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I'm trying to make my 85 2 door a reliable daily driver. Its a 3.5 with good compression but uses a lot of oil. It has been fitted with a 600 cfm 4 bbl Carter but I still have the strombergs if Ineed to go back. There is a lot of play in the diffs and the gearbox leaks oil. Yep I have some work to do ! What would experienced mechanics do ? Some suggest body off and rebuild the 5 speed box, engine and diffs. Others suggest less aggressive approach. Any suggestions ?
 

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well, being its a very vintage unit there are a few points to ponder. becoming a daily driver can exert and awaken hidden issues. due to engine oil consumption I would suggest overhauling engine, more than likely an issue such as sticking or worn oil rings has surfaced. we don't know mileage but age suggests lots of years of use. other options include replacement and or retrofitting a newer unit.
the latter has points to consider as it will yield better driveability but at the expense of originality and future sales

transmission, differentials and transfer case may be worth disassembly and inspection for worn parts possible bearings, replace what's defective and reseal.
definitively redo suspension bushings and new shocks, visit braking system.

electrical system is not overly complicated on the 85 but due to vintage relays and switches may not be up to its original task of sustained current and or daily use, "it's a lucas" inspect and address concerns, possible renew relays as a safety measure.

frame, body and paint, well you do not mention their condition but if considered good I would simply protect with products like rust proofer, sealant, and paint. definitively renew body mount bushings.

it is a 33 yr old unit and keeping it as close to original as possible while up keeping road worthy and safe, is a balancing act.
 

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Find an old Discovery 1 as an organ donor. Take both long axles and diffs, the later LT230, and especially the 3.95L V8. Swap all your ancillaries and go from there, GEMS engines need a spacer IIRC.

I used to have a 3.5L (albeit an injected 87) and the later models are just so much more usable on the highway, I really wouldn't bother with rebuilding it.
 

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Im trying to make my 85 2 door a reliable daily driver. Its a 3.5 with good compression but uses a lot of oil. It has been fitted with a 600 com 4 bbl but I still have the strombergs. There is a lot of play in the diffs and the gearbox leaks oil. Yep I have some work to do ! What would experience mechanics do ? Some suggest body off and rebuild box, engine and diffs. Others suggest less aggressive approach. Any suggestions ?
Hi there in Austin Texas. I am just next door in Houston with an 83 original Texas import. Mine is low miles but has the same engine and dare say 3 speed Chrysler Torqueflite.

Anything before 87 is either a late or early import. If the body and interior are in good shape (assuming maybe it is in Texas) they are a worth a fair bit in Europe, but in the USA the earlier RRC with their more basic design are 'misunderstood'. It is all about POWER in the US and the 3.5 has nothing to offer. The 70' and early 80 Range Rovers are more 'pure' in that they represent the poverty years of the British Motor Industry. A great design poorly executed. Jeremy Clarkson explained it very nicely in one of the Top Gear Specials (Bolivia I believe).

As has been said the engine might require a refresh (bearings, deglaze, rings). New composite gaskets will seal it up better and at least the 3.5 has less issue with the dreaded bore leaking. If you have a 4 barrel intake you could consider installing a Sniper EFI and make it throttle body injection. Not more power (I think) but easier to use. I have made this conversion, but then my car is in good shape to start with.

The 3 speed gearbox (which I presume you have) is very common in the US being a long running Chrysler unit. The pan gasket is most likely weeping as well as the filler tube. This can be fixed easily, but if you have a front or rear seal leaking it might need to come out.

Check out Dutch Safari Co in Austin, they specialize in Land Rovers and old RRC in particular!

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info. Mine was imported from Spain and has the 5 speed manual box. It has good bones so should last a long time. For that reason I prefer to stick to original design unless it gives a huge improvement in drive ability
 

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Thanks for the info. Mine was imported from Spain and has the 5 speed manual box. It has good bones so should last a long time. For that reason I prefer to stick to original design unless it gives a huge improvement in drive ability
The LT77 5-speed and LT230 tcase combo are definitely what you'll want to keep.

Rebuilding the 3.5 isn't something I'd do unless I had the parts lying around on my driveway. Take a junkyard 3.9 or 4.0, slap a new cam, lifters, chain and heads and then hook it up to your carb or go Sniper like JS5D. Since your diffs are shot, just get two long axles one off a Disco 1 parts truck.
 

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I also have an '85 with 146,867 miles on it. Have owned a little over 6.5 years. Has the 3.5, LT230 and LT77, have spent a fair amount of money and alot of time....I drive it daily. Yup, it leaks...slowly getting all fixed.

