HOW TO: Dorman Clutch Master Cylinder Conversion (Defender & Series late-IIA & III) - Defender Source
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Old January 8th, 2016, 10:48 AM
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HOW TO: Dorman Clutch Master Cylinder Conversion (Defender & Series late-IIA/III)

Ok, I've been putting this write-up off for WAY too long (wrapped up this conversion on the 90 this past summer, and looks like the 130 will be due for the same since the MC is on it's way out too). First of all, thanks for Briggs for pushing me into adapting this conversion for the Defender, he pointed me to a thread over at ExPo from a bloke Matthew that had done this conversion on his Series so it reasoned that it could easily be adapted to the Defender...and there was also a thread over on Aulro.com forum that looked like they were able to adapt it as well.

I'll start with the self-serving portion of this post , but also just finished the details on a Conversion "Kit" for this conversion that includes the modified Dorman Master Cylinder (replacing original genuine part# STC500100) and a replacement braided stainless-steel hydraulic line (to replace the hard-line Clutch Pipe...original part# NRC8330 for RHD Defender, #NRC8329 for LHD Defender, or #NRC3287 for Series IIA/III):
https://www.seriesdefender.com/all-p...-cylinder.html

However, for the DIY folks here's the "scoop" on the what/why/how-to...and I've also included a step-by-step PDF overview that you can download at the bottom of this post as well, but see below for photos and detailed description of the process:


THE ISSUE
The original Clutch Master Cylinder (part# STC500100) on a Land Rover Defender (model year 1983-2006) and Series late-IIA & III (model year 1971-1984) is made from aluminum, and as such is prone to having the inner wall of the cylinder wear over time…creating a situation where the clutch master may leak, and/or the wearing of the wall of the cylinder can also cause contamination of the fluid (turns from a nice clear golden color to a cloudy grayish color). This contamination can/will also cause failure of the downstream Clutch Slave Cylinder (due to the contaminants creating a sludge buildup inside of the slave cylinder). NOTE: the “wear” issue can be amplified by improper or lack of “free-play” adjustment on the Master Cylinder, which is reiterated below in the last step #10…however generally this is only a contributing factor and not a main “cause” of the issue based on prior experience with this master cylinder failure.


THE FIX
Dorman makes a cast-iron master cylinder that is much more robust, and based on the materials (cast iron vs aluminum) are much less prone to the inner wall wearing. As such, you should see little to no fluid contamination over time and likewise should not experience any frequent master cylinder or slave cylinder failure. Though not originally designed to fit the Land Rover Defender, with a few modifications it can be made to fit seamlessly into the Rover clutch pedal housing.


WHAT YOU’LL NEED
• Your original Clutch Master Cylinder (i.e. the one that has failed and/or is leaking).
• Dorman CM106439 Clutch Master Cylinder [note the master has a 7/16"-24 inverted flare fitting].
• Custom braided-stainless hydraulic line made up, approximately 30” in overall length, 3/16”-1/4” inner diameter, with a #4 hydraulic swivel-fitting on one end [which the end fittings are part# FBM1101 / 63-190600-4, and is essentially a 7/16-20 female fitting] and either Option #1 or Option #2 [see below] for the fitting on the other end of the hydraulic line.
Option #1: Utilize another #4 hydraulic swivel-fitting on the end of the other line, and use a male-male adapter (42 Inverted Flare to 37 Flare) Part# 202124-4-4S to run from flex-line to master cylinder [this is essentially a 7/16-20 to 7/16-24 adapter].
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Option #2: This is a streamlined 2nd version of the hose for this kit, which gets rid of the adapter and does a swivel fitting directly on the end of the braided stainless clutch line. Essentially it is a #4 female swivel-fitting directly on one end, and a 7/16-24 male fitting on the other end. This is what I use in my SDO Conversion Kits.
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[NOTE: I included Option #1 since I've found that many hydraulic shops actually can't do the "single" hose option without an adapter...the kit I have does the more streamlined Option #2 with the single hose, but for the DIY folks just wanted to include this Option #1 in case the hydraulic line shop was unable to do a streamlined version of the hose fitting going to the MC]



