Defender Brake Replacement

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This feature will show how to replace rotors and pads on a late-model Land Rover Defender 90/110 or earlier vehicles that have had rear disc brakes fitted.

With the vehicle on level ground, jack up the corner being serviced and support the chassis. Remove the lug nuts and remove the wheel/tire.

Remove the caliper pads by removing the caliper pins and spring clips. Remove the two caliper bolts and gently pull the caliper clear of the rotor. (Note: There is a hard brake pipe connecting the caliper to the top of the hub). This method should be used with extreme care. As the pads are being replaced it will be necessary to push the caliper pistons into the caliper housing. This will flush old brake fluid back into the system, unless the caliper hydraulics are opened up.

Remove the plastic center hubcaps. Remove, snap ring and spacer/shim. Remove the five drive flange bolts and withdraw the drive flange off the axle shaft. Bend back the hub nut lock washer and remove. Remove lock nut and remove bearing nut and spacer washer. The whole rotor/hub assembly can now be pulled off the stub axle. Inspect the stub axle for wear or damage.

Place the hub inside the upturned wheel, with the wheel studs in the corresponding wheel holes. The rotor can now be removed from the hub.

Remove the five rotor fixing bolts. The rotor can now be lifted free of the hub. This may require some force to break the bead of rust. Once removed, clean and wire brush the hub to allow easy fitment of the new rotor.

Remove the inner hub seal and inner wheel bearing. Clean and inspect the hub and wheel bearings races. Clean the bearings and repack with good quality synthetic grease. Replace the inner bearing and refit a new hub seal. Unpack and degrease the new rotor. Fit the rotor to the hub. Replace the five fixing bolts and torque to correct value.

Carefully present the rotor/hub assembly onto the stub axle, being sure not to crush the new inner hub seal. Refit the cleaned and repacked outer wheel bearing. Refit the spacer washer and bearing nut.

Tighten the wheel-bearing nut to seat the bearing (61 Nm/45 lb-ft). Spin the hub several revolutions and then back off the wheel-bearing nut by 90 degrees. Retighten the nut to a snug fit, (4 Nm/3 lb-ft). The bearing should not be too tight otherwise it will overheat and fail prematurely.

Either reuse the locking washer by flattening the bent tabs or replace with a new locking washer. Replace the locking nut and tighten. Bend over locking washer tabs to lock the wheel bearing nut and lock nut in place.

Replace the paper drive flange gasket and slide drive flange over the axle shaft splines. Replace four of the five drive flange bolts (65 Nm/48 lb-ft). Screw the fifth bolt into the end of the axle shaft to pull it through the drive flange, exposing the snap ring groove. Replace the fifth drive flange. Replace spacer shim, snap ring and plastic hubcap.

Remount caliper and secure with the two caliper bolts (82 Nm/60 lb-ft). Push the caliper pistons back into the caliper. Using a G-Clamp can do this. (Be sure that the caliper plumbing is disconnected so old fluid is not forced back up the system.)

Clean around the caliper pad area, removing any rust or debris. Be sure that the backside of the brake pads are applied with an anti-squeal compound.

Slide the pads into the caliper and secure with springs clips and caliper pins. (New springs and pins normally supplied with pads).

Reconnect hydraulics and bleed the caliper using fresh/clean brake fluid.

Clean rotor and caliper area with brake cleaner to remove any grease spots or brake fluid.

Replace wheel and re-torque lug nuts (100 Nm/74 lb-ft). Move onto next wheel. Once complete, road test and bed in your new rotors and pads.

Many thanks to Red Door Offroad for their assistance and use of a service bay.

Parts supplied by Bearmach:

Front Rotor Part#: LRO17952BM Geomet*
Front Pad kit Part#: SFP000260BM
Rear Rotor Part#: LRO17951BM Geomet*
Rear Pad kit Part#: SFP000280BM
Hub seal Part# FTC-4785G
Drive flange gasket Part#: 571752

*Geomet is an anti-corrosion zinc/aluminum coating

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