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4WD Controls


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Hi all, new to this forum and also new to Land Rovers and 4WD, so forgive the basic nature of this enquiry.

Have just acquired a Series 3 Land Rover, registered March 1984. Previous owner's thought it might be ex-military but there is no paperwork to indicate either way. Haven't driven it much yet but I am slightly confused about the 4WD controls. Externally I have the freewheeling hubs, internally I have the gear lever (no problem), overdrive selection (no problem), high/low ratio lever (no problem) and then...the yellow knob.

The previous owner indicated that the yellow knob was for selecting the diff lock, but inside the cab I have the standard advisory plate telling me I need to depress the yellow knob to engage 4WD. So, if I turn the freewheeling hubs to 'lock', am I in 4WD? Or do I need to push down the yellow knob as well? If not, could anyone clarify what the yellow knob is for?

Sorry to be a bit dumb, but I have no owner's manual, and even a friend who does a bit of off-roading ended up scratching his head.

My confusion was further compounded by not being able to get the yellow lever to stay down in low ratio. I presume this is a fault: any thoughts on what it might be/how serious to fix?

Many thanks, Keith Flint.

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There is no difflock on a Series gearbox.

Push the yellow knob down to engage 4WD in high ratio. To release go into low ratio and back out again, whilst stationary. The yellow knob will not stay down in low ratio.

Engaging low ratio automatically engages 4WD.

The freewheeling hubs should only be disengaged if you're sure you won't need 4WD, e.g. for a long road trip.

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The free wheeling hubs disconnect the wheels from the rest of the drivetrain, so no matter what you do if they're not engaged only your back wheels will have any power going to them.

The rest is explained in this fantastic Land Rover instructional film:

(From http://forums.lr4x4.com/index.php?showtopic=16789)

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Thanks to all, much appreciated.

To confirm then, I have to lock the freewheeling hubs AND engage the yellow knob to get 4WD in high ratio. In low ratio, 4WD is engaged automatically provided I have the hubs locked.

The LR instructional film was great: thanks for the link. It does raise the question in my mind as to why the freewheeling hubs were installed. Was this a factory feature or a mod? The film obviously doesn't include vehicles fitted with these.

Thanks again, Keith.

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Free wheeling hubs are an aftermarket fuel saving device of dubious value that were popular back in the day. TBH I doubt the fuel savings were ever really worth the effort. They are a final link in the chain and are independent of anything else you may do, so unless they are engaged the front wheels will not be driven no matter which knobs you push.

Selecting low range selects 4x4 to stop you breaking things in the back axle with all that torque.

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