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Discussion Starter #21
Reverse - left up; 5th - right up
How do I know I WILL be needing a transmission? Just like the planes I fly I have to have confidence in the mechanic that know how to fix the aircraft because I sure don't know how. I just know how to fly them. Despite the opinion expressed by other for over twenty year "these people" have kept my Defender 90 running to my satisfaction and I have confidence in them. The vehicle developed a "clunking noise" (that is the best as I can describe it). When I back up stop put it into first and started forward it clunks. When I took it in for service I ask them to check out the clunk. They said wear in the transmission (it is the original transmission with over 200,000 miles) is causing the noise and that I should plan on replacing it sometime in the future. Also, I have begun to notice it does not shift as smoothly as before. Since a picture is worth a thousand word this video shows the typical trail I run. Maybe I will a trail slightly more difficult but no extreme rock crawling.
 

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OK.
Sounds like your main shaft splines are worn out.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
OK.
Sounds like your main shaft splines are worn out.
And does that mean my people were right and I am going to have to replace the transmission?
 

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It means that you need a new main shaft. This requires the box to come apart. It is not a big deal and the parts are all available.

You will also want the transfer case input gear replaced and that is a simple job.

Most people just bring in a rebuilt gearbox. You have an LT77 but can change to the newer R380 which has design improvements and probably costs about the same.

The big question is why your mechanic does not understand all of this. It is basic and very common information.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
With the information I have gotten from this thread I can now have an informed talk with my mechanic. This is similar to getting a second opinion before having surgery.
 

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I just bought a new upgraded R380 from Ashcroft last Oct. They have it all. Wrong shop you're using.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I just bought a new upgraded R380 from Ashcroft last Oct. They have it all. Wrong shop you're using.
How long did it take to get from England and what was the shipping cost?
 

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How long did it take to get from England and what was the shipping cost?
Napalm is correct about 2 weeks and the lead time to have one ready was about 7 weeks. They didn't have any trannys ready to ship so I had a long wait. ship cost was about 250 BPS so about $322.
 

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From my perspective, if you are genuinely happy with your shop, order a rebuilt gearbox and transfer case from Ashcroft and have your shop swap it in. At 200k this is a great way to correct what is wrong and preemptively catch other possible future problems in one quick swipe. R380 is a step up but there is nothing wrong with an LT77. The one you have has served you well for 200k. Of course, replace the clutch parts and strongly consider replacing the rear main seal and pilot bushing. They are inexpensive parts and not much extra labor if the gearbox is already out.

I also would ask your shop if they are comfortable installing the R380 in place of your LT77 if you want to go that route. Some good shops just don’t veer off of standard course at all. I would, however, be very disappointed and concerned with them if they simply said parts are not available and you are SOL.

If it were mine, I’d buy the gearbox from Doug and fix / go through the transfer case or send the transfer case out to have rebuilt. I’d go for Doug’s and not worry about a warranty because it is from a known good rebuilder, road tested long enough to likely show any problems, and I will assume at a price less than what buying it direct from Ashcroft would cost.

I already did something similar. I have an R380 purchased from another forum member that was rebuilt by Southwest Rovers at a fraction of the cost it was to have it rebuilt. It was removed for an LS swap. I paired the R380 with a low mileage transfer case I resealed. I like doing the work myself but totally get your approach / thoughts.

However, if I were you, I’d do what I suggested first. Everybody has their own best path.
 

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94' NAS 3.9 Petrol D90 White soft top (LT77 -> R380, LT230)
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I will reply with more info on my purchase and shipping later. Just know that the upgraded Ashcroft rebuild was cheaper shipped than a standard rebuild carried by local US parts companies.

Concerning availability of LT77: cores where hard to come by as they -- as I understand it -- are seen as a weak transmission that Ashcroft does not carry. Obviously, you can ship your LT77 via DHL across the pond fora rebuild.
 

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I don't believe it has been mentioned but don't forget the costs of seat box alteration, tunnel cover and firewall flange thingy if you go the R380 route.
 

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Just buy the rebuilt trans from Uncle Doug for pennies on the dollar and don't over think this. You stepped into a lions den on here with a mechanic who had no idea what he was talking about. You can trust every single person on here but remember everyone has a different level of knowledge and DIY spirit/desire.

An LT77 is not desirable per se....it was replaced by rover under recall for an r380 but if it was just rebuilt it's probably your cheapest option for a nearly new product.
 

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I don't believe it has been mentioned but don't forget the costs of seat box alteration, tunnel cover and firewall flange thingy if you go the R380 route.
Was reading through and was going to mention. One company is making an R380 tunnel cover with seatbox flange built in, forget the name right now.

Doug probably has a line on new R380 tunnel cover.
 

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I may be mistaken but I think the NAS trucks have the r380 seat box/trans tunnel, regardless if originally equipped with the lt77
 

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94' NAS 3.9 Petrol D90 White soft top (LT77 -> R380, LT230)
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I used the original tunnel and shift levers (changed the transmission knob for reverse). It did require, however, different linkage and bell housing. All parts arrived from Ashcroft in two DHL shipments.
 

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If you have less mechanical experience with Defenders than many on this forum, might I suggest you contact your nearest Land Rover driving club/group and arrange a friendly, enthusiastic and experienced, hands-on assessment of the transmission for the problem you never new existed (and you are the driver). You will find they have broken, repaired or replaced, many LR transmissions.

The good advice above about Ashcroft transmissions (and we all know Ashcroft well for a reason) is very relevant IF yours is bad. Just be certain of the problem before doing anything to your Defender.
 

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I may be mistaken but I think the NAS trucks have the r380 seat box/trans tunnel, regardless if originally equipped with the lt77
I believe this to be correct.
 

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Definitely is correct.

Ordered one of those fancy moulded matting kits designed for my early 94 LT77, only to immediately find out the sucker doesn't fit and I have the tunnel and seat box of an R380.
 
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