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MG MGF Technical - Gear change not slick?

I am trying to establish the extent of the problem with the standard manual gear shift linkage.The problem,as I see it, the standard stick becomes vague after a while , this can be tested by selecting say 4th gear and then seeing how much excessive movement is taking place ie it flops about!.The "quick" shift kits that are available do nothing to address the "basic" design of this overworked component and can be stiff to use.I have a new design that will transform the change and give the F the gear change it deserves but before I put it into manufacture some feedback would be appreciated.
Thanks Mike
BTW is any body interested in a electronic gear change kit for a MGF?
Mike Satur

Hi Mike

Nice to see you are still at it!

Two questions spring to mind:-

1/- Is it DIY.

2/- How much.

Ted Newman

Hi Ted, still at it ! Doing some work as well!
The kit should be a DIY installation but that could be a understatement as some people won't be able to install it,you wouldn't have a problem.
Costs are unknown as I have only just finished the basic design and have no machining costs yet, if I had to 'guess' then i would like to think it could be done for under 130 squids but that is only an educated guess,to make it worth while i would need to make at least 50off otherwise setting up charges outweigh the unit costs.Lets see if it generates some interest,at least one car will have it fitted!!N500MG
Cheers Mike.

I had a go at a "Quick Change" unit at last years birthday party and I found if very stiff, then again it was my wrong hand.

My standard gear change has been good for the last couple of years since it was adjusted correctly by my second dealer.

Sounds interesting but some more detail would be nice. The standard system, even when correctly set up, still leaves much room for improvement. The price sounds ok but as a consumer the cheaper the better :-) I assume this will require as much work to fit as for the other kits that are on the market so labour will not be very cheap.

>BTW is any body interested in a electronic gear change kit for a MGF?

Mike, are we talking proper semi-automatic gear change here or simply electronic remote control for the gear change mechanism?

Automating the clutch as well would be nice but Sounds even more expensive. At least it is already a hydrolic clutch.

I have been thinking about this sort of thing for some time and been wondering if anyone would look into it. If only I had your resources, any chance of a job? :-). It's all the rage right now according to Top Gear :-)

BTW: Mike, any chance of a proper scoop to fit the side air intakes? See other thread :-)
Tony Smith

Sounds interesting Mike- I for one would be interested. Have you tried the Techspeed conversion yet? The other kits are poor in comparison to this which probably sets the 'gold standard' as it were.

The hydraulic/electronic shift is interesting, but possibly not much of a market? The improvement would have to be phenomenal to justify the cost/complexity over a well engineered mechanical set up that you are envisaging...

Rob Bell

I am very intrested in the gear change, I sometimes get problems getting 5th the dealer stated that they wouldent like to adjust it yet as they may make it worse, bring it back if it gets worse they said, but having driven a few F's they all seem to diffrent and never perfect, £130 seems a fair deal to me

Michael Miller

Something like this would appeal to me as well, though cost (fitted or otherwise) and ease of fitting at a DIY level would be my main considerations. Hmmm, and perhaps how such a modification would be regarded by insurance companies, though it sounds more like a mod to take out slack rather than change the shift itself?
Paul Lathwell

Some of the problems I have heard of has been poor gear selection and jumping out of gear, this has been blamed on worn gear boxes and cable wear when in reality it has been the gear shft assembly itself, as I said before it is underengineered for the job IMO( or has been engineered to create work?) Simple(?) reengineering of these parts using correct engineered bushes ,bearings and pivots made to closer tolerances rather than "fisher price " technology AND accurate careful assembly rather than massproduced assembly line proceedures will give a far superior product and greater driving pleasure what price you put on that I don't know I only do the nuts and bolts thingy.More feed back please.Mike.

Mike ... back to your original question ... on my shift I observed the following:

1) Sometimes I have difficulty selecting first from a standing start (alot of resistance). Usually this only happens after driving for at least half an hour.

2) Usual problem with crunching reverse ... plus actaully selecting reverse. Sometimes it works first time others I need to try 2-3 in order to engage.

3) No problems with popping or jumping out of gear.

4) 'Free play' - with any gear selected I can wobble the lever side to side about half an inch. However whilst engaged the lever is rock solid - does not shake. Unlike some cars (not *F*s) where I notice when the clutch is engaged and the engine picksup the whole lever can shake.

