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Overdrive Information 38 Buick...


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Getting late as I have to go to the ‘Doc’s early (10am) for my quarterly check up.  He likes to see me as all my stuff is very good for a 75 year old.   But he can’t explain the stroke and 1.5 heart attacks.  Hmmm.   

           I will send some pix of the rebuild.  Input and out put bearings, moditocstion of the input shaft to have the input sprocket etc.   Tomorrow !!

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Here are some pix of the rebuild back in Sept.   The output shaft is splined and you can see the sealed bearing supporting the output shaft. Also there is the planetary gear and free wheeling clutch assembly.  I don't see the pix I attached ? ? 

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3 hours ago, Jim Nelson said:

I don't see the pix I attached ? ? 

Me neither. Have you put them in the bar where it says "Drag files here to attach"? If so, next step is to put the cursor where you want the picture to appear in your post, then click on the picture you want there and wait a moment and it will appear. You can resize it by clicking on it and dragging a corner box

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I have more pix with more details.  I wish I had taken more  now I know more about them.   Fortunatly, my original build has some good ones.   Especially the pinion gear forward to the OD out put shaft.   Interesting how they made the short custom shaft to hook both together.

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Resetting / correcting the spedometer is simple.  I happen to have one of the guys down the road a few miles.   I told him what the GPS was reading vs the spedo.   He got out his ?40? Compartment  supply of gears and put it together.  I installrd it just before the original input.   Being pickey, I had him adjust it for zero difference  between  50  mph and 70 mph.  Below that its off  about 2 mph.   Over 70 mph I don’t care.  A rare speed to travel - only for passing.    

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2 hours ago, Jim Nelson said:

Resetting / correcting the spedometer is simple.  I happen to have one of the guys down the road a few miles.   I told him what the GPS was reading vs the spedo.   He got out his ?40? Compartment  supply of gears and put it together.  I installrd it just before the original input.   Being pickey, I had him adjust it for zero difference  between  50  mph and 70 mph.  Below that its off  about 2 mph.   Over 70 mph I don’t care.  A rare speed to travel - only for passing.    

 

 Jim, what do you mean original output?  Is it on the transmission OR after the OD?

 

  Ben

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Jim   Our speedometer problem was more involved.

 

First of all....  even though Lloyd left the speedometer and governor drive gears on the output shaft of the OD....these gears

    would spin freely on the shaft.  We had to pull the OD unit from our 1937 Special ......  then take it apart

     and then secure the two gears to the output shaft using LokTite   ( Lloyd's  suggestion )

     We were a little skeptical at first....but so far so good.

      ( maybe it was ThreadLock and not LokTite....but it was one of these type of products )

 

Secondly....Lloyd removed the speedometer and governor driven gears from the OD.   There has to be hundreds of different kinds

     of these little gears.   When you go to find the right  replacement gear...and you don't even know the original application

     ( and the nearest speedometer shop is several hundred miles away )  it can be a "character builder"  type 

      of problem to solve,    After about a month of research,  trial-and error  etc etc   I found that Studebaker

      5200XX series of driven gears would work (  mostly by dumb luck it turned out ).  It was an tip from

      Rick Larrick  of Fairbanks Alaska who put me onto the Studebaker angle

 

So now...after several months....we are happy.  We have the governor in again  so the OD operates in "semi automatic" mode just

      factory.   And the speedometer is working just fine  but it's off   about 6%.....this is because we needed   a 14 tooth  driven'  

      gear but the smallest gear tooth count in the 5200XX    series   is 15 tooth.  So i guess to get the 6%  error removed

       we'll have to install one of those  "speedometer correction adapters" ( I'm not sure what the correct term is.)

       We put one of these correction gadgets in our 1937 Cadillac when we switched from a 3.69 pig to a 3.07 pig....works great.

 

Jack Worstell       jlwmaster@aol.com

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Wow,  do you think it was worth it?   I was satisfied with the Lloyd’s modification as I’m one of those guys who subscribe to the “KISS “. principal.  It would have been nice if GM had just gone along and offered it as a option.   That brings the thought.   Is there a torque tube drive system  with OD that has a transmission that we could adapt to our bell housing?    The hot rod guys did lots of changes to get what they wanted in transmissions and engines they wanted.   Is there somebody who knows of a manufacturer such as Studebaker or Hudson that offered an OD option AND a torque tube drive train ?    That would put the OD right behind the transmission like they were designed to go.  They also might have better rear ratio’s.   Is’t this fun.  I love the challenges and ideas that we come up with.  

