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1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks

Overdrive in the 1950's

 
  #16  
Old 10-25-2006, 08:13 PM
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Thanks, 5Star! That's exactly the kind of detail I was wondering about, and it answers all the operational questions I had. I'll definitely look into upgrading to an OD someday. That 15mph gain to comfortably sit at around 60 mph vice 45 mph is just what I'm looking for.

Curious, does anybody know if the OD was a stock option for trucks? Or is just a favorite mod? Was there an "OD" chrome bezel to mount the cable on the dash?
 
  #17  
Old 10-25-2006, 09:14 PM
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In answer to your question about these trucks commimg with O/D transmissions, the answer is yes. My 53 came from the factory with the O/D and 4.10-1 rear, with 239 Flatty.

This was an optional setup and was fairly rare, the rare one was the automatic.

Also for your question on the clip to hold the cable to the dash, it was to the left of the steering column, and located at the bottom of the dash.

Once again when the O/D is engaged the cable is pushed in. When its out the O/D is non functional, you just have your regular gears.

Also just to recap an earlier reply do not pull the cable out while the vehicle is moving.
 
  #18  
Old 10-26-2006, 07:10 AM
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My 1960 Truck came with a 223 and O/D....
 
  #19  
Old 10-26-2006, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 5 Star
Very simple to operate, but there is a no no with these as well, and it can be expensive, here goes.

First off the cable is to be pushed in to activate the O/D, this can be done while the truck/car is moving, or after you have reached high gear. The no no is never pull the cable out while the vehicle is moving. . . . .

(2) there is a kickdown switch below the gas pedal, which acts in the same manner as a passing gear. Lets say that if you were running at 40 mph and you wanted to pull out and pass, kick down the gas pedal this takes the transmission out of O/D, and back into your regular high gear. . . .
. . .

Again never pull out on the cable while moving, you will hear a grinding noise and your not supposed to hear that as you well know.
.
Back in the day when these were current, we would shift into and out of overdrive at will. You would shove the cable in and let off the gas, the tranny would shift into od. When you wanted to disable the overdrive, you floored the gas, and the tranny would shift into direct. Keeping the gas floored so that the tranny stayed in direct, we would pull the cable out. This would keep the tranny from shifting back into overdrive.

So - we never stopped to disengage overdrive - - -

On Edit -- -
My 59 drivers guide says:

"To use the full braking effect of the engine when driving downhill, Overdrive must be "locked out." When the truck is moving, "kick down" to third gear, pull out the OVERDRIVE control handle, and then let up on the accelerator pedal. If the truck is stopped, just pull the handle out."

That is what Henry said in 1959.

I have owned a 53, a 57, a 62, and a 64 car with this tranny, I also owned a 63 F100 with it - and I don't remember any of them working any different than I just discribed.
 

Last edited by WillyB; 10-26-2006 at 05:06 PM.
  #20  
Old 10-26-2006, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by WillyB
Back in the day when these were current, we would shift into and out of overdrive at will. You would shove the cable in and let off the gas, the tranny would shift into od. When you wanted to disable the overdrive, you floored the gas, and the tranny would shift into direct. Keeping the gas floored so that the tranny stayed in direct, we would pull the cable out. This would keep the tranny from shifting back into overdrive.

So - we never stopped to disengage overdrive - - -

On Edit -- -
My 59 drivers guide says:

"To use the full braking effect of the engine when driving downhill, Overdrive must be "locked out." When the truck is moving, "kick down" to third gear, pull out the OVERDRIVE control handle, and then let up on the accelerator pedal. If the truck is stopped, just pull the handle out."

That is what Henry said in 1959.

I have owned a 53, a 57, a 62, and a 64 car with this tranny, I also owned a 63 F100 with it - and I don't remember any of them working any different than I just discribed.
Bear in mind it's been years since I've driven Old Horse but that is my recollection, as well. I also recall downshifting and locking out the OD once I hit 2nd. FWIW, after all this time.

 
  #21  
Old 10-26-2006, 07:07 PM
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***** B

Your right on that one, can't argue there. The point that I was trying to make was that someone who is not familiar with the O/D transmission, should at first learn how it operates before experimenting with it and find out the costly way. As you probably well know those sun gears are very expensive to replace as well as some of the other components, that connect with it.

The O/D transmission is a nice option but if it goes down, due to improper use and or maintenance, look out. You might just as well have put in a 9 inch.

