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ultramatic out 3 spd o/d in
#1
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gregc
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53 clipper ultramatic seems to come out of direct drive with light throttle 40 to 60 mph release gas and engine slows car as if direct drive is holding apply throttle to maintain speed seems ok apply a little throttle and direct drive seems to release (increased rpms)other than that the transmission is good, i can live with it as a sunday show car but this is my everyday driver. i know pressure testing the trans is the only way to see whats going on. now the question 3 speed w O/d i have a complete car to swap the rear gears are 4.1 3 spd and 3.54 ultra can i get away not swapping the rear end and any other problems. thanks

Posted on: 9/29 6:33
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Re: ultramatic out 3 spd o/d in
#2
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Gary49eight
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Greg, unless you are living in the Andes, a 3.54 should be fine. These engines have plenty of torque, the factory tended to undergrear the cars anyway, a legacy from the days of 20 inch wheels.
Gary49

Posted on: 9/29 6:53
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Re: ultramatic out 3 spd o/d in
#3
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JWL
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Using overdrive with a 3.54 axle ratio is going to end up with very high gearing. Probably not useful as it will lug the engine too much. Install the trans and od, but not use the od. The Ultramatic gearing will make the car enjoyable to use at highway speeds. The only downside is you will need to do more shifting when driving int traffic. Not a big concern. You will need to do something about the speedometer drive gear as it will read slower than the actual speed and the odometer will be inaccurate too. Either fit one for the axle ratio you have or just be aware of the difference in reading.

Posted on: 9/29 11:35
We move toward
And make happen
What occupies our mind... (W. Scherer)
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Re: ultramatic out 3 spd o/d in
#4
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Owen_Dyneto
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Based on considerable driving experience in a 1953 Caribbean with std shift and OD but with the 3.54 rear axle, to make best use of the OD and for better performances at lower speeds I recommend you install the correct rear axle gearing (4.1).

Posted on: 9/29 15:39
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Re: ultramatic out 3 spd o/d in
#5
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gregc
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i thought the same thing 3 speed but not use the o/d . im impressed with the power the 288 puts out and i dont mind shifting a little more. the o/d was engineered with 4.1 for a reason for all around usability .thank you guys for all your opinions.

Posted on: 9/29 20:05
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Re: ultramatic out 3 spd o/d in
#6
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Phil Randolph
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If you are anywhere near RI I have a nice 4:06 rear end sitting in my back yard

Posted on: 9/30 7:03
1938 1601 Club Coupe
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Re: ultramatic out 3 spd o/d in
#7
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Tim Cole
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I remember driving those Ultramatics and those motors were cranking hard with the 3.54. Of course that doesn't mean much without supporting numbers which I have in hand. At an actual 60 mph the typical Ultramatic car was turning over at around 2800 rpm. I had an old Dodge with an overdrive trans and it turned over less than 2400 at actual 60. And that was a near oversquare motor so the wear index was low. The Packard with it's long stroke undersquare has a sky high wear index at 2800 rpm. Probably close to twice that of the Dodge. I used to drive that Dodge from Philadelphia to Miami non-stop. On the Indian Nation and the Will Rogers Turnpikes in Oklahoma I ran the crap out it. That car was the ultimate on a long trip.

So the R-11 ( correct me if that's wrong) with the .72 overdrive and 3.54 brings that 2800 down to around 2000 at true 60 mph, with the 4.10 you get 2300 which is a lot more relaxed but still a high wear index. However, the conventional trans ratio with an overdrive has the motor cranking around 2200. So the main benefit of the 4.10 ratio is faster acceleration because the internal transmission ratios don't change. The overdrive is strictly an add on.

The earlier overdrives were .61 and puts the rpm down to 1708 with the 3.54 ratio at true sixty which is probably tall for a 288 motor, except I'd rather wind gears in exchange for the higher axle ratio. With the 3.9 the result is 1900, and 2000 for the 4.1 ratio. Packard claimed 2078 for the 4.1 ratio in a 22nd series Super so these numbers should be reasonable.

Posted on: 9/30 17:49
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Re: ultramatic out 3 spd o/d in
#8
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Phil Randolph
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I adapted an R11 to my 38 with the 282 motor. I rigged up a tach and using the GPS I came up with 2500 RPM giving me 66 MPH with my stock 4:36 rear end.

Posted on: 9/30 18:59
1938 1601 Club Coupe
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Re: ultramatic out 3 spd o/d in
#9
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su8overdrive
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Gary49eight and Tim Cole give you especially good advice, and i bow to all the experienced posters.

