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MG MGB Technical - 72 B Transmission problem

I find it hard to shift from 1st to snd gear when car is first started and after warm up, it gets a bit better when gearbox is warm,is it safe to start off in 2nd gear or will it damage the gearbox?
Barry 72B
Barry 72B

Hey Barry,

I start off in 2nd a lot from traffic lights, stops etc. Of course sometimes they are slow rolling stops, SORRY.

I have a tranny I took out of my 72 for OD. If you need, maybe we can work something out, worked great before I removed it, use email.
James Huggins

You need to determine if this is a clutch problem -- not releasing fully.

Can you shift the car thru all the gears when it's cold, engine off(without the clutch pedal)?

If you can, your clutch may not be releasing fully-- air in the line, M/C bad or leaking.
CD Dewey


first i would check the oil level im the gearbox and maybe an oilchange is worth considering?

I run EP 80 in my 4 speed OD box as it was recommedet for the V8 and it works well.
Another point to look for is the gear lever mechanism. There is a small clip-on nylon bushing at the lower end of the gearlever. If it is lost (had this once) shifting becomes difficult.

There are even further faults that can lent to the problem you discribed, but these are more difficult to cure with the gearbox on the bench, so just check oil and gearlever first and have a look into the reservoir of the cluch master cylinder. If the level is low, top up first and check the travel of the slave cylinder with the help of an assistant. Sometimes the clevis pins at the master- and slave-cylinder become worn that much that the clutch does not dissengage far enough.

Hope that helps


In my experience it *is* harder to get into 1st with a dragging clutch, the synchro stops it grinding so it just seems to baulk. However if you try and select reverse when this happens, and it grinds, that tells you that it is the clutch that is dragging. If not, then it is simply baulking at 1st, which is quite common. With mine (and all the BL gearboxes I have had) just pulling it back towards 2nd then pushing back towards first - clutch down - usually aligns things so it goes in.

You won't hurt the gearbox by starting in 2nd, but you will probably put a bit more wear on the clutch.

BTW, these gearboxes often baulk at reverse as well, sometimes pushing it towards 1st or 2nd sorts it, sometimes one just has to lift off the lutch and try again.
Paul Hunt 2

Thanks for all your comments.
Checked oil level, clutch MC etc.all ok,I'm going to try Pauls suggestions and report back.It sounds like 1st/2nd syncro problem,I took the car out for a spin and I could beat that syncro by a quick shift or double clutching.
Barry 72B

This thread was discussed between 23/05/2007 and 25/05/2007

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