LT230T transfer case suitability with an LS3 engine

Napalm00

Technical Excellence Contributor
It got the reputation because you only need basic tools and knowledge of a tree stump to keep it running in stock form .

Hope you are planning to at least do this In a 110 or 130. That type of towing is a death wish in a 90 no matter the drive train
 

hillstrubl

Founding Member
To throw another wrench in... what about an NV3550? That is/was a popular swap for Jeep guys when their AX15 died*. It's "supposed" to be a bit stronger but who knows.

*That's what I swapped in when my AX-15 died in my 98 wrangler, but mostly because I found one with low miles for ~$100 and it was an almost direct fit
 

Napalm00

Technical Excellence Contributor
Stock to stock the NV is stronger than the AX15. The downside is that the shift quality on the NV is more agricultural similar to Land Rover. AX-15 is definitely a more modern shift feel. Only other downside to the NV is that it's physically larger and about 20% heavier than the AX.

Both can be beefed up to support really any type of power that an LS3 will put out. Is it required ? That's debatable
 

erover82

Well-known member
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).

There's no way I'd feel comfortable towing 10,000 lbs or more with a classic Land Rover, regardless of modifications or wheelbase. I think you may be trying to push it too far from the intended use and engineering. The solid axle Land Rovers from 1948 to 2004 were more or less designed to slot in between what a Jeep could handle and what a full-size truck could. They had better off-road capability than full-size trucks, and depending on the time period and wheelbase, were roughly on par with or slightly below capability of the Jeep. In terms of payload, they could haul significantly more than the Jeeps but less than full-size trucks. You essentially had a vehicle design to carry loads, be it troops, sheep, weapons, or equipment, over rough terrain.

With that said, the chassis, suspension, body, and drivetrain are all engineered for that specific purpose. The off-road prioritized suspension allows significant articulation and sway, an undesirable trait when on-road and certainly when towing, but useful when navigating uneven surfaces. The axles, body, and chassis are relatively narrow to both navigate narrow old British roads and off-road tracks with brush, rocks, and trees at both sides. Full-size trucks are wider (and longer) for providing maximum cargo space and lateral stability when towing. The only way I'd feel "comfortable" pulling that 10,000 lbs with a classic Land Rover is by either doing it on closed roads at less than 40 MPH or by swapping the body onto a full-size truck chassis which was actually engineered to do so.

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?

LR's wise off-road motto was actually once "As slow as possible, as fast as necessary", so you're not too far off. Keeping the original design intention in mind, there was no requirement to fulfill its purpose at freeway speeds, just as an F350's design has no requirement to tow 20,000 lbs over the Rubicon or haul a load to the landfill at 200mph. Early Land Rovers and later military Defenders performed their duties with even less power than the Tdi outputs you quoted, as it simply wasn't needed. In fact, additional power would have either been a liability to the drivetrain (and driver when off-road) or tacked on additional cost to fulfill a goal that few needed. Land Rovers and other relatively low-powered vehicles such as CJ Jeeps traversed the world many times over without the slightest need for LS or Hemi V8s.

I have a 20,000 lb backhoe that will toss a full-size truck around like a cat's toy and it does it with modest power similar to a Tdi Defender. With proper gearing and this modest power you can accomplish nearly any task at speeds that are appropriate for off-road vehicles. It wasn't until the globalized world introduced super-highways, fast food, hour-long commutes, Ford Raptors, and other awful modern "advances" that there was a large enough market for Land Rover to push the product line towards offering faster and more powerful vehicles.

 
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rocky

Well-known member
10,000 to 12,000lbs towing. Plus say 6,000lb truck....bumper pull not gooseneck...

The braking system will be totally overwhelmed. Don't think there is any way to can improve the system to handle that kind of load. No engine or Jake brake either.

Sorry, but a Land Rover isn't the vehicle for your intended use. It's far safer getting a 3500 diesel. You'd do fine with a SRW, but consider DRW as it will give you a more stable towing platform. Especially important given that towing loads always get heavier.
 
It got the reputation because you only need basic tools and knowledge of a tree stump to keep it running in stock form .

Hope you are planning to at least do this In a 110 or 130. That type of towing is a death wish in a 90 no matter the drive train
Yes, it is a 130.
 

hillstrubl

Founding Member
Stock to stock the NV is stronger than the AX15. The downside is that the shift quality on the NV is more agricultural similar to Land Rover. AX-15 is definitely a more modern shift feel. Only other downside to the NV is that it's physically larger and about 20% heavier than the AX.

