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Joined: Jan 03 2020
Posts: 109

Hello all,

I thought I might try to start a thread where I could keep all my sh!t together - ask my daft laddie questions, and once I get a picture hosting platform set up, post pics of the more crusty bits of my car.

I did introduce myself elsewhere, but for the purpose of this thread my car is a RHD, 4.0 Thor auto, 2000my. Base/economy spec, and currently only on about 78k miles. I bought it last December on about 73,000.

I recently asked a question about getting underneath the car safely ( https://rangerovers.pub/topic/1831-getting-underneath-a-p38-safely-and-the-reason-why ) to try and figure out what was causing a steering wobble. Now awaiting a bunch of parts to start tackling and tightening up the front end suspension and steering. As I say, I'll post pics of the more crusty bits once I get Imgur or the likes organised.

However...... and getting to my latest daft question....

On the way to work this morning ( short run - about 7-8 miles) no wobble to begin with, starts about half-way. On the way home, same story. So I thought I would rule out tyre pressures or a slow leak. Bend down to take the valve cap off the drivers wheel and the heat is just bouncing off it. You could 'touch' the wheel - but you wouldn't want to hold your hand against if for longer than an instant. The valve cap wouldn't unscrew properly because it was half-melted.... oh dear... Passenger side was warm - maybe a little bit warmer than I might have expected after an 8 mile run at town speeds, but nothing in comparison to the driver's side.

I've left it where it is to cool down, and then I'll put it into its carport.

I assume this is a binding brake caliper. This will be my first experience with the 'sliding' type calipers - previous things I've worked on (minis/Defenders) have been the fixed caliper/moving pistons type. So, I'm further assuming that the caliper is sticking on the pins that it's supposed to slide along.

The working theory is that I don't get the wobble when I start off because everything is cold - then as things warm up, especially with a sticky caliper, things start to bind. Having one brake acting on one side is generating odd behaviour, and maybe my steering wobble??

Does this all sound about right so far?

So, moving on to fixing this:

  • am I likely to need new caliper components, or just to clean and lubricate the caliper slides?
  • will the heat have damaged the wheel bearing??
  • I suppose it's possible the disc might have warped (feckity feck) but I certainly haven't thrown water at it to cool it down or anything.
  • is there any possibility this is not caused by a mechanical issue, but electrical/ABS sort of stuff? I've owned ABS cars before, but never worked on them (see previous comment about minis and defenders).

Having just dropped £400 on suspension components, the last thing I really need is to start rebuilding the brakes too!

Finallly, just for some light relief. If I put the car on axle stands to do all this, and pull the battery to put it on a trickle charge, does it really matter how long the car is disconnected? The reconnection routine will be the same after 3 weeks as after 3 hours?

I will appreciate any assistance and advice as always - keeping this old thing on the road will be a new learning curve.

Ta

Donald

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Joined: Jan 16 2016
Posts: 424

It does sound like brake binding is the problem. Heating the wheel up can only be the brakes.
I would fit new slider pins all round. You can't keep cleaning up old ones. Calipers should be OK.
Also use silicone grease on the sliders, it is more water resistant. Or use coppaslip.
I am assuming the wheel bearings were OK when you rebuilt the suspension? Replaced as necessary and everthing reassembled to factory torque settings? No ABS warnings?
Brake disks are cast iron and are designed to run red hot. Wheel bearings would be smoking if they got very hot.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 5053

That would do it. Calliper carriers are cheap, about £12 each and are a lot easier than freeing off seized pins. When desperate I've drilled a 5mm hole in the carrier directly behind the pin, tapped an M6 thread in it, filled it full of Plus Gas and let it soak for a while then screwed a bolt in to push the pin out. But at £12, it really isn't worth the effort. More likely the pistons have seized so will need pumping out, cleaning up with very fine wet and dry and new seals fitting. Last time I looked a set of Britpart seals were about £3.50 while for around double that you could get TRW ones. Discs are pretty thick so should be OK and you'd have known if it was an ABS issue as the light on the dash would be flashing. The only other time I've known a brake to stick on badly was after someone had used a hose clamp on the brake hose and the inner had collapsed so wasn't allowing the fluid to flow back.

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Joined: Jan 16 2016
Posts: 424

Thinking about the brakes ..... did the pistons push back in OK when replacing the pads? Everything nice and free?
I use a G clamp to get them in. They can jam if the brake fluid hasn't been changed for yonks.

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Joined: Jan 03 2020
Posts: 109

Thanks guys, looks like I might have dodged a wee bullet then. There were no warning lights or any other sort of indication. TBH if I hadn't gone to check the tyre pressure and felt the heat and melting valve cap I might not even have noticed. There was no smoke from the bearings this time - though I do worry about previous episodes. On the other hand, I'm also not getting that growly rumble you get from knackered bearings.

