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Vitesse gearbox replacement


Rogues
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I'm new to the club having just added a vitesse mk2 convertible to the family. The gearbox is extremely whinning in all gears except four and overdrive. Contacted a local garage in Tamworth who say they can cure the problem but can not guarantee the work. As an alternative I'm in discussion with Vitesse Global who fit MX5 gearboxes to various cars including Triumph and MGB. They have not done one for the Vitesse but are trying to sort out the possibility. Has anyone had a similar convertion carried out to their car I would welcome any advice. Regards Roger

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this all depends on how many miles you expect vs the ££S you throw at the problem

Mikes the man for upgrading the std box , if youre new to all this a hybrid fit of a MX5 (been done by some ) may be a step too far 

whilst getting  a good rebuild can be hard with lack of decent core it will last for years in normal classic social use

in the past a good few have fitted ford type 9 but that involves considerable additional work .

no idea how good but TDFfitchetts  (a leader in triumph spares)   does a recon vitesse box for £425 as a comparison 

Pete

 

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yes back street cowboys   starts cheap ends up disaster ,went  to see a guy who stripped out a mk1 vit diff due to knocking, he said i cant see anything wrong, i said you wont thats 

a drive shaft uj  failing , no theyre fine ive checked them , he rebuilt the diff charged the girl £300 for finding nothing and 300yds going home the drive shaft let go kaboom !!!

and there lies the troubles with the trade , theres very good and veerrryyyy    Bad 

Pete

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5 hours ago, Rogues said:

 I'm in discussion with Vitesse Global who fit MX5 gearboxes to various cars including Triumph and MGB. They have not done one for the Vitesse but are trying to sort out the possibility. Has anyone had a similar convertion carried out to their car I would welcome any advice. Regards Roger

Aren't their conversions very expensive? £2465 for the TR version... that would buy a lot of Vitesse gearboxes!

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5 hours ago, Rogues said:

I'm new to the club having just added a vitesse mk2 convertible to the family. The gearbox is extremely whinning in all gears except four and overdrive. Contacted a local garage in Tamworth who say they can cure the problem but can not guarantee the work. As an alternative I'm in discussion with Vitesse Global who fit MX5 gearboxes to various cars including Triumph and MGB. They have not done one for the Vitesse but are trying to sort out the possibility. Has anyone had a similar convertion carried out to their car I would welcome any advice. Regards Roger

Hi Roger, its pretty much guaranteed that your layshaft and/or main/input shaft bearings are shot plus the surfaces the bearings run on damaged. This is standard wear and can be successfully repaired by a specialist which should then give you a box that is good for 40000+ miles depending on how its driven and maintained. The work wont be cheap but still a lot less than a conversion so I think you need to consider your driving style and annual mileage before deciding.....

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56 minutes ago, johny said:

Hi Roger, its pretty much guaranteed that your layshaft and/or main/input shaft bearings are shot plus the surfaces the bearings run on damaged. This is standard wear and can be successfully repaired by a specialist which should then give you a box that is good for 40000+ miles depending on how its driven and maintained. The work wont be cheap but still a lot less than a conversion so I think you need to consider your driving style and annual mileage before deciding.....

+1, go to a good Triumph gearbox specialist. Mike Papworth has an excellent reputation for the whole range of small chassis Triumph transmissions.

He's driving a very tidy 2.5 PI saloon these days, so I guess he knows about the bigger Triumph boxes too.

Nigel

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Don’t hold you breath on an MX5 gearbox conversion for Vitesse/GT6.

Vitesse Transmissions do now offer an MX5 based conversion for the TR range including the 5 & 6. They have the engine end sorted with a nice cast front casing and concentric clutch slave.  At the rear they do move the shift forward by modifying the rear housing from a MK1 MX5, but it’s still at least 50 - 60mm further back than the OE Triumph position. On the TRs this can be brought the rest of the way forward with a simple fiddle bar as there is room in the tunnel.   On the small chassis cars there isn’t this room and to move the shift position forward that last bit is very involved. We are poking at it, but if I hadn’t already put a fair amount of effort into sorting the engine end before properly looking at the shift mods, I might well not have bothered at all.

The Vitesse Transmissions conversions are about £2,500. This is a fair chunk of cash, but does include a new gearbox, clutch, concentric clutch slave, propshaft and speedo bits, so I think it represents decent value.  Previously available conversions from various sources using the Toyota W58 have cost nearly that much without the gearbox itself.

Also, the costs for Ford T9 gearboxes are getting high (easily into 4 figures for a 6 cylinder one in good condition) plus the additional parts needed.

As regards reconditioning the Triumph stuff.....
- In good order, it’s a nice gearbox with a good shift action and close ratios that none of the conversions will match.
- However..... from the factory they were feeble and prone to rapid wear. The mainshaft tips and layshafts are very often shot. Mainshafts are available, also with uprated, larger tips but lay shaft replacements currently available are poorly regarded (too soft) and there is often damage to the inside of the gear cluster which is very hard to rectify.  With new parts having been largely unavailable for decades, the same pool of used parts has been going round for years and is getting depleted. Many of the parts in circulation are getting used because they are the best that can be found, not because they are actually that good.  I built a GT6 gearbox last year. In the process I stripped 3. The original latish GT6 one, a three rail Dolomite 1850 one, and a single rail Dolomite one. All were shot. Not one had a complete usable gear set. Two of the three had ruined mainshafts and two of the three had ruined laygear clusters. I bought a new uprated mainshaft, and had an input shaft (also damaged) machined to match it. It works and has a nice shift, but it’s noisy, partly because I’ve had to mix gears from different boxes and partly because they are worn.  That’s not to say that they can’t still be successfully rebuilt, but it’s getting hard to get a good result and much more costly.  Also, whatever you do, if you use the car a lot, especially if you use it fairly hard, it will wear out again all too soon.

