The Story of a Kit Car Build

The Donor

It is SIERRA/CORTINA based and I was looking to change the manual gearbox to a four-speed auto box, so a “Wanted” ad went in Loot. Three calls came in. Two SIERRAs and a MAESTRO! After explaining to the MAESTRO owner what I wanted it for, he was OK. The first SIERRA I looked at was a three-speed. When I said I was looking for a four-speed he said, “It has got four; three forward, one reverse!!!” You couldn’t make it up could you? I got what I wanted at the third try: Auto 2ltr PINTO-engined SIERRA.

The four-speed gearbox is quite a bit bigger than the five-speed manual, so the original bracket was cut off and a new one welded into the correct place. Dave and myself did this when there was a family party at his in-laws. (He doesn’t get on with them you see.)

Auto won’t fit, eh?
Auto won’t fit, eh?

Incidentally, when I was stripping things down and cleaning them, I took out the torque converter and drained the fluid from that and the gearbox. However, I was told that it was a big mistake as I hadn’t to separate the two as when they were put back together I would ruin the bearings and would know about it rather soon. Now, the way I look at it is that I didn’t hammer it back into place or force it in any way, I just lined up the splines and slid it in – and I’m sure it should stand that kind of treatment. Anyway, time will tell.