Both can be beefed up to support really any type of power that an LS3 will put out. Is it required ? That's debatable
Yep, agreed on the shift difference
 
10,000 to 12,000lbs towing. Plus say 6,000lb truck....bumper pull not gooseneck...

The braking system will be totally overwhelmed. Don't think there is any way to can improve the system to handle that kind of load. No engine or Jake brake either.

Sorry, but a Land Rover isn't the vehicle for your intended use. It's far safer getting a 3500 diesel. You'd do fine with a SRW, but consider DRW as it will give you a more stable towing platform. Especially important given that towing loads always get heavier.
Thank you for the feedback, I will certainly consider your comments.
AR
There's no way I'd feel comfortable towing 10,000 lbs or more with a classic Land Rover, regardless of modifications or wheelbase. I think you may be trying to push it too far from the intended use and engineering. The solid axle Land Rovers from 1948 to 2004 were more or less designed to slot in between what a Jeep could handle and what a full-size truck could. They had better off-road capability than full-size trucks, and depending on the time period and wheelbase, were roughly on par with or slightly below capability of the Jeep. In terms of payload, they could haul significantly more than the Jeeps but less than full-size trucks. You essentially had a vehicle design to carry loads, be it troops, sheep, weapons, or equipment, over rough terrain.

With that said, the chassis, suspension, body, and drivetrain are all engineered for that specific purpose. The off-road prioritized suspension allows significant articulation and sway, an undesirable trait when on-road and certainly when towing, but useful when navigating uneven surfaces. The axles, body, and chassis are relatively narrow to both navigate narrow old British roads and off-road tracks with brush, rocks, and trees at both sides. Full-size trucks are wider (and longer) for providing maximum cargo space and lateral stability when towing. The only way I'd feel "comfortable" pulling that 10,000 lbs with a classic Land Rover is by either doing it on closed roads at less than 40 MPH or by swapping the body onto a full-size truck chassis which was actually engineered to do so.



LR's wise off-road motto was actually once "As slow as possible, as fast as necessary", so you're not too far off. Keeping the original design intention in mind, there was no requirement to fulfill its purpose at freeway speeds, just as an F350's design has no requirement to tow 20,000 lbs over the Rubicon or haul a load to the landfill at 200mph. Early Land Rovers and later military Defenders performed their duties with even less power than the Tdi outputs you quoted, as it simply wasn't needed. In fact, additional power would have either been a liability to the drivetrain (and driver when off-road) or tacked on additional cost to fulfill a goal that few needed. Land Rovers and other relatively low-powered vehicles such as CJ Jeeps traversed the world many times over without the slightest need for LS or Hemi V8s.

I have a 20,000 lb backhoe that will toss a full-size truck around like a cat's toy and it does it with modest power similar to a Tdi Defender. With proper gearing and this modest power you can accomplish nearly any task at speeds that are appropriate for off-road vehicles. It wasn't until the globalized world introduced super-highways, fast food, hour-long commutes, Ford Raptors, and other awful modern "advances" that there was a large enough market for Land Rover to push the product line towards offering faster and more powerful vehicles.

i do appreciate your comments, I am getting an education here. I will definitely keep your feedback in mind while moving forward with this project
There's no way I'd feel comfortable towing 10,000 lbs or more with a classic Land Rover, regardless of modifications or wheelbase. I think you may be trying to push it too far from the intended use and engineering. The solid axle Land Rovers from 1948 to 2004 were more or less designed to slot in between what a Jeep could handle and what a full-size truck could. They had better off-road capability than full-size trucks, and depending on the time period and wheelbase, were roughly on par with or slightly below capability of the Jeep. In terms of payload, they could haul significantly more than the Jeeps but less than full-size trucks. You essentially had a vehicle design to carry loads, be it troops, sheep, weapons, or equipment, over rough terrain.

With that said, the chassis, suspension, body, and drivetrain are all engineered for that specific purpose. The off-road prioritized suspension allows significant articulation and sway, an undesirable trait when on-road and certainly when towing, but useful when navigating uneven surfaces. The axles, body, and chassis are relatively narrow to both navigate narrow old British roads and off-road tracks with brush, rocks, and trees at both sides. Full-size trucks are wider (and longer) for providing maximum cargo space and lateral stability when towing. The only way I'd feel "comfortable" pulling that 10,000 lbs with a classic Land Rover is by either doing it on closed roads at less than 40 MPH or by swapping the body onto a full-size truck chassis which was actually engineered to do so.