Again once your onto it then yes, that method you mentioned does work. Sorry for any misleads, as non were intended just trying to guide someone in the primary use of these.
 
  #22  
Old 10-26-2006, 09:43 PM
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I'd probably go with a different rear end if the truck wasn't such a family heirloom, but because it's been in the family since new, I'm pretty weird about trying to keep as much of the original stuff on it as possible.

Plus that full floating Dana 60 is such a classic/great/strong truck rear end. I just learned that many classic Mopar muscle cars from the late 60's had versions of the Dana 60 on them for the high strength.

If I can't go 70 mph, I'll just have to get on the road a bit earlier...
 
  #23  
Old 10-26-2006, 11:12 PM
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You '53 - on guys have it easy. The crossmember on the Bonus Built's won't clear an OD -- I don't doubt that's why they went to the bellhousing rear supports. Or maybe it was so you don't have to remove your seat and take up the floor mats to get your dripping, greasy tranny out thru the cab. Just one of those endearing things that makes BB's so much more fun!
 
  #24  
Old 10-26-2006, 11:55 PM
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B-W overdrives:

Originally Posted by F250Rob
Thanks for the details. Engineering like that is what gives the stock trucks "personality". I'm all for it. The three on the tree is probably a cheap anti-theft device against a whole generation of young crooks that mis-identify it as an automatic transmission shifter!
The Borg-Warner Overdrive is a planetary gear system operated electrically via a solenoid. It can be locked out via a cable, which when locked out is pulled out. There is a governor which actuates at about 28-30 miles an hour and engages the solenoid. Going into overdrive is done by letting off the throttle to disengage the power. Before the overdrive shifts in, it is in freewheeling mode. When shifted in you have engine compression. It is a .7 reduction. Kickdown is done by flooring the gas pedal which actuates a switch which deactivates the solenoid and it shifts down immediately under power. At this point it can be locked out, if desired. otherwise you accelerate, and when you back off, it shifts back to overdrive. The electrical parts are: Solenoid, governor, relay, kickdown switch. When the overdrive is locked out, you have a totally normal three on the tree with no freewheeling. When the cable is pushed in, you have no engine compression until you go over 28 mph and then back off to let it shift. The overdrive can work in any gear. The freewheeling feature is necessary to allow reversing, as if the overdrive was engaged by wiring it to engage without the governor, you could not reverse. This is because the planetary gears are held by a ball/ramp sprag.

It is a nice design with good strength and reliability. It is a little light for an F-250 if it were being used for towing a heavy trailer. It is plenty strong for an F-100. If an F-250 were used with a stock type engine through 1960 it would be plenty strong whether or not the engine were modified or not. Since kickdown is done at full throttle, there is no way to cushion the driveline shock.

Regards,

Alanco
 
  #25  
Old 10-27-2006, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by alanco

It is a nice design with good strength and reliability. It is a little light for an F-250 if it were being used for towing a heavy trailer. It is plenty strong for an F-100. If an F-250 were used with a stock type engine through 1960 it would be plenty strong whether or not the engine were modified or not. Since kickdown is done at full throttle, there is no way to cushion the driveline shock.

Regards,

Alanco
The "late models" (57-on) were available with a heavier-duty OD, casting code -11 vs -10 as I recall, that is substantially stronger. I believe that was what F-250's came with.
 
  #26  
Old 10-27-2006, 12:18 AM
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A little correction.......

Originally Posted by [b
5 Star]Very simple to operate, but there is a no no with these as well, and it can be expensive, here goes.[/b]

First off the cable is to be pushed in to activate the O/D, this can be done while the truck/car is moving, or after you have reached high gear. The no no is never pull the cable out while the vehicle is moving.

You can pull out the cable anytime when it is rolling if: 1. it is not yet in overdrive and you are not coasting, but the engine is driving...
2. you were in OD and you kicked it down and are under power.......

The O/D system consists of the following operations by the driver.
(1) after shifting into high gear push in the cable, then let off of the accelerator pedal, then push down again, you are now in O/D. This allows the engine about a ball park figure more or less of 30 percent. Example if you are running at 50 mph, lets say at 1800 rpm., the O/D will now give you the same rpm, but another 15 mph faster.


You can push in the cable any time. If you start out when the cable is pushed in, you will have freewheeling (no compression) until you are up to OD speed of 28 mph and the governor shifts in the solenoid. When the solenoid goes in, it is still not shifted into OD until you lift off the throttle and release the load on the transmission.

