Land Rover Restoration: Series 1 Clutch and Brake Pedals

Welcome to the series on restoring a legend I’m busy restoring a 1955 107 Land Rover. In this article I finally find a solution to the steering box Saga, I fit the Series 1 clutch and brake pedals and I explain the assembly of the brake lever and fit the gearbox.

Fitting Land Rover Series 1 Gearbox

I got my gearbox back from having it rebuilt which is fantastic. They were able to put it together and nothing major had to be fixed in it. Just replaced the third and fourth syncro and replaced all the bearings and seals. That’s pretty good for an original gearbox that’s so old and it still looks good.

Before putting on the gearbox I first had to fit the clutch. I also replaced the primary pinion bush that the gearbox shaft slots into. Then I re-fitted the clutch that I got with this engine. It still looked in very good condition so I decided just to reuse it rather than put a new one on. With the body still off, fitting the clutch is easy because you have all the space to work.

When I was ready to refit the gearbox I enlisted some muscle power. This made the job fairly simple it just required a bit of synchronization and working together and then the gearbox was in.

The gearbox went in nicely and after tightening it a quick test showed that the clutch was engaging and disengaging so that was a relief too.

Handbrake Assembly

The handbrake had been disassembled, cleaned and repainted. This was the original Series 1 handbrake that is identifiable by the straight lever. Unlike the later levers that have a slight bend in them. I managed to restore this which is great. The only thing that broke was the little actuator rod but I managed to get another one. The little knob was a little bit worn but I cleaned it up and kept it as is to leave that patina look. It all worked fine.

Fitting Series 1 Clutch and Pedal Shafts

The two shafts for the brake and clutch pedals go through the chassis. The brake and clutch levers run on the a shaft. I got a new one becuase the original was very worn out resulting in a loose and wobbly clutch and brake levers. The old one was quite worn on the clutch side. I also replaced the brass bushes inside the pedal arms that run on this shaft.

The Land Rover Series 1 clutch is completely mechanical and relies on interconnected levers to depress the clutch plate. The smaller clutch relay shaft also goes through the chassis just behind the pedal shaft. Brass bushes sit in the chassis. I replaced both of those bushes because the old ones were really shot. This shaft needs to be positioned properly and I did it according to the manual. You’ve got to get the little grease nipple pointing down.

Clutch Relay Shaft

Then I put the Series 1 clutch and brake pedals onto the levers. You have to adjust the clutch pedal linkages so that you get the correct pedal travel for the clutch. I connected the lever for the relay shaft to the rods that links the relay shaft to the clutch . Its a little bit tricky because there’s not much space in there. I probably should have done it when the gearbox was out but I didn’t remember to do that so I had to do it while it was in there. But I managed to do it and then connected up the whole clutch mechanism

I connected everything up and tested it and it worked which was really nice. But it did seem like there was a lot of play so I wasn’t sure if it was right or not. Unfortunately, it seemed like there was too much play on this old clutch relay shaft. I thought I could get away with it but this was not going to work. I had to get another one made so we took it off the the arm and had another shaft machined. Then we welded the arm back in place and it had a good snug fit. That made it work a lot better and the play was completely gone and so the problem was solved.

Series 1 Brake Mechanism

The brake mechanism had a push rod that came with this vehicle but it was a little bit too short and looked like it had really been modified. So we manufactured a new one and modified it a bit so that it adjusted properly and looked stronger. Now I could fit that back onto the master cylinder and then I could connect it up to the brake pedal. With this fixed I could get the brake pipes connected and ready for use

The last and most satisfying job of all was fitting the rubbers into the floorboard where the pedals went through. It’s one of those tasks that just finishes it off and you always look forward to because it means you’re getting to the end of the process. Now I had a full set of controls and was getting closer to getting this vehicle started and taking it for that first drive

Series 1 Steering Box Conversion

The last part of the controls to be sorted out was the steering wheel Saga. After all the deliberation about steering columns and steering boxes I managed to find a reconditioned Series 2 steering column. It is the same length as this original Series 1 column which was important because I didn’t want to change the geometry.

You get two different lengths, a shorter one and a longer one. The shorter one is shorter by about two inches. Importantly it also has the same splines. This is the earlier Series 2 steering and this was actually an upgrade for the Series one so it’s listed in the parts manual as such. Strictly speaking it didn’t come from the factory like this. If you had a problem with this original worm and nut steering they recommended that you just upgrade it to the newest steering with the ball bearing race.

I’m quite happy with that and I think its the right thing to do. I also fitted the strengthening bracket that came on the later vehicles to relieve the stress point on the firewall. This steering box should be strong enough to last and steer the bigger 7.50×16 tyres that I plan to fit.

Watch the full video on my Land Rover Series 1 Restoration at my Youtube channelĀ @theoverlandlegend

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