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Hi Gear 5 Speed: 1500 to 1800

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Walt B. Walter Bellhaven
Sacramento, CA, USA   USA
For those that have the Hi Gear 5 Speed conversion: I just ordered one for my 1500 MGA. I've got a 3 main 1800 I'll slowly be working on as time and money permits to eventually put in the A. Trying to figure out what else I need to order from Hi Gear for when I swap in the 3 main. I'd probably put in the MGB clutch at the same time. I've read Barney's pages on the clutch swap and the 3 main conversion but get kind of lost trying to tally what I'd be using in the end. Any help would be appreciated.

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MGB65B Avatar
MGB65B Gold Member Thomas Aczel
Sydney, Kurrajong Hts, Australia   AUS
1962 MG MGA MkII
1965 MG MGB "Dad's Little White Car"
For an MGB clutch in an MGA with a Hi Gear/T9 conversion, as I recall, you need an MGB clutch throw-out fork and the bell housing configured for the MGB clutch. The MGB clutch is shorter (front to rear) than an MGA clutch.
I did this with my MGA, and Peter Gamble provided the appropriate bell housing and at the time he could also supply a new MGB clutch fork. (Perhaps he still has a stock of them). I just told Peter what I was after and he configured the kit accordingly, (although, funnily enough, the clutch fork wasn't in the boxes when the kit arrived. Peter said his wife may have forgotten to put it in! No problem, he posted me one immediately!)

3066james Avatar
3066james Gold Member Jim Cheatham
Amelia, VA, USA   USA
You’ll need to decide which back plate you’re going to use. I did this same conversion in my 1500 Coupe. If my memory is correct, I used the back plate from my 1500 engine to maintain the low-mount starter. I used my original starter (after having it rebuilt) and the 1500 flywheel (with new ring gear). I also went with the MGB clutch setup. New fork was included in my kit.

You’ll also want to decide if you’re going to do the conversion to the back plate to add a rear main seal or live with the scroll seal.

Good luck. You’ll love the conversion.

Jim

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colynf Avatar
colynf Colyn Firth
South Yorkshire, UK   GBR
When I had my 3-bearing MGB engine and the Hi-Gear Engineering 5-speed conversion, I stayed with the 3-bearing rear engine standard plate that came on the engine.
Hi-Gear provided a their own new correct bell-housing to match it with the T9 (plus the correct clutch operating lever (fork).

Tell Peter what you are doing and he will send you everything you need to make it work, he needs to know which back plate you are using so that it fits your engine correctly.

Hi Gears special bell-housings are marked to identify them, mine was marked "EB" which stands for "Early B".

You can modify the back plate to fit a rear crank oil seal (See http://mgaguru.com/mgtech/engine/cs202c.htm )

I just continued with the standard "oil-control" scroll and so my car had the MGA oil drip problem smiling smiley .

The 5-speed box is a really great modification to do to an MGA, the synchro on first gear is almost as much a benefit as the over-driven fifth gear.

Cheers
Colyn

Be Coming Avatar
Be Coming Kelvin Dodd
So. Calif., USA   USA
Walt.

The High Gear conversion uses an interchangeable mounting block for the clutch throw out fork. If you want to run the MGB clutch, you need the early MGB clutch fork and the matching mounting block. That's all.


Kelvin.

Walt B. Walter Bellhaven
Sacramento, CA, USA   USA
When I talked to Peter about my plan......I think thats all he said I would need ( the block and the fork) and so thats what I ordered. I was wondering if I'd need an MGB bell housing in addition to the MGA one he's sending, but if I'm following correctly......I won't need that if I'm keeping the MGA rear engine plate. And considering the early MGB plate also employed a scroll seal.....there's no reason to make that swap. Is that correct? Would I still be able to use an MGB flywheel or just have the MGA flywheel lightened?

