Replacing the hand brake shoes on the Freelander 2 (2007 model)

13th August 2012 (UPDATES 26th Jan 2014 - 84,000 miles)

UPDATE: 2 years on and I've had to do the same job again. The levers that are seizing were seized in exactly the same way. I think I am going to order new parts to fit and smother them in copper lube when I fit them as this is a pain of a job to do every 2 years.

The hand brake has been poor on my Freelander 2 since a year or so after I bought her new in 2007. She now has 72,000 miles on the clock and the hand brake is terrible. It passed it's last MOT with an advisory but only just. Time to break out the tools.

I asked the local Landrover dealer what they would charge to replace the shoes and it was £273, YIKES!

I'm a reasonable mechanic but to be fair anyone that can wield a spanner should be able to do this job, it's fairly easy, especially with these instructions.

What you'll need:


OK so here we go:

  1. This tutorial is based on the off side rear wheel. For the near side everything is reversed.
  2. Make sure you have chocked your front wheels both sides to stop the vehicle rolling and have the hand brake off and the are out of gear.
  3. Loosen the wheel nuts.
  4. Jack up the vehicle and place the axle stand in a position that will stop the vehicle falling if the jack fails. I always lower the vehicle onto the stand to make sure it's going to work.
  5. Remove the road wheel and undo the T50 screw holding the disc to the hub.
  6. Remove the plastic bung from the other hole in the disc.
  7. Remove the brake calliper by undoing the 2 x 15mm size bolts to the rear.
  8. Once the bolts are removed twist the calliper against the disc in situ to push back the pads to make it easier to get off. My discs we very worn and rusty. While you are here you should really replace the pads if required, I did this 12 months ago so mine are fine.
  9. Rest the calliper on any tall object that sits at the height required, I used a jerry can.
  10. Now here the hard bit... removing the brake disc. It's hard because the hand brake pads are within the centre of the disc and generally are "sticking" to the drum. This is the same as removing a drum brake (for thos ewho know what a brake drum is) but with a disc attached. I'm afraid a fair bit of force and patience are required.
  11. Get a long flat ended screw driver and push it between the disc and the metal guard at the back and give it a wiggle. Use the lump hammer to strike the drum each time you have the disc under pressure. The impact releases the shoes that are stopping you take off the disc. This make take 5 or 10 minutes. I am sure you could make or buy a puller but as this is a rare requirement I didn't bother. Use the screw driver on each side just rocking the disc outwards. The process is to put leverage pressure on the disc and hit the drum. Go to the other side either 180 degrees or 90 degrees around the disc and repeat.
  12. The drum comes off when holes in the disc are flush to the end of the wheel studs. In the later stages of this process you can use the screw driver to lever between the hole in the middle of the disc and the hub once you are far enough out.
  13. OK so the disc is off. This is what it looks like.
  14. Next we are going to remove the brake shoes:
    1. Using a screwdriver and a small hammer tap off the retaining clips on the top and bottom shoes. These have a pin that comes out of the rear. The top one comes out, the bottom doesn't as there's not room.
    2. Now remove the spring that's connecting the 2 shoes on the left side over the adjuster.
    3. Now you will need your long nosed pliers to pull through the hand brake cable nipple. You need to pull this out and up so it sits above the claw that retains it so when you take off the shoes is pulls through the hole.
    4. You can now remove the brake shoes by opening the end by the adjuster and manoeuvring them over the hub.
  15. So now we have the shows on the ground. Make sure you match the new shoes up so you can see which way around they go. Remove and clean the adjuster. It was still in the lowest setting on my Freelander (screwed all the way in). Remove the hand brake cable pivot and spring.
  16. The root cause of my poor hand brake is the pivot being seized as well as a very worn set of shoes. I removed the unit and soaked in in WD40 then used a hide hammer and a hard surface to free the hinge. I then used a vice to keep easing the pivot until I got completely free movement through it's range which took a while. I am worried that they will just seize again but I'm not sure what I can do to stop that.
    Update: I've had to remove them again (Jan 2014) 2 years later for my MOT in 4 weeks as they did re seize. I am going to try Copper Grease this time, very annoying. Such a poor design. It might be better to just replace them.
  17. Now we need to install the new pads. I laid them on the ground and put the spring on the pivot side on and the inserted the pivot by stretching the spring and moving the shoes to the side to allow the pivot into the slots.
  18. Once you've completed this you can put the shoes back onto the hub and they will hold themselves in place. Once in place add the adjuster and then fit the final spring.
  19. When putting the shoes back make sure the hand brake cable get fed through the top of the adjuster. I used a very small screwdriver and a pair of long nose pliers to assist with this.
  20. We now have to replace the clips that hold the shoes against the back plate. The top ones are fairly easy as you can get access to the read to control them. The bottom ones are a bit harder. The off side one can be accessed if you have fairly thin fingers but the nearside one seems to be completely inaccessible.
  21. Getting the clips on was a really fiddly job. On the near side I used a magnet to pull the pin though then pushed the bottom grove of the clip over the head. Once done it took a lot of fiddling but with a very large flat blade screw driver I eventually managed to compress the clip and slide it under the head just enough to hold. I then tapped the clip with a hammer to slide it home.
  22. Once all this is done align the shoes roughly by eye to ensure that are as central as possible and you are ready to put the disc back on.
  23. I used replacement discs as mine were in terrible condition. If you do this make sure you clean them with petrol or another solvent to remove the greasy protection on the metal or your brakes won't work at all.
  24. Line up the screw holes on the disc with the hub and push on. This should be very easy. Screw in the T50 screw. I put copper lube on the thread as again it was rusty.
  25. Refit the calliper. Make sure the bolts are very are tight.
  26. Replace the wheel and torque up the nuts. I use 90 lb ft but please refer to the manual or your local dealer for this info.
  27. Start the vehicle and remember to pump your brake pedal gently to take up the slack in the rear pads before moving off. Give your new hand brake a test!
  28. Here are the old items well past their sell by date!
  29. I hope this helps you save some money and get your hands dirty.