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Top cruising speed? 55 president

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  • Engine: Top cruising speed? 55 president

    I got it out on the road tonight for it's first proper drive and by 45 mph it sounded like it was winding out pretty good. I don't have a tach so I just want to make sure I have a good idea of what it can do. It's the three speed with overdrive. Can this thing do 65-70 down the highway? How about 75-80? Should I make sure to have it in OD above a certain speed and if so what's the max cruising speed in non OD?

  • #2
    If it sounded wound tight at 45 you were not in OD. Should easily do 70.
    Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

    40 Champion 4 door*
    50 Champion 2 door*
    53 Commander K Auto*
    53 Commander K overdrive*
    55 President Speedster
    62 GT 4Speed*
    63 Avanti R1*
    64 Champ 1/2 ton

    * Formerly owned

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    • #3
      Lots of the mid 50's with OD were 3.54 and 3.90 gears

      My 55 Commander 4 dr could do 55 OUT and 70 IN Top speed about 90.

      Find out what gears you have and you can find out the speeds you should be running.

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      • #4
        What's the easiest way to figure out what gears I have?

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        • #5
          Count the number of driveshaft revolutions to one rear wheel revolution.
          59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
          60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
          61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
          62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
          62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
          62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
          63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
          63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
          64 Zip Van
          66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
          66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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          • #6
            Heck...my tired old '55 six cylinder pick up will comfortably cruise at 65-70 on level ground in overdrive! (don't ask about steep hills)

            As far as "top speed"...depending on how worn your suspension is and how good the brakes are...top speed could likely depend on how much nerve and intelligence you have.
            John Clary
            Greer, SC

            SDC member since 1975

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            • #7
              Originally posted by yoshimitsuspeed View Post
              What's the easiest way to figure out what gears I have?
              For the gear ratio, look for a small metal "Tag" attached with one of the differential cover screws. If the "Tag" is nolonger there, follow instructions in Post #5.

              Good Luck!!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jclary View Post
                Heck...my tired old '55 six cylinder pick up will comfortably cruise at 65-70 on level ground in overdrive! (don't ask about steep hills)

                As far as "top speed"...depending on how worn your suspension is and how good the brakes are...top speed could likely depend on how much nerve and intelligence you have.
                Haha I don't think I'll be taking it to the salt flats any time soon. Just wanted to see if it can do modern highway speeds. I drove it to work today and got it on the highway up to about 60. It sounded just about as wound out as it does at 45 hehe.

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                • #9
                  You may have an exhaust restriction. My dad had a 48 commander that would do over 90 on the highway north of Taylor TX back in 1953.
                  Allen

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                  • #10
                    When you get above 20 MPH lift your foot off the gas pedal and it should shift into overdrive. If not, the overdrive does not work. Check the solenoid for power. If you have power, the solenoid may be inoperative.

                    Make sure the overdrive handle is pushed in.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by satdoc2 View Post
                      You may have an exhaust restriction. My dad had a 48 commander that would do over 90 on the highway north of Taylor TX back in 1953.
                      Allen
                      It's not that it doesn't have the power to do it. This thing pulls very strong. I am just a little suprised how loud it is and how highly wound it sounds. My family's 65 Toyota pickup sounds like this on the highway. It sounds wound out but it will do 65 all day long like that. I sort of expected a car like this to have a little taller top gear and lower revs cruising. Like I said though not having a tach (Not used to that) I can only go by sound.
                      The OD seems to be working. When I push it in you can hear it trying to shift till you hit the proper throttle point, after that you can feel it freewheel when you let off the accelerator. I feel like the rpms might drop a little but it's not real significant.

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                      • #12
                        When you let off the throttle, it should thunk(quietly) into OD, and then be turning 1/3 slower revs.
                        If it continues to freewheel it is NOT in OD.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by skyway View Post
                          When you let off the throttle, it should thunk(quietly) into OD, and then be turning 1/3 slower revs.
                          If it continues to freewheel it is NOT in OD.
                          It freewheels if I let off the gas. It drives if I step on it.

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                          • #14
                            If it freewheels above 25-30 mph, the OD is not working. It is simply engaging direct drive, but not upshifting into OD.

                            Whatever the rear end ratio is, multiply it by .7 to determine final drive ration in high gear overdrive. That will allow calculation as to safe road speed when you get the OD to working, f you figure on keeping the rpms between say, 2300-2800 on the road..

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                            • #15
                              '55 President state 4 door, w/OD, leaving Aberdeen Proviing Grounds, MD on a non stop trip to Illinois, A Dodge PA highway patrol car clocked me at 105 MPH at about 2 AM....... Story is longer but that's what our '55 turned.

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