The Land-Rover gearbox may be thought of as having 10 gear ratios, (20 with the overdrive unit); that is eight forward speeds and two reverses. These gears are divided into two groups, called Low range and High range. Low range consists of four low forward gears, plus a low reverse gear. High range consists of four normal gear ratios, plus a normal reverse gear. Three gear levers are provided to select the gearing, these are:
1. The main gear lever. This is used in the normal way, and will engage the five gears within the range selected by the transfer lever.
2. The transfer gear lever is fitted with a red knob and is used to select the high or low range of gears; it also has a neutral (mid-way) position.
3. The four-wheel drive control lever is fitted with a yellow knob and used to select two or four wheel drive.
When selecting the low range of gears with the transfer gear lever, the gearbox will automatically engage four-wheel drive at the same time. Therefore, when using the low gear range, the vehicle automatically provides maximum traction with maximum torque. When using the high range of gears under normal conditions, the drive is to the rear wheels only. Should you want to engage four wheel drive in the high gear range, this may be selected on the move by operating the four-wheel drive control. To show how the range of gears can be used imagine a vehicle which is heavily laden or towing a heavy trailer, and which is required to pull away from a standing start up a steep slope. With the transfer gear lever in the low range position the vehicle will pull away in first gear, and the gear changes for the first four gears can be made with the main gear lever.When road conditions are suitable for the high gear range, they may be brought into operation without stopping the vehicle as follows:Depress the clutch pedal, select the high range with the transfer gear lever and move the main gear lever into the second or third gear depending on road conditions. Release the clutch pedal and continue to change up in the normal way.This operation can be carried out smoothly and quickly after a little practice. By making use of the full range of the gearbox in this way, the clutch life will not be shortened by having to compensate for the selection of an unsuitable gear ratio.
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Transfer gear changing
When changing from high ratio (Red lever fully forward) to low ratio (lever fully back) it should only be attempted when the vehicle is stationary. The engine may be left running, but the main gear lever must be in the neutral position. Depress the clutch pedal and pull the transfer lever right back and release the clutch. Should there be any problems with the gear engaging, do not force the lever. With the engine running, engage a gear with the main gear lever and let in the clutch momentarily; then return the main gear lever to neutral and try the transfer lever again.
Engaging Four wheel drive
Push the yellow lever down to engage four-wheel drive when in high ratio whilst on the move or stationary. However in order to prevent excessive tyre wear it is recommended that 30mph (50 kph) should not be exceeded when using four-wheel drive in high ratio, and also that you return to two-wheel drive when conditions permit. To engage two-wheel drive, stop the vehicle, move the transfer lever to the 'Low' position then back to the 'High' position. Four wheel drive will disengaged and the yellow control lever will pop up to the disengaged position.
It is important that if your vehicle is fitted with Free Wheeling Hubs (FWH ) on the front axle that they are engaged before selecting 4 wheel drive. It is necessary anyway to engage the FWH’s periodically to allow the swivel housing oil to be circulated around the inside of the swivel housing. Its worth engaging 4 wheel drive from time to time as well to help prevent the mechanism from seizing up, which it is prone to do.