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‘57 President Classic AT won’t upshift

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: ‘57 President Classic AT won’t upshift

    I bought a very nice 1957 President Classic late last year that had a wiring issue. I got that resolved and decided to take it out for a spin. Dropped it in low to go down the steep driveway and after I moved it to drive it will not upshift.

    The car was supposedly roadworthy before I purchased it. I have gone from neutral to drive to be sure I didn’t miss the detent. While I have owned over 40 Studebakers, this is only the second one with a B-W auto in it.

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Did you do the obvious of checking the fluid level? They can do strange shift things if the fluid is off by even one quart. Going down the steep grade may have exasperated the problem by relocating the fluid.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    • #3
      It could be that either the 1-2 Shift Valve or the 2-3 Valve somehow got stuck or jammed with contaminants. if nothing else works like topping off the Fluid, going through all the gears etc. a complete Fluid Drain and refill of the Main Case and Converter may be needed. You could clean or replace the Filter Screen as well.
      I like the Valvoline Ford Type F or FA, ATF, but in a pinch the Dexron/Mercon will work.
      I always keep a Can of whatever I know is in the Trans. in the Trunk to keep it consistent.

      You should take a quick look at the Throttle Linkage from the Trans. all the way to the throttle Bellcrank, it is possible that you have NO throttle Pressure because it is disconnected!

      Probably stuck in Second, right?

      UPDATE: I just thought of another possibility, it is also possible that your "Drive" caused a shift of the Engine Trans. on it's Mounts (Rubber Insulators) and the Shift Linkage now has so much slop in it that the Column Quadrant is in "D" but the Trans. is still in "L".
      A good look underneath will show the problem, which could be made worse with worn Shift Linkage Grommets and collapsed Rear Engine Mounts.
      Last edited by StudeRich; 03-28-2021, 11:29 AM.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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      • #4
        I agree with Studerich, but I would add just a teaspoon of brake fluid to the new fluid. Make sure you drain the torque converter. It loosens stuck valves, swells and softens the seals. Sounds crazy, but I was taught that about a hundred years ago by a old timer who rebuilt transmission for a living. It works, and won't hurt a thing.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by studegary View Post
          Did you do the obvious of checking the fluid level? They can do strange shift things if the fluid is off by even one quart. Going down the steep grade may have exasperated the problem by relocating the fluid.
          I did, and in fact it seems to be overfilled.

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