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Gear Vendors Overdrive Install photos on 41 Century


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Here's a couple of pics of a Gear Vendors Overdrive I just had installed on my 41 Century. It is smooth and quiet and is like having a fourth gear. You use the clutch like any gear shift actuating the unit with a push pull switch. Mines mounted on the column. Its not inexpensive but what a joy to use even around town at 50 mph and up.  No issues at all with clearance. As you can see the emergency brake line pass's beneath.

20190502_112106.jpg

overdrive.jpg

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59 minutes ago, Jack Worstell said:

How much RPM (%)  reduction do you get with the Gear Vendor ?  

  Does  it operate via a centrifugal  governor of some kind ( as does the Borg Warner unit) ?

 

Jack Worstell

Hi Jack, You get a 22 percent reduction. Not like the BW unit at all. Does not free wheel or self destruct in reverse if you forget. Has an internal hydraulic pump and is actuated with a solenoid. Does need rpm to build hydraulic pressure so not recommended to use from a standstill but it will do it . Built to handle drag racer hp so extremely robust. They have a website with more info.

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14 hours ago, Jack Worstell said:

Larry

 

BW units "kick in"    at about   28MPH.       Do Gear Vendor units have  a  "kick in"  MPH  ??

 

Jack

Hi Jack, The GV has no kick in and can be engaged only with the switch. It will operate in any gear at any speed but it is best not to leave in engaged from a dead stop. It will work but is hard on the unit. It is like a fourth gear that you shift and clutch exactly as if it was on the tree except its a push pull switch. Let off the gas a little for upshifts or increase for downshifts as you would for the first 3 gears. 

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  • 1 month later...

Very nice design and operation but a bit expensive for me.     I’m prejudice as I have the Borg Warner unit (30% reduction) on my ‘38’  Buick that  Lloyd Young adapted.   Significantly less costly.   Operation is a bit different but the results are the same.      My cars are driving cars  (just got a ‘35-58’ Buick) and just got the OD installed in the torque tube.    I can now keep up with normal - ? - traffic.   I ca now cruise 60 to 65 mph  without being a speed bump.    No matter which,  it’s the only way to use our really nice pre-war cars on the road.   I’ve been on trips over 1800 miles with my OD fitted ‘38’ Buick.   

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 I've never seen one installed, so thanks for posting the pictures. Looks like a nice unit, glad you're happy with it. Similar I'd think to the rear  gear change I made in my '41, Roadmaster and its' beautiful to drive at 60-65, but of course I don't have quite the lugging power I used to have, which your still will.

 Keith

 

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It appears to be a very nice fitting.

 

Is it attached to the front of the differential, sort of as a piece of torque tube? So it is supported at the front by the torque tube?

 

Is the torque tube stronger than the standard to take this extra load? Also, what about the front mount of the torque tube - the "torque ball"? The original was not designed for this sort of load.

 

If my reading is correct, this fitting appears to have increased the unsprung weight at the rear axle, which will be detrimental to ride on less smooth roads.

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Spinneyhill,       Consider the original design.   It is designed to be driven over some very bumpy roads that existed in those days.   The torque tube drive was strong enough to handle the torque  and weight to move the car.   If it was a week link, it would have been upgraded to handle the power.   Buick slowly increased the diameter of the torque tube from the early 30’s  into the 50’s and later.     The only change I found was when Buick went to the two piece torque tube in the 40’s.   The diameters went up just a bit for both the drive shaft and torque tube.   Look at the size if the flanges that support the over drives - on either design.   The stresses were taken up through the torque tube.   The torque ball was 4-3/4” on the 248 engine and 5” on the 320 engine to handle the increased torque on the bigger engine.   If this were a problem,  it would have mentioned over the years in clubs like the  37-38 club and some of the old timers who would have mentioned it.    Its JMHO  but I think it’s not an issue.   I’ve had mine since 2014 and never had a problem.    Of course, things happen and I’m sure it would come to the front for those like us who have OD’s.

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In addition to taking the axle windup torque (as the torque tube does on a Chevrolet), a Buick torque tube and it's torque ball are what locate the axle fore and aft. It's pretty stout.

