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cwsimpson
05-11-2015, 12:04 PM
I have a 55 President. I can't find the kickdown switch. I note the throttle rod rotates, but I don't see anything attached to it or around it. Having problems with the OD going in and have a loose hanging green wire in the engine compartment also- (same color that goes to the lockout switch) that has an old "heat resistant wire" for final attachment. I just noticed it was hanging there one day over on the drivers side. Looked pretty beat up from the manifold heat (IMO). I've been going through everything with the VOM but I'm not having much luck thus far. Followed the schematic in the manual and found that the lockout doesn't have any power going to it through the green wire. When OD is engaged- free wheels only- no passing gear or upshifting occurring. Oddest thing is, I can't find a kickdown switch. Wondering now if there is anyway it could have been wired without one. I don't see any magical toggles anywhere. Worked well when I first go it a couple of months ago ( I think - the OD was in and the wheels were locked when in gear and sitting)- had to perform carb rebuild. About two weeks ago, I noticed the disconnected, hanging wire.- no power going to the wire. I don't want to fry anything. Suppose I could try hooking it up on the ignition side of the relay.- Don't think I bumped any wires when I undid the carb mounting and not finding a kick down switch is baffling. Thanks for any tips anyone might have.

tbredehoft
05-11-2015, 12:32 PM
The kick down switch is generally mounted on the vertical rod (attached to the back of the driver's side head). It is activated by a paddle on the pivoting throttle mechanism.

I'm not sure what you are saying here... Worked well when I first go it a couple of months ago ( I think - the OD was in and the wheels were locked when in gear and sitting) This sounds like the OD handle was pulled out, negating the OD. The OD should work (all but kick down) without the Kick Down switch. (Free wheeling in 1st second third, below 28mph, shift when over 28 mpg when you let up on the gas, and not be free wheeling then.

cwsimpson
05-11-2015, 01:00 PM
Thanks for the quick reply.
As I remember it- the OD handle was in the whole time when I first got it. Seemed to be okay when sitting in first gear with the engine off- ie wheels grabbed and didn't free wheel. I might have been a little distracted when I first got this, however. I don't remember it wanting to move. So what you are saying is that if the handle is in and the OD is engaged- the car free wheels under 28 mph- it doesn't free wheel above 28 mph if everything is working? I thought that below 28 mph- the OD didn't function and therefore- no freewheeling. Right now mine free wheels whenever the handle is in and that's all that happens.
I'll check on the head. I think the temperature sensor attaches in that area too (fodder for another post).
Thanks,

jackb
05-11-2015, 01:40 PM
same thing with me at this time. But you've got it right: with handle "in", freewheeling all speeds without OD (electricals).

TWChamp
05-11-2015, 01:58 PM
Handle IN it should freewheel when moving forward at speeds less than about 30 MPH, which is the speed when the governor should send a signal to the relay to engage the overdrive solenoid.

Handle OUT it will be locked out of overdrive and locked out of freewheeling in all gears and at all speeds.

Shifting to reverse will lock the tranny out of overdrive and freewheeling.

cwsimpson
05-11-2015, 03:48 PM
Thanks all for the OD advice everyone. Now I've just got to figure out where the blanged green wire goes. (Same color as one of the wires for the solenoid- could be a hint there . Have to see about the continuity...)

cwsimpson
05-11-2015, 11:22 PM
The kick down switch is generally mounted on the vertical rod (attached to the back of the driver's side head). It is activated by a paddle on the pivoting throttle mechanism.

I'm not sure what you are saying here... Worked well when I first go it a couple of months ago ( I think - the OD was in and the wheels were locked when in gear and sitting) This sounds like the OD handle was pulled out, negating the OD. The OD should work (all but kick down) without the Kick Down switch. (Free wheeling in 1st second third, below 28mph, shift when over 28 mpg when you let up on the gas, and not be free wheeling then.

I guess I'll be doing a little rewiring here. There is no kickdown switch. I think the green wire that was just laying there was tucked under the battery holder and probably at one time or another went to the kickdown switch. The other wires connected to the relay were pretty much left alone (i think- still got some work to do with the meter). There is only one wire attached to the distributor, diagram shows two.The swivel rod is, of course there but I'm not sure about the paddle and the rest of the mechanism. Anything else you could do to help describe this mechanism would be pretty helpful and really appreciated. I know the OD should still work without the kickdown, but maybe that's why they just got rid of the whole thing? just wasn't working right? Otherwise, I don't know why anyone would want to take it out. Thanks again for any ideas you might have in this area.

