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ladysilverhawk
09-09-2005, 07:01 PM
The newest member of our little flock has a big lever coming up out of the floor next to the steering wheel. It clearly says OD on it so in one of our ‘well duh’ moments we decided Sweet Alice (The 55 President) is 3 on the tree with overdrive. On a recent shake down cruise I worked up my nerve and pulled up on the lever, nothing happened. Still nervy, I pushed the lever down while in 3rd gear at somewhere around 60 mph and Alice gave a quiet minor G chord and lowered her engine RPM’s a notch.

Alice continued down the road as at ease with the situation as I was. Then my brilliant better half, who was riding along, mentioned we had a stoplight in our very near future and it quickly occurred to me that I had no clue what the appropriate measures were to take her out of OD.[:0] I pulled the lever up and she gave another minor G chord and upped her engine RPM’s a notch (no tach) but gave no other complaint and obediently stopped at the light, as she should. Apparently all is well. After that, she went to the shop for radiator/water pump and other stuff transplants for a couple weeks so I haven’t had a chance to play with her.

She is now back, nearing mechanical perfection (don’t laugh, my superstitions are all in good graces :D) and we will be doing the cruise thing again this weekend. Those of you who are far more Studebaker savvy that I am, please tell me the correct procedure (or more likely your independent opinions) for engaging and disengaging 50 year old Studebaker overdrive. Any maintenance specifics would be good too as we (and she) have a 1,000 mile classic car tour in a few weeks.


LadySilverHawk
55 President, Dragon Fly
58 Silver Hawk, Dragon Hawk
62 Champ Longbox, Dragon Tail

rockne10
09-09-2005, 07:32 PM
OD lever should always be pulled out when car is parked. Driving around town OD is not needed and lever should be kept out, like driving a straight 3-speed.
Lever can be pushed in while car is in motion, this allows the use of overdrive. Once speed in excess of 25-35 mph is reached (either in second or third gear), release the accelerator a second to slide in to OD, decreasing engine rpm by 30%; great for fuel economy and improved highway speed with less rpm.
The caution to note is when overdrive lever is pushed in you will be freewheeling. If you take your foot off the accelerator the engine will not slow you down, especially important if you are headed downhill and do not want to burn your brakes.
When cruising in OD, depress the accelerator fully to kickdown to third, feels like passing gear.
Do not pull the OD lever out unless you have kicked down to a straight gear, and you will want to do this just before cresting the top of a mountain to save your brakes on the downhill side.
Lubricate your lockout cable on occasion and note when changing transmission oil, the OD unit has its own drain and filler plug and uses the same gearoil as the transmission.

Roscomacaw
09-09-2005, 09:23 PM
I never take it OUT of Overdrive. That is to say, I never pull the handle out. I leave it in O/D whether driving or parked. If parked, put the gear selctor in reverse to keep it from rolling (OR - as a novel approach - one might try using the "parking" brake![:0])

That lever doesn't cause the OD to engage or disengage as you move it. It only selects "mode". When you take off in first gear, OD won't do anything. When you hit 2nd gear, or third - whichever one you use to achieve a speed of at least 32MPH - let off the gas for a few seconds and you should feel the overdrive "kick in". When you reapply your foot to the gas, you'll notice that the engine's revs seem as tho you've gone into a "4th gear", which, in essence, you have!

If you wanna pass someone while you're under 60MPH or so, press the accelerator to the floor. The President will downshift to 3rd gear for as long as your pressing on the gas pedal. Slowpoke passed, let off the gas again momentarily and it'll auotmatically drop back into overdrive again.
Under 32MPH (as in poking around town), it won't drop into OD and there's no need to be twidling the lever as you drive along. That's why they called it "Automatic Overdrive" - because you could select that mode and forget about it.
After you've operated with it in OD for awhile, letting your foot off to allow it to drop into OD is and mindless a manuver as working the clutch.[^]

Ya know - re-reading your original post, I have to ask. You said you're dealing with a "big lever coming up from the floor". I'm a BIT confused by this because rightly, the OD control is a handle that hangs just below the edge of the dashboard. On a 55 it's chrome and black and has a cable that goes into the firewall. This is different, in my mind, than a "big lever".
I point this out because after the fact, I was thinking this COULD BE an instance where someone's rigged their own arrangment of O/D using other than stock parts. Believe me - I've seen some pretty inventive modifications on Studes over the years!

