As you all know, my 5th gear went out a couple weeks ago. I found a donor trans, which is probably better than what I have now, so I'll be swapping the whole thing out. Since I have the donor trans out right now and I don't know it's real condition, it makes sense to do a complete rebuild. I was going to buy a kit from my local trans parts house, but they can't find one. Which is strange, because I found one on eBay within 10 minutes. Of course, there's no telling how good the eBay kit is, so there's that.
I pulled the end cap off the donor trans and verified that 5th gear is not broken. I also found that the syncros are in surprisingly good shape and everything is nice and clean. I shifted through the gears before I pulled the trans and everything was butter smooth. The oil inside was super clean, unlike the black grungy ooze I've found in other trans'. Pics are available in the link above.
If I rebuild it, I can replace all the syncros and bearings, the shift shaft seal that's currently leaking and fix any other problems. If I stuff it in as-is then I save a lot of time and money and avoid any potential surprises. Either way is a gamble.
So what's your vote?
- Take a chance on the eBay kit and rebuild it.
- It looks great as is. Stick it in, drive the car and be happy!
- Save your money for a K-swap.