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(Updated) The "How to make an LT230 part-time 4WD" thread


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I've taken some new photos after swapping bits between transfer boxes so here's an updated thread. This uses the Ashcrofts kit (~£150) although I reckon it's easy done without going to the expense and ending up with some useless Defender free-wheeling hubs kicking about <_<

This assumes you have an LT230 sat on the bench, this is theoretically possible in-situ but not sure I want to try it :P


Step 1:

Get kit and go "is that it?" :huh:


Step 2 (V important) get cuppa:


Step 3:

Undo this grub screw and remove the spring behind it - there is a detent ball in there for the hi-lo selector, it will fall out and roll under something when you least expect it :rolleyes: so fishing it out is a good plan, if not terribly easy...



Step 4:

Undo the hi-lo selector housing and remove - this is a later LT230, my old one has what I would describe as a "thing" on the end of the selector shaft held on with a grub screw, undo that and remove it too.


Step 5:

Undo the ring of bolts holding the front output housing on and pull it off


Step 6:

Pull the centre diff out - due to the meshing of the gears you may need to spin it round a few times to get it to pop out - I have done 1.003 and 1.222 ratio LT230's this way, I'm not sure about lower ratios. Shifting the hi-lo selector shaft in and out seems to aid the meshing/unmeshing process too, this shaft needs to be pulled out with the gears as it's sort of attached to them.

Step 7:

Stick the centre diff in a vice and undo the ring of bolts holding it together. I avoided removing the bearing by undoing the bolts until they hit the bottom of the bearing, then lifting the top section and going round again, etc. etc. until they were all undone. It's a 17mm spanner and (on mine) the bolts were not mega-tight, which was handy as I had to undo them with an open-ended spanner because I left the bearing in place.


Step 8:

Remove the spider gears from their supporting shafts. Here you can see the spider gears on the right - I poked the extension bar into the diff to separate the two halves.


Step 9:

The locking piece goes on the REAR output shaft (the big end of the centre diff with the cogs on) make sure you get that right as you don't want to get it all back together and find you've got front-wheel-drive :o (no I haven't done this, yet!)

Locking piece:



This is how it locks with the top (front) end of the diff:


You may need to adjust the spacer under the output gear to make the locking piece lock with minimum slack against the spider gears, using the spacer from the front output gear (next step) may be possible.

Step 10:

Remove the front output gear and replace with the splined bearing (this lets the front prop spin freely in 2WD), here I have made the mistake of putting the factory spacer piece behind it - don't do this as it pushed the bearing too far up and locked it against the spider shafts giving me permanent difflock :( had to take it all apart again and take it out :angry:


Step 11:

Put it back together - I don't know if you're supposed to threadlock the diff bolts but I did anyway :unsure: Putting the centre diff bac in you have to slid the hi-lo selector in with it carefully otherwise it won't play, shifting between hi and lo also seems to help when trying to get the gears to mesh and let you push it all home.

All the photos (of varying usefulness) are at http://fuddymuckers.co.uk/gallery/LT230_2x4/.

Anyone wanna buy some free-wheeling hubs for a Defender? :P

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I, and probably a few others have done it the cheapar$e redneck way by grinding the splines out of the forward bevel gear,or cutting the splined end of the front output shaftwhere it enters the bevel gear,welding all the gears together, and bushing the carrier to support the front output shaft.

I agree the AVM freewheel hubs are not required , even if you have a Defender front axle,as they are without a doubt the poorest quality hub that I have ever had the misfortune of using.


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the ashcroft kit is an easy bit of kit to fit, and i dont reckon it would be too hard to do in situ, there is no need to remove the centre diff from its housing, just remove the front output casing and work with it poking out the front

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  • 2 months later...

LT230's are so common now it hardly seems worth keeping the Series one. And you can choose different ratios - a 1.22 or 1.003:1 with Series diffs would mean you keep a good cruising speed on-road and a low crawl off-road.

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LT230's are so common now it hardly seems worth keeping the Series one. And you can choose different ratios - a 1.22 or 1.003:1 with Series diffs would mean you keep a good cruising speed on-road and a low crawl off-road.

Aiy, have the prefix numbers and will search today :)

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Did you find owt? Didn't spot you around although I did bump into almost everyone else. I have an image of you carrying an LT230 home on the bike now :lol:

did find a 14D, but the person wanted £140 :unsure: luckily FBB at Shrewton who I bumped into yesterday at Sodders reckon they have a couple lying around over the hill, so will pop out there to get one during the week :) spent quite a bit of time cleaning or scrapping every single LT230 that I came upon yesterday looking for the serial number ;)

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