P38 Leather Parking Brake Handle and Boot Upgrade
(Information and Photos Contributed by Kevin Kelly)
Except for the limited production 1996 and 1997 4.6 HSE Kensington Edition models, the NAS Range Rover P38 was not sold with a leather covered parking brake handle until the 2000 model year (when Land Rover also added a chrome parking brake release button and chrome trim around the base of the shifter). Kevin Kelly decided to upgrade his 98 HSE with the leather style of handle to match the gearshift. He kindly supplied the details of this operation below. It is also possible to replace the leather boot on his handbrake to match the lightstone upholstery; although Kevin did not decide to do this on his 4.6 this option is also described below.
Handbrake Handle Replacement Instructions
It is very easy to upgrade from the rubber brake handle to the leather covered handle. The old handle just pulls straight off and the new one slides right on (some are tight so you might have to twist a little as you are pulling it off or pushing it on). Ron Beckett from Australia recommends adding a little water to make the metal shaft slippery so the handle slides on easier. The photo at top right shows the new leather handle installed on Kevin's 1998 4.6HSE.
Replacing the Leather Parking Brake Boot
The leather parking brake boot is also easy to replace in case it is damaged or if you want to update an older Range Rover with the two tone (black leather handle with lightstone boot) look of the 2001-2002 Range Rovers. The photos above show the required disassembly of the parking brake control, and the finished effect with the lightstone boot in place.
Complete parking brake assembly
Finished effect with lightstone
parking brake boot
Obtaining the Parts
Kevin reports that the bad news is that Land Rover does not have a part number for just the leather parking brake handle (they do have a part number for the rubber parking brake handle) and only sells the entire brake assembly with the leather handle. As time goes by more and more 2000-2002 Range Rovers should end up in Junk Yards who will sell an entire brake assembly (see photo below) for about $50. The dealers want over $200 for the brake assembly with the leather cover but Land Rover parts places can get a new brake assembly for about $150.