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1994 300tdi Defender R380 whine when towing 2 tonne

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Ive scowered the forums for clues to this one and not got a straight answer.

While towing a 2 tonne load the other day I noticed that once we had covered 5 miles the gearbox (or the transfer box) was getting a loud whine only when accelerating, after about 10 miles we were stuck in traffic and I noticed that 2nd gear was crunching while being selected (not heavily just felt like a nip) the whine is more noticeable after 30mph.

once it had cooled over night and was cold in the morning there is no whine and no crunch, but...

Ive noticed recently if I take it out on a long run (25 miles) with no weight in and not towing a whine does start to appear but not really noticeable, does get more as it gets warmer though and 2nd has a little nip on selection.

Ive stripped the tunnel cover out and ill be checking oils in the morning but any clues ? or any other checks while I'm there?

thanks in advance


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Yes - bearing at the rear on their way out by the sound of it...

For this very reason, mine is planned for replacement late this year for a recon one from Synchro Gearboxes.

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I had a similar issue with a loud whine under load when hot; I'm not sure what it was but it went when I swapped the transfer box (for a different reason) At the time I suspected it was the transfer gear bearings not being shimmed correctly. That would be relatively easy to check without box removal.

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Err I have just got in

NO OIL in the box at all! just a silver grease looking blob and filings on the drain plug. (by the way this vehicle is a new edition and has a rebuild planned, I'm glad we got £900 of the asking price now or the wife would be blowing a fuse) I did check all other oil levels just left the box due to how dry it is ...lesson learned check EVERYTHING before using a second hand landy

Filled with mtf94 and went for a 10 mile drive then dropped the oil and refilled with fresh mtf94

The first fill that came out was black and the drain plug has little filings on it again.

Once refilled the crunch is gone and the whine has been reduced alot but its still there, however I was test driving it with no tunnel cover to have a real good listen so I'll have a listen once its back together, by the way it whines in 1st 2nd 3rd but dosent whine half as bad in 5th and hardly at all in 4th.

This is the hard top 110 work van not our csw and its having a chassis swap at the end of summer so I'm hoping ive saved it long enough to get through the next 6 months, then I recon a call to ashcrofts is on the cards.

my dad was a series 3 nutter when we were kids and he says drive it like a tractor and it will have 20 years left in it ha ha ....yes dad but you drove at 25mph everywhere!!!

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Yes, tunnel now back on and all seems as quiet as it should be, ill go the long way to the workshop tomorrow to see if I can hear it when it warms up.

Kicking myself as its a good motor for the £3100 we paid.

We have been surprised how good it is in places yet equally surprised how bad things like play in the rear axle are.(ordering half shafts and flanges next)

The chap was an old guy who covered about 1000 miles a year in it for the last 8 years (according to the mots) and after this I don't think the gearbox oil has been checked at all by him.

When we bought her we budgeted for an axle, a chassis, 2 doors, a paint job and various odds and bits and so far the chassis has gone through the mot, the new doors are on and the axle may get away with just shafts, so all good.

Thanks Wayne

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All is quiet, even on a longer run, it sounds normal (well as normal as a box would sound after 170,000) (I suspect its original as the suffix is a j but it could have had treatment, I don't know) wont have the trailer treatment for a few weeks so if any thing dies ill update.

Just a side line I have noticed a drip coming from the hole in the bottom of the bell housing and as the slave cylinder had given up I expected the fluid to be that but ill keep an eye on the levels to see if its coming from the box.

Oh and when I looked through what had been said on other threads I did also check the breather and it wasn't blocked as ive heard this can cause too much pressure in the box and pop a seal.

Thanks again chaps.

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