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1 hour ago, Spinneyhill said:

Thank you Gentlemen. I suppose as long as one keeps the torque ball lubricated, etc. it should be OK. It is just a lot of extra weight where there was none originally.

The gear vendors unit is alloy and not that heavy and only adds about 25/30 lbs to the drivetrain. Most of the weight is in the steel flanges and bolts and some weight is removed by shorting the torque tube and inner shafts. The feel is imperceptible during operation or on poor surfaces. I do not see any increased stress on ball joint or any other aspect of the drivetrain by adding an OD. The rigidity of the installation is off the charts  being a unit designed for 1000hp plus drag racers to make them viable as street cars. The joy of driving that big torquey motor in od is worth every penny of the 4500$ investment.. My Century is transformed on 55 mph country roads or cruising at 70/75 mph while turning under 3000 rpm. If I had a special or super gearing with a 248 it would be the first improvement I would make. I have not calculated gas mileage yet but it has definitely improved some .

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Lloyd Young conversion  :     The Borg Warner OD  was designed for the early 30’s up to the early 50’s.   Two versions.   Most were for cars and some for the later light trucks.   Glen Metzler has taken over since Lloyd passed about 18 months ago.    If the cost of Gear Vendors keeps you from enjoying your great Buicks,  consider using Lloyd’s design.   The Borg Warner is a 30 % over drive whereas Gear Venders is a  ? 22% over drive..   Glens conversion runs about $ 2000.00.   There is a vendor who has new OD solenoids if you don’t like original - old units..    (my choice).  The BW  Lloyd’s converted units don’t use the governor.     Lloyd’s design was to simplify the BW unit so you could use it today and keep costs down.   On my Buick Special 38-46s,  I easily cruise 65 - 70 in local traffic.   BTW,  on my long trip I got 16.5 mpg driving on  I-65 thru the hills of No Alabama and Tenn.    I was not trying to get better mileage so I considered this nice.     BTW,  use ethanol free real gas in our cars.   I’ve been able to get real gas all through the SE.   Your ole straight 8 will thank you as that will give you better mileage over the crap gas the gov. pushes on us.   More energy (btu’s) per gallon than ethanol blend.   Another topic for future discussions.   

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BTW,  if you don’t want to crawl under your ole Buick  (half the fun),  Glen will do the conversion at his shop.    He has had customers come from Canada and as far away as Arizona.   (What a long drive ?).  Some of us are getting  “long of tooth” for these nice mod’s.   Some of us just like driving our cars and do regular maintainance.    Some are crazy like me and still like grease under the fingernails.   (Assuming the wife tolerates it).    

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Jim

 

We started out with a Lloyd Young OD installed in our 1937 Special using it as he had set it up.

 

But we ended up adding back the governor per factory and we like this better.  It ends up being a sort of semi-automatic transmission

and easier to drive.   We  also added back the speedometer drive function so our

speedometer is accurate once again.

The hardest part was securing the governor and speedometer drive gears back onto

the output shaft of the BW unit.   We had to remove the unit from  the car and then take it apart

so we could use LockTight to  secure the two drive gears to the OD output shaft.

 

The LockTight was Lloyd;s suggestion.   I was skeptical....but it works 

 

You might wonder why we used LockTight.  The answer is that when Lloyd modified the BW 

unit for our Special he removed the large nut at the end of the output shaft.....this nut......

...among other  things….provided compression such that the two drive gears had to rotate with the

output shaft

 

Jack Worstell

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13 minutes ago, Jack Worstell said:

It's just that we like the unit

with the governor function ( and the speedometer function)  added back even better.

 

Did you fab up a reverse lockout somehow or do you just have to remember?

