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MG MGF Technical - Broken Gear Selector Linkage

At 45,000 miles I was changing gear in my VVC (which I have owned since 10,000 miles) from first to second gear having just turned a corner. However instead of getting second gear I got a thunk and a floppy gear lever that changed no gears at all.

The car is now stuck in first gear and will drive in that gear alone. The clutch also works but I have no way of selecting another gear.

The car is now at Wadham Kenning in Guildford who say that the gear linkage cable is broken and I must buy a new linkage cable set consisting of two cables and all the ball joints for 150 and then pay for 4.5 hours labour at 55 an hour. Total cost 400 + VAT at 17.5%

I had a very similar gear linkage failure on my mid engined x1/9 about 5 years ago and that only required a new selector gate that the gear knob sat in at about 50 total.

Mike Satur reckons the cable should in fact be able to be reconnected at a much lower cost wherever it has come detached.

Does anyone else have experience of this breakage and the solution and how much they paid for it. Does anyone agree with me that Wadham Kenning seems to be wanting to do a repair that is unnecessarily time consuming and complex.

I look forward to your comments.


Julian Shersby

I heard of cases where the gear linkage has just popped of and can easily be repaired.
On the other hand I have heard of a cable coming apart at one end and caused some problems as the cable was no longer held by the outer cables thus the whole cable was moving rather than just the inner cable.

As for Wadham Kenning I have had experience from them as it is where I bought the car but have not been back since after about a month of buying the car as they had no idea about the car (this was however back in March 97) I had a coolant leak within 2 weeks and they told me there was no leak and that the coolant tank was not full on delivery, how ever I was back within a week and had to show them where the leak was even though you could see fluid on the underside of the car.

I always use Swain & Jones in farnham.
Tom Randell

It depends on the problem, if the cable itself has broken then they are correct in stating the parts that need replacing but as Tom says it is not uncommon for the cable end joint to come off, and this is a quick and simple thing to replace.

How much time is required and the costs per hour I am unable to comment on.

Ted Newman

OK note this information and ask what they propose to do.

They are without question quoting to fit assembly part number UKD 100610. This includes the mechanism that is at the hidden end of the gear lever, both cables and 7 accoustic plugs.

It doesn't include any of the braketry that is found at the gearbox end.

The same illustration shows that both cables are available separately under part numbers, ULS 100060 for what is decribed as the 'Crossgate' cable (I interpret this as being the anchor cable) and part number ULS 100070 for the actual gearchange cable.

I would expect any fair and competant workshop to examine the car, establish the defect in detail and then provide you with an accurate report along with a realistic means of rectifying it. If they have not examined the car in detail then I would expect them to say that, 'without stripping the damaged area the options would be either a new cable on it's own at about x to fix, or a new assembly up to x to fix.

Roger Parker

This seems like a steep quote to me, especially when you consider that Techspeed will sell you their vastly superior quickshift kit for practically the same money... and that includes rose joints and brackets etc. (although possibly not the cables themselves- I am not sure on this one).

Basically, one needs to examine the cable ends at the gearbox and at the gear lever to determine what exactly has gone wrong. Replacement of every component is possibly not required.

Rob Bell


Looking at the Techspeed conversion indicates original cables use to me.

Roger Parker

Yup- I am inclined to agree with you Rog.

Can't see how the cables could possibly cost that much though...

Rob Bell

This thread was discussed between 15/06/2000 and 16/06/2000

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