StudeRich
05-12-2015, 12:09 AM
One wire that has High Temp. Black sleeve on it, goes down low on the Left of the Engine compartment near the Hot Exhaust Manifold for the Horn ground wire coming out of the Steering Gear, it usually is not Green but after this many years you can't be sure it is original.

The other wire I can think of like that, would the one that goes across the Top of the firewall at the pinch weld on the right side, it goes to the in-fender Climatizer Heat Fan and is Green it would have Power with Ign. Sw. on ACC or IGN. and AIR Switch ON.

gordr
05-12-2015, 12:20 PM
Check for a added-on toggle switch inside the car. Somebody may have disconnected the kickdown switch, and made the overdrive controllable manually from inside the car. Used to be an old hot-rodders' trick. On a '55 Commander, the kickdown switch should be mounted at the top of the tall throttle bellcrank mounted at the rear of the left-side cylinder head. If it is not there you should see one metal tab with about a 3/8" hole in it for mounting the switch, on the frame of the bellcrank, and an arm or "paddle" attached to the moving portion of the bellcrank, that will approach that hole at wide-open throttle.

The kickdown switch has 4 terminals. The pair nearest the mounting nut supply power to the solenoid; they are normally closed, but go open when the gas pedal is floored. The pair furthest from the mounting nut connect the ignition points to the grounding contact in the solenoid; they are normally open, but close when the gas pedal is floored. If you simply removed the kickdown switch, and left all wires disconnected, the OD would not work at all. If you joined the first pair of wires, the ones closest to the switch mounting nut, OD would engage as normal, but would only disengage when road speed dropped below the governor cut-in speed and the throttle lifted briefly to unload the driveline.

cwsimpson
05-12-2015, 10:40 PM
One wire that has High Temp. Black sleeve on it, goes down low on the Left of the Engine compartment near the Hot Exhaust Manifold for the Horn ground wire coming out of the Steering Gear, it usually is not Green but after this many years you can't be sure it is original.

The other wire I can think of like that, would the one that goes across the Top of the firewall at the pinch weld on the right side, it goes to the in-fender Climatizer Heat Fan and is Green it would have Power with Ign. Sw. on ACC or IGN. and AIR Switch ON.

StudeRich-Thanks for the tip on the wires. I'll check it out. Meantime, I've got a higher priority on the OD to see if it works. Odd thing is, I tried this when I first got the car several months ago and it seemed to be working. Even if it doesn't have a kickdown switch, as Tom B pointed out, the OD portion should still function to shift into higher gears at speeds >30mph.
Gordr, I checked for a toggle switch on the inside and couldn't find one. Thanks for the great description of the components and how they work. I have ordered a kickdown switch to see if it's possible to just add it on. I think the problem of the OD not working though, probably has more to do with bad wiring and / or corrosion. I notiiced that the wire going from the lockout to the governor is very small. Until all these wiring issues get taken care of we're probably all just walkin' the dog...
Very appreciative of all the suggestions.

studebakerkid
05-13-2015, 04:08 PM
Other makes used overdrives so gordr you can not state wire position because someone could have used a non Stude OD kick down switch which will work but the wires will be in a different position. The kick down portion only needs one wire going to the ignition coil as all it does is ground out the points side of the coil temporarily. I pulled the kickdown switch off my T cab because everytime I used it sparks went everwhere. Could well be that this was the case in this car

cwsimpson
05-13-2015, 10:44 PM
Check for a added-on toggle switch inside the car. Somebody may have disconnected the kickdown switch, and made the overdrive controllable manually from inside the car. Used to be an old hot-rodders' trick. On a '55 Commander, the kickdown switch should be mounted at the top of the tall throttle bellcrank mounted at the rear of the left-side cylinder head. If it is not there you should see one metal tab with about a 3/8" hole in it for mounting the switch, on the frame of the bellcrank, and an arm or "paddle" attached to the moving portion of the bellcrank, that will approach that hole at wide-open throttle.

The kickdown switch has 4 terminals. The pair nearest the mounting nut supply power to the solenoid; they are normally closed, but go open when the gas pedal is floored. The pair furthest from the mounting nut connect the ignition points to the grounding contact in the solenoid; they are normally open, but close when the gas pedal is floored. If you simply removed the kickdown switch, and left all wires disconnected, the OD would not work at all. If you joined the first pair of wires, the ones closest to the switch mounting nut, OD would engage as normal, but would only disengage when road speed dropped below the governor cut-in speed and the throttle lifted briefly to unload the driveline.

