Chassis Bush removal puller

I’ve just replaced the front passenger side spring chassis bush ready for the MOT test tomorrow. These bushes are notoriously difficult to remove , I’ve heard many stories of people setting fire to them and then hacksawing the outer sleeve for hours to try and get them out.

I’ve found replacing these to be a straight forward job with the right tool. I’ve made a puller pusher by cutting up a scissor jack and using the coarse threaded bar and the ends of the jack. A tube with a 40mm internal diameter that is just a bit longer that then bush is also required to draw the bush into. The diameter of this tube is important as the kinetic force should be applied to the tube the bush is sitting in rather than the chassis rails.

Make sure a decent quality scissor jack is used with steel ends as I’ve seen some with plastic ends. It’s also an idea to lube the coarse thread with engine oil.

Chassis Puller Tool

I simply used the new bush to push the old one out. A 22mm socket fits over the steel eye allowing a ratchet to be used.

The worn bush pictured below was last changed 18 years ago!

Chassis bush

Replacing Detent/Synchro Springs In A Series Land Rover Gearbox

I’ve just replaced all three 3rd/4th gear synchro springs in the gearbox with the gearbox still in place in the vehicle. There is already a guide kicking around online on how to do this, stating that the seatbox needs to be lifted four inches, however I can confirm the seatbox does not have to be moved at all. 

The reason for lifting the seatbox appears to be the space needed to lift the gearbox top cover over the two studs highlighted in the image. However these 3/8 UNF studs can be removed by using two ‘half’ nuts locked together and unwinding the the stud out of the case. There is not enough stud showing to get two standard nuts on. Once these two studs are removed the gearbox top cover does not need any ‘headroom’ when lifting off and therefore the seatbox does not need moving at all.

Engage 3rd gear and then remove the gearstick.

Carefully remove the two brackets on either side that hold the springs against the detent balls. Once you’ve removed the brackets and the springs, dab a little grease in the holes to stop the detent balls rolling out and disappearing.

Once you’ve unwound the 3/8 studs mentioned above (3319) then you can remove the gearbox top cover. Make a note of where the detent balls are situated before removing them. There is a spring under the large central bolt (556570) so be careful it doesn’t pop out when removing.

Now you need to lift the selector rods off, before you do make sure you note where the selectors sit in the gearbox. Lifting them out takes a bit of wiggling but it is straightforward.

Once the selectors are out of the way you will have a good view of the 3/4 Syncro unit. Put the transfer box in neutral and you can turn the gears and see where the spring/s are missing. In my case all three springs were missing, I’ve been double de clutching for years, had I known it was these easy to replace the springs I would have done it years ago.

Push the middle selector plate of the synchro all the way forward toward the bellhousing. At this stage you will need some long reach long nose pliers with a 45 degree angle.

Using the pliers, try to push the end of the spring through the small rectangular space in the centre of the synchro where the spring should sit. At this stage I had to use a long thick leather needle with a wooden handle that I used to prod the end of the spring through while wiggling the spring into place with the pliers. It is a very tight angle, I don’t think I would have been able to get the spring through without pushing at one end and wiggling the other.

Once the end of the spring is through the hole and the spring is in line but not pushed all the way across into place, pull the middle selector plate backwards over the spring and the spring will then click into place. You may need to use the pliers to lever the middle of the syncro over as it is quite stiff once the springs are fitted. Make sure to check the end of the spring is correctly in place at the forward end as it may need another prod over the lip.

The first spring took me a while, however the other two were a doddle once I’d understood how to do it.

Refitting is a just a reversal of removal. The below image will assist with refitting the sector forks in the right place.

Cleaning up the handbrake

In between finding time to finish my high ratio transfer box I have cleaned up the handbrake on the replacement gearbox that I will be fitting shortly. The handbrake drum was seized and very gunked up, the actuator and adjuster were also seized solid.

Series 3 handbrakeHandbrake drum backplateHandbrake drum and back plate

Using a knotted wheel on a 4.5″ angle grinder I cleanen up the drum and back plate and painted them both. I managed to unstick the calipers in the actuator and the adjuster and cleaned them up with a small wire wheel in a Dremel, I have greased the internals and they are now as good as new.

