The R380 gearbox was introduced in approx 1995 with the suffix J and has now evolved to the suffix L and this has been used until the end of the Disco 2’s and until 2007 in the Defender when the 2.4 TDCi engine was introduced which uses the MT82.
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Heavy Duty Rear Support Bearings
One of the common failure modes of the R380 is premature wear of one or both of the rear support bearings in the rear 5th speed aluminium housing, this starts as a whirring in all gears but not so bad in 4th, then as the bearings wear it allows the 5th gear on the layshaft and 5th gear on the mainshaft to come a little out of mesh, then 5th also gets noisy and often results in the teeth coming of one or both of the 5th gears, after much design work we are now able to offer to upgrade these two bearings.
The Layshaft rear support bearing is FTC2385, this is made by RHP and has a dynamic load rating of 27Kn, we replace this with a larger bearing of equivalent quality which has a dynamic load rating of 35.5Kn, this is a 31% increase. See below a comparison photo of stock vs our HD one.
The Mainshaft rear support bearing is FTC3371, this is made by RHP and has a dynamic load rating of 27.4Kn, we replace this with a larger bearing of equivalent quality which has a dynamic load rating of 44Kn, this is a 60% increase. See below a comparison photo of stock vs our HD one.
This upgrade would be advised for any hard working R380 such as heavy/tuned TD5 vehicles, ie overlanders or tow vehicles,
R380 5th gear ratio
All TDi and TD5 R380 5th gear ratios are 0.77, the V8 ratio is 0.732 which is approx 5% higher, we are able to fit these higher ratio 5th gears to the TDi and TD5 boxes for an additional charge if required. If you want to run these numbers on the ratio calculator, please select the type 69A R 380 option but this is for the 5th gear ratios only, all other gears will remain the same. An example of when this option would be good is if you have a stock TD5 Defender which does some heavy towing, you might not want the 1.2 ratio gears in the transfer case as this would raise 1st too much and it may struggle to pull away but you want 5th a bit higher, or you have a tuned TD5 Disco / Defender and feel it can pull higher gearing but the 1.003 ratio is too high.
Different types of R 380
The manual boxes can be categorised as “Long Stick” as fitted to the Defender and “Short Stick” as fitted to the Disco.
If your serial number starts with any of the following then you have a longstick : 50A, 51A, 56A, 58A, 60A, 61A, 66A, 68A, 74A
If your serial number starts with any of the following then you have a shortstick : 53A, 55A, 63A, 67A, 69A, 73A
The longstick boxes come with the top casting that the gearlever and turret bolt to but you will need to remove the following from the old unit : the bellhousing and dowels, transfer case dowels, gearlever and turret and diff lock pivot bolt if fitted.
The shortstick boxes come with remote top assembly with reverse switch fitted but you will need to swap over the bellhousing & dowels, transfer case dowels, extension gearstick and diff lock pivot bolt.
The only exception to the above is the 64A and 65A, these come less bellhousing and less remote shifter.
Sorry we are not able to collect old units from customers outside of the UK.
Video of a R380 being built
Video of a rebuilt R380 being tested. We dunk the gearbox in water to check for air bubbles, as this could mean a leak.
Where to find the serial number on a R380
Videos to show what each type of R380 is supplied with
Range Rover P38
Video of a R380 being built.
Video of a rebuilt R380 being tested. We dunk the gearbox in water to check for air bubbles, as this could mean a leak.
Video to show where to find the serial number on a R380
Videos to show what each type of R380 comes with.
P38 Range Rover
Many of our products are sold on an exchange basis. This is an amount charged on top of the unit price which acts as a deposit and is refundable on receipt of the exchange unit (old one coming out of the vehicle), as long as the unit is the same type, complete and not stripped, and returned within 12 months.
This means it has to be like for like as it comes out of the vehicle, having not been taken apart at all, and needs to be complete with everything the remanufactured one arrives with. If it does not arrive in this condition, some or all of the surcharge may not be refunded. A standard “stripped” charge of £75 will be deducted from any core return.
Core returned after a 12 month period will be subject to a surcharge as shown below.
The core deposit varies depending on the product.
Cores returned within number of years from date of invoice
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My gearbox rattles on idle, in neutral, with the clutch up
This is very common on Diesel engined vehicles. The clutch friction plate has a ring of springs, which are there to soften the knock of the diesel engine to stop it being transmitted to the driveline. Often especially with a new clutch these springs are quite tight and a lot of the engine knock goes through to the gearbox and makes the gears “chatter” together when the box is in neutral and the clutch up, it goes when the clutch is depressed. This can sound quite bad and does vary from car to car but is not detrimental to the life of the gearbox and we view it as an undesirable characteristic of the LT 77 and R 380 as opposed to a fault with either the gearbox or the clutch.
