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  • StudeRich
    replied
    Art, I don't want to get too far off Topic into Chrysler's as has already been done on Brit Cars, but just remember that your situation with your Studebaker will be about 83% Different than with the Fluid Drive, it actually did a Major Gear ratio Change, the BW Overdrive Ratio shift from O.D. to direct is very slight, not even roughly comparable.

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  • Rafe Hollister
    replied
    OK, this is a lot to digest. I kept trying that link, couldn't get it. Then I noticed that it downloaded a pdf file, so now I can read it. I've been driving the car two days now, and getting the hang of the OD. Last night I put it on a Subaru mechanic buddies lift... what a surprise... R3 cast iron exhaust manifolds! He had never seen an OD. Fun.

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  • Art Joly
    replied
    We paid a reasonable price for our new to us Lark because the electrical system was beyond the skill set of the previous owner. We purchased the Lark specifically because it has the BW overdrive, so getting that working was high on the to do list. Adjusting the throttle linkage and enabling the overdrive downshift switch is low on the to do list. So low in fact that before I enable the mechanical switch I think I'd add a DPDT relay and a momentary push button to duplicate the operation of the mechanical switch only at part throttle.

    We owned and operated a 1950 Chrysler with the semi-automatic transmission for 33 years and I never liked forcing the downshift with the throttle. An aftermarket accessory was a push button knob for the column shift that would give you part throttle downshifts.

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  • gordr
    replied
    That looks like a DPDT switch, Altair. I remember switches of the same brand being used as ignition switches in old IEL chainsaws. Also worth noting, British sports cars, and Volvos, used the Laycock de Normanville overdrive, which was electric over hydraulic, and not really comparable to the Warner units.

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  • altair
    replied
    Some early British sport cars had this setup with a toggle on the floor shift, the toggle would interrupt the ignition for 1/50 of a second and the OD would shift down with flooring the throttle. The toggle is an interruption type where the switch is momentarily opened then closed again when switching. It does the same function as flooring the throttle. The OD is engaged the same as conventional, however when in OD if you see ahead that you may need some added performance flip the toggle and you are instantly in conventional. There are multiple configurations of toggle switches that perform multiple purposes, they are not just on and off. I have switches with two, four and six terminals and spring loaded. Who knows the design and purpose of this "toggle". I similarly wired an overdrive with a push button in lieu of the conventional kick down do shift down when desired instead of flooring the throttle. No manual will help with this, it took several attempts to get what I wanted. The manual was handy to check the OD components but that was all. I never touched the OD lever when rolling as I was scared of a catastrophic explosion. I suppose under power in conventional drive it could be done.
    It doesn't appear that the seller has any idea as to the operation of the "toggle". The toggle switch I show can be wired for many configurations, it can also operate exactly as the kick down switch, while it is moving through center it momentarily opens the coil circuit and will allow the unit to shift down into conventional. This method can allow for five speeds however it takes some dexterity, I could do it easily when I was 17.

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  • Art Joly
    replied
    Originally posted by Rafe Hollister View Post
    I just bought a 56 PowerHawk, 259, 3 speed manual, with over drive. My car has been modified a bit, the 3 speed is now on the floor instead of the tree. And it has been bored .030 over (so its now a 263).
    I was told by seller that overdrive is accessed while driving by flipping a toggle switch, then pushing a handle in (looks a bit like an emergency brake). This seems to work fine and lowers RPM at 70mph from 4,000 to 2,000.
    I have a shop manual, its very detailed about what the overdrive is, but doesn't offer info on how to actually use it.
    Thanks, Rafe.
    I skimmed the replies, and maybe I missed it, but has anyone asked you to look and see what the toggle switch actually does? Does your toggle switch interrupt power to the entire overdrive control circuit? Or only the governor?

    Does your overdrive solenoid have three electrical terminals or only two?

    Or maybe just this: Does your car come out of overdrive below ewwww 20 MPH? And engage again when you lift your foot off the foot feed above 32 MPH? 45MPH if you don't want to lug the engine in 3rd. 35MPH in second if you're, for personal reasons, accelerating briskly in 2nd.

    There is nothing like the feel of shifting from 2nd to 3rd at 33mph and ending up in 3rd overdrive.


