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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - 1500 gearbox

hi all,
is the gearbox on all rubber bumper models the same i seem to remember seeing somewhere that later ones were different. can anyone advise please.
regards bob.
bob taylor

AFAIK it was the same basic gbox unit on all 1500's
Bob T

Hi bob, on my phone so will try to be brief.

There are two different types of front bellhousing/input shaft seal. A scroll type and a "proper" rubber lip ring type.

The scroll type was an earlier design by triumph but I don't know what year or number box they changed.

I don't know if midgets had one or the other type. Mine, a 76 had scroll type. I know someone else with a 78 that had lip seal. But there is a high chance my box is not original.

The two types have different seals, subtly different input shafts and different bell housings.

Will try find the archive thread...

Malcolm Le Chevalier

On a computer now! woop!

Here is the thread Bob, with plenty of pictures. Just ignore all the bitching that it descends into at the end!

Malcolm Le Chevalier

And hear is the missing link to John Barbers photo of his input shaft. Hope this works...[user]=116462862&filters[recent]=1&filters[publicOnly]=1&sort=1&o=26

Malcolm Le Chevalier

anyone got a known good gearbox for a late 1500 78 midge that they want to part with for a fee. perhaps someone whos done a conversion. ???
regards bob.
bob taylor

hi bob....doing just that, gearbox should be out tomorrow. I live in norfolk, near snetterton racetrack.
Intersted, call me 01953456196
rgds tony b
a boyle

Yeah, bob as Malcom says there are 2 variants, but they are all interchangable - whatever 1500 box you buy it will fit your car. Be aware that also the speedo pinion varied, so your speedo might be out unless you swap that over. Different colours means different number of teeth = different speedo reading.
C L Carter

hi. i am a little confused about all the different info on these boxes. after looking at all the info on internet and various parts distributors it seems like they are not interchangable.? moss catalogue says that the 2 types with the seal being different, the bellhousings are different and the imput shaft is different diameter and not interchangable.i have been offered one from a 75 car but am not sure. dont want to end up with box i cannot use. havnt got my one out yet to be able to check.waiting for weather to warm up.
any help appreciated.
bob taylor

hi bob gearbox noy out yet, will contact you tomorrow when job [should be] done
rgds tony
a boyle

Hi Bob

To clarify for you, one type of box only fits with its corresponding bell housing due to the differences in the input shafts and bell housing seals. Everything else is identical.

The input shafts are interchangeable between boxes but one type of input shaft must be matched with its corresponding bell housing and seal. (So it's not really a problem with the box at all, its an input shaft issue...)

But basically, as long as your input shaft and bell housing match together properly everything else is the same and a direct replacement between all 1500 midgets and spitfires.

I seem to remember that all the speedo drive pinions should be the same on all Midget and Spit boxes but can't remember why... I wouldn't worry too much about this as speedos are always out anyway! :-D

Hope this helps, Laters,
Malcolm Le Chevalier

thanks malcolm.
bob taylor

I am pretty sure that there is a slight difference in 1st and 2nd gear ratios between the Spitfire and the Midget gearbox. Irrelevant perhaps, unless at some time a Spit box has been used. Although I think the difference is very slight and shouldn't be a problem. I used a Spit box in my 1500, - it was an overdrive one, but that didn't impact on the two lower ratios.
Guy Weller

hi there bob
sorry to be late coming back to you re gbox.
best laid plans and all that
The box I have taken out of my car has the scroll front seal and the bellhousing to match.
I have to say the ford 5 speed gbox conversion is brilliant. If you are concerned about you 4 speed, keep your eyes open for the bits needed for the 5 speed Apart from the propshaft and speedo cable and one or two odd bits that I purchased from frontline, the rest I found here and there. All done for a fair price.
Best of luck sorting your gbox
rgds tony boyle
a boyle

This thread was discussed between 07/03/2013 and 25/03/2013

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG Midget and Sprite Technical BBS is active now.