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  • Transmission / Overdrive: Power Hawk gear shift stuck

    Hello all, first let me say that I probably fall into the category of extremely novice shade tree mechanic. With that being said, I was driving the Hawk today to the hardware store to get fuel stabilizer and then on to the garge where I am going to store it for the winter. Today was scheduled to be my "last drive" of the season. As I pulled into the hardware store I was going to downshift from 3rd to 2nd (I have 3 speed man. with O/D) and the gear shift level stopped in the area of neutral and would not budge. I parked it and went inside with the hope that whatever gremlin was in there would be gone when I came back out...no such luck. The car was stuck in 3rd. After using the Fred Flintstone reverse technique (one foot out the door pushing backward with the other on the clutch) I managed to drive the car in 3rd and put it away in the garage. The weather here in NW Indiana is still not too bad yet, so I would like to try and fix it now, but would appreciate any suggestions on where to start. Also, I have a shop manual.

  • #2
    Looking at the base of the steering column under the hood, identify the 2nd-high shift lever on the column, (I think it is the upper one), and note that it will be pointed down in the high-gear position. Neutral on either lever, it points more or less straight to the right. Low gear and high gear, the respective levers point DOWN and to the right, reverse and second UP and to the right.

    So find the lever that is out of place with respect to the inside handle, and grab it and pull up hard, and it may snap back into place.

    Not an uncommon problem with column shifts, and usually a "no tools" operation to correct, until further wear makes it so frequent as to detract from readily using the car.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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    • #3
      Chock your wheels first!

      Originally posted by gordr View Post
      Looking at the base of the steering column under the hood, identify the 2nd-high shift lever on the column, (I think it is the upper one), and note that it will be pointed down in the high-gear position. Neutral on either lever, it points more or less straight to the right. Low gear and high gear, the respective levers point DOWN and to the right, reverse and second UP and to the right.

      So find the lever that is out of place with respect to the inside handle, and grab it and pull up hard, and it may snap back into place.

      Not an uncommon problem with column shifts, and usually a "no tools" operation to correct, until further wear makes it so frequent as to detract from readily using the car.
      HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

      Jeff


      Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



      Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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      • #4
        Thanks guys.

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        • #5
          What DEEPNHOCK said FIRST (we don't need to lose any members this late in the season), then what gordr said next. IF ...you need a helping hand, PM me and I can drive over tomorrow or whenever. I've been do a lot of messin' around this year with '56 Hawk shift linkages and I know it's no fun doing a two man operation with only one!!!

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          • #6
            James...thanks for the offer. Not sure when I will be able to take a look at it...hopefully before the lake effect stuff starts!!! I will keep you in mind if I need a hand, especially since I have no clue what I'm doing!

            Steve

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            • #7
              Your shift mechanism is in the neutral position of the low-reverse quadrant. All you need to do is set your parking brake, depress the clutch and let it back out to relieve pressure on the tranny. Raise the hood and find the 2-3 shift lever on the steering column. It is the one closest to the steering gear box (the first-reverse lever is the one closest to the firewall). Pull up on the 2-3 shift lever towards the bottom of the battery box. You will probably feel two detents, one for neutral and one for second. The one you want is the middle one (neutral). You should then be good to go.
              Jerry Forrester
              Forrester's Chrome
              Douglasville, Georgia

              See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/tBjGzTk

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              • #8
                Pull up on the 2-3 shift lever towards the bottom of the battery box.

                I keep an 8 inch long 1/2 - 9/16 box wrench behind the front seat just for this purpose. I can reach down and hook onto the shifter and pull it up without getting hot or dirt all over my hands.

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                • #9
                  UPDATE...ok, did what you guys said and got it fixed in about 20 seconds. Thanks for your help...that was easy. Now, the next question is how often is this going to happen, and how much is too often? If something needs to be replaced, what parts to I need?

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                  • #10
                    Well, mine is a truck but I am having the same problem (and posed the same questions) and was told that the linkage is binding because of: worn parts, misaligned shift rods at the tranmission or collasped motor mounts. Take your pick. I have also become an expert at opening the hood and yanking on the linkage back to neutral. I did grease everything up real well and that has helped. I have new rubber grommets for the tranmission shift rods, laying on my work bench,waiting for me to crawl under the truck and install them. But it hasn't been binding up lately, so... well I'm putting it off right now. Wonder how long it will take me to put in new motor mounts??

                    Joe D.

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                    • #11
                      This happens to any and all of us with older three-on-the-tree shift linkage, once in a while. I doubt it is motor mounts etc. I am convinced it is worn column shift parts. Seems to stick in 3rd gear, no other, you get out, raise the hood, pull up on the 2-3 shift linkage, it pops back into place. The detent mechanism that selects the 1-R or 2-3 linkage wears. Try not to lift up on the shift lever when shifting out of third...just ease the lever toward second until you get to neutral...if you pull up on the lever at the same time as moving out of third, as tho you were getting ready to shift into first, that seems to trigger it
                      1947 M5 under restoration
                      a bunch of non-Stude stuff

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                      • #12
                        could you install a new floor shifter to eliminate the problem? What other model studebakers can the column shifter parts be shared ? good luck k-hawk

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                        • #13
                          Hi Stevo. Thanks for reporting back that you were successful in getting you shifter unlocked. Feedback is always good!
                          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                          • #14
                            This information was on Bob Johnstones site, but seems to be missing from there now............



                            D 'N Q RACE ENGINES

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                            • #15
                              I've had it happen on a few cars, ranging from a driver-quality '64 Wagonaire to a $100K '51 Commander convertible that was fresh from a body-off restoration. I'm sure there's a proper fix for it, but I just see it as part of the fun of driving a 3 speed Stude.

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