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51 Champion DG-200 Automatic - More Questions

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: 51 Champion DG-200 Automatic - More Questions

    I tried submitting this to John Metzker via email, as recommended by a couple of Forum members, but I keep getting an error that he only accepts email from people on his safe list, and had to fill out a form to get on that list again. I've done this several times. So I'm posting here, and perhaps someone can shed light, or help in forwarding to John (I have been trying the trans-fixed (at) earthlink address):

    I have a 1951 Studebaker Champion 4-door (Model 10G), VIN G1014691, 170 flathead six, with a DG-200 automatic transmission, believe the 74K miles showing is original. The governor linkage was missing when I got the car, with the rod from the accelerator to the tranny just dangling.

    I bought the ball joint (Stude Part 527990) and the Control Shaft Lever bracket (Stude part 531415) that goes over the governor post, but it will not fit (insufficient room for the nut/bolt that goes into the bracket- there is a bump-out in the tranny case that does not leave enough room for the nut/bolt).
    That bracket is what turns the vertical governor post when the accelerator is depressed, pulling the rod and ball joint forward.
    In the 1951 Shop Manual, those are shown on Figures 0312-41 on Page 180 and Page 46.
    In the Studebaker Automatic Drive Shop Manual, shown beginning on Page 25.

    Checking the tranny markings closer, it shows:
    Detroit Gear, Borg-Warner DG-200
    Serial number HA-7650V
    On the tail of the tranny: 11-17-53 on a metal tag, and stamped in are: 20-705, and below that, stamped
    in, the numbers "11."

    Is this a 1953 tranny, and would that be why the linkage won't fit? If so, can I try using the linkage off
    a 1953 Champion? Or the existing rod and a 1953 bracket?

    I've only test-driven the car short distances as I did other work to it. The transmission symptoms
    are that it bogs down in Drive or Reverse, and that it won't pull up our semi-steep driveway in
    reverse, neither will it back up onto my metal ramps (slipping?)
    --The bogging down did improve a little after I had my vacuum advance and distributor rebuilt, but
    still does run rough after a bit idling in Drive or Reverse. Idles nice in Park or Neutral.

    I also suspect the tranny is newer because I don't see any evidence this one ever had an
    Anti-Creep switch installed on the tail.

    Shifts real nice from "first" to "second" but I've never felt it shift into "third" (understand
    these are actually, Low, Intermediate, and Direct Drive). Highest speed I attained was about 50mph,
    for a very short run (maybe 30 seconds driving).

    When I got it, it had oil in it (apparently 10 weight) instead of tranny fluid. I drained the tranny and torque converter and replaced the oil with Type F fluid

    Any advice would be appreciated.


  • #2
    John really doesn't have much to do with the SAD transmissions. You might ask the Thoms brothers (CoOperator Advisors). They have some experience with these transmissions.
    You may have a later unit, and it appears to be a model used behind Commander V8 engines originally. The reported serial number is completely unfamiliar though. It should start with an SCH or SCO. Is there any paint on the serial number plate, and if so, what color is it?
    The lever you bought was replaced at some point in the 1951 model year with part #531392, which is a one-piece lever and shaft. It was the only other lever used, and is probably the one you need. It may even be what was in the car before, and the lever broke loose from the shaft and got lost. The linkage being disconnected is very likely the cause of the 'bogging down'. It's not advisable to drive the car that way.
    There are literally pages of service letters and bulletins outlining changes and upgrades to this transmission throughout the six or seven years Studebaker used it. It's hard to say if it's a 1953 transmission, or just a replacement extension housing.
    So.....if I'm 'pre-approved' why do you want me to fill out an application?


    • #3
      Thanks for the insights, Dwain. The tag is silver and black, on the driver's side of the transmission. The transmission extension is painted red, if that means anything.
      I will crawl under there again on Thursday to see if I see how a one-piece rod /bracket could connect (Chassis Parts Manual has a vague diagram of it connecting down low
      on the tranny, instead of up top for the earlier style rod/ball joint/bracket lever).
      If it is indeed a later tranny, it would make sense that it would use the later style one-piece setup - I had heard there was one like that, but failed to make that connection.
      I will write to the Thoms, thanks for the advice - found their snail mail address in the Turning Wheels.



      • #4
        Yes, black paint on metal tag is correct for DG200, 1950-55 Commander, serial #SCO-1001 and up.
        The Champion originally had a red painted tag, DG150, 1950-55 Champion, serial #SCH-1001 and up.
        I don't believe red paint on the extension housing is original or that it denotes anything.
        The extension housing has to be removed, then the governor assembly disassembled to slide the lever up and out.
        So.....if I'm 'pre-approved' why do you want me to fill out an application?


        • #5
          Can you post pictures. I am currently parting out 2 1951 champions with automatics. I will try and take pictures but you need to keep after me.


