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Overdrive Verses No Overdrive

Posted by rickster 
rickster Avatar
Ralph Ralphy
Latin America, Bosnia and Herzegovina   bih

As someone trying to determine the best puchase option on a MGB, what are the advantages verses disadvantages on a B with & without overdrive. If I purchase a B without overdrive how will I be limited or is it more about preference. Any and all perspectives are welcome as I get closer to a purchase.
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CederholmC Avatar
Carl E. Cederholm
BROOKLYN, NY, USA   usa
1953 Chevrolet Bel Air "The Sled"
1969 MG MGB GT
1972 MG MGB "Brooklyn B"

OD is GREAT thing to have for freeway...but it cost more to buy. Get it if you can.





Carl C.
chris Avatar
Chris Roop
Pendleton, OR, USA   usa

Running in o/d gives you the same speed at lower rpms. Each engine has a finite number of rpms in its' life. So, o/d extends the life over miles. This also improves your mpg.
O/D allows you to do speed at a quieter level also.
Plus, it is just too cool to be going along and flick the switch.

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mowog1 Avatar
Rick Ingram
Saint Joseph, Illinois, USA   usa
1968 MG MGC "The Green C"
1969 MG MGC "Vicky"
1972 MG MGB "Mallard"
1974 MG MGB GT V8 Conversion "The V8"
1978 MG MGB "Maggie"

It is a personal choice/preference...and does not inhibit the performance of the MGB at all. Neither my 1968 MGC nor my 1978 MGB have O/D at present. I will be adding O/D to the MGB this spring, but only because I got a good deal on it.

I've driven across country in the MGB at sustained highway speeds with no ill effects...to the car or to my ears.

It is my opinion that we are now accustomed to the lower RPMs of our Japanese/other import cars....and that those lower RPM have become the "norm"....our MGBs were designed for high RPM....you're not going to hurt the engine (as long as you stay below constant speeds at Yellow or Red Line).

FWIW - YOMV



1968 MGC - 1969 MGC - 1972 MGB - 1974&1/2 MGB/GT V8 conversion - 1978 MGB

mowog1@aol.com

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Deniz Avatar
deniz merdanogullari
Montréal, QC, Canada   can

If we could all have ODs we would!!! there is no down side to them.




1974 1/2 MGB transformation



http://deniz.carbonmade.com
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JMoore Avatar
John Moore
Clifton Park, NY, USA   usa

I agree with Rick. My B has OD and I love it, but I wouldn't let it be a deal breaker. I would much rather buy a nicely sorted out, rust free non-OD car rather than an OD rust bucket.

Basically, as others have said, OD lowers the RPMs in top gear by approx. 500 turns. It makes long highway driving a bit more comfortable but the B is designed to run at high RPMS all day long.

OD's are some what rare. I once heard that when the B was origially imported about 1 in 20 had one. If you scour ebay, they turn up from time to time for anywhere from $500-700 for one of unknown condition. About $1200 for a rebuilt one.

Bottom line. Find a good car, if it has OD great if not no big deal. It can be added later if you really want it.



John Moore

'70 MGB, '68 MGBGT, '99 Land Rover Discovery II, '61 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite
footster Avatar
Alonzo Foote
Texas, USA   usa
1965 MG MGB
1980 MG MGB

Advantage without. On average you pay less (always ambigious buying something like a B).

Performance, not a accel or realistic top speed factor. OD does help gas mileage and the engine is quieter.

The thing about buying a B is being patient and not falling in love before you buy. And from a money perspective, but nice as possible. Let someone else fix it. Probably ceaper to buy a $15K B in great shape than a $5K daily driver in good shape if getting the thing nice as possible is the objective. Mine are closer to the $5K variety, and I have ni issues taking them across the country.

Like many, I have a minor thing for the older Bs, pre 68, but their transmissions, while effective, are not smooth. They work, but my wife won't drive a 3 synco. Also, how much will you drive. If this is a 100 mile per day driver, get the OD. If this is a hobby, sometimes on weekend car, OD is for bragging, you lose more gas in evaporation in the garage than from the 3MPG drop if you nurse a B on the highway.



John


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mowog1 Avatar
Rick Ingram
Saint Joseph, Illinois, USA   usa
1968 MG MGC "The Green C"
1969 MG MGC "Vicky"
1972 MG MGB "Mallard"
1974 MG MGB GT V8 Conversion "The V8"
1978 MG MGB "Maggie"

Well stated, john.



1968 MGC - 1969 MGC - 1972 MGB - 1974&1/2 MGB/GT V8 conversion - 1978 MGB

mowog1@aol.com

Member Services:
Pieces of Eight! has provided gas-charged bonnet & bootlid strut kits for the MGB/MGC and hatch kits for the MGB/GT-MGC/GT since 1996. We have recently added MG Midget bonnet and bootlid kits to inventory. Contact Rick at: mowog1@aol.com
cgill Avatar
Chris Gill
Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada   can
1971 MG MGB GT
1979 MG MGB "Buick V8 Conversion"

Speaking of driving and RPMs, can you tell me what a reasonable RPM range is to run a B on the highway for extended periods without stressing the engine too much?

I've always stuck under 3500 for long trips. Is that being overtly cautious?
Rorie Avatar
Rorie Mcintosh
Ontario, Canada   can
1967 MG MGB "Granddad's Car"

The overdrive is like having a fifth gear. So just as everyone said, you can run at highway speeds and be at a lower RPM. I don't think it makes the car any faster than an non-overdrive.

I like mine.

According to my appraisal it can add about 10% to the value of the car.

Now the bad news is it can be the source of problems. Because it is an electric overdrive, you find that some cars that have overdrive, the overdrive itself is not working because of an electrical issue like a bad solinoid. The time and effort to figure out what the problems is, is more costly than the part itself.

