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6/10/09 - Phil Baileys Drum brake tips

Phil has sent in some more of his tips, this time regarding the drum brakes...

Over to you Phil,

Brake failure at MOT time. Does seem to happen a lot on our well used offroad Jimny's.

Here's another cautionary tale when it comes to the  brakes !

A few weeks ago I was at a Playday. This is at a local quarry which has some almost vertical drops down the old workings. Whilst lowering JimJim down one of these, another motor drove across the bottom of the drop. I slowly pressed the brakes but suddenly the pedal went straight to the floor! Pumping the pedal made no difference. Luckily the other motor moved off pretty sharply and I got to the bottom safely but with no brakes.,   

Upon looking at the rear drums, brake fluid was running out of the nearside. I had seen this before when I used Old Series1 Land-Rovers. It is due to the drum wearing, the shoes being badly worn down and it allows one of the two pistons in the slave cylinder to pop out of the outer casting and hence loose the brake fluid.

Simple fix to get home was to cut the metal pipe to the cylinder, bend the end over a couple of times and hammer it flat.( I use stainless steel braided flexibles and these are vitually impossible to clamp flat with mole grips) Brakes now worked, but only on three wheels, so it was a carefull drive home !!!!

Once home,I used the same trick as I used on the Old Series 1's. ( At one time you couldn't buy new drums for the Land Rovers so I had come up
with the following fix ).

I stripped the cylinder down and made sure all was clean and the seals in good condition. Rebuilt it with rubber grease inside the dust covers ( This seams to keep the mud and water at bay ). Made up a new copper pipe and fitted it. Then, before fitting the new shoes, I ran a weld around the edge of the part of the shoe that goes into the slot on the brake piston. Ground  it up  to give the original shape but made it about5mm longer than original. I did this on both shoes This now compensated for the wear inside the brake drum. Rebuild the brakes and adjust. If you try this remember to take it easy for the first few applications because it will take a bit longer for the shoes too bed in.

If you personally don't feel comfortable with this mod, don't do it. Buy some new drums as well as shoes. I have used it many times with no
problems at all.

Just like Martin, one of my "pending" jobs is to investigate fitting rear discs. I have previously done it on an SJ413 and  a Jeep TJ and they
worked a treat.

23/10/09 - Check your oils!
5/10/09 - Fixing a vacuum hub in the field
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