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I realise there are many gearbox threads but I'm not sure I have an outright failure like the others, I'd really appreciate some advise if possible :)

The car is a late 52 Cooper with 78,000 miles on the clock. I've only been driving it two weeks.
The gearbox has not made any whines, rattles or clonks. Shifts have been fine, if a little notchy but the syncro's seemed to be ok. Absolutely no diff whine and the clutch appears to be in good conditon, no dragging and a midway bite point.

I made a reasonably fast change from 1st to 2nd at about 6000 revs, 2nd went in fine but when I went for 3rd the stick would not move, I even tried two hands in panic but no, stuck in 2nd.
I stopped and discovered it would come out of 2nd and maybe go into 4th but the stick hardly moves at all. You cannot push it forward and side to side is severely limited.

I drove it home 2 miles stuck in 2nd and it was like normal, no noises at all nor fluids leaking.

I've taken the battery out hoping its the linkage only to find mine is already 'clipped' in place. The rubber boots are knackered but the ends of the linkage seem very secure.

It feels so much like a bad linkage but I can't see anything wrong.

Should I be able to move the selector ontop of the gearbox at all? I assume I'd probably need to spin the wheels to test properly? Possibly a faulty selector/fork inside the box?

My mechanic skills are ok, i've done full suspension setups and general maintenance for many years but this is my first Mini. I'm buying the Haynes manual later! We have a Misti FTO which has had three manual gearboxes and a diff explode, so I know the sound of a sick box well :eek:
 

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sounds like a cable /pivot problem , -check again at g/box end and under the gear lever - get a friend to move the lever l/r and f/r and see what is happening at the gearbox input
 

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Could be the bushing where the bush which attaches to the bulk head.

I have read lots of gear problems on minis today, this seems a common problem.

Check my thread
"
Prop shafts not engaging with gearbox after clutch op"
 
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