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Old 07-19-2006, 08:05 PM
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1957 three speed overdrive transmission..

Hello, I have purchsed a three speed overdrive transmission for a buddys car.. A 1957 Chev Convertible.. I am looking for a transmission rebuilder that can rebiuld as well as maybe haveing parts for vintage transmissions.. Any help would be appriciated...Thankyou Randy

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Old 07-19-2006, 08:26 PM
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hello,can you tell me more about what kid of car that this O/D trans. came out of.has any one said what thay think it may be,or if it came out of a newer car?tommy
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOHLDMON
hello,can you tell me more about what kid of car that this O/D trans. came out of.has any one said what thay think it may be,or if it came out of a newer car?tommy
Hello Tommy ..No this is an original transmision from a 1957 chevy..The overdrive unit is connected to the tranmission.. I will try to post a picture.. Thankyou Randy
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:33 PM
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THis is it... The overdrive is under the shifter..
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:46 PM
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hello,you say this is a chevy tranny,kid of looks an fmx trans but thats a ford tranny.give me a little time(24hrs)and i will get back with you, if another one of the good folks here cant help you first i will find out for sure and get back with ya.and as for parts when i find out for sure i can probly get ya the parts by sending to some good people i know.can you tell me what body style this was from?thanks tommy
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:48 PM
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He said it was a 57 Chevrolet convertable.
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Highrise
He said it was a 57 Chevrolet convertable.
Yep its a three speed overdrive Saginaw trans. Casting number 3845122 1957 Chevrolet Passenger car..
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Old 07-19-2006, 09:02 PM
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Manual Transmission Eyeballing



Muncie (left) Saginaw (center) Borg Warner (right)

i hope this pasted right.and yes it is a saginaw.
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Old 07-20-2006, 05:25 PM
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Welllllllllllllllllllllllll..............

I can tell you an original '57 O/D manual transmission has the O/D unit on the tailshaft. Not where this one is located.

Perhaps the original transmission had problems early on in life and a dealer swapped it out for this one, but I'm certain this is not an original 3-speed O/D manual transmission for a '57 Chevy. Any of them.

If you doubt what I say I believe you can find information about the original O/D transmissions on the Danchuk site. Or stop in Chevy Talk.org the '55/6/7 Chevy original board. Ask the fine people on there.

(just to let you know if you stop by CT to ask about this transmission, I'm rj_ly on Chevy Talk)
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Old 07-20-2006, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rj57
Welllllllllllllllllllllllll..............

I can tell you an original '57 O/D manual transmission has the O/D unit on the tailshaft. Not where this one is located.

Perhaps the original transmission had problems early on in life and a dealer swapped it out for this one, but I'm certain this is not an original 3-speed O/D manual transmission for a '57 Chevy. Any of them.

If you doubt what I say I believe you can find information about the original O/D transmissions on the Danchuk site. Or stop in Chevy Talk.org the '55/6/7 Chevy original board. Ask the fine people on there.

(just to let you know if you stop by CT to ask about this transmission, I'm rj_ly on Chevy Talk)
Hello thanks for the info.. So what you are saying is that there is some major stuff missing off of the overdrive unit...I have a chevrolet by the numbers book and this is the transmission it lists as the overdrive transmission for a 57 passenger vehical.. I will be able to tell more when I get it here.. I also have an assembly manual.. I will have to look into this further..I will check on line and see how far this will take me.. I will take any and all help to get the correct stuff I need.. Thankyou for your help.. I will be back!! Randy
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Old 07-22-2006, 01:20 AM
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FOHLDMON -- You need to look again! That looks NOTHING like an automatic transmission (Ford FMX). I need some of whatever you're drinking/smoking right now!!

