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Thread: How much would you do to freshen up a transmission?

  1. #1
    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    How much would you do to freshen up a transmission?

    This question is for some of you who have experience working on 3 speed overdrive transmissions. The overdrive in my 52 doesn't work and I have another transmission I can swap in. I was planning to install new gaskets and seals in the replacement trans. In an otherwise working transmission would you replace the input shaft bearing or any other parts before the swap?


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  2. #2
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    If you plan on driving the car more than just around the block...and don't really want to get stuck somewhere...fix what needs fixen.
    Take it apart, clean everything, replace what needs...replacing, put it back together and stick it in your car...and have no trans. worries.

    Mike

  3. #3
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    For anything other than a T85/89, I'd do the following: Replace the input shaft case bearing and needle bearings, the needle bearings in the cluster gear, and inspect the 2nd/3rd gear synchronizer rings closely. If they do not have a neat, "doghouse" profile, replace them. Inspect all gear edges on the mainshaft and cluster-gear closely for broken teeth, or excessively ground off tooth edges, and replace if needed. Replace the rear seal, unless its an original rawhide one. If rawhide, its worth a try, and they often out last the transmission. If need be later, you can replace that by only removing the driveshaft.

    Other than the above, I'd inspect everything closely, and replace anything suspect, i.e. rear shaft bearing. I'd also remove and wipe the solenoid clean, and replace its oil seal. Ditto for the governor. Of course new, paper gaskets, as you already mentioned. If you can't find those, they are easy enough to make.

    For a T85/89, I'd just pop the side cover and eyeball everything, paying particular attention to the synchronizer rings. If it looked OK and did not smell of burned oil, I'd slap the side cover back on and install it.

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    Figure out why OD wont work and save the hassle. Luck Doofus

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    Silver Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doofus View Post
    Figure out why OD wont work and save the hassle. Luck Doofus
    Makes perfectly good sense to me. In addition to the shop manual, there is a separate publication that covers the B/W overdrive transmission. I would place the rear axle on jack stands, chock the front wheels, and do all the troubleshooting, and diagnosis with the wheels off the ground. Just follow all the recommended checks in logical order. Electrical checks include the relay fuse, relay contacts, to the governor, and solenoid. On the mechanical part, make sure the cable is adjusted so that when the overdrive handle is pushed in, it shifts the linkage on the transmission far enough to really engage the overdrive unit. Oh...and make sure the "kick-down" switch is properly wired. All electrical connections must be corrosion free.
    John Clary
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    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jclary View Post
    Makes perfectly good sense to me. In addition to the shop manual, there is a separate publication that covers the B/W overdrive transmission. I would place the rear axle on jack stands, chock the front wheels, and do all the troubleshooting, and diagnosis with the wheels off the ground. Just follow all the recommended checks in logical order. Electrical checks include the relay fuse, relay contacts, to the governor, and solenoid. On the mechanical part, make sure the cable is adjusted so that when the overdrive handle is pushed in, it shifts the linkage on the transmission far enough to really engage the overdrive unit. Oh...and make sure the "kick-down" switch is properly wired. All electrical connections must be corrosion free.
    I may swap the solenoids and try it that way. The car came to me modified and has a cable throttle with no provision for the stock kick down parts. The solenoid is wired to a switch on the dash and will click when the switch is engaged, but the od doesn't engage. I have checked the cable and even ran new wires, but it won't go.
    The trans itself shifts well except for sometimes being a little balky going into high gear. The shift linkage is adjusted and usually the shifts work fine. This particular transmission was once in Tom Covington's Stude roadster.
    I actually have two more T86 transmissions with overdrive and was going to prep one that I got with an engine I bought a few years ago from a forum member. The engine came out of a running driving car he parted out because of rust issues. I was hoping to just get everything ready and just do a quick swap.
    I have been toying with the idea of attending the Studebaker drags in late May and need the overdrive for the 8 hour drive to Bean Blossom. The car now has 3:42 gears and will drive fine, but I don't like the RPMs at anything over 55MPH or so.


    "In the heart of Arkansas."
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    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.

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    Silver Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    I am working (in bits & fits) on a V8 to install in my 1/2 ton truck. I have an overdrive for the V8. A week ago, I got around to removing the cover on the transmission. If I remember correctly what, I was told by another member here, the shape of the gears indicate it has "car" gears. That should be better for highway cruising. The transmission looks great, 'cept for the stinky old gear oil. I'm thinking of adding some kerosene and flushing before replacing the transmission oil. Also, I've thought about rigging up a small motor/engine with some sort of belt (haven't figured that out yet) to give it some slow (unloaded) rotation while cleaning.

