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1935 and '37 O'Drive and main bearings.

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  • 1935 and '37 O'Drive and main bearings.

    Hey all, I may want a mid-'30's Studebaker some day and am doing some research. I'm new to this forum.

    First, starting in 1935 overdrive was standard on the President. In '35 and '36 it engaged at about 57 mph. In 1937 Studebaker switched to a different brand of overdrive and this one engaged at something like 40 mph. If I ever get one of these I intend to do a lot of touring with it and overdrive is a big issue. But I would rather it engage well below 60mph because I may very well only take old US highways and have no need or desire to travel at 60mph or more. It would be really nice if overdrive was engaged well below 60. So, does anyone know if a '37 (or later) overdrive can be easily installed in a '35 or '36 President? I prefer the styling of the '35 and '36 (especially the '35) to the '37.

    Second, in 1935 the total square inches of main bearing surface for the 9 main bearing engine in the President was 26.15 inches. I do not yet have the specifications for 1936 but do know that in 1937 it was only 20.95. Does anyone know why Studebaker so significantly reduced the size of its main bearings in this engine? Does anyone know if it resulted in the '37 being less durable? My guess is there isn't much, if any, of a difference in the durability, but I thought I'd check.

    Thanks for any knowledge anyone has.

    Ft. Worth, TX

  • #2
    I don't know if it will adapt, but the governor for the '54 commander overdrive drops in about 26 mph, and as you slow down back out about 18. Of course, you don't have to shift then. When you get up to the speed you feel the motor is starting to labor, ease off the gas and it will shift into overdrive by its self.

    Tom Bredehoft
    '53 Commander Coupe
    '60 Lark VI


    • #3
      I'm NO expert on this subject - but looking at my parts book again, I see that the '35 overdrive unit is referred to as "Manual". Now, that said, and given there's NO electrical parts associated with the OD section of the tranny, I can't see how it would "drop in" automatically at any speed. All I see for controls is a manually operated cable and I can't see why one couldn't engage the OD at any speed they wanted.[)]

      Miscreant at large.

      1957 Transtar 1/2ton
      1960 Larkvertible V8
      1958 Provincial wagon
      1953 Commander coupe
      1957 President 2-dr
      1955 President State
      1951 Champion Biz cpe
      1963 Daytona project FS
      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.


      • #4
        I agree with MR. Biggs, two types of OD one mechanical activation and the other electrical activation. Borg Warner manfactured OD, did any one else?


        • #5
          I too agree with Biggs. I once had a 1940 Champ and it was manual OD-pull the cable whenever you like.

          My Studes:
          1.1947 Commander 14A-C3
          2.1948 Champion 2 door sedan
          3.1950 Champion 2 door sedan
          4.1959 Lark 2 door post
          5.1964 Stude challenger 2 door


          • #6
            My error, I was speaking of post war transmissions.

            Tom Bredehoft
            '53 Commander Coupe
            '60 Lark VI