So... (this is a bit of a long winded thread so bear with me I do get to the point)
I now have a new(to me, one caring previous owner) gearbox, new clutch new selector fork for 3rd gear and after a few days of pootling about I finally got a dry day this afternoon.
A bit of history is that last years Croft track day hastened the demise of 3rd gear in my car and sometime in May it finally gave up the ghost completely rendering me in the land of Mini's with only 4 gears.
A couple of weeks back I had the car in to my specialist and he had correctly diagnosed the fault as the 3rd gear syncro sleeve being buggered stopping 3rd gear staying in gear.
But.... what's this grey stuff in the oil, hmm not good, on further inspection it looks like the gearbox has been apart previously for a blown bearing replacing and the case hadn't been cleaned properly afterwards leaving particles to get into the oil and turn it into a kind of grinding paste.
End result was that one of the selector shafts had worn away the gearbox housing making the shafts fit very sloppy this is what caused 3rd gear to fail along with a worn and broken selector plate (went on 2 occasions).
My guy did some wriging around and found a known second hand , I presume from a low mileage writeoff and bunged it in along with a new clutch which although it felt fine to me was actually skimming the springs.
Anyway, back to today, I just came home over the tops between Keighley and Hebden Bridge where on a dry day there are some awesome long sweeping roads, it's a great drive and good road albeit a little lumpy in places. As I'm preparing for the decent into Hebden a rather nice full fairing race bike appeared behind me with a fair bit of pace and slipped past. I slipped it into 3rd and took chase down the hill towards a lovely tight 90 degree right hander that leads onto a long straight that you have visibility of for about a mile.
Taking the corner at around 60 on the wrong side of the road the guy on the bike knew it was game on and was obviously up for it as he upped the pace and I had a fantastic 5 minutes of high speed corners and cat and mouse with the biker. He pulled into a pub in a small village and left me with a huge grin on my face. This is what I've been missing ever since I bought my 147, always before I never 'trusted' the gearbox to engage when I wanted it to but now it engages first time with a lovely slick snickety motion (thank you Wyn).
Suffice to say, the smile is back after 3 months of a frown and a shadow over the cars ability, for a 1.6 it flew and really showed it's true colours today.