I live in rural central Illinois, do no interstate driving, so the lack of power isn't a concern for me. As for the carb, if you choose to keep the 3.5 and don't go EFI/XFI, I removed the 600 off mine, way to much fuel. Especially on the lower end, got tired of playing the "jetting" game. Went with a QuickFuel 450 cfm, auto choke 4bbl.

Played with inline fuel pumps, don't recall which one at the moment, however it's an "off the shelf" model (even available on Amazon). I always carry a spare...ten minutes and it's changed out if it fails.

Agreed though, need more power, don't go with the 3.5, it can make power for a good amount of money...less expensive to go with a 3.9 or 4.0.

Tony in Illinois
85 Classic
96 Disco 1
 

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The Chrysler tranny was only used one year.
In the USA maybe where the RRC was introduced not till 1987. It was the Autobox option for the RRC in the rest of the world and ran quite a few years I think.

The OP stated 1985 so that could be either an original grey import (like my 1983) or a recent import. Either way if it was an auto (which it is not) then it would have had the 3 speed.

The Chrysler 3 speed is actually a really common and strong gearbox, but with the old gear driven transfer box it can be a little clonky and not very refined. Obviously with power from the carbed 3.5 progress is sedate.

At some point was considering a swap to a manual box, but the ratio of the transfer box is different between auto and manual, also my kids are driving now and they don't do manual. I then spent some time adjusting he auto box throttle linkage which made it much much better to the point I am actually quite happy with the setup.

... other than the endless leaking which I hope to address with an update plastic/rubber pan gasket which is a common upgrade on the torqueflite..
 

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My old girl has still the original gearbox, we swapped the transfer box a few years back for a later Disco1 unit. The very first ones had some bronze bishes on the intermidiate shaft, that is why.
About two years a go my layshaft lost a few teeth, ordered a new one ,replaced all bearings and job done. Cost me about 200 GBP + 46% import tax.
My front diff is a bit worn but no trouble, the rear one is fine. Both are original.
My Rangie has at least 500,000 kms so yes, she will be a daily driver again. Well maybe not all the time ,the Disco can serve for the dirty workshop runs.
 

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In the USA maybe where the RRC was introduced not till 1987. It was the Autobox option for the RRC in the rest of the world and ran quite a few years I think.

The OP stated 1985 so that could be either an original grey import (like my 1983) or a recent import. Either way if it was an auto (which it is not) then it would have had the 3 speed.

The Chrysler 3 speed is actually a really common and strong gearbox, but with the old gear driven transfer box it can be a little clonky and not very refined. Obviously with power from the carbed 3.5 progress is sedate.

At some point was considering a swap to a manual box, but the ratio of the transfer box is different between auto and manual, also my kids are driving now and they don't do manual. I then spent some time adjusting he auto box throttle linkage which made it much much better to the point I am actually quite happy with the setup.

... other than the endless leaking which I hope to address with an update plastic/rubber pan gasket which is a common upgrade on the torqueflite..
The 4HP22 came in 85.

Schuler conversions in the UK are probably just as common as factory Torqueflights.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well I went all in and had the body removed, engine rebuilt, reconditioned diffs and the gearbox rebuilt. Now the engine is nice but there is still a big clunk in the drivetrain. I am relying on the mechanic to guide me through this but I wanted opinions from other Forum members. Can the gearbox and transfer case be removed without removing the body and how long should it take ? It appears that those parts were just taken apart and rebuilt with new seals but no new gears or shafts. Can the transfer case be removed and repaired without removing the box.
My goal is to have a car that drives similarly to the day it drove off the line in 85.

I'm trying to make my 85 2 door a reliable daily driver. Its a 3.5 with good compression but uses a lot of oil. It has been fitted with a 600 cfm 4 bbl Carter but I still have the strombergs if Ineed to go back. There is a lot of play in the diffs and the gearbox leaks oil. Yep I have some work to do ! What would experienced mechanics do ? Some suggest body off and rebuild the 5 speed box, engine and diffs. Others suggest less aggressive approach. Any suggestions ?
 

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the clunk is basically in the design of the drivetrain, it is due to the mesh of the gears and the gap needed for lubrication and cooling. r380 and lt77se transfer case (the t case fitted to 03 and 04 d2) did away with much of said clunk.
this clunk is the reason that LR went to full auto and borg warner t case on rangies from late 88 on for the us market.
have a conversation with ashcroft transmissions, and see if they may have a better solution than trans and t case update.
 

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Yes the old gear set transfer box is klonky. It is similar to the Series transfer boxes, but has a lockable center diff. Very robust and trouble free, but not very sophisticates. At least with a manual you have some control, I have an autobox and going to reverse is a particularly crude experience. At times I even look for a parking spot that allows me to enter and leave without having to reverse to avoid the embarrassment.
 
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