Don't like the adverts?  Click here to remove them

Low Range Question


New Member
Aug 11, 2020
Country Flag
Hi everyone,
I have a 1993 VX Automatic 80.
This may sound like a silly question (don’t cain me), but when I’m in low range I only can use the L gear? The vehicle won’t change to 2?
I’m new to 4WD so I’m still figuring things out.
Hi ?????
I would have thought it would change up the gears, depending what speed you do, and don't forget when in LOW the running speed will be very low.
Although I dont have the the 80, I have the 100 but would have thought it would be simular and mine changes gear in LOW in fact I can select centre diff lock in both high or low
Hi Steve,
The 80 doesn't have the centre diff lock switch as standard, at least in the UK auto model. On the UK auto 80's, the CDL locks when you go from high to low range. From what i know, the plug for the CDL switch sits behind the trim where the radio is. I think i can just buy a switch and connect it to said plug and then i can activate the CDL with the switch even when I'm in high range. For whatever reason, it wasn't a standard install on the UK auto models.
I was just curious to know if the gearbox will only stay in L gear when in low range or if it is meant to change gears. I can't seem to find any info on this online.
Last edited:
Is this what you are looking for Tim?

Will PM you.
Yes that's the switch, however i'm not necessarily after that right now.
I am just wanting to know if the car is supposed to change gears when in low range? Mine only stays in the one gear, which i believe is L.
When i move the gear stick to 2 or D it doesn't change, at least in low range.
Don't like the adverts?  Click here to remove them
I've got a 1994, so let me have a look in the owners book to see what it says for L4 operation in an auto.
Hi tango, it does sound like a silly question, but we won’t cane you for it, we’ll I won’t anyway :lol:
In low range, the gearbox (gears 1 through 4 and reverse) should behave exactly the same way as in Hi range, except your road/vehicle speeds will be reduced significantly.
If the gear won’t shift from 1st through the gears, then there’s something wrong.
I’m not familiar with autos at all so I’m hoping someone else will assist you more, but it should drive and select all the gears irrespective of whether you’re in hi or lo.
OK... So it looks like you actually want to use 2, as it will start in first and then shift into 2nd - whereas L locks it in 1st and won't let you shift up to 2nd.

They're not like a modern flappy paddle shift type gear box, so it's put it in gear and leave it rather than working it like a manual box.

Here's the relevant pages:








The shift pattern of the auto is altered when in low box. Not sure wether it hangs on to gears longer or shifts earlier but it's different to high range. If you do fit the dash switch there's also a "pin 7" mod you can do to enable the use of low range on the road without locking the diff.
some discussion here........
CDL & 7 Pin mod. - [Leaving Land Cruiser Club]
Last edited:
Morning all,
OK so reading those excerpts from the manual (thank you Paddler Ed) i just went for another road test. Got everything nice and warm first, then shifted into low range. Starting in 2, this time i gave it some beans. I can confirm that it shifts, but man the shift is violent! Made the whole car jerk. I didn't see what RPM i was at when it shifted but it must of been up there. I then pushed the stick into D and it shifted again with another jerk (once i'd added some more coals).
So with your help the question has been answered, however that violent shift doesn't make me feel good about changing gears in low range! I'm not doing any off roading at this stage, i'm just figuring out the vehicle. I would have to give some serious thought about giving it large in low range though, violent shifts like that doesn't make one feel good about doing it to the car!
There’s a plug on the back of the transfer case, just unplug it & you will find a much better ( smoother) gearchange.

i think many of us with autos have done this & it transforms the drive, ive driven many miles in low range, and no problems.

i know what you mean about the ‘viscious’ gear change!

fitting the cdl switch to the dash is also a good move

I can’t remember exactly which plug, but searching on here will tellyou,

as above fit a cdl switch, unplug the connector on the transfer box.
In low range I tend to press the 2nd start switch and put in D. Happily and slowly drives along, changes up the gears smoothly.
Downhill I put into L which gives a nice bit of control without having to brake, i just control the speed with the throttle pedal.
Also use L if I don't want it changing up a gear when climbing.

In high range L and 2 are also good for going up steep roads, especially when tight corners mean you have to slow right down, i drive like a manual and use the revs in the those gears before putting into D.
Handy coming down too, 2 helps slow you down and L will help more so.