Gordr-
I took your advice - this time I went where all the wires are- under the dash. Guess what I found coming through the firewall- yep- there she was sort of up there toward the speedo- four wires coming through the wall and connecting to the little square piece of metal. I was looking for it under the hood instead of inside. I noticed that the button was stuck in the kickdown position. I hit it with a little wd40- I'll try it tomorrow night eventhough I've got a new switch coming. Now that I see where it is- seems obvious. We'll be doing a little meter work before we start 'er up and go. A good learning experience for me.

gordr
05-14-2015, 02:29 PM
Well, I was referring to Stude overdrives, obviously. Yes, I could envision some sort of oddball switch, in which the "near" terminals were N.O. and the "far" ones N.C., but given the construction of typical plunger-type switches back in the day, the arrangement I gave is likely to be the right one. And the kickdown side does need two wires. One goes to the ignition points (and thus, also the coil), and the other goes to grounding contacts built into the solenoid. That way, the short to ground goes away as soon as the solenoid releases, regardless of how long the driver's foot is to the mat. It has to be that way. If the contact went to ground directly, you would kill the engine every time you floored the accelerator, whether it were in OD or not, and it would stay "killed" as long as your foot was all the way down. That grounding circuit has to be temporary.

tbredehoft
05-14-2015, 10:54 PM
Thanks for helping clear this up, Gord. I've been through it all, but it was too long ago.

TWChamp
05-14-2015, 11:00 PM
Check this out for some good information.

http://www.raylinrestoration.com/TechnicalPages/Overdrive/EarlyOverdrives.htm

cwsimpson
05-20-2015, 01:05 PM
Check for a added-on toggle switch inside the car. Somebody may have disconnected the kickdown switch, and made the overdrive controllable manually from inside the car. Used to be an old hot-rodders' trick. On a '55 Commander, the kickdown switch should be mounted at the top of the tall throttle bellcrank mounted at the rear of the left-side cylinder head. If it is not there you should see one metal tab with about a 3/8" hole in it for mounting the switch, on the frame of the bellcrank, and an arm or "paddle" attached to the moving portion of the bellcrank, that will approach that hole at wide-open throttle.

The kickdown switch has 4 terminals. The pair nearest the mounting nut supply power to the solenoid; they are normally closed, but go open when the gas pedal is floored. The pair furthest from the mounting nut connect the ignition points to the grounding contact in the solenoid; they are normally open, but close when the gas pedal is floored. If you simply removed the kickdown switch, and left all wires disconnected, the OD would not work at all. If you joined the first pair of wires, the ones closest to the switch mounting nut, OD would engage as normal, but would only disengage when road speed dropped below the governor cut-in speed and the throttle lifted briefly to unload the driveline.

So I've tried a new switch and cleaning some of the contacts. But I think something still isn't working or is actually even worse then before. When I put this into overdrive- it actually popped the rear wheels. Luckily, I was going only 35 or so MPH. All of the relays seem to be clicking. I will have to some more meter reading, but I'm sort of getting mired in at this point. I think I will put it up on blocks and start all over checking each terminal, making sure it goes where it should. I'll try it on the blocks and see how it works. I thought the switch would do it, but apparently not. I also have some questions about the lockout switch as one of the wires is exceptionally rusty looking.

cwsimpson
05-21-2015, 10:54 PM
Thanks for the quick reply.
As I remember it- the OD handle was in the whole time when I first got it. Seemed to be okay when sitting in first gear with the engine off- ie wheels grabbed and didn't free wheel. I might have been a little distracted when I first got this, however. I don't remember it wanting to move. So what you are saying is that if the handle is in and the OD is engaged- the car free wheels under 28 mph- it doesn't free wheel above 28 mph if everything is working? I thought that below 28 mph- the OD didn't function and therefore- no freewheeling. Right now mine free wheels whenever the handle is in and that's all that happens.
I'll check on the head. I think the temperature sensor attaches in that area too (fodder for another post).
Thanks,

And now that I know a little bit about an overdrive transmission- seems I may have bigger issues than I initially thought. When I park with the handle "in"- there is no freewheeling in 1st gear- that is, I mean it locks to the drive train. Before I had this problem- seems that first gear didn't grab when I went to park. So now I'm thinking this must be a mechanical issue, at least partly. If anyone has heard of this happenning and you have an idea what might be causing this, please let me know. A little more info. When the handle is in and moving, still have freewheeling. Stopped- no free wheeling or at least very limited. Still no overdriving (or upshifting) occuring. I'll be looking at this more at some point over the weekend. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

