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(1) 2 »

Is overdrive really necessary?
#1
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flackmaster
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I'm sure that at one time or another we have returned to a string to see what replies are to comments we have made, or are following. Recently, Sloride75 updated his project blog with the following report -

...haven't posted to my blog in a while so I figured I'd update it.

When I first started driving my car, around a year ago, there was drivetrain noise when coasting to a stop. I figured out it was coming from the overdrive unit, so I locked out the O/D. Of course the cable and yoke was rusted up, so this wasn't easy. I finally drained the sludge out of the transmission and o/d unit, and filled with fresh gear oil. However, I never tended to the lockout cable. This weekend I finally removed the lockout cable and engaged the o/d lever on the unit, and learned via my other thread that the wires attached to the lockout cable must be connected to complete the circuit for the overdrive to operate.

I drove the car to and from work yesterday and, WOW! What a difference the overdrive makes. The car feels so much more refined. Overdrive operation is nearly imperceptible! I am blow away at how smooth the operation is. With overdrive engaged, I can not hear the engine at 50 mph, whereas before I felt 50 was about as fast as I wanted to sustain for any amount of time. The free-wheel/coast makes the car so much smoother, since lifting off the accelerator no longer induces engine braking. Before, I spent almost no time in second gear - in fact it wasn't uncommon for me to shift from first to third. Now that I have second gear overdrive, it's much more usable. I don't drive my car on the freeway, so I didn't think I was missing much by having overdrive locked out, but now I'm kicking myself that I didn't do this sooner!

As always, thank you Packardinfo!

I am including my reply and starting this string in the hopes the title will allow the message to reach a wider audience than within the project blog, hence my reply included here.

#172 Re: Howdy
flackmaster Posted ...

...another convert to The Church of the Holy Overdrive.

Go forth and preach.

Posted on: 2014/11/4 14:53
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Re: Is overdrive really necessary?
#2
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HH56
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It is interesting that more cars didn't have OD. Am assuming by post war times it was a well proven accessory for most mfgs so wouldn't think that would factor in too much.

As evidenced by that invoice for a 46 Deluxe posted it was roughly an $80 option. On the base car price of $1750 (for an inexpensive model) that works out to a little over an extra 2% of the purchase price. I guess that was a fairly decent amount then. The typical established Packard buyer probably wouldn't blink but maybe those new and younger customers on the way up would. Being a relatively expensive option might explain why there were not more cars so equipped in spite of the benefits.

Posted on: 2014/11/4 15:15
Howard
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Re: Is overdrive really necessary?
#3
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Owen_Dyneto
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Sure it's nice to have, more so today than when many Packards were built, but I don't know that it's ever really "necessary", lots of folks tour extensively in Packards of all vintages without it. I'd also think there might be some variation with regard to body style, for example Formal Sedans rarely went beyond city limits or urban areas. I'd guess that, once roads were built to allow higher speeds, buyers would be more likely to buy overdrive if they lived in the open flatlands. For Packards that spent most of their lives close to home it's not really of any significant benefit.

Who was first with OD, Chrysler in the 1st series Airflow?

Posted on: 2014/11/4 16:23
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Re: Is overdrive really necessary?
#4
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Dave Kenney
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I must admit that I remember when the legal speed limit on highways was 50 MPH. Even today where I live the legal speed limit is still only 55MPH even on our newly reconstructed 4 lane sections of the Trans-Canada Highway. Hardly speeds that would challenge any 1930' s let alone a 1955-56 Packard I imagine. No real need for OD unless you did long distance touring on the Great Plains, Nevada deserts or the Canadian prairies where the landscape is flat for miles and miles and roads are straight. Nevertheless I really enjoyed the feature on my 1947 Super Clipper. It allowed me the luxury of staying with Interstate traffic and cruise quietly and seemingly effortlessly.

Posted on: 2014/11/4 18:27
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Re: Is overdrive really necessary?
#5
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Phil Randolph
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I live in a rural part of RI and I go to a number of cruise nights a local shows. Also the wife and I just go for a drive and I always leave my OD engaged. Speeds range from 30 to 55 MPH. My engine isn't working nearly as hard as it was before I installed the OD tranny. I love it.

Posted on: 2014/11/4 21:24
1938 1601 Club Coupe
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Re: Is overdrive really necessary?
#6
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PackardV8
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Just out of curiosity, do any of the OD equiped cars tend to loose speed pulling a long hill at say 50 to 60 mph???

Posted on: 2014/11/4 21:58
VAPOR LOCK demystified: See paragraph SEVEN of PMCC documentaion as listed in post #11 of the following thread:f
https://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=7245
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Re: Is overdrive really necessary?
#7
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PackardV8
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If anyone will post the ACTUAL diameter of wheel and tire as measured with a tape measure or yard stick AND the Over drive ratio i'll calculate the engine rpm for 10 mph increments.

Posted on: 2014/11/4 22:22
VAPOR LOCK demystified: See paragraph SEVEN of PMCC documentaion as listed in post #11 of the following thread:f
https://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=7245
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Re: Is overdrive really necessary?
#8
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Dave Kenney
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Quote:

PackardV8 wrote:
Just out of curiosity, do any of the OD equiped cars tend to loose speed pulling a long hill at say 50 to 60 mph???


My 1947 Super Clipper could climb the long grade out of Duluth Minnesota on I 35 in overdrive and hold 60MPH right to the top in overdrive. I never had to kick down in 3rd on any grade that I encountered in my travels during my ownership of that great old Packard. I don't live in the Rockies but we do have some fairly serious hills.

Posted on: 2014/11/5 8:58
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Re: Is overdrive really necessary?
#9
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West Peterson
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Plus, it's so easy to kick out of overdrive, losing speed is not an issue. As soon as you feel you're losing speed, mash down on the accelerator pedal and, wham, you're in like Flynn!

Posted on: 2014/11/5 9:46
West Peterson
1930 Packard Speedster Eight Runabout (boattail)
1940 Packard 1808 w/Factory Air
1947 Chrysler Town and Country sedan
1970 Camaro RS

https://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=4307&forum=10

http://aaca.org/
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Re: Is overdrive really necessary?
#10
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HH56
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Quote:

PackardV8 wrote:
Just out of curiosity, do any of the OD equiped cars tend to loose speed pulling a long hill at say 50 to 60 mph???


Plus I think a lot has to do with engine size and torque. Some cars had great lugging capability in high and would probably barely notice the over drive. Others couldn't go over a bump in the road without shifting down.

Posted on: 2014/11/5 10:41
Howard
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