The build has commenced and the first job to be tackled is changing the clutch and flywheel. It’s been just two years since the Land Rover underwent some gearbox works that included putting in a master rebuild kit, a new main and lay shaft fifth gear, oil feed rings and and few other bits and bobs.At the time when this work was being done we did consider changing the flywheel and the clutch when the gearbox was being reconditioned, but stupidly did not, as they looked relatively OK at a glance, or so we thought. The one lesson learned here is that if you are doing a gear box job it is advisable to consider changing the clutch and flywheel at the same time given you have put a lot of work into getting the undercarriage out etc. In the long term it can be costly and time consuming having to do this labour intensive job twice in a relatively short period of time.

Changing your clutch, flywheel, or working on your transfer case/gearbox are fairly significant jobs and do require good knowledge before tackling. As part of the TURAS Land Rover build this was something we were going to leave to the professionals to ensure that it was done correctly. Prior to dropping the vehicle into the workshop we noticed a sound coming from what we thought was a worn spigot bearing and decided that we needed to investigate further. It was just two years ago when we changed some of the bearings in the gearbox so we assumed that all was ok there. On further investigation after taking out the Clutch and Flywheel, we noticed that the clutch definitely needed to be replaced as there was obviously wear and tear, but also there was a noticeable play on the flywheel and that was probably why we heard strange noises.


We replaced the old clutch, release/spigot bearing and the flywheel with the Bearmach Clutch and Flywheel Kit (all included), we installed the standard kit that is suitable for Defenders and Discovery 2 TD5 vehicles with the R380 gearbox. Like all Bearmach products this is a high quality kit that is well priced and also comes with a three year warranty. If you are not sure about the type of kit you might need, contact Bearmach online or give them a call and there technical support will make sure you get the right kit for your vehicle After getting the clutch and flywheel installed it’s always worth taking time to get your Slickshift adjusted correctly.

The first time I had to get the clutch and gearbox done was when I was living in Australia. At the time I was doing a photoshoot for a magazine article up along the East Coast, I had just waded a saltwater channel and I then started to have difficulty in getting the Landy into gear, as I moved up along the beach. I decided to camp on the beach for the night and then take the Landy to the nearest Land Rover dealer the following day. After driving nearly 200km I then found a dealer and dropped off the Land Rover to get sorted in the dealer’s garage, I then got a flight back to Sydney as I was a couple of hundred kms from home. I agreed to come back in two weeks and pick up the Land Rover and then drive it back to Sydney. Two weeks had passed and I went back to pick up the Landy, after paying a lot of money for the works, I got the keys and started to make my way back to Sydney. While on the highway I noticed that the gear stick felt loose, and was not as firm in comparison to what it was before I dropped it in to get the job done. I rang the dealers and explained that the stick movement felt very loose and something was not right. It was a Friday evening and I needed to get back to Sydney and told them that I would take it to a dealer in Sydney and that if something was up they could sort out the costs, they agreed. The young mechanic at the Sydney Land Rover dealer had a quick look and noticed that the springs on the Slickshift were not secured correctly, thankfully this was a simple enough job to sort.

The slick shift basically improves the gear change by reducing sloppiness and minimising travel, as well as neatening shifts giving smoother gear changes.

After getting the Landy back after the new clutch and flywheel was installed on this rebuild, I went for a test drive and I immediately noticed the same issue with the looseness from the gear stick, similar to what I experienced in Australia.No panic this time around, I immediately realised that the lads must have forgotten to secure the springs. No drama I had a look, got some tools, and had the springs secured and nuts adjusted in about 20 minutes. After a couple of test runs, I readjusted the set up until I was happy with the gear change, problem solved.

It’s also a fairly simple job to upgrade your Slickshift with a new innovative design exclusive to Syncro Gearboxes. Built for 5 speed Land Rover Defender LT77 / R380 gearboxes, Slickshift improves gear changes by minimizing the gear lever travel. This creates quick, precise, and noticeably smoother gear shifts. The kit installs quickly and easily from the interior of your Defender. Requires no drilling, or special tools.

Adjusting the Slick Shift

Bearmach Gets You There and Back – Parts Suitable for Land Rover Vehicles