It sounds very much as if new caliper carriers will be a sensible move - I'll have a good look at the pistons and seals while I'm there. I had a quick glance only at the brake bleeding section of my workshop manual, and it seems a lot more complicated than the basic systems I'm used to, but I daresay it's not so bad once you're used to it.

Dave - I might have caused some confusion. I've ordered and paid for the suspension/steering parts today, but they haven't arrived yet. Maybe by the weekend with a fair wind. So at this stage in my 6 months of ownership I've done nothing to the running gear at all. Just a couple of wee dashboard jobs. I've organised to speak to the previous owner on the phone this week just to refresh my memory on what he said when I was test-driving it, but from what I've seen while things are more or less working OK, there's not much that's very fresh looking. That's not a criticism really - when you're selling a car with a year's MOT you don't want to spend £100s more on parts and labour.

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Joined: Aug 07 2019
Posts: 204

dose the wobble appear after you hit a bump? (wheel shimming) your pistons would be the problem more than the pins . pins center the caliper, the pistons move in and out to give the disc clearance. a dragging brake would only pull on the steering wheel not cause a wobble . is it slight or violent wobble.

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Joined: Aug 19 2019
Posts: 232

It won't matter how long you have the battery out.

Member
Joined: Jan 03 2020
Posts: 109

Thanks for those replies.

Useful to know I can disconnect the battery at the start of this wee suspension overhaul, without having to go through a greater procedure when I'm finished.

On the wobble - one thing I am pretty certain of is that it's not "bump-related". Once it starts to come on, it just stays there, gets progressively worse and then reaches a plateau of unpleasantness! I wasn't really even aware of a drag on the steering tbh.

In general I think I'm just doing a lot more mileage in the car than has been the case for a good few years, so I'm just exposing older components which are past their best. Once I work my way through the sensible replacements I should have a vehicle that will run better, give me peace of mind and not offend the MOT tester!

I'll get some brake bits ordered as it'll just make sense to do them while I'm in the vicinity.

Looking to wheel bearings - it's likely the ones on the car are original. What's their usual lifespan? I haven't assessed them at all, so no reason to think they are bad or worn, just pondering. Without a press, there isn't really an alternative to the spendy hub/bearing assembly?

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 5053

As far as battery removal is concerned, it will come back in teh state it was in when it was disconnected. So as long as it was unlocked and un-immobilised when you took it off, it will still be the same when you put it back. You may need to sync the fob but even that may have been saved.

My car is at 397,200 miles and only one of the wheel bearings has been replaced, the other 3 are original. Wait until/if they start to rumble.

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Joined: Feb 11 2018
Posts: 407

I'd agree with sticking caliper piston.
Mine did that earlier this year. We could smell a burning pad smell. I found a pair of reconditioned calipers on eBay for £110 delivered.
Easy job if you take your time. A breaker bar will be useful for the bolts.
Bleeding them is easy as long as you have a helper and do it by the book

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Joined: Jan 03 2020
Posts: 109

That's an interesting comment about smelling burning that I hadn't though about - there wasn't really any smell at all - just HEAT!

As an update though, I put the car into the garage last night, in access mode, battery disconnected, and stuck four axle stands under the chassis. It'll be interesting to have a look after work and see it's dropped at all. Just because of where the axle stands adjusted up, there was roughly an inch between the stands and the chassis all round.

Apart from the suspension/steering stuff I've ordered, I'm also looking just to do a brake refurb. I've asked my local parts shop to quote for calipers/carriers/pads etc. I'm conscious that this might be britpart in the first instance (and without opening that whole can of worms....) it will hopefully get the car mobile for the moment and maybe for a few months more at least. If I end up having to swap out the calipers again, in say 6 or 7 months time, then I can get a better make then if necessary.

So tonight it starts - taking the wheels off and then getting underneath with a can of Plusgas penetrating oil on every fixing that I think I'll be tackling... but the grinder will be on standby!

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Joined: Sep 14 2016
Posts: 518

The P38 is probably the easiest modern brake system to bleed.

RAVE makes it look a total faff but its basically painting by numbers.

Just follow the steps and it works, every time. If it doesn't you have a problem that needs sorting whilst the car is standing still and even then its about as straightforward as a full on power brake system with ABS can possibly be.

Concerning callipers my year 2000 4.0 HSE blew a seal on one front brake about a 18 months back. I said stuff it and threw a full set of new TRW callipers and flexi hoses on. Do it once, do it right being my motto. Extra cost over Britpart set, DIY new seal rebuild of the bad calliper or other economy options wasn't worth the potential hassle if things needed to be looked at again in short order.

So I have a set of 85,000 or so mile old original callipers sitting around in the "it might be handy" box that only need new seals and new bleed nipples to be good to go. I'd give them a quick trip through the sandblaster and a paint job too if I were ever to use them again. In all honesty they are just taking up space and ought to go to a new home.