On the Techspeed offering I was going to get the conversion but 210GBP seemed a little steep.


Gentlemen ,when did You last check gearbox oil level ???? This is known to be at the low side already at delivery and wont improve by time ! It is typical for the type of problem Gaz describes, harder to select lower gears after some driving. I have tried to get full spec. on the oil originally used - but to no avail. So I changed about 2 years ago to a fully syntetic gear oil (G5 spec.) and assured that the box was filled up properly. Even with my shorted gearstick gearchange is always slick since that change. Also much less grinding when selecting reverse in a hurry... Agree with Mike that the quality on standard bushes are well below par with too much play everyhwere. Just think of a hydraulic system using Jap. motorbike parts , THAT would be slick !

Regards , Carl.

The standard system creates too much resistnace to the change and lack of precision due to the flexibility in the various joints. The quick shift whilst helping in reducing some of the free play doesn't address the fundamental shortcomings of the system.

I described the Techspeed system when I tested it as a means to convert the gearchange from cable to rod performence levels such was the improvement in both feel, precision and reduced weight to operate.

Mike I would have to say that your ideal is to mimic the same level of improvements, but to be more competitive on price. I know where the main problems are and the cure. Costing the conversion is the big issue.

Roger Parker

If you've ever had a look at the way that the standard gear lever is mounted in the yoke, you'd have to agree with Mike that it is... er, a joke! Sorry, couldn't resist the rhyhming pun. The standard bearings- if you could call them that are woefully underengineered for the purpose of a truely excellent gear change. So Mike has a very good idea here to make a noticable improvement.

Have to agree with Rog- cost is going to be THE issue here. Good luck Mike!

Rob Bell

from my point of view your guess is right: most of the problems are related to the weak gear shift assembly - and not to the gear linkage nor the gear box.

So please add me to the list, although the upgrade must be a DIY job and I'm not interested to invest a lot of money (if the gear shift would be the only problem I have with the car it's out of question to send some money for a decent solution, but ...)


Yes, I could be interested in a retro-fit gear change but hopefully it will be an easy DIY job.

Rgds, Tony

Will it be better than the techspeed conversion??
Most of the play in the system seems to be in just one little plastic bush near the gear lever in my car. I would be intersted in a replacement for this part.

Add me to the list, if cheap and DIY job.
I've no problem selecting gears, but IMO there's too much free play in the lever while in gear (maybe more than in neutral !).

Hi Mike,

There are a couple of things that are important to me;
1. Must Be a DIY kit. (I live in OZ)
2. Cost. (Remember we have to multiply UK price by 4)
3. Weight. (Shipping to OZ)
4. The Modifications/Kit actually makes a difference - Sounds like this will be a non-issue.

If you can meet these points (to a degree of reason) Then put me down for one..

(I have 62,000 km on my car and the shift is getting noticably worse. OK, but not as I would expect a 'Sports/GT car to have.)

Scott Martin


Had this F since 17K miles, done 23K in the last 6 months and not noticed any further degredation in gear change. I find that quick changes are a problem with these particular cars (the two I've had anyway) in particular 1st to 2nd which I think is simply down to the general poor build of the linkages. Take it slowly and all's well.
No matter what gear is selected, the gear stick has around half to 1 inch of free movement up/down, left & right. I'd certainly be interested in a conversion, in fact was thinking of going out and getting one fixed soon, so hurry up please.


Well folks thanks for the comments ,the good news is I've the costings back from the machine shop for the new parts I 've redesigned and the parts assembled into an exchange assembly will be around my estimated 130 GBP(plus vat), if we are going to ship out to OZ and the like I would supply a kit of parts with instructions to assemble this would save on postage etc. the kit consisting of 12 redesigned components would be around 95squids. The standard assembly is about 150GBP (From memory) and spare parts are NOT available you have to buy the whole assembly! We can make the replacement bushes for the origional linkage but why go to the bother of stripping it and refitting parts that do not alter the basic poor design? The bad news is I need about 40 orders to make it viable.All the drawings are complete and the parts could be available for the end of January 2001.Who wants to go for it? Me for one so another 39 please.


I have trouble with selecting 2nd gear at high revs, would this solve the problem?




I will have one in kit form please. I would be grateful if you could put my name down and email me when you are ready.

Spyros Papageorghiou


Add me to the list, I would like a kit version (for Sweden).

