[Healeys] Fix for overdrive operating shaft oil leak

Steven Kingsbury airtightproductions at icloud.com
Mon Aug 1 09:44:00 MDT 2016


Since I have an early BN1, I actually have two relays and yes I took them out and tested them. They were doing everything they should and working just fine. That's why I continued down the line to the wiring on the overdrive unit. I'm luck, I can take my transmission tunnel out quite easily and everything is exposed. So I think I'm in luck and will know more today as I'm planning a bit longer of a drive as it's finally going to be under a 100 degrees today.


On Aug 01, 2016, at 01:32 AM, Simon Lachlan <simon.lachlan at homecall.co.uk> wrote:

Do you have this? (Attached). Quite handy if you’re looking for a specific electrical issue.

Normally, if you have to “Bridge the centrifugal switch”, the relay’s actually the problem! Sounds counter-intuitive doesn’t it?

You might put a fuse in while you’re at it.

If the relay is at fault, you can prise it open and clean the contacts inside.

Likewise, you might buy a new relay and replace the innards of the old one with a modern relay. A small one fits right in.



From: Healeys [mailto:healeys-bounces at autox.team.net] On Behalf Of Steven Kingsbury
Sent: 31 July 2016 17:32
To: Noel and Helen; healeys at autox.team.net
Subject: Re: [Healeys] Fix for overdrive operating shaft oil leak



So before I got to testing the electrical connections, I cleaned every wire and connector. Sixty plus years of driving can create quite a mess as you can imagine. I also noticed some of the wires we flattened out and look like they've gotten a bit hot. With all connectors exposed and cleaned, I drove the car down to the shop where I have a mechanic friend who helps me. On the way, I thought what the heck, let's give her a go. I throw the switch, hear a loud click and damn, the car goes in to overdrive. It slips a bit of in and out, so I flip off the switch and then try it again. This time it goes in and stays in. As I get to my mechanics' place, I take it out of overdrive and discover my mechanic has closed up early and gone home. So back on the road I try it again and sure enough, everything works!

Before I button everything up, I'm going to wrap some insulation around the wires as what's there is pretty weak and since it's lying right on top of bare metal, why temp a flow away from where it should go and keep all that current in the wires. I'm also going to double check the tightness and cleanliness of every connector, but I actually think this is going to work! If it doesn't, I'll bridge the centrifugal switch as your mates and you have done, but I'm hoping I've solved the problem.

We'll see, but also the two o-rings is the way to go as I haven't leaked a drop from that location since I've put it back together. Good luck with your eBay find and here's to more years of happy motoring!


On Jul 27, 2016, at 08:51 PM, Noel and Helen <hstandfa at iinet.net.au> wrote:

Hi Steven

thanks for the update, I'll try 2 O rings also.  I persevered with the original overdrive switching system on my BN1 for the first few years after the restoration, however started having trouble getting the car into overdrive so bridged out the centrifugal switch.  Most of my mates in the club have done the same, I have bought a NOS centrigugal switch on Ebay but I haven't
 got around to fitting it

good luck with it

Noel S

On 28/07/2016 1:38 AM, Steven Kingsbury wrote:

took the transmission tunnel off yesterday. It appears that the "lever" is just fine and moving with no problem. The oil is up and next I'm going to test all of the electrical components on the transmission. Already checked the relay units and both of them are doing exactly what they should be doing. I'm hoping it's not the centrifugal switch, but we'll see. More to follow.


On Jul 25, 2016, at 02:17 PM, Noel and Helen <hstandfa at iinet.net.au> wrote:

Hi Steven

thanks for your reply, seems to be a common problem, I'll be interested to hear how you go


Noel S

On 26/07/2016 3:00 AM, Steven Kingsbury wrote:

Mine leaked also and I was told that rather than using just one o-ring, use two. The seal I took out was quite wide. My overdrive always worked, it just leaked like crazy. And when it was slow to go in to or out of overdrive, I knew I was low on oil. Now I don't leak, but on a trip to Yosemite, my overdrive stopped engaging. I am now in the process of seeing if the two o-rings are stopping the unit from engaging as that's the only difference. I will let you know towards the end of this week if this is the problem. I'm going to open her up again this week and see if I can get it to engage.  Stay tuned.

Steven Kingsbury

BN1 #598

On Jul 25, 2016, at 09:08 AM, Noel and Helen <hstandfa at iinet.net.au> wrote:

Hi listers

has anyone come up with a fix for the ubiquitous oil leak from the O
ring on the right side of the overdrive? I've checked the archives and
Tech Talk and can't find a solution, would it be possible to either
machine out the casing and fit a lip seal (pretty hard to do in-situ
I'd imagine) or can you fit a second O ring behind the operating lever?

any help appreciated

Noel S
Brisbane, Australia
BN1, BJ8
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