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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my partner's rear brakes are shot.

I bought the car knowing they needed doing so have got some grooved & dimpled discs front and rear + Mintex pads.

I know the fronts should be the proverbial portion of urine but what's the score with the handbrake mechanism and the spring steel shims.

The shims appear to make the pads a really tight fit in the holder, in the past on my various Fiats I've taken them out all together.

For the handbrake, I have the wind back tool, do I just wind the piston back as far as it will go and the system will reset accordingly or is there a magic trick?

Any tips welcomed.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Clean under the the pad supports and then refit them. if the pads are still too tight then sand a little paint off the pad. For the handbrake just wind the piston back, fit the caliper and once all bolted up press on the brake a couple times and job done. After you have pumped a few times, you can adjust the handbrake if it needs it by turning the hex by the handbrake lever.
 

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Before fitting the new discs and pads I'd undo the 13mm nut on the handbrake lever until there is slack in the cables. Once discs andcalipers/ pads are refitted as said above pump the brakes a good few times to pump pistons back out then adjust the h/brake cable at that point.
Don't over-tighten the nut though.
 

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Tips:
There's a very good guide on pdf here somewhere with pictures.
When winding the pistons back I let the fluid push back to the reservoir but I've since read that it is better practice to open the bleed nipple on the caliper and let the excess squeeze out though a suitable tube and to a container.
As the pistons twist the rubber covers are a weak point so be careful not to damage them or you'll end up with a sticky dirty caliper. With the right tool they go back very easily.
The dust covers/mud guards will be very rusty. They are cheap to replace.
As suggested in the previous post slacken off your handbrake from inside the car to about 10 clicks before you start.
The shims and pads are as you say very tight. The best tool I've found for cleaning the caliper and getting a good fit is a dremel. The pads metal backing can be adjusted on a sharpening stone but generally once the caliper is clean they should pop in easily. Buy new shims or fixing kit as well as the pads and discs.
May as well clean the sliders while you're there and have a good look for corrosion on the brake pipes.
Don't let the caliper hang on the pipes.
You may need a rubber mallet and some plus gas if the discs don't want to move.
Hope some of this helps. Generally I'd say the brakes are refreshingly normal to work on.
 

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I had to undo the rear caliper caliper a little to get the new discs in. I know or least read you can do it without. I didn't take the carrier off just undone them enough to get a bit of wiggle room so that the disc could slide into the bearing hub.

Seemed better than struggling.
 

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I had to undo the rear caliper caliper a little to get the new discs in. I know or least read you can do it without. I didn't take the carrier off just undone them enough to get a bit of wiggle room so that the disc could slide into the bearing hub.

Seemed better than struggling.
Yes, there is no way the discs come off with the caliper brackets bolted up on my car. Is this actually possible on any 147 ?
 

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They came off easy enough without undoing the carrier. But putting the new disk on didn't seem to want to. Mainly because my old discs were paper thin so they slotted through.

The new disk being thicker due to less wear wouldn't slide through the gap.

Although like I say I read a few guides that said you don't actually have to remove the carrier.
For the sake of an open ended spanner and a hammer id didn't seem worth the struggle.

Not only that it's probably worth removing the bolts just to get them cleaned up regardless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh yes, and I need new cables so that should add another 20 minutes to the job!!
 

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I should add. I never adjusted or loosened off the handbrake cables when I changed the disc's and pads.

All seem's fine though and never actually needed to be adjusted.
 

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I should add. I never adjusted or loosened off the handbrake cables when I changed the disc's and pads.

All seem's fine though and never actually needed to be adjusted.
I did as I was following a guide: But I can't explain why this is necessary. It should however need loosening when the new discs and pads are on as they will be thicker. I managed to slip the new discs in without undoing the caliper from the strut. This actually makes them easier to change than the fronts. I wonder if there is a couple of different designs out there because some people swear fitting is impossible this way.
 

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I managed to slip the new discs in without undoing the caliper from the strut. This actually makes them easier to change than the fronts. I wonder if there is a couple of different designs out there because some people swear fitting is impossible this way.
No way my 251 rear discs would come off without taking the carrier off.
May be easier with the 276mm discs (some later 156/all GT/all GTA).
As yours is a 2004 156, I'm guessing it has the 276mm discs.
 

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Aye that was the guide I followed too. But as I say didn't adjust handbrake for the rears and couldn't slip the new disc on without loosening the carrier.
 

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Aye that was the guide I followed too. But as I say didn't adjust handbrake for the rears and couldn't slip the new disc on without loosening the carrier.
I didn't touch the handbrake adjustment either.
Just made sure it was off, then seated the pads on new discs with the footbrake.

I think some people have made the mistake of pulling the handbrake before seating the pads with the foot brake.
 

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I found the guide:

http://www.alfa156.net/tech/Alfa156Brakes.pdf

Thanks to who ever put it together.
Feedback appreciated! :biglaugh:

I've never had to touch the rear carrier .. take the caliper off and there is a wide enough gap to get the discs off and on. I think you will have a nightmare anyway trying as the mounting bolts are covered by the strut so you can't get a socket in .. it's a full tear-down to get them off.

Front carrier is easy ..
 

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It's two bolts. Its just you can't get a socket on it due to the rear frame.
But you can get an open ended spanner over it. just need to be uber careful you don't round the bolt.

I used a 17mm spanner and a hammer to shock it free.

I did it and cleaned them and placed them back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Struggling

So much for 20 minutes for the handbrake cables, RH went on ok, but there isn't enough play in the cable or the caliper to get the nipple over the U-shape it sits into.

I've got the handbrake adjustment at the lever as far back as it'll go and I come up about 10-15mm short of enough to get the cable in place. If I put it on the caliper 1st, it leaves me short for getting cable into the frame at the lever end. Gave up in disgust!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So much for 20 minutes for the handbrake cables, RH went on ok, but there isn't enough play in the cable or the caliper to get the nipple over the U-shape it sits into.

I've got the handbrake adjustment at the lever as far back as it'll go and I come up about 10-15mm short of enough to get the cable in place. If I put it on the caliper 1st, it leaves me short for getting cable into the frame at the lever end. Gave up in disgust!
Having measured the cable, it was about 10mm shorter than the packet stated so back to Euro Car Parts with my trusty tape measure and the next one off the shelf was 10mm longer than the stated 1230mm so I grabbed it. It fitted easily (if anything a bit too easily, the adjuster is relatively high but the handbrake works a treat.

Moral of the story, measure first!!
 
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