Please e-mail me when you are ready.

Mikael Fällström

What parts does it replace ie. does it include components to replace gearbox and gearstick end of linkages.

I'm a bit confused with the different versions ...
Does the "kit" version with fitting instructions cost only 95 GBP ? (No need to buy the 150 GBP assembly ?)
Does your kit achieve the same result than Techspeed's conversion that everybody is raving about ?


I am certainly a candidate for this but I do feel that I need to know a little more about exactly what problem is being addressed, what is being replaced and how much of a DIY job this reasonably is.

Peter Ambrose

I'm still heavily interested but hesitate to give a definite "yes" until you can provide some more information on the kit. I know, that causes additional work for you, but some explanations about the improved parts would be nice and I'm especially interested what you expect the benefits of the kit are (better/faster selecting the 2nd out of the 1st gear at high revs?) Is it a DIY kit (for an "intermediate" skilled mechanic)?


What will be in the kit - new gear lever? new quadrant?

How easy will it be for DIY fit - will the console have to be removed? is anything done at the gearbox end?

I am interested and have already spoken to techspeed about there conversion who say that their kit is not a job for your average DIY'er and am concerned about whether I would be able to fit it myself.


Tom Randell

Hi Mike,

Sounds interesting, I have to ask the same question though, How easy is it to fit, and which bits would I need.


Lots of questions! Due to time restrictions I will try and generalise to provide some answers.the kit I have designed comprises of 17 (not 12 as I said before) new components including two new gear cable joints.The parts that are retained are the main gear lever,the steel mounting frame which is bolted into the tunnel and the U shaped pivoting yoke ie the basic components that are reuseable.To fit i would suggest that the assembly is removed from the car and assembled on a clean bench. No special tools are required only a decent set of spanners 15mm- 6mm some patience and dexterity.The centre armrest/radio console needs to be removed which is about the most tedious job.I have designed the kit so the assembly is more or less fool proof(?)If not confident then you can purchase a ready built item to exchange into the car because of costs involved we will probably restrict this to uk customers and send a kit of the parts to overseas customers.A full set of instructions will be provided.I cannot reveal all the details of components at this time unti they are design registered. The costs are 130GBP plus vat for the assembled part on an exchange basis or 95GBP for the kit of components,these costs are not finalised yet but should be within 5 GBP.With regards to the Techspeed item I haven't seen this kit only the one from Moss as this was supplied by a customer for fitting and this didn't improve the basic design only altered the length of the changing rods.If someone can enlighten me on the Techspeed one in how it differs from standard I would appreciate it.I hope this covers all the above questions.Thanks for the interest and feed back.
Mike Satur


Please accept this posting as my official order for 1 no gearshift kit.

Well done mate, it's about time someone addressed this situation properly. The Moss one is just pants & the Tech Speed set up is too pricey for what it is.

I'll be in touch

Scarlet Fever

I'll take one as well ...

My F reminds me of driving an A35 with its usual sloppy stick. I have been considering the Tech speed for some time. How about wear in this new system. Is it maintainable. What maintenance could be required to maintain a tight gateway?? I'll order one Mike if we can see a comparison chart of the market (Moss and Tech Speed)and the possibility to maintain its spec without going sloppy to some degree. I am surprised that you can develop a better system than the other gear shift competition without even looking at them (namely Tech Speed). However, based on history I'm confident it could be a winner.

Martin A35!The gear change in the F should be a 10 fold improvement! Sometimes looking at other peoples ideas steers you in the wrong direction and I like to work from a fresh sheet of paper this design, including working drawings,took me 30 hours mainly to the early hours of the morning, most of the competition are in bed,so don't be surprised at what can be achieved in a 18 hour day. This gear change problem is down to cheap materials and wrong methods of engineering applied to a component that should be accuratley made.I have built in adjustment and component replaceability when worn, all the parts in the kit will be available as separate items should any thing fail or wear excessively but dont get old waiting for that to happen.As for comparison the Moss kit is not any different in design to the origional and I haven't seen a Techspeed one ,can any one help here with a picture?
Andrew(SF) and Gaz thanks for the support.
Mike Satur

PS the bearings are self lubicating, the access to this are for lube service is not easy.
lunch time already!
Mike Satur

So does it replace the linkages at the gearbox end or just the parts inside the car?

