As I drove back to the house, I noticed that my fuel tank seemed to be draining more quickly than normal. When I pulled into the garage, I saw diesel spilling onto the ground from the passenger side of the motor compartment. I opened the bonnet and saw that my injector spill lines were dry-rotted and had split, dumping fuel onto the block. It's a good thing that this truck is diesel and that the exhaust manifold was on the other side. Yikes.
Surprise, surprise. These were Allmakes lines. I tossed them and ordered a set of the Genuines from LRDirect. You can tell the shitty lines from the good lines by the style of the brass fittings that join them together. The good ones have flared fittings; the shitty do not. The shitty ones are made with super crappy rubber. These Allmakes were less than three years old.
As I was repairing these, I noticed that most of the rubber isolators on my air filter bracket had failed:
Want to guess who manufactured that filter bracket? Yep.
I ordered some new Genuine isolators and installed them. I have to say, of all the shitty jobs on a Defender, changing out these isolators ranks up there with installing a new steering box. It's a total pain in the ass. You need tiny hands and a rubber glove with a little magnet in the fingertip to hold the nut and washer.
After fixing the fueling system, it was on to the rear drum brakes. My brakes had been feeling soft for a while and every time I bled them, there was a little air in the rears. There weren't any noticeable leaks so I assume that the cylinders were sucking in air somehow.
First, I had to remove the drums. This was a big pain in the ass because they were completely frozen to the hubs by rust and years of heat and asbestos dust. I spent days soaking them with PB Blaster and beating them with a brass hammer to no avail. I also tried the trick of putting a fastener in the little pull-holes on the side but that didn't help, either.
At last, I discovered that I could remove them by prying back the backing plate and getting a crowbar behind the lip of the drums. I had them off in short order. The cylinders weren't looking so hot.
The shoes were totally shot, worn down to the rivets:
It is a brotherhood of men who have rebuilt a Land Rover drum brake. It is a total pain in the ass. The springs that hold the shoes together are unbelievably stout. Mine were even tougher because I was using new springs:
The manual, as usual, is laughably vague about the re-mounting procedures so you're on your own. There's no YouTube video or forum post for this, either. It took me hours but I finally figured out the trick: install the lower springs first, then install one side of the upper springs, then mount the shoes, then use the Force to pull the loose side of the upper spring into the tiny and concealed hole in the back side of the shoe. You may have to bend the hook of the spring out a little bit to make it so that it will be able to pop in.
You might notice that these are not Genuine brake cylinders. I had ordered these brake parts years ago and they were Allmakes. Sure as shit, I opened the box to discover that they were made in China. What a disappointment but at this point, not surprising. The good news is that the cylinders themselves are very easy to change so I will swap them out for Genuine if they give me problems, which they probably will.
I put a new set of drums on, taking care to put some high-heat copper anti-sieze around the mating surface between drum and hub.
While I was in there, I took an opportunity to go over the hubs. It wasn't pretty: the hubs were filled with rust and some very old grease:
I decided to rebuild them with fresh bearings and races.
Finally, my truck has rebuilt hubs and new brakes in all four corners: