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  • Gear Ratios

    According to the user's manual for my '79 Austin Mini 1000 with its stock 998cc engine, the gear ratios are 12.13 : 1 in 1st, 7.63 : 1 in 2nd, 4.93 : 1 in 3rd and 3.44 : 1 in 4th. I'm assuming these were the stock ratios with English country two lane winding roads in mind rather than flat out U.S. highway/freeway speeds as my engine seems to be revving VERY high when in 3rd and 4th gear. Anything over 65 mph on the freeways my engine is absolutely screaming even though I still have a bit of pedal left. Is this something that I'm just going to have to live with or can the gearing be changed to reduce the RPMs at highway speeds and give me a few more mph as well?

    Bill

  • #2
    This is a pretty common concern among owners who are new to Minis, Bill. At freeway speeds, even 4,000 RPMs can rattle your teeth and inspire fears of impending valve-train doom. The concern comes from being intimately close to your engine compartment, and it usually sounds much worse than it really is.

    I've found a set of reusable foam ear plugs is much cheaper than a new final drive. Ditto for a good firewall-insulating blanket.


    The right kinds of ear plugs (above) can be fashioned to resemble Martian antennae, which is a good look for a Mini driver, I think. I wore them for most of the drive to Minnesota and back in 2009.

    There are club members who have changed to or bought 3.1 and lower (numerically) final drives and like the result. Most often, they're driving 1275-equipped cars, however. You might talk with some of them, because there are a few tradeoffs. They cruise in relative comfort, but they're generally doing more downshifting on hills than us 3.44 drivers.

    Dan
    Dan

    "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison

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    • #3
      Originally posted by BIGSHOT View Post
      This is a pretty common concern among owners who are new to Minis, Bill. At freeway speeds, even 4,000 RPMs can rattle your teeth and inspire fears of impending valve-train doom. The concern comes from being intimately close to your engine compartment, and it usually sounds much worse than it really is.

      I've found a set of reusable foam ear plugs is much cheaper than a new final drive. Ditto for a good firewall-insulating blanket.

      Dan
      I've already done the insulating blanket thing, both bonnet and firewall and it did quiet it down a bit but not a whole lot. I'll try ear plugs next as you're right, a much cheaper fix than a new final drive. But, most importantly it's good to know that my engine is not to going to disintegrate at 65 mph. As I used to own a '76 VW bus, I can definitely handle life in the slow lane. Thanks! Bill

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      • #4
        Your 3.44:1 final drive along with the wheels you have on the car will get you 4000 rpm at 65. A healthy 998 will do that all day long.
        The more I know about Minis, the more I know I don't know about Minis.

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