The  ^@$#^% Gearbox Cover
A Factory oversight added MANY hours to achieving access to perform minor though vital  jobs to
 handbrake, shifter remote and, ultimately, engine removal. A costless modification can ends this.

Authors: Lorne Goldman, Jean Frédéric Frôt, André Koopmann, Lance Lipscomb, Ron Davis et al while relaxing at Rod's place.

The gearbox cover removal can notoriously add 5-10 hours (depending on your skill level) to 5 minutes absolutely needed repair work, without which you cannot drive the car! Here are just a few examples. Most of this tweak is necessitated by an oversight, the type all car manufacturers make in their assembly methods over time. Everything is accessible as a car is built and only after full assembly can one see that access to certain areas has been made problematic.

A former Morgan mechanic of note humorously wrote an example conversation with a customer which explains why these tweaks are necessary here.


In this case, the Works placed the little flange on the propshaft cover OVER its matching flange in the gearbox cover. That makes the removal of the propshaft cover necessary to lift the rear of the gearbox cover. After the seats are installed, leather glued on the propshaft cover and the carpeting installed removing the propshaft cover becomes problematic for many owners.

The following tweaks cure the consequences in part or fully as you choose. The full tweak also makes it easy to remove the entire gearbox cover, necessary to engine-out tasks, such as engine, gearbox or clutch work.


One can cut out access panels in the gearbox cover. These can be merely small ones as the MMC has done or larger ones to accomplish more than one task at a time. These can even be done with the cover in situ or you can tell your mechanics they can do so. The internal insulation of the later covers can be taped in place at the edges of the access and on the new larger portal you make to cover your new access. All of these options will take far less time to accomplish that removing less time than removing the seats, the covering carpets, the propshaft floor fitting and rear bulk head fittings, the gearbox fittings into the floor and firewall, the safety brake and gear lever knobs and once done, the access to this important area is permanent.

WATCHPOINT: I find the later gearbox covers, limit space foot well space and are more awkward than the earlier curved ones, they are considerably cooler on the thighs because of this insulation. They are also cheaper to make.
BTW, on my trad, I had the Factory increase the thickness of the padding which gives it a plusher look and eliminates any residual heat. 


With these (actually three) cutouts (one of them from the MMC), the owner mechanic has access to the remote, and the remote attachment bolts and their bushes along with the hand brake and its light. There is no longer a need to remove the gearbox cover for any work required in this area. Hours are eliminated  in repairs of this area.

P.S. The tape is used to prevent drill "walk" when making hoes. It is removed when the holes are finished.
Remember any alteration, be it access port or Full Tweak will be covered by the gearbox "shroud"


Cut one Type

This single tweak creates full gearbox access and can be done in situ depending on the cutting methood you
use and your skill and care with it. A full tweak also makes the entire gearbox cover much easier to remove in two pieces, rather than attempting in its original one-piece. This would facilitate clutch, engine and gearbox removal and repair. It works with either the older curved covers or the later larger boxed-in covers.

One must create a flange one of the remaining sides of the cut gearbox cover to provide support; This can be done as follows;

 1. You can add little flanges to the removed piece. You could use pop rivets to attach them. See the image to the right. The removed piece would slid onto the remaining piece.

 2. The pieces could be conveniently be held together with suitcase clasps, available anywhere online.

3. The cut is best done approximately 56 cms (22 Inches) from the rear end (center) of the gearbox cover (adjacent to your thigh). For the cars made before 1994, this will be a 3-4 inches (8-9 cms) before the little box atop that houses our odd slave cylinder system. 

 Cut Two Type

1. This single cut goes completely through the gearbox cover. If cutting in situ, lift the cover up and prop it there to prevent cutting the wooden flooring.

2. Flanges must be made to secure the resulting to pieces together and suitcase clamps would again be ideal.

Cut Three Type

This modification corrects the original mistake at the gearbox/propshaft covers junction. The overlapping flange from the propshaft holding down the gearbox cover is removed and replaced with a metal strapping screwed into the floor and holding both covers down. It can then be removed and the gearbox cover raised without the necessaity of removing the propshaft and the seats. 

What To Cut With

1. The knee jerk reaction is to use an angle iron. However, the cramped quarters make this dangerous for those who do not use this tool regularly. If used in such circumstances, it would be best the cover is out of the car or you engage a machinist of mechanic.

2.  You can also cut, far more safely, with a handy-to-have battery powered cut-off tool.  

Morgan Customer: " The hand brake lever has come loose and does not lock when I press on the button"

Me: "Yep! that is the ferrule at the end of the cable which has un-soldered" 

: "Oh, good! that is something and nothing. Attend to it whilst you service the car then, please"

Me: "Yep, that means you can't have the car back tonight and it will add another £ 100 to your bill" 

Customer: (after a short blank) " But it's a two minutes soldering job, how come?"

Me: "Yep, but to get at it and use a torch, I will have to remove the carpets and the gearbox cover trim, undo 4 impossible long bolts, the nuts of which are covered in rust protection goo on which the spanner does not fit until you clean them, and remove the seat. Then remove 24 x  2BA bolts, with slotted heads and also covered in goo, all the around the gearbox and transmission covers. The ones on the bulkhead require two persons cos' my arms are not long enough. Finally, I will have to jiggle the cover and prize it out without damaging anything in the cockpit".

Customer: " Forget it, I am not paying for that, I'll leave the car in gear"

Me: "That means this you will have no back up in the event of a hydraulic failure and your insurer might have something to say about that and your car will fail its next MOT" 

Customer: "That is ridiculous, I am not happy about this!"

Me: " Please do not shoot the messenger, if the manufacturer had not dispensed with the window and metal flap on the side of the cover to save cost. It would be the 5 minutes affair. Would you like me to finish your gearbox cover for you. I hate to have to say that it will be another hour's labour but you will save money when the reversing light or the handbrake switch gives up, when the gearbox oil needs to be replaces and when your gear remote linkage needs attention".