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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - 5 speed conversion


Its a long time since I posted on here

Anyway - I've bought a 5 speed box which I was told was suitable for a 5 speed conversion on my 1098 midget - I was told it was like the rivergate and needed no body mods to fit

However, I've messaged rivergate and they tell me its not the box that they support

So starting a bit of detective work - I reckon its a toyota starlet box?

does anyone make adapter plates for these? if so who? or is is a dead in the water project?


j collins

pic 2

j collins

Hi John,
according to the thread I (remembered! and) found it's a K50 box, see towards the bottom of the thread in the Archives called - Gearbox compatabillity - that spelling.

In Archives search -
. click 'Archive' link at the top of this page
. put Gearbox compatabillity (that spelling) in search box
. tick box for 'Search in thread title only'
. click 'Start Search' button

and you should be there.
Nigel Atkins

ETA: sorry, I got edited out of time before I noticed my omission of -

. click in 'this phrase' circle

so sequence should be -

In Archives search -
. click 'Archive' link at the top of this page
. put Gearbox compatabillity (that spelling) in search box
. click in 'this phrase' circle
. tick box for 'Search in thread title only'
. click 'Start Search' button

and you should be there.
Nigel Atkins

Thanks Nigel - but I still need to find out what else I need to fit the box and it would be useful to find some pics of a k50 bolted onto an a-series
j collins

Yes sorry that thread is mostly about the T50 box, I was mainly comparing the photos to confirm you have a Starlet box (it was the gear lever that got me thinking) plus if you know it's a K50 you can get more info on the box perhaps, and did you see Paul's post on that thread(?) -

>>Paul Walbran, New Zealand

That's correct, the Starlet box doesn't rewuire any body surgery.
It is a tight fit slotting the engine in though. In the one of ours with the Starlet box I haven't found a way round having to remove the crank pulley to get past the shut panel on the way in.<<

Nigel Atkins


From your images the gearbox has an integral bellhousing so you're going to need an adapter plate to suit fitting the Toyota box to the A series. You will also need a propshaft yoke to suit the K50 output spline and likely a shortened/modified propshaft to suit, a spigot bearing and adapter sleeve to suit the A series crank, and a clutch cover and plate. With the latter you may be able to use a standard A series clutch cover with a standard Toyota driven plate if you're lucky or you might have to go with custom bits or have the A series flywheel machined for a Toyota clutch, it depends on how the parts go together. I've done it all before fitting a Ford 4 speed box to the A series engine so been there and done that.
David Billington

Hi David

Thanks for the reply - Ive got the prop for this box - so not worried about that

I'm hoping that there is a adapter plate or replacement engine backplate thats available to make this easy (dreaming I suppose) Spigot bearing would be useful too - clutch hopefully will as you say be a mish mash of toyota MG items

It looks like the slave cylinder works in opposite direction though which would make the tunnel tight

Main thing is that I don't want to cut my car about at all


j collins

Welcome to the land of OZ

As in austriala ...there is a company down under that makes the kit (adapter plate) for this conversion kit

Daywood? Dawwood? dallow? ...somethimg like that... they have a pdf download on the conversion process

But not sure you got the correct looks to long and the correct toyaota boxs did not come to the usa and i dont think very many in the uk ither

It may have came out of the correct type of car but not all car of the same make had the same drive tran from nation to nation

Id recheck it before i invested alot of cash

.and i mean A LOT OF CASH

Prop and the


Also ifound this from danial stapelton how happens to have a new book comming out very soon if not already on the internet shelves

AP Racing part number CP2323-11

Thats the part # for the racing adaptor plate and not a bellhousing so that could be interesting esp if you know who AP racing is ...according to danial they were or still maybe avialable thur (mini mano) website in the uk

Prop and the

Ohhh i missed it by that much ... " # " haha

Btw... the box you want for a A series conversion is called the

T 2/3 ?

The T50 mates a midget 1500 or the MGB

I vaguly remember referances to the K50 but im not sure how that fits in

W50 IS My old toyote pick up tranny which looled like and meashred out that it would fit...not sure why it wouldnt with a little cutting


Prop and the

Here is some really good info from the bbs several years back

I got to say...if your car isnt something special... id get the engine and just dump thw whole thing in add some SU HS1 Carbs to each intake port Then add a ford idse crank trigger ignition system to the front crank pully make up some engine mounts and have yourself a serious race midget with little in actual internal engine modifications..

Call it a day


Prop and the

Prop and the

Well... might have to google thw above address i cant get it to teansfer.

Perhaps some one else with russian hacking skills can make it work

But the info with in is well worth the effort to unlock the code

Prop and the

'AP Racing part number CP2323-11'

This is the 'special' driven plate for a 1275 6.5" 1275 diaphragm clutch cover/pressure plate, with the Toyota 21-spline centre hub for the T40 and T50 gearboxes.

