Introduction Local Landy Loon 'Dirty Girtie' sent up a distress flare on one of the forums when her beloved 90 failed her MOT for a number of braking related faults, which included an inoperative hand-brake.
Common problem this, first of all, Land-Rovers don't have a conventional hand-brake working the rear brakes, it has a 'fifth' brake on the back of the gear-box, that will work on all four wheels.
Next, it doesn't have a now expected 'self adjusting' mechanism, you need to periodically 'tweek' both the adjuster on the brake drum to take up the clearance between the shoes and drum, AND the cable so that the lever doesn't come up to your arm-pit!
BUT, lastly, when the Transfer box oil seal 'goes', it lets the EP90 gear oil from the gearbox escape into the brake drum.....this does NOT help the shoes grip the drum!
Which is why many Landy People refer to the hand-brake as the 'Laugh-Lever' 'cos it seems that the Lode Land Lads were 'having a laugh' when they conceived it!
Anyhow, in Girties case, we had to tackle ALL the usual suspects AND have a look at the output shaft bearings, because its often wear, that can be adjusted out of the bearings, that lets the shaft wobble, and 'finish off' a tired old oil seal.
Its unlikely you'll be able to tell much about the hand-brake just by looking at it, unless there is oil dripping out the bottom of the drum, as it was in this case.
But, the hand-brake cable should NOT move excessively. On many models, but particularly Range rovers, IF the hand brake lever sits 'high' when released, tends to indicate a stretched cable. If it doesn't do much when pulled up, either a stretched cable, and or inadequately adjusted shoes, and or, worn shoes or drum.
First thing to look at after the drum, for signs of oil weepage, is the cable. Arrangements vary a bit, and on the series landies, I seem to recall the actuation is entirely by rods, rather than cable, but there is an adjustor on the end of the rods.
On the coilers, most have a cable arrangement to a pivot, and that works a short rod that works the shoes inside the drum, giving two adjustment points; first the cable, then the rod.