Handbrake backplatedpainted brake drum and backplateHandbrake ActuatorHandbrake Adjuster

I have also cleaned up the output flange which has minimal wear and is ok to be reused. Sometimes the output flange can have a groove worn into them by the rear oil seal and this will lead to oil leaks as the seal cannot seal properly. If the flange is too worn then it should be replaced or you could fit a Speedi-Sleeve which is a thin walled sleeve that slides over the flange giving a level surface and they are cheaper than a new flange.

Output flangeOutput flangeOutput flange and brake drumOutput flange and brake drum

I’m happy with the result from an hours work – I’m now expecting a very effective and easily adjusted handbrake!

Fitting a High Ratio Transfer Case

Since fitting the 200tdi I’ve decided to remove the Fairey Overdrive and fit a Ashcroft High Ratio Transfer Box. The overdrive raises the standard gearing by 27.5% over standard and the Ashcroft box raises the gearing by 31.8% which would suit the 200tdi fine, it is slightly lower than fitting 3.54 diffs but as I live in a very hilly area I think this will be the best compromise with the added benefit of the speedometer reading correctly and low range remaining unaffected. I find the Fairey Overdrive very noisy and I’ll be glad to get rid of it!

The gearbox currently fitted to my 109 is original to the Land Rover and is a Suffix D box. The synchros springs on 3/4 are long gone and I’ve been double de-clutching for the last year or so, I have a spare low mileage suffix D box that I’m going to fit the High Ratio Transfer Box to and then drop that into the 109 and replace the synchro springs on the old one when I get round to it and keep it as a spare.

Today I made a start – due to having a very young daughter my spare time is mainly spent doing family things these days so finding time for the Landy is proving difficult!! – I’ll update this post as I go along.

Series 3 Suffix D Gearbox

Series 3 Suffix D Gearbox

The Ashcroft High Ratio Kit is basically a reworked transfer box with three gears, 1 standard Input Gear, 1 Intermediate Gear and 1 High Range Output Gear plus a set of gaskets. The old transfer case needs to be removed from the gearbox, the gears swapped over and the new Ashcroft transfer case built  back up and mated back up to the gearbox – the process of dismantling the transfer box is well documented in the green bible and the Haynes manual – it should be a straight forward job!

First job is to remove the transmission handbrake unit. This gearbox has been lying around for a number of years and the handbrake drum was seized. I managed to loosen off the adjuster screw and slackened it off as far as it would go and gave a few whacks with a rubber mallet and eventually the drum started turning and I could get the drum off. It’s pretty well gunked up so I’ll clean it all up before refitting. The whole unit comes off in one piece once the four nuts in the centre are removed.

Series 3 handbrake

Once the handbrake drum and backplate is off you can get access to the speedo drive unit – remove the six nuts securing the unit and it comes straight off to reveal the speedo worm gear. The below photo shows the worm gear plus the speedo drive unit together.

Series 3 Speedo worm gear and drive

Next I removed the rear PTO cover and from there removed the mainshaft nut, locking washer and took out the input gear. The below photo shows the nut and gear through the inspection hole. Note the mainshaft nut looks to have been on and off in the past as it’s showing marks from being tightened up with a hammer and screwdriver or chisel. The correct tool to tighten this nut is Land Rover Special Tool 600300 which are quite hard to get hold of cheaply – I have a socket that I cut down with a grinder that fits the mainshaft castle nut and means I can torque it up accurately.

Mainshaft nut and input gear

Once the input gear was removed I then removed the transfer box sump cover.

Series 3 Transfer box internals

The intermediate gear (center gear in the above photo) now needs to be removed in order to access the three bolts inside the case that holds the transfer box to the gearbox. The intermediate shaft is held in place by a locking tab which is secured by a nut on the outside of the case – see photos below – you’ll need a crowbar to pull the shaft out, make sure you catch the intermediate gear as drops when the shaft is removed.

Intermediate shaft locking tabIntermediate shaft removaltransfer box with intermediate gear removed

You can now access the three internal bolts holding the gearbox and transfer box together:

gearbox/transfer box connecting bolts

Once these are undone and the few other bolts on the outside of the case are removed the gearbox and transferbox will pull apart. As seperate items they are now much easy to handle and carry about.

Series 3 gearbox and transfer box separated

The below photo shows the new Ashcroft case alongside the old standard case.