I have made it my mission to make sure mine is working. And I try to at least engage it once every trip just to keep it operating.

I see people suggesting it is cheaper and more practical to convert to a five speed tranmission rather than install or repair an overdrive. It wouldn't be "original", but it would work. I recall Moss selling these conversions.

I found the use of the overdrive not so jerky if I push in the clutch, flick the switch, and then bring the clutch back out. Just as if it was a fifth gear.

I think if I had a non-overdrive car, and wanted the benefit, a five speed would make the most sense.

John, I learned how to drive manual on a 3 sync tranny! It is all I know.

Rorie





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/30/2007 03:06PM by Rorie.
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Michael Fliegel Avatar
Michael M. Fliegel
Birmingham, Alabama, USA   usa

Everyone wants a fifth gear. Like many I bought my OD tranny after I bought my car. smiling smiley
Daniel Sukel
Maplewood, NJ, USA   usa
1968 MG MGB "The "B""

Chris,
If I'm doing 60-65mph on the highway I'm usually at 4000-4500 rpm. I usually don't go much faster than that. I do not currently have OD.

Gary E Avatar
Gary Edwards
Kernersville, ,N.C., USA   usa

Overdrive is the best thing for LBC's that anyone invented.. Don't miss a good car because of a lack of it, but add it later..

The car runs so much quieter and doesn't seem like you going 106 when you only doing 93.

Gary
cgill Avatar
Chris Gill
Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada   can
1971 MG MGB GT
1979 MG MGB "Buick V8 Conversion"

Thanks Daniel. It'd be nice to be able to keep up with traffic without stressing the old lady (the car that is!).
Daniel Sukel
Maplewood, NJ, USA   usa
1968 MG MGB "The "B""

I know Chris,
She sound like she's eating her inards up inside but all is well. smiling smiley
mowog1 Avatar
Rick Ingram
Saint Joseph, Illinois, USA   usa
1968 MG MGC "The Green C"
1969 MG MGC "Vicky"
1972 MG MGB "Mallard"
1974 MG MGB GT V8 Conversion "The V8"
1978 MG MGB "Maggie"

cgill Wrote:
Quote: Speaking of driving and RPMs, can you tell me what a reasonable RPM range is to run a B on the highway for extended periods without stressing the engine too much?
I've always stuck under 3500 for long trips. Is that being overtly cautious?

I driven the MGB at 4000 to 4500 all day long. No problems.



1968 MGC - 1969 MGC - 1972 MGB - 1974&1/2 MGB/GT V8 conversion - 1978 MGB

mowog1@aol.com

Member Services:
Pieces of Eight! has provided gas-charged bonnet & bootlid strut kits for the MGB/MGC and hatch kits for the MGB/GT-MGC/GT since 1996. We have recently added MG Midget bonnet and bootlid kits to inventory. Contact Rick at: mowog1@aol.com
Rufus Avatar
Harry Singleton
Garland Texas, USA   usa
1967 MG MGB

I've had B's with both. I have also driven both cross country. The GT without O/D was nice since it was winter, and the weather was bad. The 67 Roadster was an absolute dream on the long stretches of pure hiway driving. Suddenly, my B is a long-legged road warrior that can suck up 750 miles before I have to take a break. Nothing like cruisin 80-85 at a reasonable RPM.
If you don't have one, get one.
Have fun



If ignorance is bliss, I must be the happiest man alive!
Signed

RUFUS
67 Roadster
David Abbott Avatar
Los Angeles, USA   usa

The advantages are not just better gas mileage at freeway speed. High speed driving without an O/D is fine, if your just driving high speed in spurts. But, extended high speed driving CAN cause problems such as your exhaust pipe nuts to loosen. If there is a low oil condition, high speed driving can cause a lot of engine damage in a very short amount of time. Also, Think about how fast modern cars travel on the freeway. Without a O/D you will be relegated to the slow lane, unless you don't mind winding your 40 yr old engine out to 5500 rpm for extended periods. I get real nervous about doing that with my MG, call me paranoid.



1970 BGT Daily Driver named "Elizabeth".
Nissan KA24E SOHC fuel injected 12 valve 4 cylinder engine
Nissan 5 speed manual transmission
OEM Nissan ECU & MAF . Cold air intake.
MSD 6A Electronic Ignition, MSD Blaster 2 Coil
1965 Ford Mustang 3.8 radiator
No Mechanical Fan, Electric puller fan w/ Hayes adjustible thermostatic controller
Lever front, Spax tubes rear
Late model OEM MGB RPM gauge plugged into MSD tach output.
Nissan VSS and Electronic Speedometer modded into MGB OEM speedo case
Early (1967) model tail lights, No side markers. No bumper over-riders and no side molding.
15 X 6 Alloy rims off a 2000 Honda Accord With Cooper 185 X 65 HR 15's on them.
custom grill , Xenon headlamps
Single Group 26 Battery, 2 gage battery cables
Miata clutch slave. Wooden "Dino" steering wheel
Horst Avatar
Whorst Kukalavich
Deep below the earth, USA   usa

Call me a maniac, but I have faith in these cars. If your motor is built properly, you shouldn't have a problem sustaining speeds of 80-90 mph. Recently, as an experiment I got my motor up to 120 mph. It will cruise very nicely at 80-85 without an overdrive. Drive it like you've got Rhino nuts!

Whorst
Michael Humphries
Montgoemry, Alabama, USA   usa

I have OD and find that it is really great on the highway. The RPM's do drop significantly and the car is quieter. The top end speed seems to be the same regardless of whether or not I use the OD but it does slow the engine down. Expect to pay around 800 dollars more for a car with OD but you will not be sorry.
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