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DG-250 shift characteristics.

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: DG-250 shift characteristics.

    My transmission has begun to start in 1st gear. It quickly shifts into 2nd at about 5mph. This is a car that I owned some years back and mistakenly sold it. Five years later I had the chance to buy it back. The interim owner only drove it 50 miles during the 5 years of his ownership. He did nothing to it. The car is very original with only 67,300 miles on it. SO, there is something that is not functioning as it is supposed to. What could be wrong and what is the 'fix'?

  • #2
    All of the 1955 Detroit Gear Studebaker Automatic Drive Cars started in Low Gear normally in Drive, I believe most were DG-250M Models.

    It very likely is a throttle pressure issue that caused it to work as it should!
    Oil soaked and crushed Engine Mounts cause a settling of the Engine and Trans. Unit and change the adjustment, so a readjustment after checking or replacing engine mounts may be necessary, or not sometimes New Engine Mounts put it right back where it should be.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      Shifting into 2nd at 5mph is wrong. With the vehicle in the air have a friend operate the gas pedal. note which direction the linkage moves,it will only push or pull on the throttle linkage, if it pulls shorten it by 2 turns of clevis. If it pushes lengthen it by 2 turns. Then take for a test drive it should do a 1/2 shift laterthan the 5 mph. On light throttle a 1/2 shift should occour at 10 to 12 mph, a 2/3 shift at 22 to 24 mph. Lou Cote

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dynolou2 View Post
        Shifting into 2nd at 5mph is wrong. With the vehicle in the air have a friend operate the gas pedal. note which direction the linkage moves,it will only push or pull on the throttle linkage, if it pulls shorten it by 2 turns of clevis. If it pushes lengthen it by 2 turns. Then take for a test drive it should do a 1/2 shift later than the 5 mph. On light throttle a 1/2 shift should occur at 10 to 12 mph, a 2/3 shift at 22 to 24 mph. Lou Cote
        Today I'll try a 'normal' take-off. The first time it did it, I was pulling out from a stop street making a right hand turn on to a narrow road with traffic. I gave it light throttle making the turn and it started in 1st gear. This startled me so since then I have started with light throttle and allowed it to shift before accelerating since that time. We'll see what happens when I take off normally and hope she stays in first as you described until 10mph. My engine mounts are not oil soaked as I have a suprisingly dry motor. However, I'm sure that the mounts are as hard as a brick just from aging. The car has 67,300 miles on it but sat from 1972 until about 2005 in an enclosed (albeit unventilated) shed. Age takes its toll on rubber mounts. I had an '88 560SL whose cradle and trans mounts had actually begun to crumble they had become so hard. Do you believe in products like Trans-X?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
          All of the 1955 Detroit Gear Studebaker Automatic Drive Cars started in Low Gear normally in Drive, I believe most were DG-250M Models. It very likely is a throttle pressure issue that caused it to work as it should!
          Oil soaked and crushed Engine Mounts cause a settling of the Engine and Trans. Unit and change the adjustment, so a readjustment after checking or replacing engine mounts may be necessary, or not sometimes New Engine Mounts put it right back where it should be.
          Thanks StudeRich. My thoughts about the 2nd gear start were from reading other comments on shift characteristics of Studebaker automatic transmissions and fro my own personal experience with my Dad's '56 Power Hawk - his personal vehicle back in the day. I was also cautioned against startling in 'L' and shifting to 'D' which I believe had come from the Studebaker dealer. What are you thoughts on 'snake oil' like Trans-X????

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          • #6
            Generally, the rear motor mounts can be at issue here. They get a good amount of oil and heat, turn squishy and change the angle and adjustment of the linkage to the trans. Replacing them may solve your problems
            Last edited by 64V-K7; 03-06-2016, 08:30 AM.
            64 GT Hawk (K7)
            1970 Avanti (R3)

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            • #7
              Note also that the mph at shift is going to depend on your throttle position. Light throttle is going to upshift at a slower speed; heavy throttle at higher speed.
              I thought my DG200 was shifting to third too soon and my mechanic told me to "Put your foot in it!" It WILL hit 72 mph before making the shift.
              "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

              Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
              Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
              '33 Rockne 10,
              '51 Commander Starlight,
              '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
              '56 Sky Hawk

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              • #8
                I would not put any "magic elixir" in it.
                If you haven't done it already, I would change the fluid in the transmission and the convertor (separate drains).
                Gary L.
                Wappinger, NY

                SDC member since 1968
                Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by studegary View Post
                  I would not put any "magic elixir" in it.
                  If you haven't done it already, I would change the fluid in the transmission and the converter (separate drains).
                  I respect your opinion. BUT, do you have any concrete reasons why you are of this opinion?? Other than the 'seal swelling' capabilities of many brands (which I am not looking for), there are other supposedly beneficial claims that are made.

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