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the53 Gearbox

This page is to document the attack on the gearbox of 'the53'.

Hopefully, you've arrived here after reading a bit about the car that I refer to as 'the53'.  If not, you might want to back up a bit and get familiar with the story.  What I'll be doing here is documenting what I'm running into in my attempt to put the gearbox of the53 into condition that might allow the car to be driven, just to save it from being parted out.  In all likelihood, all images shown will be thumbnails that you can click on to expand them for better detail.

Most of the areas that I've gotten into on the53 have shown signs of having been handled by someone who had no respect for the car.  Removing the engine and gearbox showed more of the same.  First indication of what lies ahead was seen by looking at the rear mount. The heads of two 1/4-20 screws were seen protruding through the rear bearer bracket where there shouldn't be any screw heads.  A cursory glance showed that the screws were long enough to go up through holes drilled into the flange of the rear gearbox case.  More of this sort of thing was to come.


Before going any father I want to thank Colin Stafford for having loaned me his copy of the MG Car Club's TD-TF Gearbox video.  I watched it three times before I even attempted to open up the gearbox. I have since purchased my own copy and thanked Barrie for making it.

It became obvious that problems were just around the corner when I dug out my 1/4W wrench to remove the bolts holding down the remote control cover.  I needed an SAE 9/16th wrench instead.  Perhaps I should have expected that when I found that I needed three different sizes of wrenches to undo the nuts and bolts holding the driveshaft in place.  I chose to pull the engine and gearbox as a unit to make it easy on my back.  Removing the clutch housing from the engine was another demonstration of DPO'dom.  Of the 10 bolts holding the clutch housing in place, only 4 were the proper 8mmx1 bolts (1/4W).  The bottom 4 were SAE using a 9/16" wrench.  Two others used a 1/2" wrench.  Yikes!  I figured that this would be a good time to answer the question about the weight of the gearbox, so I dug out my newly-acquired digital scale and hung it on it.  FYI, the weight of the gearbox without the remote control cover and shift lever is 59.5 pounds.



Next step was to put the gearbox on the bench and push the play button on the VCR so that I could work along with Barrie.

Some of the views that met my eyes when I got inside.  Hideous rust and a brazed break in the housing at one end of the layshaft.

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