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Overdrive and switches

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: Overdrive and switches

    Hey everyone.

    Just bought my '62 Lark Daytona a couple of weeks ago and I'm now trying to understand how the overdrive works. If I understand the owner's manual correctly it's activated using the gas pedal and turned off by using the OD handle but ...................................... I've done some reading in here about switches. My Lark does have two mysterious switches under the dash that aren't in the owners manual. Since I don't know what they are I've left them both turned off for now. I do suspect that they were installed to manipulate the Overdrive but don't have a clue on how to verify that,

    Any help figuring this out would be greatly appreciated.


    PS. Please remember I'm a Studebaker newbie but I do have some mechanical experience.

  • #2
    Please refer to this recent thread and a couple others on the OD:


    Post #4 contains the gospel written by Borg-Warner in the early 1950s, a free PDF.


    • #3
      Yeah it's that thread that got me to shaking my head and without understanding how the switches are wired into the system the diagrams aren't much help. Thanks though, I'll just have to road test it and figure it out.


      • #4
        If you can photograph the dash panel, showing the switches, it may help us to identify them.
        In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.


        • #5
          Pics of switches won't mean a thing if they are owner installed. Trace where the wires go. That is the only way to know what they are hooked up to. Or have someone that can do that do it for you. Everything else is just a guess.
          Bez Auto Alchemy

          "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln


          • #6
            Jim, the OD handle is the master control for overdrive. Pushed in, the overdrive is enabled, and will operate automatically, according to road speed and throttle position. You can delay an automatic upshift into overdrive by pushing harder on the gas pedal, and you can force a downshift into direct drive by flooring the gas pedal. Pull out the OD handle, and the transmission acts exactly like a straight 3 on the tree. You normally should never pull the handle to lock out OD while rolling. One exception to that rule would be if you are cresting a hill, and facing a steep downgrade on the other side, and want more effective engine braking. In that case, kick it down to direct, briefly, and pull out the cable while in direct drive. That is perfectly safe for the system.
            Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands