Question about downshifting

I just bought a 67 Austin Healey Sprite. Though I haven't received it yet I have been reading a lot about it. I saw a 5 speed tranny advertised and in
conversing with the seller he said I shouldn't be downshifting for braking as it is too hard on the tranny. Is this true? max
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max s wrote:

no the box is as strong as any other Morris Minor
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OTOH, brakes are cheaper than a transmission. Not sure why you would down-shift instead of using the brakes.
Dan D '76 B '65 B Central NJ USA
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Dano58 wrote:

If I were racing the car, I might well downshift *while* braking, to get the extra stopping power. I would also double-declutch to make the downshift a lot faster. In my opinion, there's very rarely any rational reason to be driving like that off the track.
-Wee Rocket -- Remember Raccoon's Law: "Nothing Is Ever Always Anything."
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That advice coming from the seller would make me suspect that he knows something about that particular gearbox which you don't. Like maybe the synchros are shot or something similar. Any sportscar with a gearbox so weak as to disallow downshifting for braking is not worth having.
A couple of years back I went to look at a cosmetically nice Alpha 1750 Spyder. When I tried to downshift from fourth to third or from third to second it balked, and would only go in smoothly if I double de-clutched. The seller gave me a similar story as your chap, saying that on sportscars you don't need to downshift to slow down, that's why they have disc brakes on 'em. I thanked him for his insight into all things automotive and came home without the car.
Similar loads of ridiculous cobblers have been used by unscrupulous sellers to snare unwary buyers as long as there have been used automobiles. If you haven't handed over the cash yet, test drive the car again and run it through the gears both up and down. If it balks going down to third or second, either knock the price of a gearbox rebuild off your offer or wait for another car. There is always another car.
Good luck. KH

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