Land Rover Series Ashcroft high ratio transfer case

Next job is to remove the front output case. To do this remove the detent spring and plunger and pinch bolt for the selector shaft. Then remove the bolts connecting the case to the transfer box and the two just pull part easily.

Removing the selector shaft detent spring and plungerRemoving the pinchbolt for the selector shaftStandard series transfer box with Ashcroft box

All that’s left to do now is remove the main output shaft from the old transfer box and refit it into the Ashcroft box with the new high speed gear in place of the old one. The shaft is held in place by two bearing races and it can be quite tricky getting these out. The shaft has to be tapped backwards firstly and the bearing pushes the race out. In reality you’ll need to give it a fair bit of welly with a big hammer but use a deep socket over the end of the shaft to protect it from getting damaged by the hammer  – I used a block of wood between to protect the end of the shaft. This process would benefit from heating the case around the bearing race.

Pushing the bearing race out using the output shaftTap the output shaft backwards to push out the rear bearing race

Once the rear bearing race has been removed there is a bit of room to move the shaft about. You’ll need some circlip pliers to remove the circlip on the shaft, when you refit the circlip it should be replaced with a new one. Once the circlip is removed it is possible to slide the shaft out of the transfer box while catching the various parts as they come off. Once the shaft is removed you’ll need to remove the front bearing race from the case – again you could use the shaft and bearing to push this out but due to the amount of force needed to get the rear race out I decided to use something else to remove it – again I used a block of hardwood and heated the case around the race first and out it came. So now it is case of building it all back up in the new case.

First job is to replace the large circlip that holds the front bearing race in, then push the bearing race into the new case up to the new circlip (I left both races in the freezer for a week before I did this and it did help a lot), again this takes a lot of force but it does go in eventually. Then place the output shaft in the new transfer case and replace the old high range output gear for the new Ashcroft high range gear and fit your new circlip. When the output shaft is built back up and in place then the rear bearing race should be pushed in to the transfer case to hold the shaft in place. It is important that the race takes up any play in the shaft but also does not apply any preload. If the shaft feels heavy to turn then you may have pushed the race in too far and it will need tapping from the front end again to take away any preload. Images below show the bearing on the shaft pushing the front race into the case.

efrefiitting the front bearing racePushing the front bearing race in

Now the output shaft is in place then the next job is setting the preload on the output shaft  – the preload is set by the speedo housing putting pressure on the rear bearing race which should be sitting very slightly proud of the case (if it is not sitting slightly proud you may have pushed the race in too far and this will be applying too much preload). In order to test the preload you’ll need a spring balance and something suitable to wrap around the selector groove on the high range gear such as nylon fishing line. The correct preload is set when the spring balance registers between 2-4lb force to turn the shaft. The preload can be altered by adding and removing the steel shims that sit between the speedo housing and the transfer case. Start with all the shims that you removed from your old transfer box and bolt up the speedo housing to the correct torque (12lbs ft), then test the preload with the spring balance, you’ll probably then have to remove a shim or two and bolt up the housing again before you get the correct preload setting. Better to start with too many shims as too little may give you too much preload and you’ll have tap the shaft back again to release the preload. I’ve heard of people having problems with this process but I found it quite simple and has worked fine. My preload is showing at just under 3lb which is fine. Once you are happy that the preload is ok then remove the speedo housing once more and replace the speedo worm gear and bolt it all back up.

One other thing – while the speedo housing is off the transfer case it is also worth replacing the seal as the genuine part is cheap and you will be annoyed to find it leaking there after all this work. It is much easier to replace the seal on the bench than under the Landy.

The output shaft and new high range gear in the new transfer case

14/04/2013 – Whilst test fitting the intermediate shaft to check the end float I found it wouldn’t slide into the new hole unless I used way too much force and in fact broke the locking tabs off the end of the shaft by hitting it so hard – it should just slide in. On measuring the new hole I got an internal diamter 40.54mm, yet the shaft measures 41.15mm so there was no chance it was ever going to fit. I emailed Ashcrofts to let them know and to their credit they offered a replacement box and intermediate shaft as the old one was now useless. I had a spare shaft from a scrap transfer box I’m just going to use that and rather then dissemble the box again I have used a flap wheel on a Dremel to open out the hole slightly. The shaft now slides in nicely. If you are doing this conversion I would recommend checking the shaft fits as soon as you get the box as it may set you back some unexpected time if you don’t have the tools handy to fix it.