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I know my case is probably not typical, but I very much wish I had started with the Gear Vendors unit on my '29 Cadillac. My Borg-Warner unit has been endlessly problematic and has never really worked right. I've had to remove and install it twice, which, I assure you, is no easy task in a car with a torque tube, and it still isn't right. It has pretty much eliminated my desire to even drive the car since I never know if it'll work or if it'll break and leave me stranded with no propulsion. I've spent far more money on getting my B-W unit to limp along than a Gear Vendors unit would have cost in the first place. Last year I eliminated the electrical solenoid and converted to mechanical actuation, but to be honest, I have not driven it much and have only used the overdrive enough to test it with the mechanical actuator. I don't know how else to put it: the wonky B-W unit in my Cadillac has ended my interest in driving it. 

 

Unfortunately, it seems that the installations are unique to the units, so I can't simply swap B-W unit out for another. There's a casting defect in my overdrive that causes it to leak pretty severely--maybe a pint every 48-72 hours. That's another reason why I don't drive it much; every time I want to use it, I have to slide under it to put a pint of oil in the overdrive (which only holds about 1.5 pints) and on tour, I have to do it each morning and at the midday tour stop. No fun. But again, I can't swap it out for another unit because it's custom-fitted to my torque tube. Short of finding a new torque tube for a 1929 Cadillac and cutting that one up and installing a Gear Vendors unit, I'm stuck with it. 

 

I am considering the Gear Vendors unit for my '41 Buick Limited based on Lawrence's experience. I would not even consider the Borg-Warner unit ever again. The extra cost of the Gear Vendors unit is 100% worth it in peace of mind and durability. It's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned. I'd certainly have Glen do the installation, but I'd choose better hardware: Gear Vendors.

 

True, my experience is not common. But then again, perhaps you're next...

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Matt

 

Just curious

………...what part of your BW OD breaks ?

                     and

………...the casting defect that causes the oil leak

                    can you see the defect or can you otherwise pin down the location of the defect ?

 

Jack Worstell

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6 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

I know my case is probably not typical, but I very much wish I had started with the Gear Vendors unit on my '29 Cadillac. My Borg-Warner unit has been endlessly problematic and has never really worked right. I've had to remove and install it twice, which, I assure you, is no easy task in a car with a torque tube, and it still isn't right. It has pretty much eliminated my desire to even drive the car since I never know if it'll work or if it'll break and leave me stranded with no propulsion. I've spent far more money on getting my B-W unit to limp along than a Gear Vendors unit would have cost in the first place. Last year I eliminated the electrical solenoid and converted to mechanical actuation, but to be honest, I have not driven it much and have only used the overdrive enough to test it with the mechanical actuator. I don't know how else to put it: the wonky B-W unit in my Cadillac has ended my interest in driving it. 

 

Unfortunately, it seems that the installations are unique to the units, so I can't simply swap B-W unit out for another. There's a casting defect in my overdrive that causes it to leak pretty severely--maybe a pint every 48-72 hours. That's another reason why I don't drive it much; every time I want to use it, I have to slide under it to put a pint of oil in the overdrive (which only holds about 1.5 pints) and on tour, I have to do it each morning and at the midday tour stop. No fun. But again, I can't swap it out for another unit because it's custom-fitted to my torque tube. Short of finding a new torque tube for a 1929 Cadillac and cutting that one up and installing a Gear Vendors unit, I'm stuck with it. 

 

I am considering the Gear Vendors unit for my '41 Buick Limited based on Lawrence's experience. I would not even consider the Borg-Warner unit ever again. The extra cost of the Gear Vendors unit is 100% worth it in peace of mind and durability. It's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned. I'd certainly have Glen do the installation, but I'd choose better hardware: Gear Vendors.

 

True, my experience is not common. But then again, perhaps you're next...

 

Sorry Matt,

 

Lloyd Young, bless his memory, installed Borg-Warner ODs in my '12 Oakland, '34 Buick, and '30 Packard. None of then have ever given a moment's trouble, and have all performed magnificently. I would have no hesitation having more B-W units installed, but only if I could be assured of the quality of the rebuild and the installation.

