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Britpart master Cylinder-trustworthy?

Discussion in 'Defender 90 / 110 / 130' started by Alpinewoodsman, Jan 3, 2020.

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  1. Alpinewoodsman

    Alpinewoodsman Member

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    After an interesting total brake failure on a steep mountain road, I'm making a few repairs to my braking system.
    Vacuum pump is OK, fluid level is OK with no obvious leaks, and given the sudden and total lack of any brakes, I'm 99% certain it is the master cylinder.
    Are the Britpart ones decent, or are the more expensive ones better?
    1986 2.5 turbodiesel, LHD if it matters!

    As I'm doing the master cylinder, I'll renew the fluid- about 2 litres, isn't it? I'll also be fixing the front bumper, track rod, and a few other bits that bent in the process of stopping.

    And thanks to the informal Land-rover assistance network, for helping to pull me out of the snowbank!
     
    payydg likes this.
  2. lynall

    lynall Well-Known Member

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    Whatever make you buy, pop the rod and seal out and take a look at the seal itself, is it well shaped/nice edges etc? if so its good to go.
    If car stands for long periods after refitting the seal and rod stuff some rubber grease into it to stop the piston seizing through rust, note not on the fluid side!

    1 litre should be enough, though you can never have enough, buy it in 1 litre pots that way if you dont open the second it will keep for years.
     
  3. Rougharse Racing

    Rougharse Racing Well-Known Member

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    If your master-cylinders fail brake fluid should leak down the back of the pedal and be evident on the floor.
     
  4. Alpinewoodsman

    Alpinewoodsman Member

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    Currently standing on mud, so hard to check. Level in the reservoir is OK, so I wasn't looking for a big leak.

    Once I have steering back, I'll get it in a flat dry garage, and can check better...
     
  5. Alpinewoodsman

    Alpinewoodsman Member

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    Any other ideas for a total failure of the brakes? Had been working fine two days beforehand on the same road...
     
  6. Disco1BFG

    Disco1BFG Well-Known Member

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    IMHO, buy a better master cylinder than blue box - think OEM .. A quick look on paddocks showed BP at £43 ish, and AP Laycock at £57 ish. no brainer IMO.
     
  7. lightning

    lightning Well-Known Member

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    Can someone tell me how long brake fluid lasts in a sealed container once you used some.
    I’ve got a couple of half full bottles of DOT 4 that are a few months old. Can l use it?

    How long before it becomes unusable? After l bleed the brakes (using a pressure bleeder) l generally pour the unused fluid back into the bottle.
     
  8. Disco1BFG

    Disco1BFG Well-Known Member

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    Easiest way to check it is with a cheap water content tester of evil bay or similar - but yes, provided it has been in a sealed container it should be fine to use.
     
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  9. ogb

    ogb Active Member

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    Brakes are a safety critical item, right? Why would you be considering fitting a possibly dodgy part for the sake of saving a few quid? This might sound a bit evangelical, but I've made that mistake, thinking that OEM parts carry an outrageous mark-up that isn't justified. This might be a justifiable accusation for some things but brakes? I fitted, for example, pattern brake pads before a long offroad trip a few years back. I regretted that decision when the front brakes failed (you know, the ones that do all the work on a Defender?) at the top of a 6000ft mountain pass. The "biting" part of the pads had disappeared into thin air. It was a very interesting descent and a diversion into the next country to get replacements...OEM...very expensive, but still working as designed after another 2 demanding trips.
     
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  10. ogb

    ogb Active Member

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    Did you have any braking at all, even if you stood up on the pedal? If you did, I'd suspect the vacuum pump as it happened to me recently. If the pedal went to the floor, look at the master and slave cylinders (assuming good fluid levels). A drip of fluid down the pedal arm is a giveaway,as s/o ahead of me said. If the latter needs to be replaced it's a timesaver to do both since you'll be in the same mess anyway.
     
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  11. Alpinewoodsman

    Alpinewoodsman Member

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    No braking at all. Trying it static this afternoon, no resistance on the pedal with engine on or off, other than return springs.

    Fluid was well above minimum on the flat.

    Disconnected the vacuum hose, and it would stick to my finger with the engine running. Not impressive, but clearly working at least somewhat.

    I though even without vacuum/servo working I'd have some brakes if I push hard enough, so nothing at all had to be master cylinder...
     
  12. lynall

    lynall Well-Known Member

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    Literally years in a sealed tub.
    In my eyes once the fluid is out of the container its scrap, used or not.
     
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  13. lynall

    lynall Well-Known Member

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    Chcuk some fresh fluid in the reservior and get pumping and get someone to look around the motor for leaks/bulging hoses etc.

    Being a split system there should be more than one seal so could have failed internally and not leak externally.
     
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  14. payydg

    payydg Well-Known Member

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    Put the part number into LR direct and buy the best you can. Delphi are the brand I tend to use.
     
  15. Alpinewoodsman

    Alpinewoodsman Member

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    A Dephi cylinder and 1.5 litres of fluid are on their way. Hopefully that'll take care of the brakes, as renewing the pipework looks rather fiddly and messy...
     
  16. Gmacz

    Gmacz Well-Known Member

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    I would get started on making sure all the bleed nipples are free. On my old 110 in changing one rear brake pipe, by the time I had gotten a brake joint to open cleanly I was all the way to the front and then ended up replacing all flexis, pipes and brake cylinders as the bleed nipples were never coming out without stripping threads.
     
  17. Alpinewoodsman

    Alpinewoodsman Member

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    They were all bled and the system topped off by a professional garage three months ago, so the bleed valves should be fine.

    Also, it is currently sitting outside, and I can't yet get it into the garage to work on the brakes in the level, clean and dry.

    Plan is replace the tie rod and do an approximate wheel alignment. One is on full lock and the other is pointing straight ahead! Then I can drive it onto hard standing, pressure wash it, ( fun in January in the Alps...) then get it into the garage to do the brakes. Clean will make everything easier, including checking for leaks.
     
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