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Fiacre 01-09-22 11:04 AM

Alternative transmissions for 401
I won’t bore you with the sad story of how my 401 lost its engine and transmission due to someone I thought was my friend. I was lucky to recently find a suitable Bristol 6 cylinder engine however I will still be short a transmission. I was wondering if there are non-Bristol transmissions, maybe 5 speed, adaptable to the 6 cylinder cars?


Stefan 01-09-22 11:56 AM

Much easier to find a Bristol. gearbox than an engine!
I dare say it'd be possible to build onto the Bristol bell housing but I suspect wouldn't be cheaper than finding a spare Brisyol unit.
Try the usual suspects! Brian Mays spares are being sold off, il sure he'd have some. Have you tried Bristol classic spares? I didn't notice one in ther, but worth a call.
Put an ad in the BODA and BOC mages.

Hillman 02-09-22 10:26 AM

Gearbox for 405
Jonathan Bradburn has a standing advert in the AC Club magazine where he advertises gearboxes for sale as well as engines (race)

Fiacre 02-09-22 10:53 AM

Thanks for the references
I will certainly follow up on these possibilities. I am in the US however and I was trying to avoid the costs and aggravation of shipping by finding something that might be more readily available in the US.

David C 02-09-22 07:01 PM

I have a spare 401 gearbox that I would be willing to part with if you can't find anything elsewhere. I can highly recommend STS imports who ship car parts between Colchester in the UK and Florida. I recently imported a Chrysler 'box from the US which cost me $250 to transport across the Atlantic - a fair bit less than shipping from Virginia to Florida.
I'm pretty sure they would send it on from Florida to NY if suitably crated.

MGB gearboxes use the same input shaft and pretty much the same clutch as the Bristol and transfer similar power. Also available with or without overdrive. The earlier layshafts gearboxes are a bit fragile if used hard. I think the later 4 synchro gearboxes from the 18V engines are more robust.

I may have a spare bellhousing for a Bristol but it would require a fairly decent machine shop to cut and shut with the MGB.

Fiacre 02-09-22 10:30 PM

Lots of options
Great information, sounds like there are a few gearbox options.

Geoff Dowdle 03-09-22 10:59 AM


A few owners have fitted Ford Type 9 gearboxes from small Fords like Sierra, Capri and others made in UK . They are 5 speed and reasonably compact .

You would need a Bristol bellhousing , new clutch plate , new propshaft , speedo cable , modify the tranny cover , machine the bellhousing , make an adapter between bellhousing and gearbox, make adapter to the gearbox mounts, it would be quite a project to complete this conversion.
Plus the Type 9 gearboxes are probably not readily available in USA and you might have to import one ex UK.

So it could be a lot easier to locate and buy a Bristol gearbox .
I have a spare from a 400 or 401 that I'm willing to sell.

If you are interested send me a private message and I will give you the details.

What is the chassis number of your 401 ?
Was it previously fitted with another type of engine ?
Can you post a photo of it on the Forum?


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