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Overdrive on a 6 cyl Hawk GT 63

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  • Overdrive on a 6 cyl Hawk GT 63


    This a little question from France. My 63 Hawk is equipped with the 6 cyl. OHV engine like, I suppose, most of the export models of this car, and a 3-speed manual gearbox (B-W T-96). I'm considering the adaptation of an overdrive because the engine revving around 50-60 MPH is already very high. What would you think of such a modification? Will the car still run well on flats despite the 30 % gear less?

    Best regards


  • #2
    Should be no problem. OD can be overridden if you encounter too steep an incline, just push down on the gas pedal.

    You will need a kickdown switch, (and wiring harness) mounted on the bell crank beside the engine and of course the entire transmission with the overdrive unit on it. Your current transmission already has a 'spacer' on the back, replacing the OD unit, so no drive shaft modification is needed.

    Tom Bredehoft
    '53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
    '55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
    ....On the road, again....
    '05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
    All Indiana built cars


    • #3
      I have a 51 champion which would have less power than yours (less weight also) and with 4.11 rear gear it will cruise at 70 in overdrive. On some bigger hills it will drop to 60 or so and may or may not stay in overdrive. It will do better as soon as we get the 185 flathead overhauled and installed Shane


      • #4
        "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


        • #5
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner


          • #6
            quote:Originally posted by StudeRich
            I never knew my Dad knew French!!! [:0]

            Learn something new here everyday, you do.

            Personally~ I took German in high school. I figured
            it would help me for when I joined the US Air Force...

            so much for that idea, eh [?] [?] [?]

            StudeDave '57 [8D]
            US Navy (retired)

            StudeDave '57
            US Navy (retired)

            3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
            SDC Member since 1985

            past President
            Whatcom County Chapter SDC
            San Diego Chapter SDC

            past Vice President
            San Diego Chapter SDC
            North Florida Chapter SDC


            • #7


              • #8
                I have here & can ship, but you may have to drive it 200K km to save enough gas to pay the shipping...

                Barry'd in Studes
                Barry'd in Studes


                • #9
                  " I have here & can ship, but you may have to drive it 200K km to save enough gas to pay the shipping..."

                  Nevertheless, thanks for your proposition. I also think this will cost a little too much but I'd be grateful if you could just send me some pictures of this gearbox. This may avoid me some mistakes if I find one someday.

                  Regards to all.


                  • #10
                    Hello Christophe, noticed your car list and was wondering if any of the Simcas have the French built 60 horsepower Ford flathead engine? I had one of them out of a 1960 Simca Veddette, and it was quite advanced from my normal 60 horse engines. Seems like it was rated 85 horse in the Veddette. You sure have some interesting cars, good luck on the overdrive search, as stated above, bet you will love it ! My French teacher in high school was a bit impatient with us hillbillys, and we with her, so I didn't do very well, but if I remember correctly, signed, Jeanneau Oiseau,(John)


                    • #11
                      Dear John,

                      All of my cars, exception made of the Hawk, have 4-cyl. engines. As you said, the flathead V8 was used only for the Vedette Line till the end of it in France in 1961. Then the production line was transferred to Brazil. The first version (51) was rated around 60 HP but the last version was rated at 84 HP. That was quite good for the time but this engine had a tendency to overheat and was not as reliable as his big brother (3.9 l). Today, these engines are very expensive to overhaul and that makes me prefer a standard US engine.

                      Nice day to you.

                      P.S. Your translation is quite right though we'd rather use jeannot than jeanneau.