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Thread: Looking for a Series 3 gearbox, LT76, preferably a later one

  1. #11
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    Week #3 [ Update ]
    So I got my first round of parts for the outer gearbox in. Looks like they all fit. In classic Land Rover fashion, everything just takes 2 weeks to get to me by mail. But, the good news is most of these parts are still available new, with the exception of the gearbox casing. FYI.

    This week, I went diving into the parts manual to look at what parts I need, and if I can benefit from any "upgrades" over the years. My thinking is : if I have to buy 100% new parts (I'm building a gearbox from scratch) then I don't have to worry about re-use. I can get whatever is needed to upgrade to the better part. I found some interesting stuff below...

    Suffix part interchange - Layshaft
    I've attached the pages from the Series 3 Official Parts Catalog on the Layshaft, for reference.
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    I'd seen in James Taylor's book above a mention that between the Suffix "A" and "B" Land Rover had beefed up the Reverse gear mechanism. Looking through the parts catalog, it shows 2 diagrams...but keen eyed readers will see that most of the part numbers are the same. So, that tells me that the only change in the Layshaft assemblies is the Reverse shaft. Looking at the next page, there is a "Reverse Modification Kit" that seems to fix the Suffix "A" issues, and upgrade the weakness. The difference in parts comes down to they replaced a brass bush with a bearing. This made for a new reverse shaft and the reverse gear(where the bearing/bush fits into). Looks like the "Kit" just gives you the "B" shaft and reverse gear. The layshafts also are matched...so if you want the upgrade you need the "B" layshaft. All the bits in front of the layshaft are interchangeable between A + B. And the back bearing is the same. So, that tells me that the Layshafts are interchangeable in the case (A & B). So I'm going to order the "B" Layshaft and Reverse shaft, and basically have a "Reverse Modified Kit Suffix A"...or essentially a Suffix B innards. Seems that C kits are the same in this respect (the Layshaft), so this info applies to them, too. Only when you get to "D" suffixes do you get different part numbers, and I suspect that's more to do with the electroplating on the gear surfaces than dimensional differences.

    I made up a parts order, and added it to the spreadsheet, here:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

    I'll let you al know how it goes, and appreciate any insights I missed.
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    1973 Series 3, 109

  2. #12
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    Week 4(?)
    I'm loosing track of time as I'm mostly just waiting for parts and paychecks to buy said parts. I DID get to do a bit more research and order most of the internals this week. I've updated the spreadsheet link above to include all Mainshaft components and gearing.

    Mainshaft interchange
    The manual shows interchange for A+B+C Suffixes for these components. So it was easy to order the right parts. Honestly, I don't know what the difference between a "B" and "C" Suffix LT76. On paper, they look to have the same parts. I'm building a "B" internals in an "A" case.

    1 Ton
    There are a few parts at the back of the Mainshaft that differ in the "109 1 ton", which threw me for a loop. I thought maybe I wanted a 1 ton gearbox internals thinking they might be "heavy duty"(Good!). Which is misleading. After some research, it turns out the gearing is lower on 1st gear in the 1 Ton(military vehicle). Some folks saying that if you fit the 1 Ton gears, you can't benefit from an overdrive, later. Well, that's an upgrade I hope to make, so I went with the standard LT76 parts. So, that's what's listed in the spreadsheet.

    I ordered everything Monday, so now I wait. The only thing not available was one distance piece in an odd size. I guess there is exact endplay that is achieved by putting in the correct size distance piece and measuring with a dial Guage when fully assembled. If it's not in range, you take it apart and put the corresponding distance piece in(larger or smaller). Well, I can't find the middle one available anymore. But I've seen people just use a larger one and rub it on a flat surface with sandpaper to remove a few 0.001". So that's what I'll do. We'll see.

    I'll post some pics when all the parts come in and I do some final assembly. All-in-all, I've spent about $2200 so far on all new parts. The original quote was for $3600 for a "rebuild"(who knows what parts re-used?). So, not cheap, but still cheaper than buying from someone already done, by about 30%.
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    1973 Series 3, 109

  3. #13
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    I am glad you didn't go with the 1 Ton parts as the mainshaft is different, to fit onto a modified transfer set of gears and they are not interchangeable . The 1 ton and Forward Control transfer box has dog clutches on both High & Low gears making it easier to engage low range on the move & it is sometimes refereed to as the "Easy Change" transfer . The standard box has dog clutch on high range but low is engaged by actually moving the gears into mesh. often referred as a crash change . The gear on the mainshaft sticks out further into the transfer box and thus an Overdrive will not fit as you have already ascertained.
    I fell into this trap when I purchased a centre power take off for my 88" S2A and it didn't fit as it was off a 1 Ton.

