Ducati Front Brake Pad Change (1 Viewer)

Feb 25, 2020
247
490
Funster No
69,004
MH
PPVC Autocruise Alto
Exp
I'm a newbie
After suffering brake fade descending an alpine pass the other week, ( pumping pedal rather than just holding pressure in the system, but still cooked them ) I thought I should have a look at the pads, Very easy job to change the pads on these twin piston Brembo calipers.
Van only done 14k over 8 yrs but the fronts were around 30% gone and the steel backing was delaminating so glad I had a look.
Replaced with Brembo pads from Euro-parts at £62.
At the MOT last March I asked the tester to check the brake fluid for water contamination as brake fluid is Hydroscopic and will boil at a lower point and also give brake fade, The litmus paper test gave the fluid a 0 reading for water contamination.
May be of interest for others etc.
 
Sep 29, 2019
291
522
Funster No
64,845
MH
Forte
Exp
10years
interesting.... FIAT do recommend changing brake fluid every 2 years irrespective of milage. Sounds like checking the state of the pads every two years would be even more important given the low mileage of most campers.
 
Sep 28, 2015
2,071
2,675
Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire.
Funster No
38,946
MH
Hymer B544
Exp
2001 Caravans 2011 Motorhomes
We had our 2014 x250 serviced by Fiat Professional for the first five years and they didn’t change the brake fluid until year five. Even then they said it was alright but better change it after five years.
 

TheBig1

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 27, 2011
17,667
43,564
Dorset
Funster No
19,048
MH
A class
Exp
many many years! since I was a kid
As Rich says above, the clutch and brakes share a master cylinder. Draining and refilling via the brakes does not change it all as I found out the very expensive hard way this summer. My clutch fluid was like treacle and the brake fluid in the upper chamber appeared clean and free from contamination. The Fiat Professional garage my van went to took weeks to find the fault and fix it. That involved replacing the slave cylinder, which is inside the gearbox bell housing, so a new clutch too
 
OP
OP
2
Feb 25, 2020
247
490
Funster No
69,004
MH
PPVC Autocruise Alto
Exp
I'm a newbie
Just waiting for a decision on a rear air assist system, So when fitting this I will check and probably replace rear pads and then do a full fluid change.
 
Feb 14, 2021
3,765
8,127
Milton Keynes, UK
Funster No
79,219
MH
Burstner Lyseo 727G
Exp
19 month year 18000 miles UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy. Campsites and off Grid.
I didn't get brake fade descending the Dolomites a few weeks ago but it did get lots of smoke coming off the front brakes accomplished by a strong smell of burning brakes. Mines18 months old with 16000 on the clock.

I must admit I wasn't really thinking about how to drive it as it was my first experience of descending a mountain in the van. I was probably going a bit quick and had my foot on the brake pedal for a extended time. It made me much more aware that you cannot drive these things like a car. After that I slowed down, used engine braking a lot more and had no further issues.
 
Oct 29, 2016
4,535
53,808
Surrey
Funster No
45,842
MH
Carthago C Tourer
Exp
Motor Homing 5 years, caravan previously
Did fitting Brembo Front Pads improve braking efficiency over the standard Fiat Ones?
I am assuming That Fiat do not fit Brembo as standard to save on costs?
Many thanks for further info.
PS: My brakes have always felt crappy since day 1 new, even been serviced with brake fluid change, still crap compared with any car, so I have to drive accordingly, allowing larger gap in case a boy racer carves in front and brakes hard at a junction. Had some hairy moments though, running at 3850kgs, the vans max weight.
LES

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OP
OP
2
Feb 25, 2020
247
490
Funster No
69,004
MH
PPVC Autocruise Alto
Exp
I'm a newbie
Did fitting Brembo Front Pads improve braking efficiency over the standard Fiat Ones?
I am assuming That Fiat do not fit Brembo as standard to save on costs?
Many thanks for further info.
PS: My brakes have always felt crappy since day 1 new, even been serviced with brake fluid change, still crap compared with any car, so I have to drive accordingly, allowing larger gap in case a boy racer carves in front and brakes hard at a junction. Had some hairy moments though, running at 3850kgs, the vans max weight.
LES
Mine is the LWB Heavy Duty chassis on 16” wheels and come with Brembo brakes and pads as standard
 
