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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-27-2005 09:44 AM
farna GSHOOLEY, the OD isn't hard to check out of the car. The test below assumes the OD unit is still on the transmission. If not, you'll need to stick something in where the trans output shaft enters the OD so the unit can be turned. A broom handle or dowel with a slight taper on the end can be jammed in easy enough.

1. Push the lever on the side of the OD unit forward. This is the "lock-out" lever.

2. Put the transmission in high gear (1:1) and turn the input shaft. With the OD locked out the output of the OD should turn at the same speed as the input shaft.

3. Turn the output shaft of the OD. The input shaft of the trans should turn at the same speed.

4. Now push the lock-out lever to the rear. Turn the input shaft of the trans -- the output shaft should turn at the same speed again since the OD unit hasn't kicked in.

5. Now turn the output shaft of the OD. The trans input shaft SHOULD NOT turn! If it does, hold the input shaft and turn the OD output. The input shaft SHOULD NOT turn.

If the input shaft turns with the lock-out lever in OD, one of two things is wrong -- the one-way clutch is hung up or the planetary gearset is brocken and jammed inside the drum gear attached to the output shaft. It is rare that the one-way clutch is broken. If to much torque is applied when the planetary is oging into or coming out of OD, one of the planetary shafts will break, letting the gear fall out of place and jamming the unit. The planetary set and the drum gear/output shaft (they are made together as a unit) must be replaced. That's why the unit won't go into OD until you let off the gas pedal a bit, and why the solenoid shorts out the coil for a split second before going out of OD. If you just wire power to the solenoid the unit will work, but you have to make SURE you are coasting or use the clutch to shift out of OD. That means no quick drops out of OD for accelerating, which can be dangerous, but should be no worse than downshifting a manual trans. Just hit the clutch before the power switch, and give it a half second to drop out of OD.

A friend of my father's who used to burn the streets up in a 50 Ford w/built 312 T-bird engine and OD would blow one occsionally when he'd forget to lock it out before street racing. At high speed in second he'd quickly shift into third and the OD would try to come in during the shift. The OD takes just a slight bit more time to engage than the clutch. With the OD just starting to engage the clutch was let out and throttle on the floor, popping the planetary shafts. When this happens the OD just jams, leaving the tranny a standard three speed with no high gear any more. At least it doesn't strand you!

For an easier to read wiring diagram check this AMC site: Click on "Tech Info" then scroll down to the "Electrical" section. You'll find a couple early 60s Rambler OD diagrams. The 1950s wiring for some cars, as in the manual from the website in a previous post, is a bit complicated. The Rambler diagrams are much easier to follow.
12-26-2005 11:23 AM
cooling this sucker should be easy

hope this reply comes in time to help you with your wrecker. sounds like youve got one heck of a nice set up, have you ever thought about plumbing in a simple trans cooler to the drain and fill holes? that would add about half a quart of fluid and it would circulate itself by heat if you left it ether below the trans or to the side of it. kinda like on the big trucks just let gravity do the work. dont know how much room you have to play with but it wouldn't be to bad of a hook up.
12-26-2005 11:07 AM
every trans is marked with the % reduction

i'm by no meens an expert but with the research i've done today i've noticed there all marked with the percent on the side mine is a19%2 with a number r10k1 complete down to the solanoid and spedo even has the origional levers from the shifter. but no shifter
12-26-2005 10:54 AM
who wants a photo of the r10?

i'm getting ready to list this trans on ebay but i want to find the particulars if anyone wants a good pic of it e-mail me at this is an electric overdrive 3-4 spd and if anyone can cross reference some numbers id love to hear from you this is a gm version
12-24-2005 07:57 PM
Originally Posted by 0L50GMC
I have heard and read here that it is possible to install a BW OD from a 3 speed trans to a 4 speed Saginaw. I have been told that it's just a matter of moving parts from one trans to the other. Has anybody done this? Any help or advise, either negative or positive, on doing this conversion would be greatly appreciated.

No, the case and the guts of an R-10 is totally unique and no part is interchangable or can be "put in" a regular 3-speed or 4-speed case. Even the case for the o.d. is unique. It's possible that it could be connected with a 3-speed (that's what was initially done), maybe it's possible with a 4 speed, but the critical part that is need is a main shaft that would hook up correctly with the o.d..
12-24-2005 07:35 PM
R-10 OD to Saginaw 4 sp

I have heard and read here that it is possible to install a BW OD from a 3 speed trans to a 4 speed Saginaw. I have been told that it's just a matter of moving parts from one trans to the other. Has anybody done this? Any help or advise, either negative or positive, on doing this conversion would be greatly appreciated.
12-23-2005 10:08 AM
R10 Borg-Warner

I checked the Farna web site and they had an article in Issue #19 Dec 2001 about a 55-Nash OD. I couldn't find anything else. I picked up a spare U-joint with a six-spline end. I'm going to weld a old 1/2" drive socket to it so I can spin the OD unit with my air gun. Since I had a leak at the back of the OD, I hope there was enough oil left in the OD so the pinion assembly didn't
lock up. I did get a condensed R10 manual from web site. The electrical drawing in the manual is not very intuitive, so I redrew it. If anyone wants a PDF copy let me know. The manual tells you how it should operate, how to disassemble & reassemble the OD, but it doesn't cover how to test it out when it's out of the car.
12-22-2005 09:05 PM
GCD1962 Farna covers the unit pretty well. They don't automatically go into OD at 25-30 mph, you have the let up on the gas very slightly to activate the solonoid.
I have the orignal set up in two of my cars - a '50 Frazer and a '53 Kaiser Traveler. With the original set up; solonoid, cut-out relay, governor, kick-down switch, and rail switch (and all the wiring harness) they are fabulous units. The one on my Frazer shifts so smoothly you can hardly detect it sifting to o.d. By-passing the original setup can lead to a look of problems if the sequence of shifting is not in sequence. Also, I wouldn't beat them to hard as they were mostly used in low h.p., low torque engines for the time period. Many years ago I had a '46 Merc coupe with '56 Buick engine, 3-2s, headers and a Columbia Two-Speed Rear - that unit is another story!
12-22-2005 12:24 PM
Old Posts:

