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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:27 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:33 pm
Posts: 2
Hi guys,

First off I should say I actually own a 1957 Morris Minor 1000, but the gearbox is a 4 speed, probably from a Datsun 1600/510.
My mechanic was not 100% sure, so would anyone be able to confirm based on the pictures I've attached? I'm not entirely sure how to identify gearboxes in general, it certainly looks like the 1600/510 but I'm rather new to classic car ownership so I don't really have an eye for this stuff, at least not yet.

Anyway the box is functional but it has some annoying quirks, such as the H pattern being kinda wonky. The distance between 1st and 3rd gates is smaller than the distance between 2nd and 4th, so it's rather easy to 'miss' 3rd, especially while downshifting.

Besides that though, what are some of the common problems to show up first with these boxes? Right now the synchros are quite worn and the selector forks aren't in great shape either. I can't say how much more use I'll get out of it but is it ever worth refurbing these boxes or does it become more cost effective to source a good second hand one and swap it out?

I am not any the wiser as to who plonked this box in, it wasn't me and it wasn't the previous owner, which puts the time of the swap at some point before 2004.
I've posted the same questions about it to the Morris forums but didn't get much information other than trying to identify it and some theories about why someone would choose this over the appropriate Morris box. As I understand it, it's just easier to source parts for Datsun stuff in general here in Aus.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

IMG_1935 (1).JPG
IMG_1935 (1).JPG [ 1.53 MiB | Viewed 1066 times ]
gearbox3.jpg [ 82.25 KiB | Viewed 1066 times ]
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:50 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2003 1:45 pm
Posts: 3169
Location: Newcastle, NSW
Looks suspiciously like a standard 1600 4 speed. Only things slightly different are the bit of square-looking bar poking put from under the oil pan on the driver's side, and what looks to be a big spring just behind where the starter motor bolts on. I'm guessing its part of the starter motor, so the gearbox has had a hole drilled to allow this to poke out of the bellhousing ?? I'm guessing both are modifications to suit its new non-Datsun application.

As far as what goes wrong - they are a fairly robust box with no major "issues", but being nearly 50 years old will show signs of their age (synchros / forks / bearings). Shifter is never particularly wonderful. To get it as good as its ever going to be, replace all bushes and pins in the external linkage and replace the rubber bushes at the bottom of the shift lever. Basically, take all the wear and slop out of the mechanism. Still won't be fantastically precise.

I'm not sure on the availability of parts for these old boxes, most Datsun people just swap in later model 5 speed boxes. A similar box to the 1600 one was used in the older Datsun Fairlady and in 4 speed Datsun 180B's - these were almost the same box, but with a longer rear extension housing, so the box was around 4 inches longer overall.

Perhaps you could look into swapping in a later 5 speed ? You should be able to pick these up for a few hundred $$. Datsun Stanza 5 speed is the same length, same bellhousing bolt pattern, same tailshaft spline count, bolts straight into a Datsun 1600 in place of the 4 speed. From memory (its been a while), you may need to make a different gearbox mount for the Stanza box. These are also a slightly more obscure gearbox, only used in Stanza, and also in 5 speed 180B's (but again with a longer rear extension housing when used in a 180B). EDIT: One other consideration is that the Stanza has another peculiarity other Datsun boxes don't have - a "dogleg" shift pattern. Some like it, I was OK with it on the road but struggled using one on the track, its just not "instinctive" to use.


Any other 5 speed from a Datsun equipped with an L-series engine will also bolt up to your engine in place of the 4 speed (240Z, 260Z, 280ZX, 240K, most Bluebirds, and quite a few other 70's - early 80's Datsuns. These boxes have reasonable parts availability, but are around 4 inches longer which may present a problem for you. In a Datsun, its just a case of elongating the shifter hole in the transmission tunnel as the shifter will be a few inches further rearwards, shortening the tailshaft and making a new gearbox mounting crossmember. Parts are readily available - eg http://www.swmotorsport.com.au/index.php?cPath=16_71&osCsid=mbhn81ufkkuemhhvdfkbh8fle4

There is one other box - out of a Skyline R30. This is the same length as the Stanza / 1600 box, but uses the same internals as all the other more common boxes. Not easy to find though.

Good luck !

1970 ex Group A Rally P510
1971 P510
1972 180B SSS
1965 SP310 Fairlady
1966 SP311 Fairlady

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:21 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:33 pm
Posts: 2
I believe that's what it is, I still have my 948cc Morris engine and my [limited] understanding is that the distance between the bell housing flange and the shifter is longer on a Japanese box compared to the original British ones.
Now whoever did the conversion must have realised this because the shifter in my car is at the appropriate location and not right back at the handbrake.

I really have no info on how the conversion was done because I don't know who else has owned 'Lady', but I had the clutch replaced recently and the guys at the shop said it was a pretty slapdash conversion. Just hoping it holds out for the time being really, 3rd gear is getting a little crunchy which is why I'm getting concerned and asking a bunch of questions. I certainly feel better about the shifter though, I was getting quite worried about that.

Ah yes I'm familiar with the dogleg Stanza boxes, I probably could get used to the shift pattern given enough time since I actually learnt on automatic vehicles exlusively and only recently have become a manual transmission convert through and through.
I'm in the Sydney suburbs though so I have no reason to think part sourcing is going to give me a hard time, I have a great shop who knows the ins and outs of my car so I think they will be able to advise me on what to do.

Thankyou though, very helpful info!

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