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X-Brake PTO type

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Bought a X-brake PTO version kit during the weekend & it arrived yesterday 

so hopefully this weekend will see me under the 110 stripping the standard drum transmission brake off & fitting this nice shiney X-Brake kit, as I already have the correct brake cable it'll be fairly easy to fit.

more pics & a Les H type tech thread to follow so watch this space :i-m_so_happy:

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Looking forward to the write up I'd like to fit one to my PTO Equiped 130 so would be great to see a write up.


Completely Orange free 130!!

fitted one to my 110 wirth PTO a few months back - very happy and easy enough to do :)

I may need a couple of replacement stickers though ;)

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Well I've removed the old standard drum brake & fitted the new X-brake [PTO type] today, took lots of photo's for you guys & girls to look at.

To do this job you'll need these tools for these operations --------------------------------

a 7/16 inch open end spanner for slackening off the shoe adjuster to let the drum slide off.

a pair of side cutter [snips] & pliers to remove the brake lever & cable clevis split pins (keep the brake cable to lever clevis pin & it's washer as you'll need these for the reconnection of the cable to the X-brake caliper lever.)

a 9/16 inch open end & ring spanner for undoing the rear propshaft to transfer box rear flange nuts, (I bought 4 new nyloc nuts 3/8 unf (LR part number NZ606041L) ready for the refit

a cross-point screwdriver to undo the 2 drum retainer screws (LR part number SA108201L)

large flatblade screwdriver or prybar to remove the brake shoes from the adjuster & expander slide slots

a 13mm socket/ratchet handle/extension bar to remove the 4 x 13mm hex head bolts securing the brake cable/lever bracket on the right side of the transferbox ( 2 x M8 part number BH108091L & 2 x M8 part numberFS108251L)

2 x 19mm open end spanners to remove/refit the brake cable adjuster nuts

a 15mm socket/breaker bar/extension bar to remove/refit the 4 x bolts ( part number AFU1400) securing the drum backplate to the transferbox (keep these ready for the fit of the X-brake backplate) these were very tight,mine creaked when they released then came out fine, the oil catcher plate is not needed during the refit.

Ok, here we go The Strip Down ---------------------

Double chock the wheels & release the handbrake, then slacken this square drive adjuster with the 7/16 OE spanner, it's on the forward left side of the backplate, the cable in front of it in this picture is the speedo drive at the transferbox end.

a general view of the old drum brake & forward end of the rear propshaft secured by 4 x 3/8unf nyloc nuts, remove these & if in good condition retain for refit later or buy 4 new ones (part number above)

the prop disconnected & moved clear of the work area

next with the cross point screwdriver remove the 2 cross head screws that secure the drum to the flange, then the drum is ready to be remove, Warning it's HEAVY

now the inner workings are revealed, so get the big flat blade screwdriver or prybar & persuade the shoes away from the expander & adjuster slides, these may drop out, so be ready to pick them up after. ( the expander slides have a smaller roller behind them,this will drop out too)

next remove the clevis pin & split pin from the cable lever to expander rod link

so it looks like this

now that's all done the next bit is to undo the 4 bolts securing the backplate to the transferbox rear housing, These 4 are very tight,use the breaker bar & extension & 15mm socket (clean & keep the 4 bolts ready for the fit of the X-brake backplate, the oil catcher plate is not required for the refit)

the removed backplate & 4 bolts & oil catcher (note expander on the right & adjuster on the left) & the muck that was on the oil catcher plate's curved face

now we move onto disconnecting the handbrake cable (Note the fork end of the cable, if yours isn't like this you will need a new cable from X-Eng when you order your X-Brake) & removing the no longer required lever bracket from the right side of the transfer box, the 2 x 13mm hex head bolts have to be removed, these aren't needed anymore,

the same goes for the 2x 13mm hex head bolts at the forward end of this lever bracket, these can be reached by going over the top of the right chassis rail, use a 13mm socket/ratchet handle & either a wobbly end extension bar or universal joint on a striaght extension bar.