I have read thru the old posts on this thread, but it didn't help me. I have the entire rear end/ drivshaft out of the car because beside a clutch spring going south, I also had a leak at the rear of the "R10". I took the end bell off the overdrive and made a gasket for it and reassembled the overdrive. I tried to manually drive the OD to see if indeed it will work. By either manually energizing the solenoid or by shoving a dowel rod up the solenoid hole, I can feel the pawl engaging into the sun gear and when I manualyl drive the torque tube but when I slow down and rev back up, the OD stays in 1:1. The only thing I can think of is that I might need some resistance at the output shaft to force the blocking plate to engage the pinion cage.
I'm trying to find out before I put the whole rear end back in, that I have a problem.
12-20-2005 01:23 PM
farna Did you read all the previous messages GSHOOLEY? Go back and do so, you'll find that there was some good info posted (mostly by me, but not all). Not trying to bust your chops, meant above in a friendly manner!

Because of the possibility of blowing out the planetray gears, seal issues, and reverse problem (can't backup if in OD), I wouldn't use one. Instead, I'd get a beefy old three speed tranny and mount THAT behind the transmission. Remove first and reverse gears from the trans so there is only 2nd and 3rd. You'll need to cut the input shaft of the tranny down and make a slip coupling between the output of the original trans and the cut down input of the second trans. In 3rd (direct drive) everything is as normal. When in 2nd, you have a lower range.

So how does this replace an OD? Change the rear axle to a high gear. Instead of running a 3.73 or 4.11 gear, run a 2.50-3.08. You may need to put the second trans in 2nd gear to take off, then shift to third for driving. For short trips just leave in third. Shifting the second trans is easy -- either use a solenoid and electric switch, or use a heavy duty choke cable. Pull for one gear, push for the other. Just don't shift whith your foot on the gas, vehicle should be "coasting" with no "bind" on the trans at all -- accelerating or braking. Would be a great for a street/strip car! For a 4x4, leave first and reverse. Both trannys in reverse would make an ultra low granny gear!

Shifting gets complicated if both shift levers are used though. You want to remove first and reverse to prevent accidentally slipping into those gears for one thing, to reduce drag inside the trans for another. Leaving in first/reverse could get you in trouble, and you'd have to mess with two cables (one in neutral, the other in gear) or figure something more complicated out.
12-19-2005 01:21 PM
R10 Overdrive

Originally Posted by packratwrecker
Who's the authority on the old B-W R10's, that were used by nearly everyone(at some point), from the 30's, to the 60's?
I'm using one, as an auxiliary, behind a TH400, and having some seal issues.

I'd like to chat at someone that's familiar with the guts of these things.

I haven't been on for a while, but I'll be checking back, to see if there is anyone around with thoughts.
I'm new to this forum, so I don't know if you got a good reply to this post. I have a R10 sectioned to the torpedo tube of my 1940 ford coupe. It was never installed right so I am wondering if you got any good feed back.
04-28-2005 07:54 AM
packratwrecker Leo,
The only problem, is that there are no really good swap meets around here, close. The best one I attend, is the Sunflower A's Swap Meet, at the Kansas Coliseum in Wichita. That is a 190 mile trip. The last 3 years, I've been there, and so far, the only one I could have bought right, is the one under my ramp truck.

I've been scouring eBay, and found some that were reasonable, until you add shipping. I don't have to tell you what it costs to ship a 125lb transmission.
04-27-2005 12:16 AM
Old School Nut yeah I know what ya mean.. I passed one up at a swap meet this last weekend for 50 dollars... I am so cheap.... lol you should go to swap meets to look for them trannys tho, I musta seen 6 or more of them old OD's their! no saginaws tho, most were the old chevy units, and their were a few ford ones...

04-26-2005 01:08 PM
packratwrecker I've got 1 complete SM318 O/D, at my shop. Seems like every other brother's buddy had one of these, until I started looking for one.
I'd love to have a few more. At least one friend of mine wants me to build a conversion for him.
Guess I'm a cheapo, but I can't see giving over $100 for something I'm going to cut up, and throw the big half away.
I passed on one that I should have pounced on. There was a Saginaw 3+O/D, on eBay last week. I think it went for $125.
04-22-2005 10:11 AM
farna The units were usually connected in such a way that they shared lube with the tranny. All the gears churning would heat that up too, so you should be fine. When locked out of Od there is only two bearings turning. When in OD the planetary gears are moving around their shafts and inside the drum. Just that little bit of oil should be fine. You could easily rig a convection circulating external tank. Drill a hole in your front cover right above the high fluid mark with the trans cold, and another around the 1/4 full mark. Connect hoses to a small tank... I think it should be at the same level as the unit. As the fluid heats up it would run into the reservoir and cooler oil would be drawn in from the lower tube. But I don't think it's necessary.

Just be careful cutting out of OD! As fas as I know the unit should be fine running in OD all the time, just don't pop the clutch and do any burn outs with it unless locked out! I'd also cut OD off if pulling a heavy load, at least for takeoff. If you run across another unit you might want to pick it up, even if it's from a different make. The planetary set should be the same, as well as the output shaft (though the splines could be different, I don't think so -- should be the same as Borg Warner T-10 output/yoke, also used on large three speeds and the bigger BW auto trannys). The input splines will be different though. If it goes the planetary set and output shaft (drum is made onto the shaft) will be trashed.
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