(2) there is a kickdown switch below the gas pedal, which acts in the same manner as a passing gear. Lets say that if you were running at 40 mph and you wanted to pull out and pass, kick down the gas pedal this takes the transmission out of O/D, and back into your regular high gear. After passing lift up on the gas pedal then push down again normal and you are now back in O/D, same symptoms as an automatic.

(3) the relay is on the firewall and has a glass fuse I believe either a 20 or 30 amp one, to operate the electrics on the O/D.

(4) then there is the solonoid, and govenor, which are on the transmission itself. the solonoid locks the O/D, into position, and the govenor will automatically kick it back into the regular 3 speed, at about 26-28 mph, you will hear a light click sound.

The governor is a centrifugal switch which operates the relay to switch in the solenoid. This is the clicking sound.........

Again never pull out on the cable while moving, you will hear a grinding noise and your not supposed to hear that as you well know.

There will be no grinding if you are under power when you pull it out. You can not pull it out when OD is in. The standard way to lock it out is to kick it down and pull out the cable while power is still on.

All in all its a simple operation, it really is. Usually the gear ratios that are used for these transmissions are 4.11-1, 3.91-1, I have even heard of as low as 3.73-1, it all depends on the type of driving you do, and of course the layout of the roads.

A 4.11 becomes a 2.8 when in OD. This is the standard OD gear on flatheads and Y-blocks.

Hope this will help some of you with answers, on this subject. Just to add something to this the Pertronix Ignition, is a real help to this system.


There is one more slight thing that the electrical system does in the overdrive. When you kick down the OD, the ignition is shorted out removing power from the OD until the solenoid drops. This is done by a wire to the points side of the coil. The short out wire is run to a terminal on the relay. If using an aftermarket ignition like an MSD, this function must be wired up as kickdown cannot occur without a quick release of power caused by ignition disable. It is extremely quick and most people could never sense it. It is only as long as it takes the solenoid to drop out. Power is then reapplied for the acceleration needed by the kickdown.


Regards,

Alanco
 

Last edited by alanco; 10-27-2006 at 12:33 AM.
  #27  
Old 10-27-2006, 12:22 AM
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I had one stock in a full sized car - a 390 with a 4bbl. Never gave it a thought - must have put 30k miles on the car and had no problems. I could hold almost anybody through first and second, and when they went to third I would use second and overdrive and wax their tails. . . .

Ford had a 406 with two 4bbls, and dodge had a 413 cross ram that could take me on the open road, but around town I could win the race between the stoplights.
 
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Old 10-27-2006, 12:27 AM
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57 up ODs

Originally Posted by ALBUQ F-1
The "late models" (57-on) were available with a heavier-duty OD, casting code -11 vs -10 as I recall, that is substantially stronger. I believe that was what F-250's came with.
That was the HD version of the 3 speed tranny that came out in '57. The OD isn't any stronger, just the tranny. Like I saie before, the tranny OD combo is a bit less strong than the capability of the F-250 with a big FE which would be used to tow a heavy trailer. By a big FE I mean a 390, 406 or 427 or 428. No way the OD should be used with the torque of those engines if towing a heavy (3000 lb plus) trailer............

An additional problem of a later than '56 transmission case in a 53-56 is that the transmission case is missing the clutch shaft support bolt bosses.... 57 through 60 trucks had suspended pedals.

Regards,

Alanco
 
  #29  
Old 10-27-2006, 09:37 AM
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Alanco,

Thanks for the masterly description (as usual)! That does set my mind at rest about one thing that I recall: I could have SWORN I've 'gone over' in second gear and, from what you said, I probably actually did. I hesitated to mention it because no one else did but I was sure my OD would shift in any forward gear.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 10-27-2006, 10:41 AM
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OD in Second......

Originally Posted by Nuthin
Alanco,

Thanks for the masterly description (as usual)! That does set my mind at rest about one thing that I recall: I could have SWORN I've 'gone over' in second gear and, from what you said, I probably actually did. I hesitated to mention it because no one else did but I was sure my OD would shift in any forward gear.

Thanks again.
Nuthin,

If you read Clint's post (WillyB) he related as how he used to race guys in a Galaxy with a 390 and beat them in second OD. You can also wire one with a switch that bypasses the governor switch and start in OD. You do have to remember to turn off the switch to back up.

Alanco
 

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