I’m now waiting for a replacement thrust washer to arrive as I managed to damage it whilst trying to get the shaft in/out. Will update when there is progress.

Series Land Rover Gearbox Rebuild parts list

For reference, here’s a list of all the bearings, seals, o-rings, bushes, gaskets, springs washers ie. everything you need to rebuild a Series Gearbox apart from the actual gears. A couple of years ago I priced it all up to just over £300 inc vat for all genuine parts – they’ll probably cost a bit more now.

1645           Rear Main shaft Bearing   (x1)
2422           Split pin for 4WD clevis fork  (x2)
PS608101  Split Pin for Output castle nut (x2)
5852           Selector ball spring rubber sealing ring (x2)
RTC1956   3/4 Syncro Detent Spring  (x3)
6397           Needle Roller Bearing (x1)
6405           Peg Main shaft Spacer (x1)
55714         Bearing Primary Pinion (x1)
211502       Speedo Drive Oil Seal (x1)
217325       Output Shaft Bearing (x1)
217476       Main shaft lock washer (x1)
217478       Rear main shaft bearing (x1)
217490       Front of transfer output shaft bearing (x1)
231116        Reverse stop gate spring (x2)
236305       Main shaft oil seal (x1)
FRC1780   Output shaft oil seal (x2)
243714       Clip for transfer lever
267828       O-ring for speedometer pinion and inter shaft  (x2)
272596       O-ring for forward selector shafts (x2)
272597       O-ring for reverse gear selector shaft  (x1)
528683       Front layshaft bearing retainer lock tab (x1)
528701       Front layshaft bearing (x1)
532323       O-ring for intermediate shaft (x1)
571059       Clutch sleeve housing oil seal (x1)
599869       Transfer box intermediate gear needle roller bearing (x2)
600603       Full gasket set  (x1)
622042       Output shaft felt seal
90217512   Output shaft rear bearing (x1) genuine part no longer available
FRC4076   Main shaft 2nd Speed gear bush (x1)
FRC4077   Main shaft 3rd speed gear bronze bush (x1)
RTC1412   Rear layshaft bearing (x1)
RTC1979   Peg for 2nd gear thrust washer (x1)

I’m pretty certain that’s a definitive list but feel free to let me know if I’ve missed anything.

Defender LT77 Gearbox & LT230 Transfer Box


This is the gearbox that came with the 200tdi engine I bought to replace the 2.25 petrol lump in the Series. I decided to fit the new engine to my standard Series box rather than this LT77 as the transfer box does not have selectable 4 wheel drive so would be running the front axle full time – the series axles have UJs rather than the Defenders CV joints and so are not designed to run on tarmac – as a result running a Series on tarmac in 4×4 can result in transmission ‘wind up’. You could get round it by fitting a Series 3  Stage 1 V8 front axle (which had CV joints), but these can be hard to get hold of. I’m also keen to get the best MPG possible from the Series and full time four wheel drive will not help.

However it was a nice low mileage box and I sold it to a guy who needed the short Defender LT77 bellhousing to go in his trialler.


Series Gearbox PTO

Here are some images of a Power Take Off (PTO) taken from a Series IIA gearbox that I’ve just sold. PTO’s are used to power winches, hydraulic pumps, useful tools like log splitters and table saws etc. This unit takes power from the rear of the gearbox and can supply power to the rear of the vehicle via a separate propshaft (if you have ever wondered what the holes are for in the chassis cross members then they are for the PTO shaft). There are also units to supply power to the front of the truck too for winches etc.

It’s a very simple job to install a PTO, simply remove the PTO cover ( also known as Rear Bearing Housing – 533731) on the back of the gearbox, slip the PTO sleeve over the rear gear, remove the PTO inspection plate and bolt on the selector unit in its place, making sure the forks slide into the groove on the sleeve. Slide the the PTO into the sleeve and bolt the unit up using a new PTO gasket.


Late Series IIa all Syncro gearbox S-Prefix

Here’s a late Series IIA all syncro gearbox, installed in the very late SIIAs and identified by the S-prefix. Nothing special really, they were exactly the same as the first Series 3 boxes.