Clutch/Gearbox and Propshaft Assorted Modifications

The system consists of the clutch, gearbox, overdrive, and propshaft. The original driveline system included the following:

Clutch: 10” Borg and Beck hydraulic

Gearbox: “side-shift” 4 speed

Overdrive: Laycock de Normanville electric

Propshaft: Hardy Spicer universal joints

Flywheel: 28 lb.

Driveline Modifications

Toyota 5 Speed Conversion

Although I always enjoyed the Laycock de Normanville electric overdrive in my car, I knew my tranny needed to be rebuilt. Rather than go that route, I took advantage of Smitty’s five speed conversion kit and installed a Toyota gearbox in the Bloody Beast. The Toyota Gearbox is quite a bit lighter and folks say that it runs  a bit cooler than the original box.

Gearbox and Bell Housing Installed

Gearbox and Bell Housing Installed

You can use a number of different Toyota gearboxes from the non-turbo Supras or from several of the 2 wheel drive pick-ups. I used a W57 1998 Toyota Tacoma 4×2 VIN# 4TANL42N2WZ094878. Details are available in the restoration blog, but this pdf document put together by Tracy Drummond is very helpful. Drummond Five speed gearbox conversion.

The kit includes several custom components including a bell housing casting unique to the conversion.

The kit is no longer available from Smitty, but Pete Delaney now handles the product. His contact information is as follows as of July 10, 2012:

Stephanie & Pete DelaneyHealey 5 Speed
P O Box 561
Harrisburg, NC 28075
704-455-2585704-455-8504 FAX

Clutch Conversion

Many who have the early 3000s and who complete the 5 speed conversion also adopt the BJ8 9/12″ diaphragm clutch. It is less demanding on the left leg muscles. I went ahead and made this conversion while I was at it. This also requires using a BJ8 flywheel. I obtained a 24lb. lightened flywheel from Bill Bolton.

BJ8 lightened Flywheel

BJ8 lightened Flywheel

Slave Cylinder Bleeder Pipe Extension

Anyone who has bled a Healey slave cylinder knows that the bleed nipple is not exactly easy to get to. Doug Reid aka “Mr. Finespanner,” fabricated an extension for me that makes the job much easier with the bleeder actually accessed from the engine bay. This has now become a popular item used by many aficionados.

Slave cylinder bleeder

Slave Cylinder Bleeder Extension

Slave cylinder bleeder extension

Slave Cylinder Bleeder Extension

Custom Propshaft

Installing the Toyota 5 Speed does require making up a new propshaft, which I had done at a local speed shop. The propshaft does need to be balanced prior to installation.