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Ben,  I used the original spedo output on the transmission  and bought one of those  ‘correcting’ gear boxes.  With the over drive, it’s only accurate when you are in over drive.  For me and our traffic, that mean’s I’m in over drive most of the time  as traffic is fast.  Nominally minimum of 45 in slow lanes and 60 + the rest of the time .  You have to keep up or get run over.  Thank goodness for over drive.   I bought a driving car,  one where I needed over drive as a starter. .  A “five footer” if you know what that is.   Looks great at 5’ but you would find little things as you get close to the car.  I love my coupe.....

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Studebaker used an open drive shaft.

 

Why do you need the torque tube? I suppose the rear springs can be lighter because the torque tube prevents axle rotation rather than the springs.

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Which is why the question of ‘whose transmission could we use” to utilize a transmission that has the over drive  attached to it.   I would think there are some options out there.   The main premise iis “how can we keep out great pre war cars on the road”.   I know there will those who won’t do it because that is not the way it was built.   My thoughts were directed to using a drive system that is/was as close to the original, ie torque tube.  The first main issue is “what transmission can we use that has the OD attached to it”.   Then what drive train to follow.   Our leaf sproung rear ends would be the easiest.  ‘37’ and earlier would be the benefactors for our Buicks.   I’m just looking forward to keeping my cars on the road.

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Ben,  Keep saving as its the best option if you have one of the famous 4.44 rear ends.  3.6 or  3.4 becomes great options.  My ‘37’ has the 3.4 rear in the modified third member. .   But the flexability of the OD is great.   Of course, I’m  prejudice.   Nice to be able to run them side by side.  

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Yes we went to a lot of trouble.

 

But now our speedometer ( other than the 6% error which we will fix eventually) reads right no matter what mode we are driving in:

......direct drive without free wheel

 .....direct drive with free wheel

......overdrive ( 30% engine RPM reduction )

This is because the speedometer driven gear runs off of the OD output shaft....not off of the transmission output shaft

 

With the governor back in......we have in effect a semi-automatic transmission which is a convenient thing to have

 

Jack

 

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Very nice.   It make me wonder why Lloyd decided to go the way he did.   It might be the issue with trying to match the output to the spedo accuracy that you experienced.   Either way, over drive is the best way.   BTW, I owned a 1960 Austin Healey 3000 Mk I.   It came with electric actuated over drive.  Loved it.  I was a young pup in those days and did not realize what a neat car I had.  I did not give it a second thought how much the over drive effected its performance.  It just worked.     I’m sure you didn’t let those neat cars slip thru your fingers as  I did.  Mumble -  mumble - mumble.  What they are worth today.......

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I wonder if......

 

If you knew the source (original fitment) of the OD used in the conversion, one of their speedo drive gears should get it about right with the take-off at the back of the OD. The diff.ratio may be different and the wheel size may be different, but overall it can't be too different coz most engines of the era ran at roughly the same revs?

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12 hours ago, Jim Nelson said:

Is there somebody who knows of a manufacturer such as Studebaker or Hudson that offered an OD option AND a torque tube drive train ?    That would put the OD right behind the transmission like they were designed to go.  They also might have better rear ratio’s.   Is’t this fun.  I love the challenges and ideas that we come up with.  

 

Yes. Nash... and large-body Ramblers through 1966. There are some issues:

 

The torque tube is a whole different game in a Nash, the whole drivetrain is rigid except for a little rubber. It doesn't look to me like it would be that hard to adapt to me, but it is a completely different deal. There is no ball back there like a Buick or a Chevrolet or a Ford.  I read a posting on some other forum from a guy who had done it. He said it was much more work than he expected. Custom machining for sure.

