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MGB gets ‘official’ BMH five-speed gearbox conversion

MGB gets ‘official’ BMH five-speed gearbox conversion Classic and Performance Car

British Motor Heritage is now offering a five-speed manual gearbox conversion kit with ‘Heritage Approval’ for the MGB. 

Looking to make your MGB a little bit more fun and usable on a daily basis? British Motor Heritage has teamed up with transmission specialists Vitesse Global to assemble an all-in-one transmission upgrade for the British classic. Although offered since last year by Vitesse, the conversion has now been granted ‘Heritage Approval’.
The transmission is taken from the Mk3 Mazda MX-5, and is sold ready to bolt directly into any B from 1962-1980 with minimal effort. If you’re concerned with originality, the conversion requires no modifications to the car’s body, and is entirely reversible – although it’s unlikely you’d ever want to. 
Available from BMH or directly from Vitesse at £2940, everything you need to get on the road is included. It’s fully assembled, complete with clutch friction plate, slave cylinder, braided clutch pipe, speedometer cable, prop shaft and fixing kit. Vitesse has developed a new gearbox case and bolt-on bell housing specific to this application. 

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There are few upgrades that can make a bigger difference to the usability and enjoyment of classic car ownership that the fitment of a modern five-speed transmission, especially on something with sporting pretences – such as the MGB. While MGB owners have in the past had a few different options for uprated gearboxes – such as the Ford Type 9 gearboxes as found in the Sierra – this is an even more simple and up-to-date solution. 
Why the MX-5 gearbox? It fits in place with no modifications for a start, however the key to the conversion is the fact the standard MGB differential has a ratio of 3.909:1 – which is identical to the MX-5 differential making it an ideal swap. 
BMH’s Managing Director John Yea commented: ‘We have tested this product in a wide variety of conditions and it performs as though it was made for the MGB; not least because the final drive ratios of the four-cylinder MG and Mazda MX-5 are the same. Everyone who has driven our show car since the conversion has agreed what a great match the new transmission is.’

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