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Searching for a better reverse gear...


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I've started to try some autotests in my seven and find selecting reverse on the Type 9 five speed gearbox to be difficult at the best of times, let alone when under pressure.  I think it's a combination of first and reverse being essentially collocated, and the fact that there's no synchromesh on reverse.  As such I was pondering ways of improving it whilst still retaining the full complement of forward ratios.

One idea I've come up with is replacing it with a Mitchell and Cotts MT75 based box, which I believe would bolt directly to the T9 bell-housing, the advantage being it has reverse on the opposite side of the gate and it has synchromesh on it too! However it's unclear whether it would be a straight swap, would it fit in the transmission tunnel, would the gear-lever need repositioning?  Furthermore they seem to be pretty rare too and, before anyone mentions it, I appreciate the ratios are probably even worse than the T9 ones.

Is the Mazda box any better in terms of reverse, what mods would be needed to make it fit?

Car has an S3 imperial chassis and a K-series engine.

All advice gratefully received.

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I know of one metric car with an mt75 type box but it was done from new so may have had mods done. A Mazda boxed metric car has quite a few tunnel mods to make it fit.

No idea if either will go in an imperial chassis but I doubt it

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With the cast bellhousing its probably only going to fit a ford engine - crossflow / zetec. Seems a bit of an extreme conversion - the one in the video seemed to be specially / purpose built.

Reverse and first side by side does seem a bit cumbersome however with a gate lock and easing of the downward force to get reverse it might be doable. Perhaps a modified gearstick to use when autotesting that enables easier selection of reverse? Road and Race will know!


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The reverse on a Type E is next to 1 st gear but it's a different gearbox to the Escort sport box. ideally you need a dog leg gearbox and i think that the guy from the video just has one of these, maybe out of an M3 BMW as  the tunnel seems much wider than average.

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