[Healeys] Overdrive not releasing

simon.lachlan at alexarevel.plus.com simon.lachlan at alexarevel.plus.com
Wed May 4 10:26:30 MDT 2022

Back in mid-April I posted a long and detailed question with regard to my
OD, how it didn't appear to be coming out of overdrive. This being
subsequent to it frying its solenoid.

I received a LOT of detailed suggestions and advice for which I am, as ever,
very grateful.

I thought that I'd bring you up to date with the issue which is, cross
fingers, resolved.


So..I was able to determine that it was not stuck in overdrive so that was a

I was further able to determine that I could set it by every means from a
dial gauge, the drill bit, guesstimates, whatever. I'd set it and it would
seem to be "just right". But when I got the engine running and the box in
3rd or 4th and running at +/- 500psi, it all went wrong.

I tried everything, spent hours on it. Could NOT get the bloody thing to

In the end, I took the gearbox out and lugged it up to OD Spares about 190
miles away. Not a huge distance, I know, but a PITA with our congested
motorways. The deal was that they'd start on it as soon as I arrived, 08:30,
and keep going until it was fixed.

Dave - he's pretty much The Man on ODs over here - found two issues which,
together, were causing the problem:-

1)      The solenoid had an intermittent failure which was internal ie no
amount of dicking around with the points could fix it. (Brand new, just out
of the box).

2)      More interestingly - and first time I've ever heard of this one -
the pinch lever thingie that's hooked onto the solenoid's plunger and which
turns the shaft.that could not be tightened up enough. What was happening
was this.it would do the business when there was no pressure in the OD and
I'd get it set. ie there was no resistance from the 500psi and the pinch was
just tight enough. Then, under pressure, it would slip and not be able to
move the rod that lifts the ball.

Particularly when taken together, I think that's a sensible synopsis of what
was going on.

Dave said what we all know.that the new "Lucas" solenoids are not really
Lucas at all..just made to look like Lucas. He gave me a used one out of
stock, genuine article. And he swapped my new pinch lever thingie for an
NOS. That last item was also brand new so you might look carefully at any
new ones that you buy. May be a bad batch out there..Simple enough to fix
it. Just run a hack saw through the split and make it a fraction wider.

Anyhow, the box is still on the garage floor and I just hope it'll all work
when I get it all back together.

Simon Lachlan


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