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MG MGA - 5 Speed gearknob

What's the common approach here - it would be nice to have an appropriate looking knob with the right shift pattern on it.

Dominic
dominic clancy

The one that comes with the Hi-Gear kit is basic...black plastic with a top sticker for the 5 speed locations...alright but generic.
Neil Ferguson

I found the knob that came with the kit didn't hold up and "very" soon stripped out. I put on my old knob.

Would be nice to have a knob to match the shift pattern, but oh well. No one else but me drives it.
Ray Ammeter

Seems like there must be a market opportunity for an original type shift knob with the correct 5 speed shift patteren.
Andy Bounsall

I got a fantastic aluminium billet 6 speed knob for my Honda S2000 conversion from Ricks Signature Accessories in the USA www.ricks2K.com
I believe that he does others to order.
Gary Lock

I saw that someone is making a gearknob for the XK Jaguars with a five speed pattern that otherwise replicates the original. Might work, see 2071 here:
http://xkparts.com/catalogue
Neil McGurk

I use the original MGA knob to confuse would-be thieves! I usually park the car in the garage so that reverse gear is required.

Steve
Steve Gyles

I also use the original knob, I just pen in the shift patten with tipex,... granted it comes off every time I use it but its cheap..........sorry couldnt help it, Vin
Vin Rafter

I should be fairly easy to 3d engrave a new pattern on an original knob. The old knob could be sanded down and polished to remove the original pattern. Off course you'd have to know somebody who had a 3d engraver.

As for the stripped threads on the Hi-gear knob, if it is anything like the generic knob I had on my MGA, you can epoxy a nut in lieu of the plastic insert and it holds up very well.
Chuck Schaefer

I found the Hi-gear knob useless, it would not lock onto the shaft even with the lock nut and was always rotating. I have reused my old knob but also have another one which I have polished and have spoken to a local engraver who said he could put the pattern in it. He is based in Oxford and said that's how the original knobs were made. Not sure that is true though.

John
John Francis

Looks like ebay comes to the rescue - with a part for the MX5 / Miata that appears to have the same pattern, and also to be a screw fit and looks to be significantly better than a sticker.


280545389262

Can anyone confirm that this is the right pattern for the gearbox.

dominic clancy

Dominic

No it's not. It should be fully left and forward. Still, like the original MGA knob, it will fool the thieves.

Tell me a driver who is familiar with the car who looks at the gear stick knob when driving to see what gear he is in?

I did try the the High Gear knob and I thought it was great. Screwed on fine. Locked in position and looked great. Not sure what all the fuss is about.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Can anyone give me a picture or a diagram of the pattern (still waiting for the kit to arrive with the new engine) so I can order the right gearknob.

dominic clancy

I have a 5-speed knob that is original. I took the knob to my polishing wheel and took my time to buff off the old reverse on it. I then sent it to Peter Gamble at Hi Gear. This was about 5 years ago and cost about 10 to fifteen pounds. That included shipping to USA.
I talked to him about 4 weeks ago to get this done again as I am working on a Magnette and he stated the person who was doing it has passed away. I am looking to have a bowling engraver to try to do the job as the surface is curved and not flat. Maybe is we can get enough of these done at one time, we can get a better price. Most of the time will be set up on the machine. Are there any interested people for this project?

Jeff Becker
Long Beach, Calif
JEFF BECKER

Jeff, I'd be interested...depending on the cost.
Andy Bounsall

Looks like the attached domonic.

Andy Bounsall

Dominic, there is a couple of BMW knobs on Ebay at the moment..all with the right pattern. Not sure about the thread though. I know they're not traditional shape, but oh to be different!
Gary Lock

Now here is a delight.....and believe you can get in all gear formats..plus will act as thief deterrent as per Steve's appoach

Neil Ferguson

I'm with Steve. Not only will the original knob fool thieves, but IT LOOKS ORIGINAL. Why lose a point for having an aftermarket shift knob? Not to mention calling attention to the different tranny. I have been in shows where the judges never even looked at the Bell Housing! I'm with Steve.
G. A. Boley

Bump
"I saw that someone is making a gearknob for the XK Jaguars with a five speed pattern that otherwise replicates the original. Might work, see 2071 here:
http://xkparts.com/catalogue"

Neil McGurk

Hi Neal

Trouble is I can't see a price anywhere, and they don't respond to emaills

Dominic
dominic clancy

I know it's a bit small but see the attached (previous)image. It's very similar in size shape and design to the mga.
Neil McGurk

Dominic

A slection from Ebay:

http://tinyurl.com/2wbv7bs


Or illuminated ones!:

http://tinyurl.com/394bac9
http://tinyurl.com/392rkfe

Steve
Steve Gyles

Just thought I would reactivate this as by chance I am looking after a car with the aforementioned 5 speed gear knob.

