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Thread: 5 speed gear shift lever

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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    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
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    5 speed gear shift lever

    I'm getting close to installing the engine and 5 speed and I like the original shifter on the ribcase, but all the conversions I see use the Datsun lever cut and welded toward the right side. Has anyone used a ribcase lever welded to the Datsun one? Pictures please!
    Thanks, Rut
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    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    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


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    Senior Member 1974MGMidget's Avatar
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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    Rut, why the attachment to a piece of chromed steel rod? Esp. since it will be covered by a boot? But, I see no reason why you can't weld the top of your shifter to the lower part of the Datsun shifter. I'm pretty sure MG steel will stick to Datsun steel when welded!!

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    Moderator drooartz's Avatar
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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    I had Gerard adapt my 5-speed lever for the one going into my Bugeye. No pics of it installed yet, as it's not installed.

    Did the same for my Morris, and it looks nice and stock. Also used a 5-speed knob from Futofab (https://www.futofab.com/index.php?op...d=90&Itemid=94) -- looks stock other than the 5th gear.

    I would expect you could weld the ribcase lever to the Datsun base -- it's the same as they do for the 5-speed. Cut and weld -- you'd have some different bends and different threads on the top. I can get a pic of my Sprite-modified lever when I get home late tonight if you want.

    This is the Morris:
    Drew Frink
    '59 RHD Frogeye Sprite - "Penny" sleeping for now
    '66 RHD Morris Minor - "Maggie" alive and driving
    '70 RHD MGB - work in progress
    '19 Triumph Bonneville T120

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    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    Thanks guys...I just like the slender stock shift lever better than the thicker Datsun lever. It's no problem to cut and weld, but I wanted to see one before i did it.
    Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    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


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    Jedi Warrior SD Bugeye's Avatar
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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    Actually I get where your coming from. I have the Datsun shifter on mine and here is the rub.
    with the stock bugeye shift knob you end up with the transition land from smooth steel shaft to threads showing a bit at at the base of the knob
    least mine does not brave enough to thread it on any further.
    not a huge issue but I know it's there.
    Door handles,Bootlid,Glovebox all fads
    59 sprite

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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    I shorten my 5 speed shaft to just protrude above the shift gaiter to accent the beautifully fitted Speedwell Shift knob.

    P1040315.jpg

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    Luke Skywalker Gundy's Avatar
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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMax View Post
    I shorten my 5 speed shaft to just protrude above the shift gaiter to accent the beautifully fitted Speedwell Shift knob.

    P1040315.jpg
    I do like the feel of that little speedwell knob. I even like the winged "S". I have tried several knobs and I just like the
    size and shape of this knob best. Opinions will vary. Nice knob.
    David Harrison
    1960 Sprite w/ mods
    1971 MGB

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    Jedi Trainee 64rocksprite's Avatar
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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMax View Post
    I shorten my 5 speed shaft to just protrude above the shift gaiter to accent the beautifully fitted Speedwell Shift knob.

    P1040315.jpg
    BlueMax -
    WOW!! nice interior!
    couple of questions:
    1. did you have to enlarge the stock shifter cover? I find my shifter comes within 1/8" of the can either in 1st or reverse..so the stock gaiter/grommet doesn't work.
    2. Where did you find that gaiter? I was thinking of doing something very similar (gaiter on top, allowing shifter to move within stock can, although tight..it doesn't hit the opening.

    Appreciate your insight.
    Devin
    AH Sprite '63.5 MkII
    1293cc, 5spd
    Re-assembly

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    Yoda Jim_Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    What Size Speedhut Gauges are in there? They look bigger that 3 3/8" Size which IIRC matches the BE Dash Openings.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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    Jedi Warrior SD Bugeye's Avatar
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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    image.jpgI prefer the original shift ball it just fits
    Door handles,Bootlid,Glovebox all fads
    59 sprite

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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    What many probably don't realize, is that there are at least two different style shift levers. Some taper gently to the threads, much like the original Sprite lever, others have a consistent OD as it moves up to the threaded end, and appear more blunt below the knob.