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

rockne10
09-09-2005, 09:59 PM
I agree, Mr. Biggs, overdrive does not need to be locked out. My preference for running around town or downhill is to use engine compression to slow me down, rather than brakes.
"L.A. is a great big freeway", central Pa is winding mountains.

blackhawk
09-09-2005, 10:24 PM
quote:Originally posted by ladysilverhawk

The newest member of our little flock has a big lever coming up out of the floor next to the steering wheel. It clearly says OD on it so in one of our ‘well duh’ moments we decided Sweet Alice (The 55 President) is 3 on the tree with overdrive. On a recent shake down cruise I worked up my nerve and pulled up on the lever, nothing happened. Still nervy, I pushed the lever down while in 3rd gear at somewhere around 60 mph and Alice gave a quiet minor G chord and lowered her engine RPM’s a notch.

Alice continued down the road as at ease with the situation as I was. Then my brilliant better half, who was riding along, mentioned we had a stoplight in our very near future and it quickly occurred to me that I had no clue what the appropriate measures were to take her out of OD.[:0] I pulled the lever up and she gave another minor G chord and upped her engine RPM’s a notch (no tach) but gave no other complaint and obediently stopped at the light, as she should. Apparently all is well. After that, she went to the shop for radiator/water pump and other stuff transplants for a couple weeks so I haven’t had a chance to play with her.

She is now back, nearing mechanical perfection (don’t laugh, my superstitions are all in good graces :D) and we will be doing the cruise thing again this weekend. Those of you who are far more Studebaker savvy that I am, please tell me the correct procedure (or more likely your independent opinions) for engaging and disengaging 50 year old Studebaker overdrive. Any maintenance specifics would be good too as we (and she) have a 1,000 mile classic car tour in a few weeks.

LadySilverHawk
55 President, Dragon Fly
58 Silver Hawk, Dragon Hawk
62 Champ Longbox, Dragon Tail
Hi... I just have a few additional comments to add. Always park the car in reverse when you have the overdrive handle pushed in. The overdrive is mechanically locked out when the transmission is in reverse. Thus, it cannot free-wheel. I once had my car roll away from the gas pumps because I had left it in low gear. It is a sickening feeling to see your car rolling away and having to run after it!

This transmission has always been my favorite. All my Studebakers have had overdrive, except my Hawk which has a Warner T-10 4-speed. It is like a blend of manual and automatic transmission. You have your basic manual transmission coupled to an automatic overdrive that allows you to downshift and upshift by just depressing the throttle until it hits the kickdown switch or letting up on the throttle.

The free-wheeling is only at slow speeds. The governor on the overdrive regulates this. You will feel the transmission drop out of overdrive and start to free-wheel at about 30 mph when you slow down in high gear (I forget the exact speed it is set for). Likewise, it will not go into overdrive, even though the handle in "in" to allow overdrive operation, until you have accelerated beyond that point (about 30 mph). So, on the open road at highway speeds, you do have engine braking. Another words, let up on the gas and the engine compression slows the car. It just is not as much as with running in high gear without overdrive (just a function of the difference in gearing between being "in" or "out" of overdrive). The overdrive is about 1/3 over. In another words, when the transmission shifts into overdrive, engine RPM will drop about 1/3. This is why we get such good mileage and longer engine live with this setup.

