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Thread: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

  1. #1
    Freshman Member Airwave's Avatar
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    BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    Hello I'm new in the Forum. I already read out a lot of good hints, which I really appreciate a lot.Now, as something strange happens when driving, I'm just wondering if someone can help.

    Since the mechanic replaced the clutch plate the O/D doesn't work properly anymore, right after starting the cold engine it works perfect (Switch in & out), but after a certain while when heated up the Switch is not responding anymore. Has anyone any idea what could cause this phenomenon ? It doesn't seem to be wobbled contact because driving the next day the O/D works again but sets out again, Groundhog Day. Before the O/D did work without any problems.

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    Jedi Hopeful oxford's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    Hi
    Drive the car to warm her up. Then if you turn the ignition on but don't start the engine, put the car in first or third and flick the switch, you should be able to hear the solenoid clicking on the gearbox. Don't get confused with the relay click which isn't as loud. If you don't hear it it means the problem is electrical.
    That's a start.
    Matthew

  3. #3

    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    Hello, Airwave, and welcome to the Forum.
    I do not believe there is a connection between your replaced clutch plate and the symptoms with the overdrive. Nor is the temperature of the engine directly related to those symptoms, but the temperature of the oil in the gearbox/overdrive could cause those symptoms if there are internal problems with the overdrive.
    My first thought was that you are experiencing the same symptoms I did years ago. My O/D worked fine when its oil was cold, but once the oil heated up and I had to shift out of O/D it would not re-engage again until the oil cooled. In my case, the problem was a severely scored bore in the accumulator. That is a cylindrical aluminum part in the overdrive that has a piston with steel piston rings in its bore. Oil pressure from the O/D pump causes the piston to move back in the bore against a heavy spring until it exposes holes in the bore walls. These holes route the oil to the operating pistons to engage the overdrive. A scored accumulator bore causes too much leakage of the pressure (especially as the oil thins out at higher temperature) so the piston is not pushed far enough back to expose the holes. Some claim the accumulator can be removed and replaced without removing the gearbox and overdrive, but I've never done that.
    The critical issue is that the O/D has to generate about 450 psi to operate properly and anything that prevents that will prevent the O/D from engaging.
    Good luck with it!
    Steve Byers
    HBJ8L/36666
    BJ8 Registry
    Havelock, NC

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    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    Matthew

    Welcome to the forum. One of the first things to learn is that while a lot of us know a little a few of us know a lot. Steve Byers is one of those few.

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    Jedi Warrior CLEAH's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    Mine recently did the same thing. Worked fine until hot. Eventually, however, it stopped working altogether and did not work when cold. It was the relay in the engine compartment that was the problem in my case.
    Hugh
    1965 BJ8
    1958 AN5


  6. #6

    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    Hello Airwave, and welcome to the forum. I''m going to make a suggestion based on the principle of "what was done last". i'm wondering if when the transmission was out for the clutch job that maybe some trans oil was lost. Check your fill stick indicator and refill if necessary.
    About TV Shows-
    "...you really can't restore a car in 10 days. I don't want to watch a race where people have to restore it in a week. It's not going to drive, and those cars never work. In real life, it takes years to get it right. " Jay Leno.

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    Darth Vader
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    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    Quote Originally Posted by CLEAH View Post
    ... It was the relay in the engine compartment that was the problem in my case.
    Try the easy fix first.

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    Jedi Knight Keith_M's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    What kind of oil is in the transmission? The consensus seems to be that 30 wt nondetergent oil is best.
    Keith
    '59 Bugeye (in boxes)
    '62 BT7 (recently restored)
    '65 Sprite (restored 30 yrs ago)


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    Darth Vader
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    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith_M View Post
    ...The consensus seems to be that 30 wt nondetergent oil is best.
    Not necessarily. 30W non-detergent is what was recommended in the manual when the cars were built last century, and is still an acceptable lubricant (though getting harder to find). I use Redline MT-90 in both my BN2 and BJ8. I put it in the BJ8 to see if the OD would be a bit more responsive--it was--but was surprised by smoother shifting in the gearbox. The downside is a bit more leakage.

    The theory on ND oil is that--since it has no detergents or dispersants--it allows swarf to sink to the bottom (presumably building up a layer of sludge). The MT-90 keeps wear metals--mostly brass--in suspension, though I've found they are so finely ground they don't cause a problem (at least, in the 75K miles or so that I've been using it).

