No announcement yet.

overdrive wiring

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • overdrive wiring

    I have two wiring diagrams but each one calls for either an overdrive relay or lockout switch. The solenoid has 2 wires coming out of it; one is orange or red and the other is offwhite. The governor wire has been clipped and I have been told I don't need the governor which I have reservations. There are only two wire on the solenoid and not a third where you would normally attach the governor wire. The car is 1962 vintage. How do I complete the circuitry to hook up the overdrive properly? The kickdown switch has 4 leads and I know two should go to the solenoid, one to the Dist. and the other to "hot". Any help whould be appreciated. Chet Gorgas

  • #2
    There's a second wire to the solenoid, through the kick down switch, that momentarilly grounds the ignition; so the OD can shift out when the throttle is floored. It can't shift under load. The ground is only present when OD is engaged.
    Here's the Borg Warner manual: .
    I have wired them with "On", "Off", "Automatic" switches. or very simply for manual operation. For instance, the above circuit can be done without. Just let up on the gas so it can shift. The governor just senses speed above about 25 mph and provides a ground for the control relay.
    Mike M.


    • #3
      That soleniod you describe is likely from a Rambler. Stude never used a solenoid that had the wire "coming out" of it. They always had screw terminals on the outside of the solenoid body to attach the wires to. That said, it should work if you get it hooked up right.

      On Stude OD systems where a relay was incorporated, there were only two wires attached to the solenoid. The wire from the governor, controlled the relay on the firewall. After '57, Stude did away with the relay and incorporated the functions of the relay INTO the solenoid itself. But even at that, the governor didn't connect directly to the solenoid. It connects to the kickdown switch first.

      You CAN get by without a governor in the circuit by adding a toggle switch where you can easily reach it while driving. This switch should have one wire going to the kickdown switch as would be the case if you were using the governor and the other side of this toggle switch would be grounded. The tricky part is making DAMNED sure you remember to flick the switch off when you use reverse gear. To NOT do that insures destruction of the OD in the transmission - instantly.[xx(] That's the "safety" part of the governor in that it's unlikely you'd get up to 32MPH (the speed at which the governor kicks in) in reverse.
      Earlier Studebaker transmissions had a reverse lockout switch incorporated in the tranny itself. IF you're working with a pre-55 tranny, you could incorporate that lockout switch into your toggle switch circuit and it would insure that when you selected reverse the OD would be deactivated.[^]
      Some owners like the flexibility that the toggle switch control affords them. It allows you to have OD involved from a standstill and to have engine (dynamic) braking all the way to a stop - as opposed to freewheeling below about 30MPH. Personally, I never felt the need to go around the "automatic" function of the system as it was devised originally. It's really a cool and advantageous system and driving it becomes second nature once you get to using it all the time. Heck, my Transtar RARELY get's disengaged from OD mode. The automatic OD function affords the maximum flexibility for a standard shift tranny in a Stude - bar none!

      Miscreant at large.
      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.


      • #4
        There are Stude wiring diagrams which include overdrive at: .
        Overdrives I've worked on had the od shift rail extended into the main transmission case; where it kept the low and reverse "rooster comb" from moving into reverse, when od was engaged. Not all models had a rail switch.
        Mike M.


        • #5
          I looked at the wiring diagram for '62 Lark & Hawk; and read your note again. The solenoid you have, has a ground internally on one end of the windings. The other end goes to one of the two screw connections, where +12V will operate the solenoid. The second screw connection provides a ground when OD is engaged, for the circuit that grounds the ignition momentarily to allow shifts. This is a common version of the solenoid as used on Fords, with a relay.
          Stude, at least in '62, was able to eliminate the relay by using a solenoid with both ends of the windings brought out to terminals, (for a total of three terminals). The governor grounds one terminal to engage OD, above 25 mph or so. The other end of the winding has +12V through the kickdown switch.
          You can control the solenoid you have by installing a simple toggle switch in the red wire to the fuse on the kickdown switch. Just leave the governor disconnected.
          You will need to identify the connections on your solenoid. The control terminal has some resistance to ground all the time. The ignition terminal is open unless the solenoid is operated.
          Mike M.