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The front brakes are similar to the rears except that they are a twin leading design as compared to the rears which are leading and trailing. This layout means that there are two wheel cylinders to change on the front but the principle is the same as the rears. Again, clamp the rubber brake pipe before starting and ensure the vehicle is secure on axle stands. Removal of the drum is the same as the rears but if you find the retaining screws tight then the use of an impact driver will get things moving.
I used penetrating fluid on the wheel cylinder nuts and metal brake pipe end, not forgetting the wheel cylinder fixings on the lower wheel cylinder. There is an extra metal pipe to remove as well as the feed pipe because the upper wheel cylinder is connected to the lower cylinder by a link pipe. Take care as this pipe is easily damaged when removing from the back of the cylinders. To be honest a replacement part is relatively cheap so if your ordering new cylinders etc then you may as well order a new pipe. I did and ended up needing it. After prying off the shoes, unbolt both cylinders and remove. Again with my trusty washing up bowl underneath the back plate and hub were thoroughly cleaned and degreased followed by some careful application of copper grease. The front shoes still had some mileage in them so I cleaned them up and reused them.
I covered the clean shoes with masking tape and after fitting the new wheel cylinders proceeded to replace them ensuring the return springs were correctly located. Similar to the rears I placed one end of the shoes up against the cylinder piston and used a pry bar to coax the other end into the back of the opposite cylinder. Do the same for the other shoe and check that every thing is sitting correctly. Replace the link pipe, feed pipe and drum before adjusting as previously mentioned.
Once you’ve changed everything you wanted to don’t forget to bleed the system. A few methods are available, personally I used the tried and tested assistant pumping the pedal. You may need to persist with the bleeding process for some time as Land Rover brakes are notoriously renown for being difficult to bleed. With that in mind don’t bother buying a small container of brake fluid from your local garage or Halfords. Instead take a trip to a motor factors and get a few 1 litre containers. It will be cheaper and
could save you some grief when you run out half way through bleeding. Just a last note about buying spare parts. There are many different makes of after market parts available to the Land Rover owner, some good some not even worth considering. Or there is genuine Land Rover parts. These are obviously a superb choice but given their not so superb prices many opt for aftermarket. If going for aftermarket please don’t be tempted by the cheapest on offer. They will not last, won’t fit properly and ultimately be dangerous especially if we’re talking about brake parts. Even if you only occasionally use your Land Rover, when you want to stop you want to do it confidently without wondering if you’ll do it in a straight line or at all.
MY PERSONAL BLEEDING METHOD: (Including twin leading shoe set up) Lock ALL the brake adjusters on so none of the wheels are able to turn. If you can’t lock them all on or they just keep turning round, then you must replace them or rectify the problem. You will not be able to get a good pedal or be able to stop in a straight line with out of adjustment brakes! Get an assistant to pump up the brake pedal and hold it down for 5 seconds. Whilst the pedal is still being held down release the wheel cylinder bleed nipple (with suitable clear tube/pipe attached) and leave open for 3 seconds. Tighten up and pump the pedal till hard and again hold for 5 seconds. Release whilst under pressure the nipple for 3 seconds and again tighten up. Repeat until no bubbles are visible. Don’t forget to top up the master cylinder! Work round the wheels in this order, OSF, NSF, OSR, NSR. That’s working from the closest wheel cylinder to the master cylinder out to the furthest. A little tip is to use a torch to illuminate the clear pipe. This makes spotting bubbles easier. Whilst the assistant holds the pedal down, check the whole system for any fluid weep and flexible hoses for swelling or distortion. Replace any hoses and rectify any leaks. Finally, back off the adjusters 2 ‘clicks’ each.