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51 Champion Auto Transmission Linkage

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  • 51 Champion Auto Transmission Linkage

    Good morning. I got the fuel system all squared away, and it runs nice. But it bogs down a lot (can't drive it) when I put it into gear. Actually, it did drive reasonably well at neighborhood (25mph) speed but when I stepped on it
    out on the main street on a test drive, it wanted to bog down. Troubleshooting back in the yard showed that the
    engine runs fine but the load of the tranny bogs down the engine really badly.

    It is a 6-cyl with a DG-200 automatic. I did notice a previous owner disconnected the accelerator kick-down rod and removed the bracket that mounted that rod to the tranny's governor. The tranny shop manual says the nut on that rod is used to set the idle, along the with the idle screw at the carb. Could the missing bracket and inoperative governor be causing it to bog down, since I cannot set the idle without it? Anyone have a kick-down rod (appears bent) and the associated tranny bracket/bolts they would part with?

    Also, could the disconnected kickdown rod and governor be related to not feeling it shift into "Third" when I test drove it previously? Shifted fine 1st to 2nd, but seemed to rev too high at 45-50mph and felt like it never shifted.

    My plan is to reconnect the governor, replace the screen, and adjust the bands and see if that does it. Otherwise, I found a guy who has a lot of experience with very similar transmissions in his Ramblers and other old cars who is willing to do the rebuild locally. Reverse works, but it won't back up on an incline. I don't see any evidence of the switches, etc. that ran the anti-creep, so it appears all that was removed long ago and should not figure into the troubleshooting. I already replaced the fluid (it was low, and they'd been running oil - I replaced with Type F) but I'll have to do it again when I replace the screen, which I should have done at that time. It did not seem to bog down like that when I test drove it when low on fluid (didn't know it was low at the time, believing they were running a clear fluid) but I guess the drag is greater when it has the proper amount of fluid in it?

    Clarence in Virginia Beach

  • #2
    I would recommend that you get a shop manual for the DG 200. The rod that was disconnected is the throttle pressure/kick down rod. If it was driven without it line pressure won't rise, slipping during shifts and a burnt up trans, will be the result. Do the adjustments as the manual tells to, then if you are still having problems a rebuild may be in order. Lou Cote


    • #3
      The throttle pressure rod is used to set line pressure in the trans at idle NOT to set engine idle speed. You refer to trans manual, missed that in first read of post. Lou Cote


      • #4
        The DG transmission is a very good and well engineered unit. It was also under continuous evolution throughout its use. You do need all of the original parts it came with for it to operate correctly, especially with the early transmission. the throttle pressure rod also changes the pressure required to downshift at speed.
        The 6 does have a reputation of being underpowered for the automatic but you probably aren't racing it anyway. It normally starts in 2nd gear in drive, it then shifts up to 3rd. 3rd gear is direct drive with an actual clutch built into the torque converter that is hydraulically operated. If you start in low you will be able to feel the difference in the gear ratios. You should also be able to feel both shifts.
        The DG was discontinued eventually in in favor of a lighter and less complicated unit.


        • #5
          Thanks, Lou and Rob. Know anyone willing to part with a linkage rod, and the mounting bracket and bolts, etc. to re-install it? Once I get that done, I can adjust, see if the bands need adjusting, and if still having problems I'll have to look at getting it rebuilt.



          • #6
            Many thanks to all who replied. Finally found from the tranny S/N prefix of HA- (rather than SC) and the date plate on the extension tail of 11/17/53 that this is a DG-200 built for a 54 Hudson installed behind my Stude Six. I am writing on the Hudson Forum to obtain the right governor bracket and Hudson automatic shop manual.
            Also found reference in the Hudson dealer literature from 1954 and in the Stude AutoMatic Drive Shop Manual that missing or maladjusted governor linkage is a main symptom of bogging down and running rough at idle when in Drive or Reverse, and not shifting to "Third" properly.
            I appreciate the help of everyone who replied.