  4. #14
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    It's been a couple weeks since an update, so I thought I'd post:

    Week 6(?) Update:
    My parts supplier emailed me two weeks ago to say some parts were on back-order. It was the synchos I ordered. I ordered Genuine Land Rover synchros. A bit more expensive, but I wanted Genuine for Two reasons:

    1) I saw a Britanica Restorations video on YouTube where the guy showed he got some aftermarket synchro and the teeth were machined wrong. I'm not inclined to deal with that nonsense, so I paid the extra for "Genuine" Land Rover synchros.

    2) My 3rd/4rth gears grind getting in. It's the whole reason I'm rebuilding this gearbox(at great expense in time and money). So...the hell am I going to get a cheap synchro again?

    Anyways. A word of caution, the synchros seem to be kinda rare. Or, at least they don't keep them 'in stock' and usually drop ship them from Land Rover. So, beware of unexpected delays.

    So, I'm shuffling around the garage waiting for parts for another week...
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    1973 Series 3, 109

  5. #15
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    Week ~10 Update:

    It's been a while since I updated here, but the gearbox build is still going. I've had some setbacks that required me to source additional parts. Details below:

    1st & 2nd gears and Genuine 3rd Synchroniser.
    After waiting 3 weeks for back-ordered parts from John Craddock, they inform me they just can't get my synchronizer in. They offered me a Baremach one. and I just don't trust them. Had one too many poorly machined parts from them. They offer to put an order in for me, but I declined. Speaking to Trevor over at RovahFarm and he tells me that he can order me one and that they are mostly being built out of Italy these days. I get nervous, having waited 3 weeks already for a part that a website said was in stock. I just don't want to risk drop shipment anymore. You either have it or you don't have it. No more of this "I can get it in 2 weeks" BS...So I found a supplier in Milan named 'Sivar' that makes the Synchro unit. Direct purchase through their eBay store and it came in 3 days. Wonderful! I don't know why I wasted 3 weeks with backorder.

    Bell Housing and Clutch Release Mechanism
    This one is a doozey. So, when I started this gearbox build, I sourced a bellhousing from ebay. Remember, I have a Series 3 with a 2.25 Petrol motor. So, I asked the guy selling the bell Housing if it will fit my engine, gearbox case, etc. The answer was yes. It DOES bolt on to both the engine and casting. BUT, it has an extra hole in the side of the belhousing. I didn't realise the implications of this. Basically, this is a 2a bellhousing. The clutch release mechanism is an older style mini-gear that pushes the clutch out when you twist a shaft that sticks out that hole in the bellhousing. Its a hold-over from the Series 1 that was a direct mechanical pedal that spun that shaft. Here are comparisson pics:

    2a style:
    https://littlegreenlandy.com/2019/08...ase-mechanism/

    Series 3 style
    https://www.lrworkshop.com/diagrams/...t-109in-v8_133

    So, the difference becomes...I have to replace the whole clutch release mechanism, too. If I want to use this bellhousing. That's fine, I would have probably replaced those components anyway. But the issue is that I can't find the 2a parts! I don't have the 2a parts catalog, and searching for complete assemblies is near impossible without part numbers. I'm not even sure they sell/make new 2a clutch release mechanisms. At least, I can't find them. So, it comes down to this:

    I can source all new Series 3 parts-they still make them(all the clutch parts). So, I'll get a new s3 Bellhousing. It sucks because I have a perfectly good Series 2a bellhousing I can't use. So, that's the thing to check before trying to mix-and-match 2a-3 parts. P/M me if you need a 2a bellhousing, I have a spare!

    Everything else came in and looks good. Lots of little parts! Hope to get back to assembly when the new bellhousing comes in. I'll be sure to post pics of the new parts assembly.
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    1973 Series 3, 109

  6. #16
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    Depending on which release mechanism you end up using, remember to get the correct clutch as although the 9.5 inch friction plate is the same on a late 2A and S3, the cover is different to match the two release mechanisms. On a S3 the release bearing presses directly on the Diaphragm spring fingers. On a 2A the is a thrust plate attached to the end of the fingers.

