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.
- 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
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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