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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, looking at the best solution to remedy my viscous coupling problem. I'm pretty sure the thing is seized. When I turn a circle in full lock, the rear inside wheel will roll then scrub as the windup is relieved. Also when I lift a front tire, it turns a bit when it leaves the ground and is impossible to turn by hand. I also cannot turn the front hub with a long bar jammed in the wheel studs. All these signs point to a seized coupler from what I can tell so I have removed my front driveshaft so I don't destroy my diffs.

I am looking for the best place to find a new one. I realize that the part is the same between our classics and the P38 but it is still proving difficult to find. I have seen Ashcroft Transmissions mentioned before but their listing for the rebuilt coupler says currently out of stock and it would cost me over $700 to get it here even if they had it. There is a guy quite a distance away from me who is selling complete used BW tcases which include couplers. This is looking like my only option. My question is, what are the chances that the used coupling from the guy is going to be seized as well? Where do you guys recommend I get one?
 

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I would try and get one from a tcase
It unbolts and slides off
It is same on bw tcase from like 89 thru 02
With luck you can get a good one
 

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I personally switched over to a LT230 off a later Discovery 1 (1997, has updated gears to improve life, you'll also need the brackets from the Disco). I had an impossible time finding a good viscous coupling and didn't like the idea of replacing it multiple times. With that said, depending where you are, there are plenty of P38s in the junkyards these days. You could always go pull the VC off the front of the transfer case on one of them. You'd get to practice removal, see how it all goes together, and also it wouldn't be very expensive.
 

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There's a guy I know in Central California who's got several for sale for $250 each as I recall. I can give you his info if you want. I've also bought them brand new from England for around $400, but that's been several years and I would bet they're higher now, if even still available.

However, it's really worthwhile to swap to an LT230. Not only does it give you driver control over the center diff, so you get to choose when it's locked or not, but it's more reliable. It takes a lot to kill one, whereas the BW unit has three potential points of failure, two of which will leave you walking. You've already experienced the first and most common point of failure, the VC going bad. Next are the inner splines on the rear output shaft which can strip out and the vehicle is going nowhere under its own power when that happens (this was the first BW failure I experienced with my '91) and last is the chain. It's not very common for them to actually break, but they can, and of course that will stop you dead in your tracks. But they do stretch and this causes a lot of slop in the drivetrain. So, for less than the cost of a new VC you can pick up a good used LT230 with mounts, front driveshaft (shorter than the RRC unit) and shifter, and install it in the better part of a day.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I really don't want to swap to an LT230 if I don't have to. I won't be offroading my 95 so I like the automatic nature of the BW. For winter city driving I feel the BW would be much nicer because it would keep me from losing traction at stop light and not require me to unlock the diff once I got back on to dry pavement. Not having a manual diff lock would be a bonus for me.

However, if I do the swap, I should be able to leave the diff unlocked all the time because I have the traction control. From what I understand, the traction control just applies the brakes to a wheel that it senses is spinning out which causes the the other wheel with traction to drive due to the open diffs. However this logic should still apply with the center diff as well, no?

Basically shouldn't the traction control stop me from spinning out at a stop light even with the transfer case diff unlocked?
 

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well you have the basics, in a nut shell the bw is basically a limited slip with low range gears it divides the power to both ends up to 40/60. the lt230 is basically a manual locker with low range gears, does not divide but rather equalizes both ends.
traction control was offered on the range only at the rear axle until the end of the gems p38, (early 99 in the us). from mid 99 to 2002 it was equipped with all wheel traction control.
Discovery would benefit from this from 99 to 04 in the series II.
it has been reported that a classic can be retrofitted with the 99-02 abs ecu and brake master cylinder thus converting it to 4 wheel tc.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ah I see. I wasn't aware the tc was only on the rear axle. So I guess I'm still in the market for a coupler. I don't see why with some heat and force they shouldn't be able to be freed up.
 

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I really don't want to swap to an LT230 if I don't have to. I won't be offroading my 95 so I like the automatic nature of the BW. For winter city driving I feel the BW would be much nicer because it would keep me from losing traction at stop light and not require me to unlock the diff once I got back on to dry pavement. Not having a manual diff lock would be a bonus for me.

However, if I do the swap, I should be able to leave the diff unlocked all the time because I have the traction control. From what I understand, the traction control just applies the brakes to a wheel that it senses is spinning out which causes the the other wheel with traction to drive due to the open diffs. However this logic should still apply with the center diff as well, no?

Basically shouldn't the traction control stop me from spinning out at a stop light even with the transfer case diff unlocked?
I presume you are referring to icy conditions. I have driven many 2 and 4 wheel drive vehicles in icy conditions including a 1972 Land Rover Series 3 (still own) which as basically no center diff, an Discovery 2 (full TC) and now an LR 4 (all singing and dancing). My 84 RR has a lockable center diff but I have barely driving that.

My conclusion is that Traction control is nice if you want to get up a slippery hill without too much effort, knowing you will more or less make it and not come sliding down again backwards. It could also give you an early indication of slipper road conditions although ABS brakes will do that too. Good understanding of a car and some skills pretty much results in achieving the same without TC in about 90% of the time. I prefer a manual gearbox for control myself, but that is becoming old hat now.

If you are spinning your wheels at the lights, you are applying too much power for the conditions. Remember that you still only have 4 wheels to brake (like any other car) and speed is what will cause you to loose control. Not crashing (which should be your prime objective) is more about drive style/skill than electronics.
 

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New viscous couplings should be available in the UK, I converted my '85 to BW 18 months ago (far better than the LT230, quieter and holds the road superbly) using a secondhand unit that I put a new coupling and chain into.

Advice I was given was to use any opportunity possible to spin the wheels (snow or wet grass etc) because it makes the viscous lock and unlock which stops it seizing up so easily.

They are pricey, but if you are off roading regularly it shouldn't ever give trouble again.

https://www.johncraddockltd.co.uk/range-rover/range-rover-classic/parts/gearbox/rtc6044-viscous-unit-in-transfer-box-remanufactured.html

http://www.bristoltransmissions.co.uk/shop/home/123-viscous-coupling.html

Stocks are low of these now, not quite sure why but I would move quick if you want a new/recon one.
 

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Britparts may be sketchy. For critical parts, I’d think twice. Anyone have any experience with the Bristol piece? Or are they just a Britparts reseller?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Britparts may be sketchy. For critical parts, I’d think twice. Anyone have any experience with the Bristol piece? Or are they just a Britparts reseller?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
You are quit ecorrect about Britpart being rubbish, however some OEM parts come in britpart boxes I got a ECu driver and compressor in the blue box and they are both marked Dunlop. For specialist parts like VC's it should be ok
 

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I would try and get one from a tcase
It unbolts and slides off
It is same on bw tcase from like 89 thru 02
With luck you can get a good one
are you saying the up to 2002 P38's BW transfer case has the same coupler...? or am I mixing up models
 

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Well the P38s transfer case is different according to whomever answered my post. I will attempt to use the viscous coupling from the P38 as that shouldn’t take too long, but from what I can tell no one has done that. P38’s vc has some physical differences and not sure about splines.

I’ll update with good or bad news hopefully good as it would be a good alternative to either used vcs or expensive new ones.


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If you look up the viscous coupler on Atlantic British
For the Range Rover classic
It will tell you What models that coupler
Fit
 

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