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6 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

I know my case is probably not typical, but I very much wish I had started with the Gear Vendors unit on my '29 Cadillac. My Borg-Warner unit has been endlessly problematic and has never really worked right. I've had to remove and install it twice, which, I assure you, is no easy task in a car with a torque tube, and it still isn't right. It has pretty much eliminated my desire to even drive the car since I never know if it'll work or if it'll break and leave me stranded with no propulsion. I've spent far more money on getting my B-W unit to limp along than a Gear Vendors unit would have cost in the first place. Last year I eliminated the electrical solenoid and converted to mechanical actuation, but to be honest, I have not driven it much and have only used the overdrive enough to test it with the mechanical actuator. I don't know how else to put it: the wonky B-W unit in my Cadillac has ended my interest in driving it. 

 

Unfortunately, it seems that the installations are unique to the units, so I can't simply swap B-W unit out for another. There's a casting defect in my overdrive that causes it to leak pretty severely--maybe a pint every 48-72 hours. That's another reason why I don't drive it much; every time I want to use it, I have to slide under it to put a pint of oil in the overdrive (which only holds about 1.5 pints) and on tour, I have to do it each morning and at the midday tour stop. No fun. But again, I can't swap it out for another unit because it's custom-fitted to my torque tube. Short of finding a new torque tube for a 1929 Cadillac and cutting that one up and installing a Gear Vendors unit, I'm stuck with it. 

 

I am considering the Gear Vendors unit for my '41 Buick Limited based on Lawrence's experience. I would not even consider the Borg-Warner unit ever again. The extra cost of the Gear Vendors unit is 100% worth it in peace of mind and durability. It's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned. I'd certainly have Glen do the installation, but I'd choose better hardware: Gear Vendors.

 

True, my experience is not common. But then again, perhaps you're next...

 

Sorry Matt,

 

Lloyd Young, bless his memory, installed Borg-Warner ODs in my '12 Oakland, '34 Buick, and '30 Packard. None of then have ever given a moment's trouble, and have all performed magnificently. I would have no hesitation having more B-W units installed, but only if I could be assured of the quality of the rebuild and the installation.

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Bloo

 

Since we have added back the governor to our set-up  the overdrive will de-activate below about 26mph.  So

we don't have to be concerned about damage in reverse.

 

But at any rate we always try to remember to pull out the control cable before going into reverse.

If we should try to reverse with the control cable pushed in and the solenoid not powered up

there will be no damage but the vehicle will not go anywhere

because of the one-way clutch.

 

Jack Worstell

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On 6/29/2019 at 9:24 PM, Jack Worstell said:

Matt

 

Just curious

………...what part of your BW OD breaks ?

                     and

………...the casting defect that causes the oil leak

                    can you see the defect or can you otherwise pin down the location of the defect ?

 

Jack Worstell

 

First and most importantly, Lloyd Young was always FANTASTIC to work with. A wonderful man and a first-rate hobbyist. Please don't mistake anything I'm saying about my particular overdrive unit with criticism of Lloyd. He did all he could, but given the limitations of how things are installed, he couldn't do more than he did. In fact, he paid a shop to pull my torque tube for me in one of the situations. Truly a man of integrity and he always stepped up and never gave me anything but "can do." I think that's very important to mention, because I flat-out loved the guy.

 

I believe the primary problem I was having with my overdrive was related to the solenoid. I replaced it several times, including using the new $250 units, and after a while, they'd stop working. I'm sure it was heat-related. Sometimes it would work just fine, but if I was driving for an extended period on a warm day it would just quietly drop out of overdrive without warning and I'd be coasting. It would not re-engage until it had time to cool off.

 

If I manually dropped out of overdrive after a period of using it, like stopping for a red light after cruising on a country road, it would not re-engage until I had taken it out of free-wheeling and drove without the overdrive for 30 minutes or so. If I didn't let it cool off and instead hit the button to activate the solenoid and go back into overdrive, it would simply disconnect the whole driveline and I was stuck in neutral--no forward, no reverse, and there was no way to get it to release until it cooled off completely by parking it at the side of the road for 30-45 minutes with a wet cloth on it. Lloyd replaced the clutch and as I said, I replaced the solenoid several times with several different types, I insulated the area and the exhaust with heat shields, and it would still fail and leave me stranded. Eventually I learned to take it out of overdrive, take it out of free-wheeling, and drive like that for 30 minutes and it would [usually] be OK again. But only being able to activate the overdrive once every 30 minutes (and it would stay in overdrive for only a limited amount of time before disengaging itself) got very tedious. Worse, if I got it wrong, then we were sitting there stranded waiting for it to cool off completely. Not the best way to build confidence in your car on tour.

