All Gears was started in 2002 by Neil Waterhouse, after gaining upwards of 20 years’ experience with gearboxes and differentials.
The company naturally developed as time passed and he became increasingly interested in working with BMW, Jaguar & GM Getrags. Over a number of years, he developed his techniques and understanding of working with these mysterious gearboxes. His turnover of these increased with a reasonable pace and he gained a reputation for his ability to rebuild them in the process. But he can also turn his hand to pretty much any manual car or light commercial gearbox. He has been helped throughout by his wife, Anita.
After some consideration, Neil decided that All Gears should focus on manual work so, in 2007, he called an end to the company’s dealings with automatic gearboxes.
In 2009, his daughter Paige joined the company, spending a number of months answering the phone, cleaning parts and learning how to do the admin jobs. Once she’d settled, Neil carefully began teaching her the process of rebuilding Getrag gearboxes, as well as the other Jaguar gearboxes. Though she has made quite a bit of progress, there is still much to learn about the complicated diagnostic process.
In April 2012, All Gears moved premises. Though only a matter of minutes away from the previous unit, the new one is much larger and hopefully holds the key further development of the company. For instance, we are keen to get involved with motor-sport related developments – we like a challenge! Also, we’re hoping to expand our sales a little further by reconditioning some of the stock we’ve collected over the years – so watch this space!
As mentioned on our home page, we at All Gears specialise in reconditioning Getrag gearboxes that are classed as not rebuildable. Other companies in the UK are only able to dismantle these ‘boxes up to a certain point. Past this, they lack the knowledge to dismantle them further, which means that not all of the components can be inspected in detail, or thoroughly cleaned. We, however, are able to get these ‘boxes completely down to component level – meaning that every part is inspected and fully chemically cleaned (or replaced if faulty) before they are reassembled. We usually offer these ‘boxes painted and polished as part of the reconditioning process, though the odd customer here and there will opt out of this service for their own reasons.
Getrags sometimes require modification, depending on the customer’s intended use for them. Some need to be “toughened up” (if they’re going in a race car, for instance) - which calls for changes to be made to the internals. Others get transplanted into classic cars (Jaguars for example) for which they were not intended. This means changes are required on the exterior of the ‘box, to make fitting them into the vehicle as simple as possible.
We are happy to discuss the modifications with customers at length, to ensure the end product is right for them. Occasionally, this is decided by compromise; customers sometimes have an idea for what they want the ‘box to do without realising that it is physically unachievable.
Wherever it is difficult but still possible, we work through it until we achieve what the customer wants. Where it is not possible, we talk through the available options until we find the most suitable alternative.
We also have some of these gearboxes on stock, waiting to be reconditioned so that they can be sold. Unfortunately, we don’t always have as much space as we’d like in our schedule to work on these, but we are hoping to make some progress soon – so watch this space for updates on what we have for sale!
This specialist knowledge extends to Jaguar E-Type, Overdrive and Moss ‘boxes also. Although there are other companies in the UK that are able to fully recondition these in a similar way to us, we feel we differ in this field too. Not many companies can recondition a Moss ‘box and get such a positive response from the customer as to how pleasant it is to drive!
This older design requires the right amount of understanding to get the most from it. This also applies to E-Type and Overdrive ‘boxes and we have gained an equal reputation for our capability with these as we have with the Getrags.