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Thread: Series 3 gearbox

  1. #1
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    Series 3 gearbox

    As stated earlier I have a Series 3 109” Ute that I will be doing up after my daughters car. I am informed that the standard gearbox will not stand up to the 186 Holden motor for extended driving. I am at retirement age and the plan is for this Ute to be my daily driver, I plan to refurbish the tray fit drawers, fridge etc and have a roof top tent arrangement on electric struts fitted over the top. Added to this will be a 4.5 metre tinny and I am wondering if the gearbox will be upto this work and if not what are my alternatives. I am a mechanic by trade but do not have extensive experience on Land Rover Series vehicles. I turn to the AULRO crew for guidance as I know there is a wealth of knowledge and experience here.
    The reason for the Series 3 is I love my Range Rover and Disco but I want to get away from all computerised vehicles for ease of maintenance in my old age, the wife can have a late model car and get someone else to service/ maintain it.
    On that note while I’m at it can anyone recommend a good electronic distributor to go with the 186.

    Thanks in advance Gippy

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    If your a mechanically sympathetic driver the Series3 gearbox will be fine, I don't know where the rumour that the Series3 box is weaker than the 2A box originated, because its not . When you have them in pieces its clear that the S3 is the stronger box. Put a rebuild kit though it and it should see you out.

    Series 3 LT76 Complete Overhaul BUNDLE | Online Gearbox Parts Shop

  3. #3
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    IMHO, the Series gearbox is fine behind a red motor as are the rear axles (flame suit on ). You just have to be a bit sympathetic when driving.
    PaulT

    REMLR 256 / SLOw 4 (P)

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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Hello Gippy,

    One of the issues associated with Holden engines and Series gearboxes is the alignment of the fit at the adapter between the engine and the gearbox. Some adapters were well engineered and incorrect alignment was not an issue. Some other adapters were a totally different story; starting off as "backyard" conversions. Here is a link to a "Sticky" that describes how alignment can be checked and improved...

    As per the title Read this before fitting a Holden Engine

    BEFORE FITTING A HOLDEN ENGINE CHECK ALIGMENT FIRST

    Kind regards
    Lionel

  5. #5
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    Hello Gippy,

    The most detailed information about setting the alignment was posted by Hodgo with permission from a company - All Four X 4 Spares of Newcastle Hodgo actively posts and is an ex-Army mechanic of the Series era.

    Go to Post 1 in the thread gives you the best description of checking the alignment and of what can go wrong if the procedure is not followed. Accessed August 26th 2019 from, BEFORE FITTING A HOLDEN ENGINE CHECK ALIGMENT FIRST



    Kind regards
    Lionel

  6. #6
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    I knew if I asked on this forum I would get the right info thanks for the reply’s and advice I will make sure to check each component and follow the advice.

    Gippy

  7. #7
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    Agree with the above, with one exception - the poor alignment that causes issues with Series boxes (not just S3) is no only an issue with "backyard" conversions. Some of the commercially produced adapters seem to have had less than ideal QC. I have not heard that this is restricted to a single brand of adapter either, and at this date it is unlikely we will ever know - it was years before it was realised that box failures behind a Holden engine were due to misalignment not the increased power. In fact, the increase in power should not be a real issue, as the power is smoother, coming from six rather than four cylinders, and this should largely compensate for the increase in power.
    John

    JDNSW
    1986 110 County 3.9 diesel
    1970 2a 109 2.25 petrol

  8. #8
    Homestar's Avatar
    Homestar is offline Super Moderator & CA manager Gold Subscriber
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    Agree with John here - many moons ago I did a Holden conversion in my Brothers 2A - a well known and supposedly quality adapter was bought - it wasn't until the second gearbox was stuffed that a Mechanic told us to check the run out (This was way before the days of the internet and easy access to information like this) - which we did and found the adapter out by quite a bit. The company in question did replace it when we questioned them and the new one supplied was found to be fine - the gearbox lived a long and happy life after that.


    1977 101 FC - 'Chucky'
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Mirboo North Victoria
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    Once again thanks for the assistance on the gearbox I will follow through with the recommendations. Now can I get help with a good electronic distributor as I think this is a must for reliable motoring, I know normal distributors are good and time proven but they do have points and condensers which need maintaining.

    Gippy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    batemans bay NSW
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    35

    gearbox

    Long ago, I bought a well used series3 fitted with a holden 186. It had been used to tow a commercial fisherman's large boat up and down the coast of NSW. The gearbox was fine, the motor was worn out, but still serviceable. With a little mechanical sympathy and a good rebuild, I think you will be OK.

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