  7. #17
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    Week 11 update:

    Bellhousings issue resolved:
    I received my Series 3 bell Housing. This is the one with the clutch release mechanism that is the hydraulic kind. I'll try attaching a picture comparing the two, in case anyone's interested. The one on the left is the S3. Notice it has two pop outs (one for starter motor, one for the hydraulic clutch piston). The S2 one is on the right. Notice it has only 1 pop out(starter motor) and a big hole in the side for the lever-driven clutch mechanism. Now you can tell them apart(and I can, too). I'll probably be selling the S2 one on ebay soon. PM me if anyone wants it. I have to admit that @Rover480 was trying to tell me this in the beginning of the post. I thank you. You were right.
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    Reverse Gear and Reverse Shaft
    This one is another suble difference between the Suffix "A" gearbox and all the others. I should have suspected this, because it was a different part number in the parts catalog. The parts catalog shows nice drawings, but they look identical as drawings. It's only when you look at the parts in-hand and try to assemble that you realize some dimensions differences. The Suffix "A" gearbox case has a slightly smaller diameter hole for the Reverse gear shaft. The Suffix "B/C" Reverse shafts, which are better, are larger diameter. I ordered the Suffix "A" Reverse shaft with the "upgrade mod" Reverse Gear (FRC1893). It came a few days ago and I compared the two. I'll try to post some pics. They seem the same length, the gears are the same width and teeth the same, etc. I got a machinist caliper on them to be sure. The improved B/C+ Reverse has a thicker shaft and roller bearing setup, which is smooth as butter. The Suffix A setup, even with the upgrade mod, is just a bronze slip collar. The Reverse Gear just rides on a thin film of oil, and wears that bronze bush. I had thought of maybe swapping the roller bearing setup onto the older shaft...but they are different diameters. The other thought was to machine the B/C Reverse Shaft end smaller, to fit the Suffix A case. But, the other end was also different diameter. In the end, I'm just going to install the Suffix A Reverse shaft with the mod upgrade gear. It looks to have an oil hole and criss-cross oil channels cut into the bush...so maybe it will stay lubed. Plus, you don't spend much time in Reverse, so maybe it's not an issue compared to the life of other gears. Maybe by the time your bronze synchros wears out, Reverse is still going. These are $30 parts, so sorting this out now is key. Don't mind getting both and comparing.
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    Going to assemble more this weekend.
    Last edited by vlad_d; 08-15-2022 at 07:19 PM.

  8. #18
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    [B]Week 11.5 update[\B]

    Finally building up the gearbox
    Alright! With all the parts mostly in, I could finally start with some assembly. I have to say that the YouTube series by SteamWally is amazing. I was able to start putting these things together. I got all the bearings pressed into the Bell Housing, and retained with their various retaining clips, etc. Then drove the Primary Pinion into the Bell Housing. A brass hammer and a cheap bearing race and seal setting tool worked wonders.
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    On to the MainShaft! The Parts Catalog shows a dizzying array of parts on it - broken up into two parts (front and back). In practice, it's less parts than it seems. The back half is partially in the case. The Rear Bearing and Oil Seal are kind of held together in this unit, with giant C Clips. A Harbor Freight moved in about 2 miles from my house, and I got a cheap FULL set of interior/exterior C Clip pliers. I can't stress enough how good an investment this was. About $30 and getting these monster C Clips on was no sweat. This unit then gets pressed into the rear of the case. The manual calls for Loctite 601. Well, good luck finding it, because they don't make it anymore. Loctite 603 is what I used. I think it supersedes it. Again, a brass hammer, gently using brass punches, in alternating strikes drove it home.
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    Here's a look at me trying to put a large diameter reverse shaft into a smaller diameter hole. You can see why it didn't work:
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    But, using the correct one for my "Suffix A" case (described below in thead) worked fine. You just drive the reverse shaft through, then put the gear on, and drive it the rest of the way into the loop inside that holds the other end. The shaft is driven flush with the back of the case, and the pin holds it from spinning.
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    I put the Layshaft in to check end-float. Here's a pic of how it aligns with the Pinion, which sticks out of the front of the Bell Housing:
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    You can see it inside of the case below, and see how it fits into the back bearing race and reverse gear.
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    Starting to understand how all this works! The end-float here is kind of all about how the Layshaft aligns with the Pinion gear that sticks into the main case. The bearing has a little wobble, but it feels solid when engaged on both front and rear bearings. I ended up using the middle size up spacer so the gears aligned right in the center. The smallest one was fine, but didn't mesh the gears on the centerline. The largest one pushed the Layshaft so far into it's back bearing race that it didn't spin. So, middle sized one it is!

