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Frequently Asked Questions

We have been asked many questions over the years, the following are a sample of the regular topics which we hope might be interesting or informative...

Why is it called "AlfaStop"?

Well, back in 1992, I started by selling brake parts for Alfa Romeos. Brakes make Alfa Romeos stop, hence "AlfaStop"....

What parts does AlfaStop actually stock?

I probably have over 95% of all the items listed on my website actually in stock & ready for despatch. This includes large items such as fuel tanks, windscreens & exhaust systems. AlfaStop does not list a wide range of parts & then buy them to meet a particular order. A general stock situation symbol can be seen next to listings.

How can I be sure that the part which I am ordering is the part which I need?

You clearly have access to the Internet & to the AlfaStop website to be reading this! Many items which appear in the listings have a photograph to help you confirm that the part is what you need. You will also find information on the quantity of a particular item which are used on one car.

You can further check by referring to a copy of the Parts Book to confirm the identity, we quote the original part number wherever possible to help you. In addition, I try to use plain English to describe the item.

You can also telephone me to dicuss your particular query.

Who manufactures AlfaStop parts?

I source from first-tier suppliers such as Lucas, Girling, ATE, Ferodo, Pirelli, Bosch and Fichel & Sachs who were original equipment suppliers to Alfa Romeo.

I also source some parts from second-tier suppliers who supply individual components to first-tier suppliers such as those mentioned above.

AlfaStop has also commissioned the manufacture of parts from companies which supply components or assemblies to companies including Aston Martin, Lotus, McLaren, Rolls-Royce & VW-MAN

AlfaStop rebuilt components are sourced from companies whose customers include Aston Martin, Ford, Rolls-Royce & several Formula One teams.

Are braided stainless steel brake hose road legal?

Standard braided stainless steel brakes hose have the end fittings assembled onto the hose by means of threaded components. These hoses are theoretically not road legal because the various national approval bodies require that the metallic end fittings are crimped onto the hose.

AlfaStop's TUV approved stainless hoses were the first to be manufactured with specially developed crimped end fittings which have been tested & approved by one of the several German TUV test houses. Each hose is so identified & is supplied with a copy test certificate. TUV certification is accepted in the USA as being equivalent to US DOT approval.

What does DOT mean?

DOT stands for the US Department of Transportation which publishes standards for many types of motor components. DOT3 refers to a set of brake fluid specifications, a supplier might claim that a fluid meets, or exceeds, the requirements of DOT3.

Should I just change the seals in my brake cylinder or replace the whole cylinder?

Brake repair kits were originally offered as a temporary or "get you home" service part to be used for a relatively short period. However, over the years they came to be used as a permanent repair solution. With many original hydraulic items now being up to 50 years old, it is essential that the condition of the cylinder is thoroughly examined before making a decision whether to reseal or replace the cylinder. We regularly hear tales from owners who have replaced brake seals together with relining the shoes, only to find within a short time that a leaking cylinder has contaminated the brake linings...

How can I tell if I have Dunlop or ATE brakes on my Giulia?

Dunlop front calipers have a single pad retaining pin in each caliper, & the rear calipers are mechanically operated by a cylinder mounted on the rear axle tubes.

ATE calipers have two pad retaining pins in each caliper, front & rear.

Why does AlfaStop have its own range of brake cylinders?

With some of our cars approaching 50 years old, it is becoming difficult to obtain some items from the original suppliers.

This situation is magnified by the increasing desire of companies to sell large quantities of an item in order to justify keeping it in their product range. Clearly, 2600 rear wheel cylinders do not sell in the similar quantities as those for a VW Polo.

AlfaStop has commissioned the production in the UK of a number of new cylinders for 1900, 2000, 2600, Giulietta, Giulia 101 & Giulia 105 Dunlop braked cars. These cylinders are fully interchangeable with the originals and can be installed either singly or as a set.

AlfaStop does not stock any unbranded hydraulic parts of unknown origin.

What is so special about the AlfaStop brake lining material offered for Giuliettas?

