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Clutch used with Datsun 5 spd conversion

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Windrideror Avatar
Windrideror Carl Rosenburg
Redmond, OR, USA   USA
What is the most common clutch setup used with the Datsun 5 speed ? The original MG unit or do people switch to the Datsun setup ? If the Datsun what is a good brand name to utilize ? Trying to get everything in line to install the Datsun transmission into my car.

Thanks Carl

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Billm Avatar
Billm Bill Masquelier
Santee, CA, USA   USA
The Gerard/Morrisservice adapter uses a Datsun clutch, Rivergate uses a proprietary clutch
BillM

Yankeedriver Avatar
Yankeedriver Platinum AdvertiserAdvertiser Joel Young
Albuquerque, NM, USA   USA
Congrats on finding one! I've found six and sold or given away four to forum members over the past few years... but am having trouble finding more these days. That's partly because I am not traveling around NM and northern TX as much since a 'day job' change in 2015.

I have a Rivergate, so as Bill says, got mine from Will, the proprietor. I could've sworn there was a thread on this forum discussing that the mods Will does are fairly easily replicated by a DIYer, but maybe I'm wrong...? Can anyone check me on this?

Joel



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-01-07 06:38 PM by Yankeedriver.


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ice Avatar
ice Gold Member Larry Ice
Lawrenceville, GA, USA   USA
Joel, I have a Rivergate 5 spd as well. My kit came with the clutch and it has held up well so far. I only have about 5K miles on the kit so I expect the clutch will outlast me! The basic difference I have been led to believe is as yo say Will's uses the Midget clutch plate and Gerard's uses the Datsun part. I have basically a stock engine so I feel the OEM 1275 parts will hold up under my use. If I were going to race my car I porb would checkout Gerard's kit with it's larger surface area.



Iceman

Atlanta GA

60 AH MK1
62 AH MKII
67 Midget
71 Midget

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Windrideror Avatar
Windrideror Carl Rosenburg
Redmond, OR, USA   USA
So my problem lies in that I have the install kit from Gerard to put the Datsun Transmission into the car but he no longer has a machine shop that can do the mods to the flywheel. Going to try and find someone locale that can. So what will be the best brand clutch kit to use? Luk, Borg Warner or some other brand? Gerard sent me info on how to have the flywheel machined but it is Greek to me. Hopefully the local NAPA machine shop can make sense of it.

Perdido Avatar
Perdido Gold Member Rut Rutledge
Tuscaloosa, AL, USA   USA
Carl,
I have one of Gerards kits with a machined flywheel that came with it, a flywheel that I had machined locally for the Datsun clutch along with a rear adapter plate that I had made for pennies on the dollar and a Rivergate clutch disc. The Datsun clutch offers a little more surface area, but the Rivergate disc is more than up to the task and there’s no machining to be done which saves a bunch of money. You can also contact a local drivetrain shop and they can make up a clutch disc for less than the machine work on the flywheel. Lots of options out there and they work well, it just depends on how much you want to spend.
Rut



1960 Bugeye undergoing restoration, 1275
1970 MGB, Pale Primrose
1967 Triumph TR4a
1966 Triumph TR4a
When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life. John Lennon

Windrideror Avatar
Windrideror Carl Rosenburg
Redmond, OR, USA   USA
Larry, Rut., Thanks for the reply's still going to have to figure this out. Kind of leaning towards having the flywheel modified to except the Datsun clutch and pressure plate so that components are kind of from the same manufacture. Just need to decide which one is best to use. On another note Rut did you ever post any info on the short shitter that you built to use with yours?

Thanks Carl

Yankeedriver Avatar
Yankeedriver Platinum AdvertiserAdvertiser Joel Young
Albuquerque, NM, USA   USA
In reply to # 3658113 by ice Joel, I have a Rivergate 5 spd as well. My kit came with the clutch and it has held up well so far. I only have about 5K miles on the kit so I expect the clutch will outlast me! The basic difference I have been led to believe is as yo say Will's uses the Midget clutch plate and Gerard's uses the Datsun part. I have basically a stock engine so I feel the OEM 1275 parts will hold up under my use. If I were going to race my car I porb would checkout Gerard's kit with it's larger surface area.

Larry,

Well, I hope you outlast the clutch rather than the other way around--but mine's held up well, too.

When I pull my engine to rebuild the bottom end before getting froggy with the supercharger, I'll try to find time to investigate an alternative. If Will's kit uses a modified Midget clutch plate, it shouldn't be rocket science to modify a racing-grade Spridget clutch to work with our Datsun 5-speeds.

Plus, I've now got a machine shop as a neighbor whose foreman enjoys getting away from aerospace and such to do my Spridget-oriented projects. That guy can make virtually anything, and says he's going to train me on their old Bridgeport mill, which sits idle much of the time and has a cool sliding attachment designed to cut spines that never gets used.

