LJ78 1992 2LTE - which gearbox?

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Apr 8, 2019
Hi guys! Month ago my dream come true and I bought LJ78. It's pretty long story and worth to share it, but for now I need an advice being in a difficult situation. My Precious' heart is 2,4td EFI - now - with manual gearbox. Former user set it instead autmatic because of it's malfunction. I heard that the thrust bearing rattles, and clutch is on it's way off, but there was some more urgent repairs to do. I just changed the oils (1,5k km ago). Yesterday 4th gear became noisy, 3rd and 5th also, but not so bad. Noise it's like bunch of metal washers were inside the gearbox. I think it might be game over for this gearbox. What You think?
But the question is: Is manual gearbox even good idea for this engine? I feel that gears are really short, and running city traffic is really annoying. I never ran a 2lte with auto gearbox. Maybe I should replace it for a proper auto gearbox to optimize fuel consumption and performance? Which is proper gearbox for it? What should I have in mind before shopping and 'operating'?

Photo related.
Congratulations on the purchase! It looks really good. Having had both an auto and a manual LJ78 I would recommend keeping the manual unless you are planning on doing a lot of city driving. (I personally like rowing through all the gears) Part of the issue with the short gearing is that the LJ78 came with 4.88 diffs; a change to larger tires, or 4.56 (if available) or the 4.30 from a KZJ78 would make a big difference. The auto that came in these, while a heavy duty unit, isn’t modern enough to give better fuel economy than a properly driven manual. Also, the manual gearbox in these is quite easy to rebuild. When I first got my manual LJ78 it made bad grinding noises in 3rd, 4th and 5th. I assumed that the bearings in the gearbox were ruined, but when I tore it down I found that the output shaft bearings in the transfer case were badly pitted and that the transmission was in perfect condition.
I like my auto in the city, but wish I had the manual for towing.
I thought about that You mention those shaft bearings. That might be a clue for me. But i remembered that oil drained form the gearbox was suspiciously thick and it was a little overfilled. Probably someone tried make it silent instead repairing it...

You convinced me, I'd rather to ride more than more comfortable :)
I got an offer for a manual box from lj70 <90'. I got only this option for picking from still driving car.
As far as I know there isn’t really a way to ID which transmission it is from the outside. Really the only substantive difference between the two are the first and second gear ratios. I would assume that you currently have the R150, since with the 4.88 diffs and reasonable sized tires first gear in the R151 would be pretty much unusable (even in the R150 it’s just enough to get you moving). The easiest way to figure it out would be to check your speed at a certain RPM in first and second and use a gear ratio calculator to see what ratio you have. I like this one: Gear Ratio Calculator Unless you are planning on doing a lot of crawling I would stick with an R150.
The transmission and axle information will be on the ID plate in the engine bay on the firewall. Here is an example; its from a Hilux, but same idea.


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