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FS5W71B transmission identification (close-ratio vs. wide ratio) - with pictures


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Watch out with gearboxes, there are many versions that look the same but are not!

9 hours ago, pogden said:

The wide ratio gearbox has two exhaust hanger ears on the rear extension housing, the close ratio has only one (on the driver's side).


This is not true for the euro version FS5C71B gearbox that came in europe in the 240z 1971 to 1973.   I got one here and it has 2! ears..


9 hours ago, pogden said:

The wide ratio has a dust collar/shroud surrounding the end of the tail piece, the close ratio does not.

Oh yes! my close ratiobox has one!


9 hours ago, pogden said:

On the close ratio, the screw that secures the speedometer drive assembly to the rear extension housing is located at 6 o'clock (toward the bottom of the transmission), on the wide ratio the screw is at 12 o'clock (toward the top).

Wrong again .. 😂   On my close ratio box it's... at 12 o'clock! 

So one could think it's a wide one but no this box came out of an original dutch 240z and i'm shure it's a FS5C71B  not a FS5W71B (got those to btw.. reserve for my 280zx)

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This is nice work.  In the States what you're showing will be true 99.9% of the time.  The things dutchz are talking about might be true over there, but I can't think of a case over here where somebody has described what he's talking about unless you get in to the odd truck transmissions.  The truck transmissions use a different tail shaft housing.  For the Z cars though, that's a great guide.

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Excellent Pictures!  Best I've ever seen. Thank you.

Let's not forget the 1980 variant that shares the same external appearance with the close ratio box, but has short shifter ears. The ratios are listed below.

   81-83CR        1980     1977-79
3.062 3.062 3.321
1.858 1.858 2.077
1.308 1.308 1.308
1.000 1.000 1.000
0.745 0.773 0.864

The transmissions in discussion here the ones found in North American 77-78 280Z's then 79-83 ZX's.  As Dutchzcarguy guy said, there are other 5 speeds that don't fit these descriptions. 

It is simply what most north american's are going to run across when you they find a 5 speed. Use with care. 


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@dutchzcarguy, thanks for adding the detail. I knew that Euro-market 240Z's were available with 5-speeds, but the specifics you added here are great. And I'll edit my original post to make it clear that I'm in the US, and my comments are based on what I've seen/heard about Z's here.

@zKars, the wide ratio gearbox in my photos came out of a 280ZX - I believe it was a 1979 - I removed i myself (with help from my local Z buddy @Randalla). I'm honestly not certain of the origin of the close ratio box - I bought in on eBay - but it was said to be out of a 1983 280ZX. 

It is my understanding that the term "close ratio" refers to the difference between 2nd and 3rd. Looking at your table, either of the two later model 5-speeds would be considered "close ratio", right? 

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Very nice photo's. Looks nice
I made a document in 2014 to help explain the differences between thre three versions used in the North American 280Z and 280ZX.
BTW My photos are crap conpared to yours.

Cell phone cameras have improved quite a bit in half a decade, eh? :-)

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
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19 hours ago, pogden said:

I knew that Euro-market 240Z's were available with 5-speeds

To ad, The euro version also has a different diff..    I converted my 240z from 4 speed (US type)  to  5 speed (Euro type) and had to change the differential also because with a euro 5 speed and a US. differential you get a very large first gear that will eat your clutchdisk every time you pull away..  As my car has a km speedo it ran till over 50-60 in first gear.. don't remember how high it was only that it was way to high.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm trying to ID my transmission because I need to check if parts are still available. All I know is that it came out of a 280z or zx since it was installed in my 260 around '83. Based on the retaining bolt placement above the speedo cable and the two tabs on the tail end of the transmission housing it is likely a wide ratio FS5W71B. Is this the only potential transmission or do I need to dig deeper. There is an L3 on the housing if that helps.

Also, from talking to a transmission specialist, my problem of popping out of gear may be related to worn shoes or forks. If he is on the right track, are these components still available? I'm going to pull my center console out to see if something is blocking the shifter before bringing it in just in case it's a simple issue.

Thanks in advance...




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Your ID looks right.  It also has the dust/dirt shield over the slip yoke area.  Which gear does it pop out of?  There's quite a bit about shift lever interference causing 5th gear to pop out or not engage completely.

Blown up bearings are common also.

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