• Chris Bloy
    24 January 2012 at 17:57 #48729

    I am proposing to fit an Alvis syncromesh gearbox to my 2l HC whilst I sort out the ZE box at my leisure. Not wanting to re-invent the wheel yet again I would be grateful to hear from anyone who has done this or knows someone who has has done it.

    Colin M34
    25 January 2012 at 09:03 #48730


    The Alvis box is a fine unit – but it’s not “vintage” and has a centre gear lever so you will need to drill a hole in the floor boards. Apart from that, I think it will fit quite well but of course IMHO removes much of the character from a HC 2 Litre.

    I have a further question – surely most HC cars from original would have an OH box, so the ZE box -(which I like) is not the normal one for an early unblown 2 Litre car. I believe second hand OH boxes may be around and it might be worth advertising for one if you wish to go down this path.

    IMHO, a 2 Litre with an OH box is great fun to drive. I like the challenge of getting the timing right and often don’t bother with the clutch between gears. When I do use the clutch, it’s also a delight with the clutch stop is set up properly.

    My 16/80 has the ZE box and again it’s great fun, but for different reasons. This is mainly because it is “challenging” to use! Because the engine revs so well, the ZE box seems to be very well suited to the 16/80 and contributes to the delightful difference between driving the “vintage” 2 Litre and the “fizzer” 16/80 which is so smooth!

    Colin M34

    Chris Bloy
    26 January 2012 at 16:36 #48737

    Colin, Thank you for your input. I have the original OH box in pieces somewhere. It came to me in pieces and there are no serviceable components. The ZE box was a auto-jumble purchase and works fine but is extremely noisy in intermediate gears. I happen to have the Alvis box and if it will fit without having to cut any chassis members then I’ll use it until I get the other box sorted. I will not do anything that is not easily reversible. I take your point on the “vintage” issue but the forum seems to be full of differing opinions as to where the line can be drawn on modifications.

    Hopefully someone out there will have this conversion already and I can benefit from their experience.

    I might also take up your suggestion and look for an OH box,

    Colin M34
    26 January 2012 at 22:22 #48739

    Hi Chris,

    As well as new gears, the Lagonda club spares operation has quite a lot of second hand OH box parts, and if you fancy this as an alternative, we might be able to help you resurrect what you have already into a usable unit.

    Colin M34

    Dave Alexander
    29 September 2015 at 13:15 #51465

    An interesting debate in respect of nonperiod modification. On a Bentley Tour, 90% of all problems and breakdowns related to non original components and modifications.

    Related but not, I have a 2 Litre Continental with it’s original gearbox, would this be an OH? What would the best Oil be to use in the box?

    Julian Messent
    3 October 2015 at 07:38 #51484

    Hi Chris,
    I won’t get into the rights and wrongs here as I can see it clearly from both sides and both sides have their merits.

    To fit the Alvis box you need to make up a frame to hold it / adapt it to the original mounts.
    Position the gearbox in roughly the correct place on wooden blocks etc, (the more accurate at this point the better) then using something like 50mm square tube 2.5mm wall, run a length down each side and a length across the back to pick up on the Alvis mounts, weld together and then figure out the simple brackets from this frame to the original gearbox mounts.
    The rest is simply making a new adaptor for the front and rear flanges to mate to the fabric coupling and prop shaft respectively.
    It’s a pretty simple job but the more care you take in alignment the better the gear shifts and lack of transmission vibrations.
    A note here.
    At this stage it is well worth converting to a modern clutch as well.
    If you buy one that comes with a new flywheel also, it reduces the rotating weight to such a level that the engine feels and responds like you have given it a new lease of life!! Gear changes are transformed and even the Alvis box will thank you for this.
    I think the club do a kit and I know Bishop Grey do one that works well.

    Good luck,

    My phone number is 0032 3353 3331, 8.30am to 7.30pm Monday through Saturday
    Please phone any time if you need help or advice.
    This goes for anyone on any mechanical subject.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.


Request to join the Lagonda Forum

To avoid rogue requests we are currently manually approving all forum applications. Please fill out your details below and we will forward a link and password to complete your application.