View Full Version : transmission questions

Bill D.
08-10-2004, 02:34 AM
I have a '65 sprite with a problematic ribbed transmission. It pops out of gear in 1st and 2nd and has a little grind going into 4th. I'm trying to decide how to fix the problems and I have some questions. I have a spare smooth case transmission from a bugeye. Are the two types of transmissions the same other than the smoothness or ribocity of the case? I'm thinking of combining the two into one rebuilt version but I don't have much experience. What's the best transmission rebuild book to get? Alternatively I may pay someone else to do a rebuild. Does anyone know of a good shop to do a rebuild or supply a rebuilt transmission in the San Francisco area? Also, how much should I expect to pay for this type of service? My email is billd808 at yahoo dot com.

On a different note, can anyone recommend a good body/paint shop in the San Francisco area?

Thanks for the help.

08-10-2004, 09:29 AM
The smooth case is an inferior design. It was designed for engines with about 30 HP and wasn't even too reliable in those installations. I, personally, wouldn't substitute the smooth case for the ribbed unless I had to.

Trannie parts are expensive. A properly rebuilt unit will be expensive unless you can find one that is being sold at a distress sale. Used units are a pig in a poke. You don't know what you have until it is opened and inspected by someone skilled in the art (If you know what worn balk rings or tired gears look like you are skilled). I think you are smart to seek someone that has Sprite trannie experience to fix your problem. Because this individual will have spare parts available, he should be able to provide the most economical repair/replacement of your trannie PLUS it is guaranteed.

You might consider the Datsun 210 5 speed upgrade. For about $1K in parts you can have a 5 speed for your Sprite that is fully synchronized and lets you cruise on the freeway without turning 5500 RPM.

08-10-2004, 09:52 AM
I agree with Thom, junkyard trannies are just swapping problems so I wouldn't consider that unless you can find on really cheap to have for parts such as the case, remote gearchange assembly, etc., possibly the main shaft and input shaft - I'm not sure these are available generally -

A skilled brit mechanic can rebuild your box but depending on what it needs - and by the sounds of it it needs synchros for sure, new bearings , layshaft & bearings are a must if you're going into it. Those parts are fairly cheap and easy to obtain but if you need to buy a gear or two, your input shaft and gear is worn, or other things such as the head of your mainshaft where it plugs into the bearing in the butt of the input shaft is chewed up you can tie up quite a bit getting these things put back in order.
Thom's suggestion is a good one and one you might consider, about changing the gearbox for a 5-speed, the only thing is it makes the car non-original ( If that type of thing matters to you).

The other option is a rebuilt exchange from somebody like Victoria British - current price on a rebuilt ribcase tranny is about $900.00 plus shipping, but no core charge which means you can keep your old tranny and either overhaul it as time and moolah permits, or you have it on hand for any parts that are still good.

Any way you go you're going to spend a pretty good chunk of change to set it right, but it's worth it...

Best of luck Bill D.

Bob M.

08-10-2004, 08:17 PM
Take a look at this listing on eBay...item #2486546775

It's a boken transmission, but according to the listing only two parts are damaged.

Its located near Vancouver, BC so shipping would not be cheap but it might by your answer.

Good Luck