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Interesting arguments:

New calipers from some unknown source.

Rebuilt calipers by who knows who in an emerging country with unknown skills and tools.

Rebuilding them yourself, possibly with no prior experience and inadequate tooling.

Choose your poison...

As far as piston size difference, it should be pretty easy to calculate. My guess is that it's negligible. But I believe the Alfa brake bias is adjustable.

Anyway, I absolutely agree that brakes are not to be trivialized. Thought and care is the key when modifying the system.
 

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--ADMINISTRATOR--chiuso per ferie
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They are actually remanufactured in Carson City, California.


Well I'll be darned! I'm shocked that anything manufactured in Cali could be price competitive! So much for my xenophobic undertones...

That makes me happy...
 

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They are actually remanufactured in Carson City, California.
For what it's worth, the town in California is simply "Carson". Carson City is in Nevada.

gprocket said:
I'm shocked that anything manufactured in Cali could be price competitive!
Yea, you've got a point. But rebuilding brake calipers isn't heavy manufacturing; it isn't as if they are making calipers from iron ore, with the resulting pollution from a foundry operation.
 

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Push hard and live
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A brief technical observation.

In normal street driving where zero emergencies occur, you’ll probably never notice any difference. In an emergency stop, possibly as you enter a corner a bit quickly, and something jumps out in front of you, there is a slight chance the rear brakes will lock up before the fronts, triggering a sudden oversteer departure, hurling you over the adjacent cliff and to a fiery end 1,000 feet below.

On my Montreal, which used essentially the same brakes as an early 70’s Spider, the weight of the car exceeded the ability of the front brakes to reliably stop the car. So, I swapped to 4-piston BMW calipers with nearly double the friction surface. Problem solved.

You’ll be fine. But, the OE configuration would have been only a tiny difference in cost.
 

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For what it's worth, the town in California is simply "Carson". Carson City is in Nevada.



Yea, you've got a point. But rebuilding brake calipers isn't heavy manufacturing; it isn't as if they are making calipers from iron ore, with the resulting pollution from a foundry operation.
Yeah. I’m in Carson City. Pleeeeeeze don’t confuse us with California. We PUBLICLY acknowledge our tax-paying brothels....
 

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Richard Jemison
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Back to aftermarket rear calipers. I use these on both my racecars. and have for many years. The Pads in them I toss and only use Factory ATE pads on the rear and front. Have race pads in the trailer but don`t use them.
In the GTV6 GT2 racecar the front brakes were Wilwood and I used Wilwood`s lower temp race pads in those.
 

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I have John at Goldline Brakes in Port Orchard rebuild mine. He used to be in Seattle. The cost of business in Seattle forced him to move, but better for me. He does terrific work and is well respected.
877) 347-2225 • [email protected] • 1346 SW Chipmunk Hill Ln, Port Orchard, WA 98367
 

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So most of the concern is the larger piston size which according to Force = Pressure x Area means you now have altered your brake balance in a nasty way, i.e. you have more rear brake which could imply a tendency to lock the rear wheels => spin.

There are lots of factors involved here, such brake disc surface quality, brake pad compound, condition of the proportioning valve, etc.

BUT as this is a 105/115 series car there is a bit of luck on your side, because unless Alfa changed the design, your proportioning valve IS adjustable. I've used one as an adjustable brake proportioning valve in my Sud that I raced. Sure it requires a spanner to adjust, but it was cheap :)

BUT how much to adjust is the question. I did a test session at my local race track to set mine ...


I admire the ingenuity but I also don't understand people who purchase Rock Auto new brake calipers. Brake calipers in my book are not something you replace, but rebuild (an irrational fear of rebuilding calipers is out there in the AlfaBB world, and it makes no sense as they are so unbelievably simple if you can change a spark plug you can replace seals. And if you stuff it up, they usually leak when you are bleeding the system). So if stuffed, I would have rung a wrecker and got another set of calipers ... but I'm also a New Zealander and you don't replace things over here, you rebuild. Its just how I grew up
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #30
I didn’t rebuild the ATE brakes, as both were frozen shut and when I managed to get the pistons out, both the pistons and the bore were rusted and pitted. It was not worth the time, cost and effort at this moment, as I wanted to drive my new toy.

When I have some free time, I will experiment with the braking to see if there is an issue with the bias. But for now, I am am busy with fixing the tachometer and replacing the ugly radio and blown speakers. I am going to likely use a hidden Bluetooth adapter attached to the Amp and delete the radio all together.

I am also going to replace the windshield as it has scratches from the windshield wipers. I managed to pick up a near perfect windshield from a 1986 Spider at a local junkyard for $45. Got all the chrome trim for $20. Don’t need it as mine looks brand new, but figured why not. I couldn’t believe how easy removing the windshield was.

I need to find a better headlight solution before I put the Carello headlight covers back on as the current lights are woefully dim at night.

I am sure I will find plenty of other things to tinker with in the future.
 

