It’s really quite easy to tell which generation of gearbox, shift linkage, and axles your Mini has. Let’s say you want to order a replacement but terms like “remote”, “rod-change”, or “pot-joints” have you a little befuddled about just what the heck to order! Let’s very simply describe the three styles of transmissions and axles used in the production of the Classic Mini.
Classic Mini Gearbox Rebuild - Part 1
Gearboxes may seem complicated but they are very simple in their construction, and surprisingly easy to put together. The main issues are having the right tools to do the job.
Selecting the right final drive ration is a subject worthy of an entire book to explain the whys and wherefores, and also causes much consternation on the part of the transplanter. Much confusion’s spread over which gearbox has the best ratios, is best to use, and with which FD. For a detailed account on this and covering all gearboxes fitted as standard to the Mini, see the relevant separate articles 'Gearbox - Standard production gearbox types'.
The final drive gears are ultimately responsible for the way your Mini goes after engine, gearbox, and under carriage tweaking has been applied. The aforementioned and the degree to which it has been done will affect the decision as to what Final Drive is required. They’re also responsible for much discussion between many tuning freaks, and confusion to the less informed.
Having decided on or even implemented a course of action to bolster the performance of your Mini’s engine, maximising it’s potential should encompass a good look at the gearbox. It rarely does, as most folk take one look at those seemingly formidable teeth and decide it's not for them and stay well clear.