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Re: Overdrive question

Subject: Re: Overdrive question
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 1996 20:01:52 -0500
>Since recommencing my MG involvement, I have only worked with non
>overdrive cars. both my roadsters are" Without" as were the two before
>that -
>Going back to my careers first incarnation as a callow youth (all RHD
>cars) I recall two types of O/D switches
>My 69 BGT had a switch set in  the gear knob basically on or off with O/D
>engaging automatically when in the on position
>My 71 and 74 BGTs had switches mounted on the LH side of the dash - same
>procedure, O/D engaging automatically when in the on position.
>Today, I had occasion to look at (and the privilege to drive) a 1970 BGT.
>The car was in very fine shape and ran beautifully(bit rich and needed a
>winter thermostat but otherwise nice), I looked to the gearknob and to
>the dash, no switch so what do i assume??..............'aint got it -
>Later on i saw by chance a switch on the LH side of the steering column
>which the owner told me was the overdrive on/off and that engaging was
>performed by the wiper arm replacing the dipping mechanism when in use -
>I was gobsmacked! - I have never seen or heard of this type before. - I
>have just looked through all my books some of which do mention the types
>i know but not this one - I also looked at a VB catalogue, (all my others
>are at work) and VB neither carry this system nor illustrates it ( the
>other two being plain to all.)
>Was this an aberration of 1970 along with the split bumper?
>Do I know even less than I thought??
>Is this system something replaceable should it fail?
>all help duly appreciated - you can see the question mark over my head
>mike robson
>69 roadster
>72 roadster
>watch this space


The overdrive switch on 1970s is on the right-hand stalk of the steering
column.  It is the one which operates the wipers.  Push it down to engage
overdrive and lift it up to lock it out.  There was a small silver decal
with red letters and two arrows originally stuck on the column surround,
above the overdrive/wiper switch, which showed the operation.  You couldn't
really see it while driving the car.  My '70 B still has the decal.  This
system was only used during '70 and possibly '71 or '69, I can't remember.
It was not a success.  The replacement switches for both sides of the '70
are bastard switches compared with other MGBs as the left switch also
operates the horn as well as the headlight flasher, headlight dimmer and
turn signals.

John McEwen

Survivor of a '70 MGB restoration

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