MGB65B Avatar
MGB65B Gold Member Thomas Aczel
Sydney, Kurrajong Hts, Australia   AUS
1962 MG MGA MkII
1965 MG MGB "Dad's Little White Car"
It will be easiest to use the MGB 3 bearing flywheel that you have as it has the three (as opposed to two) pin mounting for the MGB clutch. It’s also lighter than the pre-Mk II MGA flywheel.
You can modify the MGA flywheel to accept the MGB clutch, but if you have the MGB flywheel there’s no need to bother.

I incidentally do have a rear seal on my car and it’s really nice to not have that continuous leak of oil from the back of the engine. It’s kind of anti-social these days. But Barney has photos of a number of drip trays you can hang off the back to catch the oil. I had one for a couple of years and it certainly made things significantly better than before.

colynf Avatar
colynf Colyn Firth
South Yorkshire, UK   GBR
Walt
If you stay with the MGB back-plate then Hi Gear will send you their special early MGB type bell-housing which will fit your early MGB engine perfectly.
It will save you some work changing back plates too.

Keep the the original MGA gearbox with its standard bell-housing and store it away to give to the next owner in case he wants to change the car back to its original spec. (most unlikely smiling smiley )

The new Hi-Gear bell housing bolts onto the Ford T9 gearbox to make it match up to your MGB engines back-plate perfectly.

Make sure you tell Peter that you are fitting an early MGB engine into your MGA so that he sends you the correct bell-housing. and all the correct parts to do the job. (sorry if I have repeated this but it is really important.)

Like Thomas says, just use the MGB engines back plate, it gets complicated if you use the MGA backplate.
Also, if you keep the MGB backplate, you can keep the the MGB flywheel which is a little lighter than the MGAs and also, you can use an MGB clutch too.

Up to you whether you modify the MGB back-plate to fit a crank oil seal (which is a bit more work), or stay with the oil scroll.
Make sure that you get a new release bearing to suit your new clutch arm, I stayed with the carbon type rather than the roller type, I would ask Peter which type he recommends.

Cheers
Colyn

downunderdude George M
Perth, WA, Australia   AUS
1955 MG TF 1500
1962 MG MGA
I am in a quandary I want to put a Hi Gear T9 in my MGA but first i need to know which backing plate and clutch setup is in my car now, I have a 18GB 5 bearing engine with the standard original 3 speed MGA gearbox, of course Peter needs to know which plate and which clutch I have, but I don't know as the car was like this when I got it, right now I don't want to pull the car apart just to find out answers to the **questions as I am not sure when I will get it installed
**(1) what plate
(2) what clutch.
Is the a solution to this problem, any help appreciated

If it helps, when they talk about starter position high and low I reckon my starter must be the high one as if it was any higher it would hit the distributor

Regards

George



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-07 05:24 PM by downunderdude.

Walt B. Walter Bellhaven
Sacramento, CA, USA   USA
To be clear.......I've got a rebuilt 1500 currently in the car and won't have the 3 main built for some time. I'm trying to get everything I need from Peter in just one shipment. So what I've ordered is the Hi-Gear kit for the 1500 + the mgb clutch fork and block for when the 3 main is ready in a couple of years. No MGB bell-housing was ordered and as I understood it.....wasn't necessary if I use the MGA back plate when I install the 3 main.

George....you might want to start a new thread with your questions......they might get buried on this one.

In reply to # 3887574 by colynf Walt
If you stay with the MGB back-plate then Hi Gear will send you their special early MGB type bell-housing which will fit your early MGB engine perfectly.
It will save you some work changing back plates too.

Keep the the original MGA gearbox with its standard bell-housing and store it away to give to the next owner in case he wants to change the car back to its original spec. (most unlikely smiling smiley )

The new Hi-Gear bell housing bolts onto the Ford T9 gearbox to make it match up to your MGB engines back-plate perfectly.

Make sure you tell Peter that you are fitting an early MGB engine into your MGA so that he sends you the correct bell-housing. and all the correct parts to do the job. (sorry if I have repeated this but it is really important.)

Like Thomas says, just use the MGB engines back plate, it gets complicated if you use the MGA backplate.
Also, if you keep the MGB backplate, you can keep the the MGB flywheel which is a little lighter than the MGAs and also, you can use an MGB clutch too.