I believe that FERODO MZ41 to be the finest lining material for classic Alfa Romeos. It was specified by Alfa Romeo for original fitment to all production models from the 1900 Berlina of 1950 through the Giulietta, 2000, 2600, to the first Giulia 105 series TI models which were fitted with front & rear drum brakes. My opinion is echoed by most UK historic Alfa race & rally entrants who love it.

MZ41 is a woven asbestos based material incorporating zinc wire (hence the Z in MZ) with a high fade resistance making it suitable for arduous competition use as well as day to day normal use. I was fortunate in being able to purchase the entire stock of MZ41 from FERODO before it was discontinued.

As my stocks of MZ41 are now diminishing, I have been researching alternative materials & can now offer asbestos-free MZ. I offer lining sets containing pre-drilled linings & rivets for fitting by Customers, together with a relining service of Customer's own brake shoes.

I hear about arcing brake linings. What is it?

Arcing a brake lining is a workshop operation which closely matches a lining which is installed on a brake shoe to the dimensions of the brake drum.

This operation is particularly popular in the USA, less so in Europe where the machines are rarely found.

My brake linings have been contaminated, what can I do?

In general there is little that can be done since the materials usually contain cotton which acts as a wick & absorbs the contaminating fluid.

How regularly should I change my brake fluid, & why?

Manufacturers of both fluids & cars seem to advise changing brake fluid every 2 years or so. Most brake fluids are hydroscopic & absorb moisture over a period of time. The fluid's boiling point is then reduced, with possible serious results under hard braking.

What is a re-sleeved cylinder?

A hydraulic brake or clutch cylinder which has a pitted or scored internal bore can be reclaimed by drilling out the bore & inserting a sleeve to return the bore diameter & condition to that of the new original cylinder.

This is a specialist operation & is usually only cost effective when a new cylinder is either no longer available or cannot be obtained in the required time-scale. Re-sleeving is particularly popular in the US & Australia. The success of the sleeving operation is dependant on the skill of the operator in ensuring that the sleeve is secure in the cylinder, is leakproof, & is of sufficiently high surface finish.

What is the benefit of a stainless steel brake caliper piston?

The main benefit is that it can be easily produced in low quantity (even a single piston) & can be ready to fit, requiring no further finishing or chroming. The unknown factor is if the dimensions of the new piston take account of the different thermal expansion properties of stainless steel. AlfaStop does not usually stock any stainless steel brake caliper or cylinder pistons.

What is an "exchange" item?

An exchange item is one where the customers sends an old unit. This is then either actually rebuilt & returned to the customer, or is exchanged for another unit which has already been rebuilt.

Are rebuilt units suitable replacements for the original units?

Most commercial & military organisations use rebuilt components, be they printers, guns, gearboxes, you name it. AlfaStop rebuilt components are sourced from some companies whose customers include Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Ford & several Formula One teams.

What is the difference between a normal steel exhaust & a stainless steel exhaust?

AlfaStop's normal steel exhaust systems are now made from aluminized steel which is treated so as to reduce the liability of corrosion. Recent reports received seem to support this. The silencer boxes are double skinned, as the originals, & most tailpipes are chromed. Considering the low production volumes of these systems, I believe that they are good value.

There are stainless systems & stainless steel systems, just as there are stainless steels, & less stainless steels.

My range of stainless steel exhausts is hand-made exclusively for Alfa Stop in the UK by a long established manufacturer.

Notable features include 304 grade austenitic stainless steel throughout, 1.2mm thick for silencers boxes, 1.5mm thick for front pipes & 1.2 mm thick for other pipes. Note that some suppliers use the cheaper, less corrosion resistant 409 grade for silencer boxes &/or pipes, this inferior material is also more prone to fracturing. All flanges on AlfaStop stainless systems are laser-cut from stainless steel plate, silencer boxes are packed with high grade E-glass wool, tailpipes are highly polished, the system is designed for correct alignment with original mountings & accepts original gaskets.

Can you send windscreens internationally?

AlfaStop uses a specialist export packer to make an individual wooden packing case. The skill & experience of the packer is such that my preferred shipping agent has no problem in arranging transit insurance cover for the windscreen. I often have the popular windscreens ready packed for immediate despatch.

