Sprite/Midget 5-Speed Kit
You have a fantastic reputation amongst us Spridget owners, which is fully justified. And your service is as good as your product, which in my opinion is unbeatable.
I've had my 5-Speed kit in now for over two years and it's by far the best thing I've ever done to my Midget.
Putting the Datsun 5 Speed into my '66 was the best thing I could do for my car. It's such a nice car to drive now and more fun than ever. I am just your average backyard mechanic and I successfully installed the kit and transmission.
I can't say enough about the conversion kit. I was stupid to wait so long to install it. So easy even a child can install it, could be said about it. Did the whole thing in one afternoon. Love your great set up. Now the freeway is my friend.
I bought a 5 - speed kit thinking it would be great for auto-x and driving instruction at the local track. Well, I really do like it on the road as well. It's much better at stop signs (who really stops completely), quieter gears, and less revs on the highway. My wife even noticed the reduced noise on the highway. I think we might actually take it on longer highway runs now.
The level of workmanship and thoughtful preparation in the kit and instruction set is really top drawer - congratulations.
Just completed the conversion this week, delayed because I spent the last six weeks in Daytona. Just wanted to drop a quick line to tell you what a fantastic job you do on these conversions. I don't know why anyone would want to put a std trans back in a Sprite. The installation was easy, easier than a original trans swap, everything fits and was there. It blew my mind that you even install the washers on the bolts, that is really service. Test drove the car yesterday and it was like a totally different car.
January 3, 2000
To Whom It May Be Of Interest:
Today I received from Rivergate the 5-speed Spridget Conversion kit I had ordered. It arrived in a sturdy, well organized and packed container Ė as if it had been packed by someone who actually cared. In addition (and to my surprise) included was an 11-page printed (not photo copied) folder listing contents, preparation, illustrations, and instructions of the components. Why am I surprised? Because, in the last 17 years of restoration and racing British classics, I have never received a part or component with so much care, effort, and thought to detail put into it by the manufacturer or distributor. Ninety-nine times out of 100 the part is horribly manufactured, carelessly shipped, and , if there are any instructions at all they usually are unreadable or amount to "Here is your part - stick it in." After 17 years of holding my breath, Rivergate has allowed me a very deep breath of fresh air. Many thinks to the folks at Rivergate.
In the States, the conversion to get is the Datsun 210 from Rivergate Restoration. It is a bolt in kit Ė no body mods necessary. The transmission is MUCH quieter, vibration free (even at 85-90 mph), and I donít know how I ever drove it without the OD 5th gear. The synchro 1st gear is a plus, too. Iíve owned my 73 Midget for over 15 year now, and it is pretty far from stock (95+hp), but the 5 speed is by far the best mod that I have done so far.
I am unable to fully express my gratitude to you for your help and kindness while getting on with my project. I was overwhelmed by the tremendous overall improvement. The car is so much more easy and fun to drive. It is unbelievably quiet. My wife appreciates the oil-less garage floor. My first drive down the road brought tears of joy to my eyes!
Just a note to tell you what a joy it is to drive my "61 Midget now that I have the 5 speed conversion that you designed. It makes driving the car a totally different experience. None of the "sporty" feel is gone, however, the car is much easier to live with.
Iím especially enjoying having the car out on the road instead of sitting in the garage.
I installed the Rivergate kit with the Datsun/Nissan transmission about two years ago. I am very satisfied, the fifth gear is great, and the transmission shifts very nice. I put Redline MTL synthetic oil in it as I have all my other transmissions. The transmission fit into the tunnel with no cutting or fabrication. The gear lever even comes up in the correct location. I shortened the gear lever and made a new boot/bellows. The original metal cover would work with the new lever. With a 4.22 rear axle ratio, I cruise at 60 mph at 3,000 rpm in fifth.
Well, Iíve had a while to play with the 5-speed now, and I have enough miles on my engine rebuild to let it out some. I think the results are incredible.
First, the replacement seal fixed the gearbox leak. Now I have a MG Midget that just does NOT seem to leak any bodily fluids at all (knock on wood!). My wifeís gonna let me park it in the garage again.
Then thereís the top end. I had it out on I-40 at lunch. At 70 MPH, she was doing only about 3300 rpm (definitely less than 3500, anyway). Fearlessly (chuckle) I brought it up to 80 MPH and held it. There was room for more.
All in all, I think the 5-speed is the best thing Iíve done for the car, including the engine rebuild. Wouldnít go back to the 4-speed for anything. I noticed a Datsun 210 for sale locally, and Iím thinking of grabbing it just to have a backup gearbox.
Many thanks to Bill Perry and Rivergate Restorations for this wonderful conversion kit.
I have been very impressed with the 5 Speed Kit to date. Straightforward and looks well engineered. All bolted together as your instructions said it would.
It was a whole new car, better spaced ratios, easier freeway crusing and all.
The car was transformed by that box. No permanent modifications are required, so its not as though the car is being destroyed in the process. With the original MG shift knob in the cockpit, the general public will never know the difference, and Iíll be able to travel the long California point to point distances at something less than a zillion rpm.
You have a great product that makes driving the Midget a real joy.
If youíre in the US, buy the Datsun 210 5-Speed conversion from Rivergate! It works great and is much less expensive than the Frontline kit, even before shipping. There are no modifications to the body needed (just finished installing mine and Iím thrilled)!
I just got back from my first test ride after the 5 speed conversion in my 1275 Bugeye and all I can say is its definitely worth the cost and effort. The car really cruises, the transmission and clutch work great and the car just plain feels much better. I can accelerate with modern traffic with no problem, shift as fast as I want (no grinding) and the real bonus is when you shift into fifth and the motor quiets down and the car pulls to 60-70 MPH without the engine sounding like Im wearing it out.
Im really excited that I can now take my Bugeye on a long trip without feeling beat up from engine noise and vibration. Thanks to Bill and the gang at Rivergate for providing such a helpful kit. Anyone wanting more information, let me know - Iím thrilled as you can tell.
I recently converted to the Datsun 210 5-speed and I love it.
Best thing I ever did for the Midget!
See MGB Kit Comments for comments on that kit