Nick

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I remember when the Ford conversions were THE big thing, no matter what mods were required, and where the gearstick ended up, and remember thinking then, as now: surely for that sort of money there is someone out there who could commence remaking the internals for our own Triumph gearboxes, uprated if possible but at least OE quality, so that we would have the proper parts to keep the originals running. Last time I talked to Mike Papworth he didn't have sufficient parts for reconditioning Herald gearboxes. £2500 plus VAT plus fitting per car is a lot of remanufactured parts for the original boxes, and I can't believe that someone can't come up with a solution.

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Of course it’s possible. But unless production numbers are reasonably high, the costs will be very high. More than the MX5 conversions.

If you relax the requirement for the gearstick to be in the same place as original then things get easier. Trouble is, you are into tunnel cover mods, floor chopping, clashing with the handbrake position....... The T9 conversion is the same, though with that it is possible to modify it to get fairly close to original without massive effort/expense.

Nick

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All comes down to economics Colin. How much work is involved in coming up with a solution, how much money its going to make and whats the risk of the modifications failing? These are not easy factors to estimate before starting the process so no ones done it or probably will do it.... Its far simpler and less risky to fit another make of gearbox.

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this is the compromise   utopia and how deep are your pockets 

no point in spending £2500 and all you do is pootle about to a odd run event or picnic   

ive known guys spend 5K on an engine and barely go the to supermarket or anywhere

serious money needs some serious driving , there is a balance 

Pete

 

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1 hour ago, Pete Lewis said:

this is the compromise   utopia and how deep are your pockets 

no point in spending £2500 and all you do is pootle about to a odd run event or picnic   

ive known guys spend 5K on an engine and barely go the to supermarket or anywhere

serious money needs some serious driving , there is a balance 

Pete

 

True that....... Very true.

I’ve had good value from my conversions to the Vitesse. CV shafts, EFI and W58 5 speed all in the 45 - 50k miles ball park now. Quite hard miles too some of them. EFI has paid for itself many time’s in fuel saved.

Nick

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Could I thank everyone for their responses, this is obviously a difficult decision to make. I already have an estimate for the existing gearbox repair that includes a high cost of removal and replacement but as I said no guarantee. Vitesse Global are keen to make the MX5 gearbox work, they already have a suitable bell housing from the TR6 but want to be sure there's no major work on the chassis. I appreciate it's cost is high but includes new clutch, propshaft and gear stick. Not too sure if I should broadcast it but will do all of the fitting free because it will their first. Welcome any further advise, I'm sure Vitesse Global would also appreciate comments, I have given them Dave Rumens contact details. Regards Roger

 

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Your overdrive gearbox/prop etc has real value, even if sold honestly. a few hundred pounds I reckon.

The garage offering to do the work is best avoided if no guarantee. Especially as removal/refitting should take about 4 hours if you know what you are doing. 

Best guess as to the issue is clear, layshaft pin and possibly bearings, but gain the issue is the quality of spares. Mike Papworth has a huge selection of good used parts, and they will be the best option. For some reason, layshaft pins seem to wear a lot more on od boxes, but I have no idea why.

Would I pay £2.5K for a gearbox conversion? sounds a lot, BUT after you have sold your stuff, it is nearer 2k. Bear in mind a quality rebuild of box and OD is over £1k, and they are offering free fitting etc, it is very tempting. And the MX5 box is almost indestructible. And you will be part of very useful research. Nick will be interested in how they get it in!

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44 minutes ago, clive said:

Nick will be interested in how they get it in!

Damn right!

Don't think they’ll be able to manage to meet their usual “direct swap” claim though - unless they include a revised tunnel cover as a minimum.... and maybe some hacksaw blades and slitting discs.....

Do you actually have an offer to use your car as their development vehicle or just floated as a vague possibility? I have had a couple of conversations with them (I was mainly fishing to see if they’d sell me a front casing) and did float the idea of my GT6 as a development vehicle, which didn’t get much of a bite. My impression was that while they were aware of the potential market, they were also aware that it would be a difficult install - and that small chassis Triumph owners have shallower pockets that TR owners, though that is likely changing as vehicle values increase.

 Yes, big money, but NEW, OEM quality gearbox included, which you will not bust with any Triumph engine..... Not without its attractions.

Nick

 

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i reckon the only reason layshafts wear on a OD box ( ive never found that on all ive done ) is the premium use is harder  more harange the thing in 3rd and flick the oD under power 

while overtaking etc so at 70mph all the torque is via the cluster not direct in 4th as would a fast pootler ,  so  more aggressive driving styles affect the gearbox life 

as well as lack of lubrication amazing how many complain of noise and the box is virtually dry never surprises me .

Pete

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Had two teeth break of third gear on the cluster in my Vitesse gearbox about three years ago, the cluster Mike Papworth sold me, along with the other bits I needed, had the needle bearing surface  bored out and sleeved a job that Mike said was getting difficult to get done. The bits cost about £500.00 and although I did the work he checked all the gearbox parts and advised on what needed doing.

Box is three rail gear change, big main shaft tip, fine spline input shaft and J type overdrive so a bit of an oddity, never thought about changing to a different type of box but I do have spare boxes and J type overdrives, none for sale.

Regards

Paul

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