WHAT YOU’LL DO
Slight modifications to the Dorman Master cylinder, as follows:
1. Cut the “ears” off the Dorman Master just slightly, not much maybe 1/4" total (so 1/8” off each side)…this is just so it will actually fit inside of the clutch housing. The Dorman measures 2-1/16” wide dimensionally, but the Clutch “housing” opening is only 2”…so taking off the 1/4" from the width on the Dorman Clutch Master allows it to fit seamlessly into place:
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2. After the ears are cut, you’ll need to “swap” the pushrod from your existing master cylinder to the Dorman master cylinder.

3. Remove the pushrod from your existing/original Clutch Master Cylinder, this can be achieved by removing the rubber “boot” at the end of the Clutch Master. Once the boot is off, you’ll see a circlip holding a washer in place over the pushrod. Remove this circlip and the washer & pushrod will be released from the housing. Retain the original pushrod, other items (washer, circlip, etc) from the old Master can be discarded:
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4. Turning to the Dorman Clutch Master, essentially you need to cut the Dorman pushrod in half, harvest the retaining washer, swap that washer over to your original pushrod, and install your original pushrod on the Dorman:
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5. On the Dorman, likewise remove the rubber boot to expose the existing circlip/washer/pushrod:
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6. Using a pair of snap-ring pliers, remove the circlip so that the pushrod comes out of the Dorman:
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7. Once it is separated, you’ll need to “harvest” the washer from the Dorman pushrod so that it can be used with the old pushrod from the Clutch Master. This can be achieved by using a cutting wheel to remove the end of the pushrod:
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8. Once this is done, swap over the washer & boot from the Dorman pushrod to the old pushrod:
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9. Reinstall the “old” pushrod (with new washer & circlip) back onto the Dorman, refit the boot into place and you’re done!
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10. You’re ready to install your new modified Dorman Clutch Master Cylinder into your Defender, fill the system, bleed, and you're good to go!
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IMPORTANT: remember to adjust the free-play of your new Dorman Master Cylinder just as you would for installing any new Clutch Master. For your reference we’ve included the workshop manual pages on this procedure here in this document.
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PDF DOWNLOAD & SDO "CONVERSION KIT" INFORMATION
I'm also attaching a PDF download of the above instructions here as well:
SDO Dorman Conversion Write-Up.pdf

And lastly as mentioned above I've got plug-and-play "kits" ready to go for those folks that don't want the hassle of working out the details themselves:
SDO DORMAN CLUTCH MASTER CYLINDER CONVERSION KIT
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  #2  
Old January 8th, 2016, 11:22 AM
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Great write-up
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  #3  
Old January 8th, 2016, 12:01 PM
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Well, apparently I caused a "run" on Amazon...from (9) Dorman CM106439's to (1) in a matter of an hour lol....
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  #4  
Old January 8th, 2016, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanwind View Post
Well, apparently I caused a "run" on Amazon...from (9) Dorman CM106439's to (1) in a matter of an hour lol....
Not only you are helping here...

You are helping the economy... x2 Good Job!!!
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  #5  
Old January 8th, 2016, 03:27 PM
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What type of brake fluid are you using that's causing the corrosion in the aluminum MC?
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  #6  
Old January 8th, 2016, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Departing90 View Post
What type of brake fluid are you using that's causing the corrosion in the aluminum MC?
Castrol GT LMA generally...but it's not *corrosion* that's the issue, it's the wearing of the soft(er) aluminum housing inherent of the manufacturing in the original Rover parts.
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  #7  
Old January 20th, 2016, 12:37 PM
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Well, looks like the 130 MC / Dorman conversion is getting started today...took it for a spin for the first time since the weekend, and noticed a drip or two coming through on the inside floormat so it's starting to actively leak.
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  #8  
Old January 20th, 2016, 02:16 PM
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Out with the old....

