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Re: 5 Speed - Why?

To:, MG Listserver <>
Subject: Re: 5 Speed - Why?
From: Chris Attias <>
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2001 12:42:17 -0700

At 12:09 PM -0600 6/29/01, Bill wrote:
>I've driven and raced all versions of the stock transmissions, and there is
>nothing about them that would have me aching to replace them, although I do
>prefer the ratios in the CR version. Maybe that's just me......

As someone who is about to make the change to a Ford 5-speed, I can 
say I have given it a lot of thought.  My reasons don't have anything 
to do with the need for "customization" or higher performance.

I have a 3-synchro, 3-main B without OD.  Before the layshaft and 
bearings of the original tranny crapped out, I had been using the car 
as a daily driver, and had stuck to only mods that were reversible, 
safety-  or reliability-oriented, or "period".  Examples include a 
roll bar, inertia seat belts, a Pertronix module inside the dizzy, a 
factory hardtop, and some cool period alloy door handles/window 

I thought long and hard about immediately rebuilding the old tranny, 
and came to conclude that having an OD ratio was going to preserve 
the original 3-main engine and make driving more enjoyable on the 
freeway/long trips.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen a lot of early OD 
core trannys for sale lately, and a core plus rebuild/exchange, drive 
shaft/vacuum switch would put the cost way over $2000.  A later OD 
was more available, but bashing out the tunnel of an early car to fit 
is worse to me than swapping a tranny that doesn't require that 
alteration.  (I've seen Datsun trannys in Midgets where the owner cut 
away part of the monocoque subframe- an abomination!)

The other routes included buying/ rebuilding a later 3-synchro non-OD 
with a larger layshaft and putting in the smaller input shaft to mate 
up with the engine, or having my 'box rebuilt with a larger layshaft 
(talked to R A Yarwood in Oregon about doing that) or just rebuilding 
it as it was.  I finally came to the conclusion that, as much as I 
liked the feel of the original 'box and hated to see non-OEM parts on 
cars, I'd be willing to try the Ford Sierra kit for the above reasons.

I agree--the original 3-synchro is sweet.  I am going to rebuild it 
when I have time and keep it, the driveshaft, and crossmember with 
the car.  I'll probably put it back when it becomes a weekend car 
Chris Attias
Aptos, CA
'64 MGB

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