Changing Brake Master Cylinder 91 164 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2010, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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Changing Brake Master Cylinder 91 164

Project for the day troubleshoot spongy brake pedal problem on Black Beauty.

Pressure bleeding brakes does not cure problem so guess I will try verifying brake master cylinder is/is not the problem.

Also get ABS light when starting off at the 15 mph point.

Two different issues but pesky just the same.

Coffee break now next bleed new master cylinder.

I installed a new spare Beck/Arnley 072-8900 Made in Italy steel master cylinder I had in stock to replace the original AR 60760126 Aluminum master cylinder.

Note this is not M/C used on 24v models

My procedure for changing 91-93 Alfa 164 brake master cylinder (94-95 models should be very similiar):
Tools:
Large adjustable wrench/pliers to remove radiator thermal switch
10mm socket set up to remove air cleaner box and brake line clamp
11mm brake line wrench and 11mm or 7/16" crowsfoot
13mm universal socket and extension set up
17mm socket or correct size metric allen wrench to remove port plugs on ABS models.
Water pump pliers to squeeze coolant tank hose clamps.
Proper screwdrivers.
Brake bleeder set up
Jack. jack stands



Drain most of coolant by removing cooling fan thermal switch in radiator (12v models in left side in front of air cleaner).
Remove air cleaner top and bottom sections.
Remove coolant tank.
Remove air inlet hose.
Disconnect heater hose at coolant tank tee if possible (later models have molded tee so can't do that) to get more room to access master cylinder area.
Disconnect clamp holding brake reservoir.
Remove metal clamp holding ABS brake lines in front of master cylinder (none on 164B).
Loosen/disconnect brake lines at master cylinder with a 11mm brake line wrench (2 on ABS models, 4 on non-ABS 164B model). Once loose I used a 7/16" flare nut crowsfoot as a finger wrench to fully disconnect.
Disconnect wiring to pressure switch on M/C on 164S/Q models.
Remove two 13mm nuts and washers holding M/C to brake booster.
Note if car a 5-speed suck out some fluid below clutch master supply port or make a mess and then remove clutch master fluid supply hose from brake reservoir.
Remove brake M/C, hoses and reservoir as an assembly.
Note: there is a rubber sealing ring on face of M/C or it maybe stuck on face of booster do not lose it.
Drain reservoir, pop hose elbows out of rubber grommets in M/C.
Replace hoses if bad.
Clean out inside of reservoir and inside of cap float.
Transfer port plugs/pressure switch if equipped from old master to new master.
Lube and push in supply hose elbows into rubber grommets.
Only fill reservoir to below clutch master supply port with fluid and bench bleed master reinstall rubber shipping plugs.
Check to be sure booster sealing ring in face of new master.Insert M/C with reservoir back onto booster.
Install loosely the washers and nuts.
Remove shipping plugs again and Install brake lines to M/C and once all fittings started then final tighten lines and mounting nuts.
Install clutch master supply hose if so equipped.
Reclamp reservoir and fill with fluid , leave float cap off until after brakes and clutch are bled.
I use pressure bleeder to bled brakes and clutch.
Access each brake caliper and bleed one at a time until clear fluid.
When doing rears ensure suspension in weight on wheels position by jacking up each strut so rear brake valve in cross member will open allowing fluid to rear calipers.
Be sure fluid level above clutch supply port and access clutch slave and bled it. It maybe necessary to get a good bleed to remove bracket from tranny and elevate slave.
Reinstall slave and check clutch pedal operation.
Once bleeding done set level in reservoir low enough so you can slowly install float and cap and not make a mess.
Reinstall heater hose(s), coolant tank, inlet hose and air cleaner.
Fill coolant tank and bleed air out of engine by opening bleeder fitting on top of thermostat. Try not to get coolant on belts.
Start engine, idle up to operating temp and recheck coolant level.
Test brakes and go for a test drive.



Flushed and pressure bled brake system and now with new master cylinder I have good solid brake pedal now.

