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overdrive problems

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  • overdrive problems

    Hi, Newbi here. Ive had a 55 Speedster for a few years and love it. It's unususal in that it has a 3-speed / overdrive which i prefer. My problem is that anytime the engine temp gauge shows north of 160 degrees the car will not go into overdrive. I managed to find 80 weight mineral oil and putting that in did smooth out the shifts but I still have the heat problem above 160 degrees. My questions are: I have a used solinoid, governor and relay. I think it has to be one of these elements but wonder which one to start with.

    Also, is anyone selling 6-volt solinoids, relays, governors or rebuilding them, i have used units but dont really know if they are good? My other collector car is a mid-year Corvette where everything is available, guess I'm spoiled.
    Any help or advice would be appreciated,

    Best regards to all, stall

  • #2
    Have you tried Studebaker International or S.A.S.CO? Just in case you have'nt the numbers are:

    Studebaker Autoparts Sales Corp. 574-287-3381 or 800-722-4295

    Studebaker International 317-462-3124

    If you already tried these, sorry for stating the obvious... Your comment about availability of Corvette parts made me think you have'nt. Still, you have come to the right place. I don't think there is any car club with this good of a support network.

    Good luck with a really neat car.[8D]

    Lotsa Larks!
    K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
    Ron Smith
    Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
    K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
    Ron Smith
    Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?


    • #3
      The two vendors Studeclunker mentioned are best contacted by phone, but they do have websites, albeit frustrating ones:

      SASCO -
      Studebaker International -

      Two vendors with much more easily searchable websites are:

      Chuck Collins'
      Stephen Allen's Studebaker Parts

      And eBay typically has over 900 Studebaker parts on auction at any given time.

      1955 1/2 Ton Pickup

      Paul Simpson

      1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
      The Red-Headed Amazon
      Deep in the heart of Texas


      • #4
        It sounds to me like your relay (under the hood) is getting too hot and not snapping like it should. The first thing to try is to remove the relay, open it up, and clean all the contacts and lube it with graphite. If that doesn't fix it, try this:

        This is from Chuck Collin's site and isn't real hard to build. If you do it right, nobody can even tell it isn't original.


        • #5
          Wow guys, what a depth of knowledge on Studebakers is available on this forum, I'm awed. As to my problem, it only manifests itself when the car reachs operating temperature. Until then it shifts into OD perfectly. I had a few hours the other day and began taking a junk tranny and OD unit I bought in NV awile ago apart. After I scrapped off the crud I noticed that the OD Solenoid had a thin, metal shroud covering most of it. There is a rubber bushing 1 inch long on the end which allows the metal shroud to have full air flow around it. This is obviously a factory made part and I wonder if it's a heat sheild ?
          On my Speedster it's missing!!!!!
          I'm doing the suspension on my Vette right now but will soon be able to put the Stude up and see if it makes a difference. If not you guys have pointed me in the right direction

          Thanks for all your help, Stall
          Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain !



          • #6

            When you drive the car listen for the solenoid click, it is a loud, distinct sound especially noticeable as you slow down for a stop. If you hear the sound even after the OD quits working than you know the problem is with the OD itself, not with the electrical part.

            Another test you could do is put a switch in the car with a wire running directly to the solenoid. When you want the OD to engage turn the switch on and the solenoid should kick in. If that keeps working even when the engine is hot you know it's an electrical problem.

            These are NOT complicated devices. There is a set of points in the governor and another in the relay, either one can cause the OD to act up, and both can be cleaned.

            If it were my car the first thing I'd do is remove the fuse from the relay and clean the fuse holder and fuse, along with the other connections on that relay.

            Ray F has some good info on the NCSDC website, it's for 56 and later, but I think they are still pretty much the same.


            Jeff DeWitt
            Jeff DeWitt