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MG MGA - 5 Speed Box..Install in one unit?

Got the old box and shaft out and have trial assembled the new box with the engine and all rotates well...sat on the floor of my garage changing gear for a while( sad soul!), quite precise and positive compared to the pudding bowl feel of the old box.
A big question...Is it possible to install the engine and box as a single unit? The new box is shorter but deeper and it looks like it might be an interference fit on the tunnel top and/or the old box support before the engine can be lowered and the angle changed ....it is such a shame to split it all up ! I have a tilter. Someone out there must have tried it.

...and oilfilling looks a nightmare..can the oil go in before installation?
Neil Ferguson

Just installed one, but no we didn't try the install as a unit.

We set the gearbox in place on the frame crossmembers, then dropped in the engine and mated them together (put the top bolts in the bellhousing first (just like standard). Then bolted up the engine. After the engine was all bolted in, then the holes could be drilled for the new gearbox mount.

Also didn't fill oil until after all was in place. Yes, it's not any fun at all. I'm considering a hole in the tunnel the size of whatever large plug I can find at a auto parts store. I didn't do this, but had a thought later. Buy a cheap 3/8 allen wrench. Cut off about an inch (maybe less; enough to go in the plug and leave one wrench width free). Stick the short piece in the plug and use an wrench to remove and refit the plug.

Oil fill was via a 1/2 quart syringe (made for this sort of purpose), but even that was a challenge. The syringe has a straight bit of clear tubing that had to be bent and eased past the threads in the fill hole.
Dave McCann

Neil, I hope you get more responses. I installed mine with the 5 speed attached but it's very easy without the body on the car, an even then it's a tight fit. If you fill the gearbox with oil it will drain out of the tail shaft. Again filling mine was easy. I think that Dave has the right idea of cutting a hole in the tunnel and fill it with a rubber plug later. If I ever change my oil that's what I'll do.

Andy

Andy Preston

Dave/Archie...thanks for your advice.....
Would love to install like you are,Archie...a see through car....looks a beautiful job you are doing!
...and given you found it a tight fit then I have decided to install as two pieces.
....and also make a hole and plug it with a rubber bung for the oilfill. I also had Peter drill and put a drain plug on my box....glad I did after reading some of the comments on past threads about getting old oil out.
Neil Ferguson

Neil,

I installed my 5speed separate from the engine. Body on and trans tunnel in place. I found that the vertical thickness of the Sierra does not allow rotation of the transmission enough to fit it with the engine attached. See attached image.

With the body off it would be easy but not all that bad doing it separately. I accomplished the job unassisted in an hour or so. The alignment of the two is the hard part. Be sure to put in the upper bell-housing bolts before you try to mate them. I think Peter mentions this in the instructions.

Use some long bolts in the tight holes as a guide for alignment.

Jim

Jim Ferguson

Jim..box is in the car...and will be putting engine back in later today.
Fiddling with the reverse light switch and will connect the speedo cable before final positioning.
Noted all the comments by Steve Gyles et al on the switch and i attached the wires with tails and made rt angle connectors and soldered them on... then shrink shrouds ,then tape to give this elegant assembley. Hopefully it will fit without cutting the tunnel.

Neil Ferguson

This thread was discussed between 05/04/2010 and 07/04/2010

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