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Thread: my "no park" situation with the '52 Commander

  1. #1
    Speedster Member
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    my "no park" situation with the '52 Commander

    Well I had hoped that a linkage adjustment would cure the no park problem with my '52 Commander automatic trans. No such luck. I adjusted the linkage according to the Chilton manual I have, and still no park. The linkage did seem to be out of adjustment quite a bit according to the manual though. Today, I will look at the manual again and see if there is anything else I can try. I plan, also today, to drop the pan, clean the filter and change the fluid. The trans seems a little sluggish.
    Last edited by thom; 06-15-2019 at 05:36 AM.
    thom

  2. #2
    President Member 55s's Avatar
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    I would not trust a Chilton manual for much. I spent hours trying to do a brake job many years ago. What I didn't know, and wasn't in their instructions, was that the hub was removed by using two bolts in the bolt holes in the drum to push it off. Wasted hours trying to get the hub off. After I found out what I had to do, it was a 1/2 hour fix.

    I have broken the parking pawl in my DG 250 (55 Commander) before. It is a little tooth that engages the gear and holds it in park. They are weak and break easily. Mine broke when I tried to ease it into reverse when I was parked on a hill.

    I thought I could make do with my parking brake because I was headed out for a big event. When brakes cool off, the parking brake becomes less effective. My car almost went for a swim in the hotel pool, but that's another story.

  3. #3
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    Others will chime in, but I recall that the parking pawl was a weak part in the early automatics. You might want to look there first.
    Dan Peterson
    Montpelier, VT
    1960 Lark V-8 Convertible
    1960 Lark V-8 Convertible (parts car)

  4. #4
    President Member
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    Northwest Transmissions used to have rebuilt parking pawl assemblies for the Detroit Gear automatics .
    I just called them and they will repair your old one when you send them your old one.
    I believe that I still have some N.O.S. ones.
    I stock most parts for these transmissions , including bands ,front pumps and seal kits.
    Jerry Kurts rebuilds these units
    717 308 1800 , he will be back next week

    I am old and slow , so please have patience.
    Robert Kapteyn
    studebaker@mac.com
    Last edited by rkapteyn; 06-14-2019 at 10:20 AM.

  5. #5
    Golden Hawk Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by thom View Post
    Well I had hoped that a linkage adjustment would cure the no lark problem with my '52 Commander automatic trans. No such luck. I adjusted the linkage according to the Chilton manual I have, and still no park. The linkage did seem to be out of adjustment quite a bit according to the manual though. Today, I will look at the manual again and see if there is anything else I can try. I plan, also today, to drop the pan, clean the filter and change the fluid. The trans seems a little sluggish.
    Be sure to also drain the converter (separately).
    I believe that your problem is the parking pawl (broken).
    You can easily cure your "...no lark problem..." - just buy one .
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  6. #6
    Speedster Member
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    My Chilton manual doesn't cover replacing the parking pawl. Can someone show me one and tell me what is involved in replacing it, please? Thanks.
    thom

  7. #7
    Speedster Member
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    Thom, you really ought to have the correct manual. Here's one on the bay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/STUDEBAKER-...cAAOSwUchaRpdp
    3H-C5 "The Blue Goose"


  8. #8
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    Thanks, I ordered the manual, meantime, can someone give me an idea what is involved in checking, and/or replacing the park pawl? After I drop the pan, then what? Thanks.
    thom

  9. #9
    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    I've never done it myself, but this is what you're looking for. Part# 529840 529840.jpg

    http://www.studebakerclubs.com/stelf...ansmission.htm

  10. #10
    President Member
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    I'd remove the linkage from the lever on the trans,then put it in 'park' by hand. To confirm whether the pawl is actually broken or not.
    Oglesby,Il.

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