All kidding asside, that's a standard GM three speed (don't know if it's Saginaw or Muncie) with the then standard Borg Warner R-10 overdrive unit on the back. All the BW OD units are the same except for the 1" (or so) thick adapter that the big solenoid (looks about the size of a blower motor) connects to. The lever near the back locks OD out in case you don't want to use the OD gear (such as towing, or other occasions when you need engine braking like driving in the mountains). There should be another piece on the opposit side near the back with one or two screw terminals on top. That's the governor. Oh yes, one very important note -- all post war Borg Warner ODs are the same except for the adapter and maybe output shaft splines (though I think they are the same too). So you can use parts from a Rambler, Studebaker, Ford, etc.

When the governor spins at a certain speed (usually 28-30 mph road speed) it closes a switch which energizes the solenoid. The solenoid puts pressure on a plunger that slips into a dog clutch as soon as there is no pressure on it. To engage OD all you do is let off the gas (over 28-30 mph) and it will slip right in as long as the lock-out lever isn't engaged. There's usually a handle under the dash that you pull to lock it out.

All that sounds simple, butthere is some more wiring involved. When disengaging OD there can't be pressure on the gears or they can permanently jam (I've had it happen!). So there's a kick-down switch on the throttle somewhere that momentarily cuts the ignition by grounding the coil. It's only grounded for 2-3 revolutions of the crank, so you never even notice the skip. The switch goes down, engages, then immediately pops back up (disengages) even if you keep your foot down. I call it a ratchet switch, and that's the only hard to find part.

There are several ways to wire these things.There's a Borg Warner OD manual at www.tocmp.com (search or browse through the manuals). It shows the most complicated wiring example I've seen! While there, look through the 60s Rambler wiring diagrams. They used much simpler wiring. Some governors have one wire, some two. A two wire can be used as a one by grounding the other terminal (the one grounds through the case). Rambler used examples of both, and I think the one wire is the simplest. All will work with either wiring. I prefer to use a power relay, as that big solenoid draws 20A when engaging (only about 10 to hold in). One of the Rambler systems deleted the relay, I forget which. Easy enough to wire in a power relay though.
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Old 07-22-2006, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farna
FOHLDMON -- You need to look again! That looks NOTHING like an automatic transmission (Ford FMX). I need some of whatever you're drinking/smoking right now!!

All kidding asside, that's a standard GM three speed (don't know if it's Saginaw or Muncie) with the then standard Borg Warner R-10 overdrive unit on the back. All the BW OD units are the same except for the 1" (or so) thick adapter that the big solenoid (looks about the size of a blower motor) connects to. The lever near the back locks OD out in case you don't want to use the OD gear (such as towing, or other occasions when you need engine braking like driving in the mountains). There should be another piece on the opposit side near the back with one or two screw terminals on top. That's the governor. Oh yes, one very important note -- all post war Borg Warner ODs are the same except for the adapter and maybe output shaft splines (though I think they are the same too). So you can use parts from a Rambler, Studebaker, Ford, etc.

When the governor spins at a certain speed (usually 28-30 mph road speed) it closes a switch which energizes the solenoid. The solenoid puts pressure on a plunger that slips into a dog clutch as soon as there is no pressure on it. To engage OD all you do is let off the gas (over 28-30 mph) and it will slip right in as long as the lock-out lever isn't engaged. There's usually a handle under the dash that you pull to lock it out.

All that sounds simple, butthere is some more wiring involved. When disengaging OD there can't be pressure on the gears or they can permanently jam (I've had it happen!). So there's a kick-down switch on the throttle somewhere that momentarily cuts the ignition by grounding the coil. It's only grounded for 2-3 revolutions of the crank, so you never even notice the skip. The switch goes down, engages, then immediately pops back up (disengages) even if you keep your foot down. I call it a ratchet switch, and that's the only hard to find part.

