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Anyone Done a 5 Speed Upgrade on an Early 1800?

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Hey gang

I have gutted my 1800 and doing all sorts of stuff to it, you know fixing rust (plenty of that), upgrading brakes and suspension and stuff. Right now I have a 5 speed sitting in there now scoping out clearance issues, cross member mounting, shifter shortening and all. Things seem to be pretty straight forward and simliar to all the 02 5 speeds I have done. Will also be replacing the one piece driveshaft with a two piece. (along with the rear diff too)

Except that the tunnel seems a bit close on the top side. I know Mr Finkbuilt did one on a late NK but wondering if the earlier ones have a tigher tunnel.

Anyone done this intallation and did you have plenty of clearance on the top of the tunnel?

TIA for any experiences


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My car did have the long skinny 4 speed, its now in the scrap pile unless someone wants it I have bits and pieces of another as well

I have it up in position bolted to a bare block and a bare head (I am doing some brake upgrades and need to make sure that I can clear my planned induction) I am using the stock motor position and as you know it sits quite a bit forward so the majority of the wide part of the trans clears. Only a small portion of the slave cylinder is actually in the tunnel and it seems to clear I will still create a small recess just to be on the safe side.

Biggest worry for me is getting the engine/trans at the right level. I have it nearly right, but the top of the trans is close to the tunnel. Including the reverse light switch But I will keep taking measurements. If I have to raise the tunnel a wee bit then I will

Hey, you close to Martin up there? He is a good friend!

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I'm about to do nearly the same thing in the TiSA sooner or later.... I believe the clearance is like that of the '02s but hopefully with a 245/10 CR box I'll probably use an overdrive until I find the holy grail....

Rhett from Terry Sayther's did his car a little differently than most of us would. He moved the motor back using a late NK subframe/'02 subframe (same) but used the 02 motor mount brackets instead of the '69> NK ones. His motor is 2-3" farther back which necessitated the trans tunnel work he did.


His photos here as well...

I believe Terry Sayther's shop has done a few NK 5 speed swaps, I know Bill Arnold out here has. Guess I could ask Bill.

BTW I picked up two+ sets of '69> NK motor mount brackets and am slowly working on possibly using those as templates for more. They allow the use of regular '02 motor mounts and front subframes. :)

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Thanks Tom

I have seen Rhett's car in person, was by Terry's place in Austin last month, Rhett gave me the grand tour, very nice car and they have really fixed it up. I do not want to move the motor back that much and whack on the firewall and tunnel. I will raise the tunnel if I have to but hoping not to. The backup light switch and the top of the trans if tight. I pulled out the brake and fuel lines out for re-routing as well.

I am going the route of 02 mounts too, that is part of the things I am fabricating. Once I am done I will put up some pictures

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I had a later better quality close ratio GB put in my TISA (getrag from a Euro 2002) with heavy duty rear 2002 motor mount from Korman. The rear trans mount had to be reworked but there is plenty of room in the transmission tunnel, it remained unchanged, I believe. The rear trans mount largely aligns things and doesnt carry much weight or torque. The rear GB Flange to driveshaft connection required reworking/machining. I believe Pat DeWitts car has the same gearbox and setup. sincerely, Peter

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Thanks for the info Pete I was contemplating using the existing tunnel mounts and making a cantelever bracket. I will keep you all posted once I get things fabbed up! Would love to see your car in person some time, got to see Rhetts

Hey, you should bring it to the Vintage, we have never had a Tisa at the event It would be a big hit!

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Happened on a thread that Steve Loadfink (finkbuilt) posted a while back. Gives some measurements and other details on installing a 245 5 speed trans in an NK. If I'm not mistaken, his car had a sideloader diff.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Dont know if its good or not Supposedly is, but my car had a blown engine in it when I got it so I have never driven it. Reportedly the PO went through it all and replaced bearings and such but I have no way of confirming Also have bits and pieces of another long 4 speed as well My email is on my website below if you want to contact me

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