Took a couple of pics so you can see what it looks like in a bit more detail (obviously you wouldn't use a knurled locknut on the MGA)

Neil McGurk

Another

Neil McGurk

Interesting reading the posts again. I discovered my Hi Gear 5-speed knob in the bits and pieces I brought with me. Unlike Neil Ferguson's version from Hi-Gear and Neil McGurk's, mine is leather bound. Nice bit of kit.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Well, here goes. I modeled one in CAD and had my good Brother machine up a few on a five axis machine. They're a beast to polish and require me to machine a brass insert for the thread. I can't imagine anyone would pay even what it costs to produce these, over
$100.US......

D Sjostrom

That looks really good, I'd love to have one.

I'll bet that with an order for about 100 the price per knob would come way down. I and a lot of others might be really interested then.

They do look like the XK knobs posted earlier.





Jim Ferguson

I'd go for one of those in a shot, but $100 is a bit steep
dominic clancy

The price won't come down unless the high amounnt of hand work is significantly reduced. Polishing Delrin is walking a tightrope of avoiding rapid melting of the material. Too much force or not enough compound applied to the buffer = ruined part.

Overmolding the threaded insert with bakelite in a polished mold leaves only paint filling of the engraving to complete the knob.
The market for such is limited to the number of conversions out there...Likely not very large.

The price I tossed out is simply what I'd need to motivate small lot production. There's a good solid hour of work start to finish plus some somewhat expensive bar stock. I've tried some inexpensive alternates, but Delrin is by far the best for durability & appearance.

If any out there have access to the machinery needed, I'll be glad to supply the CAD file. (SolidWorks)

The thread for the Sierra box is 6mm X 1.0
D Sjostrom

I called xkparts and they identified the correct part as 2701 for a cost of GBP25 each. Not much point in going to the expense and trouble of making something that's already available at half the price

dominic clancy

Dominic you are the man; you found the answer. Just buy one from XKparts.

Did the 25 include VAT?

Maybe they would give a volume discount if we could gather a collective order.

Jim
Jim Ferguson

Neil McGurk is the man who found it (see earlier in this thread), I sent them a mail or two which were never answered (strange way to run a business), so in the end I called them.

VAT isn't payable for orders outside of the European Union, so even if it isn't included, they shouldn't charge it. On a non-EU order they should deduct it from the price if it is included in the price. It's technically illegal to quote prices to consumers that do not include VAT. A lot of businesses get round this by saying that they supply to the trade only.

I tried my original MGA knob on the new gear lever yesterday, it leaves about 1/2 inch thread visible when it is screwed right down, so I'll probably shorten it a bit before fitting any knobs at all.
dominic clancy

I think I have the perfect solution Dominic!

What you need is someone who already accustomed to driving an MGA with a 5 speed gear box to volunteer to fly over to Switzerland to operate the gearchange for you.

It may involve that person sitting in the drivers seat and also operating the steering wheel, throttle, clutch and brakes etc but you could still be in the car if you wish. (There are still the light switches and wipers to operate from that side!)
Now, by sheer coincidence, I am used to operating a 5 speed box, even though my gear knob is just polished alloy with no markings.

I am so accustomed to the 5 speed gear pattern that I can now operate it with my eyes closed, although I have discovered that this seems to promote much blowing of horns from other road users and suprisingly frequent visits to the body repair shop!

I am certain that with my above listed experience you will be delighted to find that I am willing to accept your offer of a free flight over to operate the gearchange at any time and look forward to hearing from you.

As I have never driven a supercharged MGA before, I wonder if you would mind if I brought my usual Lead Right boot and my manic grin with me?

Colyn

PS. Have you driven the car with the 5 speed in yet and, if so, what do you think?
Colyn Firth

Dom wrote "I tried my original MGA knob on the new gear lever yesterday, it leaves about 1/2 inch thread visible when it is screwed right down, so I'll probably shorten it a bit before fitting any knobs at all."