 

That's why I converted my overdrive to mechanical operation. It still has free-wheeling, but the solenoid pin is now mechanically actuated. It seems to work better, although it still has the problem that if I don't get it exactly right it will hang up in neutral and leave us stranded. I don't know why it does that other than there's a problem internally with the free-wheeling clutch that is heat-related. I don't trust it one bit and like I said, I'm wary of even driving the car because if it hiccups, I'm stuck for an indefinite period of time. It's not the car's fault and I hate not having my Cadillac to enjoy, but I don't want to risk having it shiat itself and ending my day.

 

The oil leak is a separate issue and we have never been able to completely isolate it. Lloyd said it was probably a casting defect, maybe a bubble in the cast iron wall of the overdrive itself, and it allowed oil to seep through. After spending all these hours troubleshooting my unit, he said that it was likely replaced under warranty when whatever car it was in was relatively new, but the unit was never destroyed and eventually ended up in my Cadillac. There's no specific hole in the metal, but I can see roughly where the oil is seeping because there's no paint there. The oil just seems to appear on the side of the housing until it forms a drop large enough to fall off. Then another one forms. It's much worse when it's warm, obviously, but if it sits in the shop, I can usually expect it to be drained down to the level of that defect, which is about 1 pint. I have tried smearing epoxy on the outside, but it obviously won't stick to the oily cast iron and the oil always pushes out from behind. It's a defect that can't be fixed short of cutting it out and stitching/welding in a new piece of cast iron, and even that's not a sure thing. As I said, the overdrive can't be swapped for another one because it's unique to this installation. So I'm stuck with it.

 

None of this is the fault of the installer (Lloyd Young), but there are two separate, persistent problems in one Borg-Warner overdrive unit and any other unit could very well have at least one of them. That is why I think the Gear Vendors unit is a superior choice and why I will not hesitate to spend the extra money on a Gear Vendors unit whenever I have the opportunity.

 

When you're sitting by the side of the road with a car that won't go and an overdrive that won't engage, perhaps you're the sort who can make yourself feel better by thinking, "Well, at least I saved a few bucks by choosing the Borg-Warner unit."

 

I, for one, just can't bring myself to feel that way.

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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You are sure it isn't cracked?

 

If it were me, I would boil that case out in a parts washer for a long time, or soak it in MEK, or both, and then, once completely dry,  play a propane torch on it and see if any more oil bubbles up. Repeat until the defect is truly clean. Then I would soak the area in green (wicking) loctite, or paint the inside with glyptal, or maybe both.

 

You eliminated the solenoid, and it didn't fix it. The trouble must not be with the solenoid. what could they have possibly done to the internal parts of this unit during the conversion that could not be done to the internal parts from another unit? Many of these units share internal parts.

 

I would measure that leaky case carefully to make absolutely sure it is not also mis-machined.

 

There has to be a way.....

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Jack,  It looks like you were able to get the right ratio for your governor.    I remember when you were working on it.    I miss ole  Lloyd.    No one is perfect but his ability to make adapters to utilize the Borg Warner over drive let’s many of us really enjoy our neat ole ‘30’s ‘  cars.   I now have a ‘35-58’  Vicky  Buick and I just came back from having over drive installed in it.    I am now swapping the rear over to ‘37’ rear with the original 4.44 rear ratio.  It will match my ‘38-46s’ coupe.   That’s all, no more Buicks as my garage can only hold two cars.    My wife has put up with me using my garage as a aircraft manufacturing shop for over 12 years ( three aircraft )  and now as my old car repair shop.   What a great lady letting me keep both of our cars out side yearly.    Glen Metzler is carrying on  the needs to put Lloyd’s BW over drives.   He has decided to improve on several things that needed to be improved on.   Minor things but keeps things stronger and easier to assemble.   One thing is the elimination of Chinese bearings.    They were not good enough for the BW units.   They were originally made in the USA.    We closed the factory and moved it to China - sound like we’ve done that before.   We got cheep but lesser quality in trade - -    Not in my book !  