 

Another problem arises if you need a mid 30s style floorshift. The three transmissions that commonly come stock with Borg Warner overdrive are Borg Warner T-86 (light duty), Borg Warner T-85 (heavy duty), and the Saginaw 3 speed. Of these only the T-86 even has a top cover, and it didn't come with both overdrive and a top shifter on the same transmission. It is possible to get a top shifter on one of these (jeep shifter IIRC), but you have to leave part of the side shift mechanism in and cut one of the old shift forks down to make the reverse lockout work for the overdrive. Some top shifters wont work because the overdrive case is in the way. There is more info about this on the Studerbaker Drivers Club forums. It is possible to make it work. It has been done. On the other hand if you have a column shifter, there are more options.

 

The third thing you are likely to run into is that the overdrive transmission is longer, and on many old cars there is an x-member or some important part of the frame in the way.

 

6 hours ago, Spinneyhill said:

Why do you need the torque tube? I suppose the rear springs can be lighter because the torque tube prevents axle rotation rather than the springs.

 

The torque tube also locates the axle fore/aft in a Buick. You have to add suspension members, usually ones from a Chevrolet truck to get rid of the torque tube.. People have done it successfully. I wouldn't. Chevrolets don't have that trouble, but the springs are not designed for the torque, and they are also pivoted/hinged at the axle tube. Something would have to change there. I wouldn't do that either. Fords have a transverse leaf spring and relied on the torque tube (and wishbone) to keep things from flopping around....


The trouble is right away you find yourself building a whole new car (whole drivetrain and suspension from the flywheel back).

 

I am building a higher-geared third member for my 36 Pontiac. I went with the ring and pinion change because it changes the car the least. It is expensive. It is not near done. I agree with Jim Nelson's assessment that overdrive is cheaper (at least at Lloyd's prices). If I could go back I would probably go that way.

 

There is one elephant in the room, however. You may need a third member rebuild anyway (it is more likely than you think). Then, you would have the third member cost on top of the overdrive . I have taken 3 rear axles apart within the last year (1936 Pontiac/Chevrolet). GM used ball bearings on the differential case back in the 30s. They weren't really up to the task. They used a Hyatt bearing on the pinion that, due to the design, has nothing to keep it located in the case. Buick axles are very similar in design, but larger. They also have a more powerful engine attached.

 

All 3 of these axles I tore down were working, but very close to catastrophic failure. 3 axles later I still don't have enough good parts to build my third member. I have a NORS ring and pinion (3.82 to replace 4.89) and NORS bearings (these old weird bearings are out of production and really expensive). I still do not have a good differential case to rivet my new ring gear to. If anyone has 35-36 Pontiac or 35-36 Chevrolet Master or 35-39 Chevrolet 1/2 ton rear axle parts laying around, feel free to PM me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bloo said:

Of these only the T-86 even has a top cover, and it didn't come with both overdrive and a top shifter on the same transmission.

My 1939 Studebaker has a floor shift plus overdrive. I suppose it might be unusual though because most cars had the column shift. IIRC the column shift box still had the floor shift nozzle on the top - remember the Stude gear box is on its side so the top cover is on the left hand side and it was easy to fit column shift kit to it and blank off the floor shift hole. Now that I look it up, it is a T88 box. 1940 went to the T86 and all column shift. The parts book is a mess because there were four options in 1939: gearbox with std or column shift, OD gearbox with column or floor shift. It is the changeover year. Some cars still had the 1938 T88 box (w/o OD) and the internals are different.

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I have driven my Lloyd Young overdrive unit with no problems or noises for slightly over 4000 miles so far in our 38 Buick Special. I don't care about the speedometer so its ok with me if its 

not correct when in overdrive. Actually when we are on the freeway going along with the traffic the speedometer reads between 40 and 45 mph. This is the speed the motor thinks the car is running along at. I 

would have sold our car if we didn't install the overdrive. 4000 miles mostly around here shows we use it regularly. I installed the whole thing in my driveway outside not in a garage. It was not hard and Loyd 

was easily available by phone if I had a question. I guess the shop he worked with is still doing the overdrive conversions. I would recommend this simple conversion to anyone owning these old Buicks.

 

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17 hours ago, sligermachine said:

is it a planetary gear set up? --kyle

Yes, I think with a freewheeling unit on the back.

 

There must also be a modification so one can go in reverse. As normally fitted, one must pull out the knob to lock the OD out (or more particularly, the freewheeling unit).

