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  • Overdrivophobia

    I have a 1950 Champion with a three speed overdrive transmission. The car has been in storage for 30 years. I have changed the gear oil in the transmission and the overdrive. The car runs fine and the transmission seems to work OK. So far, however, I haven't tried the overdrive. The handle was out when I bought the car and I haven't tried it yet.The wiring in this car is a bit "sketchy" as the English say, but the overdrive wiring is still there.
    What I am wondering is what is the worst case scenario if I try to engage the overdrive at "31 1/2 miles per hour" as the manual states. Will it just work or not, or could I screw up my transmission? Can I test the overdrive solenoid? Any suggestions?

    1950 Champion
    1/2 of 1956 TransStar
    Holdrege NE
    John
    1950 Champion
    W-3 4 Dr. Sedan
    Holdrege NE

  • #2
    You push the handle IN before starting up, then drive up to 30-32 MPH or faster, it is not critical. You should hear the solenoid "Click", release gas pedal momentarily then accelerate in Overdrive! Most likely worst scenario is the FUSE blows! If it does NOT work the car will "coast" on deceleration above 30-35 MPH instead of shifting up to O.D.

    When learning how to drive these these, You DO NOT push or pull the handle when car is in motion!!

    StudeRich
    Studebakers Northwest
    Ferndale, WA
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner
    SDC Member Since 1967

    Comment


    • #3
      Here's some reading material for you:
      http://www.tocmp.com/manuals/trans/B...rive/index.htm


      Dwain G.
      D 'N Q RACE ENGINES

      Comment


      • #4
        Here is some more reading for you:

        http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com...erms=overdrive

        Comment


        • #5
          You can in fact push the handle in while in motion without doing anything special. You can even pull it out, but you need to floor the gas kicking it out of OD while pulling the handle out. (handy if you end up going down a mountain road and need the compression braking.)

          JDP/Maryland
          64 R2 GT cost to date $55046.57
          64 Daytona HT/R2 clone
          63 Lark 2 door
          58 Packard HT
          56 Golden Hawk
          52 Starliner
          51 Commander
          39 Coupe express
          39 Coupe express (rod)

          JDP Maryland

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, guys, I tried to kick in the overdrive last night, but it wouldn't go! The handle wouldn't move at all when I tried to push it in. I haven't yet tried to get undert the car and move the OD shift lever by hand (it was cold outside last night here), so I don't yet know whether the problem is in the cable or the overdrive. I will disconnect the cable and try to move the lever by hand. I'll let you know whether that works for me.
            I really appreciate the advice and links to other sites and related threads. You guys have been a great resource for me. I can honestly say that I got my car on the road weeks, even months ahead of what I anticipated thanks to the advice I have received about various problems through this forum. Even though Studebaker is an extinct marque, I don't feel like I own an orphan, thanks to the Studebaker "family" of owners and enthusiasts. Thanks for your support!

            1950 Champion
            1/2 of 1956 TransStar
            Holdrege NE
            John
            1950 Champion
            W-3 4 Dr. Sedan
            Holdrege NE

            Comment


            • #7
              The problem with engaging my overdrive was a siezed control cable. I disconnected it, moved the lever by hand and took off down the road. I reached the magic 31.5 MPH and- it worked! DOes anyone see that it would be a problem to leave it engaged? From what I've seen of advice in some related threads, I think that I understand that it shouldn't be a problem to leave it in at all times out here on the plains. I intend to get the cable working, but I don't want to make it a priority if I don't have to.

              1950 Champion
              1/2 of 1956 TransStar
              Holdrege NE
              John
              1950 Champion
              W-3 4 Dr. Sedan
              Holdrege NE

              Comment


              • #8
                Leave it in overdrive. The overdrive handle on my '59 truck stays pushed in. I never have a reason to ever pull it out!

                Matthew Burnette
                '59 Scotsman
                '63 Daytona
                Hazlehurst, GA


                Comment


                • #9
                  If you are on the flatlands, not much need to take it out of o/d. Going down a steep hill is a horse of a different circus - it is useful to have engine braking then.

                  Terry

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It should be no problem leaving it in Overdrive, BUT it may be a problem running without the cable![V]

                    The lever may partially disengage Overdrive or come completely out when driven a distance! It is NOT good to drive with it partially engaged.

                    Maybe you could wire it back all the way!

                    StudeRich
                    Studebakers Northwest
                    Ferndale, WA
                    StudeRich
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner
                    SDC Member Since 1967

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Have you made sure to fill and check BOTH the trans. and the O/D separately? Make sure that you check BOTH and make certain each is full! Long story how I found out...........

                      Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
                      Parish, central NY 13131


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        All above posts are to the point. You may run your car indefinitely without disabling overdrive. However, be aware that when you park the car, be sure to use the parking brake AND put the transmission in reverse, 100% of the time.

                        [img=left]http://www.alink.com/personal/tbredehoft/Bothcars1.jpg[/img=left]
                        Tom Bredehoft
                        '53 Commander Coupe
                        '60 Lark VI
                        '05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
                        All three Indiana built OD cars

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          StudeRich
                          Your point is well taken. I will wire up the lever in the engaged position until I fix the cable. Thanks for the advice!

                          Bob Andrews
                          I read with interest about your transmission rebuild seminar in the latest Turning Wheels. In response to your question, yes we did flush and fill both the tranny and OD, but I thought that I understood that there are passages that connect the two?

                          To all
                          What are YOU using as a lubricant in your 1950 era manual transmissions? The shop manual advises against using anything except 80W mineral oil or SAE 40 motor oil. I opted for the SAE 40 motor oil on the advice of my mechanic, who said that gear oil would get too stiff in the winter, making the transmission difficult to shift. He said that SAE 40 should be fine in the summer as well, "as long as you don't plan to drive it down the interstate." Anyone have any different ideas? I intend to make this car a nearly daily driver, but my commute is just one mile in each direction.

                          1950 Champion
                          1/2 of 1956 TransStar
                          Holdrege NE
                          John
                          1950 Champion
                          W-3 4 Dr. Sedan
                          Holdrege NE

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I use the 80W mineral oil, Chevron makes a version that is available through a distributor here in town, about $45 for 5 gallon bucket. My understanding is that the passage/connection between the trans and OD is very small hole, and that the OD unit should be checked/filled first, then the trans.

                            Las Vegas, NV
                            '51 Champion Business Coupe G899965 10G-Q4-1434

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              quote:Well, guys, I tried to kick in the overdrive last night, but it wouldn't go! The handle wouldn't move at all when I tried to push it in. I haven't yet tried to get undert the car and move the OD shift lever by hand (it was cold outside last night here), so I don't yet know whether the problem is in the cable or the overdrive. I will disconnect the cable and try to move the lever by hand. I'll let you know whether that works for me.
                              I had the same problem with my '56 Parkview wagon. The core was rusted in place in the casing. I sprayed the casing thoroughly with WD40 and pulled the core out when it loosened sufficiently. Then I gave the core (a thick wire) a light sanding and oiled it with sewing machine oil. Upon re-assembly the OverDrive worked perfectly.


                              Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                              Lotsa Larks!
                              K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                              Ron Smith
                              Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?
                              Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                              K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                              Ron Smith
                              Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

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