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  • StudeRich
    replied
    Sorry for the confusion Thom, I'll do this in understandable, simple terms.
    What is making it hard to describe the proper procedure to use on this particular Car, is that the System has been modified in ways we are not sure of without seeing it.

    There would be No Toggle Switch in a stock setup, the Throttle Linkage mounted "Kickdown" switch makes it all happen, but it seems it was Never there or has been disconnected.
    This Car MAY have been converted from Standard 3 Speed to Overdrive, a common occurrence because of the Major improvement in Driving comfort, Fuel Mileage, Engine wear and Noise.

    For Most driving most of us NEVER shift the Overdrive Out, by pulling the O.D. Handle Out.
    When connected properly It works automatically when the speed is up to about 32 MPH by releasing the gas Pedal and you can do this in either 2nd. or 3rd. Gear depending on traffic situations.

    In your case without a Kickdown switch, just switch the O.D. ON, leave the Handle IN and Go!

    Be aware though that below 30 MPH the Car will go into freewheeling and be harder to stop with no compression braking, so just give a little More stopping distance.

    Just remember to Never park the Car or get out of it, in ANY Gear Except Reverse. When in O.D. it is in freewheeling and WILL roll away, do not depend on the Parking Brake that may, or may not work or be adjusted well enough to stop the Car.

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  • 6hk71400
    replied
    While I was writing the reply, Dave mentioned the link in post #4. That is a good start. Also the seller was not quite correct in his understanding of overdrive. With the cable pushed in the car is set for overdrive, but will free wheel until the governor reaches a speed to activate the solenoid, usually around 28 miles per hour for a V8 and higher speed for 6's. Most people put in a toggle to bypass the governor. Usually a good cleaning of the contacts on the governor will delete the need of the toggle. Also, on your 56, there is a relay on the firewall with a fuse and 4 wire connection that may need some attention. Usually, you take the fuse out and scrape that contact prongs to clear any corrosion and that is what has worked for me. You will start out with the clutch in 1st gear but then can shift to 2nd and 3rd as long as the car is under engaging speed without using the clutch pedal. (More on that later) The shop manual is great if you have to repair the unit but once you get the trick of operating, it is a good long lasting system.

    I hope you don't have a headache now. As I mentioned, on my trip I will be glad to put hands on learning for you.

    Good Luck and you do have a swell looking car, one to be proud of driving,

    Bob Miles

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  • 6hk71400
    replied
    Thom,

    If it will help, I will take a picture of my kick down switch, overdrive relay and crawl under the car to get a picture of the governor and solenoid. When your car was modified, no telling what was done. The page 9 on the 1956 shop manual 7 paragraphs on overdrive operation in the transmission section.

    I will be coming to Redwood city late April to pick up some parts for my 56 President. I will be happy to take an extra day or so on my travels to see what you have and what you need to get it working, if you can wait until then. I am due to have my second Covid shot on April 24th then off to Northern California.

    Bob Miles

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  • NCDave51
    replied
    Originally posted by Rafe Hollister View Post
    Either you are all the worst explainers in the universe... or I am an idiot. The quote comes to mind "I would explain it in a way you could understand, but I don't have any crayons". Can any of you explain it so a 5th grader would understand... with crayons perhaps?
    I do know what sun gears, pawls, and solenoids are, but do not conceptualize them in this instance. Perhaps I just need to dig into the repair manual. I do not have an owners manual, is that available or can one of you post the appropriate excerpt from it?
    It sounds like some of you are saying there are there several types of ODs and they actuate differently?
    Thanks for the Kudos Dwight. This car was 3 generations in the family, Dad & Gramps were car guys, son is not. It has HD front sway bar and rear one too (corners on rails), I think its raised a bit with springs?, and the motor is seriously breathed on. I've driven a few 259s and none have this kind of power. Fortunately for me, the mods (shaved hood scoop) have killed its resale value and allowed me to be able to afford it.
    Bob, the 'two part' actuation might help me get it when I look at manual again.
    Please click the URL link I posted in post #4. The parts diagram and the technical explanations are excellent.

