Frequently Asked Questions
How much will the Overdrive gear reduce engine RPM?A. The fifth gear is about a 18% overdrive ratio, therefore at a speed where you now cruise at 4000 RPM, with the kit installed, engine speed will be about 3300 RPM. Does the kit require special modification to the driveshaft?A. No modification to the driveshaft tube is required. It requires only installation of the yoke with u-joint on the stock driveshaft, a job as simple as installing one half of a u-joint. Does installation of the kit require any machine work or welding? A. No welding or machine work is required. How difficult is the kit installation? What type of work does it require? A. Using the illustrated instructions provided, installation is relatively simple for someone capable of removing and installing the stock engine & transmission. It requires grinding or filing, use of a tubing cutter and tube flaring, sawing a hole in aluminum and a measurement accurate to 1/32". Common mechanic operations, such as installing a U-joint, installing and bleeding the slave cylinder are required. What if I get "stumped" on some part of the installation?A. Instructions include the phone number for Rivergate, where Will can help you through any tough spots. What if I buy the kit & decide I don’t want to use it?A. No Problem! Anytime within 30 days after purchase you may return the kit for a full refund. (No one has ever decided to do this, but if they do, OK). Will my speedometer read accurately after installation of the kit?A. Generally not; most will read slower than actual speed. This can be corrected, by purchase of the optional Speedometer Adapter Kit. The angle ratio adapter makes the cable much easier to install and is furnished with a new cable. Does the appearance of the interior of the cockpit change with the kit installed? A. No, the five speed kit is virtually undetectable from the interior of the car. The gearshift lever is at almost exactly the same position as stock and looks the same if the stock knob is installed rather than the 5-Speed knob. Either fits. Bugeye owners may choose to fit the later gearshift boot. With the clutch remaining the stock diameter, what kind of clutch life can I expect? A. We have found clutch life to be much longer than stock. Apparently with the stock transmission (non-synchronized low) we all tended to slip the clutch in second rather than come to the full stop required to put it in low. The synchronized low gear in the five speed eliminates this, extending clutch life. Why was the Datsun 210 transmission selected for this installation? A. We examined and tested other transmissions in five prototype installations in developing the kit. We selected the ‘79-‘82 Datsun 210 5 speed because:
- It fits the car amazingly well, even back into the tight driveshaft tunnel.
- It is rather cheap. Hundreds of thousands of 210's were sold in the US.
- It is durable. We have rarely seen one of these transmissions needing more than synchronizer rings or bearing replacement, and even this infrequently.
- It is quiet - important in a car with sound insulation as skimpy as a Spridget.
- It has the appropriate ratios for the Spridget.