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I am curious about Matts OD. I had a 1938 mechanical OD in my Studebaker. It got very hot; I couldn't get near touching it after a run. Towards the end it made odd noises and the final failure was basically the bolt holding the freewheel unit on more-or-less falling out. Everything was very worn.

 

I overhauled a 1939 gearbox and OD (first solenoid OD) and installed it. It never got hot. Ever. I could touch it with ease after a 100 mile drive. But the overhaul required new bearings in the planetary gears (and new pins) plus a replacement for the big bronze piece the solenoid locks into. The needle roller bearings inside the planetary gears were worn barrel shaped and square! All the repairs I did to this OD were also required in the 1938 OD I took out.

 

So I wonder if Matt's OD has a mechanical problem that causes heat generation. Clearly not an easy one to find, or Lloyd would have found it. I wonder if Bloo hit it on the head with the comment about mis-machining. Maybe misalignment causes bearing fretting and heat generation.

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2 hours ago, Bloo said:

You are sure it isn't cracked?

 

If it were me, I would boil that case out in a parts washer for a long time, or soak it in MEK, or both, and then, once completely dry,  play a propane torch on it and see if any more oil bubbles up. Repeat until the defect is truly clean. Then I would soak the area in green (wicking) loctite, or paint the inside with glyptal, or maybe both.

 

You eliminated the solenoid, and it didn't fix it. The trouble must not be with the solenoid. what could they have possibly done to the internal parts of this unit during the conversion that could not be done to the internal parts from another unit? Many of these units share internal parts.

 

I would measure that leaky case carefully to make absolutely sure it is not also mis-machined.

 

There has to be a way.....

 

Those are all good suggestions and I sincerely appreciate your continued thoughtfulness regarding my car problems. However, the real problem is that I'm just out of ambition on this particular project.

 

I had hoped the mechanical solenoid would cure the problem, but to be honest, I haven't driven it enough to be sure that it still won't pop out of overdrive or get stuck in neutral. Lloyd already replaced the free-wheeling clutch (twice), and I continue to suspect that is the primary problem; when it fails, it goes to full neutral with no power passing through the overdrive. There's something amiss in the free-wheeling mechanism that was related to the solenoid but not directly causational because it wasn't 100% of the time. My instinct says that whatever casting flaw is causing the leak may also be causing a problem with the free-wheeling clutch, perhaps a misalignment or something that is out of tolerance and doesn't quite fit together properly. I don't know and Lloyd couldn't figure it out, and I recon he knew these units better than anyone else.

 

So I guess I should have said that there were three problems: the solenoid getting too hot and failing, the free-wheeling clutch failing, and the leak.

 

I've addressed the solenoid issue, but the others can't be solved without taking it apart. I've already done it three times, including the first time I installed it, and it's a MASSIVE job to get the torque tube out of that car. Then I have to tear the unit itself apart and hope I can find a problem that Lloyd the expert couldn't, then hope that I can put it back together and make it work again. To be honest, after that goddamned Lincoln, I just don't have the mental or emotional fortitude to jump into projects that are likely dead-ends. There's probably 20-30 hours' worth of work to remove and install that torque tube, plus who knows how much work to rebuild the overdrive--provided I can find the problem that Lloyd couldn't--and then more hours tracking down and maybe fixing the leak. And to invest all that time and effort and still have it fail? I'm not sure I'm up to that.

 

user31138_pic6215_1312253708.jpg.3acdb60248f9b12c5be48d4a22d92dd0.jpguser31138_pic5556_1304180490.jpg.d372db9f22fceb1c6e65cd12860b2acd.jpguser31138_pic5554_1304180490.jpg.816882666e837723b26a1b6c22bf0544.jpg

 

Instead the car will sit until I find another torque tube that I'll put in and skip the overdrive. Or if I have a spare $5000 laying around, I'll have someone install a Gear Vendors unit, and it'll be back to its old self again. In the meantime, maybe I can drive it around locally at low speeds and that's fine, as long as I remember to fill it each time I go out and hopefully the clutch won't fail and leave me stuck. Or maybe run the overdrive until it's dry--who cares if it kills itself now? What have I got to lose by running it without oil? Screw it--according to Lloyd, it probably died back in the '50s when some Ford dealer pulled it out of a new car and threw it away because it was bad from the start. It's been on borrowed time ever since.

