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MG MGF Technical - Gearknob fitment

Will any aftermarket gearknob fit the F. I'm thinking in terms of the diameter of the gearstick. Surely this isnt a universal size. I know some gearknobs come with sleeves/ adapters.

I really want the one here:

Was watching American Graffiti last night and always liked John Milners Piston Gearknob in his car.

Want to make sure it will be suitable before I order though so any advice appreciated.
Bob Millar

I'm on my third gear knob this year. The shaft on the F is tapered. The first one fitted OK but sat tooo high. The second fitted very well, but I cut the black heat shrink of the shaft and replaced it with an Ally sleave. The third was a pain in the @rse. I had to put it on a lathe and open the entrance out to take into account the tapering, otherwise it would need the roof down to change gear.
So IMO one knob does not fit all.
Richard Petrocochino

The thread is not standard, even less standard when you saw the threaded section off (go on do it, it improves the feel _so much_)

Yes most gearknobs come with sleaves and various grub screws to acount for this (if they don't then they are missing something.
Will Munns

I assume the hole in the side of the piston will be for the grub screw so it should be OK.

Plus I'll be chopping the gearstick as well. What do you recommend the final length including the gearknob should be. It's horrendously long as standard. I've drove transit vans with shorter gearsticks and throws!
Bob Millar

Follow Will - cut the threaded section off, get a MOMO knob, use the correct sleeve and you are your own uncle. The gear change will feel like an SSK but with a stick poking out of the top, for the price of a new knob and 5 mins with a hacksaw.

Bob, we crossed in the ether.

I cut about 5 mm below the thread and got it about right FOR ME.

Suggest "a little and often" would be a good method.

I cut just the thread off, but my gearknob is bored out almost all the way thru, remove extra for any extra thickness. I really wouldn't want to remove much more.

Cutting thru the gearstick is quite laborous, I wouldn't want to do it twice, but that said, I wouldn't want to try and add stick back on top!

One thing I would say is _do not_ stick the thick sleave on the thread to 'see how it looks' because the rubber gets stuck in the knob and is an ar*e to remove.*

*if you fail to heed this advice then inserting a screwdriver between the rubber boot and the gearknob (removed) and squirting in wd40, then running the screwdriver all the way around the boot, then screwing a very long wood screw into the rubber gives you just enough leverage to get the boot out.
Will Munns

Cheers guys.
Bob Millar

>> The gear change will feel like an SSK <<

No it won't, but it will feel better than standard.

Shortening the stick results in a shorter throw and depending on how short you go, *some* additional weight (due to less leverage). You are however, still stuck with (worn?) plastic bushes and non-rose jointed cables, meaning that if your gear shift feels like 'stirring pudding' to start with, cutting the stick down will result in 'stirring a smaller, thicker pudding'.

SSK replaces the entire shift mechanism with a precision engineered one - it feels completely different to a standard shift, very notchy and precise, with a fair amount of weight to it. It uses phosphor bronze bushes and rose joints and is a huge improvement over standard.

Ergo a shorter stick may well improve the shift, but it won't make it feel like an SSK.

The only way to get a decent gear shift feel is to visit Techspeed or fit an SSK - they both feel very different to each other and both of them are streets ahead of simply cutting down the shaft.

Cutting down the shaft is a first step (indeed it is part of the Techspeed conversion, but it is nowhere near all of it). It is not a solution to a poor gear shift. For that you need to replace the OE parts that are worn, or likely to wear, and you also need to facilitate a more positive connection to the gear change cables - and this means rose joints.

Scarlet Fever

SF this shows some of the problens with bbs forums. Read my note again "will feel like an SSK but with a stick poking out of the top" in a reference to the problems Andy Bates has had recently.

A cut down shaft with a shiny knob is better than an SSK with mole grips IMO

Otherwise you and I are almost in agreement :-)

Perhaps he meant it would feel like an SSK because it woul be so heavy you would need to be built like Arnie to change gear ;-)

Ordered the gear knob yesterday. Hopefully this piston style will give it some more weight as well. Perhaps the extra weight might allow the gearstick to stay in the position relative to the gear its in i.e. Why after selecting fifth gear does the bloody gear stick fall to the left and give the appearance that you're in 3rd!!!
Bob Millar

Ahhh, suddenly it all becomes clear - sorry John, got my wires crossed a bit there! :-)

>> A cut down shaft with a shiny knob is better than an SSK with mole grips IMO <<

Sure is, but which has the biggest 'curiosity value'? LOL ;-)

Scarlet Fever

This thread was discussed between 04/12/2003 and 05/12/2003

MG MGF Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGF Technical BBS is active now.