    As Bob said, this B-W OD is a truly a stroke of mechanical and electrical genius. The pdf Manual explains it much much better than the Owner's Manual. Our explanations above might be cloudy, but you do NOT want to injure that OD anymore than necessary by futzing around.

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  • Rafe Hollister
    replied
    Either you are all the worst explainers in the universe... or I am an idiot. The quote comes to mind "I would explain it in a way you could understand, but I don't have any crayons". Can any of you explain it so a 5th grader would understand... with crayons perhaps?
    I do know what sun gears, pawls, and solenoids are, but do not conceptualize them in this instance. Perhaps I just need to dig into the repair manual. I do not have an owners manual, is that available or can one of you post the appropriate excerpt from it?
    It sounds like some of you are saying there are there several types of ODs and they actuate differently?
    Thanks for the Kudos Dwight. This car was 3 generations in the family, Dad & Gramps were car guys, son is not. It has HD front sway bar and rear one too (corners on rails), I think its raised a bit with springs?, and the motor is seriously breathed on. I've driven a few 259s and none have this kind of power. Fortunately for me, the mods (shaved hood scoop) have killed its resale value and allowed me to be able to afford it.
    Bob, the 'two part' actuation might help me get it when I look at manual again.

    Leave a comment:


  • 6hk71400
    replied
    In order to take the car out of overdrive, the kick down switch must be working. It's purpose is to cut power by 1/50 of a second to the overdrive circuit to disengage the overdrive. If you have a manual switch and toggle it off, the circuit is still energized and will not disengage. Do not pull the handle out; that handle is to mechanically engage the sun gear and system and you could hear the sounds of metal on metal as the gears chew themselves up.

    I had a 52 Commander with a manual toggle switch to engage the overdrive electrically. I was going up the grade on Interstate 8 heading to San Diego and the car in overdrive did not have the power to make the grade. I toggled off, but still in overdrive. I then touched the ignition key to just off then back on again. That broke the circuit and took the car out of overdrive to power up the mountain.

    My 59 Lark had a functioning kick down switch that would disengage the overdrive. When I floored it, disengaged I could then pull the cable out as the strain on the drivetrain was gone because the car was out of overdrive. There are parts of Arizona that have grades and curves and low speeds that need to have direct drive. Before I would enter the area, I would kick down the car out of overdrive and with the accelerator floored, put the cable out. Gotta be careful when you do this.

    Overdrive has a two part system: Electrical to engage the solenoid and Mechanical to operate the gear system. The two are compatible to work together.

    Bob Miles

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  • NCDave51
    replied
    Originally posted by rbisacca View Post

    This is incorrect. READ THE OWNERS MANUAL. To switch out of OD while vehicle is in motion floor the accelerator. This will get the trans. out of OD. Then you can pull out the OD handle. Of course this assumes that OD including kickdown switch is properly installed.
    Yes - as I said, this works for some.

    We all read Rafe's system to have some bypasses in it, using the toggle switch, etc. I therefore assumed the KD switch feature might also be not functioning.

    It's your rare B-W components, do what you'd like.

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  • rbisacca
    replied
    Originally posted by NCDave51 View Post
    Never try to disengage the pawl/rod while the driveline is moving, not even in neutral.
    Again, while some of done it successfully we are cautioned never to pull out that cable until at rest.
    This is incorrect. READ THE OWNERS MANUAL. To switch out of OD while vehicle is in motion floor the accelerator. This will get the trans. out of OD. Then you can pull out the OD handle. Of course this assumes that OD including kickdown switch is properly installed.

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  • rbisacca
    replied
    Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
    Without knowing exactly how the PO wired the system, it's not possible to give an accurate answer. However, wiring in a switch to bypass the governor can damage the overdrive unit when reversing with overdrive still engaged.

    The one thing you should know is he did it the difficult and unnecessary way. Many here have installed and driven floor shift conversions without any modification of the automatic overdrive system.

    If it were my car, I'd use the Shop Manual to return the governor, solenoid and kickdown switch to the original configuration.
    Agree 100%. Only thing I would add is besides the Shop Manual you also need the Parts Catalog. To properly mount the kickdown switch I believe you will need to change some of the throttle linkage parts. Once you have it correctly connected the owners manual covers operation.

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