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Spitfire mk4 1500 gearbox

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Have recently installed a 1500 factory reconditioned gearbox into my 1972 MK4 Spitfire. (1300 engine). Its single rail with J type overdrive. The box was working fine from installation about 500 miles ago although still "tight". I recently had it into a garage to renew its MOT and do some Overdrive re-wiring. When I took it home I found 3rd and 4th gear select had moved from all the way over to the driver to a point halfway between 1st and second and the old position for 3rd and 4th of all the way over. Once you know where it is it selects 3rd and 4th OK but I am concerned that it would be possible to select 1st gear after 2nd instead of 3rd. All other gears work fine including reverse and overdrive and there is no unusual noise or otherwise. Once you know where 3rd and 4th is it goes into gear smoothly. Gearbox oil level is fine. Is it possible the garage has "forced" something and damaged the selectors?

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Hi Gordon


Has some ham-fisted dolt broken the plastic bush that the stick seats in, trying to find reverse or something? (part No. DAM3045 on the drawing). It can make a real difference to the quality and feel of the gear change. On my car third and fourth are more or less in the centreline of the box, and one and two off to the left. I did have some  issues with imprecise changes until Dave Pearson at Canley's put me straight on to the bush as the cause. The forks are fairly substantial, and if some rock-ape has wrecked them (heaven forbid..) I would expect the gearbox to be making a hell of a racket and no gear selection. Good luck with it.




Steve C

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Steve.....Many thanks for your response. I had the car out yesterday and as yours my 3rd and 4th are in the centre of the box with 1st and 2nd off to the left. Once you know this the gear change is fine. I think the problem is that unlike before I can move the stick to the right beyond the 3rd and 4th input. Before, the gear shift came against a stop while moving to the right and straight up for 3rd and down for fourth. There was no need to "feel" for the slot. I am suspecting the pins that go through the tower into the slot on the ball of the gearstick. (and hold the cap down). They look ok but possibly the right hand pin has moved out a little allowing excess travel on the gearstick.....I'll investigate further!

Thanks again

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