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Transmission Swap Article in Classic Motorsports

John Moore

Luke Skywalker
I'm glad I've saved all my old Classic Motorsports issues with the Midget rebuild, it should come in handy when it comes time to tackle my Bugeye!

Did you guys read the latest article about transmission swaps? It does seem like the 210 is getting pricey and hard to find, but I don't like the idea of cutting the car to make a T-9 fit. Especially in a Bugeye.


Jedi Hopeful

This seems to come up every once in a while (more recently tho) and I usually post the same thing. Last summer, with B210 5 speeds were going for ~300>400 on ebay, I still picked one up on craigslist for (I think) $75.

Ebay is always going to fetch a premium for these things as long as sellers claim them to be "rare".
John Moore

John Moore

Luke Skywalker
I'll keep my eyes open and if I see one for cheap, I'll definitely scoop it up!


According to my limited research. T9s are far rarer and more expensive than the 210 box (even at $300-400 a pop!). The 210 was one of the best selling cars of the 70's. The Merkur (the only car you are likely to find a T9 in on this side of the pond) was a total flop and few units were sold. The Rivergate site has some helpful tips on how to locate an affordable 210 box: https://www.rivergate5speed.com/desc_of_trans.html
John Moore

John Moore

Luke Skywalker
What's funny is that I actually drove one back in the day. It was a hand me down car that my Dad used at his company. I certainly didn't remember it being anything special! LOL! But it was a 5 speed. Oh, another thing I remember is the clutch going out! LOL!


Jedi Warrior
The trick is to go to a real JUNK yard, not a salvage yard. Find a place that was doing good business back in the 80's but now is dying. I found 2 5-speeds in 1 yard in Tucson last Xmas, they had no idea what they were worth, asked 200, but that was just the opening gambit.

I have a good friend who owns a modern SALVAGE yard, it's a totally different place with insurance wrecks entering the back and warehoused engines, trannys etc. at the other end. All parts are inventoried on a handheld scanner and bar coded. Any car that has been there over 24 months get crushed and sold for scrap. It must work as he sells 18 to 20K a week in used parts. But there ain't no Datsun 210 in a place like that.

BTW to help me remove the 5-speed from the Datsun they offered to use the forklift to roll the car onto its side for easy access to the bolts. "Jacks? We doan need no estinking jacks, Mi amigo!!"


Jedi Warrior
despite the fact that my car isnt going to be an original restoration, I too dont wish to cut into the car too much to do a 5spd conversion.

I agree that the t-9 is probably more rare here than the datsun tranny....

Other options? There was a T-5 that was discussed previously (I think it was a modified T-5 on ebay that would bolt up to an A-series motor) T-5's are certainly plentiful and would pretty much be bulletproof in this application. Any one ever compared a T-5 to a T-9 as far as size? I wonder if a T-5 would require as much cutting as the T-9?

I think there are some kits out there that mate a toyota transmission to like a triumph or MgB or something...Didn't pay much attention as there was not an application for a spridget.


heh Allison?

There's got to be something....


Staff member
Country flag
The Datsun trannys are still out there, and really (despite what you see on eBay) aren't all that rare and are cheap to ship, figure $40-50 by UPS in the USA.

I had no trouble finding one when I was looking, and the kits seem to be well engineered and fairly simple to install -- no cutting necessary. I'd still be going that way, but eventually decided the old standard ribcase 4-speed works fine for my application and sold the Datsun tranny to another BCFer.


Were I doing an A-series, I would not hesitate to go for the Datsun tranny. And I think one of our forum members (BillM???) makes the parts you need for the conversion.

I have a 1500 and it's a bit more complicated. I have been looking into the possibilitie of using a t5. I put my spare box next a t5 from neighbor's Mustang. The dimensions where shocikingly similar. The main difference is the width of the t5. The only major problem with converting with the t5 for the 1500 that I can see is modifying the input shaft.

The guy that was selling the t5 on eBay had it set up for an A-series. To do this, he cut a ribcase input shaft and welded it to the first motion gear of the t5. He also cut a bell housing off of a ribcase, and welded it to a an adapter plate.
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