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1962 Lark - original 3 speed automatic transmission - long delay before engages into gear

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  • Transmission: 1962 Lark - original 3 speed automatic transmission - long delay before engages into gear

    Hi there fellow Studebaker owners.

    I am having an issue with the tranny wherein the car wont go into first gear for quite awhile when first starting it up. Sometimes as much as 15-20 minutes. Real issue for any quick get-aways

    After a variable duration of time it will slip into first (sometimes with a thunk if I've given the engine some gas/raised RPMs) and then drive as normal. There is also occasionally a delay in shifting between first and second gear where the RPMs get higher than expected before shifting. This straightens out after I've been driving the car for a while. The longer I leave the car sit, the longer it seems to take for the tranny to go into gear once I start her back up.

    Any ideas on what could be causing this and what might fix it?

    Many thanks in advance.
    ~ Alex

  • #2
    Is the transmission full of fluid? low fluid does nasty things. This is the easiest to check, and fix, it gets harder after that.....


    • #3
      If you have enough ATF in the transmission, it most likely needs to be rebuilt. At least that's what happened to me when my car exhibited the same symptoms.

      Racing the engine and engaging with a "thunk" will materially lessen any remaining transmission lifespan and will play hell with the rest of the drive train also.

      Wish I had better news.
      RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

      17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
      10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
      10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
      4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
      5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
      56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
      60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible


      • #4
        Check all the motor & bell housing mounts. If they have collapsed it changes the adjustment of the linkage. How does it shift when starting out in the drive position? Is the 2-3 gear shift at normal speeds?
        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


        • #5
          Yes, fluids and anything readily visible have been reviewed.

          Thank you guys for that info. I was pretty certain that I would need to search out a good transmission guy here locally that isn't afraid to tackle a Studebaker
          ~ Alex


          • #6
            How long has it been since the trans has been serviced? How many miles on the car? I'd pull the trans pan and check to see if there is any chunks in the pan, the filter plugged, try a band adjustment, before I spent the time, money, and effort of getting the trans rebuilt.


            • #7
              I had a 1962 Daytona when I was in high school that did that. This car was only around 12 years old at that time. When I got up in the morning I would start it and put it in 'D' then go back inside to get washed, dressed, and fed while it sat outside running. When I would come out again around twenty minutes later a few high rev's would then make it drop into gear. It only happened for forward. If I was in a hurry, then I could drive in reverse until it warmed up enough to go forward. Eventually my dad told me to get the valve body out and give it to him. I was at work, so I did not see what he did, but he told me there was trash in it that he cleaned out. The fix did work. The twenty minute wait went down to only around one minute after his cleaning. That was a cost free fix. Maybe it will work for you.