Gearstick Conversion

Reliant Side Gear Stick Conversion


While building a trike for the wife she decided she wanted the gear stick on the left hand side and not in the middle as all the others had been. I have seen many trikes with complicated linkages and long bent levers which were prone to snapping and hit and miss on gear selection. The only solution I could come up with was to redesign the selector mechanism on the top of the gearbox, so pen and grinder in hand of I went.

Design 1 with separate reverse lever ( does not require a gearbox strip)

Note: Reliant’s have two different gearboxes this article is for the gearbox with the REVERSE selector fork on the left.

Parts required:

(All sizes are approximate and I have my own lathe.)

Original gear leaver
Original gearbox top cover
155 x 120 x 3 steel plate
3 x 6mm x 40mm set screw
2 x 6mm Nylock nuts
2 x 8mm x 40mm set screws
2 x 8mm Nylock nuts
6mm washers
8mm washers
2 x 8mm rose joints
1 x 8mm clevis fork and pin
300mm 30 x 30 x 3 angle
150mm 8mm bright steel rod
500mm 12mm bright steel rod
80mm x 16mm id steel tube
80mm x 20mm phosphor bronze bar
2 x small clevis’s welded together (I cut mine off an old Robin H/B cable)

1, Remove the gearlever and put aside for later.

2, Remove the gearbox top cover 8 set screws and remove the top.

3, Place the gearbox top cover on the steel plate and carefully draw around outside edge and mark the centres of the holes. Cut out and drill the holes.

4, Measure the throw of the selector’s add a bit and cut out the hole in the centre.

5, Throw away the original gearbox top

6, Fit the new top and make sure all gears can be selected, remove the top

7, Cut off the original gear lever just above the ball and tap out the pivot pin. You should now be able to tap the selector lever out of the ball. It may need some heat or cut the ball at a 45° angle and split with a small chisel

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Enlarge the pivot hole to 12mm

9, Cut two pieces of 12mm rod, one at 90mm and one at 30mm to make the reverse gear selector rod.

10, File the end of the 90mm piece to accept the 30mm piece and weld on. Grind back the welds and grind flats on both sides to fit the width of the selector fork.

11, Cut a piece of 12mm rod 280mm and three pieces of 16mm pipe 20mm

12, Turn three bushes, fit to the 16mm pipe, drill and ream to fit the 12mm rod

13, Cut two pieces of the angle one 100mm long and the other 200mm long

14, Place the angle on the top plate, mark and drill the holes. Fit the top plate and the angle

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15, Lay the 280mm 12mm rod over the top of the angle inline with the selector forks and mark

16, Drill two 13mm holes near the top angle at the marks made in 15

Note: The reverse selector shaft must have clearance to slide BELOW the forward selector shaft

17, Thread the 12mm rod through the holes, press the bushes into two of pieces of 16mm pipe and slide onto the rod. Make sure the rod is lined up with the forks and is a nice sliding fit and tack weld in place

Follow the same procedure for the reverse gear selector using the 90mm 12mm rod and the last 16mm pipe with bush fitted

19, Slide the selector lever on to the forward gear shaft and make sure all four gears can be selected while maintaining support in the end bush and clearing the selector forks, the bottom of the lever may need to be filed to provide clearance. Mark the position

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20, Fit the previously made reverse gear selector shaft and check for all round clearance of all shafts in all gears

21, Once you are happy with both shafts, remove the forward gear shaft, drill and tap through the top to take the 6mm bolt, refit and secure with the set screw

22, the ends of the selector rods flat to accept the clevis’s

23, Cover the top and front of the selector box with 3mm plate and weld in place

You will have to work out the angles and lengths of your gear sticks and pivot to suit your frame.

All the above is what I remember doing and will take no responsibility if yours does not work.

Pictures are better than words so here’s a few.

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