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MG Car Repair/68 MG Midget transmission


Hello!  My car is locked in first gear.  Can it be 'unlocked' without pulling the engine and transmission?  I've driven this car for 17,000 miles.  It locked once before while going down a steep hill but I was able to free it up immediately afterwards.  This time, I had to start the car in first gear and .....

Thanks for any help.  Jack Kettlestrings, Sumas, WA

Hi Jack,

I don't know of anything that can be done in the car. But you should drain the oil first to see if there is any in it at all. But it doesn't matter, as even a shift linkage problem still requires that the Engine and trans needs to come out. That is not as large a job as one might think If you have an engine hoist and a floor jack and stands. Working in the dealerships we did several every week and had the engine and trans on the floor in 30 min.

You will not know what went wrong until you open it up because there are a dozen things that can cause it to be stuck in a gear from a shift rail problem to gears freezing on the shaft.

When you have it out let me know and I will tell you things to look for. Some are minor and some major so let me know before you open the gearbox.


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Howard M. Fitzcharles III


MG from 1956 (USA versions only) up and Engine theory.


Dealership line mechanic on MG, Triumph, Jaguar for 15 years, Instructor in commercial mechanics school 2 yr. Product information manager for piston and valve manufacture, Instructor & hotline answer man for import car parts importer 15 yrs.

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