Is that even with the chrome locknut fitted?
Neil McGurk

Hi Colin

It's all still in bits in the garage - I had an operation on my shoulder last week, and heavy lifting has to wait until I have the stitches out and can move everything freely again. I've been able to do all the light assembly work (working pretty much one-handed) on the engine as it sits in its trolley. I've also prepared all the accessories with a coat of paint, so it should put even Mr Gyles to shame when it's all in. Sad to say that yet again I am disappointed with the quality of the work done by the bodyshop, the car will have to go back again afterwards for remedial work and snagging.

I expect to have it all running again in October, and you are more than welcome to come and help run it in! Of course if you wish to thrash it you will also be welcome, but then only after it's bedded in and only if you bring Vin and beer tokens with you.
dominic clancy

Dominic

It does not take much to put my efforts to shame! What axle ratio are you going for?

Should be a potent car when you are finished. There can't be too many Judson powered 5-speeds around with the 'correct' gear knob.

Sounds like the makings of a good party. Might join them!

Steve
Steve Gyles

Dominic,
Your shoulder looked in good order when you lifted your beer at Beaulieu only a few days ago, as seen in Steve's photo. Must have been the multiplicity of beers which caused the problem... Best wishes for a speedy recovery and rapid reinforcement of the gearbox. Shane
Shanerj

Thanks for all the comments. Shane, my shoulder was behaving nicely because of some powerful painkillers and a couple of beers, and it's now doing very nicely without the pharmaceuticals but beer is still welcome.

I have now mounted everything on the engine to make sure I have all the bits and bolts. It's looking rather nice, so here are a few pics.

dominic clancy

One of the business side - you may note the extra J-pipe to keep crankcase pressures low. I still have to trim the pipe at the correct angle. Carb is not yet back from IHOnly in Oregon, mounts at the rear end of the manifold behind the big black lump

dominic clancy

And one of the front showing all the belts

dominic clancy

And a final one from the top

dominic clancy

Steve
Final axle ratio will be standard MGA, and I will use BP7 spark plugs as the compression ratio is down to 8.5:1 which may allow some work on the pulleys later to get the boost pressures up.

I'm still thinking about switching the spider gears in the diff to use the 25-spline axles that I have at the moment instead of the 10-spline ones that are in the standard diff.

Then I will have a few spares to sell.
dominic clancy

Looks really impressive Dominic.
Cam Cunningham

Very impressive. I like the bike too.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Looks great Dom, I know you've been off the road a while and Im sure you will be looking forward to trying your new engine and box, you must let us know what you think of the 5 speed with the judson, Vin
Vin Rafter

Doug, in case you're still following this thread, did you remember about the card I gave to you at the British Invasion in Stowe?
Andy Bounsall

I cerainly do, It'll be a while however.
D Sjostrom

Very good. Thanks.
Andy Bounsall

Back to the original thread! Thanks for the steer Neil. I bought the XK Parts five speed gear knob which looks great and (almost) original. Needed to put a 5/16 tap down the brass inner and then a nice tight thread onto the Sierra gear level and all is well.
Bruce
Bruce Mayo

Andy Bounsall,
I've misplaced your address. The knob is finished.
No longer (attbi.com) now (comcast.net)
Doug
D Sjostrom

what a marathon thread about such a small knob..51 contributions over nearly 12 months ( I said something myself in prehistoric times ). I was a project manager in the offshore oil industry in a previous life and we could spend $500m with hardly any comment from anyone ..but when it came to the paint colour for the platform..500m opinions!
Neil Ferguson

Nearly 12 months Neil? What sort of calendar do you use in Australia?
Lindsay Sampford

dominic....getting so excited these days over jeep,Assange and now Judson Supercharger.....must be losing it ( did I ever have it?).
Neil Ferguson

Ye Gods..cant even get a name right!! Totally gone..my only excuse is returning after 4 months in Italy mid Oct and then ,buying a house,selling a flat...and all of the previous. Where am I?
Neil Ferguson

Neil, it was just that I thought it would be nice living somewhere where 4 months feels like a year, rather than a year feeling like 4 months!
Lindsay Sampford

It's the cricket that is causing all this time problem in Australia. 5 days of the test match (4 and a bit to e exact) must have felt like an eternity!

Steve
Steve Gyles

I am a pragmatic two passport holder....I always support the winning side. Maybe have to switch back to Oz after the next match.
Neil Ferguson

What's wrong with the standard four-speed knob. I specifically retained mine despite having a five-speed. I don't need to advertise the fact that the car is a five-speed and I don't need a diagram as I know where all the gears are.
S Mumby

This thread was discussed between 06/08/2010 and 14/12/2010

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This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGA BBS is active now.