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I've got my 83 Spider at a local brake shop. For front brakes, I bought regular ole carbon pads (for 69-94 it says) from Centerline. The brake shop says they're too thick!

Common problem? Workaround?

I bought rear brakes from someone off this board, and the guy says they definitely don't work. So I guess I'm eating that cost and starting over.

Thoughts on the thickness issue?
 

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Sorry but why the heck is the car at a shop for changing brake pads?

Pete
 

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Unless Centerline sent you the wrong pads, it sounds like they aren't fully retracting the piston.

Second the motion above on doing this sort of thing yourself in the future. With the proper tools, you can probably swap the brake pads faster than you could drive to the shop and back.
 

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When I bought my 86 it had been sitting for 17 years so I just pulled all the calipers and rebuilt them. Lots of rust and crud preventing the pistons from working properly and even after cleaning everything up the pistons had to be bottomed out ALL THE WAY to accept the new pads. Sounds to me like this mechanic needs a bit more practice or schooling....
 

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Agree with whats been said on here, the pads especially the rears are a tight fit so the pistons do need to be retracted fully, I had to use a spreader tool for the rears and it worked really well, much less likely to damage anything and not a lot of cash, vehicle that don't get a lot of use tend to suffer with this problem more BTW it is an easy job and a great place to start learning, just remember to keep an eye on the fluid reservoir level as you push the piston back, last thing you want is that stuff on your paintwork...

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Mekanik-piston-spreader-seperator-calliper/dp/B01C8YZH7G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1530817409&sr=8-2&keywords=spreader+tool+brake+pads
 

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Sorry but why the heck is the car at a shop for changing brake pads?
I'll take a wild guess and say it's because the brake pads need changing.

A piston dust boot that gets dislodged when retracting the pistons can also prevent installation.
 

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I just get original ATE pads and they fit and work as designed....(15mm thick, fronts and rears according to ATE)

fronts: ATE 13.0460-6027.2...18 euros
rears: ATE 13.0460-3011.2...23 euros
and if you need handbrake shoes: ATE 03.0137-0149.2
no black magic involved.

I understand though ATE original parts are easier to find in EU.

the piston retractor BMX links to, works just fine (and at the same time quickly shows you if both pistons are retracting nicely, as designed to do!...and saves you slipping with the big ol' screwdriver and punching a hole in the dustboot;))
 

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Agree with whats been said on here, the pads especially the rears are a tight fit so the pistons do need to be retracted fully, I had to use a spreader tool for the rears and it worked really well, much less likely to damage anything and not a lot of cash, vehicle that don't get a lot of use tend to suffer with this problem more BTW it is an easy job and a great place to start learning, just remember to keep an eye on the fluid reservoir level as you push the piston back, last thing you want is that stuff on your paintwork...

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Mekanik-piston-spreader-seperator-calliper/dp/B01C8YZH7G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1530817409&sr=8-2&keywords=spreader+tool+brake+pads
Looks like a nice tool at great price. Based on a bit of searching it seems that same style spreader costs more in the USA.

Harbor Freight Disc Brake Pad Piston Compressor, Item 68973 @ $6.99

 

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Most shops just use a large flat screw driver and do one pad at a time. Not saying it's the best way to push a piston back but it works and time costs money ...

Maybe I'm a control freak, but there a very few mechanics that I let touch my Alfas ... they don't have the patience for these fancy fancy Italian things. Plus do you really want them road testing your "sports car" ... ? ... been there and done that as the mechanic and great fun 😄
Pete
 

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Are you proposing that every time your car needs brake pads you should buy new calipers? ... I've read it all now!here is nothing wrong with the OPs calipers, just changing pads.
Pete
No...I suspect the problem is with hung up pistons... it is just not worth screwing around with: you raced Alfas if installing the correct pads does not cure the problem ...I do not see any other alternative if all else functions properly... For less then a really good set of pads from Performatek - Online Catalog photo from our race tream >:)>:)
 

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Front brake pads too thick

Just a quick note for others to make their own conclusions.

I just received new front brake pads. I cannot get them to fit.

Here are photos so you can see how large they are and determine for yourself if the pistons could be pushed in far enough to allow them to clear the disk.
 

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Alfa doesn't leave any play I. This area. I like to use a C-clamp to compress caliper piston carefully and fully. Make sure dust boot is not interfering with full compression... they will fit!
 
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