My TD5 gearbox rattles on idle in neutral with the clutch up
Usually on the TD5 this is due to a worn duel mass flywheel or if you have changed to a single mass flywheel type these can make the gearbox rattle very badly.
The R380 gearbox in my 300 tdi Defender / Discovery has recently started ‘blocking’ when I shift from 5th to 4th, to get 4th gear I have to nudge 3rd then it will drop into 4th no problem. Why?
A common fault on the early R380 gearboxes was the 4th gear baulk ring. The slot locating the synchro slipper wears and allows the baulk ring to rotate too far. This blocks the synchro assembly. It will be necessary to rebuild the gearbox, and replacing the baulk ring with a later type will eliminate this fault.
The R380 gearbox in my 300 tdi Defender / Discovery has recently started ‘blocking’ when I shift from 5th to 4th, to get 4th gear I have to move the stick to the left until it clicks then I can get 4th. Why?
There is an ‘inhibit’ latch in the shifter mechanism that stops you selecting reverse when you come out of 5th, this is the click. The latch should click and allow you to get 4th when you come over to the 3/4 gate but if its not clicking on its own you may have to adjust the 3/4 bias position slightly to the left until it does.
I have just fitted a rebuilt R380 and can’t select reverse,
When you come out of 5th there is an inhibit latch which stops you accidentally hitting reverse, this should spring downwards with a noticeable click in the top of the R380 rear housing when you come out of 5th, this can be sticky and if it doesn’t spring all the way down it will stop you selecting reverse, to fix, remove the remote top housing and give it a little oil and flick it up and allow it to spring down a few times until it loosens up.
I have a Tdi 90 and it “clunks” when I take up drive. Why?
The most common cause is worn mainshaft spline but other things to check the A frame ball joint and the halfshaft drive flanges, especially if you have a 300 tdi Defender. To check mainshaft spline wear remove the PTO cover and with the main box in first gear rock the car backwards and forwards whilst looking into the end of the input gear. If the spline is worn you will see movement of the shaft in relation to the gear. Replace the gearbox and transfer box input gear (use a cross drilled gear to prevent recurrence of the problem).
I have a 300tdi/TD5 Disco /Defender with a 5 speed manual (R380) gearbox and have lost fifth and reverse gears. Why?
The layshaft extension has sheared off effectively disconnecting these two gears. You require a rebuilt or new gearbox.
I have a 300tdi/TD5 Disco /Defender with a 5 speed manual (R380) gearbox and have lost reverse gear. Why?
The reverse gear is made in 2 parts and laser welded together, the weld can fail which means you can select reverse but have no drive.
I have just fitted a R 380 and I can’t get 2nd, 4th or Reverse. Why?
Some people put sealant on the front face of the gearbox before they fit the bellhousing, this sealant can cause a core plug on this front face to ‘hydraulic’ inwards which then stops the selector rail moving fully forward to select these gears. There is no need to put any sealant on this face.
I’ve just fitted a rebuilt gearbox to my Discovery, the third and fourth shifts are not very good. Why?
When you let go of the gearstick on either the LT77 or the R 380 Discovery boxes the stick will spring to the 3 / 4th gate. This gate position is set by the position of the bias plate.This gate position must be adjusted correctly to agree with the selectors in the gearbox to ensure a good gearshift. When we rebuild the boxes we set this position but sometimes it needs fine tuning when in the car.If the shifts to 3rd and 4th are not clean you may want to adjust this plate, to do this first you must drive the vehicle but when shifting into 3 and 4 instead of letting the gearstick go where it wants to go try holding it a little to the left then a little to the right, one way or the other it will drop in nicer. When you have worked this out you can slacken the 4 screws holding the plate and move the plate left or right accordingly to improve the shifts.
I’ve just fitted a rebuilt gearbox to my Defender, the third and fourth shifts are not very good. Why?
Most rebuilt gearboxes, including ours, come without the “turret”. This is the part that the gearstick bolts to. If you pull back the rubber boot on the turret you will reveal two large springs and two adjuster screws and locknuts. The role of these springs and screws is to set the rest position of the gearstick when you let go of it and is referred to as the 3/4 bias setting. When you fit a new gearbox this can sometimes need adjusting to agree with the selector shafts to ensure a clean gearshift. Firstly you need to work out which way to adjust it, to do this drive the vehicle but when shifting into 3 and 4 instead of letting the gearstick go where it wants to go try holding it a little to the left then a little to the right, one way or the other it will drop in nicer. When you have worked this out you can adjust the screws the springs are resting on to lean the stick left or right until it shifts better.
