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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looks like I'm going to need a new transmission. A couple of shops have said that it will cost about $2000 for a rebuilt tranny, and total job could cost around $3500.

What options do I have when it comes to replacing the tranny? Currently I have the R-380 in a '94 d90. Is it possible to fit a more common/less expensive discovery tranny? What about an automatic tranny swap? I talked to someone once who put an automatic from a discovery in place of their R-380.

Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't been able to have a shop actually look at it, but I've talked to a couple of shops. ECR said that it doesn't sound like a problem they hear about often. Said one of the shafts probably siezed up from lack of fluid or improper maintenance.

I bought the thing in April from a kid named Matt Parker, from Michigan. Said he babied the thing. So far I've already had to replace all the brakes and rotors, one hub, the front drive shaft, the starter, the clutch master and slave cylinders, and now the tranny. One thing after the next. I think he knew it had problems and that's why he unloaded it. Anyone know him or the true story of this d90? I've got a few words for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
mike,

did you have the repair manual to guide you through swap? I have done lots of work on my Jeep cherokee (lift, minor engine work, etc.) but i have never done anything like drop a tranny. Is it tough?
 

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I had the manual. And I have never done anything more then you have (Shocks, Electrical Clutch MC, ect). The hardest part for the T-case was lining up the new one on the install. Other then that it was just unbolting and bolting stuff on and off. I am not sure on the tranny but I am sure it cannot be that much harder. I know some one else has done it on the board. Have you read threw the FAQ section? There is some good info there I think there is a link to the R-380 Tranny manual.
 

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I have helped with 2 tranny replacements. it isnt really that hard just dirty. Its nice to have a lift that you can put the truck on to allow you to stand under. the hardest part was the weight and getting the output/input shafts lined up. Its really not as hard to do as you might think. It is also essential that you remove the t-case too. I havent ever done this w/ a rover drivetrain.. unfourtunatley it was j##p's.. go figure
 

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I have done this with the tranny and t-case. Lining up the shafts are by far the hardest part but it does not really take much know how. Very manual, plus being able to take out the floor makes it much easier than a normal car/truck. I would do it yourself, unless you need a clutch job too, if that is the case, might as well pay a shop for the warrenty.
 

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I swapped the R380 in my 94 D90 to the ZF auto, and in my opinion it was one of the best mods I've done. It is not difficult just time consuming. Plan on an entire weekend and some help from your friends. If you locate a used one in a disco make sure you get everything from the crank back(adapter, bolts, flex plate, torque converter, ect), including tranny mounts. You will also need to get a cooler so get the lines from the disco as well. Shifters are linkage style, so you can put what you want in, I went with the stock 97 look and got a used console as well.

Tis
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Jonathan,

how much did the swap cost you. Any chance you live near sacramento and wanna help me do mine???:toast
 

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Jared-

Granted all parts were used, but all told I think I spent $1200-1300. That includes a new input gear and coupling shaft for the transmission which most people won't need.

Love to help, but I'm in GA. I tell ya what we can meet in Moab and do it in the parking lot and then take it wheeling!

Tis
 

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"So far I've already had to replace all the brakes and rotors, one hub, the front drive shaft, the starter, the clutch master and slave cylinders, and now the tranny. One thing after the next. I think he knew it had problems and that's why he unloaded it. Anyone know him or the true story of this d90? I've got a few words for him."

I think your experience is typical maintaince for a 94 D90 in a year. All of your major issues would have been caught in a decent service or are wear items.

Did you drive it long with the clutch MC/SC on the way out?

If you lost 1/2 it might be something stupid that can be fixed fairly readily.

If I were to be really cheap about it I would pull the shift linkage off the top (accessable if you pull the tunnel and possibly the seatbox as well, I have pulled the top off the tranny but not with it in the truck so you will have to figure it out). It might be a jammed shift fork or a detent ball that fell out.

As far as trannies I would recommend spending the extra money and getting a NEW not reman tranny.

But before you do that have you drained the oil? Any chunks in it? Is it a funky color?

Most R380s can be hacked back together for cheap if you just want to keep them going. Of course this assumes you can pull it and reinstall it on your own.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I haven't drained the fluid yet to check it. When I pulled the shifter off I could see fluid. Yesterday I thought it would be a good idea to check it in the traditional sense. I may be blind or stupid, but I couldn't find a dipstick for the tranny fluid. My manual was stolen so I couldn't look in there to figure it out. So where do I check it? And if I drain it, where do I refill it? I know it takes AFT, but how much? (again, stuff that would have been in the manual.)

Another thing. If this is normal maintenance for a year, that's crazy. Why would anyone want one? I wish I'd done more research before buying this piece of shite.
 

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I would agree with Ron that it sounds like normal stuff. It just so happened that it all had to be taken care of after you bought the vehicle. You gotta remember, your truck is 10 years old, so you should expect to have to spend a little scratch on it. As for the "dipstick", there isn't one. There is a plug on the side of the tranny that you remove. If fluid comes out the hole when the plug is removed, you have enough. If nothing comes out, you need to add fluid. ATF is reccomended, but Ron mentioned another lubricant that is now being reccomended, lubricates better than ATF.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
evilfij said:
[BDid you drive it long with the clutch MC/SC on the way out?

If you lost 1/2 it might be something stupid that can be fixed fairly readily.

[/B]
Ron,

What do you mean by "lost 1/2"? I'm not sure how long the slave cylinder was having trouble before I replaced it because i didn't know it was having trouble. The shop told me when they were doing my brakes. The master was out for a week or so before being replaced, but i made sure there was always plenty of fluid in it.
 

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You obviously have not serviced the vehicle properly if this is the first time you are checking the trans fluid level. This is conpounding your issues, hub failure, MC/SC failure, and trans failure are often (not always) a result of lax servicing.

While I appreciate your pain, any research would have told you that rovers are high maintaince cost vehicle, that cannot be neglected, the way I look at it, there are rover people who get it and non-rover people who do not and should drive toyotas or something.

To drain there is large nut on the side of the trans 1" 1/8" if I recall. To fill there is a T55 torx higher up.

If you drain and you see chunks you can usually figure out what went wrong.

Refill with ATF or the preferred redline MTL after you get the problems sorted out.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ron,

Thanks for the info. What is the normal interval for checking the tranny fluid? I have owned it for about 5 months and have put less than 5K miles on it. I figured the fluids had just been checked because it went through a pre-sale inspection at the SanJose LR dealer a week before I bought it. They said it was in good shape other than a couple minor issues. Plus, the kid i bought it from said he had babied it.

As for the research, you're right, i didn't do it. Not like I should have anyhow. I figured it maintenance would be be expensive. I just didn't realize I'd be having problem after problem after problem after problem. I guess I'd just become accustomed to my trusty Jeep (haha, I know, go ahead and curse me. it's true though. this d-90 has cost me 3x in 5 months what my Jeep has in 5 years).
 

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All fluid levels should be checked every 7500 miles.

I kinda doubt LR San Jose did that though, just a hunch. I am not saying you were low on fluid and it caused it, only that it was an issue. The fact that you had to put rotors and pads on less than 5k miles after the inspection tells me they were not as meticulous as I would have liked (or what I know my former employer would do). At the very least you should have been appraised of the condition of the rotors and pads.

For 5 months I would say your experience is a bit excessive.

Personally I have had no new issues in the almost 5 months and 3000miles I have had my 90. Still have to fix the clutch MC and the front rotors will need to be replaced when I do the pads in another 5-10k or so but otherwise she has been good.

Ron
 
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