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MGB Dropping out of 3rd gear...

Joe Reed

Jedi Warrior
Country flag
Over the years I've seen a lot of MGB owners complain that their car drops out of 3rd when coasting to a stop. Some say it's a sure sign of a bad syncro. Others say that the gearshift gaiter is just putting some pressure on the lever....maybe due to failed mounts letting the engine/trans shift forward. My car has done that for years. I just got in the habit of leaving my hand on the shift knob to prevent it.
It's now fixed. The repair was very cheap and only takes a few minutes. Replacing the old stay rod bushings with new ones solved the problem completely. I've driven it about 100 miles since the replacement and it hasn't dropped out of 3rd a single time. The old bushings (which had turned to mush) were letting the engine/trans shift forward just enough to cause the issue.
Everyone's issue might not be the same as mine, but I'd certainly go for the easy, cheap fix before pulling the lump and tearing into the trans!

Mickey Richaud

Staff member
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Thanks for the tip, Joe - it's a fairly common issue, and often stumps folks.

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