After a trip out in the Range Rover the other day, when I got out I could smell very hot brakes and the culprit was the drivers side front wheel. It was red hot with smoke pouring out of it……there’s the problem I thought.

First thing was to remove the wheel, my first thought was a seized caliper piston, because I had already replaced the carrier slide pins only 6 months ago, and apart from that there’s not much else that can cause the brakes to bind on. On inspection the rubber dust cover was torn and you could see a line of rust around the caliper piston, the rust prevents the piston going back into the caliper once the brakes have released.

The brake pads were cooked and not worth refitting and the brake disc was badly scored so I would need to replace all the front brake pads and discs, the good thing is that brake parts are quite cheap to replace. I ordered a  pair of discs and pads which cost £50 including delivery.  Always replace brake parts in pairs, front axle both sides and rear axle both sides this ensures a balanced brake system.

The brake caliper was beyond repair so I needed to carry out a brake caliper replacement, so I ordered a replacement from Emmots of Colne at a cost of £22 inc delivery and it was complete with the carrier as well! Emmots specialize in breaking P38 Range Rovers and they have every part you will ever need, I have used them for years.


This post also applies to Discovery 2 models as they share the same type of brake caliper.

TOP TIP : If you don’t have a brake hose clamp use a pair of vice grips, but use two pieces of steel to stop the jaws damaging the rubber brake hose, this will allow you to remove the brake caliper without bleeding down the whole system.


The caliper on the left is the old damaged one and the right one is the used replacement.


As you can see the rubber dust cover is missing on the right and this has allowed water onto the piston making it rusty.


Always check the slide pins in the carrier as these are prone to seizing up inside their housings preventing the brakes from working properly.


New disc fitted.


I always put Copper grease on the threads of  bolts, the ones above are the carrier mounting bolts.


The carrier mounting bolts will need to be tight, so use a good long bar to nip them up.


Always wipe the new discs with degreaser as they have oil on them to prevent them from rusting.


Sometimes brake pads don’t fit into the carrier/caliper they seem over sized.


They just need a little bit grinding off to make them fit.


I always use Copper grease on brake pads and bolts but never use it  on the side that binds to the brake disc!!!


Before fitting the brake flexi hose I coated the steel crimped ferule with copper grease to stop it rusting.


You should use new bolts when refitting the caliper onto the slide pins, the Britpart pads came with new bolts.


Finally the last job was to bleed the air from the replacement caliper and check for a firm brake pedal, I then had to replace the near side disc and pads even though they were in good condition, I know that this sometimes feels like a hassle, especially if they seem okay, but as I said before you should always change brake discs and pads in pairs, for peace of mind. After a test run the Range Rover performed much better and with less drag, even more importantly gave more miles to the gallon.

To all my fellow Land Rover people I would like to wish you  a very Happy New Year and all the best for 2015.  Sorry for not posting during the last month or so, but we have been very busy working on other projects  that had very tight deadlines i.e CHRISTMAS!! If you follow us on Instagram you will see some of what we have been doing, if you don’t follow us but would like to click here!). I hope however, from now on, I will be able to provide posts more frequently.

Lastly, make sure you get your oily mitts on the new copy of Land Rover Monthly, as the magazine celebrates it’s 200th edition this month. You will find it crammed full of great articles covering all Land Rover models and loads of extra pages covering all things to do with Land Rovers. You will also see a full page review on our own Metalmorphosis which has been tested by LRM and has been given a 5 star score. (Thanks LRM)

So, start the year well, get your gloves and warm work gear on, and get cracking on that Land Rover you have to fix, or that project you have to finish, and lets all shed those extra pounds we have added to our waistlines over the Christmas holidays!

Cheers James