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1950 champ od

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  • 1950 champ od

    ok ive heard rumors that if the overdrive is engaged that when the car is not running and in gear it will roll without touching the clutch (freewheel)

    is this correct and will it do the same in any gear

    my 50 champ , if in 1st will roll but if you stick it in reverse it wont
    now is my over drive engaged or not

    i recently painted all my dash and surrounding interior parts as well as rewired the whole car but i have yet to attempt to wire the overedrive or evan drive it at a speed that would allow it to shift into od. all the original wirring is there and in the car for the overdrive except its falling apart . well to make a long story short i havent evan messed with my od so i really dont know what it is or isnt suppose to do

    also what kinda chances do i stand that it still works . the car is in fairly good shape and everything else worked its just i didnt trust all the old frayed wiring so it all got rewired

    one more thing if it does work will it funtion on 12 volts if not how do i make it work on 12 volts

    some help and guidence from the gurus would be apprectiated

    thanks gotti

  • #2
    It's not a rumor, and you've basically, already figured out for yourself that, in any gear but reverse, with the OD engaged, (handle in), the car will go bye-bye all by itself if you don't set the parking brake! If you want to make sure that it won't wander off all by itself, make sure to put it in reverse when ya park it or disengage the OD by pulling out the handle.

    As for the OD working... I've found that even with ratty-assed wiring, as long as all the components are there, (and the fuse located right on the OD relay on the firewall is good), the damned things have always worked! It's a surprisingly robust setup. I'd give it a try, drive it up to about 35 mph,(with the OD engaged), then just let your foot off the gas momentarily and you should feel/hear the OD kick in. Unless there's arcin' & sparkin', I wouldn't let bad wiring hold me back, otherwise I'd never get to drive ANY of my cars!

    You can't just switch to 12 volts and still use the OD, there are parts in the system that would suffer. I'll let the 6 volt OD wiring experts fill you in there. Go ahead and rewire it, but after you have some fun, (uhm, if it works! [])



    • #3
      I agree with Sonny on this one.

      To expand a little: the freewheeling device, or overrunning clutch is a necessary part in the overdrive to allow shaft speeds to match to permit the automatic shift.

      With the overdrive knob pushed IN, the overdrive is enabled, and the freewheeling will function in all FORWARD gears. Inside the transmission is a reverse lockout rail, which acts internally on the overdrive sun gear exactly the same as does locking out the overdrive with the manual knob. If you somehow managed to engage reverse with the overdrive enabled, it would munge up the overdrive right away. The reverse lockout rail acts as a safety interlock.

      You just have to get in the habit of leaving the tranny in reverse when you park. Back in the good old days when everyone learned to drive on a standard transmission, we were taught it was good practice to set the parking brake AND to engage reverse, OD or no OD. Reverse is usually by far the lowest gear in the transmission, and affords the most engine braking/resistance to roll-away.

      If you want to convert to 12 volts, I'd recommend that you get a 12 volt overdrive solenoid to replace the current 6 volt one, and then re-wire the overdrive to conform to the circuit used in a late model Stude with overdrive. The later circuit is actually simpler, since they dispensed with the overdrive relay, and added a third terminal to the solenoid to provide the function formerly provided by the relay.

      Can I recommend that you buy a shop manual for your car? There should be a good section on servicing the overdrive within it. You can get a wiring diagram for the 12 volt overdrive circuit from a '59 - '64 shop manual. I'd be quite happy to photocopy that one page and mail it to you if you want.

      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


      • #4
        The Borg Warner OD manual is available at: .
        Stude wiring diagrams, that show the OD, are at: .
        The solenoid that eliminates the relay has both ends of the winding brought out to terminals. The third terminal is a ground when OD is engaged. It's used with the kickdown switch to ground the points for down shifts.
        Mike M.


        • #5
          well my next prob is that this previos weekend i installed a s-10 chevy rearend that has much higher gears
          and im kinda afraid that if od kicks on the lil six pushing those high gears wont have enough ummph too pull the car
          anyone know anything about this

          next the fuse in my od is blown could this be a prob and what could happen if i just dont replace the fuse and drive it permenently like that

          in my simple mind
          the blown fuse will not allow the overdrive to kick in and engine power thru those high gears will be fine

          am i correct on this or will that blown fuse ( being driven all the time ) mess up something internal in the tranny or od


          • #6
            I'd say that you'd be OK either way that you wanna do it. You can definitely drive the car without the OD, with no adverse effect on the transmisson. But, you could fix the OD and drive it with the higher road gears too, you'd just wanna put it in OD at a higher road speed. I'd say that you'd be fine running with a rear end ratio around 3.00. You could hold off engaging the OD until say, 50 mph, while you're on a long range cruise, instead of using it around town. The neat thing about the OD setup is that you have full control over engaging or disengaging it.

            If you decide to run without the OD, I would pull the handle to make sure it's completely disengaged. Remember, you don't have "compression braking" on hills when you're driving with the handle in, (mechanically engaged), even without the electrical system functioning. Then you could just put it in 1st gear when you park it too!



            • #7
              Replacing the fuse will probably just make another fuse blow. Fuses don't just go bad. Something MAKES them blow. That's why they're there. A sort of protection against the wire-frying that would happen when a short develops. You can put a new fuse in but don't be surprized if it blows right away.
              Sonny's right, I guess, about using OD with taller rear gears. But having had a few of those Champions over time, I can't imagine coaxing one from a standstill with something like 3.00 gears! You must not be in much of a hurry![}]
              There's 2 types of 12 volt solenoids you could switch to. One uses the same wiring as your 50's got (and you'd need a 12volt relay too) - the other eliminates the need for a relay but requires changes to the wiring to accomodate it as well.
              If you're going to opt out on using the OD, might's well pull the OD handle out and have engine braking whenever you let off the gas! You can use all the braking help you can get![:0]

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