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'67 1800 No OverDrive

I just took my '67 1800S out of a six-month storage in Baltimore (freezing weather for a few weeks, I'm sure). Now the OD, which used to function quite well, refuses (and I have asked politely) to engage. The relay clicks, and the solenoid clicks when it's in 4th. But none of that "booster rocket" whiplash of which I have grown so fond. I last changed the OD oil in July, and the only other symptom I had with the unit was an occasional "jumping out" of OD in hot weather.

What's the best way to deal with this problem? I want to rap on the unit with a hammer to unstick it, but I fear this instinct, developed over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, may not be perfectly suited to the problem at hand. I also did quite a job on the rubber solenoid boot when checking the connection. (It would pain me to describe the result). Are these boots readily available or will I have to create something out of an old film can and silicone in my evil laboratory?
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Phil says: Rapping with a hammer is an instinct which evolved as a survival response to worn SU carb ownership -- misapplying it, in your instance, will do you about as much good as a possum's instinct to stop in the middle of the road to check out oncoming headlights does for it.

Step one: Check the oil level. If it's full, that's not the problem; if it's low, top it up, see if it works and consider replacing seals soon.

Step two: Drain the oil, disconnect the solenoid and unscrew it from the case, reconnect, and see that it actually does move. You should not be able to move the plunger back by hand when it's in the engaged position. Be careful not to short out the exposed hot terminal when doing this.

Step three: Unfortunately, it is most likely that internal seals are shot -- they harden with age and with non-use; sitting for a winter may have been the final blow. It sounds to me like a problem in this area is preventing the OD's hydraulic pump from developing enough pressure to work its clutch. This would be precursed by jumping out in hot weather, as high temperatures thin oil viscosity, which would aggravate seal leakage. In this case, the OD will have to come off the gearbox and be taken apart.

I can't say about boot availability, but simply cleaning the electrical terminals and applying a dab of dielectric grease (available in most electronics hobby stores) before reconnecting will go a long way towards repelling moisture and corrosion.

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