standard Transmision

can i remove the overdrive on my Transmision and use it as a regular Transmision without overdrive??  i have a 1048 super six


  • Geoff
    Geoff Senior Contributor
    No you cannot.  You would have to replace with a standard transmission.  Wondering why you would want to do that?
  • because my overdrive is stuck in free wheeling, will not disengage. can not get it in reverse.
  • Overdrive is a wonderful feature on old long stroke engines. As Geoff says it is strange to see anyone want to remove one. 

    Yes, you can remove the complete OD transmission and install a standard 3 speed, but you will need to lengthen your driveshaft. 

    If you are really thinking about unbolting the OD transmission (for a swap) it makes much more sense to instead open it up and repair whatever is wrong with it and then have it function as it should. They are incredibly simple mechanisms. 
  • Jon B
    Jon B Administrator
    I am not acquainted with the post-1940 overdrives, so please forgive my ignorance.  Can you no longer pull the OD knob all the way out, (which would disable overdrive and make the transmission act like a normal 3-speed)?

    First, though: the problem might lie somewhere other than the transmission or overdrive unit.  It might be as basic as a shift lever problem.  Easily tested.

    Can you in fact move the gearshift lever into all its positions?  (1, 2, 3, Neutral, Reverse)?  If the lever itself isn't working, you need to isolate the shift linkage from the transmission itself, to see whether the problem's in the transmission of the linkage.

    The trick would be to detach the linkage (coming down from the shift lever) from the actual lever and cable connection on the top or side of the transmission itself.  Once you've done that, you can try again to move the shift lever into its different positions.  If it will NOW work, then we can be pretty sure that there's something wrong with the transmission -- or maybe even the electrical components --  but at least the linkage is okay.  If however you STILL cannot move the gearshift into all its position, your problem is with the gearshift linkage.  

    (With any luck a qualified Hudson Transmission Person can step in here...)
  • Jon B
    Jon B Administrator
    edited November 2022
    Here's an old Forum discussion by someone whose overdrive kept locking him out of reverse.  (Related to your problem, maybe?) 

     The culprit appears to have been a solenoid that was perhaps installed incorrectly:

    Apparently he solved his own problem so it might be worth looking at.
  • it stays in free wheeling mode, can not shift into reverse the cable you push in and out is working??
  • 50SuperFalcon
    50SuperFalcon Member
    edited November 2022
    It sounds like you need to just do an over all check of your od and make sure everything moves , sounds like mentioned previously things are getting jammed in the shift linkage.
    have you checked weather or not your cut out is functioning properly?(should hear a click at ~18 when slowing down ) 
    is the solenoid on the od frozen in the engaged position ? 

    Just some food for thought , I myself am just learning these Hudson ods but shift linkage is shift linkage and solenoids are solenoids . 
    Good luck 
  • Jon B
    Jon B Administrator
    One possibility:  The way to lock O.D. out, and go to 3-speed direct-drive mode, is to pull the OD knob out all the way.

    Even though you may be doing that, the cable (which comes from the knob) may not be pulling the lever (on the side of the OD transmission) all the way to its limit.

    Get under the car so you have a good view of where the control cable is clamped to the control lever on the transmission.  Then, have someone inside the car, pull the OD knob all the way out, and push it all the way in.  As this is being done, carefully observe the movement of the cable and its connection to the lever on the trans.   When the knob is pulled all the way out, the lever on the transmission should move all the way to its limit.

      However, if the clamp holding the cable hits the sheathing before the lever has moved to its limit, you need to re-clamp the cable  to the lever so that the lever moves its full travel before it hits the sheathing.  

    Likewise, when you push the knob all the way into the dashboard  (or bracket), the lever on the trans. should move its full travel in the other direction.  If the knob has been pushed all the way in, yet the lever hasn't moved all the way, then the OD may not be locked out -- and your car will remain in free wheeling.

    It's best to unclamp the cable from the lever, then re-clamp the cable to it so that the clamp always moves its full travel when the knob is either pushed or pulled.  So, for instance, when you've pushed in the knob, about 1/8" of the cable will be visible protruding from within the sheathing, under the dash.  The reason you couldn't push anymore, is because the lever itself has reached the limits of its travel -- it wasn't the knob itself contacting the sheathing, that stopped the lever movement.
  • After the driving force leaves the 3 speed gear box, it goes to a freewheeling-overrunning clutch. (the overrunning aspect allows the output to turn faster than the input when in OD) 

    Simple description:
    When OD is not engaged (solenoid NOT pushing in) it gives the freewheeling experience that most people are familiar with.  When the transmission is "in OD" the sun gear is held and the planetary set makes the OD ratio and the freewheeling is not experienced. 