    Back to the MainShaft.
    I started to assemble the MainShaft, from the back first. I had the two-piece kind of bush for between 2nd and 3rd Gears. There's all kinds of assembly, test end-float, disassembly and repeat, steps here. You're supposed to file down the soft brass/bronze with sandpaper to let the gear sit higher or lower. I had a set of feeler gauges and tried to get the tolerances right. But, I discovered a weird thing. The middle ridge (or larger end-cap, in two piece versions of the bush) had a chamfer machined into it as it met the gear shaft hole...which also had a matching chamfer. They're supposed to sit flush. Well, it didn't quite sit flush, so that means the bush never quite pushes all the way to the bottom. So, no matter how much you sand/file the bottom of that bush...you're not increasing the tolerance. I confirmed this by softly tapping down the bush and noticed a cut mark on the chamfer where it was rubbing. In the end, I was at about 0.009 when the manual says 0.004-0.007. This was with the smallest spacer. I don't know if this is just bad BritPart machining, or if the brass bush is meant to "wear in" on the first couple hundred miles. I figured I would drive it slow for the first few miles and watch the temperature. Those brass bushes are SO soft, I could buff out dents and scratches with 1000 grit sand paper...so I figure it will rectify itself with slow use. I even thought of maybe bench spinning it a few thousand revolutions just to "seat" everything and "wear it in" nice. Any thoughts out there, Rover experts? I'm all ears.
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    The other weird thing is that the parts were so tight tolerance machined , that the gear BARELY spun on the brass bush. Without the pin securing the brass bush, the bush spun on the steel shaft. But, after you get all your end floats confirmed, you're supposed to put the pin into the MainShaft and then the bush has a little notch that slips over that. The bush now no longer moves, and the GEAR is supposed to spin. Well, that bush(ing) is so tight on that gear that I have to muscle it around to spin. I spent a good 10 minutes working it back and forth to polish the brass bush. It eventually became easier to spin. But if I hammered any of the parts down, I could easily seize the whole assembly. This was concerning. Again, I worked it for another 10 minutes and it spun easier. I suspect I will have some brass powder out of my first gear oil change. I'll try to take it easy on break in. Is this normal?

    ...part 2 following this... (RN forum only letting me attach 8 images at a time)...
    Last edited by vlad_d; 08-16-2022 at 01:03 AM.
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    └/ | \────┴──┴/ | \─┘≡
    ..../..@........................@

    1973 Series 3, 109

  9. #19
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    Week 11.5 (part 2)

    Front half of the MainShaft
    The rest of the MainShaft goes together. There's another spacer here, which you check when you have the 1st & 2nd Synchro on, and also without it on to check if the bush it sits on will be in tolerance. This is held on with the "taint of the devil" spring clip. I am glad I bought 5 of these. I ruined 2 of them! Always buy 5x for these clips and retainer things...they are often $0.35 each, and it's good insurance, because you'll either destroy a few or they will fly off into the garage somewhere and be gone form this dimension! I tried all kinds fo tricks to get them on: slide them over a wire, use C-Clip pliers to expand them, use flat-head screw drivers to pry them on, etc. All these methods stretched them beyond their limits(instantly ruining them) or didn't work. The only way I got it to work was with two vice-grips on the ends and just gently pry them apart as I pushed down to get them to slip down. Any more pressure and you risk making them oval/ellipse, and then they don't lock anymore.
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    After I got all this fit up and snug(tap the spring clip in with a metal punch all around to make it seated nice), I turned the whole MainShaft over and tapped it here and there with my brass hammer to release any pressure. I was hoping this would work like you do for U-Joints...where you don't want everything sitting right up against the C-Clips. So, I hoped that would distribute the sliding bits more evenly in their tolerances(end floats range). Spinning it after revealed it was a little looser. I still spent a good 5-10 minutes spinning everything. Seemed to get easier the more I did it - but it's still tighter than I would like. It's definitely not a "one finger" flick to spin each gear. More like a full grasp with your hand and force it to spin. I really do hope that it gets easier as it wears in. Is this normal? I hate to have to order new parts (and wait another 3 weeks).