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/12/2018 at 8:58 PM, Bloo said:

All 3 of these axles I tore down were working, but very close to catastrophic failure. 3 axles later I still don't have enough good parts to build my third member. I have a NORS ring and pinion (3.82 to replace 4.89) and NORS bearings (these old weird bearings are out of production and really expensive). I still do not have a good differential case to rivet my new ring gear to. If anyone has 35-36 Pontiac or 35-36 Chevrolet Master or 35-39 Chevrolet 1/2 ton rear axle parts laying around, feel free to PM me.

I would like to study the pic. --kyle 

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I would like some one to send me a over drive torque tube gear box so me and my sons and wife can look it over .broken one would be grate .My wife runs a suspension company. MY Son is a mechanical engineer. I just like making things fly !!! -kyle    

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3:82 gears may be to high geared for overdrive. It may bog the engine depending on your hilly road conditions, tire diameter, and tranny. My 35 Chevy standard had and only came with a 4:11 ring and pinion set. That calculated me at around a 3:00 in third with the overdrive engaged. I have a 1939 - 3:72 rear out of a Chevy Master 85 I was going to use in my car but then I would have to loose my mechanical brakes, and 5 bolt lug pattern. (Yes, I like my mechanical brakes).

No reverse option with overdrive. Lloyds set up is safest way in my opinion. I set my microswitch in front of the clutch pedal so I do not have to push the pedal down to the floor to hit the switch. I simply tap the clutch and she shuts off the electric to my OD. I use my OD in third only to reduce the cruising speed rpm's in my 83 year old motor.

 

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Edited by 35Joe (see edit history)
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Sligermachine,   Maybe - just maybe, the guy who took over for Lloyd and his over drive stuff might be able to find a ‘bad’ case.  If so, I would think very cheep and freight would be the biggest cost.   Your as bad as I am..  Your on one end of the country and I’m on the other.  I’ve got an OD  on an original 4.44 rear.  This works out very nice in top gear.   About 3.11 final..   Has any one considered changing to a newer torque tube rear with a reasonable ratio.   It can not that dificult.   Hot Rodders do it.   Ya I know they have open drive lines’s but the concept it there.  

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5 hours ago, 35Joe said:

3:82 gears may be to high geared for overdrive. It may bog the engine depending on your hilly road conditions, tire diameter, and tranny. My 35 Chevy standard had and only came with a 4:11 ring and pinion set. That calculated me at around a 3:00 in third with the overdrive engaged. I have a 1939 - 3:72 rear out of a Chevy Master 85 I was going to use in my car but then I would have to loose my mechanical brakes, and 5 bolt lug pattern. (Yes, I like my mechanical brakes).

No reverse option with overdrive. Lloyds set up is safest way in my opinion. I set my microswitch in front of the clutch pedal so I do not have to push the pedal down to the floor to hit the switch. I simply tap the clutch and she shuts off the electric to my OD. I use my OD in third only to reduce the cruising speed rpm's in my 83 year old motor.

 

I was the one talking about 3.82. I never intended to put overdrive in front of that, rather it was an alternative. That is the highest ratio available for my axle (35-36 Pontiac, Chevy Master, 35-39 Chevy 1/2t). I am currently stuck with 4.89, and it feels way too slow even in town. I was following Las Vegas Dave's thread when he added overdrive to his 38 Buick Special. If I had opted for overdrive at that time, it would have been done while  Lloyd was still alive.

 

 

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Lloyd had a guy who was doing the over drives for him.   Glen is still doing them using Lloyds parts.  So, you can still get it done today.   If you need a phone number ask.   Lloyds phone number, as  listed in Hemmings, was changed to Glen’s number.  

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  • 1 month later...

The family (?) is having an auction in August.   I hope Glen gets all the over drive parts Lloyd accumulated over the years.  Also all the special adapters Lloyd had made up.  Glen is Lloyds machinist who is doing the over drives now..  Glen was one of the two machinists who did mine back in 2014.   I’m working on getting another done  around September-ish.   Glen does good work.  

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Lloyd had three barn behind his house.   So that would be a logical place.   Then again, i had a good relation with him and those cars are really nice but he is located in the hinterland.  The first time findind his house was fun.   But, if it there, sogns should get people to the right place.   Moving his cars to a better place would be a bit of work.  Most of his collection is in the twenties.   He had an allelectric car from the teen’s.   Very good condition.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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