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Shifting Problems

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  • Transmission: Shifting Problems

    Hi Guys: I am enjoying my 53 commander. My first Stude. It is a 3 on the tree with overdrive and i'm having trouble shifting from 1st to second. First and reverse shifts good and second to third works good. Just wondering if this is a common problem or something needs adjusting or is worn. It could well be operator error too Lol. Any help will be appreciated before i get under it and start plundering. Had lots of 3 on the tree cars and trucks before but none acting quite like this. Bobby

  • #2
    You may need to adjust the rods for "real" neutral. You can use a drill bit to line up the arms in neutral and then adjust the rods to meet that setting. Hope I explained it correctly.

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    • #3
      Thanks for your help I can do that!! Bobby

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      • #4
        It would be a good check to use a bright light and take a good look at all the the Rubber insulators (Engine Mounts) that all that weight has been sitting on for who knows how many years. Any sagging from those will affect the Shifting linkage and the Clutch Linkage.

        Also check the Rubber grommets on both ends of both Shift Rods.

        You will find it shifts much easier if you leave the Overdrive (O.D.) handle IN.
        Just remember to always Park in it Reverse, because below 32 MPH it is in Freewheeling, and WILL roll away in all forward Gears!
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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        • #5
          Hoping this will help.............


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          • #6
            After checking all these things above, plus making sure you have the correct lubricant in the transmission, and making sure you have enough of the correct lubricant...

            You also might be trying to shift the transmission too quickly. Instead of moving the stick at a constant speed, try moving it with just a slight pressure. Not too much, just gentle pressure and wait for the transmission to allow itself to shift.

            Don't hold the shift knob in your fist. Hold it lightly/gently with your finger tips.

            The transmission will shift into second gear when it is ready to do so. It won't take but a half second or so. Don't force it.

            It's easier to do than it is to explain, but I have been shifting my Studebakers like that for 50 years.
            RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

            17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
            10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
            10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
            4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
            5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
            56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
            60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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            • #7
              Another trick on o acorn column shifter to “Help” it shift. When going from first to second, move the shifter a little past neutral.. Not so much you clash the reverse gear. This will allow the first gear lever to get into neutral. Then go across and shift to second. Usually the biggest culprit is worn pieces in the column and or the grommets on the shift levers.
              1962 Champ

              51 Commander 4 door

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              • #8
                Another trick on a column shifter to “Help” it shift. When going from first to second, move the shifter a little past neutral.. Not so much you clash the reverse gear. This will allow the first gear lever to get into neutral. Then go across and shift to second. Usually the biggest culprit is worn pieces in the column and or the grommets on the shift levers.
                1962 Champ

                51 Commander 4 door

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
                  /Cut/Don't hold the shift knob in your fist. Hold it lightly/gently with your finger tips.
                  The transmission will shift into second gear when it is ready to do so. It won't take but a half second or so. Don't force it.
                  It's easier to do than it is to explain, but I have been shifting my Studebakers like that for 50 years.
                  I would describe my experience a bit different than Roy's.
                  All of the Stude. Column shift Cars and Trucks I have owned seem to like a bit of "Man Handling", not to say I hurry the shift or force it, but I never slow or stop in the middle of the movement from Low pushing gently Up through Neutral then AWAY into second all in one smooth consistent speed move.
                  If you slow shift and do not "wind it up" a bit in Low & Second, it will sometimes hang up especially in Low if slightly out of adjustment.
                  Mine do not like being "babied" and I let them GO!
                  But as Roy says, it is hard to describe, after doing it 50 years you just do it automatically.
                  StudeRich
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the help Guys! It does seem to shift better if i go a little past neutral and give it a couple of seconds then it goes into second much better. Just don't like pulling out in traffic and struggling to get to second with traffic backing up behind me. I really like the way the overdrive works. Also the brakes leave a little to be desired when your used to modern vehicles. I also have disc brakes on my 57 Chevy. Bobby

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                    • #11
                      It is also wise to take a really hard look at your motor mounts. A broken or sagging mount will throw off the shifter geometry and you will have no end of fun trying to figure it out.

                      Nathan
                      _______________
                      http://stude.vonadatech.com
                      https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

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                      • #12
                        When I shift from 1st to 2nd, my right hand does not leave the wheel but with my fingers I move the lever from 1st to 2nd with a light touch on the wheel and the lever. Seems to work fine on all the column shifted cars I have owned. Could not do that with the 4 speed 62 GT I had

                        I seem to be lucky; I have never had to make an adjustment from the oldest 48 Commander, to a 63 Lark Standard.

                        Bob Miles

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                        • #13
                          It is possible over the years that you have a mismatched bellhousing, that can cause stiff shifting in to second.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the help guys. I shortened the low/reverse shift rod and it helped some but i think it needs a little more. Also I'm getting used to shifting it now and getting better at it.

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                            • #15
                              Or you could drive like my father did, just wind it out in first and go directly to third. My friends always got a kick out of his driving habits!

                              Bill

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