What oil should I use in my R380 gearbox?
The oil recommended by Land Rover is MTF94. However we have recently found this oil to give better results
I have a 300tdi Defender/Disco with a 5 speed manual (R380) gearbox and have lost all drive. Why?
There are three possible problems:
The mainshaft spline has worn away and is not engaging in the transfer case input gear, (most common)
the centre has torn out the clutch friction plate or 3) the mainshaft has sheared just inside the rear of the gearbox.
will require a rebuilt unit.
I have a LT95 4 speed manual and would like to replace this with a 5 speed manual, can this be done?
To do this you will need : LT77 or R 380 with bellhousing LT230 with handbrake, with hi/lo and diff lock linkages Clutch kit, mounts, shifter
After a long run in my Discovery, when the gearbox gets hot, the gear lever becomes stiff when moving from side to side. Why?
The nylon cage at the end of the selector rail can swell when hot, and cause friction. To rectify this, the parts needs replacing. You can find this part here
I have a short stick Disco R 380 which I would like to convert to a long stick to fit a Defender, how do I do this ?
There are 2 ways to do this:-
strip the gearbox and fit the Defender selector rail (FTC4588) and the Defender yolk (FTC5120) with grub screw FTC4536. Once these parts are fitted you can fit the R380 defender top housing and linkages or you can also fit the Defender LT77 top housing but you will have to remove the ‘T’ piece under the housing which is held in place with 2 M6 screws.
rather than strip the gearbox we make an adapter piece that you can fit to the end of the existing selector rail then fit the Defender yolk to this part then fit the Defender top housing. We can supply the adapter, yolk and screw at £ 75 + VAT, see here.
I have a short bellhousing R380 on a 200 TDi engine and want to fit it to a 300 TDi engine, will it fit ?
Yes and no, not all the holes will line up but most do, pls see :and the 300 TDi clutch cover housing :Looking at the top bellhousing photo :Lets call these holes, 12 (O’clock), 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
When the bellhousing drops onto the clutch cover housing in the lower photo :
5, doesn’t line up
6, no hole but there is some material so you can drill and tap and fit a stud
7, doesn’t line up
9, doesn’t line up
The bottom line is most line up but not all, in my experience, enough line up for it to be secure and not cause a problem.
The R380 was introduced in 1994 with the suffix J which was a significant improvement on the LT 77 it supercedes> Differences included a steel oil pump (as opposed to the LT 77 fibre one), an additional 2 support bearing, used on the layshaft and the mainshaft, wider gears, bigger diameter synchro rings, synchromesh on reverse and a longer mainshaft spline.
This suffix J did unfortunately have a couple of design flaws which gave the R380 some bad press, they were prone to the mainshaft shearing across the oil feed holes, the layshaft also sheared at a stress concentration behind the sandwich plate causing loss of 5th and reverse also early ones still suffered from mainshaft wear until the cross drilled transfer case gears became fitted as standard on the suffix G transfer cases.
In 1999 the suffix K was used very briefly for a few months then came the suffix L. The K and L are virtually identical, the only difference I have found is the L outer main casing has an additional strengthening rib, internals are the same. The J and K/L are very different, 2 of the bearings were substantially uprated and pinion and layshaft teeth were widened again, this results in a much stronger unit.
It is not abnormal for the R380 to run quite hot and this often results on either baulking or sticky shifts which can often be improved by either an oil additive or different oil.
If you feel your unit is running too hot then bear in mind Landrover make for 2 main markets, Europe and Rest of World (ROW), the ROW spec TD5 Defender and Disco gearboxes are oil cooled but Europe spec are not, there is some debate as to whether they should be, especially if you live in south Spain or Italy Etc.
The temperature the box runs at will have an effect on it’s lifespan, please have a look in the misc section for details of the ‘Oil Cooler Kit’
It is important to check the bias adjustment particularly on the defender boxes if a “notchy” selection on 3rd or 4th is a problem.
The bias plate and springs are pre set on the (short stick) Disco and Range Rover boxes, so should need little or no attention, but if there is a problem selecting 3 or 4 it is possible to move the spring location plate which is held down by the 4 x M8 bolts under the top dust cover.
The”long stick” boxes, Defender and early Range Rover, come without the “turret” assembly. Always check the turret is in good condition ie locates in the socket and feel firm. The 3 and 4 selection is by two “bias” adjustment springs located one each side of the turret under the rubber boot. Pull the boot back and if necessary adjust the two M6 screws under the springs, the lever should self center in the 3 – 4 position.
Other causes of poor selection are “dragging clutch” and “tight spigot”, both of these problems will show on the R 380 by tight gear selection in all gears.