Clutch Master & Slave Assembly Replacement

After having the clutch failure a complete replacement of the clutch hydraulics was necessary. The clutch hydraulics in the 1.8 Freelander is a closed and sealed system. Meaning that if anything fails you have to replace both the slave and the master cylinders. A new clutch hydraulics kit consists of a single part filled with oil and is ready to go.

According to the Haynes manual it's an advanced job, all in all it's pretty simple just a few snags to watch out for. I started out with taking out the battery and air filter box, this gives good access to the working area. The slave cylinder had simply exploded, most parts where lying around in the engine bay. The master cylinder is a little trickier, you first need to release the pin fixed to the clutch pedal, this takes some fiddling around lying upside down in the car.

The real tricky part was to get the master cylinder itself out, you need to rotate it clockwise 45 degrees before you can pull it out. The problem is that on a LHD vehicle there is simply no extra clearance to do this. You need to keep it perfectly straight to be able to pull it out. This took me about 30 minutes of messing around before I got it out.

Putting the new kit in takes some caution. You need to guide the kit through the engine bay and put it roughly into place. Fitting the slave cylinder is simple, all you need to do is place it on the bracket and clip on the C-clip. I cut the plastic retainers and that was all, for now...

The second tricky part is refitting the master cylinder. The same problem applies, you need to keep it perfectly straight when inserting it through the bulkhead. My problem was that with all the pulling and twisting I noticed some oil coming out. The lid of the master cylinder is not firmly fixed, so whilst fitting be very careful not the undo the lid by accident. If you open the lid air will come in and you can start all over with a new kit. After all I managed to get it in and re-attach the pin to the clutch pedal.

During the test drive I did notice some play in the pedal, not sure if this was there before, the clutch also felt heavier to operate.

Maybe I let a bit of air into the system with all the twisting of the master cylinder...

I placed the wires, air filter and battery back where they belonged and took it for a test drive. All OK! It works once again!

Milage: 153229

Freelander Freelifting

Clutch slave cylinder broke. Apparently this happens. This happened in the middle of the city on a busy intersection. The clutch pedal was like kicking air, nothing happened.

We got the Volvo XC70 out to pull the car to the local Volvo garage who we know very well. They where helpful enough to load the Freelander on a car ambulance and bring it home (with a Land Cruiser...). We could not tow the car home the entire way, with the last adventure in the middle of a field in the middle of the night we damaged the front tow point and whilst pulling over the road with the XC70 it snapped off.

I asked a friend who works at a Land Rover garage to get an new clutch master/slave cylinder kit, and a new front tow point.

Next up some time in the garage...

Stuck again....

Driving back home on a Saturday night we decided it would be a good idea to drive through a ditch in a field. Bad idea. The ditch looked shallow, but was filled with deep and sticky mud.

The Freelander sank to the ground in seconds and was completely stuck. We walked home to get a second car and our 'Search and Rescue' pelican case, which has a mobile powerful winch in it.

The winching seemed to work at first, the Freelander started to move! After some messing about the movement of the Freelander seized and the Volvo V50 to which the winch was anchored started to move towards the Freelander.

By now it was 4:00 AM and 3 degree celcius, after a lot of digging and pulling, we where forced to give up... That REALY SUCKED! We could have tried positioning the Volvo in front of the Freelander to get a better pull, but the risk of getting two cars stuck was to big. I was also scared of damaging things since you start to get desperate at a certain point.

The next day we gave it a second try, this time with a Volvo XC70 AWD weighing almost 2000KG's. Also this was not good enough of an anchor, the winch simply pulled the car over the grass. We did try some pulling with the Volvo, it's a very powerful car, but without grip this of course is useless. We also tried pulling the Freelander at the front having the XC70 stand in the muddy part of the field. Also this time simply no grip, the XC70 just got pulled over the field, even sideways!

Next up was calling a friend with a tractor, he saved us before, so we had high hopes. After more pulling, digging and broken ropes (rated at 5000KG's) it became evident that the tractor was not able to pull it out.

The next and final step was to place the tractor in front of the Freelander, this was risky since this was the muddy(er) part of the field. The advantage of this was however that the tractor would also pull the Freelander up a bit whilst pulling it forward.

This worked!! The tractor got it out and the Freelander was able to move by itself again! After seeing the ravage created in the field the problem became more clear. What happened was that with the first try with the Volvo V50 we pulled the Freelander back by about a car length. The reason we could not get it back more was because the front wheels had fallen in the holes created by the rear wheels. Since the front has less ground clearance than the back it was now really stuck. This was also why we could not pull it in reverse, the full weight of the engine was lying on the front protection plate.

Next up was some serious cleaning, the car was loaded with sticky mud all around, even on the inside. All cleaned up great, the interior is also easy to clean.

So what did we learn from this.....? Land Rovers Rule!
It was the middle of the night, very cold, wearing only a t-shirt, covered in smelly mud, impossible situation and still brilliant! As long as nothing (or no one) gets broken all is alright. Next time we will place some planks or whatever in the tracks to prevent the car from sinking into deeper tire holes. Also quite important is to remember what Ray Mears sayd; 'Walk before you drive'!

A few weeks later I found a post on this forum titled "You know you own a Land Rover when....":

-Your friends won't ride with you 'cause they don't want to wind up in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.

Sounded familier...