The year of 2013 was one in which I was able to achieve some positive results in regards to repairing my Valiant which had a defective column shift.
Me and my AP5 Valiant (Jan 2014)
I can now say that I came across the parts during 2013 that allowed me to install a Speco Thomas Centreshift into the Valiant. It was a learning process in so many ways in trying to figure out what was involved in installing the speco shifter as the company that initially made the Speco Centreshift stopped making them a few years back to which they became scarce. After doing some emailing to the company that made the Speco Centreshift I was able to obtain some of the technical information regarding the speco shifter which helped a lot. They also said if I needed any parts just to let them know and they would do some hunting for me but couldn’t promise me anything due to parts being scarce. A couple of weeks passed and finally I found out they had my particular parts and I brought them straight away to make sure I didn’t miss the opportunity of getting them.
What I discovered is that the speco shifter unit requires an adaptor plate as the adaptor plate bracket bolts onto your gearbox and the speco shifter then bolts onto the adaptor plate bracket. The diagram below I made illustrates this.
Speco Centreshift (diagram)
The other thing I found out was once I attached the two linkage gear selector rods to the speco shifter there was limited clearance between the gear selector leavers on the speco shifter as they would catch on each other. To increase the distance between the two gear selector leavers I gave a few hammer blows which was a mistake as unknown to me the speco unit must be made out of high tensile steel as the leaver snapped in two. As much as this was stressing at the time it ended up working towards my favour as I had the leaver welded back on but at a slightly increased width. The end result was a speco shifter that worked smoothly and changed gears easily and much better than the original column system.
Speco Centreshift prior to installation
Below is the speco shifter installed in my Valiant. Initially I wasn’t intending to create such a large hole in the floor tunnel to install my speco shifter. One of the problems is that the speco shifter sits more towards the drivers side which meant the gear shifting rods were hitting up against the side of the floor tunnel. The only way to provide a full free movement was to cut some of the floor tunnel off the side which solved the problem. I will be designing a metal cover that will enclose the speco shifter and weld that onto the floor tunnel. I will make the cover so part of it can be removed for any future maintenance required on the speco shifter.
The end result is now I can drive the Valiant as it has been stationary since 2008 even though I have kicked over the engine during that time. It’s a great feeling to know it is now functioning as a car again. There are still some minor repairs to do but not as tricky as the speco shifter experience.