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Discussion Starter #1
My rear brakes froze up on my way home from work today. If this has happened to anyone, I would be grateful to hear about it and what is going on.

The car would bog down in between gears and come to a stop by itself when coasting. The last few blocks were a real strain on my engine and when I got home I looked at all my brakes and both my rear discs were red hot. Like a race car. A little visible smoke, but not too much. A little pad smell, but not that bad either. Since they are both equally red, I would suspect the emergency brake mechanism?

Other worries now are, are my rear pads or calipers damaged? I'm sure the disc can take that kind of heat for a long time, but how about the pads and discs.

I hope this is a known failure and someone knows about it. I could use a starting point at what to do next.

Thanks,
 

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Since they are both equally red, I would suspect the emergency brake mechanism?
I would suspect that the flex line has become old and internally swollen, so acting as a one-way valve. Or perhaps the pressure limiting valve has somehow malfunctioned (it's located approximately above the RH axle tube).

The E brake is a drum brake and isn't that powerful; I doubt it could generate enough heat to make the disks glow

If the front disks aren't heating up, then it isn't your master cylinder.
 

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Don't drive her until you change the flex line. Always happens to ALFA's
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your replies. I have ordered a rear flex line today. Should be able to get to it next weekend when it arrives. It's probably never been changed in it's life.

Do you think the calipers have survived a mile or two of that kind of heat?

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I would take the rotors to a machine shop to measure for trueness and skim if necessary. I would also replace the brake fluid and inspect the pads. Then see if the brakes work and don't drag or leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good suggestions. I should have thrown in a set of pads to my order. Maybe I can examine them and scrape the glaze off and put them back in. Today while tinkering with my other Alfa, I noticed the wheel weights that were glued to the wheel had fallen off. One side was in my driveway and the other one long gone.

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I have unused rear pads that you can have for 50% of what you would have paid for new ones.
 

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Calipers will be fine. Pads might be okay too, most definitely bedded in :)

Discs, if the surface got hot enough to drag the metal, may need skimming or replacement ... but they have to get super hot to do that (been there done that with my Sud race car, years ago, but they still worked okay)
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I received my new hose this week and started to take the old one off. I'm having trouble with the nut at the axle side. It's soaking in PB Blaster. The nut on the body side came off and I separated the hose. No fluid came out. None at all. What up? The reservoir is full at the MC.

There is a device a few inches from the connection on the body of the car. I will stop working on it until I hear back. Is there something more serious going on?

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Is that the brass T-fitting? I think I pulled it off the axle, stuck it in a vise, and used some heat. New ones are available if you screw it up.

That device is the inline brake pressure regulator: it limits pressure to the rear brakes. Most likely problem is that your hose is blocked, so start there.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The old hose is out. I could not blow air through the hose. I cut it open and it's just dried mush inside.

The brass T fitting on the axle rotated a bit, so I wedged a wrench behind it and broke the nut free.

Fluid does not come pouring out of the upper connector though. I was expecting to have to catch the fluid in a can when the upper connection of the hose came free of the tube nut on the hard line. Will this pressure regulator let in the fluid when the brakes are applied? So pumping the brakes will force the fluid past the regulator?
 

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Do you get brake fluid out of the pipe if you have someone push the brake pedal, gently?

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I did not do that. The new brake line is in, but only finger tight, in case I need to go back in there. I also didn't have a partner today. I will get my son to help me in a few days. I'm done for the day anyway.
 

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Fluid does not come pouring out of the upper connector though. I was expecting to have to catch the fluid in a can when the upper connection of the hose came free of the tube nut on the hard line. Will this pressure regulator let in the fluid when the brakes are applied? So pumping the brakes will force the fluid past the regulator?
I mean, it should. You probably found the problem with the hose, so most likely the pressure regulator is fine. I guess you'll find out when you try to bleed the brakes.

If for some reason it's bad, Classic Alfa has them available new.
 

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iachella said:
Fluid does not come pouring out of the upper connector though. I was expecting to have to catch the fluid in a can when the upper connection of the hose came free of the tube nut on the hard line.
It does seem odd that some brake fluid didn't come out when you took out the flex hose. However, the fact that the old flex hose was collapsed does suggest that it was acting as a one-way valve and causing your brakes to lock on.

At this point, you could do either of two things:

- Just tighten up the new flex hose fittings and try to bleed the brakes. If they bleed normally (e.g., fluid comes out the bleed screws) they everything is probably OK. Proceed with road testing.

- Perhaps the pressure limiter is plugged too. Tighten the upper connector of the new flex hose, disconnect the lower flex hose connection, put a catch basin under the flex hose and pump the brake pedal. If fluid comes out, then the pressure limiter isn't plugged. Proceed with re-assembly, bleeding, road testing.
 
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