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Replacing an LT230 transfer box

Les Henson

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The following thread is the replacement of the LT230 Transfer box as fitted to a 300TDi engine in a tricked-up 90. The method of replacing any transfer box is much the same - regardless of engine or vehicle (not sure about a Freelander though). These units are very heavy and awkward to manhandle, so it would be easier to have a second pair of hands available when lifting it off and replacing it. The box in this thread is brand new, so if you are doing the same, then the diff lock switch and speedo drive will have to be swapped over onto the new unit. The replacement transfer box is a 1.410 ratio unit and is replacing the 1.222 that was on the vehicle originally. If you don't already have the cross-drilled input gear fitted, then the relatively small cost of one makes it worthwhile to replace at the same time.

Park the vehicle on level ground, chock one or both rear wheels, jack up and support the front of the vehicle. Once both props are off you will have no gearbox or handbrake lock on the wheels.

The transfer case, and its position under the vehicle. Front and then rear view:-



First drain the transfer case - 17mm socket or spanner to remove it. There is an internal magnet that is put there to scare those that don't know better :D. It's quite normal to have a fine paste of steel on the magnet, but this one was surprisingly clean.




Ratio identifying label (the filler/level plug is above and to the left)


Using a propshaft nut tool, remove bothe the front and rear props.


The prop nuts are supposed to be held captive, but in reality just turn, so you will probably have to use a 14mm spanner as well.


Once the rear prop is off, there's a 30mm nut that has to be loosened. Apply the handbrake hard, and use a breaker bar or similar leverage to undo it.



Then undo the cross head screw that holds the handbrake drum in place. ( you may have tio use an impact driver to do this)


Remove all tension in the handbrake cable - use a 19mm spanner to undo the adjuster nut (there's one inside the bracket as well, which may turn as too, so you may need to use two 19mm spanners).



On the opposite side of the handbrake backplate there's an udjuster. Using an 11mm (7/16" spanner) - undo it until it no longer clicks over every 90 deg of a turn.


The handbrake drum will now lift away, and this is what you should now be looking at.


Remove the 30mm drive flange nut and remove the nut, washer, and drive flange.


With the flange out of the way you can now see the output shaft oil seal, and the 4 x 17mm head bolts that hold the backplate to the transfer case - remove them.


Remove the split pin form the linkage closest to the backplate.


The backplate, complete with the shoes, expander unit, etc, will now lift off.


Handbrake cable support bracket next - there should be two bolts in here for this type of bracket. Remove the two at the front, and then two at the side (13mm socket/spanner)



The bracket and cab;e can then be tucked away on top of the chassis rail.


Disconnect the feed to the diff lock switch.


Speedo cable next - this is retained by a forked bracket and a 10mm nut on a stud. The stud may come undone, but it doesn't matter.


You now need to remove the input gear, which involves removing the rear cover and bearing track carrier.

Remove the 6 x 17mm bolts (note ine should have a handbrake cable support bracket/clip on - they are normally brocken, but you can use the bracket with a cable tie to do the same job). You may also have an Earth cable attached to one of the bolts, as in this picture.


With the cover plate off - you can see the bearing track carrier. Early 90/110's will have a couple of big cross-head screw holding the carrier in place, these will have to be removed.


The carrier, and the input shaft gear still in position


You will notice the red paste arounf the input shaft where it comes through the gear. This is an early sign of premature wear of the two due to poor lubrication. A cross-drilled gear will cure this problem.


With a bit of careful wiggling of the gear and associated gears, it will come out of the transfer case.


The input shaft - check the condition of the splines for wear.


Slacken the 15mm nuts that hold both gearbox mounts to the chassis mounts - do not remove them.



There is one mount on the gearbox and one mount on the transfer case - bend back the locking tabs and remove the 4 x 19mm head bolts that holds the mount to the transfer case (drivers side)


From inside the vehicle, remove the drivers seat cushion, drivers floor panel, transmission tunnel cover, and centre seat/cubby box panel.




Undo the 13mm nylock nut that holds the diff lock plate to it's shaft - note that there atwo flats on the base of the shaft. Not the position of the plate - it must go back on the replacement box in the same position.



High/low range lever next - again 13mm nut and a bit fiddly to undo. Just the lower one to preserve the position of the linkage. If you have to slacken the upper nut, then count the turns and make sure it goes back the same way.



The breather pipe next - it's 15mm, and the banjo bolt should have a copper washer eother side of the pipe fitting.

Note also the diff lock switch earth wire - 11mm socket to remove the bolt, and the short cable will come off.



All that's now holding the transfer case to the rest of the vehicle are the 6-bolts that secure it to the gearbox. 5-of them are 17mm head, and one is 13mm. Remove the one to the left of the transfer case (at 10-oclock), just slacken the one to the right of it, but leave it in place and just finger tight. Following the line of the transfer/gearbox line, remove the rest.






The 13mm bolt - you can get at it with a 13mm socket on a 10-inch wobble bar.


Now place a jack under the gearbox and raise it until you have a small gap between the mounts and the casing.


Get in a position where you can move the transfer box back and off the gearbox shaft, then onto the ground. Take the weight of the Transfer box abnd remove the final bolt.


Some kind of cushion, such as a pad of cardboard or wood to drop the box onto as soon as possible. These things are unbalanced and awkward to control.


The new box, bone dry of oil, and large amounts of various types of packing tape/Denso tape, and cardboard.



There's a loacting dowel on the new transfer case - make sure that the old one hasn't been left in the gearbox, or the two will never fit together.


Clean the gearbox shaft, and lightly grease it. If there's any sign of oil leaking past the seal, then replace that too.


Lift the new transfer case into place, taking care not to damage either seals as you go. Hold the case in place and hand tighten a couple of the bolts. Once a couple are in, you can then fit the rest and tighten them.


If there is no speedo drive, then carefully lever the one out of your old box, clean and grease it, then press it into the new box after apllying some grease to the hole of the new housing.


The two components of the speedo drive.




Make sure the speedo inner cable goes in the centre of the drive like this.


And secure the same as on the old box. Don't do the 10mm nut up too tight - it only needs to hold the outer cable.


That's about it really, put it back together the same way you took it all apart. Fill the transfer case with fresh EP80/90 oil. and keep an eye on things for a while to make sure everything is ok/you didn't forget to tighten something :D

Les. :)

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Proper transmission jack (even a cheapo draper one) makes this job a lot easier and safer :) LT230 on the disco was quite easy - BW on the rangie last year was a little hairy even with it :blink:

Out of interest, why did you remove the input gear? Just to inspect it?

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That job takes half the time if you don't keep stopping to take pictures you know!

On the UAE Desert Challenge we had to remove a transfer box one night......Ard the 'Dutch Git' did it single handed in just under half an hour without a trolly jack whilst we all stopped for a cuppa and biccies!

After biccies we all helped him put the new one back in...took a bit longer than half an hour laying in the sand!

Good article.....

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