Author Topic: Alfa 75 brake upgrade  (Read 19481 times)

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Alfamania

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Alfa 75 brake upgrade
« on: April 22, 2013, 04:45:09 PM »
Hello,

I think everyone know that Alfa 75 brakes are not very good. Especially the V6 ones. I have heard in the past that either Volvo or Mazda Rx-7 front calipers are a possible good upgrade. Does anybody know if these would be an easy replacement or do they require modifications to fit?

Thanks
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shiny_car

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Re: Alfa 75 brake upgrade
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2013, 07:57:44 PM »
From my research, there are many ways to skin this cat!  :P

Firstly, the brakes can be tricky to bleed of air bubbles, so if it was done in a rush, or your brake fluid is not fresh, the brakes can be relatively poor. Secondly, if the rear calipers are not adjusted properly, then there is too much gap between the pads and discs, and more pedal travel is required to overcome this gap.

IF the calipers are all in good condition (no leaks from seals; no seized pistons), rears adjustable properly (I've read many topics about good ways to do this, here and on alfabb.com forums), with fresh fluid, AND you have good quality pads with discs in good condition, the brakes are good!

Possibly the best budget upgrade is quality pads, like Ferodo DS2500 front/rear.

If you truly want an upgrade, then the options are numerous:
*yes, some Volvo calipers are meant to be bolt-on replacements; but heavy; should be cheap secondhand on ebay or from wreckers
*calipers with custom brackets: you can fit 4-pot Brembos if you wish, as long as an adaptor bracket is fashioned; a good independent Alfa workshop should be able to do this modification
*brake kits: sky's the limit, including Tarox 10-pot calipers (A$3K+ for the kit)
*same calipers, modified to use bigger discs: possibly a great value upgrade is to use 305mm discs (modified Alfa GTA/GTV discs) with the modified standard calipers (wider spacer between the two halves to accommodate wider disc); greater swept area with more leverage; RS Racing in GER offer this kit, so contact them about it

Some calipers may warrant a new master cylinder with a bigger diameter piston, to push more fluid, allowing for the extra 'piston area' in your calipers. The original MC may otherwise require more pedal travel to move the pistons, so do your research and realise that changing one thing may require changing another.

:)
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 08:01:29 PM by shiny_car »
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Duk

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Re: Alfa 75 brake upgrade
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2013, 04:40:04 PM »
Hello,

I think everyone know that Alfa 75 brakes are not very good. Especially the V6 ones. I have heard in the past that either Volvo or Mazda Rx-7 front calipers are a possible good upgrade. Does anybody know if these would be an easy replacement or do they require modifications to fit?

Thanks

This very same question is/was being asked on AlfaBB and plenty of people think the V6 brakes are fine............ I don't though.

My answer was the Volvo 240 4 piston calipers and slotted Alfa 164 front rotors (and some really expensive pads from Race Brakes!!!). While the calipers bolt on, they are a 2 port caliper, so the bake line from the hose needs to be divided into 2 and fed into the caliper. The rotor has to have its centre bore machined out and a 6mm spacer plate fitted between the rotor and the wheel hub. On top of that, the wheel studs will no longer stay in by themselves like they do originally, so a mean of holding them in has to be devised.
The upgrade worked excellently and the standard master cylinder still provides plenty of fluid for the bigger combined piston area.
Note that the firewall flexes a lot in these cars, so things like braided brake lines won't do anything for your pedal feel, assuming that your original lines are in good condition and, as Shiny mentioned, the brakes are properly bled. If the lines are old, braided lines are quite reasonable in price from Performatek, but really will only provide more durability than anything else.

http://alfaimola.free.fr/racing/grosfreins/index.html
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 09:17:48 PM by Duk »

Sheldon McIntosh

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Re: Alfa 75 brake upgrade
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2013, 11:32:38 PM »
You'd do well to listen to Duk and Shiny, they know what they are talking about.  I would just add....

