Series Land Rover (Australia & NZ)
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March 2007 Homepage
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Series Land Rover Braking System - Fault Diagnosis


Outline of the braking system operation.
A Series I,II or III Land Rovers has drum brakes front and rear. The 1948-49 Series I Land Rover had a Girling hydrostatic system which kept linings in contact with the drum. A later Land Rover has the hydraulic system fitted. 80",86" and 88" had 10" dia brake drums whilst 107" and 109" had 11 inch drums. Series IIa and III had the option of dual braking system with servo assistance. Application of the hand brake locks the rear prop shaft and if in 4wd locks the front prop shaft also.

Soft brake pedal action
Air needs to be bled from system; fluid leaking from pipes, master cylinder or from wheel cylinders; brake shoes or brake steady post need adjustment; swollen rubber components due to incorrect fluid.
There is some advice in the tech articles section of this website
on Bleeding the brakes on a Series Land Rover.
Hard brake pedal action
Shoes incorrectly adjusted; wrong size brake linings; faulty master cylinder.
Brake pedal binds or fails to return
Master cylinder or servo unit mounting bolts loose; pedal shaft requires lubrication; weak or missing pedal return spring
Poor brakes
Brake shoes or brake steady post need adjustment; free play in master cylinder push rod needs adjustment; wet, glazed or fluid comntaminated brake linings; wrong brake linings fitted.
Land Rover pulls to one side
Incorrect tyre pressures; Brake shoes or brake steady post need adjustment; dirt/water in the brake drums; restriction in brake pipe; loose wheel cylinder; mixed types of shoe linings; excessively worn or scored brake drum.

Brake shoes or brake steady post need adjustment; loose or worn front wheel bearings; distorted or uneven brake drum surface.
grab - Brake shoes or brake steady post need adjustment; brake linings incorrect or contaminated; damaged brake drums or high spots on drum surface.
squeal -
Brake steady post needs adjustment to prevent binding; incorrect linings, foreign object embedded or dirt in the brake drums; wheel cylinder loose; loose or bent brake shoe.
overheat - Brake shoe needs adjusting away from drum surface; master cylinder faulty or push rod has no free play;
dirt in the brake drums; high spots on drum surface.
drag -
Brake shoes or brake steady post need adjustment; master cylinder push rod has no free play; rubber boots on wheel cylinder distorted; seized brake shoe or wheel cylinder piston; weak or broken brake shoe pull-off spring; restriction in brake pipe; loose front wheel bearings.
lock - fluid soaked brake linings; swollen rubber components in wheel cylinder or master cylinder; loose wheel cylinder; loose or damagedbrake linings;

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