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Old 08-21-2019, 03:11 PM   #1
leon bee
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Default Overdrive Quandary

In my 50 car project I have the 3 speed od. And I got all the stuff, solenoid, governor, etc., etc. Have been waiting till I got her on the road to address that stuff. Now I got her legal, everything working pretty well and I've driven her into town twice.

Here's my problem: I live in the hills, pretty big hills-they like to call em mountains here. In the 10 miles from my house to the shop, there's not one place to do the OD if it worked. The only straight, level road anywhere near me is the top of Beaver Dam, speed limit 35.

And I can't even think of where I'd go. It's got to be at least 40 miles to any sort of cruising road, and then there'd be traffic. A strange problem.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:51 PM   #2
Gene1949
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Default Re: Overdrive Quandary

If you are a purist by all means go thru the hassle with the OD
But is you want drivability in the hills you need an early Mustang 4 speed (bolts right in) with very little fabrication OR
a 5 speed, kits are available and gear either to turn about 2500 rpms @ 70 mph.
I had both in this car and 25 years ago went with the 4-speed. Never once thought about going back to the OD after driving it with the 4 speed.
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Old 08-21-2019, 04:09 PM   #3
Fordestes
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Default Re: Overdrive Quandary

Have you considered the 3 +1 ford trans used in the 80's ford pickups ? might be an easy bolt in , they look similar to the ford mustang 4 speed from the sixties with 4th gear overdrive. the ratio may not be what you want ,but with a lot of hills it might be something to consider, no electrical solenoids an relay to worry about.
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Old 08-21-2019, 04:42 PM   #4
leon bee
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Default Re: Overdrive Quandary

I am a little bit of a purist with this car, and I already got my driveability here in the hills. I'm looking forward to when I take her someplace. I was always gonna hook up this OD, but now that I'm about ready I've been thinking about these roads. Gets cooler I'll drive it farther from home.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:54 PM   #5
Robz51
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Default Re: Overdrive Quandary

Hey Leon, are you out near Eureka Springs /Holiday Island? Lotsa hills out there. You could add o/d and use a toggle switch in line with the governor and switch it on at highway speeds. This way you could have it when you want it and not have the electrical part working until you need it.
Rob
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Old 08-22-2019, 02:40 PM   #6
leon bee
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Default Re: Overdrive Quandary

Yeah, Robz: I live in Eureka and my shop is out near the dam. Between those places is only driving I've done with her so far, and I sure don't need the OD there. I do have that real low rear end in it. I guess if I headed over toward you we do have some new 4 lane in there I could cruise a little better.
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Overdrive Quandary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robz51 View Post
Hey Leon, are you out near Eureka Springs /Holiday Island? Lotsa hills out there. You could add o/d and use a toggle switch in line with the governor and switch it on at highway speeds. This way you could have it when you want it and not have the electrical part working until you need it.
Rob
If you do that, it will freewheel whenever you let off the gas. Not cool when you're going DOWN those hills! Whenever you don't want O/D, just pull out the lockout knob. Then you will have engine braking going downhill.
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Overdrive Quandary

Quote:
Originally Posted by leon bee View Post
I am a little bit of a purist with this car, and I already got my driveability here in the hills. I'm looking forward to when I take her someplace. I was always gonna hook up this OD, but now that I'm about ready I've been thinking about these roads. Gets cooler I'll drive it farther from home.
It may be that 2nd O/D is the perfect ratio for some of your hills- straight 2nd too slow but bogs in straight 3rd. Other hills you climb partway in 3rd O/D but then bog. All you do is push the gas harder and automatically kickdown into straight 3rd, and up you go, no need for 2nd.
Those Borg Warner overdrives were quite versatile, basically a 6 speed trans (especially if you add a toggle switch to energize the relay below the factory 27 MPH engagement speed).
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:53 PM   #9
rotorwrench
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Default Re: Overdrive Quandary

The recommendation for city driving was to start out in second gear from a stop then let off the gas to change to 2nd & over. This was a form of semi automatic shifting that required the clutch only at stops. Hilly country like the Ozarks and other old mountain ranges don't lend themselves as well to that theory. If it requires lock out, then it would be a lot like having a transmission with no OD at all. The overdrive can then be used on longer trips if a person ever has an itch to do that. The planetary will last longer if it's locked out most of the time.
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Overdrive Quandary

Quote:
Originally Posted by 40 Deluxe View Post
It may be that 2nd O/D is the perfect ratio for some of your hills- straight 2nd too slow but bogs in straight 3rd. Other hills you climb partway in 3rd O/D but then bog. All you do is push the gas harder and automatically kickdown into straight 3rd, and up you go, no need for 2nd.
Those Borg Warner overdrives were quite versatile, basically a 6 speed trans (especially if you add a toggle switch to energize the relay below the factory 27 MPH engagement speed).
I agree. I'd get it working and see how it does. Worst case, leave it locked out for most of your local driving. At least you'll know everything works.
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:58 PM   #11
apba12m
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Default Re: Overdrive Quandary

I love my od trans in my 52 merc, when you get it working perfectly it will do everything you need !
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:32 PM   #12
leon bee
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Default Re: Overdrive Quandary

Thanks, guys. I am going to get it all hooked up.If I still lived in Kansas I probably already would have.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: Overdrive Quandary

As Dorothy so succinctly put it : "We're not in Kansas anymore". Put it in and get it going; the easiest thing to get going is to drop into OD in high. Even with the "limitations" imposed on you by your location, you can easily test the "kickdown" and governor functions in second gear.

I know you can do it!
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