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Replacement Vitesse gearbox for an MGBGTV8
Peter Berry relates his experience with Vitesse Global, the installation of their 5 speed Mazda gearbox, the after-sales service he received and his overall impressions with the new gearbox. After 118,000 miles the original gearbox in his early Factory V8 he has owned for 34 years of its 45 year life, the gearbox started making ominous sounds. All the gears would still engage without difficulty but a sound similar to a bunch of knitting needles rattling was clearly audible, coming up through the gearlever. Of course, nothing can be fully diagnosed without the removal of the gearbox and a partial dismantle. However, the experts around me drove the car and agreed that the end of the gearbox's life time was fast approaching. (Nov 18)

So what is it like to drive?
I can only say it has transformed the car. The
ratios are very similar to the original gearbox but with slightly improved spacing between second and third. The addition of a fifth gear (as opposed to overdrive on third and fourth, which is gone forever, which is a shame) is a joy and frankly, is far more intuitive with today's motoring. Some will decry this remark but personally I think it adds, rather than detracts to the character of the car.
The gear change is positive, without being clunky and the clutch feels very similar to the original item, so no change there. One nice touch is that the bleed nipple is at the end of a long hydraulic hose, which terminates in the engine bay, adjacent to the master cylinder. So no more grovelling under the car to bleed the clutch - not that I'm expecting to do that any time soon. Oil type is SAE 75W-90 and the capacity is 2.0L. The shift control case, which houses the gear lever and has its own separate oil bath, holds a further 290-330ml. And here's the best bit though; the service interval is 5 years or 62,500 miles (100,000 km) so it really is a case of fit and forget. Apart from the significant cost (the kit at

£2,525 and installation at a reasonable £450, both plus VAT), the decision to fit this gearbox was a no-brainer. These cars are for driving and I've just future-proofed that experience by some margin.

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