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J type OD vitesse mk 1

Martin OD

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My MK 1 vitesse overdrive does not work and the first thing seems to be to top up the oil. It is a bit low and so I will try that first. Some people seem to think jacking up the front of the car and overfilling the gearbox is a good idea to allow the oil to seep into the OD. The car is then levelled and any excess oil is drained out of the filling plug.  Is this a good idea or a bit of a Faff. Secondly I have a J type OD. Is this unusual? Most people seem to think I should have a D type. Any thoughts are welcome. Thirdly whist looking at the gearbox I noticed that this switch is loose. ( see photo). Although it has 2 spade connectors there are no wires for it. Is this a redundant reversing switch and should it be tight?

j type OD.jpg

GB switch.jpg

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converting to a J type OD is a popular modification as its supposed to be stronger and certainly uses less current to operate. Not so unusual as this was the Triumph supplied set up on the mk4 Spitfire. I believe in your case the reverse light might be operated by another switch at the front of the gear change rod so the switch arrowed is redundant however it should still be tight with a gasket to the top cover as oil can come out...

I would top up oil normally, go and have a cup of tea and then come back to recheck the level before replacing filler plug.

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after an oil level check and you have 12v  at the solenoid    .....check the setting of the inhibitor switch at the front of the remote try holding the gear stick to the left and right this might show the switch needs a tweek

after that you may need to remove the solenoid   (needs thin 1" af spanner  ) these get gummed up  its easy to remove the small 10mm circlip and shake out the inside piston  give it a clean

and refit   the inside piston should make a rattle if you shake it ( the maracas test)

sticky solenoids give the od a mind of its own  in  and out at random.


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I've fitted a J-type overdrive to my GT6 as they are stronger than the original D-type. The solenoid is very tight against the chassis rail. I can remove it, just about, using one of these spanners:


It's tight but just about possible without lifting the gearbox and overdrive.


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