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MG TD TF 1500 - TD 5-Speed Transmission Conversion

I am doing a frame up restoration of a 1952 TD where the tub is off & the engine is out. I am thinking of converting to a 5-speed transmission. My TD has a 1950 engine and I have read that the engine will have to be moved approximately 10mm forward.

Has anyone had any problems with the forward movement?

I have a LHD car and the old oil filter setup, were there any problems with the oil filter with respect to the forward movement?

(The rear end has been converted to the MGA 4:3 gear ratio)

Any comments/suggestions are appreciated!


Best regards,
-Michael O’Brien
Michael O'Brien

You might want to rethink the 5-speed in combination with the 4.3 rear end. I put in a 4.3 first, and was happy, but decided to add a 5-speed Datsun 210 box (no forward movement required)afterwards. While I enjoy the low RPM cruising in gears 1-4, the 5-speed actually reduces acceleration above about 60MPH, so acceleration is almost impossible, so I never use 5th gear. I'm sure the experts can explain better.
L Karpman

I just ordered the 5 speed you speak of. There is actually a new version that does NOT require the engine to be touched. You can email me efhask at roadrunner.com for details.
Ed
efh Haskell

I also have the Datsun 210 5 speed in my 1950 TD.
When I converted the rear end I went to a 4.55 to avoid the the problems Larry mentioned above.
I use all 5 gears and love it.
I can cruise easily in the 70's.
I noticed yesterday coming down the Interstate from NY I was doing 80+. The car wanted to do more but I didn't. It was a tough fight but this time I won.

I agree that a 4.3 and a 5 speed may not be desirable. If I were you(and I'm not) I would give priority to the 5 speed and consider replacing the rear.

Good luck,
Mort
Mort 50 TD

I also thought about a 5 speed transmission in my TF, but dropped the idea for a 4.1 rear. I'm glad I did, as the 1500 has plenty of power and the car goes like the wind! I can even use first gear! I love it. If you have the original engine in the car, a 4.3 in 5th gear on flat ground, a strong head wind will more than likely slow you down, or at least make the engine struggle. If you are set on a 5 speed, get a higher ratio rear. JMHO. PJ
Paul161

My TF has the Type 9 5-speed gearbox and a 5.125:1 axle ratio, but I will be changing to. 4.55:1 axle ratio very soon. With 1330cc and Stage 2 mods it should have around 70bhp and be able to pull it OK in most conditions. I have the set-up where the engine is moved forwards about 10mm, but with RHD there is no issue between the steering column and the oil pump / filter housing. The alternative installation method where the engine does not need the engine to move forwards requires the tranverse tubular chassis cross member to be cut away so it clears the gearbox. However a massive alloy casting is provided in the kit to hold it all together. It certainly looks more than adequate for the job, though some might still be nervous about cutting that cross member.
Dave H
Dave Hill

Thank you all for your responses. You have given me some things to think about.

Unfortunately, I don't have Donald Trump's checkbook so I have to go with my rebuilt 4:3 rear end.

I am on the fence on getting a 5-speed or having the original gearbox rebuilt.

-Michael
Michael O'Brien

If you already have a 4.3 under the car I would leave the 4 spd unless you have a highly modified engine with more HP that can pull all that gear with an OD. I think you will shoots yourself in the foot otherwise

Cheers

Bill Chasser jr
TD4834
W. A. Chasser Jr

Michael,

I converted my TD to a 5-speed box recently. Bob West did the work using Peter Gamble [Hi-Gear Engineering] 's kit and the Ford T-9.

Peter himself drove over to check the work as he said this was one of the first where the engine stayed exactly in-situ.

The result is excellent, smooth gearchange and 5th makes for so much more comfortable driving. I decided to do the same for my 1500 MGA, again the work done by Bob West. I drove the MGA on the September Land's End to John o'Groats tour, covering over 3000 miles.

20 years ago I would never have considered such 'sacrilege' to my MGs, but times and ideas change!

Best of luck!

Doug

DRP Wallace

1 more shot...

DRP Wallace

Here's a shot showing the rear cross member being removed.
Regards
Declan

D Burns

Piece removed. The spigot bush was difficult to remove and required a slide hammer. The trick with the grease filling and clutch alignment tool being hammered in wouldn't shift it.
Regards
Declan

D Burns

Cast cross member installed
Regards
Declan

D Burns

Here's what the casting looks like-quite a beefy chunk of metal.
Regards
Declan


D Burns

I'm not sure I am prepared to cut a cross-member, which I see as more damaging than moving the engine forward 1cm!

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

That's the one I just ordered as well. Is that a brake line attached to the new cross member? I don't think mine goes that way (TD)??
Ed
efh Haskell

efh
There is no brake line attached to the cross member-that could be my remote reservoir kit you are confusing it with.

Regards
Declan
D Burns

Declan, how was that slide hammer attached to the spigot bearing?
efh Haskell

efh,
Like this one:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Inner-Bearing-Puller-Set-Remover-Slide-Hammer-Internal-Kit-8-32mm9pc-Blind-Hole-/281830471000?hash=item419e67b558:g:nowAAOSwdpxUYUpC
It has a lip that goes beyond the end of the spigot. The tool is tapered and on tightening expands inside catching the spigot on the lip which then can be knocked back out with the hammer action. I hope I explained it correctly.

