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overdrive and reverse light wiring


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Hi all, has anyone got any pictures of how to wire the overdrive on a mk2 Vitesse. Mine is a 1971 2ltr without a relay as it is a j type and apparently doesn't need one. 

(I should've taken a lot more pictures). I do have a wiring diagram but I'm not good at following them, plus it shows wires going to a relay which I don't have and don't know how to get round this. I know the overdrive switch is under the lever remote and that it has 4 connection points on it, but don't have a clue what colour wire goes to which point. I even have a new overdrive loom but don't know if its the right one. If anyone can tell me exactly where the wires come from and go to I would really appreciate it, but please try to explain it as if I was a 4 year old so I'll have half a chance of sorting it out. Also, the same applies to the reverse light switch. There's a green wire and a green/brown which go to the switch, but again, there are several connections on it and I don't wire goes to which connection. I would rather not risk getting it wrong on either issue and risk burning something out.                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for any help, Rob

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The reason you can't find the right wiring diagram for a J-type in a Vitesse is that the factory never fitted it. All overdrive Vitesses were D-type and NEEDED that relay.

There is no harm fitting a relay with a J-type - my Vitesse is wired thus.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "the overdrive switch is under the lever remote and that it has 4 connection points" - there's an inhibit switch somewhere on the gearbox but not there and it only has two wires. Unless you don't even have a Vitesse gearbox, in which case you need to tell us what you do have.

That pair of wires to the reverse light switch are correct and should connect to the same colour wires in the main harness. Triumph didn't expect their fitters or mechanics to be geniuses, so the majority of the electrical connections are match-the-colours or fit the thing that's nearby.

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Thanks for the replies chaps. Pete, reverse is to the left on my car. I'm wondering if it's a Dolomite gearbox as I seem to recall having to fit a 23 splined clutch plate and believe that Vitesse ones have less splines.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             I think it's the top cover extension housing, not the lever remote. Could be wrong. The switch is possibly a gear selector switch, I just don't know. to be quite honest, I've had enough of this. I'll get someone in who can do it for me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Cheers, Rob

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Switches on 3 rail and single rail are some what differering locations 

The one under the remote is normally the reverse switch there is a plethora of switch designs  think it was generally a lucas SA141

With rwo terminals but there or some with 4  so youmcan have normally open or normally closed operation depending which two you use

3 rail has OD inhibitor off a cam in front of the remote rod    if its been fitted witha single rail box the OD cam is internal and switch is inntop cover intront of the remote housing assy,  reverse is innthe remote up near the base of the gear stick

So hence which way is your reverse   tells us just what box you have mated to the J type


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Sorry I wrote this earlier but this silly tablet doesnt load the reply , so left is a normal 3 rail gearbox  the 23 spline makes no difference to how the switches work

The overdrive is on an extension rod sticks out the front of the remote and is fitted witha simple cam this operates a switch in front of the remote  normally located ona bracket held by the top cover scews.

The reverse is mounted into the top cover under the remote , both switches are the same 

A simple push button similar to a SA141 type  press to make contact, adjustment buy washer shims 

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If you can post a picture of the gearbox, then you will get a definitive answer. With a J type it is very simple, but I am unsure which box you have, and do not want t get the inhibitor switch and reverse switch the wrong way round. (if you do, it will break the overdrive, as in very bad)

If you can confirm which switch is which, ideally with a test meter, the wiring is as follows

find the reverse light supply in the engine bay. If you can't, an ignition switched live. Ideally stick a 10A fuse in the supply.

Feed that to the reverse light switch. The switch has 4 connections, but it is actually 2, each having 2 tabs so you can link the supply (hope that makes sense)

From the reverse light switch, use the connection that is now the supply to connect to the overdrive inhibitor switch. From the "other" side of the inhibitor switch, go to the gearknob or column switch (whichever you have) then to the solenoid. And while you are there, carefully check the solenoid earth cable. (after 45 years mine decided to give up on the way to the start of the RBRR, and sorting it at the start of the even with a scissorjack plus axle stand, a torch and glasses that kept sliding down my nose was not as easy as doing it when it is accessible....)

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Left diagram normally D type

A and B from ignition switched supply

54 Overdrive relay

55 Overdrive column or gear lever switch

56 Overdrive gearbox switch

57 Overdrive solenoid

Right diagram normally J type.

À from ignition switched supply

51 reverse switch

73 Overdrive switch

74 Overdrive gearbox switch

75 Overdrive solenoid

As said always a good idea to include fuse on supply.




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Thanks for all your replies chaps. I'll have to get one of my kids to show me how to send pictures of my gearbox because I don't know how to. I'm still living in the dark ages I think. It'll probably be the weekend before I get chance due to work commitments. Thanks for the picture of the wiring diagram Paul. I'll get someone to print it out if possible so I can read it better.      Thanks again everyone, Rob

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