There are several ways to wire these things.There's a Borg Warner OD manual at www.tocmp.com (search or browse through the manuals). It shows the most complicated wiring example I've seen! While there, look through the 60s Rambler wiring diagrams. They used much simpler wiring. Some governors have one wire, some two. A two wire can be used as a one by grounding the other terminal (the one grounds through the case). Rambler used examples of both, and I think the one wire is the simplest. All will work with either wiring. I prefer to use a power relay, as that big solenoid draws 20A when engaging (only about 10 to hold in). One of the Rambler systems deleted the relay, I forget which. Easy enough to wire in a power relay though.
WOW Now thats what I was looking for!! My Buddy Jeff gave me some similar info but not this indepth..That really opens my eyes up on what to look for...To tell you guys my story.. A couple years ago I finally went on line for the first time... I went around mainly looking for Buick web sights and forums on getting some help with parts and info for my 70 GS..As I cruised around not really knowing what I was doing I found a web sight www.v8Buick.com (If your a Buick guy here is a really good forum for guys with like interests) Anyway I was then turned on to Ebay for finding parts and selling stuff I don't need.. I was on there one day about a year later when I got a Question from a buyer.. "Is this a Sparks From Peshtigo Wi" I answered Yes it is.. Who is this.. This is Dave ***** ... This is a guy from high school that I used to hang around with that moved away.. I find out he only lives 15 miles away from me.. Very Cool!! He also is a Seller on Ebay and now we do everything together!! Car wise that is.. I also Have an engine rebuilder I sell parts for and a body man I look for parts for..
The body man does about 4 to 5 cars a year.. Get this, it is only him and one more guy.. They only do convertibles, four speed cars, and the rarest SS's.. Doesn't matter what condition they start out in they will be perfect when they are done.. Very hard to find parts for these cars..He just fixed a 1958 chev for a guy down in the valley.. This two door cam into the shop in two pieces.. Left in one..in 5 weeks he had it ready to paint.. Now mind you this car is not just ready to paint but all the parts were test fitted to fit with the correct gaps at the doors and fenders.. He just got a call from the guy and he said his bodyman says that this is the best fitting car he has ever seen..Very meticulous...I have one picture of a 66 impala he did not quite complete at the taking of the picture but I think you will get the idea..Thankyou for your information now I have to go do some research.. Thanks Again Randy
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Old 07-22-2006, 06:23 AM
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How can I post bigger pictures? These are all coming out as thumbnails?? Any help?? THankyou Randy
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:15 AM
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There's some good information posted above. The only thing I didn't see mentioned is how you engage the O/D while driving. There's a pull cable mounted under the dash on a '57 Chevy that allows you to use the O/D unit.

The buddy I bought my 150 Wagon from once owned a 210 2-door Sedan with 235 6 cylinder and O/D 3-speed transmission. He would use the O/D unit to slow the car and not using the brakes as much. Having the O/D unit on the car was like having extra gears out of a 3-speed transmission.

If you can find an original transmission, they are highly desired by purists.
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Old 07-23-2006, 06:27 PM
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I won't rehash what Farna said. Thanks

3 spd with overdrive was quite UNcommon option from 52-66 in Chevies and Fords, and other brands, cars and pickups. Even Ford 390 HIPO came with the BW T-85/OD as an option. (63 1/2 sports roof Galaxie 390 police interceptor with one !!!) Basicly a toploader three speed, very strong. Ford used them through 66 I know.

Back when I was a kid many people insisted that OD ruined your engine, that an engine had to turn 2800 rpm at 60 mph or be lugging. The folks with OD just snickered to themselves and got 3-4 mpg better mileage with no ill effects.

Any way, my buddy installed a 390 FE Ford T-85 OD and 9 inch in his deuce roadster several years ago and had an indestructable drivetrain. I haven't driven one in 6 years but here how it works.

The T handle under the dash, when pulled OUT, locks the planetary in direct drive. Pushing the handle IN, allowed the OD to work. The planetary unit is shifted out electricly using a kick down switch on the throttle for passing power. Backing off the gas in OD, makes it feel like an automatic trans, with no engine braking.

So what you had was 1, 2, 3, and then OD automaticly when the handle was in. Or you could wait and push the handle in later when you were ready.

Most of the 3-ODs were cruncher 1st gears.
Somebody makes the solenoid and switch for them (in 98), but don't remember who, right off.

The newest car I saw with one was a 66 Ford Fairlane 289, I know because I got it.


www.readershotrods.com

Last edited by xntrik; 07-23-2006 at 06:52 PM.
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