Nathan, missed your origional question, the gear box linkages are not included in this kit, a kit for this end will be available at the same time for about 40 GBP. Wear does occur at this end as it is exposed to all the road grime , the bearings are only plastic and soon wear, I usually pack this full of 'coppergrease'at the service interval, this is not in the Rover/MG service schedule so attention to this is required.
Mike Satur

I'll have some of those when they are ready as mine are falling to pieces!

Mike, thanks for your response to my questions. Please count me in with the initial batch order. OK so the F gearchange is better than an A35, but if you increased the stick length of my F to the same as an A35, it would really be just as sloppy in its movement; so I really look forward to your kit. Have you got 40 orders yet.

Mike, would my dealer be able to fit it for me following your instructions? Normally I would take it to your shop, but then again I live in New Zealand so maybe not.

I ordered a 57i kit K&N kit from you before. (Quick delivery too! only 5 days including weekends!)

If yes for above question, how long would he take.. to fit in.
Hanah Kim

I had a "Quickshift" Gear Linkage fitted by Tech-Speed
Motorsport of Leamington Spa fitted in October. I am very pleased with it. It has got rid of the F Crunch.
It has made the gear change a bit stiffer but a lot more positive. Mike at tech-speed spend nearly three hours fitting it and getting it adjusted to his satisfaction so I do not think it would be an easy DIY job for the inexperienced. The only problem I have found is that I wish I had had it done ages ago. I also think it is well worth the money.

Tricia Hill

Potentially very interested in the conversion Mike. The gearbox conversion cost seems very reasonable given the cost of the rod ends (I presume you are going to rose joint the selector cables?)

Rob Bell

Hanah, i guess any competant mechanic will be able to fit this kit, some time would be needed to make sure it is adjusted correctly so about 3-5 hours may be needed, you could save time/money by removing the centre console yourself so that he is only working on the nuts and bolts bit.From what I can gather the Techspeed quick shift is the same as the Moss item and the one in B&G catalogue, the only difference I have noted is the extra length of the pivots, which will reduce the amount of travel the lever takes to select gear,they all reuse the pivots and bearings,which are the main source of the problem,unless someone can tell me different(?)
As a matter of interest Tricia how much is the techspeed kit to buy and the labour cost for fitting?
cheers, Mike.


Techspeed kit is NOT the same as the B&G item.

My lack of technical knowledge is legendary so I can't tell you too much about the kit but I think:
they change the gear stick for a shorter one
replace the linkage at the gear leaver end
replace the linkage at the gear box end

Cost of the kit is £180 plus VAT which includes fitting.

As others have said I think that fitting is potentially the biggest issue.

I bought the Brown and Gammons item and Techspeed fitted it - and it was pants. Malcolm Gammons that Techspeed did not fit it right. Techspeed contend that much of what their kit is about is in the fitting - which is why they are very reluctant to supply the kit for DIY instalation.

I have to say that, for me, the Techspeed kit is a better buy at £180 because it includes fitting.

3-5 hours labour for installation will easily double the cost of your kit for those not up for DIY instalation.

But then, as most will know I'm a bit biased as my car is stuffed full of Techspeed stuff - including their gear change.




Only know that the total cost of the tech-speed gear linkage, parts and labout is £165.00 plus vat.

The also do the whole job without removing the centre consol. As Mike at tech-speed said "Its a bit like keyhole surgery but is saves the problem of refitting the consol."

Tricia Hill

Paul and Tricia, thanks for the reply, from this information it would seem that the kits on the market are of two designs but share common parts, the TS one changes the gear cable ends and supplies a modified ie longer pivot arm, gear stick,also a modified quadrant,the part that rotates up and down, with one that has a longer pivot for the cable connection.The B&G item supplies the gear shaft,quadrant and modified gear box lever but no gear cable linkages. Careful assembley and adjustment is crucial but not beyond the realms of a competant DIY.(Quote dirty Harry"a man has to know his limitations..").The kit I have developed is radically different and changes parts which require the assembly to be totally dismantled,the parts simply cannot be replaced in situ,my criteria was to look at all the weak links and replace any potential source of trouble,which my kit does by redesigned components not modified existing parts. For example the bushes that are in the existing linkages pivot on fully threaded screws with a lot of excess clearance between the components instead of a proper pivot machined to the correct diameter to fit in the bush allowing tighter control on the moving parts.Thanks for the feedback
Mike Satur

I am in Mike.
I want one
Hanah Kim

OK Mike, I'm game. I'll have one in the new year (if I get a job :-). Even though I have said that my standard change is satisfactoy, I have noticed it has started to degrade again so it is something I have to face soon anyway.