Clive

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Joined: Feb 11 2018
Posts: 407

donmacn wrote:

That's an interesting comment about smelling burning that I hadn't though about - there wasn't really any smell at all - just HEAT!

As an update though, I put the car into the garage last night, in access mode, battery disconnected, and stuck four axle stands under the chassis. It'll be interesting to have a look after work and see it's dropped at all. Just because of where the axle stands adjusted up, there was roughly an inch between the stands and the chassis all round.

Apart from the suspension/steering stuff I've ordered, I'm also looking just to do a brake refurb. I've asked my local parts shop to quote for calipers/carriers/pads etc. I'm conscious that this might be britpart in the first instance (and without opening that whole can of worms....) it will hopefully get the car mobile for the moment and maybe for a few months more at least. If I end up having to swap out the calipers again, in say 6 or 7 months time, then I can get a better make then if necessary.

So tonight it starts - taking the wheels off and then getting underneath with a can of Plusgas penetrating oil on every fixing that I think I'll be tackling... but the grinder will be on standby!

Try rimmer bros for carriers. Call them if need to.
Ask for TRW . Both cheap enough front and rear iirc about £70 for all four.

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Joined: Feb 11 2018
Posts: 407

Scratch that.
Rimmer very dear on fronts now.

Rears about £20+vat

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Joined: Feb 11 2018
Posts: 407

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LANDROVER-FRONT-CALIPER-CARRIER-DISCO-2-TD5-V8-P38-RANGE-ROVER-TD6-AND-V8-NEW-/251274494186?_trksid=p2349526.m4383.l4275.c1

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Joined: Jan 03 2020
Posts: 109

^^^ thanks for digging out those links. I'm actually keen to order via a local parts store if I can... away up here, I think it makes a lot of sense to support local businesses, 'cos they're the ones who'll be open on Saturday morning when you find that you need something else to finish the job. But when I get the quote I'll check out what the brands are.

I wasn't expecting to do any sort of update tonight, but I got the car on the front axle stands, wheels off, sprayed all the relevant stuff with Plusgas, and as I had a little bit more time on my hands I thought I'd push on a little. Really surprised that some very, very crusty looking fixings started to shift very easily - relatively-speaking!

Working on the N/S I got the track rod and drag link ball joint nuts to shift. When I started to undo the drag link nut, the ball joint taper leapt straight out of the hole - wasn't expecting that! Coupled with the joint itself feeling loose and dry, I think that will be a big improvement. Anti roll bar nuts, and front radius arm nut also moved OK, as did the steering damper fixings.... all good so far.

I've got the N/S caliper off the carrier - but I really can't see me getting the carrier itself off the hub. That looks like it's well stuck unfortunately. Starting to wonder about just cleaning out the sliding pin socket and using new pins, as I could see those carrier nuts shearing if I tried to get to medieval on them.

Overall though, quite surprised to have things start to shift so easily on such an old car, where there's no obvious sign of recent replacements.

Discovered I will need to replace the flexi-hoses to the caliper. Quite astonished that things in that state passed an MOT as recently as September last year....

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Joined: Sep 14 2016
Posts: 518

Generally things that are still in factory bolted up state seem to come undone quite easily however rough looking the bolt head might be. Virtually everything factory assembled on mine has come out with nice clean threads.

Impact wrench always seems kinder to corroded heads than heaving.

Separating closely fitted parts pushed together is a whole 'other matter tho'. Yes Mr Brake Disk I'm looking at you!
Meet Mr Slammy the club hammer for a short, but loud, relationship.

Clive

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Joined: Jan 03 2020
Posts: 109

Hmm. I do have a good and powerful electric impact wrench. One of the high torque Makita jobs - something like 250Nm.

I did consider it, but I don't think I'll have room to get the gun in against those fixings (Edit - the carrier to hub bolts I mean) - particularly the upper one which is quite tight against the ball joint? I don't have bihex impact sockets, but I guess I could have a go with an older 'non impact' socket and consider it as sacrificial if it gets the job done.

Have you tried that Clive, and found there was room for the impact gun?

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Joined: Feb 11 2018
Posts: 407

Carrier bolts came out easily on mine. Just used a breaker bar and some gentle but firm pressure. Iirc it was my 3/8 in sockets.

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Joined: Jan 03 2020
Posts: 109

Ah well, it was just a first go at it. Maybe I need to try a tin of spinach and see if I can't muster some more grunt.

I'm assuming that the carrier would have to come off to change the disc? Judging by the state of the disc it's not 20 years old, so these bolts have probably been out at some stage. On the plus side, at 19mm they are more hefty than the 14mm Defender caliper bolts, so will take some more abuse.