Personally, I find the V6 brakes are just up to the job if they're properly maintained, and if you're driving on standard suspension.  If you upgrade the suspension, and drive pretty hard on twisty roads, then I agree that the standard brakes are not quite up to it.

I also did the Volvo upgrade, with 164 discs, on my track car, and they're superb.  I've done 75 minutes at Winton with no fade whatsoever.  Also, you can modify the calipers internally so they are only one-port (sorry, don't know the intricacies, my tame mechanic did it for me while I was doing something else, and he handed the calipers to me, but it didn't seem to take him long).

My 90 is fairly standard at present, and with the 2.5 still, and I don't drive it too hard on the road, so I find my present standard brakes good enough.  The calipers have been recently rebuilt front and rear, have new cross-drilled rotors, track-oriented pads (QFM), new lines front and rear, and a brace on the master-cylinder.  If you're working to a limited budget, this is definitely the way to go, it doesn't cost much to do all this to your car.  In the future I plan to put in a 3.0 12v and stiffen up the suspension a bit; when I do that I'll definitely put on the Volvo calipers as a bit of piece-of-mind.

FWIW, I took the road 90 to Winton for a sprint last year, with the above standard set-up, and with 2 drivers it worked pretty well; we only started to get bad fade in the last sessions, so it stood up to about 10 sessions before that.  I was quite impressed with it actually.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 11:38:59 PM by Sheldon McIntosh »

AikenDrum105

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Re: Alfa 75 brake upgrade
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2013, 11:55:24 AM »
in an oblique reference,  I fitted my Giulia Super with vent. discs and the alloy brembo calipers from a TS 75,   running on standard road pads (they're marked Lucas... ominous..) faded out pretty quickly.

As Shiny opined above,   I just chucked in a set of Ferodo DS2500s  for the Phillip Island Sprints.   The brakes are so full of amazing now - really blew me away...    I was starting to play fast and loose with the brake markers at Honda on Saturday,  probably good that the day ran out before the talent did...

I would definitely try a set of those (not ridiculously expensive)  with a good brake bleed and see where that puts you.    Followed closely by a firewall brace as Sheldon mentioned for better pedal feel...    I put a set of braided lines in the super -  they didn't make a difference to pedal feel over 2yo stock rubber ones that I could tell.  They do look shiny though. 

I used a little of that orange sticky brake pad anti-squeal on the back of the pads, and just lightly 45 deg. chamfered 1mm of the leading edge of the pad on the concrete before putting them in (so they bed in without chattering) - and they don't shriek, grind or judder when cold so far... (the car is a daily)

Anyway - I hope that is somehow helpful ;)

Cheers,
Scott
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aggie57

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Re: Alfa 75 brake upgrade
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2013, 04:00:33 PM »
As the others say the Volvo calipers are a good upgrade but very very heavy.  If you want a set that have the mounts redrilled to suit a GTV6/ 75 upright plus have the internal cross drilling done like Sheldon says then I have set in the garage that you can have for a very good price.  They will need some cleaning up.

Why do I have them? Because I found the GTV6 brakes are perfectlty fine for both sprints and 6-hr type work so long as the fluid is 100% spot on.  Bleed with fresh fluid before every event, as you should anyway. 

I ran them for 5 years or so in my 3-litre GTV6 on R's, with suspension and so on.  There is still some pedal drop but nothing serious.  Alan Goodall also did a 6-hr with it so you can also ask him.
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Duk

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Re: Alfa 75 brake upgrade
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2013, 05:01:46 PM »
Weight is the enemy of brakes!

A 3 litre 75 with an average bloke as a driver is easily in the vicinity of 1400kgs!