 

Alternatively, I can just drive my 1941 Buick, which always works and doesn't give me headaches.

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Just another wee thought. With the suspension of the OD in a tube with no other support, there is probably a sag bending moment along the length of the OD and if the case is weak, it could bend more, causing misalignment. On the bench, it would be fine - no bending moment is applied. In the Studebaker, the OD has a support rest at the rear.

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Matt

 

A perplexing issue you have with your OD.

 

If Lloyd couldn't solve these problems it's very unlikely I can add anything useful.  But I have a few thoughts.

 

First....I don't understand the being stranded part.   Even if the solenoid is inoperable and even if the one-way clutch is shot

….you should still be able to pull out the control cable and keep driving as if the OD didn't exist.  Pulling out

the control cable locks the planetary gears together so you would be back to "direct drive"

At least this is the way ours works.

                   I am puzzled that the OD problem would cause you to be stranded...…………………...

 

Second.....if the operation of the relay is temperamental then correspondingly the solenoid operation

would likely be temperamental   Maybe you have a problem with the relay and it shows up

as a solenoid problem.   I would be tempted to replace the relay.....a long shot I know

but the relay is inexpensive and easy to replace

If the relay doesn't work then the solenoid doesn't work.

 

Thirdly...I suppose you have already checked all of the wiring...….but an erratic ground or open in the power to

the relay   or erratic open in the ground wire from the relay or an erratic open

in the wire from the relay to the solenoid would all likely cause erratic operation of the solenoid

 

Fourth...the oil leak.     We have a seal in the rear of our OD unit and I'm pretty sure

you would have one too.    This keeps the OD oil from working its way back into the differential

So if this seal is not right then you could lose oil into the differential   Because of the torque tube configuration

a leak of this kind wouldn't be visible'

BUT ……….you say there is a "wet" spot caused by oil on a spot on the exterior of the case......

so I guess this rules out the rear seal as being the problem  ??

 

        When the car is parked for some time......does an oil puddle appear on the floor  ???

 

For a leak caused by a defect in the casing.....Bloo's suggested solution should work

I think I'd be tempted to use two-part epoxy paint to paint te interior of the case

but I agree that Loctite and/or glyptal will work 

Bloo's suggestion is a fair among of time and effort....but if I had this problem

I would follow his advice,

 

Jack Worstell

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Jack Worstell said:

Matt

 

A perplexing issue you have with your OD.

 

If Lloyd couldn't solve these problems it's very unlikely I can add anything useful.  But I have a few thoughts.

 

First....I don't understand the being stranded part.   Even if the solenoid is inoperable and even if the one-way clutch is shot

….you should still be able to pull out the control cable and keep driving as if the OD didn't exist.  Pulling out

the control cable locks the planetary gears together so you would be back to "direct drive"

At least this is the way ours works.

                   I am puzzled that the OD problem would cause you to be stranded...…………………...

 

Second.....if the operation of the relay is temperamental then correspondingly the solenoid operation

would likely be temperamental   Maybe you have a problem with the relay and it shows up

as a solenoid problem.   I would be tempted to replace the relay.....a long shot I know

but the relay is inexpensive and easy to replace

If the relay doesn't work then the solenoid doesn't work.

 

Thirdly...I suppose you have already checked all of the wiring...….but an erratic ground or open in the power to

the relay   or erratic open in the ground wire from the relay or an erratic open

in the wire from the relay to the solenoid would all likely cause erratic operation of the solenoid

 

Fourth...the oil leak.     We have a seal in the rear of our OD unit and I'm pretty sure

you would have one too.    This keeps the OD oil from working its way back into the differential

So if this seal is not right then you could lose oil into the differential   Because of the torque tube configuration

a leak of this kind wouldn't be visible'

BUT ……….you say there is a "wet" spot caused by oil on a spot on the exterior of the case......

so I guess this rules out the rear seal as being the problem  ??

