design - Land Rover section


Land Rover FAQs


QUESTION - What are the differences between a series II and series III transmission?

REPLY - The series III transmission has syncro in all four forward gears. The series II transmission does not have syncro in first or second gears. It has syncros in third and fourth gears.

This means:

  • First to second - double clutch
  • Second to third - single depression of the clutch pedal
  • Third to fourth - single depression of the clutch pedal
  • Fourth to third - single depression of the clutch pedal
  • Third to second - double clutch
  • Second to first - double clutch

Rover made several improvements on the series II gear box over time and the late transmissions are considered to be stronger than the early ones.

Some of the very last series IIA gearboxes were built up with all syncro parts inside. These full sycnro gearboxes can be identified by an 'S' added to the stamped gearbox serial number (not the casting number).

The transmission casting number on the side of the box ends with a letter suffix. The higher the letter, the newer the transmission.

In North America, the series III transmission is generally considered to be weaker than the IIA gearbox. Like the series II transmission, the series III transmission was improved over time. Unfortunately Rover stopped selling Land Rovers in North America before the late suffix series III transmissions were developed. A late series III transmission can be purchased from a company in a country that continued to sell series III, Ninety and One Ten Land Rovers.

Rapid shifting significantly reduces the life of the series III transmission. This box will remain in good condition longer if you always hesitate the lever in the neutral position when shifting gears. This very brief stop in the neutral position allows the syncro rings an opportunity to match speeds, significantly reducing wear of the syncros.

If you are considering an engine swap and retaining the series transmission, common consensus is that the series transmission is reliable for up to about 140 HP. Rover put in a stronger transmission when they swapped the 2.5L Rover engine for a 3.5L Buick V8. Even then they detuned the engine.

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