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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to see a car on Saturday (hopefully) that has failed it's NCT (Irish version of the MOT/roadworthiness test) due to a 'seized brake regulator'.

The seller is selling the car 'as is' as they haven't been able to source a brake regulator (they haven't said if they are looking to buy new/used).

So, let's assume the brake regulator needs to be replaced-what would it cost (parts + labour time - I won't be able to do the work myself)?

As an aside, how does the brake regulator affect the braking?
 

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AO Silver Member, 155 Lounge Winner 09
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this gives you an idea of the cost, new (but not the availability, though it's presumably available):
Alfa Romeo Ersatzteile - italia Ricambi - Bremskraftregler (Hinterachse) Alfa 145 / 146 / 155 320173

they are part of the alfisti.net group, so their service is excellent.

it's a pretty cool setup, as it automatically adjusts the rear brake bias. the lever is connected to the rear antiroll bar. if for example you have lot of luggage or passengers, the rear suspension will be compressed; this acts on the brake bias and increases the braking force to the rear brakes.

likewise, with any braking, the trailing arm rear suspension means the rear suspension also compresses/squats down. the harder you brake, the harder the rear squats, and therefore there's an increase in rear brake bias and more braking.

if it's seized, then the rear brakes are 'set'. it's still safe, it still works, but just not as good as it could be. having said this, i don't think i've found the perfect setting (cos it's adjustable). it's tricky when the rear is lowered; at the moment, the rear isn't biting as hard as it was before (since i've lowered the car more and adjusted it). so i'm going to adjust it again and increase the rear braking. but of course, i could go too far, which might make the rear unstable particularly in wet weather. :(

changing it should not be too hard. probably just messy, cos the fluid would need to be drained.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks shiny_car

Is this a feature of the 155 or do you find it on every car?

As an aside, how many keys should I expect to get with a 155 and what is the significance of the 'red key'?
 

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i don't know those answers, sorry. but i don't think most cars have a variable bias like this (in cars of the same era). not sure how it works in modern cars.

as for keys, i wonder if the red key is a master key, as opposed to a valet key (which wouldn't open the boot or glovebox for example).

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That would make sense re. the red key alright.

Thanks again-I couldn't find a brake regulator on any of the other parts sites.
 

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i'm sure EB Spares could order a regulator too.

:)
 

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So, let's assume the brake regulator needs to be replaced-what would it cost (parts + labour time - I won't be able to do the work myself)?

As an aside, how does the brake regulator affect the braking?
Unlikely to need replacing, jsut cleaning and maybe a new spring as I mentioned in your other post.
The effect of a seized regulator is not enough rear braking which is more than likely the reason for not passing the rear brake test.
Try give TI autos a ring for a price.

Thanks shiny_car

Is this a feature of the 155 or do you find it on every car?

As an aside, how many keys should I expect to get with a 155 and what is the significance of the 'red key'?
Every 145, 146 and 155 I've had has needed a cleaning and adjustment of the bias arm at some stage.

i don't know those answers, sorry. but i don't think most cars have a variable bias like this (in cars of the same era). not sure how it works in modern cars.

as for keys, i wonder if the red key is a master key, as opposed to a valet key (which wouldn't open the boot or glovebox for example).

:)
Any car I've worked on from the 70's and upwards has had a brake regulator. Many French cars have them built in to the rear slave cylinders so maybe not visiable in the same way as one connected to the ARB.

The red keys are the normal keys, the maroon key is the master. The valet key will be a small square key, probably black.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Unlikely to need replacing, jsut cleaning and maybe a new spring as I mentioned in your other post.
The effect of a seized regulator is not enough rear braking which is more than likely the reason for not passing the rear brake test.
Try give TI autos a ring for a price.

Every 145, 146 and 155 I've had has needed a cleaning and adjustment of the bias arm at some stage.
Cheers-not ignoring your advice in the other thread-just preparing myself for a 'worst case' scenario :).

Btw, are you coming the meet on the 20th/21st?
 

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I bought mine recently from shop4parts.

Shop4Parts

The beast was £100 but they have an offer at the moment. If your man has a ramp and takes the silencer off, it's not at all difficult to swap. You have to disconnect the 4 brake pipes on top and then the two 70mm (?) bolts holding it to the sub-frame. Then fit the new one and bleed the rear brakes. If it all comes undone fairly easily, it's probably around an hour's labour.

I would also buy a new spring for it though.. the spring rusts in the extended position and then doesn't contract again, so you lose some "closing" pressure which makes a difference to the compensator working or not. The OE spring is about £7 so not worth scrimping on, seeing as you splashed out a ton of notes for the compensator. Not any old spring will do.. save yourself the grief and buy the OE jobbie.. it's the right length and strength for your compensator.