the bracket hanging on the brake cable, remove the fork end clevis pin & washer & keep ready for the reconnection to the X-brake caliper lever, the 2 x 19mm nuts have to be undone to release the cable adjuster from the bracket.

once the bracket is removed your cable should be like this ready for reconnection.

the no longer required lever bracket

nearly there just some cleaning around the rear housing & mating face for the new X-brake backplate to do

Edited by western
dead photo links removed.
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Fitting the X-brake

The backplate fitted using the 4 x 15mm hex head bolts retained from the strip down of the old drum brake & the right M16 bolt/washer/caliper slide (black)/spacer/washer/nut temp fitted to the backplate ready for the caliper to be fitted,(I fitted the 1st washer under the bolt head & the 2nd washer under the nut)


The caliper is offered up to it's RH bolt, slide it over the bolt head onto the black slide. (note the card in between the pads to prevent damage, it's sent with this fitted, remove it later)


Swing the caliper over to the right & rest it on the chassis rail, ready for the disc to be located onto the prop flange


next gently bring the caliper from it's resting place, remove the card from between the pads & gently fit the caliper & disc together





now fit the 2nd M16 bolt/cable bracket (narrow slot up,with the small bend resting on top of the caliper) slide the bolt/washer through the black slide & fit the long spacer tube onto the bolt, then fit the bolt tail through the backplate & screw on the 2nd washer & nyloc nut, don't tighten yet


now refit the propshaft with the 4 x 3/8unf nyloc nuts retained from the stripdown or use the 4 new ones. tighten these 4 bolts all the way down, the prop secures the disc onto the bolts/flange & centralises the caliper on it's slides.



locate the handbrake cable into the bracket & connect the fork end to the caliper lever with the clevis pin/washer (retained from the stripdown) & a new split pin, so the cable has a straight run from the bracket to the caliper lever








now fully tighten the 2 x M16 bolts & nuts, a 24mm socket & 24mm ring spanner, ratchet handle/extension bar are needed, when almost tight,swap the ratchet handle for a torque wrench & final tighten to 80Nm


next set the brake cable adjustment, I set the handbrake in onto the 3rd click of it's ratchet & adjusted/tightend the nuts so the handbrake will just go onto the 4th click of the ratchet, which is about the same as the old drumbrake. also release the brake & check the pads are just skimming the disc.


And now it's all finished & fitted, looks great doesn't it :i-m_so_happy: :D


I want to say Thank You to Simon (X-Eng) for a excellent product :i-m_so_happy: 







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James - EXACTLY my thoughts when I saw the pic ! :lol:

I think mine would just be a gloppy mess inside, it worked after a strip clean and rebuild for the MOT, now 1 session off road 27th dec AWDC DRD it er is "Not so good" again - time methinks for me to have one of these too.

Just where on the list of work it fits into :)

Great post Ralph, shows what a well thought out mod this is from Si

For pure interest how long did it take from start to finish ?


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Excellent product and excellent thread Ralph, although i must say that must be the cleanest internals of a drum handbrake i have ever seen!!!!!

only that clean cos I had to strip it recently to clean the sticking expander & took the chance to make sure all the other bits were happy. :D

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Nige, I started about 10.15 yesterday & finished about 2.30, so around 4hours & 15mins,just took my time, 2 of the drum backplate bolts were beginning to give me a 'I'm not coming off' problem but a bit of persausion from mr hammer & mr breaker bar, soon made them give up & come quietly, other than that everything else came off easy & the fitting of nice new clean parts was just a pleasure :i-m_so_happy:

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Nice thread Ralph, thanks for taking the time to take pics as you went.

Though I have to admit, last time I had to remove my drum it was prop off and slipping the clutch in low box to try and get the drum to spin while reaching in from above with a lump hammer and drift.