    Finally, I put the Mainshaft into the case, driving it into the bearing at the back. I was expecting this to be harder, but it went in really easy once you move the reverse gear out of the way. So, do it with the main case sideways (so the reverse gear won't try to fall back from gravity). And just get it past the reverse gear, and into the large rear bearing that goes through the case.
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    Then, put the Layshaft in. Same situation here. Do it with the case side-ways so that you can clear Reverse gear. With Reverse out of the way, it's easy to find the alignment. Here is a pic with both shafts in...
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    And finally, put the 3rd/4rth Synchro unit (a beautiful object) onto the MainShaft. Put the roller bearing on after. Put the Primary Pinion gear onto the Layshaft (loosely) for the next step.
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    The next step will be meeting up the Bell Housing with the main case, and trying to mesh up the Pinion gear with the end of the Layshaft's gear...and tucking the MainShaft's roller bearing into the recess of the Pinion gear sticking off the Bell Housing. But, I forgot to order one of those threaded studs for the top-left bolt hole...so I have to wait before final assembly.

    While I wait for parts: What sealant do you guys like to use? I heard you don't want RTV because globs of dried Silicone can gum up the gears. But I don't want leaks. Saw one post say Locktite 5980? Anything I can get at the local O'Reilly's? I hate to order this $40 a tube stuff that's just the same thing as Permatex or Form-a-gasket but British. "Chestershire Sealants: For the finest locomotive, steam ship and horseless carriage parts. A trusted source since 1890!"
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    ..../..@........................@

    1973 Series 3, 109

  10. #20
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    Week 12 Update

    I decided to post at the beginning of the week, to give more people time to reply before the weekend(when I would use the advice)...Like many, I work during the week and build my Series on weekends. Hoping to get this resolved this weekend...

    Bush troubles
    I can't get it out of my head how hard that bronze bush/gear for 1st and 2nd is to turn. I watched a few more assembly videos (Jeffrey Corker series is fun, too). In all these, the gears spin like skateboard wheels. Mine requires a gorilla grip on the gear with your hand and muscle(marking your bare hand). That's not right!

    Clearly, either the ouside of the bronze bush I have is machined wrong or the two gears are machined wrong internally to give enough tolerance to spin freely. Playing back my assembly process in my brain, I remember having a tough time first seating the bronze bush into the first gear. This was early in the endfloat check process, and admittedly my first gearbox. I didn't think much of it, because the fit against the mainshaft was excellent. I assumed the gear was pressed into the bush and both spun on the mainshaft(like the reverse gear is set up). I was wrong. At the end of final assembly, you drive a pin in the mainshaft that engages the bush...and the bush never spins again. So the spinning happens between the gear and the bush, not between the bush and the mainshaft. Great. I know that now. But it was literally a press fit! I used a brass hammer to tap it in. Brass is so soft, this compressed the bush a bit along the edge closest to the inner hole. It made the fit even tighter, as parts of the inner race bulged inward, making the diameter of the hole smaller in places. After working it by had, I could see rubbing below the dents from the hammer. I polished those out with 1000 grit sand paper. It was back to the original fit(still tight, but not seized). Then I had other problems listed below. Now, I want to reduce the outside diameter of that bush, to give space for the gear to spin freely. It's so close! I feel like 10 minutes of lapping or sanding and it will be perfect. But how to do it? I'm not a machinist, nor do I have a lathe.

    Lapping the bush?
    I had the idea of just running it slowly, to let the brass wear against the harder steel. I read a forum where another guy did that and snapped/mangled the bush as everything seized as it heated up and expanded. I don't want that.

    Then, I thought maybe I could set up my drill press and an alternator belt to turn that gear for 10 minutes all out in the open. I could spray it with brake cleaner to flush out the brass powder filings. My version of a poor man's lathe? I thought this might be bad for the mainshaft, prematurely wearing it on the part facing the apex of the belt.

    I thought maybe a soft abrasive might be better. Toothpaste? Okay, I'm better then that. I looked into Lapping Compund for valves. Well, I guess that bronze bushes are porous. So the compound you use for valves would get embedded into the bronze...and then the bush becomes a grinding tool against the gear. Yikes! No. I don't want that. I guess you're advised to use Garnet stone Lapping Compund for that.

    But then there's the advice that - if you try to hand Lap something, you're likely to get off-cylinder shape. So, you're likely to make it slightly hour-glass profile, or conical. Ugh!

    So now, I'm contemplating getting a new Bush and/or/both taking my gears and bush to a machine shop to have them professionally lathed for a good fit. Why are Land Rover parts like this? I've never owned a vehicle where I have to machine brand new parts pretty much 50% of the time because of poor fit. My Chevy, Pontiac, Jeep...never happened in 25 years. Land Rover? 1 out of 3 new parts is just out of tolerance?!

    What do you guys think? This MUST have come up before for someone else.

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