    Quote Originally Posted by SD Bugeye View Post
    Actually I get where your coming from. I have the Datsun shifter on mine and here is the rub.
    with the stock bugeye shift knob you end up with the transition land from smooth steel shaft to threads showing a bit at at the base of the knob
    least mine does not brave enough to thread it on any further.
    not a huge issue but I know it's there.
    Gerard
    http://gerardsgarage.com/
    1960 Bugeye Vintage Racer #50
    1960 Bugeye (partially restored)
    1960 Morris Minor Pickup
    1964 Morris Minor 4 dr Saloon
    1970 Austin Mini (for sale)
    1946 Austin 10


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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    Depending on how the Datsun lower portion of the shift lever is welded to the top portion, it may be necessary (more like probable) that you will have to enlarge or move the hole in the sheet metal bucket. I ended up using an MGB gaiter and it looks fine.
    Cheers,
    Scott in CA
    1973 TR6

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    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    Quote Originally Posted by smaceng View Post
    Depending on how the Datsun lower portion of the shift lever is welded to the top portion, it may be necessary (more like probable) that you will have to enlarge or move the hole in the sheet metal bucket. I ended up using an MGB gaiter and it looks fine.
    Cheers,
    Scott in CA
    Scott,
    I have an extra top hat that I can cut down and weld to get the range I need, but I would love to see pictures of your set up. I'm shooting for a stock appearance, but this may be one of those things I have to be flexible on.
    Thanks, Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    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


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    Yoda
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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    Rut, If you take just the top half of your Datsun lever and weld it to the lower you will end up with essentially the same thing won't you? I'v e modified a couple with the Datsun components and you can come up with about any configuration you want.

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

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    Jedi Warrior BlueMax's Avatar
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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_Gruber View Post
    What Size Speedhut Gauges are in there? They look bigger that 3 3/8" Size which IIRC matches the BE Dash Openings.

    Jim, Speedhut made the Tach and Speedo back in 2013 for me. They fit the standard orbit so no mods were needed.

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    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    Quote Originally Posted by nomad View Post
    Rut, If you take just the top half of your Datsun lever and weld it to the lower you will end up with essentially the same thing won't you? I'v e modified a couple with the Datsun components and you can come up with about any configuration you want.

    Kurt
    Kurt,
    I can do that, but the thickness of the Datsun lever is too much for my tastes...I like the skinny original!
    Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    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


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    Jedi Warrior BlueMax's Avatar
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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    Quote Originally Posted by Gundy View Post
    I do like the feel of that little speedwell knob. I even like the winged "S". I have tried several knobs and I just like the
    size and shape of this knob best. Opinions will vary. Nice knob.
    You bet Gundy, that Speedwell Knob fits soooooo perfect to your palm without any fatigued. And The Speedwell winged S just adds the nostalgic performance look to boot!!

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    Yoda Trevor Jessie's Avatar
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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    ... no metal gear knobs for me. Different strokes for different folks, but I like a shift knob that doesn't conduct heat.
    _____________________
    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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    Yoda
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    Re: 5 speed gear shift lever

    Quote Originally Posted by Rut View Post
    Kurt,
    I can do that, but the thickness of the Datsun lever is too much for my tastes...I like the skinny original!
    Rut
    Yeah but the upper end of the Datsun lever is skinny. Forgot though that the one I conversion I like I cut off the top of the Datsun lever and welded a bolt to it so that I could get away from the metric threads. Then painted the lever black. The Datsun knob feels good though and does indicate the five speed pattern.

    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: 5 speed gear shift lever

    Kurt,
    Take a look at the pictures I posted...I don't know if it shows up well, but the Datsun shifter is half again as big as the ribcase shifter.
    Thanks, Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    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


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