You can lock it out of overdrive at any speed really, once you get the hang of it. You just have to kick it out of overdrive (depress the throttle hard to the floor) and pull out the OD handle. The way to keep this from adding to your problems when going down a grade or when on ice, it to do it quickly. Kick it down to get it out of overdrive and quickly back off

Dwain G.
09-10-2005, 12:47 AM
I think there should be three levels of overdrive instruction; Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced. Beginning class should read the owner's manual pages that pertain to OD use. Everything you've been told here so far is excellent advice. I also would like to emphasize the importance of learning to think of reverse gear as 'Park' position as our park brakes can't always be fully relied on.
Things like clutchless shifting, second-straight and second-over for stop-and-go driving, installing a toggle switch, all that comes in the later classes.
The Overdrive is a wondrous device revered in Studebaker land!

Dwain G.

Mike
09-10-2005, 04:30 PM
Here's the Borg/Warner manual on line:
http://www.tocmp.com/manuals/trans/Borg-Warner%20Overdrive/index.htm .
I usually tell people the dash cable is a manual lockout. It's not exactly a control. Normal operation is automatic.
I mentioned an old OD conversion for T-10 4 speeds, elsewhere; and have learned it's still available. It was developed by Beatty in the early '60's; and written up in "Hot Rod", at that time. Lionel Stone is supposed to have the adaptors. It uses the heavy duty OD as used on T-89 transmissions. I suppose some of the parts needed would be hard to find, now. But, it would be period correct speed equipment, in a 4 speed Hawk.
Mike M.

studeclunker
09-10-2005, 05:26 PM
If you get anything from Mr. Stone make sure you have a gauaranty in writing.
You might want to be careful on steep hills. I have found that when the overdrive is engaged, the car will roll backward in first gear on hills[:0] (please don't ask[:o)][:I]).



Lotsa Larks!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith

blackhawk
09-11-2005, 02:18 AM
Mike,

I remember an article for an OD addition for the T-10 but think it was added between the driveline and the differential, but I could easily not be remembering correctly. Sounds like the conversion you are talking about mounts to the rear of the transmission similar to the units on the T-89. That sounds like a wonderful arrangement. The only thing I don't like about my GT Hawk 4-spd with 3:31 RA ratio is that RPM is higher than I'd like it to be when cruising 70-80 mph. I am used to my other Studes loafing along at that speed (they all are 3-spd with OD). Do you have any experience with this conversion or know anyone else who has? I am curious how well it worked and whether it held up. Do you have a link to the article?

Was the T-89 the OD transmission used on some of the trucks in the early 60s? My recollection is that it was a truck version (straight-cut gears and gear ratios for a truck) of the T-85 used in the cars in the late 50s. My brother's 64 GT Hawk came from the factory with a T86 with OD, but he kept tearing that light transmission up. Finally, he located a T85 with OD from an old junker, installed it, and then he really had something. He never had anymore transmission problems after that. I could never understand why Studebaker never made the T85 w/OD an option for its cars in the early 60s like they did in the 50s. I don't know the all the years it was an option but I am pretty sure it was available on the '56 Golden Hawk and top of the line sedans and wagons for '56 and '57. I think my brother got one out of a '56 or '57 wagon. I think he also found one in a junked Ford or Mercury that could use for parts (the inards were the same). I may not have this right, but I could ask him. He still has the Hawk although it hasn't run in years and has pretty much melted into the ground.

Dale

Mike
09-11-2005, 07:38 AM
Dale,
I kind of thought you might want a full set of OD's!
The "elsewhere", where this was discussed, is "alt.autos.studebaker". Look at the "T-85 OD" thread that started Aug. 26. "A. J." has experience with the conversion.
There's a list of cars that used the T-85, or other trans that share some parts, at:
http://1956goldenhawk.com/ . Look under "options".
I remember the T-85 as the Ford Interceptor transmission. It's a heavy duty car trans; with wide, angle-cut gears and ratios suitable for cars. Only second and high were synchronised. The OD units used with them are a larger heavy duty version. Borg/Warner used the T-85 main case to make the T-10 4 speed. The side covers have a curved bottom and 9 bolts. Reverse was moved to the tailshaft housing in the 4 speed. There may have been a truck T-85 version that was very different.
Tom Beatty's conversion bolted the heavy duty OD from a T-85 to the rear of a T-10 4 speed main case. Reverse was in a special adaptor between the OD and main case.
The "Hot Rod" article showed all the parts. I'll try to find my old copy.