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I need to find a better headlight solution before I put the Carello headlight covers back on as the current lights are woefully dim at night.
Lots written on the BB on the topic of headlights. Two areas to explore:

- Better grounds. The stock grounding system is laughable.

- Adding relays to the circuit so the column-mounted switch contacts aren't carrying the full current.

Beyond that, you can install halogen, xenon, LED or whatever bulbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Thanks for the info. I plan on using a relay and moving the light switch to the empty slot next to the hazards button. Then I am going to remove the stupid stalk from the steering column. Why would they design the turn signal stalk shorter than the light stalk. Bad ergonomic design. I will put a foot mounted switch for the high beam switch, which is a better design in my book.

Plenty of things to keep me entertained. I will likely replace the interior with a custom fabricated one down the road and change the paint color as well. There are a ton of custom upholstery and hot rod shops in the Dallas area. But since the interior in it now is brand new, albeit original design, it’s not a pressing matter. The car is rust free and only a few paint chips, so also not pressing either, but I think the red is too overdone. I am thinking something a little more subtle like a nice metallic silver or blue.

For now, I am just enjoying tinkering with it. This forum has been a blast to read and provides plenty of inspiration.
 

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...
I admire the ingenuity but I also don't understand people who purchase Rock Auto new brake calipers. Brake calipers in my book are not something you replace, but rebuild (an irrational fear of rebuilding calipers is out there in the AlfaBB world, and it makes no sense as they are so unbelievably simple ...
It's simple economics: The rebuild kits cost more than the rebuilt calipers...
 

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Thanks for the info. I plan on using a relay and moving the light switch to the empty slot next to the hazards button. Then I am going to remove the stupid stalk from the steering column. Why would they design the turn signal stalk shorter than the light stalk. Bad ergonomic design.
Keep in mind that the turnsignal and headlight switches are both contained in the same unit; you can't readily remove only the headlight switch. But you could cut off the headlight stalk if you intend to use aftermarket on-off and dimmer switches. Or remove the integrated switch entirely and install one of these for the turn signals:


But my advice is not to mess with it. You'll get used to the two stalks.
 

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It's simple economics: The rebuild kits cost more than the rebuilt calipers..
And the reason we rebuild everything over here in little NZ, is we are a tiny country and there is no economic business sense selling rebuilt calipers for the tiny number of 105 Alfas over here.

So I guess if I lived in America, I'd be replacing things too
Pete
 
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And the reason we rebuild everything over here in little NZ, is we are a tiny country and there is no economic business sense selling rebuilt calipers for the tiny number of 105 Alfas over here.

So I guess if I lived in America, I'd be replacing things too
Pete
As an American with 22 years automotive experience I’ve always said two things you never go cheap on, tires and brakes. That said, I cannot believe nobody mentioned those rotors. Please tell me you placed the calipers on only for reference, and then put new rotors on it. You’ve got a couple ridges there taller than Everest. If not after a couple hundred miles you’re going to destroy the new pads. Btw, when my 84 needed brakes I went Ferado all the way around, and I don’t believe in turning rotors, new every time. Have fun with it.
 

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Piston Bore size is different, Those Chinese knock offs are Knock offs of Brazilian Varga calipers that were for Brazilian & Mexican made VW Beetles . They have a 40mm piston Bore and the original Alfa Spider rears have a 38mm piston bore, You may upset the front to rear bias. They will work fine in easy driving. Your brake pedal will have a slightly longer travel to displace the extra fluid used in the larger bore.
 

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For what it's worth, the town in California is simply "Carson". Carson City is in Nevada.



Yea, you've got a point. But rebuilding brake calipers isn't heavy manufacturing; it isn't as if they are making calipers from iron ore, with the resulting pollution from a foundry operation.

Centric Parts moved their caliper remanufacturing facility to Mexico.
 

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Thanks for the info. I plan on using a relay and moving the light switch to the empty slot next to the hazards button. Then I am going to remove the stupid stalk from the steering column. Why would they design the turn signal stalk shorter than the light stalk. Bad ergonomic design. I will put a foot mounted switch for the high beam switch, which is a better design in my book.

Plenty of things to keep me entertained. I will likely replace the interior with a custom fabricated one down the road and change the paint color as well. There are a ton of custom upholstery and hot rod shops in the Dallas area. But since the interior in it now is brand new, albeit original design, it’s not a pressing matter. The car is rust free and only a few paint chips, so also not pressing either, but I think the red is too overdone. I am thinking something a little more subtle like a nice metallic silver or blue.

For now, I am just enjoying tinkering with it. This forum has been a blast to read and provides plenty of inspiration.
I have to agree re: headlight lever vs turn signals. I've only had my '79 spider a short while, but every time I drive it, I hit the light lever instead of the turn signal unless I focus very deliberately. Anything that diverts my attention from driving is a minus. Will I, must I, adjust? Who knows? I'm SO new to the Alfa universe that only time will tell. Like Jeff, this forum is a blast and an inspiration to me. Thank God I sold my insanely fast motorcycle and discovered this spider.
 
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