MG B GT 1976


The new old car - rubber bumper car is looking quite nice when in dark colors
(more pictures:rear view, interior)

MG driving is "chic" - but with some degrees down zero, its not comfortable for business friends to be driven in an MGA. And the spare motorcycle raincloth is not so good for someone who is familiar with BOSS, CERUTTI or whatever.

So the need of a new car was there.

We studies the sales brochures. ROVER - over; Jaguar X-class - why not a Ford Mondeo? Porsche? Image problems...I am not a dentists son. Mercedes - I am not old enough to drive my mother-in-laws car.

MG? We found a 5000 USD offer: a rubber bumper GT, 76, black, "matching numbers", tinted glass, heated rear window, black interior, steel sunroof (epensive options, take a look at the original invoice), more or less first hand. Problem: Slipping clutch. Not a real challenge for the keen shadowtree mechanic, we thought...

After some bazaaring, we were the proud owner of a non driving MGBGT - for a little less of 5,000 bucks, of course....

We changed the clutch, the slipping effect was still there. So we go for the overdrive. Oh, yes: After all this, someone told me: "If the slipping effect is in 1st or 2nd, its the overdrive; if it is in 3rd or 4th, its the clutch!" - Nevertheless, thank you.

Unfortunately, after assembling the new exchange overdrive unit, we have had only 1400 miles of enjoying the "fast track". In the middle of the night, on the way back from a business meeting in Zurich to Dusseldorf, there was suddenly a "big bang", no more overdrive, but instead a "braking effect".

'*??%&$&?????""

I switched the overdrive off, everything was okay, car still running. Overdrive in again, braking effect...bad news at 8pm on the Autobahn, 400 miles away from home. After arrival at 2.30 am (remember: no overdrive, and the Autobahn was totally empty, no traffic jams, grrrh!!), I changed the gearbox oil, but nothing happened.

Some discussions with the dealer ("Put in another unit, sent the broken one in, we will check it, maybe a wrong assembling!" - hahaha) and I decided to pull the engine again.

So I did, disassembling the overdrive, and:

Wow! An absolutely crashed sunwheel, a meshed planetary wheel set, totally blocked. The planetary wheels were not aligned a described in the manuals - may this be the cause? I decided to mix up the useable parts from both overdrives (old and new one). Right now, 16 hours of heavy work later (including new bearings in the engine, new steering and some little jobs more), the unit is working again.

No noises (the "new old" unit produced a "whinning noise" since assembled), very smooth engaging...wonder how long it will last.

Bottom line:

The "informed soures" on the internet delivered a quite good "look inside" of how the magic o/d unit will work. Some more researches in the net, and you will find Overdrive Repair Service in Sheffield and Octarine Services which came up with the ultimative "trick":

If an overdrive unit will not fit (a common problem), dont struggle with it, but withdraw the annulus fron the rest of the unit. Then fit it part by part on the gearbox third motion shaft - I have tried it, and it works beautifully. And now I know how it works!

Side effect: Now we are the proud owner of an engine hoist.

Just delivered: The new overdrive unit.

Dagmar is cleaning the engine bay while the engine/gearbox unit is awaiting further service.

Some hundred miles later: Overdrive again dissassmbled, remark misaligned planet wheels (click picture to enlarge).

Death of a sunwheel.

Surface of the planet gears destroyed, notice the different colors - to high pressure because of misaligned gears (click picture to enlarge).

All pictures courtesy of Andreas Pichler.

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Comments: pichler@mgcars.de