I love old British transmissions, and their non-synchro first/reverse gears are just not an issue. But I have noticed from riding with a lot of new classic car owners that they sometimes accidentally catch first while shifting from second to third. Grinding is the result. It’s easy to avoid on a 2/3 shift, you simply keep a tad of pressure to the right as you push the lever forward, and the shifter will jump over slightly so it easily aligns with the synchronized third gear.
People also habitually try to engage first gear while sliding through a stop sign, which also results in grinding. The fix is to come to a full stop and engage first. Alternatively, you can roll through while staying in second.
The other cardinal rule is to be gentle with the shifter, and to use light pressure. With good timing, the gear box will almost draw the shifter into gear, instead of the driver applying excessive force. The goal is to shift quickly but gently. Challenge yourself to be 100% grind free.
If it’s grinding, seek help, you’re doing something wrong, or something is wrong with your driveline. If you keep grinding, your gears will (sadly) come to look like what you see in the video below.
We always have rebuilt smooth and ribbed case transmissions in stock, and we can sell you one or install one in your car, but hopefully this post will help keep your gearbox alive and well for generations to come!