View Full Version : Fresh British car owner

04-15-2006, 07:03 AM
Hi Everyone, I am new to british cars, I recently inherited several cars. I will be asking stupid questions from time to time, so please bear with me. What is the proper way to use the overdrive? I have just driven the 4a for the first time and accidently mistook it for the blinker, what is the wrong way to use it? On the way home a mouse ran up my leg and out of the car as soon as I could stop it, are there wires that are especially tasty to mice that I should be looking at? I love this car because it was my brother's, but I am afraid of hurting it if I am not careful! Thank You.

04-15-2006, 07:16 AM
Welcome! And nice instant collection (I just read your profile).

Mice can do considerable damage. I'm not sure about wiring, but I know for a fact that they like to enjoy building nests in the padded back seat flap piece on TR4s - using what ever they can manage to chew up to make the nest, so watch out! I've heard moth balls will keep them out of the car. I keep my cars in enclosed garages, and try to focus my efforts on keeping them out of the garages altogether.

I can't help you much with the overdrive question - I don't have one, but I do think it can only be used in the upper three gears. Maybe someone else with direct experience will chime in.

As far as not hurting the cars, just remember that the worst thing in the world you can do to an old British car is *NOT* drive it! Just stick around here, read the forum, and ask lots of questions. Triumphs are pretty tough cars. A little common sense (watch the gauges - oil pressure and temperature) and some preventive maintenance (oil changes, etc.) and the car will last a long time.

Good luck!

04-15-2006, 07:59 AM
Welcome to the forum, and the hobby....If the mice haven't made a mess of your interior consider yourself lucky...I haven't seen them do much other damage, although I guess it's possible. Like Kurtis said as long as you use some common sense and do all preventative maintence these cars are pretty tough and will last a long time. They can even be made reliable with some effort.

04-15-2006, 08:13 AM
Lynn, welcome to the nuthouse. You certainly did inherit a nice selection, and are located in a wonderful part of the country to enjoy them. Siebkens on a warm summer night!
There are no stupid questions to be found here. There is a vast amount of experience available, and I would guess that there is an answer for any question you can come up with.

04-15-2006, 08:21 AM
Lynn, welcome and sorry for your loss but from that car list it sounds like your brother would have fit right in here.

I doubt you hurt your 4a overdrive, you don't need to clutch or anything to engage it. When the switch stalk is up, the drive is off, you flick the stalk down in 2nd, 3rd or 4th and you should feel the overdrive engage. In 4th, typically the engine rpm drops about 500 rpm at road speed.
The are lockout switches on the transmission which keep the overdrive from engaging in 1st or reverse. Having the overdrive on in reverse will result in breaking the overdrive. The lockout switch on the transmission should prevent this from happening, but it is good practice to make sure you don't have the overdrive stalk switch on all the time as the failsafe mechanism has been known to fail.

Hope that makes sense, enjoy your cars, especially during those nice Wisconsin summer days.

Randy (homesick badger)

04-15-2006, 09:03 AM
Siebkens on a warm summer night!

[/ QUOTE ] /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif Nice country to drive in & the roads are sooooo smooth. Happy motoring!

I took the SS Badger across lake Michigan last year. (with the Elva)
After getting off at Manitowoc, I drove to Road America.......Beautiful!!!

04-15-2006, 09:56 AM
Hey, welcome aboard neighbour! Glad to see another Wisconsin resident here, we are under-represented.

Sorry to hear of your loss, use the cars and enjoy them, it is the best memorial to him that you can have.

04-15-2006, 12:37 PM
Allow me to add my welcome to this fine forum and this fine sport, recreation, what have you. As has already been said, there are no dumb questions only dumb POs, who have the blessing of anonymity. Everyone have a great Easter!

04-15-2006, 04:57 PM
Welcome to the forum

04-15-2006, 07:30 PM
Welcome to the BCF, and since you've inherited a Healey I'll invite you to visit over there too when you've any questions about them. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yesnod.gif

Hope you get to enjoy all your cars.....

04-15-2006, 11:45 PM
Welcome to the group.
We all started somewhere - many of us not knowing any more than you do.Enjoy the cars!

- Doug

Simon TR4a
04-17-2006, 08:36 AM
Welcome to what I hope will be a hobby you will enjoy for many years to come.

Regarding the overdrive; as Randy said, take care to disengage when you are reversing as damage can occur.
It's primary function is to reduce engine revs at highway speeds, which means less work for the engine, less fuel consumed, and a quieter and more relaxing trip for the driver. You would not normally engage overdrive at speeds much lower than 50-60mph, and disengage if climbing a hill at less than about 60mph. As you get more used to the car you will develop a better feel or "mechanical sympathy" for its needs.
It can also be used around town to bridge a gap between gears, in your car it should work on second as well as third and top gear, but this is less common.
You can switch it in or out without using the clutch but its probably smoother to dip the clutch when disengaging overdrive. Also, allow for the increase in engine revs- you don't want to be doing more than about 3000 revs before disengaging the overdrive, maybe 2000 revs if just cruising around gently.
Hope this helps.