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Thread: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

Discuss the Austin Healey Sprite and the MG Midget. Two different but similar cars sometimes referred to collectively as the Spridget.

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    Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    I've been told that by shortening the stock metal shift surround it can be made to work with the Datsun transmission. What I don't know is how much it needs to be shortened to prevent it from interfering. Has anyone done this successfully and/or know how much it has to be shortened?

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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    Yes, I've done it but I also modified the shift lever by cutting it and rewelding the lever on the side of the cut off. This gets the lever to a more central position. I then cut all the straight side off the stock hump and rewelded that. As I remembered about an inch and a half. As i think about it now though, i scrapped the idea of running the stock rubber boot because I though it was contributing to popping the gear shift lever out of gear in one gear and now run the later lever gaitor and a homemade seal that seals out drafts right at the pivot of the lever.

    Kurt.
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

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    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    I'll wait to cut and weld mine until the transmission is in, but using an unmodified 'top hat' looks very doable.
    Rut
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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    I cut about 3/4" out of mine and carefully re-welded the shifter to center it. It still pops the rubber gaiter out of place from time to time. I'm not happy with how it turned out.
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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    I cut some out of the sheet metal top hat and used a MGB gaiter. Scott in CA
    Scott in CAuntitled.jpg
    1973 TR6

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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    I did the same as you did Scott, I was pleased with the outcome too.

    P1040315.jpg

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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    Quote Originally Posted by smaceng View Post
    I cut some out of the sheet metal top hat and used a MGB gaiter. Scott in CA
    Scott in CAuntitled.jpg
    Aha!! I think Scott has the answer!

    Kurt.
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    I would wait before you cut a thing until you have the 210 box in place and have shortened the shifter.
    in my case I followed the instruction on cutting down and offsetting the Datsun sifter and marrying the stock one .
    mine fits perfect with surround boot and shifts perfect with no modifications to the boot.
    heres the shifter in neutral on my car.

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    Jedi Warrior SD Bugeye's Avatar
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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Rut View Post
    I'll wait to cut and weld mine until the transmission is in, but using an unmodified 'top hat' looks very doable.
    Rut
    Totally doable if you want stock look as I did.
    Door handles,Bootlid,Glovebox all fads
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    Senior Member 1974MGMidget's Avatar
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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    I guess ya'll are talking specifically about a BE, right?

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    Jedi Knight smaceng's Avatar
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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    It all depends on how the cut and rewelded shifter is positioned in the sheet metal cut out. Wait until you get everything else in the install is done, and check the fit. Most likely the shifter will hit the sheet metal. Open it up accordingly....and it will be good......60Frog is happy!
    Scott in CA
    Last edited by smaceng; 02-10-2016 at 02:09 AM.
    1973 TR6

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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    Quote Originally Posted by SD Bugeye View Post
    Totally doable if you want stock look as I did.
    Well the reason to cut that cover down is to keep from putting so much pressure on the shift lever. When modified it's not all that noticeable.

    SD BE, I'm amazed that you don't have trouble with the stiff stock gaitor pushing the shift lever out of gear. The Datsun shift lever pivots much lower than stock.

    BTW, I think I removed about the same as Trevor....memory.

    Kurt.
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    I agree with everyone above- when you are welding it back together the total length of the shifter should be 7 to 8" long.
    There are many different shifters that go into the 210 trans and they all start out different lengths (I have had MANY of them) but they all need to be cut down to about 8" long for the Spridget, both Bugeye and later need the same length.
    BillM
    '69 Sprite Mk IV
    '60 MGA
    '65 Midget

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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    --also-
    Bill Loeb had the actual shifter surround can shortened by about 1" which lowered the rubber gater and made everything work much better. He will probably post a picture here soon
    BillM
    '69 Sprite Mk IV
    '60 MGA
    '65 Midget

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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Billm View Post
    --also-
    Bill Loeb had the actual shifter surround can shortened by about 1" which lowered the rubber gater and made everything work much better. He will probably post a picture here soon
    BillM
    That's what I was talking about. Shortening the stick doesn't do anything to fix the interference unless it's also offset.

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    Jedi Warrior SD Bugeye's Avatar
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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    Quote Originally Posted by nomad View Post
    Well the reason to cut that cover down is to keep from putting so much pressure on the shift lever. When modified it's not all that noticeable.

    SD BE, I'm amazed that you don't have trouble with the stiff stock gaitor pushing the shift lever out of gear. The Datsun shift lever pivots much lower than stock.

    BTW, I think I removed about the same as Trevor....memory.

    Kurt.
    No issues one finger shifting here .
    Door handles,Bootlid,Glovebox all fads
    59 sprite

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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    Quote Originally Posted by 1974MGMidget View Post
    I guess ya'll are talking specifically about a BE, right?
    BMC and Leyland kept the domed cover though the mid 60's at least. Had a 68 parts car and that may have had it as well. I believe hey kept it only covered it with the naugahyde gaitor even later.

    Kurt.
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    I also increased the diameter of the hole in the shifter surround, but used a Big Healey center shift rubber gater.

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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    Quote Originally Posted by nomad View Post
    BMC and Leyland kept the domed cover though the mid 60's at least. Had a 68 parts car and that may have had it as well. I believe hey kept it only covered it with the naugahyde gaitor even later.

    Kurt.
    The change to a gaiter was around mid to late 1972. I had a mid-year 72 that still had the can.
    Last edited by Gerard; 02-10-2016 at 11:50 PM.
    Gerard
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    Yoda Trevor Jessie's Avatar
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    Re: Modifying stock shift surround for Datsun 5 speed

    I thought it started with the face lift cars in 1970. I had a 69' parts car with the metal can, but my '70 had the vinyl boot. But these cars had already passed through several owners before I gained possession.
    _____________________
    1970/2 MG Midget
    Datsun 5-speed
    Future Fuel Injection Turbo Project
    _________________
    1958/9 Sprite AN5L/1499
    1275 SuperCharged
    Datsun 5-speed
    _________________

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