Two Speed Transfer Box


First introduced in the 1890's evolving ever since with changes in design and function.


The most ingenius maker was Land Rover in the late 1940ís. Land Rover introduced the two speed transfrer box en mass to the public. It was a surprising success for the old Rover at the time. Itís sales perhaps saved the Rover company at the time.

The transfer box has been a simple solution to a very real challenge and has not changed from its design back when Land Rover started the 4x4 revolution to modern day driving. The transfer box is a mechanical addition to four-wheel drive systems. It comes in various conceptions, fitting within different parts of the drive train dependent on make and model. It was originally produced and manufactured for agricultural and military vehicles the transfer box has been steadily introduced into the run of the mill car market with makers such as Subaru utilising the transfer box.

Standard saloon cars utilise the transfer box but most do not have variable speeds. It is mostly off road cars benefit from being equipped with variable transfer box offering very low gears. This greatly improves mobility when crawling up and down steep or terrain with limited traction or drag such as sand. A variable gearbox within the transfer gearbox makes this is easy to achieve. The variable extra gearing will vary the gearing to such effect that the car when on the road will have a top speed dramatically reduced with a top speed of maybe 30-45mph with the engine revving so high the tacho bounces off the red line.

To date the solution is to fit a two speed or variable transfer box. They were mainly operated by selecting the gear manually with an extra gear stick.

Electronic Control

This is still the case on basic models. Newer plush four wheel drives built specifically for hard work on the school run could not risk any broken fingernails. These models now make the selection by simply pressing a button. How ingenious, lovely and simple.

electric transfer box
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In some older 4x4's you could also get overdrive. This effectively is a second transfer box giving even higher high gears, this only worked in the top gears.

electric transfer box
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