Joel


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ice Avatar
ice Gold Member Larry Ice
Lawrenceville, GA, USA   USA
Joel, see if Gerard would want you to make up a couple of plates so he could supply them to those that buy his adapter kit! Nice to have a friend that has tools and knows how to use them.



Iceman

Atlanta GA

60 AH MK1
62 AH MKII
67 Midget
71 Midget

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KRCaddis Avatar
KRCaddis Gene Johnson
Santa Margarita, CA, USA   USA
1961 Morris Minor Pickup "Morris, Of Course"
I'm putting a Toyota T-50 in my Minor pickup after finding an adapter plate, a machined 1275 flywheel, and pressure plate from a Sprite owner, and scoring a fresh Corolla wreck, saving hundreds over kit prices. The Corolla clutch plate was too large for the new locating pins, and the resurfaced/lightened the flywheel allowed a larger disc than a Midgets. Earlier conversion clutch plates were either NLA, or from Europe and far too expensive.

I contacted Oleg at California Custom Clutch (http://california-custom-clutch.business.site/) (626)448-7432, an older family-owned business, who made one up to fit using my dimensions. He made recommendations on the specifics on the construction to best meet my application, which may eventually add a Metro turbocharger His price was very reasonable and it took about a week once authorized. I'm pleased at the personal attention and expertise from Oleg.

pixelsmithusa Avatar
Carl,

I now have someone who I have set up to do the flywheel modifications. He has high-end CNC equipment and the knowledge and skill to do the modifications with a great deal of precision, most likely better than you could have done at a machine shop. He owns a Sprite, as well as have one of my kits, so he's familiar with all the particulars. He has built many hot rods and high-end vehicles, and done lots of different types of fabrication. His rate is much less than what I have heard quotes from others who have attempted to have this done. Contact me offlist (direct email please) if you are interested and I will give you his contact info. He's also in the Northwest, so it will be convenient for you.

In reply to # 3658190 by Windrideror Larry, Rut., Thanks for the reply's still going to have to figure this out. Kind of leaning towards having the flywheel modified to except the Datsun clutch and pressure plate so that components are kind of from the same manufacture. Just need to decide which one is best to use. On another note Rut did you ever post any info on the short shitter that you built to use with yours?

Thanks Carl



Gerard

http://gerardsgarage.com/





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-01-08 01:38 AM by pixelsmithusa.

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Perdido Avatar
Perdido Gold Member Rut Rutledge
Tuscaloosa, AL, USA   USA
In reply to # 3658190 by Windrideror Larry, Rut., Thanks for the reply's still going to have to figure this out. Kind of leaning towards having the flywheel modified to except the Datsun clutch and pressure plate so that components are kind of from the same manufacture. Just need to decide which one is best to use. On another note Rut did you ever post any info on the short shitter that you built to use with yours?

Thanks Carl

Carl,
I actually got back on it yesterday after church. Between building a house, shop, Jeep Wrangler, TR4a, and finishing up the Bugeye and my only power tool being a borrowed drill press, I’m making good progress! The goal is a sub $20 kit that can be assembled by just about anyone, but functions and appears as a professional conversion. One change is using an offshore shift lever (under $5) which allows you to change the shifter ‘ratio’ to suit your preference for ‘feel’. The shifter functions really well and once I get the look I want I’ll post a diy with a parts list. Joel has been kind enough to offer his site and I’ll make it available here as well. Stay tuned!
Rut



1960 Bugeye undergoing restoration, 1275
1970 MGB, Pale Primrose
1967 Triumph TR4a
1966 Triumph TR4a
When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life. John Lennon

Yankeedriver Avatar
Yankeedriver Platinum AdvertiserAdvertiser Joel Young
Albuquerque, NM, USA   USA
In reply to # 3658233 by KRCaddis I'm putting a Toyota T-50 in my Minor pickup after finding an adapter plate, a machined 1275 flywheel, and pressure plate from a Sprite owner, and scoring a fresh Corolla wreck, saving hundreds over kit prices. The Corolla clutch plate was too large for the new locating pins, and the resurfaced/lightened the flywheel allowed a larger disc than a Midgets. Earlier conversion clutch plates were either NLA, or from Europe and far too expensive.

I contacted Oleg at California Custom Clutch (http://california-custom-clutch.business.site/) (626)448-7432, an older family-owned business, who made one up to fit using my dimensions. He made recommendations on the specifics on the construction to best meet my application, which may eventually add a Metro turbocharger His price was very reasonable and it took about a week once authorized. I'm pleased at the personal attention and expertise from Oleg.

Gene,

I'm really interested in learning more about the T-50 DIY conversion. Any chance you'd consider sharing the vehicles that use the correct T-50 configuration and the company that makes the adapter plate? Better yet, would you consider starting a post with some pics? I'm supercharging my 1275 Midget and looking for a Bugeye to do the same thing, and it seems like there are a lot more Toyota trannies of that vintage around than the Datsun 5-speed.

