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Triumph TR6 - 5 speed

Hey John- How's the 5 speed holding up after the rebuild?
Don K


I'v got about 1,500 miles on the rebuilt 5 speed with no problems.

I love the hydraulic throwout bearing and the whole thing is really a pleasure to drive.

To be fair - I like the Triumph 4 speed shifter better than the Toyota with the adapter.

The stock shifter is crisp and precise whereas the Toyota with the adapter mechanism is pretty vauge and sloppy but you get accustomed to it.

All in all, no regrets installing the 5 speed kit.

By the way - I'v still got mine on the road enjoying the indian summer and awsome colours in Calgary.


John Parfitt
73 5 speed
Calgary, Canada.
John Parfitt

Good morning. Just a question. I am thinking of changing to either a J type overdrive or a 5 speed Japanese transmission. Any recommendations for me either way. Ken
Ken Roper

If you have to buy an overdrive, it will be the expensive way to go. Many will buy a gearbox with the overdrive already attached to it because you can't just slap an overdrive onto the back of your non-overdrive gearbox you have in the TR now. You will need to also buy an output shaft for the 4 speed gearbox that is also the input shaft for the overdrive. This means a re-build. Might as well have all the parts in both the gearbox and O/D looked at while it's out.

I have O/D on 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears in my TR3A. Some TR6's are set up this way as well. Therefore I have 6 forward speeds (3rd O/D is within 3% of 4th direct). They are 1st, 2nd direct, 2nd O/D, 3rd direct, 4th direct and 4th O/D. Shifting at 5,000 rpm, I can accelerate up through these 6 gears to 25 mph in 1st, 50 mph, 60 mph and at 75 mph from 3rd direct to 4th direct.

One on the nice advantages with the O/D gearbox is that in slow and go traffic, I don't shift. I click from 2nd to 2 O/D with my little finger. Much more practical. Same between 3rd and 3rd O/D at higher slow and go speed range. If I'm climbing a mountain and the traffic is going about 50 mph up the hill, I would be lugging in 3rd gear or screaming in 2nd gear. With my O/D gearbox, I can cruise up with none of these problems in 2nd O/D at 3,750 rpm.

When I'm on a slow road behind a slow vehicle or a pack of them, I can be in 3rd O/D (same ratio as 4th direct) behind the pack and when I see I can pass safely, I prepare a second earlier, shifting the stick down to 2nd O/D, then I pull out and in no time at all, I'm up to 65 mph still in 2nd O/D, a quick shift to 3rd direct and in another second I'm up to 75 mph in 3rd at 5,000 rpm and by then, I'm in front of the pack.

The best 5-speed gearbox won't give you this flexibility, but check it out with Herman where John bought his :-

Don Elliott, Original Owner (bought mine brand new with the O/D), 1958 TR3A
Over 78,000 miles in the last 14 summers and 8288 miles this past summer.
Don Elliott

BTW - The overdrive option on my new TR3A back in 1958 cost me the enormous amount of $150.00 Canadian Dollars (about US$165.00 at the time).

The overdrive let me drive a very comfortable top-down 392 miles a few weeks ago from Montreal to Oakville, Ontario for British Car day in 5.5 hours while cruising at 72 to 75 mph which averaged out to 71.3 mph for the trip - all on 4 lane expressways in my 45 year old TR3A. It was on a Saturday morning and I guess everyone was still in bed.

Don Elliott
Don Elliott

Ken--I agree with Don's fondness for the OEM 7-speed, electro-hydraulic overdrive. I made the conversion a while back and simply adore the flexibility it offers. Check out this one being auctioned:

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

I checked it out on e-bay and can only see one cut-out switch in the top of the shift assembly, just behind the bell housing. Mine has 3 cut-out switches. This tells me the one on e-bay will only be in O/D in 4th gear, much like the 5-speed Toyota alternative.

But the top cover and wiring can be modified to be like mine and have O/D on all top 3 gears.

The price is good. About 1985, I stopped in at Triumphs Only in San Jose, Calif. and he was selling one for $1500 US for a similar gearbox including overdrive already attached.

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott

The trans w/OD on e-bay is a J-type and is set up to use OD on 3rd and 4th. There are two switches, one for the reverse lamp and one for the 3-4 gear shift. Use of this trans/OD unit will require the later (73 up) type of transmission mounting hardware if fitted onto an earlier car. I haven't looked in a while, but seem to be remeber that the J-type OD has a slightly taller overdrive ratio than the earlier A-type.

I must admit that I kind of choke on some of the prices I see these days for OD transmissions.

I've had Herman's kit for the past year with absolutely no problems. The Celica trans I used has lower gearing in first though 4 that seems perfectly suited to the 6. The 5th is the bonus for the interstate. I just drove to Triumphest in Riverside, Ca and love the difference.
John Reynolds

This thread was discussed between 06/10/2003 and 07/11/2003

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