    Heck...I might even use some sort of hand crank to turn it. Perhaps figure out how to make it churn some ice cream for incentive.
    John Clary
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    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    You probably don't want to turn it much with the kerosene in there. The dirt or chips that may be in the old lube may work their way to the bearings. Of course, if the solvent is below the level of the gears you could wash the debris away from the gears/bearing area.


    "In the heart of Arkansas."
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    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.

  9. #9
    Speedster Member
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    One more thing to check if the solenoid clicks and nothing happens. Are the 2 wires on the transmission reversed? If so, the solenoid will be trying to go in the wrong direction. That happened on my car when a new wiring harness was installed. You may have a 2-minute repair job.

  10. #10
    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenstude View Post
    One more thing to check if the solenoid clicks and nothing happens. Are the 2 wires on the transmission reversed? If so, the solenoid will be trying to go in the wrong direction. That happened on my car when a new wiring harness was installed. You may have a 2-minute repair job.
    Good to know. I think I followed the Lark diagram, but I may have just hooked it back up like it was.


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    Quote Originally Posted by jclary View Post
    I am working (in bits & fits) on a V8 to install in my 1/2 ton truck. I have an overdrive for the V8. A week ago, I got around to removing the cover on the transmission. If I remember correctly what, I was told by another member here, the shape of the gears indicate it has "car" gears. That should be better for highway cruising.
    Third gear and third overdrive, thus the highway RPM are the same for both car and truck transmissions. Only difference is in first and second.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    Since my last post I have pulled the solenoid and cleaned the insides. It was oil fouled, but after cleaning it bench tested good. I could not get the governor off due to not having a proper wrench, but I removed the end plate and cleaned the points. I also rechecked the lockout cable for proper travel. Still no overdrive.
    As I recall, on both my 52 Champion and 59 Lark, when the lock out handle was pushed in the cars would coast with no engine braking even at low speed. Since this transmission will not allow the car to coast without the engine braking does it have an internal problem? Am I overlooking something?


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  13. #13
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 52-fan View Post
    Since my last post I have pulled the solenoid and cleaned the insides. It was oil fouled, but after cleaning it bench tested good. I could not get the governor off due to not having a proper wrench, but I removed the end plate and cleaned the points. I also rechecked the lockout cable for proper travel. Still no overdrive.
    As I recall, on both my 52 Champion and 59 Lark, when the lock out handle was pushed in the cars would coast with no engine braking even at low speed. Since this transmission will not allow the car to coast without the engine braking does it have an internal problem? Am I overlooking something?
    Sounds like it is still in conventional drive. When you push the OD cable in, it switches from conventional to overdrive operation. If you have pushed the handle in already, look at the transmission to insure the cable is doing its job; it should move the transmission lever all the way to where it hits mechanical interference on the transmission case.

  14. #14
    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeHall View Post
    Sounds like it is still in conventional drive. When you push the OD cable in, it switches from conventional to overdrive operation. If you have pushed the handle in already, look at the transmission to insure the cable is doing its job; it should move the transmission lever all the way to where it hits mechanical interference on the transmission case.
    I had someone move the cable while I was under the car. The lever moves all the way against the tab made onto the trans case. I am thinking something is amiss inside. I was going to drive my car to Nashville, IN for the Studebaker drags, but not unless I can get the overdrive working.


    "In the heart of Arkansas."
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    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.

  15. #15
    President Member Tom B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 52-fan View Post
    when the lock out handle was pushed in the cars would coast with no engine braking
    This is normal operation.

    As you increase speed, and pass 30, take your foot off the gas for a couple of seconds. The engine should start pulling the speed down, engine braking. This is IN OVERDRIVE. Whenyou give it gas it will take off, but not with the snap it had before. Before shifting it was capable of being in overdrive, with no engine braking, just waiting for enough speed.

    Overdrive seems to be the most mis-understood part of Studebakerdom.
    Tom Bredehoft
    '53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
    '55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan....back on the road, again and again and again
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  16. #16
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom B View Post
    This is normal operation.

    As you increase speed, and pass 30, take your foot off the gas for a couple of seconds. The engine should start pulling the speed down, engine braking. This is IN OVERDRIVE. Whenyou give it gas it will take off, but not with the snap it had before. Before shifting it was capable of being in overdrive, with no engine braking, just waiting for enough speed.

