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520 column gear change

david diamond

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We only got the LHD versions that shift access to the transmission was thru the access plate on the left side, I would imagine a lot of the parts interchange, but they are hard to find for LHD and likely RHD also, the photo above/below is of my column shift RHD U320 that came from Australia, I am very lucky that I was able to figure out how it went together, as I bought the truck in pieces.

All I can say is to take it apart carefully, do not ruin anything if you can help it.

You can ask specific questions as I have had one column shift mechanism apart, I mostly understand how they work, but I cannot tell you how to take the whole thing apart in a thread like this, but I can likely help you if you ask a specific question.

The first thing I would check is that rubber piece in the photo on the left transmission shaft(rear shaft), if that is falling apart it likely would be very sloppy, the shaft with the rubber piece puts it in gear, the shaft without the rubber piece is what selects the gear, at least that is how it is on my RHD U320, I had a tough time understanding one of these transmissions till I took the access plate off of one and figured out how it worked.

That rag joint piece is the same thing as modern steering column rag joint pieces like on the 720 truck/Chevy truck/a lot of vehicles, but you could make that piece out of a thick piece of conveyor belt material also.


Australia had column shift into the 80s, they are likely your best source for parts, but the MG also has a lot of parts that are interchangeable, as Nissan copied a lot of early MG parts.

Here is a photo of a new rag joint piece bought from NAPA that I received with the U320 when I bought it, now I am not saying this will work for sure as mine still worked fine so I didn't need to replace it at that time, but I plan to replace it with this piece as it looks just like my piece in the photo.


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yeah i get what you mean i have already changed the rag joint and this at least allowed me reverse and all the gears. the whole lot goes up and down , but its when you try and select


 the gears, it like you can,t feel where they are,there seems to be some clevis pins (worn) so i,ll do like you say . strip it carefully!! dave

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Is the column shift lever stiff like it feels like you could break the lever before it moves?

Read this post of mine in HOGIES "barNLove" thread, page 15 post 295, I have a few photos of the column pulled apart, a few post down from that post I show where I lubed my column shift lever to loosen it up.


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