Cheers
Colyn

colynf Avatar
colynf Colyn Firth
South Yorkshire, UK   GBR
Walt,
the T9 5'speed box will NOT fit ANY B-Series MG engine without a special bell-housing that adapts the engine backplate to fit the T9 box.
The standard MGA bell-housing will not fit the T9.

So, which ever engine you decide to use, you will need a special bell-housing to adapt it to fit the T9.

You really should call and speak to Peter Gamble and ask him what you need. He is a really nice guy and he also really knows his stuff.
Colyn

downunderdude George M
Perth, WA, Australia   AUS
1955 MG TF 1500
1962 MG MGA
Thanks, yes Colyn I have spoken to Peter via email but the message is always the same he needs to know what back plate and clutch I have on my car attached to the 18 GB 5 bearing engine, I don't know the answer to that as I am not up to speed on such matters , so to speak.
I even put this forward to Peter, forget my existing gearbox, back plate, clutch and every thing else other than a bare engine , what do I need ? and apparently that is a can't do as he still needs to know what i don't know, and like I said I don't want to pull the engine just to find out as i want to use the car until I decide to do the conversion.
Are there any different characteristics between the MGA back plate and an MGB back plate that may be obvious from looking at it from the engine bay while bolted up to the Box

Regards

mgainaussie Avatar
mgainaussie Gary Lock
Gold Coast, Australia   AUS
George, You must know someone in the MG Club in WA...if you are not a member, then join, and ask questions. Sounds like you are trying to do this all by yourself..dont! There are plenty of people there who would be pleased to advise/help. As I've siad to you before, let me know, and I can russell up some contacts.

Walt B. Walter Bellhaven
Sacramento, CA, USA   USA
Ok......I guess I wasn't being clear. The Hi-Gear kit I ordered is for the 1500....... WITH the Hi-Gear bellhousing to fit the 1500 rear plate. I'm asking if I need to buy the Hi-Gear MGB bellhousing for 3 main 1800 I'm building or can I use the Hi-Gear 1500 bellhousing and the 1500 rear plate on the 3 main 1800? My preference is not to have to buy 2 bellhousings (the one from the 1500 kit AND an additional Hi-Gear MGB bellhousing).

George.....you're getting crossed up in this thread.....start a new one.


In reply to # 3887667 by colynf Walt,
the T9 5'speed box will NOT fit ANY B-Series MG engine without a special bell-housing that adapts the engine backplate to fit the T9 box.
The standard MGA bell-housing will not fit the T9.

So, which ever engine you decide to use, you will need a special bell-housing to adapt it to fit the T9.

You really should call and speak to Peter Gamble and ask him what you need. He is a really nice guy and he also really knows his stuff.
Colyn

colynf Avatar
colynf Colyn Firth
South Yorkshire, UK   GBR
Walt,
glad we have we have sorted that confusion out.

If you plan to first do the T9 conversion with your 1500 engine, it would make sense to pull the engine, check out the info that Peter needs and then order the kit from him.
Im sure you can work out which engine rearplate that you have- see http://mgaguru.com/mgtech/engine/cs200.htm

Barneys has pics and measuements of all types on there.
But you can't measure stuff like flywheel diameter, clutch types etc with the engine in place.

I would take out the engine at the end of the season, measure everything that Peter needs, order the kit and spend the 2 weeks? delivery time cleaning up the engine bay.

Peter will tell you at that point what you need and also if, at a later date, you can then use his 1500 bell-housing again to fit to the 3- brg 1800 engine.

Personally, I would live with the stock 4-speed box until you have the 1800 engine ready to fit.
Then you only have to pull the engine the once and fit the T9 at the same time.

(I recently swapped my 3- brg engine for a 5- bearing engine and I wished to re-use my Hi Gear Early B bell-housing.
Peter told me which engine rearplate plate I needed to use and got me to measure the flywheel diameter on my new engine.
Then he supplied the parts I needed to do the job)
Cheers
Colyn

George,
Walt is correct, sorry, I was answering his question and not yours.
If you start another thread with your question it will make it easier for us to answer.

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