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1937 Studebaker overdrive question

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: 1937 Studebaker overdrive question

    I have a later model overdrive unit in my 37 Studebaker. Currently, it has a relay that kicks it into overdrive when I let the foot off the throttle at speeds above 35. That works well for me. However, I don’t have any kickdown switch or cutout toggle switch wired in. Do I need this? How did the early 50s overdrive units work when passing a car or going up a hill? That’s the only time I feel I might want to have a toggle switch under the dash to cut out the overdrive? It currently does drop out of overdrive when I slow down. Am I ok just to downshift to 2nd while I’m in overdrive if I need to while going up hill? What are your thoughts on how to wire this up? Thanks.

    Nate

  • #2
    They used a 4 Wire Kickdown switch to control it plus a In and Out Shift Cable and O.D. Handle.
    The Solenoid on the Trans. actually does the shifting not the Relay. Do you have another "Relay" not on the Trans.?

    It is needed going DOWNHILL more than up to have the Original Setup, so you can downshift from Overdrive to Direct, Lock out the Overdrive and proceed down hill, Safely under control with deceleration, and NOT burn up the Brakes.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      Yes. I have the in/out cable under the dash. I have a relay mounted in the engine bay that gets power from the stud on the starter and then 2 wires going to the solenoid. I am not very familiar with overdrive. Going down hill or slowing down is my concern. I was told I can wire it with a toggle switch under the dash like an MG had. Then when going down hill, you can cut the circuit and get it out of overdrive.

      nate

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Studebaker1965 View Post
        How did the early 50s overdrive units work when passing a car or going up a hill?
        There is (was) a kick-down switch mounted on the throttle bell crank. To drop in to third gear you simply put the accelerator to the floor; that made a tab on the bell crank contact the kick-down switch. You would then stay in third gear until you again back off the throttle to let the solenoid re-engage overdrive.
        Once it is in direct third you can also pull out the lockout cable to prevent freewheeling down the other side of the hill. Never pull that cable out while in overdrive.

        I would think the kick down switch could be mimicked with a simple contact switch.
        Last edited by rockne10; 03-13-2021, 01:10 PM.
        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

        Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
        '33 Rockne 10,
        '51 Commander Starlight,
        '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
        '56 Sky Hawk

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        • #5
          So it was more important for passing a slow moving car. When slowing down, can you just leave in overdrive and downshift to second in overdrive? That’s my main concern. I don’t think my 90 hp Dictator will be doing much passing these days!

          Nate

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          • #6
            So it was more important for passing a slow moving car. When slowing down, can you just leave in overdrive and downshift to second in overdrive? That’s my main concern. I don’t think my 90 hp Dictator will be doing much passing these days!

            Nate

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            • #7
              There is a manual somewhere that has everything you need. I think it's posted on this forum.

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              • #8
                https://vintageautogarage.com/conten...gram-v1.00.pdf

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