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MG TD TF 1500 - Hi-Gear 5 speed installation video

Hi all,
I've just started my winter project, the conversion from standard 4-speed to the new Hi-Gear 5-speed on my '50 TD. This "new" model does not require moving the engine forward as prior versions did! This is my very crude home video and it only covers the car prep phase so far. I'll post updated vids here as work progresses. Maybe my videography will even improve?
efh Haskell

Hi Ed,

Very good job on the video! It will be very useful to me if I install a Ford T-9 five speed in my '53 model with a B18 engine. In all of my project cars in years past I have always pulled/installed the engine and transmission as a unit, but I have never taken an engine out of a TD, which is why I will certainly be watching your work.

What kind of seats are they?

Good luck and many thanks for posting.


Bobby Loughridge
B. F. Loughridge


Dont be concerned about the video quality, the content is what is critical. I "doffs me cap" to you being so forthright to explain all the trials and tribulations you are experiencing.
G Evans

Bobby, the seats are custom made for me. They give me about 4" more legroom. I'm 6'2".
efh Haskell

I'm looking forward to the part where you try to get the taper pin out. Make sure you keep the audio on.

J Barry

Comon' Jim. Enlighten me. I'm old. I don't need more confusion.
efh Haskell

How soon before you have everything disconnected and the gear box ready to lift out?
What about your buddy up there with the TD ? Two people would be good if maybe he and a neighbor could lift it out and set the new unit in place.
MG LaVerne

I have converted my TF to 5 speeds and my friend up the road has done the same with his TD. We both used bell housings from Andy King which did require the engine to be moved forwards slightly. However this was no issue at all and I didn't need to lift the floor boards. I simply jacked up the car, put a beer bottle crate under the sump, slackened off the engine and old gearbox mountings, let the car down onto its wheels and pushed the car back slightly. I Made up a new front engine bracket but my friend simple redrilled the original one. No way was I prepared to cut out a piece of the cross member. Ed persevere with the conversion it is WELL worth the effort!

Jan T
J Targosz


The taper pin on the clutch shaft is really hard to punch out. I ended up drilling it out and replaced it with a roll pin.

From the archives:

J Barry

Ed, I noticed in your Video that it appears that your Flexible Oil Line that goes to the Pressure Gauge is connected to a fitting up by the Head. I believe the general consensus is that a more accurate pressure reading is obtained by connecting the line lower at the Block. I believe some have noticed an additional 10psi at the Gauge after this relocation.

M Brand

That's how she came Mike. Drilling a new hole in the block isn't on my short list at this point. Thanks for checking out the video.
efh Haskell

No drilling needed Ed. It doesn't really affect your oil pressure but if you swap the fitting with the banjo take off for the line to the gauge (something they did later at the factory) to the block instead of the head, you will see higher oil pressure at the gauge.

The other references to drilling are apparently aimed at the clutch lever on the bell housing shaft. I haven't seen the instructions but it sounds like you have to move it the lever to the new bell housing.
MG LaVerne

LaVerne has it'll need the clutch lever shaft and throw-out lever from the TD transmission for use in the new Hi-Gear bellhousing. It's a pain removing the throw-out bearing lever off of the clutch shaft but it can be done.
Gene Gillam

So which is the "correct" pressure guys?
efh Haskell

Just so you guys don't worry too much, I have 2 burly friends here that have volunteered to help. But I'm leaving tomorrow for a week to meet my new granddaughter at Ft. Hood TX. I'll be back on the air in a week or so.
efh Haskell

The "correct" pressure is the pressure read from the take-off on the block, not from the head.
Gene Gillam

I'm reactivating this old thread about my 5 speed conversion back in 2016. I haven't changed the tranny fluid since then. Only a few thousand miles on it since then but...
Problem is I can't remember what brand of fluid I used! The fluid came from HyGear back then. I don't think it was Redline which I can get locally but for some reason they recommended something else.
Any suggestions welcome.
efh Haskell

it's out of warranty so you don't need to stick with what are usually very conservative builders in the gearbox rebuilding types of trades.

I don't know what HyGear actually specify but I'd be really surprised if it was different to the Ford marque specialist gearbox builders which is a semi-synthetic GL4 specification oil, usually Comma SX75w90 GL4 over here - or the Ford labelled bottle if it's still sold(?).

If you go in the Archives in the midget and Sprite or B (or A?) sections here I put up a thread called 'Ford gear oil for Type 9 gearbox' that gives the oils over time.

But you don't have to use what they recommend and you can use a a better oil like Redline.

Depending on which oil blender's product you use the need for GL4 has just been an outdated belief for many years now, with many saying the GL5 spec will destroy the 'yellow mentals' in the gearbox, as with many beliefs these can be false. I personally use a fully synthetic GL5 in my T9 box because I believe the oil blender when they assure me that it won't damage 'the yellow metals' in my gearbox. Others distrust my belief in my oil blender's, or my oil blender and have their own longstanding (and often outdated) belief, whatever gets you to sleep at night will be fine.

Do a hot oil change and leave to drain for as long as possible to get as much existing oil and contaminates out as possible. There'll always be some existing oil and contaminates residue in the box to dilute the fresh new oil. Especially if like me you don't have a drain plug and have to syphon, in which case more regular changes than with drain plug.

Some believe changing the oil, at all, is a waste of time, very difficult to change anyone's belief.

To steal from Dave Allen, may your oil belief go with you. 😉
Nigel Atkins

Hi-Gear recommends:

Oils for Ford T9 Gearboxes
75W90 Gearoil API GL4
Comma SX 75W90GL4
Redline MT 75W90GL4

This is taken from the fitting instructions which I translated into German for Peter Gamble/Hi-Gear Engineering.

Declan Burns

Even better Redline is recommended we're all happy and can sleep well tonight. 😊

Comma will do the job but if Redline are producing their oil to spec it will do the job better for longer giving wider margins of use, abuse and mishaps.

The Redline leaflet shows how oils don't remain brand new for ever.

Comma are your more run-of-the-mill type of oils, a mate in the car trade refused to use it said it was reclaimed oil, but that was decades back, they're now in Brazil. I don't know if the Comma brand was used in USA(?).
Nigel Atkins

As there are a few T9 users, and more forward thinking people, on here I'll throw on my thread for future info.

As always the info is take it or leave and no oil belief's will be harmed.😊
Nigel Atkins

Thanks to all. My question has now been answered!
efh Haskell

This thread was discussed between 07/03/2016 and 03/05/2021

MG TD TF 1500 index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG TD TF 1500 BBS is active now.