Triumph/TR3A Projects:Converting to a Toyota Transmission

After my transmission fell apart a second time, I decided to take the plunge and finally install a Toyota transmission using the conversion kit made by Herman Van Den Akker.

This time I did the work myself, with the aid of my Mechanical Genius friend Justin over an extended weekend that he visited.

The kit is fairly well-made, though there were some issues with parts we needed to get - when I talked to Herman on the phone, he said all I would need was the kit, the transmission, and a clutch disc (he was out). Turned out there were some bolts that didn't work, and I also needed a pressure plate (which I paid quite a bit to have next-day air shipped when I found out when the kit arrived) which needed to be machined, as well as oil seals for the transmission.

So it goes. The transmission went together and so far seems to be working just fine. It's great to have a fifth gear as well as synchro first, and to know that I don't have to worry about paying thousands to rebuild a Triumph transmission.

I have a W58 Transmission Manual in case I ever need to do maintenance on the transmission (though I'd probably just throw it away and buy another salvage transmission).

all images copyright 2008 David Ljung Madison

The replacement,
a W55/W58? Toyota Celica transmission
We pull the seats and carpet Use a jack to support
the rear of the engine
..then the hump.
Here we're starting to remove the bolts that hold the bell housing to the engine.
Disconnect the speedo, of course. Take off the shifter knob. Disconnect the driveshaft
from the transmission output. Unfortunately there was some play in the u-joints, so it was time to replace them.
Unbolt the transmission
from the crossmember support.
Unbolt the starter We pull the transmission out,
and then we remove the pressure plate (and clutch disc)
And then the flywheel. Time to buy supplies.
New gloves, bearing grease, brake cleaner, brake fluid, front/rear oil seals for the transmission, transmission fluid.
Remove the bell housing
from the Toyota transmission.
Pop off the output dust cover,
and remove the shifter. Save the seal for the shifter.
Attach the conversion bell housing. Tap the seals
into place (using a washer here to protect the seal).
The transmission
with the new bell housing and the throw-out bearing.
The output flange convertor
takes the transmission output and connects to the driveshaft. It can slide back and forth, so the driveshaft needs to be fixed (otherwise it could slam the flange into the output seal and damage it).
We clean out the shi..n pretty good shape. Then the shifter convertor,
so I can use the Triumph shifter and knob.
With the Toyota seal
(slightly cut and modified to fit)
The Triumph shifter
gets a nylon bearing.
And install it with the shifter convertor.
As expected and mentioned in the manual, I needed to grind off a small amount from the shifter cap so it could "throw" into 3 and 5th gear.
..we take out the seat brackets
and clean the floorboards and grind away the surface rust.
I'm out of paper,
so I use a recyclable aluminum foil to cover the non-floorboard area.
And paint the floorboards
with a rustoleum primer that de-oxidizes the rust and will hopefully to a better job of protecting the metal.
I have the flywheel resurfaced.
After this I have holes drilled and tapped for the TR6 pressure plate. Hermann recommends that I get it balanced, but I can't find a machine shop in SF that can do it without bringing in a Triumph crankshaft. It seemed to turn out okay.
Mount the flywheel
(you can see the new holes tapped for the TR6 pressure plate)
Put in the new pilot bushing
and hold the clutch disc in place with the clutch alignment tool (the black plastic thing) with the input shaft bushing on the end. Install the pressure plate and torque appropriately.
New pressure plate installed. Tap the input shaft bushing on
to the input shaft.
Rubber mount plates ..m the conversion kit
go on the transmission.
Now to measure.
We need to adjust the distance from the throw-out bearing to the fingers on the pressure plate. First put some bolts into the engine block and measure their depth.
Using a straight edge across the bolts,
measure the distance into the pressure plate fingers. Subtract these two measurements to figure out how far out the fingers are from the engine face.
Then measure the dep..rom the bell housing
into the throw-out bearing. We needed 6 of the 10 supplied shims to get it the right distance away.
Hook up the hydraulic hoses.
Attach the transmission
via the bell housing! Unfortunately we discovered that the "lip" on the bell housing for fairly old TR3s (such as mine) was much thinner than his conversion kit, so we needed longer bolts, and the kit only came with four.
Mount the transmission
to where the crossmember was previously mounted.
Transmission cover plate.
One of the things I noticed that was missing on my Triumph when we pulled the transmission, so I got a replacement to install on the conversion. (It's the plate that goes on the bottom four bolts of the bell housing right behind the oil pan.)
Remove the old slave cylinder,
hook up the hydraulic hoses, fill/bleed the line, and it's time for a test (with no driveshaft) - all systems go! (Don't forget to reconnect the battery, and be careful to not press the clutch pedal too far if you haven't put the clutch stop in).
We disconnect the rear driveshaft flange
so we can pull the driveshaft. As mentioned, my u-joints needed replacing.
Removing the circlips. And press out the current u-joints. The old u-joint bearings
were scored. Ah well.
New u-joints installed! And the new fixed-length driveshaft.
It needs to be the right distance from the output flange of the transmission, or else it needs to be cut. I was fortunate that mine was the right length, so we just reinstalled the driveshaft.
I fabricate a clutch stop.
The conversion used a bolt and a hole drilled into the firewall. It seemed that it would hit my wheel well, and it seemed like a less robust solution, so I took some channel and used the ground bolt to hold it in. With a small amount of grinding it worked perfectly and was very solid - I'll pull it out and paint it later.
Measuring the distance of clutch pedal
movement past release. The conversion suggests 1-1.5", but I found I needed just over 2".
Attach the driveshaft
and it's ready for a test drive!
The test drive!
Don't put your fingers in the driveshaft! [Video, 5.9M]

Other conversion options:
  • Dellow Automotive in Australia sells bell housing adaptors as well as complete kits (though I'm not sure it works on TR3s?)
  • Bill Close
Photo album generated by photo album generator from MarginalHacks by Dave Madison on Wed Jun 3 20:59:08 2020