    (Testing to find out if the freewheeling functions as it should, is the main diagnostic test of an OD transmission)

    The existence of the freewheeling clutch means that a problem develops when the transmission is shifted into reverse. IF the over running clutch is in a freewheeling situation, then the car cannot back up as the output shaft from the transmission will be "freewheeling" (because it is going backwards) and cannot transfer power to the output shaft. 

    To make reverse possible, Inside the transmission gear box is rod that is pushed by the shift linkage when the transmission is placed into reverse. This rod passes out of the gearbox into the OD area and pushes the parts that "lock out" the freewheeling clutch.  The processes is identical to pulling out the cable on the dash.  

    You have not described the situation that caused your car to not shift into reverse. What happened when you suddenly could not shift into reverse?  

    As described above getting under the car and operating the Lock out lever on the OD to verify if it is free and moves forward and back through its entire arc should be done first.  

    If it swings fully forward and fully backward, then jack up the read end and allow the driveshaft to turn freely.  
    1. Will the driveshaft turn freely BOTH directions when the transmission is in neutral? 
    2. Push the cable fully IN (lockout lever fully toward rear bumper) 
    3. Now put the transmission in third. The driveshaft should turn freely on ONE DIRECTION and be locked in the other direction. (3rd gear, cable in, it should NOT be locked in both directions) If it does not freewheel in one direction you have problem inside the transmission and will most need to remove and disassemble it. 

    You have not mentioned it but by any chance, have you removed the solenoid??  

    If you did remove it, did you install it properly???    

    The solenoid is installed in the transmission in a twisted position. The 2 bolts that hold the solenoid should NOT line up with the holes in the transmission as the solenoid is inserted. (they should be 90 degrees out of alignment)  Only with the solenoid in this twisted position you can properly put the solenoid shaft into the transmission.
    THEN once inserted, you twist the solenoid to line up with the bolt holes. 

    TEST the installation - Before you bolt it in place, PULL ON IT. You should NOT be able to pull the solenoid out of the transmission You should feel it pull against the spring in the solenoid If these conditions are met, then install the two solenoid bolts. 

    IF you simply shove the solenoid into transmission without the twisting motion, you will drive the pawl into the blocking ring and then when bolted, the transmission will be locked into OD!  If this occurs then it blocks the rod that runs from the gear box to the OD unit. and you will not be able to shift into reverse. . . . 
  • lostmind
    lostmind Expert Adviser
    Great explanation--^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
  • It started with the gears were    grinding,when trying to put in reverse, i turned the engine of, then put it in reverse, when i restarted it it made a clunking sound and the moved backwards, it will not go in reverse unless i turn of the motor??
  • the car is at normal idle speed
  • For clarification. . . .

    Can you easily shift the lever between all the gears when the engine is off?  

    With the engine off is it easier to shift between the gears with the clutch depressed?

    With the engine running (at idle as you have said) Can you depress the clutch and move the lever between ALL the gears? or all the gears EXCEPT reverse?  (a prior post from you talked about how you cant shift between first and reverse) 

    With the lever put into first or reverse and your foot on the clutch, can you easily start the engine? OR does the car try to move forward or back as you crank it with the starter? 

    By clearly understanding the above it will help to narrow the problem down to issues with the; clutch or the shift linkage or the transmission. 

  • I can only shift the car when engine is off, after restarting the car jerks with a thump, then it moves, but i can not shift in reverse unless i turn of the ignition, also will not release from overdrive
  • with the engine of, i can shift in all gears but reverse is difficult.
  • Jon B
    Jon B Administrator
    Just to clarify:  when you say, "car will not release from overdrive", are you saying that you are unable to pull the overdrive knob out (thus locking out overdrive)?  In other words the knob (and cable) are jammed in the "in" position?

    Earlier, you stated: "...can not shift into reverse the cable you push in and out is working??"  Don't understand that statement.  The cable is working? Or is not?

    If indeed you can pull the OD knob in and out, are you sure that the cable itself (which is attached to the knob) is actually moving the lever on the transmission?  Or, could the cable have become detached from the lever on the transmission?  (In which case, you are able to push & pull the OD knob, but it's not moving anything on the OD.)