    Overdrive seems to be the most mis-understood part of Studebakerdom.
    When you quoted post #12, you left out the last two sentences, which are kinda important.

  17. #17
    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeHall View Post
    When you quoted post #12, you left out the last two sentences, which are kinda important.
    I agree. I remember very well how I almost didn't make it down a steep mountain road with several hairpin curves because I forgot to pull the overdrive handle out on my Lark before starting down.


    "In the heart of Arkansas."
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  18. #18
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    Ok Quick check,
    Put transmission in REVERSE PULL O.D. cable OUT this will disengage overdrive.
    Now to verify-
    remove one of the battery cables, so no power is going to O.D. solenoid by mistake.
    Next put car in first gear-
    get out rock the the car. If it moves forward without turning engine then its free and your O.D. is disengaged (THIS WON'T WORK IN REVERSE!)
    I had the contacts in my kickdown switch corrode and that prevented my O.D. from working. I don't think you can disengage O.D. while driving unless you use the kickdown switch first. That is assuming your going faster than 25mph. GOOD LUCK

  19. #19
    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    The trouble is that the overdrive will not engage, not that it is stuck in overdrive. The car drives fine, but the overdrive will not work. I checked the kickdown switch with my ohm meter and confirmed that it works. I think this transmission will have to come out.
    I decided today not to try to go to the Bean Blossom event.


    "In the heart of Arkansas."
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    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.

  20. #20
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    I think I read that you had not removed the governor. That is the speed switch for allowing the solenoid to power up and engage the O.D. gear, you may want to use a pipe wrench or channel locks and unscrew that from the trans housing, being careful not to damage the housing. The cast iron are pretty durable but the pot metal not so much. Once removed bench test it by spinning by hand, you should hear a clicking sound also you can connect the ohmmeter and the circuit should switch on and off. GOOD LUCK

  21. #21
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    If you need OD solenoid holler i have extra's. Luck Doofus

  22. #22
    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doofus View Post
    If you need OD solenoid holler i have extra's. Luck Doofus
    Thanks Gerald, I'll keep it in mind, but after cleaning, mine bench tested good. I also have two other complete OD transmissions.
    I had a manual switch in place of the governor for a while and the solenoid would click, but no overdrive. I am still thinking that, if the car cannot coast/freewheel with the OD cable in, there must be an internal problem.

    BTW MY plans may have changed. My younger daughter is off on that Friday and Saturday and has offered me her Jeep to drive.....If she can go too. Might be fun to have her along even without my car.


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    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.

  23. #23
    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    Out with the old and in with the new..er.
    I got the trans out of the 52 (the oiliest one) and tested it to see if the lockout lever effected the coast function. It does not.
    When I checked the one I was going to use (cleaner), with the lever locked power can only be applied while turning the input shaft in one direction while in first, second, or third. In reverse the power flows in either direction. Obviously, there is something wrong in the overdrive section of the first transmission.
    I removed the solenoid from the second trans and it works as it should. Now I need to test the governor before installing this trans. The oily spot behind the transmission is where it tipped over after I had removed the solenoid.
    Attached Images Attached Images


    "In the heart of Arkansas."
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  24. #24
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    I wonder if the shifter plate had something to do with the O.D. failure that looks like the housing wasn't removed to add that piece of steel to the cast iron housing. Of course lots of oil leaking was most likely the culprit. Definitely replace all seals including the (2) in the solenoid & housing.

  25. #25
    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    The transmission had plenty of oil in it. The mess on the case is engine oil. I have some leaks that need to be addressed. The plate welded to the tail shaft was added by Tom Covington (11secondavanti) when he had it in his roadster years ago. He placed it there so he could use an Avanti shifter.
    Attached Images Attached Images


    "In the heart of Arkansas."
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  26. #26
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    If both parts of the transmission case have gear oil that is a very good thing. You also said you tried rotating the shaft both direction in gear that is correct and only one direction of rotation with a functioning O.D. cluster. I think you should stick a magnet or stiff wire inside the back O.D. drain plug and see what you pull out.

  27. #27
    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    The trans had oil when I removed it. The overdrive did not work the first time I drove the car after it was delivered 3 years ago. I topped everything up later after replacing the rear seal. I don't know if I killed the overdrive or if it was already messed up when I got the car. I will probably tear the tranny down someday to check it out, but that is not too important right now.


    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.

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