Brooklyn Beer

Franklin's and their 4 speeds.

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So someone tell me about Franklin's and their 4 speeds.  Was 4th strictly just an overdrive or was the rear end gearing changed as well to work with a differently geared trans?  And why did they other 2 different manufactures?  Was shifting still done same with double clutch?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Brooklyn Beer said:

So someone tell me about Franklin's and their 4 speeds.  Was 4th strictly just an overdrive or was the rear end gearing changed as well to work with a differently geared trans?  And why did they other 2 different manufactures?  Was shifting still done same with double clutch?

 

I know ziltch about Franklin,  but all of the 1930ish 4 speed transmissions I know are the opposite of what you are saying.   4th is straight through and 1st is a stump puller gear.   Later in the 30s you got some European cars that had overdrive in 4th gear,  but can't think of any American cars that did that.    However,  many offered a 2 speed rear,  or a separately operated overdrive.

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

I know ziltch about Franklin,  but all of the 1930ish 4 speed transmissions I know are the opposite of what you are saying.   4th is straight through and 1st is a stump puller gear.   Later in the 30s you got some European cars that had overdrive in 4th gear,  but can't think of any American cars that did that.    However,  many offered a 2 speed rear,  or a separately operated overdrive.

 

What Alsancle said.

 

Franklin only had four speeds available in 29 to 31. And they didn't use numbers for the gear shit positions. Both the Detroit and Warner 4 spd. had an "emergency low" gear that was offset from the typical 3 spd. "H" shift pattern. It was not used during normal driving - only on very steep grades.

 

For most driving you use them like a three speed and started out in "low" (2nd gear) then "intermediate" (3rd gear) and "high" (4th gear). High (4th) gear was straight through.  

 

Franklin offered an optional Columbia two speed rear axle, but it doesn't appear to be a popular option because Franklins that have one are extremely rare.

 

The emergency low gear was so low that even with the factory high speed rear gear ratio of the open cars it wouldn't stall the engine at idle and you could get out and walk around the car as it crept along.

 

I did  that walk-around once to find a squeaking wire wheel on a 30 touring car......... until I had my head down listening near the right rear wheel and my prankster Melissa reached over and pushed the hand throttle to full.  I had to run to get back in the car. :D

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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As for why Franklin dropped the Detroit 4spd in favor of the Warner, we may never know.

 

Having rebuilt both types my theory is that they switched 4 spds to the Warner in 31 because while the Detroit is a very good transmission, it is much more complex and much heavier. The Warner was a very good, simpler, lighter design that lasted well into the 70's at least. My 72 AMX Warner transmission was very much like the early Warner 4 spds.

 

As far as double clutching, I only do that when the trans is cold. Once engine and trans are warmed up I don't need to with any of the 20's and 30's Franklin transmissions and clutches that are in proper adjustment.   The exception for me being double clutching when down shifting.  I don't drive any one Franklin enough to learn the timing when to do that.

 

I find that people who have trouble shifting and are crashing gears,  need to double clutch because they are usually trying to shift it at too high an engine speed, like you would with more modern short stroke engines and syncro transmissions. These early long-stroke engines can shift fine at lower rpms when the transmission's gear teeth are at a closer match for turning speeds.  

 

Paul

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3 hours ago, PFitz said:

I find that people who have trouble shifting and are crashing gears,  need to double clutch because they are usually trying to shift it at too high an engine speed, like you would with more modern short stroke engines and syncro transmissions. These early long-stroke engines can shift fine at lower rpms when the transmission's gear teeth are at a closer match for turning speeds.

I shift first to second at or below 5 mph and second to high at or below 10 mph.  Normally never use the clutch except from a complete stop.  Down town in rush hour or on an on ramp I will double clutch sometimes but usually  just run to 15 in low and 30 in second to get out of the way.  Of course my Pontiac is not in the same class/quality as a Franklin but the principle is the same.

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If anyone reading this needs a four speed I have both styles  with bell housings. Last winter I removed a Columbia Dual Range rear axle assembly from a 1932 Airman. I was told by the previous owner of 40 years that was put in the car way "Back in the day". At any rate , today the 32 has its proper axle assembly reinstalled.

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Thanks Mike.  First I must find my Franklin  :)   I know one is out there calling my name

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The 4 speed may have been a delivery issue as well via volume needed to manufacture cost effectively - I am not sure who else used them, though I only know of Stutz (so by the time they became popular they also were made in pretty limited number and the Warner may have just been the way to go thereafter).

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By the way, you do not need to find the perfect Franklin =just find one that floats your boat and you can start doing club activities with - and then if another Franklin "finds" you then there is a great club publication and of course the website to move the prior along.   And, if you do a little sweat equity in any car you will be able to get your money back out.   I have known many a person who wanted a 30's Franklin to find they really wanted a brass era Franklin and visa versa. 

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I am in the market for a sound and mechanically reliable car not needing any major work or repairs as this will be my first Franklin.  I want to try and avoid never ending hours of frustration as I learn the car and not get bogged down in repairs the minute it rolls off the trailer.  Maintenance and repairs will come with time as I learn the car just like any old car.  I am committed to buying a Franklin and broke ground this morning for the new  3 car garage that will house it and a two post lift.  The Buick, Dodge, and Plymouth can stay down in the old garage :)  Why a 3 car?  I have heard that Franklins are addictive !

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On 5/24/2019 at 2:03 PM, mikewest said:

If anyone reading this needs a four speed I have both styles  with bell housings. Last winter I removed a Columbia Dual Range rear axle assembly from a 1932 Airman. I was told by the previous owner of 40 years that was put in the car way "Back in the day". At any rate , today the 32 has its proper axle assembly reinstalled.

 

That Columbia Axle was installed by Guy Roese in the 1960s.

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