    Just want to make dead sure that we understand exactly what's going on with the OD knob!
  • lostmind
    lostmind Expert Adviser
    There should be a reverse lock out switch on your transmission that disables the solenoid. I believe its activated by a rail in the transmission , but mounts outside.
    Wiring or bad switch could be the problem.
  • Courtesy Man
    Courtesy Man Expert Adviser
    My comment may be incorrect but is there a chance that solenoid or govenor may have had a leak past the seal and the points fouled? Disabling the unit?
  • Is your clutch not releasing? Almost sounds like that , if it clunks when you are trying to shift it with the engine running.

  • Jon B
    Jon B Administrator
    Red Rider, did you previously have this car running, with the clutch and transmission in good order?  Or, has it had this problem ever since you've owned it?
  • I had the same problem with my 49, +300 miles from home and I was parked in a spot at a restaurant.   Had to flag down a tow truck driver(best $20 I ever spent) who picked the rearend up and once I could drive the car forward it freed something up cause then I was able to pull the cable and get it out of overdrive and reverse like normal.   Haven’t had the problem since and that was 10 years ago.  This doesn’t solve your problem but I’m interested in what the outcome will be, good luck 
  • JOHN B. all the wiring to the overdrive, has been disconnected,since i have owned the car, it use to shift ok, one day i put it in overdrive, and the problems started then, it will not release in free wheeling mode. and shifting became difficult will nt go in reverse unless i turn of the engine??
  • Claude you can have the transmission out the 49 that you got the other parts from. Ed
  • "with the engine off, I can shift in all gears but reverse is difficult."

    OK that is a start. Diagnosis is a process of elimination. This means that the shift linkage is connected and is moving the gears inside the transmission.  This is good. 

    "all the wiring to the overdrive, has been disconnected, since I have owned the car"

    OK This means that your overdrive is not working, is not capable of working and will never work (until all the wires and relays have been repaired) So lets forget about "overdrive" for now. 

    One big question that you have not answered AND IS IMPORTANT. 
    There is a cable under the dash. It feeds under the car and moves a little lever on the back end/side of the transmission.   
    Does this cable actually move this lever forward and backward when it is pushed-pulled??

    The reason it is important: As I described above, the OD freewheeling unit must be locked out in order to drive backwards.  This can be accomplished two ways. 

    1. Pulling the cable out - and having the cable flip the lever from pointing toward the rear bumper to pointing toward the front bumper. 

    2. When the transmission is shifted into reverse there is a rod inside the transmission that is pushed into to freewheeling unit that locks the unit. The process is EXACTLY as if you pulled out the cable.  

    There are springs inside the assembly that are compressed when this happens.

    On any overdrive transmission IF the cable is pulled out before shifting into reverse then the springs are already compressed and moving the shift lever into reverse is easier because the springs are already compressed.  (see why the position of that little lever is important?)  With the cable out (lever flipped forward) The movement of the shift lever into reverse will be slightly easier whether the engine is running or not. 

    It is hard for me to diagnosis what might be wrong inside your transmission from what you have said, but moving that lever forward will lock out the entire OD mechanism and you will essentially have a standard non-overdrive transmission. 

    So, please test the OD control cable and climb under your car to verify that the cable has in fact moved the lever forward. 
    Then tell us what happens when you try to shift into reverse. 

  • Jon B
    Jon B Administrator
    edited November 2022
    Not meaning to run this into the ground, but:  as M_mman suggests, make sure the control cable is moving the lever all the way, in both directions.

    Here's a photo of a 1940 OD (slightly different from post-1940 overdrives).  There is an "inset photo" in the upper right corner, showing the dashboard knob.

    The control cable is #73 and is held in the clamp #74, which is at the bottom of the lever (#64).  The sheathing (outer layer of the cable) is shown at right and is held by the clamp at right (which comes off the transmission at a slight angle).   When you pull the dash cable all the way out, lever #64 should move fully until it hits its limit within the transmission.  It should NOT hit any part of the transmission, the sheathing clamp or the end of the sheathing itself.  If it does, then it is not traveling all the way. 
    Likewise, when the knob is pushed all the way in, lever #64 should move clockwise to the end of its travel.  But if the dashboard knob has bottomed out, it may not be allowing lever #64 to move its full travel.

    Look at the inset photo (upper right) -- photo of the dashboard knob pushed in (enabling OD to work when you let up on the accelerator).  There should be a full 1/8" of travel left on the knob's shaft, before the knob bottoms out on the bracket that holds the sheathing.  If that 1/8" is not there, then the cable may not have pushed the lever (on the transmission) far enough to enable overdrive.

  • is it posible that the wrong fluid is in the overdrive unit, i read somewhere only use miniral oil??
  • If the OD is not hooked up electrically, it won’t work. Please reread the posts above.