          • #6
            Thanks, Dwain. There is no lever attached presently, but will look to see where one would connect - I didn't see any obvious spot, but had been viewing it as if original, with the governor's post on top for a bracket to attach to.
            Roy, I'll get some better pics this evening. The ones I got a while back were pretty fuzzy.
            Any ideas on whether having a Commander automatic would hurt performance in a Champion?



            • #7
              Transmission: DG-200 Linkage Issues - Pics

              Here are the best pics I have right now of the DG-200 (black S/N plate) installed in my 51 Champion (which still has its Six engine). The S/N is HA 7650V not a Stude serial number beginning with "S", though it does say Detroit Gear, Borg-Warner on it.

              Let me check again under the car to see if the tranny S/N plates says Studebaker-Packard, or just
              Detroit Gear and Borg-Warner on it.
              I did just run across a reference on Bob Johnston's pages that Stude allowed B-W to sell DG-200s for installations
              in 1954 Hudsons. The other tag on the tranny that may be a manufacture date of 17 November 1953. Could I have a
              tranny built for Hudson behind my Stude Six, and would it work okay if I obtained a Hudson governor bracket?
              With a serial number beginning with "HA" I'm beginning to suspect this could be a tranny made for Hudson.

              In my pics, the rod that is hooked up is the gear selector, the one dangling went to the governor.

              Clarence in Virginia Beach
              Attached Files
              Last edited by cbonner757; 05-05-2011, 01:58 AM. Reason: Updated text


              • #8
                It's well known that some other makes used this transmission, most notably Jaguar, but I thought Hudson used HydraMatics in those years. Many of us have heard about the fire at the HydraMatic plant that resulted in Oldsmobiles with DynaFlow transmissions. At that same time Hudson chose to use the B-W.
                A little research proves that you are correct with the HA serial number, and also explains the V suffix. This transmission did come from a '54 Hudson. See 1954 Service Mechandisers for January and March at this site:
                So.....if I'm 'pre-approved' why do you want me to fill out an application?


                • #9
                  Dwain, Thanks very much! See the HA serial number reference in the June edition, but am missing it in the Jan/Mar editions.
                  Which section did you see the "V" reference in?
                  Last edited by cbonner757; 05-05-2011, 02:49 PM. Reason: Updated text


                  • #10
                    Updated original post, see above.
                    Last edited by cbonner757; 05-05-2011, 02:49 PM. Reason: Updated text


                    • #11
                      I have seen both champion and commanders come with DG-200 I plan on getting a 1950 commander automatic in next month.


                      • #12
                        Commanders, large 6 or V8 I can understand getting the 200 while the small 6 got the 150. Could those Champions 6 cars with a DG-200 be convertibles or 54-on wagons, or heavy duty taxis/police cars? ISTR that somewhere there was a change, perhaps in 54?
                        I thought the only real difference between the 150 and the 200 was that 200 was a bit more robust for a bit extra power (and weight?)


                        • #13
                          Way cool, Roy. Love the looks and engineering of the bullet-nose models. I'm happy enough with the six, but would have preferred a Commander. But I did see on post on here that Vintage Air did make a custom AC unit for a 51 Six - but I have to assume they had changed to 12 volts. If I ever have a total engine or tranny problem, I'll consider swapping to an eight automatic for this car. But a lot of work to change springs and brakes.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cbonner757 View Post
                            Dwain, Thanks very much! See the HA serial number reference in the June edition, but am missing it in the Jan/Mar editions.
                            Which section did you see the "V" reference in?
                            Look at March issue, page 3.
                            So.....if I'm 'pre-approved' why do you want me to fill out an application?


                            • #15
                              Now I see it. Again, many thanks. I posted on a Hudson forum looking for a governor bracket and I found a couple of Hudson auto transmission shop manuals covering Hudson model years 53-54 on eBay. Asked those sellers if the manuals cover DG-200s (their descriptions say HydraMatic and UltraMatic) which may or may not be the same thing)? I noted those Service Merchandisers mention ongoing upgrades to the DG-200, so having the specific manual may be helpful.
                              As long as the tranny works, great. Sounds like I got one with the intervening upgrades/mods between 1951 and 1954. It finally sunk in about 2nd gear start, so mine is operating pretty well for not having the governor hooked up- shifts pretty well one time in Drive, about 22mph. And with the governor reinstalled, it should cure it running rough in idle while in Drive or Reverse. Then get the bands adjusted, and good to go!
                              I appreciate everyone's help with a baffling problem. I'd heard of people installing Ford-o-Matics in Studes, but never of putting a tranny built for Hudson in one.
                              But some previous owner had some ingenuity, because mine has a non-standard canister oil filter on the wrong (passenger) side of the car. One hose taps the oil rail at the back of the engine, the return from the filter dumps the oil right on the "slapper" of the fuel pump and cam by means of a hollow fuel pump mounting bolt.

                              Clarence in Virginia Beach