How are orders shipped?

I use a number of specialist delivery organisations, according to the weight of the consignment, destination & urgency. We regularly use firms such as DHL & FedEx, and normal air mail when suitable. We also have a specialist freight forwarder who arranges bulky, one-off or unusual shipments, often by using the Spot Freight Market to get extremely favourable rates.

Will I have to pay any duties or taxes on importation into my own country?

It depends where you are. Sales to member countries of the EU are inclusive of British VAT & no local taxes or duties will be requested on importation.

Sales to countries which are not members of the EU might be liable to local sales taxes or duties, depending on the type of goods (books are usually tax-free), their value, & the means of shipping. You are advised to consult your local postal service or tax authority if you need detailed information.

Can I order goods to be paid for on delivery?

Unfortunately not, COD (cash on delivery) services have recently been withdrawn for both inland & international despatches.

Are AlfaStop parts cheap?

AlfaStop doesn't sell cheap parts. But I do believe that we sell parts which are of good quality & at fair prices.

Parlez vous francais?

Oui, un peu.

Parla italianio?

Si, un pocco.

Sprechen zie Deutsch?

Nein, ich spreche kein Deutsch.

Why are there no prices on the AlfaStop website?

I am often asked why we do not issue a price list. There are several reasons. Prices can change suddenly, both up and down, according to the supply situation or the use of alternative manufacturers. Sales to private customers in EU countries must include 20% VAT (sales tax) whereas other sales can be exempt from VAT. It can also be embarrassing - on both sides - when a customer places an order based on an older price list, and must be told of what may seem to be a considerable price increase due to circumstances beyond our control. I always endeavour to offer the best prices at all times.

AlfaStop is always pleased to give you the current price and availability of any parts which you require, together with the most economic delivery cost. Customers have found that it can be beneficial to discuss the use or application of the parts with me prior to placing an order because sometimes there are alternative solutions to any given problem.

Also, being a small organisation, there is a limit as to what can be done in a 25 hours day.

How can I pay?

I accept several methods of payment, which are, in order of speed:

  • Credit Cards:


  • "Swift" International Bank Transfer (for large orders in excess of GBP (£)1,000.00, subject to agreement)
  • Bank Draft
  • UK Bank Cheques
  • Mandat Postal
  • We do not accept payments by AMEX or PayPal

How can I send my credit card details?

Details can be given by telephone, by fax, or by e-mail. However please note that e-mail is considered by many not to be a secure method to send such information.

Can I pay in US$?

All AlfaStop business is conducted in GB Pounds Sterling, & all offers & invoices are in GBP pounds Sterling, although an indication of the approximate US$ cost can be given.

However, a payment on, for example, a US$ based credit card, will be converted into US$ by the credit card company before billing to your account, usually at a fairly favourable rate when compared with the normal tourist exchange rate.

Can I order on-line from the AlfaStop website?

AlfaStop is a small business & does not offer a secure on-line ordering system.

I fancy buying my first example of a particular model. How do I find a good car at a fair price?

Research is the key. Talk to owners, beg a drive, look through books specific to the model, scour the private & dealer adverts in national & club magazines & on the Internet over a period of time, go & see cars for sale in various conditions, be prepared to travel, see a project car or two to see where they can really suffer, ensure that your budget is realistic both to buy the car in the state which you want & to allow for unforeseen additional work or parts. Then, if all goes well, you will recognise the car for you when you see it.

Should I join my local or national Alfa club?

This really is a personal decision. Are you a clubby sort of person? Does the club cater for your particular model? Does the club provide an interesting magazine &/or events? You might find that a model Register is more appropriate to your needs, or both, or neither...

Can AlfaStop supply parts for cars other than Alfa Romeos?

Sorry, no. AlfaStop only supplies parts for the classic Alfa Romeos of the 1950s & 1960s.

1900 / 2000 102 / 2600 / Romeo / Giulietta 750 & 101 1300 / Giulia 101 1600 / Giulia 105 / ...and now, for something completely different