Regards
Declan
D Burns

Perfect Declan, thank you. I even found a video that shows it in action. I learned something new.
Ed
efh Haskell

Hi Declan,

I note from your photos that your car is a left hooker. Right hand drive cars do have a brake pipe crossing the car from master cylinder to the rear brake feed on the left hand side.

I also have to concur with Tom. Why cut the cross member and fit such a heavy duty casting when moving the engine forwards a wisker is easy.


Jan T
J Targosz

Jan,
That is something you will have to ask Peter Gamble from Hi Gear Engineering. He did mention an issue of the brake pipe and the exhaust on RHD cars to me when I ordered the kit and told me that his new kit was only available for LHD cars at the time until the issue is resolved. LHD was no problem. That was late 2014.

Regards
Declan
D Burns

Late to the thread, but better then never...

Having recently replaced the TD rear with a 4.3, I am perfectly happy as it is now.
I had condidered both options, but then opted for the 4.3 which is way less intrusive. I don´t feel the need to go for a 5-speed any more.

Rgds, Mike
Mike Fritsch

Mike - my ideal car has a 4.3, a 5-speed, and a supercharger. It's got lots of power, and cruises great when I want to take to the highway. Hills are a breeze, and the car just feels like it has the perfect balance of power.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

In New Zealand cutting a frame cross member requires a costly compliance inspection and engineers report, so we have never done this, and would never do it.

I have always had the view that any modification should be easily reversible.

I have a 4.875, 5 speed and supercharger that I find both perfect for racing and road use, we have a lot of hills. I like the acceleration the 4.875 provides.

We have completed many 5 speed conversions, Toyota and the Type 9 and have found the best combination is with a 4.55 diff. Even the 1500cc are OK with this combination.

Toms modified engine will run OK as he said with a 4.3

It all depends on the roads that you use. Freeway, Motorway driving call for a taller ratio, but B roads etc. suit the lower ratio.

Each to their own.

Rod Brayshaw

Rod,
What Toyota trannie did you use in which car ??
Steve
Steve Wincze

I have a stage 2 tuned engine in my TF with I suspect a standard rear axle ratio. With my Type 9 gearbox the car pulls like a steam loco. I can change up to fifth gear from 40 mph. What is especially noticeable though is the lack of noise. The car simply purrs along and is as quite as my Toyota RAV 4.

Jan T
J Targosz

Assuming you can find one, what is a reasonable price to pay for a type 9 transmission in the USA? I realize you still have to get the HiGear components.

Thanks,

Kirk


Kirk Trigg

Tom, I agree, with the supercharger the 5-speed is probably justified.
I was considering a lower ratio than the 4.3, but then there´s a hill just next to my house which I can now still climb in 2nd gear but probably too steep for a lower diff ratio.

BTW - if anyone needs a T9 - I have one sitting in the attic and willing to sell.
Rgds, Mike
Mike Fritsch

Hi Kirk,

If you are a capable engineer Andy King sells the conversion bellhousing for about £300. Everything else for the conversion is easily fabricated. I think the HiGear kit is excellent for someone who wants everything as a single package.

Cheers

Jan T

J Targosz

Thanks Jan, I may try this route. I have located a wrecked 5 speed Xr4ti Merkur that can be had at reasonable (I think) cost. I also have access to a friend's machine shop some distance away. My machining/engineering skills are limited, but it might make for an interesting education for me over the upcoming holidays.

Kirk
Kirk Trigg

Hi-Gear will sell their kit without the transmission.
Gene Gillam

Gene, thanks for mentioning that. I'll have to study that option as well.
Kirk Trigg

Have made a conversion kit myself incorporating a Sierra 5 speed gearbox and a bell housing, that didn't require relocation of engine. What a pleasure to drive. I have one more complete set that I have planned to take to Ebay, but haven't had time to do so yet.
Today I am also on my way to pick up another more modern BMW Gatrag gearbox after overhaul that I also have modified. Neither of them require relocation of engine, nor cutting of cross member. Both are overhauled and in very good condition and the shaft is ground to 5/8" so the spigot bush in the fly wheel has not to be replaced. Newer modification kits often require cutting a section of the cross member behind the gearbox. If you are interested in any of them let me know.
I also have transmission cover in steal, that gives more stability compared to the plastic covers normally used.


YS Strom

YS Strom,

Please contact me offline. My email address is listed with my name.

Thanks,

Kirk
Kirk Trigg

Hello Kirk
More inf on gearboxes and even on a supercharger kit for sale has been mailed to you.
Best regards
Yngve
YS Strom

Re. T9 conversions

Even if I am old enough to have gained a lot of experience with un synced first gears I find pleasure in having a sync first gear when in traffic jams.

The other Getrag gearbox I have converted has also rear sync.
YS Strom

Yngve,

I'm not seeing your email. I'm not sure what happened.

Kirk
Kirk Trigg

??
Mail me then yngve@sua.se
B.r.
Yngve
YS Strom

This thread was discussed between 25/10/2015 and 11/11/2015

MG TD TF 1500 index

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