Article on The Internet Mini Encyclopædia
There are three types of 4-speed manual gear box transmissions over the 41 years of Mini production. All Mini transmissions are mounted directly beneath the engine block in place of an oil pan (to save space), and share the oil with the engine.
"Magic wand" also known as "Pudding stick"
This is the earliest type and is the least desirable. It uses a rather long gear stick that came out from the front of the floor board under the heater. Non-synchro first gear. Due to its length and general sloppiness it is like stirring pudding.
These have a housing that connects to the transmission and comes all the way back to about the front of the seats. The housing itself will actually take up some of the rocking motion of the engine.
This is the most common today. Although also 'remote' in design, it is so called because it uses two rods that come out of the back of the transmission. It then has a shifter box that connects the rods and the shifter handle. The shifter-box is hung on rubber bushings under the centre of the car as far back as the front of the seats. One rod does not move and is used to locate and fix the length from the gearbox to the shifter box. The other rod does the actual shifting.
Various gear ratios have been available largely because there have been so many engine power variations to take advantage of, as well as different wheel diameters. Short shift kits are available for both the remote and rod change 'boxes which provide less than half the throw of the standard geometry but will require slightly more effort to operate. Proper greasing is essential to all of these. Since the oil is shared between the engine & transmission, proper oil & filter change intervals are vital to the longevity of both.
In addition to these, an automatic was available. 'Jack Knight racing' make a 5-speed box which is the ultimate although rather expensive.
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