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automatic in a Vittese


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Hi, I own a RMB Gentry (which to those who are unaware of the typeit.s a kit car in the guise of a 1952,54 MG TF), I am getting on in years and would like to change my manual box for an automatic out of a Dolomite, I know it will fit the engine (1500) but will it fit in the chassis. Hope someone knows as I have bought a Dolomite. Regards. Neil

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Hello Neil,


As the owner of an automatic Vitesse, I feel duty-bound to respond to your query (by "duty-bound", I actually mean "happy to contribute what I can").  The Dolomites used the Borg Warner 35, and I imagine that for the late ones the BW65 was used.  Whichever one it is you are planning to use (the 65 is a bit more modern), it'll all be down to the width of the sump as to how easy/difficult it is to fit.  With a six cylinder car, the length of the engine pushes the gearbox so far back in the chassis that there is insufficient space for such a big sump and consequently the chasssis' main-rails have to be altered (along with floor pans, of course).  With a four cylinder engine, everything's a bit further forward, so there is more space for the gearbox.  I think you'll have to get your tape-measure out.


Is there a better alternative?  Both the BW35 and the 65 are 3-speed and quite antiquated by today's standards (it's not uncommon for modern ones to be 8-speed!).  You'll need to think about which diff you're using too.  


Are you intending to do the conversion yourself and if so, what are your engineering skills?


It'll be an interesting project and I think you'll find the car much more usable.  I am using the Vitesse for my daily commute at the moment, and the car is subjected to both the M25 and M23 in the rush hour.  I have to say, there are not too many other 46-year-old cars doing this journey (or if there are, I don't see them).


Keep us updated with progress.



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