View Full Version : Overdrive problems

07-05-2008, 11:04 PM
I just got my Hawk running and getting the bugs worked out of it. One issue I am having is getting the overdrive to engage. I have checked all of the wiring and it is correct, the kick down switch appears to be in good working order, I can get continuity where I am supposed to have it. When pushing the lever on the unit all the way back and then going for a drive, I have freewheeling in the overdrive but it does not shift, my RPMs remain the same. The overdrive has been completely rebuilt with NOS sun gear and planetary cage plus other associated parts that disintegrated when the unit failed. Any ideas on what is going on?? Thanks for any help.

Wayen K.
Libby, MT
61 Hawk (On the road, FINALLY)

Tom B
07-06-2008, 07:29 AM
Can we assume you have gotten it over 30 mph? At or near this point the governor makes a circuit and allows the OD to engage once the driver lifts his foot from the accelerator.

Tom Bredehoft
'53 Commander Coupe
'55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
(Under Construction) 346 hrs.
'05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
All Indiana built cars

07-06-2008, 08:46 AM
Yes, I have had it up to 55 MPH on a couple of different occasions.

Wayen K.
Libby, MT
61 Hawk (On the road, FINALLY)

07-06-2008, 08:58 AM
I had a problem with my OD in my 1952. We rebuilt it and it would not work. After about 300 miles it started working and continues to this day. We think the problem was we used light grease to hold the small ball bearings in place while we assembled it. Once the grease got worked out it allowed the unit to engage. My questions is did you do something similar?

I also had a problem with my 1951 Commander. This time it was in the length of the cable used to disengage the OD. It was too short and would not allow the lever to go all the way back. The end result was the OD was kept out. When we lengthened the cable the unit worked fine.

07-06-2008, 10:24 AM
When Tom B., Gord, and Doc did my T-86 rebuild at SB, someone mentioned using a rubber band for holding the bearings in for assembly. The theory was it's a dependable holder, and it would break apart and disintegrate upon starting.

It appeared to be more durable than expected, as a test drive failed to produce proper operation. Finally, Gord took it around and jerked it a few times, and it suddenly came to life with a big BANG! and has been working fine since.

What was used to hold the bearings in yours? Maybe that, combined with the tightness of NOS parts, is all that's holding yours back...?

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"With your Lark you're on your own, free as a bird, alive as a Lark. You've suddenly discovered that happiness is a thing called Larking!"

07-06-2008, 01:47 PM
Bams, I saw the pictures of yours being rebuilt at SB and the innards of mine looked eerily similar. So maybe I should just be patient and drive it around some more, it's a dirty job but somebodies got to do it! I only have about 150 miles on the rebuild and I think the needle bearings were held in with large amounts of grease, I was just a bystander so my memory's not real clear.

Wayen K.
Libby, MT
61 Hawk (On the road, FINALLY)

07-06-2008, 02:26 PM

Get the car up enough to where you can get under the left side of it. Turn the key to the ignition position and then take a piece of wire and short from ground to the single wire attachment point on the governor (the rearmost round thingy). When you short it to ground, the solenoid should click loudly. If it DOES click, suspect the governor (although, I never HAVE come upon a bad one!)(and although I'd never heard of the bearings being stuck from grease or some other assembley trick - I suppose that's possible. In which case - keep driving).

If it doesn't click (and the wiring's 100% correct) suspect the solenoid.

Miscreant Studebaker nut in California's central valley.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door