Fitting the Mike Satur 'Slick Shift Kit'
A common problem with the early MGF's is that the gearshift becomes sloppy and difficult to select the gears. This is caused by several
plastic clips and bearings becoming worn. I understand that it is possible to get replacement parts, but accessing them involves removing
the centre console, gearshift mechanism and disconnecting the gearbox cables. It's not much more work to actually replace the whole
mechanism with an improved design from Mike Satur. This page is devoted to doing just that.
The original Rover mechanism and the plastic clips and bearings that become worn
The SSK Gearshift Kit. It has a more precise and shorter gear lever movement, and comes with an optional rear bell crank, well worth fitting, since it gives improved adjustment to the cabling.
Raise the rear of the car and support it on axle stands. These should be sited under the sub frame members.
A small piece of solid wood on the top stand can help to prevent damage to any underseal.
Do NOT be tempted to work under the car while it is only supported on the car jack!
Remove the gear cables from the gear box bell crank, remove or slide the roll pin spring cover out of the way, and punch out the roll pin
which retains it.
Unclip the lower gear cable by removing the 'U' shape clip. Prise off the cable ball joints from the linkage. This can be made easier if you
use some form of 'forked' tool i.e. a spanner or pliers, so as to apply pressure from both sides.
It is important to try and maintain the existing tension and overall length of the cables. When you undo the locking nuts on the existing rod ends, do not wind the nuts back but try to maintain their present position,
so that when you screw on the new rod ends and re-tighten the locking nuts, the overall length of the cable form remains the same. Unscrew the gear cable ends.
The next few steps of removing the radio and the centre facia are detailed on a separate page.
Removing the Centre Console
Remove the radio.
Remove the instrument fascia.
To access the gearshift mechanism, you will need to remove both the Rear Console and then the Centre Console.
Start by removing the T-bar finisher. Remove the 3 screws 'A' securing the finisher and collect the press studs.
Release the finisher from the 6 fixings at 'B'. These are just 'press-in-clips' so with gentle but firm effort the finisher will pull away.
There is no need to undo the seat belts. Simply pull the finisher and belts backwards to rest over the hood.
Disconnect the multiplug from the volumetric sensor and remove the securing screws at 'D' and 'E'.
Open the front console lid, and remove the storage bin. Remove the two screws at 'F' securing the lid bracket and lift the rear console clear.
Now to remove the centre console. Undo both foot well panels (with interior lights) and then release 6 screws at 'C'.
With the handbrake in the ON position, lift the console up, release the gaiter from the handbrake, unclip the cable from the cigar lighter, and lift the console clear to give access to the gear linkage.
Unbolt the 4 bolts to remove the SRS housing and set aside. It is not necessary to disconnect the wiring at 'G' (the earth wire to the RHS screw must be re-fitted after fitting the gear linkage)
Unbolt the gear linkage, 3 bolts and 4 nuts at 'H'.
Mark the cable ends with tape or similar to identify i.e. left or right, noting how the existing cable connections fit to the different movements in the existing gear shift mechanism.
The cable that gives the forward / backward movement at the gearbox bell crank fits under the main block of the gearshift, directly below the gear stick.
Remove the bolt 'J' holding the cable clamp, from the rear of the housing, noting the way it is fitted and remove the old assembly and prise off the cables ends 'K'.
It is important to try and maintain the existing tension on cables. When you undo the locking nuts on the existing rod ends, do not wind the nuts back but try to maintain their present position, so that when you screw on the new rod ends
and re-tighten the locking nuts, the overall length of the cable form remains the same.
Fix the rod ends to the cables ensuring that the cable is screwed into the rod end 10-12mm and tighten the lock nuts. When the cables are laid in the tunnel ensure the rod ends are facing upwards.
Insert the cables into the housing and fit the clamp plate and fit and tighten the rod ends into the lever/pivot.
Transfer the rubber mounts and metal inserts and refit the housing into the car.
Fit new bell crank and new cable clip at the gearbox end.
Centralize the gear stick and get assistance to hold the gear stick in the correct position (neutral) in the car, align the rod ends
at the bell crank and screw them onto the cables 6-7 turns until aligned with the tapped holes.
The alternative holes can be used if alignment with the marked holes do not mate up. Tighten the lock nuts and check for gear
selection and excess play in cables. Some slack is required due to heat expansion of the cables in the tunnel. Alternatively, if gear
selection seems too stiff, add a little more slack. If necessary remove the rod ends from the crank and adjust rod end onto the cable.
Lubricate the cables and pivot with gear oil.
Refit trim and enjoy!
Thanks also to Mike Satur for his help, and on whom these instructions are based.