This is how to easily do a gearbox oil change of your Land Rover Defender.
IMPORTANT INFO BEFORE OIL CHANGE
before starting the gearbox oil change, here are some important informations:
- When we read the workshop manual, we’re supposed to change gearbox oil around 200k km but that’s a nonsense for a fourwheelers. So we change it every 50k km and we are at peace with that.
As you can see, our Defender is a 2.4 tdci puma left hand drive, so the gearbox is a MT82. But if you have another model like a TD5 or TDI it’s a very similar operation.
- The first thing you have to know is the oil capacity of the gearbox. In some Defenders you just have to fill in the gearbox up to the filler plug level.
But not on 2.4tdci Defenders. We have to fill the exact amount of oil as said in the manual.
A new dry gearbox will need 2.4 liters of oil (that’s 4.2 pints), but that’s not our case as we’re draining our gearbox before refilling it. So, as said in the workshop manual, we have to refill 2.2 liters of oil (and that’s 3.9 pints).
- Now concerning the oil, the workshop manual talks about the castrol BOT130M but that’s a Land Rover reference. So, the correct oil for a MT82 gearbox is a 75W90 API GL-4 oil.
You mustn’t use a GL-5 because it could dammage your gearbox parts over time.
We use the castrol syntrans 75W90 API GL-4, but you can choose any other brand with the same specs. It isn’t a too expensive transmission oil but you’ll need 3 bottles of one liter for your refill.
You will use 2 full bottles and 200ml of the third one. Then you can keep the opened third bottle in your car for an emergency top up refill, just in case.
Now that you have the basic important info, we can move on to the equipment we need for this gearbpx oil change.
We will need:
3x 1 liter of oil, 1x Allen key of 8, 1x multipurpose pump, some Teflon tape, 1x oil container, 1 funnel, a cloth, and in option a ceramic additive.
Now, let’s start the work! And do watch the video until the end to have the last tips and info after the gearbox oil change.
The first step is to have a ride with your car to warm up the gearbox. The oil will then be easier to drain. Especially if, like us, you are doing this operation outside in cold temperatures. Today’s termperature was about 5 degrees, it was quite cold, right!?
You have to find and remove the filler plug to help the oil have a better draining. It’s located in a tricky place but you can easily see it on the video.
You need the allen key of 8 to unscrew it.
When that’s done, you can prepare your oil container and place it under the drain plug, ready for flushing.
Unscrew gently the drain plug with the same allen key of 8 and let the oil drain until no more is draining from the hole of the gearbox.
It’s preferable to unscrew the drain plug by hand because hot oil will come out quickly and all at once. If you’re unsure of your container placement you can hold it closer to the drain hole.
As you can see, the color of the oil is slightly darker than new oil and no metallic pieces are in it. This means that the gearbox is probably in good health. We will check this properly at the end.
Before puting the drain plug back in place, you can add some teflon tape to seal it correctly.
Last times we changed the gearbox oil, we didn’t use this Teflon tape but drain plugs might sometimes have a minimal leak. That’s why we’re adding this Teflon tape on all our plugs. This tape is really cheap and is easily findable in any sanitary plumbing shops. As you can see, you only need to put a little but enough to seal the thread.
Be sure to let the oil flush correctly until the last drops come out. Then wipe up the hole and screw back by hand the drain plug. After that, use the Allen key of 8 to finish properly the tightening.
For the tightening, you can either use the Allen key or use a dynamometric wrench at 35 Newton Meters. But you can easily feel the right tork when tightening by hand those drain plugs.
Now you can use your multi-purpose mini pump. Fill 1 liter of oil in the 1 liter bottle of the pump, place the hose in the filler hole, and pump to refill the gearbox.
This accessory is really usefull especialy for an operation with tricky spaces for refill. It’s a pain if you don’t have this item and a simple operation will be quickly transformed in an horrible nightmare (talking experience here!). So, I absolutely recommend you to buy it before an oil change.
You can find this type of accessory on many mechanics websites or on Amazon and Ebay. You can buy pumps with a larger capacity such as 5 liters for example. But we prefered the 1 liter one like this we can easily store it in the car. It costs about 25 Euros but it’s absolutely worth it. The brand and reference are Laser 4385.
Now, place the hose in the filler hole and pump to refill the gearbox. This first operation has to be done twice completely because 2 full liters of oil must be filled in the gearbox.
To anticipate the fact that it’s not possible to pump up the last 50 ml of oil, you can already add 50 ml of oil to have the exact amount of oil needed. This means that you will precisely use your two first bottles of oil and then you will need to add 50 ml to your last 200 ml of oil.
With this tool, this operation is done quite quickly. What will take you time is placing the hose in the gearbox filler hole and removing it because this filler hole is in a tricky place.
It’s absolutely doable to do this oil change by yourself but with some help it will obviously take less time.
Our Defender has 155k km now, so this is the third time we change the gearbox oil. And this time we are adding some ceramic additive for the gearbox called CPL and that’s for ceramic power liquid gearbox.
We don’t know if it’ll change anything but if it can help to have a smoother gear change in cold temperatures we will let you know.
Of course this additive is a liquid of 100ml so you have to remove 100ml of oil from the 2.2liters if you want to add this one in your gearbox.
This operation was a bit hard because of the cold temperature. The additive was thicker than liquid so we blended it with the last 100ml of oil in the pump to fill it up correctly. We didn’t forget to add the 50 ml of oil as said before to add the correct amount of liquid to refill our gearbox.
After that you can screw back the filler plug that was also previously taped with some Teflon tape.
There, it’s done!
And, of course, don’t forget to ditch your used oil the correct way 😊
OTHER TIPS & INFO
Just to have an indication of your gearbox health, have a look at the quality of the used oil. Its color should be quite similar to the new oil, just be a bit more darker but not black and burnt.
Other thing you can check is if you find some small metal parts or something like that. It’s not supposed to happen but we never know. Maybe you can prevent a future breakdown only by checking this.
The last thing you can do is mesure the quantity of oil you drained from your gearbox.
If your gearbox is well sealed and has no leaks you should have 2.2 liters of old used oil drained from your gearbox. We have the MT82 outputshaft ashcroft modification with autolubrication but its oil leaking is really minimal. We drained 2.2 liters from our gearbox so all is good!
CPL ADDITIVE REVIEW
Here’s our quick review on the ceramic additive. We already drove quite a few kilometers and also did an offroad session in the snow, and we did notice a good improvement when changing gears. It is smoother than before even in cold temperatures.
Now we can say that we do recommend trying out this CPL additive for gearbox when doing this oil change.
So, There we are with the gearbox oil change