Drain the system, then disconnect & remove old/existing hard line (it'll be replaced by the stainless braided):
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Move to the footwell, undo the bolts holding the clutch pedal housing:
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Remove clutch pedal housing from engine bay (this is where I quietly appreciate the ease of RHD pedal box removal : )
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New Dorman & stainless braided flex-line is on-deck ready to be swapped into the pedal housing and then back into the truck:
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  #9  
Old January 20th, 2016, 03:07 PM
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Jason that looks great! Nice write-up. It does look like it would work on S2 clutches, do you know for sure it won't? Does the new hose replace the pipe and the flex hose?

I recently replaced my plastic brake res with a Dorman M71248 all cast iron jobbie. Genocache: Land Rover brake master cylinder alternate

When the time comes for the clutch I'll know where to go!
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  #10  
Old January 20th, 2016, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignotus View Post
Jason that looks great! Nice write-up. It does look like it would work on S2 clutches, do you know for sure it won't? Does the new hose replace the pipe and the flex hose?

I recently replaced my plastic brake res with a Dorman M71248 all cast iron jobbie. Genocache: Land Rover brake master cylinder alternate

When the time comes for the clutch I'll know where to go!
Gene:

Yes, it will definitely work on the late-II clutches as well...those with the "separate" Clutch & Brake Cylinders (i.e. not the earlier ones that have the combined Clutch/Brake reservoir). My '71 IIA has the same style as shown above.

Nice little write-up on the Dorman brake reservoir swap there! Definitely many of us out there that get a little tired of these Rover parts failing .
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  #11  
Old January 20th, 2016, 04:06 PM
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Remove the old/original MC...FYI this is what it was starting to look like under the rubber boot. I have no idea how old this particular unit it, but I have flushed it at least twice (once a year) under my ownership and made sure it was properly adjusted for free-play and still then end up crapping out:
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  #12  
Old January 20th, 2016, 05:41 PM
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Great stuff Jason
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  #13  
Old January 20th, 2016, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by LostChord View Post
Great stuff Jason
Thanks! Had to take a break for a hardware store run, and also decided to slap a quick coat of paint on the clutch pedal housing....so will wrap it up in the morning and report back.
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  #14  
Old January 21st, 2016, 02:55 PM
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Didn't really take too many pics of the wrap-up today, but it's in and freeplay adjusted and test drive complete.

Also, it's about the easiest MC to bleed I've ever seen (experienced the same with the 90 as well). No "helper" and didn't even need to pull out the power bleeder, just let it gravity bleed...close up the slave, give it a few pumps, top up the reservoir, and one more bleed at the slave and it was good-to-go.
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  #15  
Old January 21st, 2016, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanwind View Post
Castrol GT LMA generally...but it's not *corrosion* that's the issue, it's the wearing of the soft(er) aluminum housing inherent of the manufacturing in the original Rover parts.
Castrol LMA does not meet Land Rover's specs. Land Rover brake fluid is a DOT 4 low viscosity, not just regular DOT 4. Basically it needs to be ISO 4925 Class 6, not Class 4.
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  #16  
Old January 21st, 2016, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Jymmiejamz View Post
Castrol LMA does not meet Land Rover's specs. Land Rover brake fluid is a DOT 4 low viscosity, not just regular DOT 4. Basically it needs to be ISO 4925 Class 6, not Class 4.
Where are these special specs?

The 1991 manual says FMVSS 116 DOT 3. The 1996 ROW manual and both NAS manuals says FMVSS 116 DOT 4.
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  #17  
Old January 21st, 2016, 07:22 PM
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John B.
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Series 3 manual, DOT 3....
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  #18  
Old January 21st, 2016, 07:47 PM
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The information you guys have is outdated. This is from the most recent published information from Land Rover for a 1995 Defender. This is what you would get if you were to buy Genuine Land Rover brake fluid. In practice it probably doesn't matter, but I'd rather just buy the right fluid from the get go. When the Land Rover fluid isn't available I've bought Pentosin DOT4LV from Advance Auto.

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  #19  
Old January 21st, 2016, 07:51 PM
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2002 genuine workshop manual.
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  #20  
Old January 21st, 2016, 07:54 PM
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John B.
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2000 Owner's Manual.
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