It's like having a new car!
The man at the garage had been saying for some time that the (pre-facelift 5-speed) gear box in my MR2 is ‘very noisy’, whatever that means. And it was definitely on its last legs, gear changes were crunchy and painful, so if possible I’d start in 2nd, get up to 40 mph and then shift straight to 5th (very short ratios!).
I finally got organised a month ago, went up to Carlisle to collect a new-ish 6-speed box from Dick Sloan (£650), the local garage faffed about for three-and-a-half weeks (£614 incl. new clutch, incl. VAT) and I picked it up again yesterday.
It is like having a new car! I’ve had clutches replaced before, but they were just incremental improvements – this is a world apart, and it was a great car before anyway. Combined with the new-ish 6-speed, it is quieter (he was right about the noise); gear changes are buttery smooth; the ratios are the same as the 5-speed with a longer 6th, so you can do 70 mph at 3,000 revs not 3,500 (so doubly quiet on the motorway and better fuel economy); it seems to accelerate better (although this is possibly illusory, bugger all happens in 6th); etc etc.
£1,200 all in seems a lot if you say it like that, but nowadays that’s 20 visits to the petrol station, and it will extend the car’s life by five or ten years. So worth every penny.
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