The keys.. if you have a red key then the beast has the mid-late nineties Alfa alarm set-up. All the keys are red. The master key is maroon and rough/textured rather than shiny smooth bright red (that's the normal key). The valet key is a flat horseshoe type jobbie with no alarm button on it.. just a plain shiny red body... but it's flat and horseshoe shaped... so even if you never saw any other key, you'll know this is a "weird one" when you see it.


Ralf S.
 

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Yep a new spring is adviseable, the tension is probably gone from the old one.


I bought mine recently from shop4parts.

The valet key is a flat horseshoe type jobbie with no alarm button on it.. just a plain shiny red body... but it's flat and horseshoe shaped... so even if you never saw any other key, you'll know this is a "weird one" when you see it.

Ralf S.
The keys in general seem to vary by year, market and by whether they are radio or IR controlled.
Over here I've only had two Alfa's that actually came with valet keys, both were square, one was black and the other red. A horsehsoe shaped one sounds much more interesting though :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good man, well sure the drive isn't until Sunday anyway.

mo4 said:
Every 145, 146 and 155 I've had has needed a cleaning and adjustment of the bias arm at some stage.
Is this particular to the 145/145/155? Never heard of it before.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I bought mine recently from shop4parts.

Shop4Parts

The beast was £100 but they have an offer at the moment. If your man has a ramp and takes the silencer off, it's not at all difficult to swap. You have to disconnect the 4 brake pipes on top and then the two 70mm (?) bolts holding it to the sub-frame. Then fit the new one and bleed the rear brakes. If it all comes undone fairly easily, it's probably around an hour's labour.

I would also buy a new spring for it though.. the spring rusts in the extended position and then doesn't contract again, so you lose some "closing" pressure which makes a difference to the compensator working or not. The OE spring is about £7 so not worth scrimping on, seeing as you splashed out a ton of notes for the compensator. Not any old spring will do.. save yourself the grief and buy the OE jobbie.. it's the right length and strength for your compensator.

The keys.. if you have a red key then the beast has the mid-late nineties Alfa alarm set-up. All the keys are red. The master key is maroon and rough/textured rather than shiny smooth bright red (that's the normal key). The valet key is a flat horseshoe type jobbie with no alarm button on it.. just a plain shiny red body... but it's flat and horseshoe shaped... so even if you never saw any other key, you'll know this is a "weird one" when you see it.


Ralf S.
Thanks Ralf, very useful post.

Btw-any known issues with the alarm in a 155?
 

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Regards sources of 'used' brake regulators they are out of the same parts bin as a Fiat Tipo/Tempra and I think Bravo/Brava. It will be cheaper (even from a dealer) in a blue rather than a red bag.
 

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I needed to replace mine after it failed the MOT, it was causing exessive tral on the brake pedel and no rear brakes at all, harly suprising then that it snapped clean in 2 when we tryed to free it off and clean it up :rolleyes:

Undoing some of the pipe that feed it can be testing but as you say you wont be doing it, just bear in mind that the garage doing it may find a rottern brake pipe or 2 while fishing around under there and there not trying to rip you off its quite normal :D
 

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The pipes into the top of the regulator can go rusty. Mine seem to have been replaced with copper ones at some point, even though the new ones I bought (copper ones are slightly kinked and bent) are steel.

Also, some of those pipes are no longer available from Alfa.. which is why my beast is off the road at the moment (making new pipes!).

Hopefully.. your pipes will be okay and the unions will all come undone without bending/twisting/kinking the pipes.


Ralf S.
 

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I know I had problems with my rear brakes, and then compensator arm had seized, and the spring had rusted in a stretched position, which is what normally occurs, hence then the load is applied as per earlier posts, the spring is not pulling the compensator lever.

I managed to release mine by removing the spring, which was then shortend by about an inch, and releasing the nut that holds the lever in tension, and used a 12 oz persuader to free the lever. Once the lever is free to move you should be able to pull down/up on the lever and feel the piston on the compensator moving in/out.
If the piston is seized, then you'll have to replace the compensator.

If the piston is moving in/out, then there should be no reason why the compensator doesn't work.

Replace the spring with either a new one, or as I did, the shortened one to give a bit more use of the rear brakes.

According to the manual you are supposed to hang a 5kg (IIRC) weight on the end of the lever to get the correct tension, whereas I pulled as hard as I could before locking in place.

I did notice the brakes working a lot better with the rears helping !!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks guys. Drove the car in question today-I would struggle to notice that the regulator wasn't working.

It might not be this car, but I hope to have a 155 before the end of the week.
 
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