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Repairing Twin Stick overdrive

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al1630 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun/10/2019 at 1:52pm
My 1963 American has twin stick overdrive, but OD won't engage. Going faster than 30 mph (Manual says this is the cut in speed), I pull back on the stick, and absolutely nothing happens. No click from the solenoid, indicator light stays off, car stays in regular gear.

I ran through the tests in the TSM and was able to verify that the relay on the firewall and the transmission solenoid are both working by using a jumper wire to the battery. It seems like engaging the stick isn't giving the relay the signal to send power. What's the next component of the system to look at? Thanks!
1963 Rambler American 440H
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raysinvegas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/10/2019 at 5:42pm
You should never move the OD lever while you're moving. Only at a full stop. OD engages just by letting off the gas above 30mph. It will engage in 2nd or 3rd. Does your heater blower motor work? The OD fuse is tied into that circuit in my '64.
Andy Ray
64 440H
64 440 Convertible
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69 Javelin SST 343
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote al1630 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/10/2019 at 5:56pm
Yes, my heater blower works fine. I've also tried engaging it while stopped and still nothing. My owner's manual says that with the twin stick you can engage overdrive while the car is in motion though, is it better to not use it that way?
1963 Rambler American 440H
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pacerman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/10/2019 at 8:02pm
You can move the handle to engage overdrive with the car in motion, but the overdrive will not actually engage until you let up on the accelerator.   But be careful taking it out of overdrive with the handle when the car is moving.  The engine must be powering the car (not coasting) when you do that.  It is better to have the car sitting still when you disengage the overdrive.

You need to see if the overdrive solenoid is actually receiving a signal from the relay when the relay is signalling it to engage.  If the solenoid is receiving 12 volt power and it is not extending or withdrawing the solenoid plunger, the solenoid is bad.  It might take two people to confirm that, with the car up on secure jack stands.  Joe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote al1630 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/10/2019 at 9:07pm
When I run a jumper from the battery negative to a terminal on the relay as shown in the TSM, the relay closes and I can hear a click from under the car. I assume that click is the solenoid. Does that mean it's OK or do i still need to visually check to see if the solenoid is moving?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tomj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/10/2019 at 11:58pm
from memory... if this gets dicey i can go RTFM and help in detail as i went through the logic on my '63 American twin stick car and wired my own logic for the roadster, before i ditched it for a T5.

the relay has a fuse on it. it is high current and mine always looked rusty. see if that fuse is OK and has power on it's output side.

it's hard to hear the relay and solenoid operate with the engine running. for test purposes ONLY you can jumper the governor (i think just wire it to ground) so that you can operate OD ignition on/not running.

* when the conditions are correct power is applied to the solenoid. the solenoid has two windings in it; a high-current pull-in coil (20 amps) and a lower current holding coil. the solenoid has a switch in it that disconnects pull-in once it's pulled-in.

i agree that the TSM wiring diagrams are not the clearest.

the solenoid has contacts in it. they can be cleaned with a contact file. i think they're easily inspected under the top cover. those solenoids are getting scarce, i think all Borg Warner R1x ODs use it and there are many more non-ramblers out there with them than ramblers.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tomj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/11/2019 at 12:00am
ha!

did you check that the wire that the lever controls is actually moving the lever in the trans/OD?

it's fussy about the lever travel. if it doesn't go quite all the way it won't shift into OD. it's a solid wire into a little clevis, if the pin falls out or the wire slips it won't work. that would be easy to fix!



also -- has it been working all along and suddenly stopped? or is it new-to-you and never worked?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/11/2019 at 6:10am
With the Twin-Stick, you really don't use the second stick, only the first one (three speed shifter). The shorts stick is only for activating or locking out OD, just like the pull cable is for regular OD cars. As long as the OD is disengaged you can move the short stick and lock it out, but as noted, that's not a habit to get into as you could damage the OD unit. But, if you are in OD and decide you want to lock it out, you hit the button on top of the three speed shifter (the kick-down switch on TS) so that it kicks out of OD, then move the lever while it's out. Don't let off the accelerator until the lever is moved. The only reason to lock OD out is for engine braking in the mountains or towing/hauling heavy loads. For parking in gear or push starting as well. Most of the time you just leave it in the OD active position and use the parking brake. It won't roll backwards while parked in gear with OD active, but it will roll forward without the brake on or OD locked out.

From the sound of it I'd say the cable from the OD lever to the lever on the OD unit is frozen or broken. Check that first! That cable is hard to find, but an auto trans shift cable can be adapted. You'll need to pull the old cable and look at the ends to see what cable you'd need. Check that first. Then there are several vacuum and mechanical electric switches that all work in unison. If one or more of them are out it may not engage OD. Check the cable first, then I'll have to pull a manual to help more. I'm real familiar with the standard OD, but the TS shifting system is a bit different and I've not owned one. I'm sort of familiar with the operation (I have driven one), but the shifting control system is a different animal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote al1630 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/11/2019 at 7:36am
Thanks for the explanation. I'll see if I can check that cable, hopefully the fix ends up being that easy. The overdrive has never worked since I got the car, so it would be nice to finally have it.
1963 Rambler American 440H
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote al1630 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/11/2019 at 6:04pm
So should I be able to see something moving under the car when the stick is being moved back and forth? I had someone else move the stick while I looked under the car and didn't see anything moving.

The stick feels 'loose' like it isn't moving anything, just pivoting back and forth.
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