View Full Version : Best manual for ribcase rebuild?

09-14-2010, 06:39 AM
'61 Bugeye. Came with a ribcase trans that I brought home in buckets. I picked up a second ribcase and I figured I'd rebuild both of them, use one and sell the other. Since all my literature is Bugeye specific, what's the best manual for rebuilding the ribcase trans? Just a later Haynes manual? Is there a tranny-specific book out there? I've rebuilt several larger truck transmissions before so the concept is not foreign (no pun intended) but I'm sure this is completely different from what I'm used to.

09-14-2010, 09:03 AM
I like the Bentley's or the Factory AKD-4021 manuals. Haynes is okay. The basics are in the manuals. But, most of what I've learned in 30+ years rebuilding the ribcase gearboxes isn't in the manual anyway. If you have rebuilt any transmissions in the past, you'll figure your way around the BLMC box pretty quick. Example of what is not in the manual; If you mix and match pieces, then be sure to shim the travel of 1st gear. Otherwise, the detent balls can pop out if you push the gear lever past the shift rail detent and the box will stick in 1st gear. Especially true if you have a worn shift fork. There are valve spring shims that work fine as spacers to limit the travel. Stromberg carb float adjustment shims work too. Shift forks can be tightened up in a vise by squeezing. Not too much, but just a snugging up. Bent coat hanger wires, small flat blade screw drivers and X-acto knives with the blades turned backwards work great as tools to put the retaining plates back on top of the gears. My substitutes for the factory tools. These kinds of things aren't in any manuals.

Mike Miller
35+ Years of LBC Addiction

09-14-2010, 10:52 AM
I have to do this too eventually and I did tear down a ribcase last winter. Haynes is flat out wrong in some areas, like telling you to remove the main shaft through the front of the case....no.
Light reading (https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcforum/ubbthreads.php/topics/634026/2)

09-14-2010, 03:29 PM
Darel, Bill Thompson redid his with pictures not too long ago. Here is the thread


also, I have the first two parts of the Practical Classics article on rebuilding A series transmissions if you want to PM me your email. In terms of manuals, I find Bentley and Haynes best - they compliment each other in my opinion.

09-15-2010, 06:53 AM
Took a look at my old Haynes last night when I was at the shop. Old Red cover version I've had for about 30+ years and covers 58-74 models. It is correct in stating to remove mainshaft and bearing plate out the back of the main case by drift and hammer. It does talk about an alternate method of loosening the big nut and pulling off the speedo gear and spacer and then replacing nut and taping on the nut with a hammer to remove. Not so sure I'd do this. My Sears Craftsman drift and a 32 Oz. ball pien work pretty good at drifting out the bearing plate from the side cover opening. Did this very action last night on a smooth case going to AK for parts.

So anyway, still of the opinion that BLMC Factory and Bentley shop manuals are one/two with Haynes coming in third. Never have thought much of the hard cover Chilton's. Interesting pictures, but not much help on anything Spridget.

Mike Miller

09-15-2010, 10:44 AM
I believe Haynes says to remove the first motion shaft out the front of the box but the cone on the end of the shaft inside the box doesn't fit through that hole so you have push it back into the box and take it out through the access hole. That's an error I believe.

09-15-2010, 12:19 PM
You are correct. My Haynes said the same thing. It depends on which gearbox version you have. The slick/smooth case I took apart last night will allow the input (first motion) shaft to come out the front. Later rib cases won't. Has to do with tooth counts on the input shaft/laygear combinations. The later rib case input shafts (22G229 & 22G1117) won't go out the front. I would call it 1/2 error. The competition straight cut teeth input shaft won't go out the front either. That's why I bought some really trick Cromwell brand liers made just for removing the flat split rings used on the bearings. Beats using two large flat blade screwdrivers.