Mike, want to open a mainland Europe office in Holland :-)

Will the rear linkage part be enclosed? I have had a stone knock the linkage out at that end before. I have found many components that are not very well protected from road damage on the F the oil temp sensor is another one.
Tony Smith

Go on Mike, put me down as well.

Both of the sintered bearings on the original gear-shift broke up, and I had a quick-shift fitted as an alternative. This did not make the difference I had expected and uses the same bearings, so I would definitely be happier with a stronger design. Any improvement in the distance moved and stiffness would be a bonus.


Looks like we have enough interest to put this into production,anyone who orders one before the end of Jan 2001,when they will be available , will get a discount of the list price,just e-mail me with a requestto reserve a kit.
Many thanks Mike.

Mike, did I hear Discount? How much? :-)
Tony Smith


Maybe now is a good time to summarise the details of the kit:

1. Cost (full install and diy)
2. What parts are being supplied/replaced
3. What parts will need changing (if at all) due to normal wear and tear (after all these will not be available from MG dealers)
4. How the installation will be carried out
5. Discount (as mentioned earlier)
6. Any other info for punters to make a buy decision


Yeah, as soon as above details are confirmed, I will order the kit.. (if that is my price range of course)

And since delivery cost is always important for me please quote me on that ... Thanks.

To New Zealand air mail. Hopefully around 30 pounds or so.

Hanah Kim

Gaz,now is not a good time to answer your questions,as soon as these parts are available will provide more definate information,around 2nd week Jan,that way i will have done enough testing etc,be patient! Maybe an installation feature in MGW or comparison test?Cue Dr.Bell.

Mike I'd be interested in ordering one of these if you can confirm Gaz' questions above re: Price etc.

Also can you quote on Delivery to Gold Coast Australia.

When you have the info to hand.

Thanks Mike,

Scott Martin
Gold Coast Australia
Scott Martin


surprise. A new designed useful BBS product :)
Have seen the thread, but didn't read until now
Sounds great.

Mike wrote:
>The costs are 130GBP plus vat for the assembled part on an exchange basis or 95GBP for the kit of components,these costs are not finalised yet but should be within 5 GBP

Ahmm, I've got an original assembly for sale :)
If somebody likes to get it for advantages on the exchange base (I can refund it to Mike direct from Europe i.e.)
Gentlemen, make your quotes by Email please. Postage to London is about 13EURO for the 5Kilo part.

PS. cash collection for my next MGF *g*, hoping the assembly will also fit to the MY2000.
Dieter Koennecke

>>Maybe an installation feature in MGW or comparison test?<<

Very definitely! This is exactly what is needed, not only to get a comparison test, but to let people who don't read this BBS know about these kits.

When do you think you'll be ready Mike? February time?

Rob Bell

Now can we have a LHD version where the different stresses from the right hand are taken into account :-).

Mike, I would like the kit version too, but I'm not sure of the cash situation for me so soon into the new year.

I can trade a load of standard MGF bits, unexchanged over the years :-) If I win the lottery, you will be one of the first to know (along with Turbo Technics and Techspeed :-)

BTW, any more info on the electronic gear change idea?
Tony Smith

Hmmm, was that a call for the MGF testers to have another get-together Rob?

Im in, but we can't use the Airfield in Essex again as Mr. Hobbs has had the road adopted by the local council & it now sports a Gatso at about the 100mph point!!! (B*st*ards!)


Looking forward to the new year, new gear shift, new rear lighting idea, 2001 Treffen, NO MORE PAYMENTS TO ROVER FINANCE!!!!

Scarlet Fever

Andy, now all you have to do is pay off all the credit card companies for all the extras :-)
Tony Smith


Sounds great interested will keep an eye on the bbs

Have a great Christmas



Tony wrote...

>> Andy, now all you have to do is pay off all the credit card companies for all the extras :-) <<

Hmmm, have you been peeking at my credit card statement? :-)

Scarlet Fever

This thread was discussed between 25/11/2000 and 20/12/2000

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