Thursday, 29 December 2011

Freelander 1.8 Petrol Clutch Master Slave Cylinder Removal Replacement

We bought a new clutch master and slave cylinder, it comes as a sealed unit so you cant buy one without the other. We got a good deal as "M"s daughter works in a garage.

But, it was down to me to fit it! Having never done it before I had a quick read up about it on the internet, which gave me a rough idea of how to set about it.

Up with the bonnet, after fighting with the bonnet release cable as that requires a tug with a pair of pliers as the end has snapped off from the handle!

Up it goes and - what's going on in here. Rat shit! sneaky blighters had nested on the battery, it was full of seeds and stuffing! So with that cleaned out I set about removing the air box.

Easy, four clips to the top and bend the top back out of the way and secured it with a brass pipe I had lying about! Then, remove the bottom hose, undo the two screws that hold the bottom of the air box and remove.

I could then see where the problem was, the slave cylinder had broken apart, hence not being able to change gear. It was lying limp, so traced all the hose back unclipping as I went up to the master cylinder on the bulk head. 

This is where the fun began! It is attached to the clutch pedal by a metal pin, that then clips into a 4 pronged clip housing. How to remove the four pronged clip whilst lying upside down, holding a torch and trying to prize apart the clips! Impossible!

This is the bit that is not mentioned any where on the internet! So Chris the other full timer that we know was enlisted in to help. Being mechanically minded, we came to the conclusion that as the clip wasn't required why not cut if off with a pair of snips, and this would release the pin!

Well, it worked but it took a bit of time as it was a bugger to reach! I should like to make clear that when you release the master cylinder from the pin/pedal that the pedal fly's up on its spring wacking you on the cheek! Ouch!

Ok, so that's it removed! Next step to insert the new one, threading the hose into place, remembering the route it was in before you removed it! We slotted the slave cylinder into place but it looked really loose in its mounting bracket. It was by shear luck that Chris looked right in and found a "C" shaped plastic clip that had fallen off the old one.

This wasn't in the new kit, so it was lucky it hadn't fallen out when we recovered the car!

Then came the fiddly bit of getting the clutch pedal pin back onto the end of the master cylinder. Not made easy because the end of the pin is very close to the side of the lower dash board, so not a lot of space. But, with a bit of wriggling around it popped into place.

Finally securing the master cylinder in place simply by turning it 45 degree's!

We started the car up and put it into gear and hey presto every thing appears to work fine!

Airbox back in and all the hoses secured the best they can be, and that was it.

So to be honest a reasonably simple repair, thankfully I had Chris as back up to help out, as you really could do with two pairs of hands, and to be honest it's always good to have some one else's opinion on things.

So thanks to Chris the Freelander is back up and running and earning its keep!

Once again I wonder how much that would of cost if we had to have a garage repair it! One thing is for sure, living the way we do, you certainly become self reliant! Of course with a little help from friends!

Till later......................


  1. I haven't done a similar repair for 20 years but I felt a resonance with your description. I can remember lying on my back in the footwell with my back arched over the sill and face against the pedals and shoulders aching. That was the first time. The second time I thought bugger that for a game of soldiers and was able to cut a small trap in the firewall to access the pedal from the engine compartment and fitted a coverplate afterwards.

    Did a similar thing on my old lada runabout to access the bell housing bolt at the back of the engine after fitting a new flywheel.

    Easy T

  2. I'm just having to fit one of these to my 1.8 freelander as the plastic ring that's a part of the slave cylinder has sheered off - I've been trying to replace it using a bit of sheet metal but I'm not getting very far with it!

    1. Hi Probably easier just to buy a new assembly?

  3. Your were lucky with Chris but am less lucky and got to tactically drive home 70km without a clutch. This entails starting the car on gear no 3 or 2 and never having to change it.

  4. Just changed master and slave on a Freelander.. Yep struggled with releasing clutch pedal from master cylinder rod.
    I realised on refit that by moving clutch pedal towards the brake pedal(just pull it) and then secure both pedals with mole grip it is a doddle to slip the clutch pedal pin onto the master cylinder rod.

  5. apart from the above helpful information, bear in mind that any breach of the system I;e the lid comes off the master cylinder during fitting, the whole assembly is scrap, be lucky !!!!