Feb 13, 2013 update to the Austin Mini Cooper S project car

Rebuilding the Shifter Mechanism

Our shift mechanism is now rebuilt with an original-style boot and knob from Mini Mania.
Left to right, these are the early, middle and late shifter designs. When you look at Mini gearboxes, you should see one of these three styles on the back of the transmission.
The insides of our shifter housing were pretty simple. They just required some cleaning up, and then new rubber plugs on the housing itself.

There are three types of shifter mechanisms on classic Minis. The earliest cars used what is commonly referred to as the “magic wand” gear selector. This was, obviously, inferior.

In September of 1961, when the Cooper and Super models were introduced, the shift mechanism was revised and enclosed in an alloy housing. This system provided not only more positive shifting, but also added support to keep he engine from rocking back and forth. This support was provided by a rubber mount at the end of the shift housing that attached to the body structure behind the shift lever.

The final iteration of Mini shifting mechanism was introduced in December of 1972, when the rod-change shift linkage was introduced. This system provided even more positive shifting, but lost in the process was the mount to keep the engine from rocking back and forth.

While many car owners have converted to the rod style mechanism over the years, our car still had its correct alloy housing linkage.

We tore it down and found it in very good condition. After a thorough cleaning in our ProUltrasonic and a couple of rubber plugs from Mini Mania, it was ready to go back into the car.

It was an itsy bitsy, teeny-weeny rally-winning project Mini. Subscribe to Classic Motorsports and get them in your mailbox.
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