Funny really coz the last one just fell off :ph34r:

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Another bit of info to add while doing another job today [fitting a lower ball joint for my Ram Mount so I can have the laptop in the cab, I had to move the cubby box (some may have the centre seat still fitted) & cover plate for access it was then I realised fitting & setting the brake cable bracket & adjusting the brake cable would have been much easier than trying to struggle from under the vehicle, Oh well when the cable needs re-adjustment, I know which way I'll do it now :rolleyes:biggrin.gif

I'll add a picture to show it tomorrow when home from work.

Edited by western
link updated.
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A couple of pictures taken from inside the 110 looking down on the transferbox/overdrive through the under cubbybox (centre seat) cover panel

a general view from directly above the centre panel, you can see the cable adjustment nuts & bracket in the upper right corner.



a close up of the brake cable adjustment bracket & nuts ( 2 x 19mm hex) I reckon it will be easier to do any readjusting of the cable from here, also you can see the inboard end of the caliper body with the edge of brake disc below




this one taken from the front of the area looking towards the rear of the vehicle, shows the 2 x M16 nuts (24mm hex) & you can just see the brake cable clevis pin & top of the caliper operating lever at the end of the cable bracket.




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Don't remember mine being as complicated, took a couple of hours taking it steady and seemed an easy modification.

The pictures from Western are great, if only to show how simple the job is, just do it in stages and it should all fall into place.

Mine also had to fit around an overdrive unit and I fitted a Range Rover handbrake to the seatbox beside the drivers seat at the same time.

After a few months in operation with no problems (+plus MOT) I can confirm it is an excellent product.


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  • 9 months later...

I've just fitted the latest version of the X-Brake to my 1994 300Tdi 110.

My handbrake was slipping, so I thought rather than spending any money on new brake shoes etc, I'd just buy the X-Brake and have done with it.

Firstly, I'd never looked at the brake mechanism before. I'd never removed the propshaft. I'd never adjusted the handbrake on any car.

Day 1

Removal of the old drum setup was easier than Ralph's thread. I didn't bother removing the brake shoes as I could get to the 4 holding bolts easily. They weren't that tight either. The whole assembly removed in one piece together with the cable, once loosened from the handbrake side. That was the easy bit.

Fitting the X-Brake was easy too. Then I started to have problems which I put mostly down to inexperience. However, please read on:

The first problem was the cable itself. Simon supplied a new cable with the correct fittings for the caliper. It's very stiff and didn't want to bend that easily. The route of the cable follows a 180 degree path and then 90 degrees to enter the hole through the seatbox. I found the cable very hard to position. This was the inexperience bit.

Once connected at the handbrake end, I realised the cable was a good 1.5" short for the caliper arm. Unbeknown to me at that time, I'd been completely unaware that I required an abutment plate (part no. NRC 7984) to screw the handbrake-side cable into. This plate attached to the back of the seatbox from underneath and uses the same bolts used to hold the handbrake mechansim to the seatbox.

However, at this time, all I did was roughly route the cable through and hoped for the best.

OK. Cable too short. Called Simon numerous times (how he must hate me!!) and make a complete pest of myself. No option other than to adjust the arm on the spline of the caliper. This involves undoing the locknut until the arm lifts off the splined shaft, turning the arm anti-clockwise by one spline and then re-tighten said locknut. By now, I was well into the 4th hour of fitment.

I decided to leave the caliper in-situ and undo the locknut. I followed Simon's instructions but couldn't get the arm onto the spline. Time and time again I tried. No luck.

Eventaually, I managed to get something to work. It wasn't right, but it worked. STILL couldn't connect the cable though. Something was very wrong. I called it a night and drove 2 days without a handbrake. I lost A LOT of sleep through worry, but resolved to get it sorted at the weekend.

Day 2

OK, my interpretation. The instructions of how to move the arm on the splined shaft don't work. I couldn't get them to work!! No way!!

3 hours of fiddling, fussing and swearing. I took the caliper off and tried everything I could. No luck. My opinion of this product was not good at this point.

Last resort. Do something different. PM me if you wish (if you get this far). It worked.

Re-fit. BUGGER!!!! Too much. This had taken me a good 5 hours.

