Replacing Brake Pads for Dummies - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Replacing Brake Pads for Dummies

Hello All,

Although it might seem simple, there was a time that I did not know how to do this.

With the help of mcola, and this board, like every other job I have done on the car, I worked up the courage and went at it.

I thought I would post a simple procedure for replacing the pads.

If you are uncomfortable in any way, bring your car to any shop and they can replace the pads easily. In that case, this will help you get a better idea of the amount of work they are about to do and what they are about to charge.

If I have missed something or there is a better way, let me know and I will edit the thread.

As this is a brake related item, procede at own risk.

Good luck and let's start!

Vin

Using your best turkey baster, remove some oil from the brake resevoir. This will eliminate the possiblity of the resevoir overflowing later on in the precedure.
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I removed enough that I felt would leave enough room in the resevoir.
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Place car on jackstands.
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Remove tire and if working on the fronts, like in this picture, rotate the calipers to the outside to give you better working area.
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Last edited by Vintre; 05-14-2012 at 12:20 PM.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Using a punch, slide the holding pin out enough to get a hold of it.
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Using your tool of choice, pull the pin out.
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You will see that the spring clip is now loose from the pin being removed.
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Remove 2nd pin and now the spring clip can be removed.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Pins and clip removed.
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I used a flat head screwdriver, push the pads back slightly, so that you can pull them out.
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Remove the old pads.
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I used a flat metal rasp here but anything that will fit in and reach will do. Move the pisont back a little, not too much, so that there will be enough room to insert the new thicker pads. These 2 last steps forces the brake fluid back up into the resevoir. If there was too much in the resevoir to begin with, it would overflow at this point.
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1991 Spider Veloce - Red on Tan - Rosa Bionda
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Using a metal cleaner, I cleaned, top and bottom, where the new pads would sit. There was alot of dust and dirt in there.
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It is probably not needed here, but my rule of thumb when re assembling most things on the car is if there will be metal on metal touching I coat both with anti seize. Here placing anti seize, top and bottom of where new pad will sit.
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Anti seize on brake pad area.
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To reduce or eliminate brake squeak, I applied dielectric grease on the back of the pad where the piston comes into contact.
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As recommeded by boccacia, in hindsight, I would use brake pad anti squeak from your local parts store. While the dielectric grease was recommended, using material designed for that purpose makes more sense.

However, I would still coat the entire back of the pad as shown on the next page.

This picture shows the brake pad quiet material but not on Alfa pads.
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1991 Spider Veloce - Red on Tan - Rosa Bionda
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Back of pad with dielectric grease.
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Insert one of the pads. I suppose ther is no reason why you can't insert both pads at this point, I didn't but you could.
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Apply anti seize on the pins.
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Insert the spring clip and one of the pins.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Insert 2nd pin.
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Finished one side. Time to do the other.
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Once all pads are replaced, pump the brakes a few times until you feel they are firm again and re fill the resevoir.
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Done.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 12:20 PM
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I need to replace the brakes on my '84 and didn't think it would be this easy. Thanks for great step-by-step instructions.

David

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeloceDuetto View Post
I need to replace the brakes on my '84 and didn't think it would be this easy. Thanks for great step-by-step instructions.

David
Hello David,

Glad it will help you. Let us know how it goes.

Vin

1991 Spider Veloce - Red on Tan - Rosa Bionda
1987 Spider Quadrifoglio - Red on Grey - Rosa - Sold
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 02:37 PM
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Nicely illustrated post. But why do you use dielectric grease instead of the purpose made anti-squeak brake pad stuff?

Putting grease right next to my discs would make me nervous. The Disc Brake Quiet stuff dries and isn't slippery.......................................... ..

Brake pads and calipers get roaring hot - doesn't the heat cook the grease off?

(note - illustration is generic - those aren't Alfa pads.)
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 02:47 PM
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Indeed: do not use normal grease or anti-sieze around brakes. If you want to use anti squeal on the rear of the pads there are appropriate sprays or pastes. High temp brake lubricant can be used on the pin and spring contact points.

Dielectric grease is only meant for electrical parts. If those lubes you use melt onto the disc you're gonna have an unpleasant surprise.

Tom

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boccaccia View Post
But why do you use dielectric grease instead of the purpose made anti-squeak brake pad stuff?
I used the dielectric grease on a recommendation from from my daily driver mechanic.

I will ask him again if there is any danger and if so, I will replace them.

Going forward, I would say using the anti squeak for brakes is a better idea as there is no question that, that is its purprose.

I can't see any danger in the use of the anti seize. Don't think it really does anything anyways. Like I said, just a rule of thumb I have, metal on metal.

Thanks for the replies, I will revise the post.

Vin

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 07:10 AM
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Vince is using what most "old time" mechanics use for these applications. It what I was taught back in the day before there were specific products to kill brake squeel.

The use of anti-sieze on the edge of the pad and the pins is excellent as it's a high temp lube used on bolts from your engine to gas turbines. Very good stuff and the carrier that has the actual anti-sieze stuff kind of boils off over time with heat.

Grease on the back of the pad just gets sticky and is fine for a DD road car. Track cars need something different on the pad backs as they transfer more heat to the caliper.

Jon '74 GTV RIP Tifosi

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 07:21 AM
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Great writeup, Vin!

Might I add that this is the perfect time to rid the hydraulic system of most of the old fluid. To do this, first suck out most of the fluid in the reservoir. Then, remove the outer pad only then loosen the caliper bleed screw. Pushing the piston back in now will expel most of the fluid from the caliper outer chamber. Tighten the bleed screw and install the outer pad. Remove the inner pad and loosen the bleed screw. Pushing the piston back in now will expel most of the fluid from the caliper inner chamber. Install the inner pad. Do NOT pump the brakes yet. Repeat for the other three calipers then suck out as much of the fluid in the reservoir as possible. Top up the reservoir with fresh fluid THEN pump the brakes to get a pedal. Top up the reservoir as necessary.
This method will change most of the fluid in the system while at the same time preventing the fluid in the calipers (the highest loaded and perhaps the worst condition fluid in the system) from 'contaminating' the rest of the system, including the master cylinder.

I put a very light coating of lithium grease on the caliper pad seats. Not so much as a lubricant but as a moisture barrier to prevent corrosion.

Jim

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 07:38 AM
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great write up in deed. Can you recommend pads for 1990 spider quad? I was thinking of going to the International. Do you recommend new pins and springs too? Seem like an inexpensive buy to replace.

Jeff
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for their input and to papajam for the "while your at it, it's a good idea to.........". It's the sharing of experience that makes this Board a great place to be a part of.

Sorry, I don't have part numbers of pads that fit our vehicles. I would stick with the usual suppliers and yes, the pins and clips are cheap if you wan't to replace those as well.

If it helps this is the box mine came in. The local supplier put their own label on it, but you can see they came from PBR and I hand wrote the part number that is under the label, 7219-D466.

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I bought from a local supplier in Ontario, which means waaaaaaaayyyyy more expensive than our usual suppliers, but my brakes were squealing like a pig and if there are 2 things I think make a car look cheap that is squealing brakes and oil leaks.

Well, at least I fixed the squealing brakes!

Vin
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