And given that the 75 has the same diameter rotors and I'm pretty sure the same surface area pads as the much lighter Alfetta's, GTV's and Giulietta's, the 75 brakes have no more braking force available but do have to slow much more mass! The only advantage is the use of vented rotors and that only helps the rotors to shed heat, not actually slow the car.
I'm all for the use of better pads (Though I don't think I'd be using the Race Brake pads again, but only because of the pure cost), but the more you rely on pad frictional coefficient, the more rotor wear you will suffer from and worse their low temperature performance (though that problem is no where near as bad as it use to be!) will be.
'Replace the rotors and machine the pads'?  :P

As Shiny hinted at, using a much larger diameter rotor and the original 2 piston Brembo caliper on a new mount, plus some decent pads, would be a very, very good road car brake upgrade. A 300mm rotor would move the caliper out enough to allow the mounting adapter to be relatively straight forward to make and give much more leverage for the caliper. It would require 16" wheels as a minimum, though. And getting rotors with the correct offset to suit the Alfa could be a bit of a challenge unless you went for a 2 piece set up.

Alfamania

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Re: Alfa 75 brake upgrade
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2013, 12:36:49 PM »
Thank you for the input guys. this is all very good!!! i think i will give the Ferodo DS2500 a go, Cheers
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Storm_X

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Re: Alfa 75 brake upgrade
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2013, 08:56:51 AM »

As Shiny hinted at, using a much larger diameter rotor and the original 2 piston Brembo caliper on a new mount, plus some decent pads, would be a very, very good road car brake upgrade. A 300mm rotor would move the caliper out enough to allow the mounting adapter to be relatively straight forward to make and give much more leverage for the caliper. It would require 16" wheels as a minimum, though. And getting rotors with the correct offset to suit the Alfa could be a bit of a challenge unless you went for a 2 piece set up.

I found out a few years ago now a rotor that has the same distance of offset. I had the hub of the rotor chamfered to suit the alfa hub and the PCD re drilled and it fitted up a treat. All it needed was a new custom brake line and a new bracket to accommodate the calliper to suit the rotor.

Then I found out about a year or two later someone else did the same exact brake upgrade.
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Colin Edwards

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Re: Alfa 75 brake upgrade
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2017, 12:50:50 PM »
I'm considering replacing the EBC Greens on my 75 3.0.  For general road use they seem to need a bit too much warming up for consistent braking.  Are the DS2500's better or worse in this regard?  Who in Melbourne stocks DS2500 pads for the 75 3.0?
Thanks in advance!
Present
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alanm

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Re: Alfa 75 brake upgrade
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2017, 06:19:08 AM »
I have DS2500s on our 75 TS and I think they are very good.
They have worked very well in sprints and on the road - no warming up required at all.
I bought the first set from a company in Sydney, the second set from EB Spares.
Al
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LaStregaNera

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Re: Alfa 75 brake upgrade
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2017, 11:16:10 AM »
I've been running DS2500 as a road pad for probably 7 years now - they're great. They can feel a little lacking on the very first stop of a drive, but given that that's usually at the end of my street, it's not an issue - from then on they're excellent.
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Colin Edwards

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Re: Alfa 75 brake upgrade
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2017, 03:31:56 PM »
Looks like the DS2500's are the go.  I'll give them a try - thanks!!
Present
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1987 75 3.0

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julianB

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Re: Alfa 75 brake upgrade
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2017, 12:00:15 PM »
I'm pretty sure the MC that you need to be looking for if you go down the path of a caliper change is a 25mm ATE one off an E28 5 series.
The BMW e30 guys change to this MC even when they keep the stock calipers- the extra few mm in the bore gives a much better pedal.

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Colin Edwards

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Re: Alfa 75 brake upgrade
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2017, 10:50:16 AM »
Well Santa responded to one of my requests.  Found a set of Ferodo DS2500 front pads under the tree.

Now bedded in they seem to grab a tad more than the EBC Red.  Now to test them at Broadford in January and see if brake fade has reduced.
Present
2020 Giulietta Veloce
2018 Abarth 124 Spider
1987 75 3.0

Past
2015 Giulietta QV
2009 159 3.2 Ti Q4
2012 Giulietta TCT Veloce
2006 147 Ti 2 door Selespeed
1979 Alfasud Ti 1.5