Apr 28, 2022
344
646
Western France
Funster No
88,359
MH
Pilote G600
Exp
Since 2006
After suffering brake fade descending an alpine pass the other week, ( pumping pedal rather than just holding pressure in the system, but still cooked them ) I thought I should have a look at the pads, Very easy job to change the pads on these twin piston Brembo calipers.
Van only done 14k over 8 yrs but the fronts were around 30% gone and the steel backing was delaminating so glad I had a look.
Replaced with Brembo pads from Euro-parts at £62.
At the MOT last March I asked the tester to check the brake fluid for water contamination as brake fluid is Hydroscopic and will boil at a lower point and also give brake fade, The litmus paper test gave the fluid a 0 reading for water contamination.
May be of interest for others etc.
Not wishing to seem too pedantic but the word is "hygroscopic". I didn't know they could test the fluid that easily. I've had fluid changed in cars at the recommended periods and never noticed the difference. Our Ducato based MH is now 5 years / 23kms old and to my knowledge the fluid has never been changed but the brakes are fine; for a van!
 
OP
OP
2
Feb 25, 2020
247
490
Funster No
69,004
MH
PPVC Autocruise Alto
Exp
I'm a newbie
Not a problem Varaizian very happy to be corrected any time, I actually asked the MOT guys for a price for a full fluid change and they stated let’s do a paper test to see if it is required hence it showed zero water hence fluid change was not done, Wrong plan or not no idea but will be changed shortly.
 
Apr 28, 2022
344
646
Western France
Funster No
88,359
MH
Pilote G600
Exp
Since 2006
Not a problem Varaizian very happy to be corrected any time, I actually asked the MOT guys for a price for a full fluid change and they stated let’s do a paper test to see if it is required hence it showed zero water hence fluid change was not done, Wrong plan or not no idea but will be changed shortly.
I bought ours at 4 years old "serviced" and with a new belt fitted. I don't trust services that I haven't ordered myself so will do the same and have to hope that the belt is a proper make. Pig in a poke really in hindsight!

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Jan 27, 2018
2,711
2,179
Northampton
Funster No
52,151
MH
Rapido & Bongone
The paper test is to assess "virtual wear" and measures the amount of copper from pads in the fluid, not water. Conductivity pens measure water content not typically very accurate and specific to one fluid eg dot4 . The better type of tool is based on temperature measurement.

There is currently a thread on Fiat forum comparing a cheap lidl test versus a professional instrument
 
Last edited:
Feb 19, 2020
1,458
1,621
North Ayrshire
Funster No
68,864
MH
Adria Matrix 670SC
Exp
Newbie
The paper test is to assess "virtual wear" and measures the amount of copper from pads in the fluid, not water. Conductivity pens measure water content not typically very accurate and specific to one fluid eg dot4 . The better type of tool is based on temperature measurement.

There is currently a thread on Fiat forum comparing a cheap lidl test versus a professional instrument
Doesn't the copper in fluid come from the brake lines. I don't see how it could get from pads into a closed system.
 
Feb 19, 2018
5,096
86,674
EAST ANGLIA
Funster No
52,484
MH
Murvi Morello
Exp
Since 1975
Not wishing to seem too pedantic but the word is "hygroscopic". I didn't know they could test the fluid that easily. I've had fluid changed in cars at the recommended periods and never noticed the difference. Our Ducato based MH is now 5 years / 23kms old and to my knowledge the fluid has never been changed but the brakes are fine; for a van!

I have never heard of doing it with Litmus Paper, but I have a battery powered thingy that you just put into the brake fluid reservoir, and you can read the condition by the number of LED's that are lit.

Plus, there are many different types of brake pads/shoes, some more suitable for mountainous countries than others, for my coaches that were going on winter ski work, I used to buy them in Austria during the summer (cheaper) talk to a brake specialist!
 
Jan 27, 2009
876
3,404
Leyland Lancs
Funster No
5,472
MH
A class
Exp
since 2001
After suffering brake fade descending an alpine pass the other week, ( pumping pedal rather than just holding pressure in the system, but still cooked them ) I thought I should have a look at the pads, Very easy job to change the pads on these twin piston Brembo calipers.
Van only done 14k over 8 yrs but the fronts were around 30% gone and the steel backing was delaminating so glad I had a look.
Replaced with Brembo pads from Euro-parts at £62.
At the MOT last March I asked the tester to check the brake fluid for water contamination as brake fluid is Hydroscopic and will boil at a lower point and also give brake fade, The litmus paper test gave the fluid a 0 reading for water contamination.
May be of interest for others etc.
Having done the same overcooking of brakes, I only discovered a slight crack in a brake disc weeks later.