LR's wise off-road motto was actually once "As slow as possible, as fast as necessary", so you're not too far off. Keeping the original design intention in mind, there was no requirement to fulfill its purpose at freeway speeds, just as an F350's design has no requirement to tow 20,000 lbs over the Rubicon or haul a load to the landfill at 200mph. Early Land Rovers and later military Defenders performed their duties with even less power than the Tdi outputs you quoted, as it simply wasn't needed. In fact, additional power would have either been a liability to the drivetrain (and driver when off-road) or tacked on additional cost to fulfill a goal that few needed. Land Rovers and other relatively low-powered vehicles such as CJ Jeeps traversed the world many times over without the slightest need for LS or Hemi V8s.

I have a 20,000 lb backhoe that will toss a full-size truck around like a cat's toy and it does it with modest power similar to a Tdi Defender. With proper gearing and this modest power you can accomplish nearly any task at speeds that are appropriate for off-road vehicles. It wasn't until the globalized world introduced super-highways, fast food, hour-long commutes, Ford Raptors, and other awful modern "advances" that there was a large enough market for Land Rover to push the product line towards offering faster and more powerful vehicles.

 
There's no way I'd feel comfortable towing 10,000 lbs or more with a classic Land Rover, regardless of modifications or wheelbase. I think you may be trying to push it too far from the intended use and engineering. The solid axle Land Rovers from 1948 to 2004 were more or less designed to slot in between what a Jeep could handle and what a full-size truck could. They had better off-road capability than full-size trucks, and depending on the time period and wheelbase, were roughly on par with or slightly below capability of the Jeep. In terms of payload, they could haul significantly more than the Jeeps but less than full-size trucks. You essentially had a vehicle design to carry loads, be it troops, sheep, weapons, or equipment, over rough terrain.

With that said, the chassis, suspension, body, and drivetrain are all engineered for that specific purpose. The off-road prioritized suspension allows significant articulation and sway, an undesirable trait when on-road and certainly when towing, but useful when navigating uneven surfaces. The axles, body, and chassis are relatively narrow to both navigate narrow old British roads and off-road tracks with brush, rocks, and trees at both sides. Full-size trucks are wider (and longer) for providing maximum cargo space and lateral stability when towing. The only way I'd feel "comfortable" pulling that 10,000 lbs with a classic Land Rover is by either doing it on closed roads at less than 40 MPH or by swapping the body onto a full-size truck chassis which was actually engineered to do so.



LR's wise off-road motto was actually once "As slow as possible, as fast as necessary", so you're not too far off. Keeping the original design intention in mind, there was no requirement to fulfill its purpose at freeway speeds, just as an F350's design has no requirement to tow 20,000 lbs over the Rubicon or haul a load to the landfill at 200mph. Early Land Rovers and later military Defenders performed their duties with even less power than the Tdi outputs you quoted, as it simply wasn't needed. In fact, additional power would have either been a liability to the drivetrain (and driver when off-road) or tacked on additional cost to fulfill a goal that few needed. Land Rovers and other relatively low-powered vehicles such as CJ Jeeps traversed the world many times over without the slightest need for LS or Hemi V8s.

I have a 20,000 lb backhoe that will toss a full-size truck around like a cat's toy and it does it with modest power similar to a Tdi Defender. With proper gearing and this modest power you can accomplish nearly any task at speeds that are appropriate for off-road vehicles. It wasn't until the globalized world introduced super-highways, fast food, hour-long commutes, Ford Raptors, and other awful modern "advances" that there was a large enough market for Land Rover to push the product line towards offering faster and more powerful vehicles.

Thank you for the comments, I am getting an education here! I will certainly keep your feedback in mind while I move ahead on this project.
AR
 

modernbeat

Active member
I have to agree with the others, that the Rover, even the 130, doesn't have the size or component strength to perform the myriad of work that a 3/4 ton Silverado can easily do. Footprint (wheelbase and track), bearing sizes, brake sizes, steering box, etc... are not up to the job. Wheeling it, or driving it unloaded, sure. Loading it up with camping equipment and blazing it down the highway, again, sure. Towing a 10k lb load at 75mph? Hell no! Towing a 6k open trailer load? Sure, as long as you keep the speed down and have a very dialed in brake controller.

Along those lines, the AX15 is up to the job that the rest of the truck will perform at. And it will fit the truck without re-engineering every system.

My education on this isn't just my one project. I am the lead engineer for a shop that builds racing components and competition cars for a living, many with high powered (700-ish HP naturally aspirated) LS engines in them. I deal with the driveline and drivetrain issues that these custom vehicles have, and see the failures that big tires, big aero and high speeds cause. I work with the guys that actually design Tremec transmissions and our shop gets prototype and preproduction Tremec parts to test. And while I love Tremec and use many of their gearboxes for our big power swaps, I prefer the AX15 for this swap.
 
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