To say that I had the caliper off, re-adjusted and back on in 5 minutes tells you that either I'm an idiot or that I've learnt something.

Right. Connect. Adjust. Working!!

The mechanism wasn't smooth. The noise inside the cab was too high. Somethimg was wrong. The brake worked very well. Hmmmm.

PM's to Ralph.

OK, on the 300Tdi, the cable goes through the seatbox with inside a rubber grommet which looks remarkably like a small, black willy. I took this off the old cable and thought it wasn't needed. Luckily, I kept it.

The second proble was the cable, now underneath the mid-seat box, was resonating and tapping the box cover. And it was BLOODY annoying.

The third problem was the cable hit the seatbox bulkhead and made the 90 degree turn far too abrupt.

Somethig had to be done.

First, a very strong cable-tie was used to hold the cable underneath the mid-seat box about half was down. This brought the cable better into line with the opening for the handbrake.

I then wrapped the cable in pipe lagging and gaffer-taped that into position so that the cable couldn't vibrate on the box cover. Good.

Then I PM'd Ralph AGAIN! The cable sheath still had a threaded end which wasn't being used. Was something missing? Yes it was. Cable abutment plate NRC 7984!!! I ordered one.

Day 3.

Fitment of the plate and 'willy' seal. Easy enough really (by now!). The problem for me was that the top bolt wasn't long enough, so I had to visit my friendly hardware store and buy a longer M8 bolt. M8x40mm.

A bit of washing-up liquid to get the 'willy' seal through the seatbox hole and all done.

Slacken off the adjuster on the caliper a tad. Job complete!

I now have a handbrake which works and a cab which is as quiet as before.

I still need the X-Brake to prove itself to me though. This has cost me a lot of time. But I've learned so much that I don't regret the time.

For anyone contemplating this mod on a 300Tdi, PM me. I'd recommend it but, sometimes, it isn't as straightforward as you think.

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Anyone know if the RRC X-brake will fit a P38?

Wouldn't mind one of these myself, as my handbrake has a habit of sticking.

Seems not a lott more work to fit than strip and clean the drum.

I assume I would need a new cable as well. Which one?

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To be fair, with the right bits, it shouldn't take more than 3-4 hours.

I wasted a lot of time by sitting underneath my 110 and thinking what needed to be done and fiddling. If I'd known the secret to adjusting the arm (95% of them shouldn't need the arm adjusting - mine did), I'd have been far, far quicker.

I posted this to highlight that even a complete twit like me can do it, despite having problems with things. The quality and simplicity of the product is exceptional.

Look on X-Eng's website here for details.

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Well Simon, now you have bought something that I would really go for :D

Interesting thread, as we are now the South African agent for X-eng. We are doing a sort of swop as we are sending him some of our Engine Management Systems in X-change. I think our first order is for four X-brakes just to test the water as they end up pretty expensive with the shipping, etc. Also we don't suffer much from mud in the brake - oil yes, but mud no. As a free plug, if you want to see our EMS systems, go to the web site in my sig and look around. We sell lots here, and should in the UK. To buy one, go to X-eng soon!

We like X-eng because they are thinking 'out of the box' as I think the expression goes. They are leaders in innovation, not followers and profit-mongers like the insect people. Their (or his) after-sales service seems to be terrific, also unlike the poisonous crowd. We know all about these insects here..... the real ones that is :o

We are also SA agents for Mudstuff and I have one of their consoles in my 300tdi and am waiting for the thing to put around the gear lever. Again, they are different and don't just sell what everyone else sells. Their name doesn't really work for us here as there is no mud, but no matter.

One question: is it more difficult to fit the X-eng handbrake to a Disco rather than to a Defender?

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Well done. Have one fitted to my TD5 CSW and I found the same problem with the supplied cable being very stiff, didn't know about NRC7984 though, will have to get one. The main loop of my cable is is cable tied to a bracket fixed to one of the O/D bolts to stop it rattling on the seat box. I had no problem adjusting the lever.

Other than these minor issues, I'm well impressed.

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