 

        When the car is parked for some time......does an oil puddle appear on the floor  ???

 

For a leak caused by a defect in the casing.....Bloo's suggested solution should work

I think I'd be tempted to use two-part epoxy paint to paint te interior of the case

but I agree that Loctite and/or glyptal will work 

Bloo's suggestion is a fair among of time and effort....but if I had this problem

I would follow his advice,

 

Jack Worstell

 

Thanks for the feedback, Jack. My car no longer has a relay or a solenoid, I have converted it to 100% mechanical operation to eliminate that variable.

 

I agree that it should not fail the way it does. Lloyd didn't understand why, but he replaced the clutch twice and found nothing wrong with the planetary gears inside or the free-wheeling mechanism. The overdrive works correctly about 60% of the time as long as I give it time to cool off after each use before trying to engage it again. If I never use the overdrive, it stays locked and never acts up. But if I use the overdrive, it may work, it may not, and if it doesn't then I'm stuck in neutral for 30 minutes. The change from electric solenoid to mechanical actuation did not affect this although it eliminated the dropping out of overdrive at speed. Therefore, it is not the solenoid/actuation pin but rather something in the one-way clutch/free-wheeling system that Lloyd was unable to identify or solve. It does indeed completely disengage the driveline until the overdrive unit cools off.

 

It leaves a large puddle if it's parked, usually overnight. The leak is substantial and the last time we took it on any extended drive, I had to top it off twice (I made a fitting for the top fill plug with a flexible tube that reaches through the floor boards so all I have to do is use a large syringe to pump more oil in). It comes out within a few hours of driving so I top it off every time we stop. Lloyd replaced the seals, and they are not the problem. I can sit and watch the side of the case as oil magically appears in a growing droplet that eventually falls to the floor while another one forms. It happens fast enough to watch with the naked eye. Overnight, most of the oil in the unit leaks out.

 

As I said, getting the overdrive out is a BIG job. I've already torn the overdrive/torque tube/rear end/brakes/exhaust out of the car twice now and Lloyd has rebuilt the overdrive twice. Neither time fixed it. Why would the third time be the charm? The unit is defective, it was probably supposed to be scrapped in 1957, and now I'm stuck with it in my car. I don't want to invest any more time and money in it, it's just too much work for what will likely be zero improvement in performance. I don't care about the leak as much as I care about the overdrive randomly failing and leaving me stranded. Let it leak, I don't care, but I'm not going to tear into it hoping that the third time is the charm, especially now that Lloyd is not around to help. If he couldn't fix it, who can?

 

No, the plan is to let the car sit until I locate a new torque tube and either install it without an overdrive and just use the car for local driving, or bite the bullet and buy a Gear Vendors, which is the real solution that I should have used in the first place. I, too, was just being cheap and have lived to regret it.

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Matt

 

Yes it is a big job …..to be avoided if possible

 

We removed the torque tube/dive shaft/"pig" so that Lloyd could made the  modifications

and then of course we have to assemble everything back once he was finished

 

A few months later we took everything back out and opened up the

BW OD unit so we could add back the governor function and the speedometer function.

And put it all back together again.

 

And a few months later we took everything back out again and opened the OD

unit back up....we thought there was a problem with the unit.

We were wrong....it was just fine.  False alarm that costs us a fair amount 

of time and effort.

 

At this time....everything is working as it should   including the governor function and

the speedometer function

 

So we feel for you...it is a pain to take the unit out and

then have to put it back in.

 

Jack Worstell

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Hi Jack,     Having the Lloyd’s over drive  makes removal of the over drive easy compared to before work.    You can now remove the drive shaft / over drive / tranny / or clutch a much easier task.   You don’t need to remove the rear end which is a real pain.    Been there done that.    The key is Lloyd’s 3” junction part just in front of the over drive.   Putting my second over drive in my second Buick this month.        

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