Nick's LS conversion kit vs. new transfer case - Defender Source
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Old October 14th, 2015, 03:03 PM
jickerson
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Nick's LS conversion kit vs. new transfer case

Hi, first I want to apologize for what i'm sure is going to be a rather ignorant question. I'm currently weighing my options as far as Nick's LS swap kit for my d-90. Looking through the parts list, one of the biggest costs seems to be the adapter to go from the transmission to the lt230 ($1000+). My question is: is there a reason why this would be preferred to replacing the transfer case with a new unit (Atlas ii, for instance)? Do this make it much more technical and difficult, or are there other problems with doing so? Does it change the lengths and force you to modify the drive shafts?

I just got my defender, and have a few questions about how much wear and tear the previous owners put on the drive train. If i'm concerned about how much wear was put on the transfer case, i thought replacing it now would alleviate any reliability concerns. Also, if a new atlas goes for around $2500, it doesn't seem like a terrible trade off if you can save the cost of the $1000 adapter by replacing it to.

Thanks!
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Old October 14th, 2015, 03:10 PM
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Atlas has a center output not an offset output. Also, the flanges are different for the drive shafts, probably is a different length than an LT230 too.

$1000 seems reasonable/cheap to not have to deal with the additional modifications of a different T-case. Used LT230s are not expensive if yours goes south in the future, but as long as you keep oil in them, they are quite reliable. Actually, they are pretty reliable even if you do not keep oil in them
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Old October 14th, 2015, 03:15 PM
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You would have to do a lot more than $1000 worth of modifications to custom fit an Atlas even if it was possible. If you are worrying about a grand hear and there, going down the LS route is not something you should be looking at!!
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Old October 14th, 2015, 03:18 PM
jickerson
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Thanks guys. It wasn't the concern about the $1000, just thought that would be a nice way to try and justify it.

I thought someone on here did something like this in the past (painted it dodge viper red), but i didn't know how much trouble it was. Thanks again!
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Old October 14th, 2015, 03:27 PM
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The LT230 is the last thing in a Land Rover anyone would want to replace. It is one of the best transfer cases in the world.
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Old October 14th, 2015, 03:34 PM
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I've wondered the same thing but maybe go with their Orion Case. Its basically an atlas but offset front and rear. Twin stick so you could run in 2WD and get a lower low range gearset and a higher high range gearset. I'm sure Advance Adapter can make it were it bolts right up to the back of the 6L90 (or whatever the LS conversion transmission is).

However new Orion > $1000 adapter kit. I think it would be worth it if you did an all out drivetrain for a hella custom rig. But if not, then the $1000 kit should be easier.
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Old October 14th, 2015, 03:36 PM
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But why? You can get a lower low range and a higher high range gearset for the LT230 as well. 2WD in a Rover is horrid.
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Old October 14th, 2015, 03:55 PM
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The red 90 you're referencing has a Dana 60 rear end, which allowed the Atlas to work. There's an awful lot that goes into fitting one, and all in you'd be looking at substantially more money.

The LT case is very good, there's no denying that, but the Atlas is far superior in terms of performance and strength. On my 110 build I'm running one, since I like the part-time aspect and the fact that you can select either front or rear wheel drive if something fails and you need to limp. One thing I found interesting when I was talking to Jonathan of Icon recently is how they had to design a catch can for the Atlas' ventilation system as it froths the oil at sustained higher RPM and makes a big mess. They're at 45k on their highest mile case, but I'm very curious to see what kind of longevity they'll see with street use.

-Ash
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Old October 14th, 2015, 04:47 PM
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Perhaps it has escaped attention, but the obvious difference between the Atlas and the LT230 is:

1. The LT230 is a full time 4wd transfer case.
2. The Atlas is a part time 4wd transfer case.

Whether or not one actually needs a full time transfer case is highly dependent on application. But it needs to be clearly mentioned that there is a fundamental difference between the two units. To me, one of the things that makes a rover uniquely a rover (drivetrain-wise) is the full-time gear-driven LT230.

That said, if Atlas came out with a full time 4-speed transfer case, that would be sick.
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Old October 14th, 2015, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90 View Post
The LT230 is the last thing in a Land Rover anyone would want to replace. It is one of the best transfer cases in the world.
Not sure if he is still using it but Buck had an LT230 on his KotH's buggy.

More recently I read that Meiser on Pirate is doing a fresh build on a FJZ80 Toyota LC frame and is planning on an LT230 for his transfer case. His Jeep flat fender build has been on a couple of UA's and has done well. He knows how to build a capable trail rig.
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Old October 16th, 2015, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90 View Post
You would have to do a lot more than $1000 worth of modifications to custom fit an Atlas even if it was possible. If you are worrying about a grand hear and there, going down the LS route is not something you should be looking at!!
And if your paying someone to do the work it'll add plenty of hours on for the custom t'case mounts, shifter & tunnel mods as well. All depends what you want the truck for... DD or trail rig ?

If it's just going to spend 90% of the time on the road then go with Nick's setup, just take the opportunity to swap out the drive shafts to TW 1310 ones and I'd suggest a brake upgrade too
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