Will have to start reading out each ABS sensor wiring next and see if I can find one not up to snuff.
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Ciao, Alfisto Steve
Lakeland, Florida
Virginia Beach, Virginia
AROC 164 Tech Advisor

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Alfa Semi-Daily driver: USA model - BB2 1991 164S Black Beauty II ALFISTO [U]

[U] BB1 1991 164L w/S engine and A/T now excess to inventory [U]

Daily driver and parts hauler but not car hauler 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4.7L H.O. V-8

"A day without an Alfa whine is like a day without sunshine"

Last edited by Alfisto Steve; 02-24-2010 at 07:08 AM. Reason: adding info
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2010, 07:16 AM
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Maybe clamp off fluid lines to see if pedal improves? EDIT: Well, obviously not now you have changed the m/c, but you sneakily retro-edited your message

My project 164 feels like the brake pads are made of wood. I had all four discs machined, but the shop left quite a coarse pattern on the disc, which doesn't seem to be wearing off (maybe they forgot these discs are harder than modern types, I believe). I also suspect mine would be worse than yours because I have a cross-rod running across the bodyshell - pedal on the right, master cylinder on the left. That must surely introduce some flex.

All the time I've worked on brakes, I've had spongy problems.
I suspect two things: coatings on backs of pads (either copper grease, or silicone goo - the latter being very effective at stopping squeals but seeming to make the spongy problem worse)
and the other thing being pads not bedded-in - can take a long time to bed in pads these days, I find.


My 156 has SUPER-feeling brakes. Neither of the two things apply.

The calipers are more robust-looking and the discs are larger (and, all four discs are new - the originals had worn out, I think modern discs are softer than the old. Pads are new and un-coated). The car itself is, of course, smaller and lighter, so it stands to reason that the brakes would be awesome. A friend lives on a country road. I had the car wound up a bit (three figures in your money) and suddenly realised I was about to pass his driveway. Well, I stood on the pedal hard, and slowed from 170 to 40 in what seemed like about 20 metres. Of course the iPhone on the seat went flying, my sunglasses came off, and even the carpet mats moved. The ABS and EBD, not to mention stability program as well, as I turned into the gravel driveway at 40km/h, was wonderful.

I think some of these improvements were achieved in the series-II 164 ('94-) (which probably has the same discs and calipers as my 156 anyway) and I think Jason has written in length about it.

Most of the time I drive economically and therefore hardly use brakes anyway. That could be one of the reasons I have so many problems with brakes.

-Alex

Momentarily Alfaless
'07 CLS 550, '09 500 Lounge Dualogic, '71 850 Coupe, '03 Stilo Abarth Selespeed

Last edited by AlexGS; 02-23-2010 at 06:34 PM.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2010, 07:20 AM
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sliding pins

Check the sliding pins at the calipers. Seized pins will cause spongy brakes.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2010, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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My pressure bleeder and 164 brake valve linkage

Picture of my one man pressure bleeder that uses tire pressure to pressurize.

I also found a missing bushing in right side link for brake proportioning valve in rear cross member. Lucky I had a new one I got off ebay recently so just dropped rear cross member down enough to get long suspension link bolt out and replaced right side bracket.

Extra rusty links in pix off Old Nero to show complete assembly.
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Ciao, Alfisto Steve
Lakeland, Florida
Virginia Beach, Virginia
AROC 164 Tech Advisor

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Alfa Semi-Daily driver: USA model - BB2 1991 164S Black Beauty II ALFISTO [U]

[U] BB1 1991 164L w/S engine and A/T now excess to inventory [U]

Daily driver and parts hauler but not car hauler 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4.7L H.O. V-8

"A day without an Alfa whine is like a day without sunshine"

Last edited by Alfisto Steve; 02-23-2010 at 05:36 PM.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2010, 09:16 PM
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My eBay NOS Beck Arnley M/C has been one of the best things that I have done to my car. Not having slightly dragging brakes is a (not so) surprising worthwhile expenditure of time and effort.
Charles

-'91 164L 5 speed (sold sadly) -'04 Volvo XC70 -'97 Mazda Miata -'04 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer V8 -'07 Honda Odyssey EX-L
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChazzyD View Post
My eBay NOS Beck Arnley M/C has been one of the best things that I have done to my car. Not having slightly dragging brakes is a (not so) surprising worthwhile expenditure of time and effort.
Charles
Interesting. An aluminium master cylinder like the original sounds like a great idea. The times I've had to replace a master cylinder on other cars, they have all been cast iron and corroded (pits where the pistons rest). So, what goes wrong with the original? Does it corrode as well?

