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My 52 Champion OD Wont engage. Now what do I do?

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: My 52 Champion OD Wont engage. Now what do I do?

    So this car has sat since 1965 new radiator, head gasket, brakes, trani fluid changed, rear dif fluid changed, runs great, shifts great. Except for the OD.
    I have checked the electronics New relay, and have had the contacts cleaned and the governor looked at and assume its ok because I hear it click at the right speed but it's just not kicking in.

    What can I do next?
    I have a new wire harness for the od I just have not put it in as yet because i can hear it clicking at the right times. I will be putting that in first thing now.

    So what else and Is there any one in Minneapolis that knows about such things to turn to?
    Last edited by Edsel G. Tattooer; 05-21-2014, 12:07 AM.
    I have a 1950 4 door Commander a 51 land cruiser And a 52 Champion
    sigpic
    I'll Tattoo you anytime!
    And you can find me at....

    New Shop Name Same tattoo shop
    Crazy Lady Ink
    Shakopee Mn.
    952-445-3281
    27 years in the tattooing biz

  • #2
    Have you checked to be sure the cable is completely releasing the lock out when you push the handle in?
    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
    1952 2R pickup

    Comment


    • #3
      yes i have
      I have a 1950 4 door Commander a 51 land cruiser And a 52 Champion
      sigpic
      I'll Tattoo you anytime!
      And you can find me at....

      New Shop Name Same tattoo shop
      Crazy Lady Ink
      Shakopee Mn.
      952-445-3281
      27 years in the tattooing biz

      Comment


      • #4
        ...fuse...?
        Brad Johnson,
        SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
        '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight. '53 Commander Starlight
        '56 Sky Hawk in process

        Comment


        • #5
          Edsel, the Shop Manual has a very good troubleshooting guide for the overdrive. Usually the problems are electrical. If you don't have a shop manual, here is a Borg Warner manual:
          http://www.studebakerclubs.com/North.../Overdrive.pdf

          You mention hearing a click at the right speed......so sounds like the governor and relay are working. Might be the solenoid, or the wiring to the solenoid. Follow the step-by-step guide in the manual and you should be able to zero in on the issue.

          Keep us informed on progress, and good to hear from you!
          Paul
          Winston-Salem, NC
          Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

          Comment


          • #6
            The OD in my truck had a similar problem a while back and it turned out to be the kickdown switch. New switch cleared the problem. Good advice above. The manual is excellent.
            Ed Sallia
            Dundee, OR

            Sol Lucet Omnibus

            Comment


            • #7
              Cool I didn't think of the kick down switch. I'll clean it up and try that first while I wait on a new switch.

              Thanks Paul NICE to be able to use this great resource the folks here are the best I cant thank all of you for your help more.
              I have a 1950 4 door Commander a 51 land cruiser And a 52 Champion
              sigpic
              I'll Tattoo you anytime!
              And you can find me at....

              New Shop Name Same tattoo shop
              Crazy Lady Ink
              Shakopee Mn.
              952-445-3281
              27 years in the tattooing biz

              Comment


              • #8
                Edsel, how are you going about troubleshooting your car? I have always used a jack under the rear end and supported mine with heavy duty jack stands. That way it is much easier to check out the overdrive function. That makes it much easier than having to drive it around the block and back every time you try something. With the rear off the ground, you can place the car in high, ease the clutch out, hear the click as the rpms build sufficient speed, and then lift the gas. As the overdrive engages, the change is very obvious.

                Good luck in the process. I know how frustrating it can be.
                John Clary
                Greer, SC

                SDC member since 1975

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you pull that switch apart to clean it be very, very careful! I think there are at least four very tiny springs that will never be found once they pop out of there.
                  Brad Johnson,
                  SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                  Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                  '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight. '53 Commander Starlight
                  '56 Sky Hawk in process

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Cool I didn't think of the kick down switch. I'll clean it up and try that first while I wait on a new switch.

                    I will try and operate on the switch if I have to. I'm good with lots of electronic repair.

                    I have done both ways of checking it out driving and hd jack stands.

                    Thanks Paul NICE to be able to use this great resource the folks here are the best I cant thank all of you for your help more.
                    I have a 1950 4 door Commander a 51 land cruiser And a 52 Champion
                    sigpic
                    I'll Tattoo you anytime!
                    And you can find me at....

                    New Shop Name Same tattoo shop
                    Crazy Lady Ink
                    Shakopee Mn.
                    952-445-3281
                    27 years in the tattooing biz

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      When a new wiring harness was installed on my '47 Champion a few years ago, the 2 wires to the overdrive body were reversed on the terminals accidentally. This resulted in the solenoid attempting to move in the wrong direction, so the overdrive could not engage. (Another error made at the same time was installing the dimmer switch where the starter switch goes, and vice versa. That was much easier to solve!)
                      Bill Jarvis

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OK ruling things out.

                        I crawled under the car and moved the OD lever on the transmission all the way the other way (lever out) no engagement.
                        So If i move it back an then.

                        If I Short the governor switch to the body there is the loud click of the OD. If i short these two together it should engage while driving right?
                        Am i thinking about this right? This should be a test to force it to work, correct?
                        I have a 1950 4 door Commander a 51 land cruiser And a 52 Champion
                        sigpic
                        I'll Tattoo you anytime!
                        And you can find me at....

                        New Shop Name Same tattoo shop
                        Crazy Lady Ink
                        Shakopee Mn.
                        952-445-3281
                        27 years in the tattooing biz

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          UPDATE!
                          I replaced the wire harness Now the OD works like new literally its the best Studebaker I own. Kicked ass on the freeway and everything!
                          Thanks for all the advice and help diagnosing the issues with this car.

                          Who wants a ride?
                          I have a 1950 4 door Commander a 51 land cruiser And a 52 Champion
                          sigpic
                          I'll Tattoo you anytime!
                          And you can find me at....

                          New Shop Name Same tattoo shop
                          Crazy Lady Ink
                          Shakopee Mn.
                          952-445-3281
                          27 years in the tattooing biz

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Edsel G. Tattooer View Post
                            ... its the best Studebaker I own. Kicked ass on the freeway and everything!
                            A 170 cid Champion? Even better than the '50 Commander 245?
                            To be sure, a properly operating overdrive can be a marvel; and essential in the Champion. I never totally explored approaching highways in second speed OD with my Lark VI but used second over extensively with the '63 Cruiser 289.
                            My friend Art Reede ran his '52 Champion sedan from central PA to Springfield, MO a couple years ago and didn't really let much get past him.
                            Now, refresh me; what's the tranny in the '50?
                            Brad Johnson,
                            SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                            Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                            '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight. '53 Commander Starlight
                            '56 Sky Hawk in process

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Edsel G. Tattooer View Post
                              UPDATE!
                              I replaced the wire harness Now the OD works like new literally its the best Studebaker I own. Kicked ass on the freeway and everything!
                              Thanks for all the advice and help diagnosing the issues with this car.

                              Who wants a ride?
                              Great! Drive it up to the North Star Chapter's Memorial Day Car Show at the Blacksmith in Hugo on Monday. Hope to see you there.

                              http://www.northstarwheel.com/memorialdayshow.html
                              sigpic
                              Bob Shaw
                              Rush City, Minnesota
                              1960 Hawk - www.northstarstudebakers.com
                              "The farther I go, the behinder I get."

                              Comment

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