StudeRich
05-22-2015, 12:38 AM
It sounds like you need to go through the Overdrive Troubleshooting Procedure Chart, step by step to narrow down the issue.
This is in the Studebaker Shop Manual and the Borg Warner R-10 Overdrive Handbook.

jackb
05-22-2015, 10:20 AM
if you felt/heard a pop out back on engagement (handle "IN"), it sounds like a mechanical (gear) failure in the OD case.......

cwsimpson
05-23-2015, 08:35 AM
It sounds like you need to go through the Overdrive Troubleshooting Procedure Chart, step by step to narrow down the issue.
This is in the Studebaker Shop Manual and the Borg Warner R-10 Overdrive Handbook.

Thanks to both jackb and StudeRich for the comments.
Indeed- in going through the process a second time- I'm finding that the lockout switch isn't conducting power- If anyone else is looking for the diagnostics- I think one of the earlier posts on this thread had it posted. It's also pretty easy to find the Borg- Warner manual on line.- Once the electrical issues are solved- we'll see if any malingering mechanical issues are in there. Vehicle runs great without it- just kind of easy to blow 'er up without the OD- hardly dare to drive much over 50.

Dwain G.
05-23-2015, 02:02 PM
The lockout switch shouldn't have voltage to it. It is strictly a ground for the governor. It was eliminated later in the '55 model year.
I don't understand what is meant by 'popped the rear wheels'. Did they try to lock up and skid?

6hk71400
05-23-2015, 03:38 PM
Monkey wrench time: my 55 President had the Kickdown switch mounted in the firewall secured with a nut on the engine side and the four wire lead was under the dash. The throttle road had a L shaped piece of metal to engage the kick down. My overdrive had a mechanical problem in the OD gear so the overdrive would not engage. Later, the transmission developed a bearing whine in second and third gear (it could not be because of a 16 year old driving enthusiastically) We went to the junk yard and bought a replacement transmission out of a 55 commander for $25.00. The kickdown switch was frozen and you could not push on it; we got the switch from the junk car as well. Worked great and as I did want to find out how fast she would go, it was easy to reach under the dash and pull out one of the four wires so the kickdown would not engage at full throttle, then insert the wire back in.

Bob Miles
Tucson AZ

Jerry Forrester
05-23-2015, 05:53 PM
Make sure the cable and cable housing (also called a conduit) is the proper length and is connected to the OD leaver on the transmission. I bought a '55 Cp. once (Leo) and the OD would not work. After checking all the electricals I discovered the OD cable had at some time broken and someone had pulled the lever forward and reattached it. Even though the OD cable handle was pushed all the way in, the lever was not in the rear most position.

Another OD story. An older gentleman brought his '55 Pres. HT by the shop yesterday and asked if I would check his OD. He didn't think it was working correctly. He said, "Sometimes it will, sometimes it wont". I slid under the cal and 'Lo'N-behold. There was no conduit mounting bracket! Therefore you could never tell where the OD lever was even though the control was all the way in or pulled out. Plus you could pull the control out about a foot.
I let him have the conduit bracket from Buttercup. Now I have to get another one. Anybody have a spare? It's the one that goes on the lower solenoid bolt.

6hk71400
05-23-2015, 07:55 PM
I have two but they are on T96 transmissions and I don't know if they will fit the T86.

Bob Miles
Tucson AZ

cwsimpson
05-24-2015, 04:50 AM
The lockout switch shouldn't have voltage to it. It is strictly a ground for the governor. It was eliminated later in the '55 model year.
I don't understand what is meant by 'popped the rear wheels'. Did they try to lock up and skid?

As much as I'd like to ignore it, I'm pretty sure that's what happened. I was going through a roundabout and when I came out of it I pushed in the the cable- pretty sure I felt a jolt or a "pop" then. Thanks for the comment on the lockout switch- I'll have another look at the manual.

cwsimpson
05-24-2015, 04:59 AM
Monkey wrench time: my 55 President had the Kickdown switch mounted in the firewall secured with a nut on the engine side and the four wire lead was under the dash. The throttle road had a L shaped piece of metal to engage the kick down. My overdrive had a mechanical problem in the OD gear so the overdrive would not engage. Later, the transmission developed a bearing whine in second and third gear (it could not be because of a 16 year old driving enthusiastically) We went to the junk yard and bought a replacement transmission out of a 55 commander for $25.00. The kickdown switch was frozen and you could not push on it; we got the switch from the junk car as well. Worked great and as I did want to find out how fast she would go, it was easy to reach under the dash and pull out one of the four wires so the kickdown would not engage at full throttle, then insert the wire back in.