Remember, our cars are a legacy from when high gear flexibility the mark of refinement, even in the nascent days of automatic transmissions, a device many of us never cared for, a convenience feature having nothing to do with performance, we seeing Packards first as road cars, luxe or not. 1936-37 Cords, same bore/stroke as your 288, did well with a 2.75:1 4th gear. Your 288--a woefully unsung, gutsy, dependable mill-- has more power, torque than the Cord's 288 V-8. Unless you're a Sumo wrestler with a carload of junk in the mountains, it's indeed hard to over gear a Packard.

A lifelong Packard friend (70+ East Grandees pre- and postwar, junior and senior since high school) and i have in our mechanically identical '42 160 conv. and '47 Super Clipper, the slightly taller 3.92 non-overdrive cog in our OD cars,which left the factory with 4.09:1, he knowing a fellow happy on the Ohio hills with a 3.54 axle and overdrive in his '40 180 Darrin of equal weight. A fellow in Santa Monica says he enjoys the 3.54 axle and overdrive in his '47 Custom Super limousine on a 148" wb, so toured much of the western US with wife, three teenage daughters and all the luggage customary with the distaff.

The key is not pulling too much manifold pressure, "lugging." If you can't feel when your foot's too far into the carb, install a manifold vacuum gauge, a once popular accessory, back again in the late '70s gas "crisis" as fuel economy gauge. You want a free-running engine, but remember, your 288's maximum torque is at 2,000 rpm.

You could order a 1940-41 Chrysler Saratoga/New Yorker with 3.54 and overdrive. A bone stock '51 Lincoln sport sedan, 4,375-lb curb weight, won that year's Mobilgas Economy Run Sweepstakes award with a 66.484 ton mpg, 25.488 mpg with a 3.36 HydraMatic cog and overdrive. Motor Trend's respected editor Griff Borgeson put nearly 1,000 traffic, desert, mountain miles on the car, but despite expecting sluggish performance, cited the 336.7-ci L-head truck- engined Lincoln "one of the best cars on the market today, in every way."

My old mechanic, who joined his ancestors last New Year's Eve at 96, ran motor pools in the War II Pacific, then worked at Packard, Hudson, GM dealerships before starting his own business in the late '50s, said some Hudson owners after the war asked for slightly taller non-overdrive pumpkins in their OD cars the better for California's then wide open, less traveled spaces. I assume the same was occasionally done at Packard dealerships, just as your 288 and 327s were installed in pre-'48s needing major engine work. The '40 120 i had 1974-83 left the factory with no OD, so 4.09 instead of the even stumpier 4.36 in OD editions. Adding overdrive gave me the same final drive, 2.95:1, as blown Cords, superchargers liking rpm, which is why Connersville didn't use the unblown cars' 2.75.

I once got 22.5 mpg running 32 psi Denman bias plies, much of it at 60-65, in '40 120, which had the optional tach Packard offered for 1939 in place of the clock to dramatically demonstrate the efficacy of their first year overdrive, and about time, Chrysler having it since '34, OD standard equipment in all 1936-38 Pierce-Arrows.

GM never offered OD 'til the '55 Chevy. Packard should've much sooner in every line, six through Twelve, but then East Grand was the GM of the fine car biz and it takes a certain amount of sense to use OD. So keep it simple and sell more cars at higher profit margin, per GM.

Order a back issue of Special Interest Autos, #144, December, 1994, from Hemmings (800) 227-4373. SIA was replaced by the lackluster Hemmings Classic Car. See #144's Down to the Interstate in Ships: Modern Speed in Vintage Iron. Same issue contains driveReport of a '47 Custom Super, '36 LaSalle/'36 Olds comparisonReport.


You can always kick down into under drive or second gear overdrive, but it's a real drag to run out of gears, something i felt driving the 48,414-mile '51 Ultramatic 200 long ago owned. Much more relaxing burbling at fast idle on the back roads, or turning only 2,000 rpm at 62 mph freeway as my '47 does; slightly lower piston speed but higher road speed at a given rpm than an F-head Bentley R- or S-Type Continental. Confirmed by period Stewart-Warner tach and the result of rpm x tire circumference in feet divided by the product of overall final drive ratio x 88. Assuming 7.60 x 15 tires on your '53, 3.54 in overdrive will give you between 67-68mph.

Remember something lost on most old domestic car guys: Weight is the enemy. Also, drum brakes good by '50s, even '60s, '70s standards no match for today's four-wheel discs w/ ABS and a public texting, tweeting, yacking on cellphones.

To that end, Monday, October 4th is Broderick Crawford Day. The entire episode good, but if rushed, fast forward to 25:20: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4NqCHX7uJM

Posted on: 10/1 22:57
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Re: ultramatic out 3 spd o/d in
#10
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JeromeSolberg
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I know with the 3.54 in the Ultramatic, which is direct drive, the engine seems to call out for an overdrive gear at highway speeds.

Posted on: 10/2 12:08
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