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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Shift Pattern?

I'm doing a modest v8 conversion with a 215 aluminum buick block. I need to decide on a transmission. Right before the engine went on my 1980 B, I had a 260Z 5 speed in it. I like the shift pattern (over to the left and a back for reverse and 5th was straight down from 4th). The general consensus for the transmission for the conversion is a SD1 or T5, can anyone please let me know what the pattern of the shift is on these two, I especially like the straight down from 4th to fifth. Right now I'm driving a Jetta and 5th is up with a push down, more like an overdrive.


Rich Cohen
Rich Cohen

T5 has reverse on bottom right, below 5th.

What you're calling an SD1 transmission... I think is correctly called an LT77, no?

LT77 has reverse on upper left, beside 1st.

Later Discovery's came with a different, smoother shifting 5-speed called R380. I believe it has the same shift pattern as T5. I also think I read that the first 500 MG RV8s had LT77 boxes, but the remaining 2000 had R380 boxes.

A good dark horse choice might be the Toyota Supra box... as discussed here:,201


Funnily enough I've been playing with my Rover SD1 LT77 box on the garage floor today. Max has the pattern right. It is not a straight shift from 4 to 5, but needs a small dog-leg to the right, like most modern cars. There seems to be very little difference between the position of first gear and reverse, so that I could imagine wrong-slotting it at the traffic lights. I've never used this box (yet) - do others find this a problem?
Mike Howlett


i did my conversion with the LT77 in the early 1980's and have never had real problems with it, although the recommended ATF was allways penetrating through the gasketes and this was cured by using Castrol gearbox synthetics some years ago.
The shift pattern has been described allready, as with most modern cars, there is no difference in the position of the gears. The gear lever precision is good enough for peaple that do not try to be the frist at the next traffic light and i newer had problems with the first or the reverse to select the wrong one.

On my installation it was difficult sometimes to select third gear and ending up in 5th, but this fault has been cured some month ago using new rubber bushes for the shifter extension mounts.

I have never seen or tried a T5 gearbox, although it has it's point, beenig 40% lighter than the LT77 Rover unit and it deos not contain an internal oil pump, relying up on nylon pump gears!
A further bonus is the gearing of the 5th in some of this units, allowing to keep the stock rear axle or to go with 3.7 or 3.3 ratio.


Like Ralph, I've been using the LT77 behind my 3.5 Rover. Never had a problem with selecting 1st or Rev, and I like 5th up and out of the way, keeping the familiar (for us older guys) 1st-4th H pattern.
Edd Weninger

I've got the T5 in my V6 midget, like it very much and no problems selecting gears. As with any car, most of the controls start feeling quite normal after a bit of driving. Here's a drawing of the shift pattern of the T5.

Bill Young


As always, you've been a big help

Rich Cohen
Rich Cohen

This thread was discussed between 26/10/2007 and 29/10/2007

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