Bob Miles
Tucson AZ

Great story. I had a '49 champion back in HS and NEVER had a problem with the OD. Kinda discouraging with the this car ('55 Pres). How tough are the transmissions to swap out? Maybe I better start thinking about doing that... I'll run a few more tests when I get another lockout switch to try.

cwsimpson
05-24-2015, 05:03 AM
Make sure the cable and cable housing (also called a conduit) is the proper length and is connected to the OD leaver on the transmission. I bought a '55 Cp. once (Leo) and the OD would not work. After checking all the electricals I discovered the OD cable had at some time broken and someone had pulled the lever forward and reattached it. Even though the OD cable handle was pushed all the way in, the lever was not in the rear most position.

Another OD story. An older gentleman brought his '55 Pres. HT by the shop yesterday and asked if I would check his OD. He didn't think it was working correctly. He said, "Sometimes it will, sometimes it wont". I slid under the cal and 'Lo'N-behold. There was no conduit mounting bracket! Therefore you could never tell where the OD lever was even though the control was all the way in or pulled out. Plus you could pull the control out about a foot.
I let him have the conduit bracket from Buttercup. Now I have to get another one. Anybody have a spare? It's the one that goes on the lower solenoid bolt.
I did check the cable setup- seemed okay but it did have a slight amount of play in it when it was pushed in. Maybe about 1/4 to 3/8".Hmmm- wonder if that is too much?

cwsimpson
05-24-2015, 05:13 AM
The lockout switch shouldn't have voltage to it. It is strictly a ground for the governor. It was eliminated later in the '55 model year.
I don't understand what is meant by 'popped the rear wheels'. Did they try to lock up and skid?

Here is the diagnosis flow chart I was following. It's identical to one in my shop manual. I got down to checking terminal #14 which didn't have any current with the lever in and the key on. Did I do something wrong?

http://www.raylinrestoration.com/TechnicalPages/Overdrive/EarlyOverdrives.htm

gordr
05-24-2015, 02:37 PM
The lockout lever, to which the cable attaches at the transmission end, must be fully back against its stop when the control handle is pushed in. "Close" is not good enough. Ideally, you want the transmission lever on its stop, and the control handle a little short (say 1/8") of bottoming out on the bezel.

Jerry Forrester
05-24-2015, 06:17 PM
The lockout lever, to which the cable attaches at the transmission end, must be fully back against its stop when the control handle is pushed in. "Close" is not good enough. Ideally, you want the transmission lever on its stop, and the control handle a little short (say 1/8") of bottoming out on the bezel.

Gord is absolutely right. You need to disconnect the cable from the lever and make sure the lever is going to the farthermost back position. You can't really tell by just looking.

cwsimpson
05-26-2015, 10:37 AM
Thanks gordr and Jerry- I will examine the cable the next time I have a chance to work on the car. Hopefully, will also get the lockout switch in a couple of days and have some new results to report soon.

cwsimpson
05-28-2015, 07:50 AM
After reading some of the issues presented by the lockout switch (ie: discontinued after '55- but other wiring remains the same- switch is in effect, bypassed) what happens if you just wire the kickdown switch directly to the governor? Gotta be a few folks that have done that.. Thanks for the input.

Dwain G.
05-28-2015, 07:38 PM
The lockout switch is normally closed, to complete the circuit to the governor. When the shifter is placed in reverse, a rail attached to the shift fork shifts from overdrive to direct drive. This is necessary because the car will not reverse in overdrive due to the one-way clutch. That rail also pushes the lockout switch plunger to break contact and open the ground circuit to the governor. The lockout switch was eliminated because it was somewhat redundant.
To thoroughly understand the operation of this unit I recommend the Borg-Warner overdrive booklet advertised in Turning Wheels classified section. It includes driving tips and troubleshooting procedures.

cwsimpson
05-29-2015, 03:52 PM
Thanks, Dewain. I'll get ahold of it and give it a good goin' over. I might have bigger issues here, but until I get the electrical working, seems like I won't know.