Available from AP Racing outlets - at least they were 2 or 3 years ago.

Does the K50 have the same spline as the T50 box?

Richard Wale

I was under the impression that the Toyota box needed body mods, whereas the Datsun (Rivergate) did not.
Dave O'Neill 2

I think that Gary's Gaps, has a Toyota box.

Gary's Gaps has the Datsun box. Imported from the States as one of a number in a package deal.

I fear the starter hole might be the biggest obstacle to using this John

You'd need to be confident that a starter over there would miss the exhaust, in fact when I was working on the BMW conversion I did simply cut out some of the bell housing to give the bendix space to work on the 'normal' side

I didnt think it would make a lot of difference to the bellhousing rigidity to cut out a five inch segment

If you draw up what you want there's a guy in Brownhills who might make you an adapter plate with his plasma cutter, he's the chap who makes Bentley replacement chassises I discovered by asking around the workshops in Aldridge

I think it cost me about twenty quidses to get him working to my drawings in 5mm plate

That car?


Bill sdgpM

Only conversion kit I've come across is Apparently the Starlet was a popular import in NZ at the time. Paul will no doubt be able offer more up to date info.
Motley 5

I looked at that site and thought it odd that they didn't provide any information on their products but I went back and had a 2nd look and used the "select a vehicle" combobox at the top of the page, selected MG, and it gave me 2 products one of which was 1275 Midget. It gave some information on the kit make-up but no prices, the other MG offering did have prices, so maybe one can conclude from that that they don't do that kit any longer, maybe due to trouble sourcing the boxes these days. Might be worth enquiring if the other parts are available although they mention the box is slightly modified for the starter which appears to sit on the A series engine standard side.
David Billington

I copied this from there site

This kit uses a 4k gear box from a rwd toy starlet

It appears we may have a forth option...

i want to say the toyota starlet was known as the the tracel here in the usa back in the day....ill have to cross referance this to see on wiki

Copied from the above website

MG Midget A conversion for the Midget and the Healey Sprite has been developed utilising the Toyota 4K gearbox, out of the RWD Starlet. It is a compact robust gearbox, complete with bell housing. Minor modifications required, to part of the bell housing area to enable the Midget starter to clear, and it is fitted to the engine by means of a adaptor plate. The clutch fork is modified and operated by a slave cylinder mounted by a special bracket on the side of the gearbox. In these gearboxes, the front layshaft bearing is prone to wear after 100,000 + kms, so we supply a gearbox that has a rebuilt layshaft, input bearing and seal replaced and any other bearings required, replaced. Rear rubber mount is modified to accept bolts through original holes in chassis. A special speedometer cable and right angle drive is included with the kit. For the slave cylinder connection, a new flexible hose and pipe are supplied.

Prop and the

That is very interesting

Reading the modifications required bit it looks like they have to cut a gap in the bell housing similar to the one I had to introduce on my E30 box and have the new backplate set up to take the starter

I like that they modify the rear mount so the car body remains intact

I rather like it and wish they were open about prices

It might be possible to introduce a concentric clutch arrangement too, I'd love to see the inside the bell housing area to check but that wasn't in the links I saw this morning
Bill sdgpM

Thanks for all help on finding info on this

Bill - I'm tempted to do this on the blue car - but would test it in Austins Sprite first!

I'd thought that the starter needed moving to the "proper" side to do the job properly

I need to email them for more info and of course prices

I'll get some more pics inside bell housing area too
j collins

I doulbt cutting the starter hole is a big deal

On the datsun box you have to cut the starter hole also...i just used a bi metal hole saw

The reason for it is the a bendix will bang into the back side of the bell housing its just for clearance im assuming its the same for the toy box

Prop and the

Plenty of prices for their other conversion kits just not the Midget one which makes me think maybe they don't do it currently.
David Billington

I have the same box in my 1275 midget. I got an adaptor plate Kit from Classic Conversions Hamilton New Zealand
There was everything I needed, clutch operating lever slave cyl etc. The gearbox has to be modified by removing the casting over the area where the starter bendix runs. I welded my midget gear lever to the Toyota one so it looks right. To get the gear lever in the right position the front engoine mounts were bent back about an inch. I used the Toyota clutch by having the flywheel redrilled, and lightened, at the same time. I have a heritage shell which have the 1500 transmission tunnel so it fits with no body mods at all.
I dont have any pics taken while I was doing it but can let you have some of it installed if you email me. Now done about 15000 miles no problems, with a 3.7 diff gives me 20mph per 1000rpm in 5th 3500rpm at 70 mph.

Mike Pearson
michael Pearson

I did a search for Starlets. Gumtree has some listed under 500 pounds in the UK.
i don't know the change date to FWD. Worth a look.
J Bubela

This thread was discussed between 14/02/2017 and 19/02/2017

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