Joel


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KRCaddis Avatar
KRCaddis Gene Johnson
Santa Margarita, CA, USA   USA
1961 Morris Minor Pickup "Morris, Of Course"
I don't know what info I can offer. I bought the adapter, pressure plate and flywheel as a set through Craigslist. I'd looked for a while for those and a trans. and good luck brought those parts first. The seller was local, besides, and was clearing out his extra parts stash. He'd had two sets, one in Sprite. He also had NIB 0.60 pistons and other stuff I didn't need. I don't know the manufacturer of the plate or what car the pressure plate is for, but likely it's the Toyota. The flywheel face is machined flat and redrilled for locating pins and bolts and tapped. Used is probably your best bet for those parts, but I traced the adapter so it could be reproduced (in theory).

The tranny took several more months to locate on a nationwide search. I located four US wrecking yards(brokers) that claimed to have stick Corollas. They ranged from $500 to $750, plus freight. Florida, Missouri, N. Dakota, and Montana; they might all be the same one. I located a fifth in Alaska that I decided on, but it was snowed in until Spring.

Meanwhile, on Craigslist again, I found a very nice but recently totalled '82 Corolla - with a complete driveline, in Southern California. I drove there, rented a one-way tow dolly and I was back the same day. I re sold the car w/o the tranny and driveshaft. The excellent engine, AC, alloy wheels, and tires were worth more than I'd paid.

I'd had a Datsun tranny and was going to go that route but it turned into a bad experience. I had a BOP 215 at the time and was seriously tempted... it would be a massive undertaking, so I decided on the Metro Turbo and the T-50. That seemed easier. The whole box opens up diagonally so rebuilding is much simplified. Parts are available.T-50 kits and trannys are still available in Australia; they'd bought gobs in the 80's. But shiping seems to be their primary source of foreign income. And it turns out that RWD Corollas and T-50 is in demand for drift racing and hot rods in Puerto Rico, prized in Florida, and gobbled up here for Spridget racing long ago, so there a few left in the US. I was patient and just very fortunate. I'm not in a hurry as I've been working on the car since '83.

So, depending on your budget, Dellows in AUS, or local hunting could be an option if you have contact in the right racing circles. A lot of people are now using the more available Ford T-9 or the GM T-5. Bellhousings are available but not cheap (whereas, I am!).












The flyheel

Yankeedriver Avatar
Yankeedriver Platinum AdvertiserAdvertiser Joel Young
Albuquerque, NM, USA   USA
In reply to # 3658518 by KRCaddis I don't know what info I can offer. I bought the adapter, pressure plate and flywheel as a set through Craigslist. I'd looked for a while for those and a trans. and good luck brought those parts first. The seller was local, besides, and was clearing out his extra parts stash. He'd had two sets, one in Sprite. He also had NIB 0.60 pistons and other stuff I didn't need. I don't know the manufacturer of the plate or what car the pressure plate is for, but likely it's the Toyota. The flywheel face is machined flat and redrilled for locating pins and bolts and tapped. Used is probably your best bet for those parts, but I traced the adapter so it could be reproduced (in theory).

The tranny took several more months to locate on a nationwide search. I located four US wrecking yards(brokers) that claimed to have stick Corollas. They ranged from $500 to $750, plus freight. Florida, Missouri, N. Dakota, and Montana; they might all be the same one. I located a fifth in Alaska that I decided on, but it was snowed in until Spring.

Meanwhile, on Craigslist again, I found a very nice but recently totalled '82 Corolla - with a complete driveline, in Southern California. I drove there, rented a one-way tow dolly and I was back the same day. I re sold the car w/o the tranny and driveshaft. The excellent engine, AC, alloy wheels, and tires were worth more than I'd paid.

I'd had a Datsun tranny and was going to go that route but it turned into a bad experience. I had a BOP 215 at the time and was seriously tempted... it would be a massive undertaking, so I decided on the Metro Turbo and the T-50. That seemed easier. The whole box opens up diagonally so rebuilding is much simplified. Parts are available.T-50 kits and trannys are still available in Australia; they'd bought gobs in the 80's. But shiping seems to be their primary source of foreign income. And it turns out that RWD Corollas and T-50 is in demand for drift racing and hot rods in Puerto Rico, prized in Florida, and gobbled up here for Spridget racing long ago, so there a few left in the US. I was patient and just very fortunate. I'm not in a hurry as I've been working on the car since '83.

So, depending on your budget, Dellows in AUS, or local hunting could be an option if you have contact in the right racing circles. A lot of people are now using the more available Ford T-9 or the GM T-5. Bellhousings are available but not cheap (whereas, I am!).

That's a lot of good info from where I'm sitting. Thank you. Thing is, here in NM there are a LOT of 70s and 80s Japanese cars still running around, and they filter through the pull-n-pay from time to time, where all trannies are just over $100 for a hour's work on a Saturday. So it's worth it to know about these options.

Joel


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