Overdrive Goes Under
By Jack Baker
It was a splendid day in April, with sun shining, top down, and 75 'B' running just perfect. So I decided to pick up Al Fraser and run out to Saanich to pick up some Red Line Oil. Nice to give Al a top down run. Just as we left his drive the wind came up, the air turned cold and the sky darkened, perhaps we had upset his Tercel. Well we got about three miles before the heavens opened and the torrent launched itself at us. We decided to abort our trip and head home. Just as I was getting headed in the right direction the car started to surge. It would accelerate well but surged when off the throttle. We made it back to Al's place but when I tried to leave, the car would not reverse. I flicked it in and out of 'Over Drive' and it was then willing to back up. All the way home it continued surging but ran well under any acceleration, in the garage it again refused to back up.
The next day it started and ran well, no problems around town at all. I took it in to Mike (The Wizard) Owen. He road tested it and said it was 'OK'. Two days later I happened to get out for a run on the highway and it ran just fine in or out of 'OD'. But when I got back into town and took it out of 'OD it was surging and wouldn't go into reverse again. Mike got to test it in this condition and he thought that the synthetic oil in use might be the problem. We drained the oil and replaced it with the recommended 30W non-detergent. The oil change made no difference.
Mike did a study of the shop manual and it was decided that these symptoms were of a failed Uni-clutch. Oh joy, now the engine and transmission would have to come out. I left the car with Mike so that he could do the job. The next day he phoned to say that I should try it again, so down the highway I went and would you believe there is no problem … all is well. Mike (The Wizard) is a very careful man and had decided to look at all the external parts of the 'OD' before getting into major surgery. Cleaning the solenoid had done the trick. The saving to me for this bit of care was about $1000. Thanks Mike.
I had to take a taxi, to Searles Automotive, Mike's place of work, to pick up my car. The cab driver says, "Searles are good honest people, they only fix what they have to and they do it right".
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