LT230T transfer case suitability with an LS3 engine

I am swapping the TDI 300 and R380 transmission with an LS3 engine with a T56 Magnum 6-speed manual transmission (rated for 480HP and 475 lb-ft torque). Now, do I need a new transfer case or can I upgrade de case to handle the torque?
Any advice is appreciated very much.
Thanks
AR
 

Napalm00

Technical Excellence Contributor
Can handle no problem, just make sure it's in good shape.

You're going to want a 1.2 or 1.0 ratio
 

jymmiejamz

Founding Member
Callsign: KN4JHI
It can definitely handle the power, you just need to get the correct ratio based on what tire size you’re running. Typically a 1.4 ratio is too low for a LS unless you are going to run some giant tires
 
Can handle no problem, just make sure it's in good shape.

You're going to want a 1.2 or 1.0 ratio
Do you recommend a rebuild of the case? My Lando was imported from Belgium, what would be the ratio in that transfer case from factory?
Thanks for your comments.
AR
 
It can definitely handle the power, you just need to get the correct ratio based on what tire size you’re running. Typically a 1.4 ratio is too low for a LS unless you are going to run some giant tires
I am keeping the original tires, what ratio would be optimal?
Thanks for the comments!
AR
 

MountainD

Technical Excellence Contributor
And if it were me to do again with 33” tires or below, I’d do 1.0 LT230 modified for HD bearing supports and such….
 

rocky

Well-known member
I sense you are at the start of the process. Don’t know how much of this is wishful thinking versus, I got the parts, but it’s time to do some deep diving to determine what’s suitable for your trucker.
Personally, I’d never do a LS type conversion. Way too much power for the brakes.
 

jymmiejamz

Founding Member
Callsign: KN4JHI
I sense you are at the start of the process. Don’t know how much of this is wishful thinking versus, I got the parts, but it’s time to do some deep diving to determine what’s suitable for your trucker.
Personally, I’d never do a LS type conversion. Way too much power for the brakes.
While I don’t have any interest in a LS swap in my own truck, I definitely wouldn’t be worried about the brakes. I can lock up all four wheels in my D90 at highway speeds. There is no lack of stopping power. You can also buy big brake kits for Defenders if you want to really upgrade the brakes

plus, brakes only slow you down 😂
 

KW1985def110

New member
I'm fairly certain the T56 is not capable of being bolted to the LT230. It's designed to be a rear-wheel drive transmission only.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, I would be interested in the T56 to LT230 adapter.
 

Napalm00

Technical Excellence Contributor
t56 wont bolt up the the l230 in stock config. it s 2wd trans. you would need to change the tailshaft that rockland and others use to make the 4x4 version then get an adapters for that. advance adapters, RW and Axis may be able to help you.

most folks use an ax15, tr6060 (based on the t56), NV or GM auto on ls swaps

or call winchester gears in the uk, they make custom input lt230s
 

Z.G

Well-known member
RW-Engineering makes mostly all the stuff you need for an LS swap to a Defender, not sure about for that specific trans though
 

modernbeat

Active member
While some of the conversion outfits out there are making the T56 swap work in the Rover chassis, I think they either customizing the frame or making custom adapter parts to make it work. There are other options. I'm swapping a LS into my 2-door RRC, so most of my research will work for you. I assume you want to retain a manual transmission, as I did.

The RW-Eng swap was originally built around using the automatic 6L80 from the 5th Gen Camaro. That's got some drawbacks, as it's difficult to control except with an OEM ECM. Reliable third party control of the transmission is iffy, at best.

For years the most promising solution was to use an adapter from Marks4WD to the Rover bellhousing and a built up R380 which mates natively to the LT230. The issues are it requires a unique starter (custom machined starter housing) and smaller flywheel. These parts are available from Marks, but they aren't that appealing. And you have to beef up the R380.