Mike
09-11-2005, 07:45 AM
I just noticed my mistake in my first post. I said the conversion used the OD from a T-89. That would be a light duty unit; and that's wrong. The conversion uses the Borg/Warner heavy duty OD unit from a T-85 3 speed.
Mike M.

DilloCrafter
09-11-2005, 04:51 PM
That online set of Overdrive Instruction Manual images is great! Thanks, Mike, for pointing us to that.

If anyone wants to download that same manual in one PDF file, I know "somebody" who converted the jpg images to PDF, and the file is now available here for download: http://rocketdillo.com/studebaker/misc/BorgWarnerOverdriveInstructionManual.asp

Only thing to warn you about is this: The PDF file size is 8.1 Mb. I think that may try your patience if using a dialup modem. But should take only a couple minutes if using cable modem or DSL.

1955 1/2 Ton Pickup

Transtar60
09-11-2005, 06:07 PM
quote:Originally posted by Mike

I just noticed my mistake in my first post. I said the conversion used the OD from a T-89. That would be a light duty unit; and that's wrong. The conversion uses the Borg/Warner heavy duty OD unit from a T-85 3 speed.
Mike M.
You must be thinking of the T-86 overdrive used behind small V8s or the T-96 used behind sixes. The taxi six used a T85/89 as a fleet/HD option. The T85/89 OD uses the same T-85C case. The difference is internal (cut of gears or something similiar.)

blackhawk
09-12-2005, 09:38 AM
[/quote]You must be thinking of the T-86 overdrive used behind small V8s or the T-96 used behind sixes. The taxi six used a T85/89 as a fleet/HD option. The T85/89 OD uses the same T-85C case. The difference is internal (cut of gears or something similiar.)
[/quote]A friend of mine has a Champ pickup with a T89 OD. I researched this long ago and details are fuzzy now, but my recollection is that this is a truck version of the T85 OD: different gear ratios and straight-cut gears (might just be low and 2nd; can't remember). There are similar differences between the T86 used in cars and the T86 used in pickups. Low and 2nd are lower geared than the car version and it is a longer jump to 3rd which is straight through. Far as I know, all the differences are in the main transmission and the OD units are the same for both versions of the T86. Probably the same is true for OD units on the T85 and T89. But, again, I may be remembering wrong.

Dale

blackhawk
09-12-2005, 09:44 AM
Thanks for all the info Mike. I am anxious to look at the material you referenced, but I have to go to work now. Dale

ladysilverhawk
09-12-2005, 11:48 PM
This weekend I had a chance to take Sweet Alice out for a few hours. [8D] What a great car. Except for the need to shift, it’s as smooth as any luxury car I have driven. The seats need work but are good for now and since my better half put shocks on her I can now see over the steering wheel. I could hardly see over it before and now that I have experienced that flaw I will give even more road room to those cars I occasionally see driving down the highway only piloted by a visible pair of hands and possibly the top of a head. I always knew they couldn’t see but now I know just how much they cant see. Yiikes!!

Many thanks to all who answered my post and to Mr. Biggs, you are correct; the OD lever comes out under the dash and not the floor and it most certainly looks like a factory install. In fact its right next to a nearly identical one marked Heat, which I have not worked up the nerve to pull/push yet. It’s way too hot here to risk it just yet.


LadySilverHawk
55 President, Dragon Fly
58 Silver Hawk, Dragon Hawk
62 Champ Longbox, Dragon Tail

curt
09-13-2005, 07:09 AM
Dwain, you assume someone has the instruction book. I drove my OD cars with the OD working,free wheeling in our state was not a problem, flat land. I drove to Tennessee once and did pull the car out of OD going down the mountains. Just be in a straight gear when changing into or out of OD. I did not have the instruction booklet at first, I just stopped and then moved the OD leaver.