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MG MGB Technical - 5 speed box

can any one breifly explain how you fit the ford gear box,do i need to purchase a modified box,is there any cutting and can you puchase prop shaft off the shelf


This site could be of some interest for your conversion.


Jean Guy Catford

And this one too...
Jean Guy Catford

I also found this one without gearbox...

more affordable
Jean Guy Catford

or here perhaps....
Chris Cooper


I just finished installing a 5 speed Ford Sierra Type 9 conversion.

I purchased mine from Quantium Mechanics.

This fit exactly. The new cross member lines up perfectly. Srews just fit right in the holes.

There is no cutting and nothing to worry about. I must say I installed it in a 1977mgb.

The first gear has a 3.65 ratio and this gives you a nice 1st gear take off.

Gears are nice and tight without all that movement from the OEM gearbox.

You will like it a lot and don't worry you can do it.

RAW Wyberski


Since you are in the UK, you might want to try contact Hi-Gear Engineering at the Web site previously mentioned. I believe that is where the U.S. importer obtains the Ford Type 9 conversion.

As mentioned, it is literally a bolt-on conversion. A friend and I started the project on a Saturday morning and had him back on the road by Sunday afternoon, but we took our time. I'm sure there are those who could get the job done in a single day.

Ken V.
'77 MGB
Safety Fast!
Ken Vandruff

In the US Rivergate does a Nissan 280z 5 speed conversion. The 5th gear on the Nissan trans is a higher ratio overdrive than the Ford trans and gives lower cruising rpm. The Ford is about .84 while the 280z is .745. It really knocks your top gear rpm down for cruising.
Barry Parkinson

I just did a Hi Gear 5 speed conversion. Send me an email and I will send you pictures. It is expensive, but the kit is excellent. Everything bolts up and fits very well. It is a great kit. The guy who sells them is a great guy too. Very helpful.

As for the difference - It changes the character of the car. It is a dramatic improvement. I noticed two things more than anything else 1) The noise level of the MGB droped dramatically and 2) I have a comfortable and easy time of it in the 60 - 80+ mph range.
Frank Baker

I'm with Barry on this one. ' Can't imagine how any kit could work better than the Rivergate. I put one in a Magnette and drove it cross-country here in the US - 6500 miles almost all on interstates (not my first choice, but time was a factor). It was beautifully designed to fit perfectly and works wonderfully. I added an MGB 3.9 rear-end (replacing the Magnette's 4.55) and enjoyed days and days of comfortable, quiet, cruising speeds over 80 mph. Good people too! They had no problem adjusting angle drives to get the speedo right.

Allen Bachelder

I changed my speedo and tach to 4" vdo guages. A late 80's 300zx electronic sender fits the earlier 280z trans. You should be able to pick one up at any junk yard. It is a no brainer to hook two wires to the sender unit at the trans and run it up to the speedometer. You calibrate the speedometer by pushing a button, then driving exactly 1 mile and then pushing the button again. Perfect accuracy in 2 minutes.

The '67 dash holes are just under 4" diameter. It took about 5 minutes with a grinder to take a 64th off and slide in the VDO guages. Summit racing and others sell the VDO guages.

No more watching the needle bouncing around and guesstimating how fast or slow I am going.

Barry Parkinson


Good idea that I'll remember in MGB or MGA conversions. Not so easy with the stylized gauges on the Magnette, but there again, Bill Perry at Rivergate did all the math and my speedo was accurate* from the get-go.


* Accuracy in an MG speedo being measured by adding the low bounce reading to the high bounce reading and dividing by two. Generally, this will be higher than you're actually going unless you're in a speed trap, in which case, magnetic fields from the police radar will cause your readings to be way under, yielding an expensive speeding ticket born of your complacency.


Mor stuff on this than virtually any other subject.
Standard box moves gear lever 6" or so farther back.
Needs shorter lever.
Needs different propshaft front connection
depends if 1275 or 1500.
adapter twixt MG bellhousing and box. Avenger clutch. Modded spigot bush.
Needs new bellhousing in place of adapter.Lots of guys doing it. See sites above.Both need removal of centre gearbox cross member and new fabricated one.

I can tell you that once fitted, you would never go back...ever.

My own site
not working at the mo explains 1500 conversion in minute detail at cheap cost.
Good luck.
James M
James 1500

Oops, ignore last post. I thought I was in the midget room.I thought I didnt recognise anyone.
James M
James 1500

This thread was discussed between 05/08/2005 and 15/08/2005

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