Another alternative is to use an AX15 transmission. Use an adapter bellhousing to mate the LS to the AX15. Then use the RW-ENG AX15 to LT230 adapter to mate the transmission to the transfer case. While the transmission isn't a T56 with it's double overdrives, the AX15 is close enough to the original T56 that torque capability is close. It's not close to the T56 Magnum, which is really a TR6060 built for aftermarket use.
RW Eng adapter: https://rw-eng.com/products/adapter?_pos=1&_sid=f281918ea&_ss=r&variant=12031997378602
Bellhousing: https://quickdrawbrand.com/product/ls-to-ax15-bellhousing-adapter-kit/
Bellhousing: https://www.advanceadapters.com/pro...o-jeep-wrangler-ax15-adapter-bellhousing-kit/
Adapter plate that uses a stock GM 621 style bellhousing: https://www.novak-adapt.com/catalog/adapters/engine-to-transmission/ax15/kit-gmax15/

Quickdraw make some other bellhousings for stronger transmissions, but I don't think there will be room in the chassis or tunnel for them without a lot of extra custom work.
 

Napalm00

Technical Excellence Contributor
ill have to say when a local buddy of mine when with the ax15 behind his ls3 i wasnt thrilled. i thought the power handling was too low . he has wheeled it pretty hard since then with no issues. and shift quality on anything is better than rover trash
 
While some of the conversion outfits out there are making the T56 swap work in the Rover chassis, I think they either customizing the frame or making custom adapter parts to make it work. There are other options. I'm swapping a LS into my 2-door RRC, so most of my research will work for you. I assume you want to retain a manual transmission, as I did.

The RW-Eng swap was originally built around using the automatic 6L80 from the 5th Gen Camaro. That's got some drawbacks, as it's difficult to control except with an OEM ECM. Reliable third party control of the transmission is iffy, at best.

For years the most promising solution was to use an adapter from Marks4WD to the Rover bellhousing and a built up R380 which mates natively to the LT230. The issues are it requires a unique starter (custom machined starter housing) and smaller flywheel. These parts are available from Marks, but they aren't that appealing. And you have to beef up the R380.

Another alternative is to use an AX15 transmission. Use an adapter bellhousing to mate the LS to the AX15. Then use the RW-ENG AX15 to LT230 adapter to mate the transmission to the transfer case. While the transmission isn't a T56 with it's double overdrives, the AX15 is close enough to the original T56 that torque capability is close. It's not close to the T56 Magnum, which is really a TR6060 built for aftermarket use.
RW Eng adapter: https://rw-eng.com/products/adapter?_pos=1&_sid=f281918ea&_ss=r&variant=12031997378602
Bellhousing: https://quickdrawbrand.com/product/ls-to-ax15-bellhousing-adapter-kit/
Bellhousing: https://www.advanceadapters.com/pro...o-jeep-wrangler-ax15-adapter-bellhousing-kit/
Adapter plate that uses a stock GM 621 style bellhousing: https://www.novak-adapt.com/catalog/adapters/engine-to-transmission/ax15/kit-gmax15/

Quickdraw make some other bellhousings for stronger transmissions, but I don't think there will be room in the chassis or tunnel for them without a lot of extra custom work.
To Modernbeat,

Man, thank you very much for that incredibly useful information you shared with me – It took me a while to respond since I was traveling, sorry!

First of all, yes, I am keeping the manual transmission on this swap, and I am leaning toward the T4050 5-speed transmission as opposed to the AX15 or the NV4500. I believe that this combination will have less issues with adaptability and finding stock adaptors and accessories.

That being said, I love the T6060 transmission. This transmission with their double overdrive set up makes highway driving much more enjoyable – I will be towing about 10k-12k lbs of equipment (Skid Steer, loader, etc.) and/or doing a lot of highway driving. However, I am worried that the aftermarket is not supporting this combination and the LT230 transfer case.

When everything is said and done, I want to end up with a truck that is as capable, or more, than a Chevy Silverado 250 or similar (400-500 hp, 400-500 lb-ft of torque).

I believe that you are far more advanced on the project than I am. I have only the truck and a long list of questions before I get to buy anything.

The above statement is not totally true, I got an LS1 (410hp) engine 10 years ago for a racer car project that was never used (I swapped the original engine on a Porsche 928 racer for the LS1). The racer has been in my garage for this long with no use and I am thinking that I could take the LS1 engine and use it for this project. However, the computer was designed specially to work with the Porsche transmission, and I believe I would need a new computer to make my project work. What do you think?

Now, here is the real question. How in the world did the Land Rover Defender get such a good reputation as a “go anywhere” vehicle with such a weak drivetrain setup? 110 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque? Maybe it is “go anywhere very, very slow” slogan?

Hey, man, keep me posted on the progress you made on your project, and I will do the same with my project.

Thanks again!

AR
 
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