-Alex

Momentarily Alfaless
'07 CLS 550, '09 500 Lounge Dualogic, '71 850 Coupe, '03 Stilo Abarth Selespeed
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexGS View Post
Interesting. An aluminium master cylinder like the original sounds like a great idea. The times I've had to replace a master cylinder on other cars, they have all been cast iron and corroded (pits where the pistons rest). So, what goes wrong with the original? Does it corrode as well?

-Alex
I haven't taken one apart but usually it is just full of crude from dirty fluid and rubber that cause them to not work right or cause brakes to drag.

I need to see what inside looks like and find a kit to rebuild them even though nobody wants to fess up to what kit part number would be. They had to build them so there has to be parts to fix em somewhere.

Ciao, Alfisto Steve
Lakeland, Florida
Virginia Beach, Virginia
AROC 164 Tech Advisor

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Alfa Semi-Daily driver: USA model - BB2 1991 164S Black Beauty II ALFISTO [U]

[U] BB1 1991 164L w/S engine and A/T now excess to inventory [U]

Daily driver and parts hauler but not car hauler 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4.7L H.O. V-8

"A day without an Alfa whine is like a day without sunshine"
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 10:04 AM
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Steve,

I'm anxious to hear your method for identifying which ABS wheel sensor is bad. I changed the ABS pump in my '92L to cure the ANTI LOCK light always on problem, now the system works fine as long as the roads are dry. The system currently faults out anytime it's raining or snowing which kind of defeats the purpose......

Garret
'91 164S, '92 164L, '92 164S parts car, '82 RX7, '02 Outback
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 07:09 AM
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Could someone advise as to what size the brake line fittings that go into the master cylinder are? I am looking at the dorman kit to help bench bleed the master cylinder and I need to know what size fittings i am going to need. I am assuming if the outer nut is 11mm that the thread is 10m, am i correct? Thanks

Steve
White 91,164L

Last edited by daytona90t; 06-03-2010 at 07:12 AM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daytona90t View Post
Could someone advise as to what size the brake line fittings that go into the master cylinder are? I am looking at the dorman kit to help bench bleed the master cylinder and I need to know what size fittings i am going to need. I am assuming if the outer nut is 11mm that the thread is 10m, am i correct? Thanks
Same as small one you used on brake lines.

Ciao, Alfisto Steve
Lakeland, Florida
Virginia Beach, Virginia
AROC 164 Tech Advisor

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Alfa Semi-Daily driver: USA model - BB2 1991 164S Black Beauty II ALFISTO [U]

[U] BB1 1991 164L w/S engine and A/T now excess to inventory [U]

Daily driver and parts hauler but not car hauler 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4.7L H.O. V-8

"A day without an Alfa whine is like a day without sunshine"
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 09:54 AM
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Thanks Steve, that is what i figured.

Steve
White 91,164L
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 01:04 PM
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Rust in the ferrous mc can come from not changing the fluid often enough. That fluid unfortunately sucks up water, and that can cause rust. Castrol manufactures a low moisture activity (LMA) version of their fluid for better protection. Surest thing to do is change the fluid more often. I would imagine that the aluminum version of the mc wears faster, being softer material, and while corrosion can occur in aluminum, it doesn't seem to be as big a problem.

Del

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1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
1994 164LS (~Q)
1972 Morgan 27

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 11:16 AM
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WOW! Thanx. Helps me change mine now! Anyway i am not gonna touch these. Job for the mech.


Love the BB guyz here! so helpful!

old account. No longer in use.
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