Slow Car Fast
February 6, 2009 - And here's the final shifter location.
Looks perfect. You can see the square hole I had to cut in the top of the transmission tunnel to make space for the trans - the tunnel has a low point while the transmission does not. Sorry, make that the tunnel had a low point...
The "doodad" I mentioned before is a reverse lockout solenoid. Above 5 mph, the solenoid prevents you from hitting reverse. There's some logic to that, but it's a hassle for me. It could easily be removed completely but given the tight shift pattern of a T56, that's not the most intelligent solution.
On Elvis, we pulled the solenoid out and tweaked the spring tension in the lockout. This negated the need to run wires to the solenoid, but it still left things a bit on the bulky side for me. I'm going to see if I can manage to design a replacement that fits flush to the side of the transmission. It looks plausible.
entry 172 - tags: transmission, fitment, reverse
November 11, 2010 - Sometimes you just have to do little stuff that feels good.
The reverse light lenses on the back of the car looked awful. Back when the MG was still on the road (two years ago!) I ordered a new set. I put them on today and wow, they look good! Two minutes worth of work and I get a feeling of satisfaction.

Of course, this also meant I needed to make sure they were working. Naturally they were not. After a bit of digging around, I found that I'd misidentified the feed wire from the front of the car. I swapped that around, plugged in the lights and one worked! The other, not so much. The cracked lens had let in dirt and moisture, so it was all crusty inside and the contacts were corroded. I stuck it in the bead blaster, gave it a quick shot and it looks brand new! I never thought I'd use the blaster to rejuvenate electrical parts, but it really works nicely on bad contacts. And voila, bright lights in the rear.
Of course, while I was working on electrical stuff I decided to find out why the turn indicators weren't working. After a bit of digging around, I found out that the turn indicator wiring passes through the hazard light switch. Okay. I plugged that in and got...inconsistency. The flasher worked sometimes, but usually not. I checked voltages and found out there was a lot of resistance inside the switch. Basically, the contacts were all corroded. So I disassembled it, stuck it in the blaster and put it back together. Pretty interesting to do, actually. Now I know just how a Lucas hazard light switch works!
That got rid of my resistance, but the flashers are still have a bit of character. There's just enough unevenness in the tempo of the flashes to make you realize it's a mechanical relay working off heat instead of an electronic one!
Looking at the Moss catalog, it appears that hazard switch I fixed is a 1972-only part. It changed in 1973.
entry 443 - tags: wiring, reverse lights, electrical, turn indicators
November 11, 2010 - The T56 transmission has a lockout on reverse.
It's triggered by the ECU, and locks out reverse anytime you're above 5 mph. Pretty smart - I've driven cars with the same lockout triggered by the brake lights, and that works fairly well until you try to downshift from 6th to 5th while braking, and get reverse instead.
The problem is that the solenoid is pretty big. It wouldn't fit in the transmission tunnel. Instead of modifying the tunnel, I decided to leave the solenoid off and then build an access panel in the side of the tunnel so it can be installed once the transmission is in situ. I also need to put a small bulge in the panel to clear the solenoid, but not too big. I'm almost done that now.
entry 444 - tags: reverse, transmission, fitment
November 13, 2010 - The access panel for the reverse solenoid lock-out is in place.
It sure doesn't look pretty, especially in shiny black paint trying to make the welds look a boogery as possible, but it does the job. The idea was to 1) make it removable for future transmission removal or solenoid access and 2) add a bulge to allow the solenoid to clear the tunnel. It'll be covered by carpet eventually so it'll never be seen again, and I sealed the gap around the edges. So, not an easy thing to remove. But it can be removed.
The solenoid seems to be working. The spring inside certainly adds to the effort of hitting reverse, and as far as I can tell it's locking out reverse completely above 5 mph. I'll test it further once I'm on the road.
entry 449 - tags: reverse, transmission, fitment