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Sep 17, 2017
5,656
10,568
Birmingham, UK
Funster No
50,575
MH
A-Class
Exp
2017
I changed my own front brake discs and pads on my previous van, which was a 3.3t light chassis. I bought Brembo coated discs and Brembo pads. They did feel better after the change, but what was previously on there was very worn and old.

I think I also suffered from the issue with the clutch fluid not being easy to change. The van was a 57 plate and the brake fluid had not been changed in a loooong time. In preparation for a trip, a garage flushed it all out from the master cylinder to the brake callipers for me, but as mentioned, it doesn't really affect the circuit that goes to the clutch. On the trip, I did some mountain passes in Switzerland, lots of 1st and 2nd gear hairpins and I was being quite rough on the clutch. It was near zero, so I had the heater on max on my feet, which is right next to the clutch cylinder. I started to get a spongy clutch pedal that wouldn't pop up without assistance. Rather than get stranded, I dropped most of the way down the mountain and pulled over at a convenient camp site and got recovered the next day. At the garage, they couldn't find anything wrong. I suspect the fluid trapped in the clutch circuit was manky and started boiling it's trapped water when it got worked hard at altitude. But it returned to normal when it'd cooled down at lower levels... worked fine for the rest of the trip (I was a lot more cautious) and until I sold the van 2 years later. Maybe if you frequently change the fluids, there's enough exchange to keep it relatively fresh without dropping the gearbox?
 
Dec 24, 2014
9,318
48,104
Hurstpierpoint. Mid Sussex.
Funster No
34,553
MH
Compass Navigator
Exp
Ever since lighting was by Calor gas.
According to a pal in the trade, when asbestos was banned from use in brake pads and linings from 1999 harder friction material was used and replacing 'worn' discs became a nice little earner.
 
Apr 12, 2012
1,704
6,402
N/E Lincs
Funster No
20,518
MH
Autosleeper Rienza
Exp
as above
On my way back from our dog walk a near naibbor was telling me about his friend with a Sprinter based motorhome that needed new front brake pads.
The local Merc parts department quoted him a price that sounded quite good for main dealer. Unfortunately the price was per pad not a set of four. Who fits individual pads!!!! .
He bought a set of four Brembo pads from an on line motor factors for the price of two from the main dealers.
 
Feb 19, 2018
5,096
86,674
EAST ANGLIA
Funster No
52,484
MH
Murvi Morello
Exp
Since 1975
I changed my own front brake discs and pads on my previous van, which was a 3.3t light chassis. I bought Brembo coated discs and Brembo pads. They did feel better after the change, but what was previously on there was very worn and old.

I think I also suffered from the issue with the clutch fluid not being easy to change. The van was a 57 plate and the brake fluid had not been changed in a loooong time. In preparation for a trip, a garage flushed it all out from the master cylinder to the brake callipers for me, but as mentioned, it doesn't really affect the circuit that goes to the clutch. On the trip, I did some mountain passes in Switzerland, lots of 1st and 2nd gear hairpins and I was being quite rough on the clutch. It was near zero, so I had the heater on max on my feet, which is right next to the clutch cylinder. I started to get a spongy clutch pedal that wouldn't pop up without assistance. Rather than get stranded, I dropped most of the way down the mountain and pulled over at a convenient camp site and got recovered the next day. At the garage, they couldn't find anything wrong. I suspect the fluid trapped in the clutch circuit was manky and started boiling it's trapped water when it got worked hard at altitude. But it returned to normal when it'd cooled down at lower levels... worked fine for the rest of the trip (I was a lot more cautious) and until I sold the van 2 years later. Maybe if you frequently change the fluids, there's enough exchange to keep it relatively fresh without dropping the gearbox?

On my 2007 X250 Ducato, you don't have to drop the gearbox to change the clutch fluid BUT you do have to remove the air cleaner etc. before you can get to the clutch bleed nipple. It not easy but do-able!
 

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