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    Jedi Warrior roscoe's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    IMG_20170717_074822949-1.jpgI agree that Steve is spot on. Although there are alternate explanations for your issue, since it seems to work well when the oil is cooler it is likley an oil pressure problem. Likewise,there are several spots in the OD unit where oil pressure can be lost. I've added a photo of a simple tool you can make or have made. All you need is a spare cap that goes on the selector valve, which is easily accessible with the gearbox tunnel off. A 600 psi pressure gage and a tad of welding skill. You remove the cap, drill a small hole in the top and install the cap with the gage. Go for a drive, making sure you are not going to get anything caught in the spinning driveshaft, and watch the pressure gage. I'll bet you see the oil pressure slowly drop to less than 300 psi as the oil warms up. Once the pressure drops off below the pressure needed to actuate the OD clutch the OD will drop off. I don't recall what the drop out pressure is but when i put my car on the road I found that the seat for the small ball bearing used with a spring for the oil pressure relief valve was badly pitted and would not allow the valve to ever close, thus not allowing pressure to ever build. I lapped the seat (for hours) and voila!
    Last edited by roscoe; 07-17-2017 at 01:39 PM.

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    Jedi Knight Keith_M's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Spidell View Post
    Not necessarily. 30W non-detergent is what was recommended in the manual when the cars were built last century, and is still an acceptable lubricant (though getting harder to find). I use Redline MT-90 in both my BN2 and BJ8. I put it in the BJ8 to see if the OD would be a bit more responsive--it was--but was surprised by smoother shifting in the gearbox. The downside is a bit more leakage.

    The theory on ND oil is that--since it has no detergents or dispersants--it allows swarf to sink to the bottom (presumably building up a layer of sludge). The MT-90 keeps wear metals--mostly brass--in suspension, though I've found they are so finely ground they don't cause a problem (at least, in the 75K miles or so that I've been using it).
    I agree there are other oils that will work. I think I remember reading somewhere that detergent oils can foam and cause pressure in the overdrive to drop. My (not clearly stated) point was simply that one might try a different oil to see if that's the problem.
    Keith
    '59 Bugeye (in boxes)
    '62 BT7 (recently restored)
    '65 Sprite (restored 30 yrs ago)


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    Darth Vader
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    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    Good point on the foaming. When my relay failed my OD disengaged randomly, so if an OD gets quits consistently when hot it's likely low pressure. A different fluid may help, but won't fix the underlying problem. I believe MT-90 is equivalent to 40W or 50W gear oil.

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    Freshman Member Airwave's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    Hello all again

    Many many thanks to all of you for your excellent hints and advices, much appreciated !!

    I performed easiest tests first as adviced and found out that it is obviously an electro mechanical device problem. It's likely the Solenoid.


    Again, many thanks for your help, btw I also found this helpful techical overdrive description (added link eventhough I believe that all of you already know this pdf anyway):

    http://www.healey6.com/Technical/Tec...leshooting.pdf

    airwave

    PS Low oil pressure problem; I'm using gear oil: SAE 40 and engine oil: 20w50 motorex

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    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    Airwave--

    I am glad you found your problem.

    At the end of your post you say you are using "gear oil", a term which seems to be used loosely.

    Make sure you are using an oil that has a GL4 rating which is compatible with yellow metal, such as the synchro rings in your transmission. Many "gear oils" are designed to be used in differentials or transmissions without brass, etc. parts and have a GL5 rating which has higher sulfur and phosphorus contents and will, over time, attack these parts. For more information go here: http://www.widman.biz/uploads/Transaxle_oil.pdf

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Lemans
    1958 Elva Courier
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Freshman Member Airwave's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    Thank you Michael as a fact my overdrive (false oil pressure for the Solenoid?) stops working when engine is warmed up, do you think it also might be becuse of the used SAE 40 gear oil ?

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    Jedi Knight RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    Hi Airwave,

    Welcome. A while back there was a discussion on the effects of using thicker oils in the Overdrive and gearbox. Although gear oil and even Automatic Transmission Fluid are recommended by some manufacturers, my understanding is that a 90W gear oil (equivalent in viscosity to a 40W Motor oil you indicated using) could be a little thick to exit out of the small openings of the accumulator and cause an increase in pressure as the car continues to operate in OD. So, instead of OD loosing pressure as it warms, it is building pressure to a point that it will keep it actuated and will not release even when switched off until the pressure slowly diminishes.

    As a check, I would change fluid to one having less viscosity before doing anything. I personally used 30W non-detergent oil for many years and switched to Red Line MTL about 10 years ago. No problems with 30W non-detergent but it was getting difficult to find a good brand.

    Just a thought,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

  17. #17

    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    I have to agree with the proponents of the correct oil theory. If it is not low on oil then the wrong oil could be the problem as well. My belief is that you can get too thick of an oil. I still use 30w motor oil with no troubles with the trans or OD.
    About TV Shows-
    "...you really can't restore a car in 10 days. I don't want to watch a race where people have to restore it in a week. It's not going to drive, and those cars never work. In real life, it takes years to get it right. " Jay Leno.

  18. #18
    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 overdrive stops working after a while driving

    Quote Originally Posted by vette View Post
    I have to agree with the proponents of the correct oil theory. If it is not low on oil then the wrong oil could be the problem as well. My belief is that you can get too thick of an oil. I still use 30w motor oil with no troubles with the trans or OD.
    Actually, I use SAE60 in mine, but I have the uprated accumulator.
    John, BN4

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