The MGA With An Attitude
FORD "Type-9" 5-SPEED INSTALLATION in the MGA (2) - GT-403A

These notes are provided by Neil Ferguson in Victoria, Australia, including issues with installation.

Got the total kit (reconditioned standard ratio gearbox, new support for box,new shift, clutch housing, etc) from Hi-Gear in UK and given the good exchange rate it was great value, and all well made. I did have some peripheral hassles, all the big tasks like lift out and in, alignment etc went well using cheap lifting frame ex Supercheap and a leveler (total about A$250 for both). Don't have my files with me, but recollect about A$2600 all up and excellent service from Hi-Gear. I did keep some notes about the hassles during the job and wrote a thread many moons ago, repeat below, in summary the best investment I have made in my MGA since buying it 21 years ago, transformational and a very logical change.

For those of you who do a job like this once per lifetime and also don't have friends who share their love of oil and grease I have made a few notes below on some of the areas that gave me problems/delays/frustration and sometimes blood loss. The whole job stretched over 10 days and I averaged about 3-hrs a day, but included other car jobs whilst I had access, so about 24 to 26 hrs on the kit incl reverse light etc.

1) Get good quality and high stands..I went cheapo and got a clearance of 35cm and struggled like I was in a straightjacket. Your life for a long time is down under, so you need another 5 to 10cm.
2) The exhaust to manifold connection is held by three short pathetic brass nuts that go round if they are coughed on. It took me three days to get one of them off. I wanted to replace with Barneys idea of two stainless steel nuts but could not get in time (I live in a metric world) but managed to get long brass ones.
3) Get a special sleeve removal tool for getting the existing spigot (brass sleeve) out of the rear of the engine.
4) The speedo angle drive was a nightmare. It had to go on with the gearbox in near final position as it is vulnerable and flimsy. I spent 2 hrs using needle pliers trying to get the spring washer in place before going and buying spring loaded special pliers. Even then it was a struggle and I hack-sawed grooves in the pliers pins to get them to hold the eyes of the washer. I also followed recent advice on the BBS and filed off a lot of material off the corner of the drive to increase the clearance inside the tunnel.
5) I prewired the reverse switch (see pic on recent thread) and it ended up with about 5 mm of clearance inside the tunnel and was easy to install and connect ..I fitted a Moss unit under the rear bumper and wired it up and works well and looks natural.
6)The lower of the two starter bolts bottomed out on the new bell housing and needed 2 thick washers..I had not trial fitted this bolt outside car during trial mating of the engine and box.
7)Hi-Gear recommend removing and Loctite-ing two bottom bolts (on the bell to box flange) and part of the new support assembly after installation of the latter. But they could not be withdrawn as a transverse section of the car is in the way, so I just made sure they were truly tight and will check after a few weeks.
8) Avoid a back step. I had removed the distributor cover during engine removal and during re-installation I bolted up the starter to find the rear metal clip of cover had been trapped behind the starter.
9) The gear lever did not interfere with the existing cover cutout, but the offset bar underneath is too close to the underside of the cover and hits the cover whilst it tilts... I had bought an MGB boot as per Hi-Gear recommendation and so I cut out the hole to an oval as per the bottom profile of the MGB boot and also raised the whole cover about 2mm by inserting a hard rubber seal strip between it and the tunnel. The end effect, once carpeted, is very like the original.
10) I read all about the horrors of oil filling the gearbox so I dug amongst my old boat gear and came across the 500cc syringe. With the wheel off you can get this in horizontal and the plastic pipe into the box and fill without a mess. The box took about 1.3 litres. So with this method there is no need for more tunnel holes. I also find it relatively easy to screw in the plug using an Allen key from underneath.

The big jobs (engine removal, etc) all went well and [BBS] and the Hi-Gear instructions were great. The car is transformed, precise, positive gear changing and no crashing into 1st. Recommend the conversion to everyone!

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