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Overdrive kickdown switch

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  • Overdrive kickdown switch

    Now I am working on my o/d so I can drive faster than 50. I am following the manual flow chart and got to voltage on the kickdown switch. I have 6 volts on pin 7 and none on pin 9 -- buy a new switch.
    Having inherited Scottish genes from my dad, I am wondering about working on the switch, but have a couple of first-time dumb questions before I might start. Is the round shaft sticking up out of the assembly supposed to move, like up and down? It doesn't. Is that flat finger attached to the accelerator linkage supposed to hit and move that shaft? It doesn't look like it will move that far, and I can't get my eyeballs into the engine compartment while my foot is on the pedal. IF that shaft is supposed to move, can I disassemble the switch and fix it, or do I buy a new switch for $38?

    '50 Champion, 1 family owner

  • #2
    Yes, the plunger on the switch should move easily with very little pressure. All it does is align contacts within the switch to allow current to flow or not. The tab on the accelerator bellcrank should push the switch in when you floor the throttle to drop out of OD.

    I would say a new switch is in order. The good news is, since your switch isn't working and new ones are available, there would be no harm in taking it apart to see if you can clean it up and get it to work; just be prepared for some very tiny springs in there to go flying as soon as you open the case. It's a fun exercize but probably not worth the time and aggravation; still, satisfying if accomplishable.
    Brad Johnson,
    SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight. '53 Commander Starlight
    '56 Sky Hawk in process


    • #3
      As Brad indicates, you can take this thing apart and see if it can be cleaned and lubed to where it'll function again. The tricky part is that there's likely three little springs involved that can go astray if you're not careful. But I've put new life in these things many a time. As long as the phenolic parts aren't broken or delaminated, there's a real good chance of fixing it. This switch really doesn't carry alot of current, so the contacts won't be shot. Get the contacts all cleaned up and wipe on some petroleum jelly before you reassemble the unit. That'll inhibit corrosion and keep things working smoothly.[^]

      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

      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.


      • #4
        Ok, now everyone has to wait until I do the deed and report on it. Thanks again.

        '50 Champion, 1 family owner