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1951 Chevy Cast Iron Powerglide Shift Issue

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by lanksta316, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. lanksta316
    Joined: Feb 9, 2010
    Posts: 22

    from Des Moines

    Im new here so I hope Im posting to the right section but I have a question about the tranny in my 51 Chevy Styline Deluxe. I got the car about a year ago. The motor runs great and the car is in great shape but the trans wont upshift into high. I have the motor and trans out right now going through everything and everything in the trans looks great. No broken components and the passages werent bad. When it was running it would go into reverse great, but when I put car into drive in would take off but never shift to the high gear. I even tried to switch the selector from L to D at around 35 and it still wouldnt kick up. Any info would be extremely useful. Ideas, comments. PLEASE HELP!!
  2. The cast iron glide in my 56 lost high a couple of years ago and it was the governor. It had been replaced once before and that replacement stripped its teeth off.

    High gear bands were toasted as a result.

    A full rebuild was done and now it works.

    Make certain the shop you choose is familiar with cast iron glides. They're not the same animal as the aluminum case glide, as you know.
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,594

    from SIDNEY, NY

    If it is screwed up enough that it warrants looking for another transmission, try to find one from a '53 or '54--at least by then, they were redesigned to shift from low to high range on their own when the lever was in D.
  4. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,821

    from KCMO

    better have 3 or 4 people at the ready to help lift that mutha.
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  5. gasserjohn
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,223


    this imfo comes from a 65 yr old brain [disclaimer!?!]
    i ran a dyno at Auto Analysts in Pasadena Socal when in my teens
    they had one of the largest &best auto transmission shops
    the transshop guys would take a sticky PG equipped car & drive it at 20mph &put in reverse for a split second to free it up................
    also if i remember this correctly the PG had a soft drive pin that was easy to acess >they replaced it with a nail if it was found broken................
  6. kkoacolonel
    Joined: Oct 27, 2005
    Posts: 965

    from Union,NJ

    My PG had the same problem after it was rebuilt.I needed a governor too.
  7. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 8,349

    from Quincy, IL

    The Powerglides from intro in 1950 and thru '51 did not shift. They are, as you know, 2 speed trannys. However the '50 & '51 started in HIGH GEAR..........if you wanted faster acceleration you had to manually shift to Low then upshift (manually) to Drive.

    In '52 and later models Drive starts in Low and shifts to High automatically. If you have a stock '51, it is functioning as designed.

  8. Had a striped gear at the end of my govener on a castiron glide. But a new gear and second was back.
  9. lanksta316
    Joined: Feb 9, 2010
    Posts: 22

    from Des Moines

    Thanks for the great info. I currently have the tranny gutted on my workbench. Cant see any actual damage to any components. I have heard many people talk about the governor in these trannys but I guess I dont know what that would look like or where it is. I removed the rear pump and checked the sheer pin. Its still intact and looks good. The bands were worn but still have the grooves in them. No real gumming up of the fluid ports either. Still stuck. Oh yeah and I know for a fact I wasnt in High gear, top speed was 40 mph with the motor screaming!! Tried to pop between drive and low also and nothing happened.
  10. fran0216
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 10

    from alabama

    My Chevy 1956 235ci - CI Powerglide auto - I am also having the same problem, I have adjusted the Low band and with no avail it still will not shift into high gear. If replacing the governor fixes this problem, would I have to pull the transmission to replace the governor driven gear?
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010

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