakes, don't risk your life :tut: . you're paying a premium over the cheaper after market parts but if you can get original then save yourself the heartache and trust the originals will fit without modifications. with original pads and discs i'm paying a £70 excess but at least i'm happy these will fit :thumbs: without taking or cutting bits off like ECP said.

Alfamani
 

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not only that the front pads set also from Pagid had 2 pads, each with built in sensors. when i questioned ECP that only one should have it, they said just cut the wire off one of them and that's it :tut:
That would have been fine.
The "sensor" is just a wire that completes a circuit to earth via the disc when worn.
Some cars have a sensor on both sides, some only on one side, some have none at all.
Cutting the unused wire off of the pad wouldn't have been a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That would have been fine.
The "sensor" is just a wire that completes a circuit to earth via the disc when worn.
Some cars have a sensor on both sides, some only on one side, some have none at all.
Cutting the unused wire off of the pad wouldn't have been a problem.
I won't debate this too much but my understanding from servicing cars in the past is that a part should fit a car to a given set standard and specification, as set by the manufacturer without any modifications needed especially concerning the brakes.

I am glad that ECP will go back to Pagid and question the issue on the disc and pads and ECP were pleased that this was bought to their attention. the "Made in Italy" discs are far superior in quality and finish than the German Pagid and i would highly recommend anyone to consider buying original parts for any new car, not just Alfa.
 

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None of the pattern discs I have seen for the 159 have a recess for the disc retaining screw, (Mintex, Delphi, Pagid) but it doesnt foul the wheel, so it isnt an issue, also as everyone else says, snip off the wire you dont need on the sensors.

Also Pagid discs are coated, the coating wears off with the pads leaving the non friction surface protected.

These parts are all Reg90 approved.

I am slightly concerned at your inexperience in these issues, which are run of the mill.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Apologies, with respect i understand you're an experienced person but whether its run of the mill or not, i'm not snipping anything.

i'm actually glad i gave them back and raised the issue with ECP. i had the old original retaining screw so a few of them saw it for themselves what the issue was and they said they will take it up with Pagid.

i have a simple rule that if something is not fitting back in the reverse order it came off then i'm not going to fit it or try alternative methods :). with regards to the brakes i've learnt my lesson and its not something i am willing now to save a few pounds over knowing i've saved up a lot for a very long time to buy this car.

As a fellow Alfa forum user i felt i had a responsibility to warn other users or share my experience but everyone is rightfully entitled to judge and buy from wherever they feel is right.

Regards,
Alfamani
 

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:thumbs: +1
non of your problems are really an issue including just cut the wire.

And I know manufacturers have strict quality control but I suspect there are very few who make their own parts. Most are designers and parts assemblers.

After all the original brakes are not Alfa but Brembo. How many components are by other manufacturers - the list is endless.
 

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Brakes are rarely straightforward and need some training.

Also I have found that (as per the instructions in the box)!the bigger brakes really do need the run out checked with a dial gauge or you end up with a load of pedal vibration in a few thousand miles.

I understand your issues, but I also feel without suitable training and experience, brakes are not a DIY job.
 

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alfamania: I believe that you have taken on a task that you did not have experience to do. No personal criticism intended, we all started somewhere, and have all started a job we wished we hadn't probably more than once!
However, untrained or inexperienced people shouldn't be attempting brake, steering or suspension repairs. I am not saying you need to be a qualified mechanic but do need experience or someone guiding you. If nothing else an inexperienced person working on these items may miss something that is getting dangerous that an experienced person would spot. Doing so then means you are relying entirely on the MOT tester for your only safety check and I think that is a high risk strategy. MOT testers are generally good but I wouldn't want the MOT to be my only safety check.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi there.

No i've not taken anything personally :). its good to share experiences as this is what the forum is for. i've changed brakes a few times before using both aftermarket and original parts on other people's cars and 2 of my own previous cars and i've not come across this particular issue before.
 

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On a plus side for ECP, I have a friend who works there, he ordered a set of rear pads and discs for my previous Alfa, the GT, all fitted perfectly first time.
And the whole lot cost me £35. :)

Maybe its down to the person you get to order the parts?
 

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On a plus side for ECP, I have a friend who works there, he ordered a set of rear pads and discs for my previous Alfa, the GT, all fitted perfectly first time.
And the whole lot cost me £35. :)

Maybe its down to the person you get to order the parts?
My first question to the OP is who specified which specific pads and discs you wanted/needed from ECP? Was it you or them?
The reason I ask is that when I put my wife's 159Ti (2.0 Jtdm) reg number into their website, it gave the brakes for a 2.0 Jtdm but NOT the Ti version as the Ti has Brembo front calipers.
Therefore, if you just relied on them to tell you which were the correct discs and pads they may well have been wrong. The only way I could get the right front discs and pads was to tell the website I had a 2.4 or 3.2 as these have the Brembo calipers with the larger discs.
I then mistakenly ordered rear discs and pads for a 2.4 as well, little knowing that the 2.0 has smaller rear discs! I just took them back in to ECP and changed them for the right ones.

As for Pagid discs and pads, I have a VW Touareg (also with Brembo calipers and 330mm discs as it happens). I bought some Pagid discs and pads for that last year as they seemed a reasonable price without being cheap and from what others on the Touareg forum told me Pagid were the OEM supplier anyway. Sure enough, when I took the old pads out they had VW stamped on them but also Pagid!
I have been very impressed with the Pagid discs and pads on my Touareg. It's a heavy car but with 260bhp it's not slow so stopping it is no mean feat. I've never had to press the brake pedal that hard - they just bite and work really well even from high speed. Plus, with the painted coating, they haven't gone all horrible and rusty either.

I have therefore bought a full set of Pagid discs and pads for the 159.

When I took the front wheel off to check the pad retaining pins on the 159 recently, I found there wasn't a disc retaining bolt on the offside front disc at all! I'm guessing it's been like that since new as the car is a 59 reg and is probably on the original discs. I've bought some bolts from Alfa. I don't know yet if the (correct) Pagid discs are recessed or not but will check tonight. My guess is though that if they aren't then the back of the wheel has a recess to accomodate anyway.

EDIT: Just noticed that if you select a 2.4 159 (or a 1.9 for that matter), it gives 2 different brake pads. One with 1 wear sensor and one with 2 wear sensors (but these are for "Date to 200712").
Sounds like a simple case of being given/asking for the wrong pads/discs. You can hardly blame Pagid for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
i've had a look around and it seems all are selling pads with 2 wear sensors including Alfa themselves .

Apologies for all the confusion, just seems a bit bizarre, the old pads on my car don't have sensor on driver's side nor is there a sign its been cut. had a look at its service history and bill of materials showing no brake pads have been changed so i assume they are original as the car. previous 1st owner only ever used it for long distance drive so wear and tear is minimal so these and disc's must be originals since he's had it new.

btw i believe at ECP he asked me and i said Pagid as i searched them out and they sounded like good makers of brakes and i trusted ECP to know what they were giving according to their system.
 
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