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109 brakes to 88

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I’ve been following Anderzander’s build thread in the Members Vehicles section and his recent front brake upgrade to 11” drums on his S1. It’s got me curious (oh dear🤔) about how much of an improvement over the standard SWB 10” drums, transplanting a complete servo assisted 11” brake setup off a 109 would achieve?

Has anyone done this to a SWB and can comment? Bearing in mind that fitting new brakes and a servo will improve things over a used non-servo system anyway.

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I think it’s an enormous difference - especially if you fit the TLS fronts.  
 

There are people in the Series 1 club who have done that (servo and TLS) and taken it off again saying it was too much for such a short light thing. 

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Posted (edited)

There's an answer that is refreshing. Hallejah to that!

It's a hoary old chestnut. A recognized swap, and within hte limits of drums someone will be along to tell you its worth. All it really does is put the brakes up to the standard of  late 60s era vehicles. Pretty poor.

It's an improvement for everyday use, but push comes to shove, we still won't want to be on a wet road at 55mph for a force-stop. Leafer drums of this design, even properly set-up, don't stay put. Their design prevents consistency, no shoe ever does the same thing twice. Hence you'll never know what you're going to get in that force-stop.

Of course, these words are a heresy, a blasphemy in certain circles, however LR put discs on for good reason. Do this conversion by all means, but know what you're getting. If it really made sense consider this:  if you've already got a 109 - thus these brakes - where does the 'thinking'... "All we need is  'greater braking effort' " take us? In fact, the last 1980ish leafers did get 109 brakes... it's a stopgap at best.

Most seem to think good brakes are about leaving black lines on tarmac. Some might start to think, there's rather more going on. What we really need is consistencyy and metering.

The only real solution to making a leafer stop, is the one LR used a few years later, and Santana did in about 1979. Discs. Discs repeat with consistency not seen on our drums. There are kits available but they're not cheap.

 

Edited by Landrover17H
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Land Rover themselves did this for the last few years of Series III production - 1980 onwards I think. Brakes were rationalised to 11” twin-leading-shoe front on all models and then 10” standard rears for SWB and 11” for LWB. All had servos. I believe Stage 1 V8s had 3” wide shoes on the front as a further addition.

I put the later rationalised braking system on my 88” when I rebuilt it. The brakes were excellent, easily as much stopping power as the 90 with its discs. The only issue I found with the drums was that they didn’t cope as well in muddy or wet conditions and they required more ongoing maintenance/adjustment. I guess they would probably have been more susceptible to fade as well, but I never did enough fast driving to experience that!

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Equally, my late SIII lightweight had them, brakes were very good, never struggled to bring it to a halt -and I do drive quite spiritedly. 

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We had this set up on the 88"before going discs.

Good period improvement

 

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Just now, Arjan said:

We had this set up on the 88"before going discs.

Good period improvement

 

Interesting, how did it compare between the updated drum brakes and the discs?

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In a way they're very similar brake retarding wise.

It is just that the discs are more predictable, esp. after water, and less maintenance.

And here in France, the brake test - even for mature vehicle - is rather strict and the discs make passing much, much easier.

 

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The drums need regular use to maintain efficiency, but the late 109 set up, TLS and servo,  will lock up a fully laden 109 with a well loaded 4 wheel trailer.

It's good.  It might be better in some conditions, is it less subject to mud ingress? Worse in others, need drying out after fording.

I'd prefer disks for repeated hard braking, mountain use, but it's a good system.

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Posted (edited)
Quote

TLS and servo,  will lock up a fully laden 109 with a well loaded 4 wheel trailer.

Exactly. Awful brakes. If fully laden, this has to be one time it's not easy to do that, and it still locks? There's something going wrong.

As Arjan says, drums or discs, each will get to the limit of a tyre. The difference is not judged by either's ability to lock-up. That's poor brakes. Once locked, we're not stopping, we're sliding. Discs or drums, both will create sliding-friction if not metered. In my experience of leafer drums, once 'on' they won't come 'off'. Unlike modern vehicles, you have to work too hard to have them 'on', hence anyone with less than exceptional driving abilities and strength, has 'No-feel'. Which is typical, that's how it was done in that era - measured by their ability to 'lock'.

Years of sale brochure rubbish leads to a misunderstanding of what it is brakes need to be doing, at the adhesion limit. School-boy stuff, sliding friction is lower. At the extreme, discs improve in their ability to deal with fade/dirt and have less maintenance etc. That's all stuff straight from the sales brochure too, and whilst true, none of  that is why few vehicles have drums today. Those sales brochures have a lot to answer for. At the moment they hype multi-piston calipers... whatever sells eh? And without really saying how or why?

 

And so it goes.

 

Edited by Landrover17H

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I disagree, the best braking force is just before the wheels lock. You ride that line between locking up and not locking up. Brakes lock, ease off pedal, apply pedal, lock, ease off. Repeat.

Cadence braking its called. That's how I was trained.

I was happy. The vehicle had to stop in a hurry.

 

I was doing about 40, and an Idiot driver pulled out in front of me from a side road, then hit the brakes right in front of me, then stopped. I think they might have been going for a whip lash injury.  The 109 stopped, dry road. All I was expecting it to do. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Then we agree, only I'm afraid it's Series brakes, or my lack of talent. Either way, the result is the same - I've never managed to put that into practice with leafer brakes. This becomes the problem I speak of; more so if those reading this, find me coming at them, over you.

Edited by Landrover17H

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Time to start exploring the ABS retrofit concept, isn't it?

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1 hour ago, Gazzar said:

Time to start exploring the ABS retrofit concept, isn't it?

The P38 valve block is winging its way north as I type 😉

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Posted (edited)

Yes, that'd be my dream. ABS in a leafer. Driver removed from the loop, ABS in my mind is a real safety aid and should be a legal requirement in current vehicles. I've got discs all round, and they give a 'feel' much as a coiler - so as good as it gets for 'old skool'. Yet against an ABS set-up, they're a mile away.

Edited by Landrover17H

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Good. It's on the list for my next project. A spouse friendly 1968 V8 109 SW. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Not to persist on your fire, you're aware I love what you're doing in your project, yet if there was one bit of ECU trickery I could add to mine it'd be ABS.

Not going to be easy is it? A homebrew ECU set-up is way beyond the realms of budget or my pay-grade to be successful. ABS would  involve an anally-retentive collection of coiler parts for everything, same discs, caliper, piston sizes, pump etc etc Valve-units et al, else the ECU and valve-units would respond with wrong timing and fluid amounts.  Those things work in milli-seconds for fluid-metering. I can see days figuring out the loom to duplicate the thing...

Getting vehicles to 'go' is far easier than getting them to 'stop'. I'm figuring it; easily the most complex, which is why I doubt it's ever been done. Where cobblin' a disparate collection of  bits is a guaranteed fail.

 

 

Edited by Landrover17H

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Yes, fun!

The donor selection is key.

Something with a stand alone ECU, 4 channel/wheel system. Ideally with TC and HDC.

Oh, and defender calipers.

 

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I think that if you get an early freelander control box it is all built in.

 

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On 6/28/2020 at 2:34 PM, Gazzar said:

 

Cadence braking its called. That's how I was trained.

 

 

 

 

Something we were all taught in the day, on bike or in car.

My first 'big' motorcycle - a Kawasaki H2 750, with an H1 500 front end, was drum braked back and front. The modification was done, because the drums were better than the discs. A blatant copy of the Norton Commando front drum, with air flow ducting and drain holes, to dry the drums quickly...

Drums work, but only if you drive knowing you haven't got discs

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