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The R380 gearbox was introduced in approx 1995 with the suffix J and has now evolved to the suffix L and this has been used until the end of the Disco 2's and until 2007 in the Defender when the 2.4 TDCi engine was introduced which uses the MT82.
Heavy Duty Rear Support Bearings
One of the common failure modes of the R380 is premature wear of one or both of the rear support bearings in the rear 5th speed aluminium housing, this starts as a whirring in all gears but not so bad in 4th, then as the bearings wear it allows the 5th gear on the layshaft and 5th gear on the mainshaft to come a little out of mesh, then 5th also gets noisy and often results in the teeth coming of one or both of the 5th gears, after much design work we are now able to offer to upgrade these two bearings.
The Layshaft rear support bearing is FTC2385, this is made by RHP and has a dynamic load rating of 27Kn, we replace this with a larger bearing of equivalent quality which has a dynamic load rating of 35.5Kn, this is a 31% increase. See below a comparison photo of stock vs our HD one.
The Mainshaft rear support bearing is FTC3371, this is made by RHP and has a dynamic load rating of 27.4Kn, we replace this with a larger bearing of equivalent quality which has a dynamic load rating of 44Kn, this is a 60% increase. See below a comparison photo of stock vs our HD one.
This upgrade would be advised for any hard working R380 such as heavy/tuned TD5 vehicles, ie overlanders or tow vehicles,
Different types of R 380
The manual boxes can be categorised as "Long Stick" as fitted to the Defender and "Short Stick" as fitted to the Disco.
If your serial number starts with any of the following then you have a longstick : 50A, 51A, 56A, 58A, 60A, 61A, 66A, 68A, 74A
If your serial number starts with any of the following then you have a shortstick : 53A, 55A, 63A, 67A, 69A, 73A
The longstick boxes come with the top casting that the gearlever and turret bolt to but you will need to remove the following from the old unit : the bellhousing and dowels, transfer case dowels, gearlever and turret and diff lock pivot bolt if fitted.
The shortstick boxes come with remote top assembly with reverse switch fitted but you will need to swap over the bellhousing & dowels, transfer case dowels, extension gearstick and diff lock pivot bolt.
The only exception to the above is the 64A and 65A, these come less bellhousing and less remote shifter.