Alfa Romeo 147/GT Rear Brake Discs and Pads Change

Updated on January 19, 2019
Jason H Brown profile image

I have been a lifelong fan of repairing my own cars, it saves money and I learn as I go. My vehicles of choice are Alfa Romeo and SAAB.

2003 Alfa Romeo 1.6 Twin Spark.
2003 Alfa Romeo 1.6 Twin Spark.

Preparation

Always observe jack stand safety. On the 147 that there are simply too few places you can safely jack up the car, so adding an axle stand as support is often tricky. Never jack the car up using the rear suspension crossmembers, unless of course you are in the mood to replace them. I am not going to point out the jacking and stand points on your car, that falls outside of the scope of this article.

Tools You Will Need

  • Flat bladed screwdriver
  • 19mm, 17mm, 13mm spanners
  • Small wire brush
  • Lump hammer
  • Impact driver
  • Wheel brace and locking wheel nut key (if you have locking wheel nuts)
  • Caliper rewind tool

Other Helpful Tools to Have:

Penetrating oil is essential. Standard WD40 doesn’t cut it. Try PlusGas or WD40 specialist fast-release penetrant; there are also many other brands available.

You'll also need some red or blue threadlocking compound for the slider bolts.

Wear gloves when working on the car. It’s so much easier to clean yourself up afterwards. I would also advise a decent dust mask when doing brakes. The break dust is really nasty.

The recommended tools
The recommended tools

New Parts

Click thumbnail to view full-size

What Replacement Brakes Should I Get?

There are many brands for braking components out there today that have varying reviews in terms of performance, I always select brands that I perceive as premium brands when it comes to brakes because, quite simply, I want the confidence that when I hit the brake pedal I have the best possible components in place to stop my car. This is why I chose Brembo specifically.

My 147 now has Brembo all round for disks and pads, they’re good quality and they’re one of the few brands that provide the fitting kit with the pads. Remember those sprung steel pieces removed earlier? Brembo gives you shiny new ones as standard. Also, in the disk box is a pair of new positioning bolts.

Step 1: Take the Wheel Off

Once the car is safely on stands you can remove the rear wheel exposing the wheel disk behind it.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

As you can see from the pictures my disks were fairly well worn and had been an advisory on the MOT test as they were almost to tolerance. Also the caliper and carrier had heavy deposits of brake dust and a bit of corrosion. Later, once the disk had been removed it was apparent that the backing plate was also corroded and covered in brake dust.

Step 2: Remove Brake Caliper

The bolts indicated in the image below are the slider bolts that need to be removed to allow the caliper to be separated from the slider. These are fairly small and easy to get off. If in doubt penetrating oil is your friend but for these you really shouldn’t need it.

The corroded back plate covered in brake dust became visible when the disk was removed.
The corroded back plate covered in brake dust became visible when the disk was removed.
The indicated bolts are removed so the caliper can be freed from its mount.
The indicated bolts are removed so the caliper can be freed from its mount.
Note the extended Caliper Piston in the image, do not attempt to compress this back in, if you do you will be buying a new caliper, you have been warned!
Note the extended Caliper Piston in the image, do not attempt to compress this back in, if you do you will be buying a new caliper, you have been warned!

The caliper is now free to be tucked back out of the way. You can remove the handbrake cable at this point for more leverage if required. Make sure the caliper is supported so that there is no stress on the flexible hose.

Step 3: Remove the Brake Pads and Positioners

As you can see my pads were as well worn as my disks, apparently the previous owner really got their moneys worth. Using your screwdriver, lever out the pads and the small metal plates used for alignment. Once that is done, set about cleaning the general area up with your wire brush. Make sure the sliders and carriers are corrosion and dust free, it makes reassembly much easier.

Step 4: Remove/Loosen the Slider

Due to the way the rear suspension is put together you have two choices on this, loosen the carriers sufficiently to allow you to remove and replace the disk, or remove a proportion of the rear suspension setup. I opted for loosening the Carriers following removal of the caliper. These bolts will likely need penetrating oil.

I don’t have a very good photo of the bolts for this, the picture above shows the top bolt for the slider, the bottom bolt is vertically below this about 4-5 inches (10-12.5cm)

The top bolt will come all the way out but the bottom bolt will only come out partially unless the suspension arm is removed as it fouls on the arm at about 40% removed.

Slider bolt position
Slider bolt position

Step 5: Remove the Old Disk

The next step is to remove the positioning bolt indicated in the left hand picture above using an impact driver. This should come off fairly easily, I’ve done a few over the years and as long as your socket fits perfectly, 12mm for this one if I recall correctly, there should be no issues.

So, having removed the disk positioning bolt and the top slider bolt as well as having loosened the bottom slider bolt you should now be able to coax the disk off. If it feels stuck a couple of taps around the edge with a copper and leather hammer will dislodge it. The picture above shows the new and old disks from my car.

To finish this step, wire brush time again, clean up the backing plate until there are no loose pieces of rust or brake dust. If you have some spare paint this is a good time to repaint the backing plate.

Step 6: Rewind the Caliper

Firstly, whatever you do, don’t compress the piston in an attempt to retract it, there are threads inside that will be destroyed if you do and then you will need to go and buy another caliper.

Before you rewind the caliper make sure you remove the cap on the brake master cylinder and wrap a rag around to opening, there’s a good chance some will come out.

You will need a rewind tool as in the picture below, the piston should be screwed clockwise to retract. A tip, if the piston is not changing position in the caliper but is turning, try turning it anti-clockwise for half a turn and then clockwise again, this sometimes helps it to pick up the thread inside better. It took me quite a while, several scraped knuckles and a lot of swearing to figure that one out. When complete the piston should be in the fully retracted position as indicated in the above picture.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A rewind kit, easily available from eBayHow it should look when fully rewound
A rewind kit, easily available from eBay
A rewind kit, easily available from eBay
How it should look when fully rewound
How it should look when fully rewound

Step 7: Replace the Brake Fluid

Catch the brake fluid, this stuff is nasty.
Catch the brake fluid, this stuff is nasty.

Step 8: Reassembly

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The new disk in placeCopper grease on the rear of the new pads to prevent squealing
The new disk in place
The new disk in place
Copper grease on the rear of the new pads to prevent squealing
Copper grease on the rear of the new pads to prevent squealing

Brake Reassembly Steps

Reassembly is basically the reverse of removal so I won’t go into detail, you can see from earlier sections what you need to do.

  1. Put the disk in place and fit the positioning bolt. Loosening the caliper carrier makes placing the disk easier.
  2. Apply some locking compound to the slider bolts and refit
  3. Fit the sprung steel pad alignment pieces
  4. Apply copper grease to the back of the new pads as in above right photo
  5. Fit the pads
  6. Refit the caliper
  7. If you removed the handbrake cable, refit that now
  8. Refit the wheel

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Charles Karoro profile image

        Karoro Aziz 

        19 months ago from New York, US

        can you write more hub on car

      • Jason H Brown profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Brown 

        19 months ago from Cheshire, UK

        Thank you Charles, I appreciate the feedback. There will be more Alfa guides appearing over the coming months.

      • Charles Karoro profile image

        Karoro Aziz 

        19 months ago from New York, US

        its a very good hub i like it...................keep updating like this work

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, axleaddict.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://axleaddict.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)