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Technical 51 Ford Shoebox OD Trans Operation

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Dannyboy51, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. Dannyboy51
    Joined: Jun 25, 2015
    Posts: 43

    Dannyboy51

    Can anyone tell me how to operate the OD manual Trans on my car. I've only had it on the road for a couple weeks and I can't figure out if I don't know what I'm doing (most likely) or if this thing isn't working correctly. It's really weird to drive. It doesn't always down shift, it's a nightmare to get into 2nd gear half the time and what I've heard about how it's supposed to work just doesn't seem to happen. Thoughts? I'm about a week away from sh%^ canning it and dropping a floor shift C5 or something in it.
     
  2. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,774

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    Oh Danny Boy,
    Welcome to HAMB. You have a highly desireable transmission that is both durable and fun to drive. All you're missing is the patience to learn how it works and how to set it up right. There's a ton of reading to do both on this forum and elsewhere. Or, you can slap in a C4 or C5 (without overdrive) and then find out you have to change rear end gears in order to be able to drive on the highway.

    If it won't shift into second, that's not an overdrive issue, that's probably a shift linkage issue. As for the rest, there's more to know than I can write that's already been written by others. Start looking up info and reading.
     
  3. BLUDICE
    Joined: Jun 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,467

    BLUDICE
    Member

    Do you have the Green Bible??
    Also guys on shoeboxford.com are a great help too.
     
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  4. Dannyboy51
    Joined: Jun 25, 2015
    Posts: 43

    Dannyboy51

    That site always seems like it's moments s away from being shut down and is hard to navigate. I was gifted a green bible when I bought the car. I'm just not sure what it's supposed to feel like. My car does nothing that it says it should. I'm guessing my problem is primarily electronic. Guess I just need to pull the schematic and start trouble shooting. I definitely don't have overdrive right now. Any tips???
     
  5. BLUDICE
    Joined: Jun 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,467

    BLUDICE
    Member

    Shoeboxford.com is a great site - has gotten me out of a bunch of problems - don't worry it's here to stay. I would start out with the basics things first. Is your car still 6v - if so wiring is a major issue for these things to operate correctly. If your car is still 6v the major wiring has to be 30 amp rated or you will have problems, especially at nite with lights on - ask me how I how this lol.
    Next check the adjustments going to the trany. Mine was a '50 and had a pull out lever under the dash - can't remember if a'51 has this or not, but if it does that adjustment makes a huge difference. Then check out the solenoid and see if it's engaging with power - again the wiring is usually the problem with these things not working right. Good luck.
     
  6. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,774

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    Take a hot wire (in your case negative polarity) and touch it straight to the SOL terminal on your overdrive relay. If you hear a click from the transmission then you're making progress. If that works, then rig up a toggle switch to power the SOL terminal while you're driving. Switch should engage/disengage overdrive and then you can at least understand what the OD feels like. FAIR WARNING--- NEVER ATTEMPT REVERSE WITH OD ENGAGED.

    If that exercise fails, then remove solenoid and bench test it.
     
  7. Dannyboy51
    Joined: Jun 25, 2015
    Posts: 43

    Dannyboy51

    I'm gonna try that this weekend Mike. Thanx.
     
  8. Dannyboy51
    Joined: Jun 25, 2015
    Posts: 43

    Dannyboy51

    Bench tested the solenoid and got nothing. Seems to be fried. Gonna get in touch with the guys at 5th Ave garage in the morning and spend some $$. I've been told they have some great info as well.
     
  9. heminh2o
    Joined: Oct 28, 2013
    Posts: 98

    heminh2o
    Member
    from Tulare, CA

    A friend of mine has a couple of boxes of that stuff he wanted to sell me, but I don't have a trans to attach it to... ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1436245757.445072.jpg
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1436245790.089153.jpg
     
  10. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,058

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Sell? "Give" would be more like it. Seriously, over the last few years, I have come across a couple of complete OD transmissions that I was able to purchase at very reasonable prices Folks these days don't seem to understand what they are, and want to get rid of them because of the unknown "levers and cans" on them..
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
  11. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,774

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    Don't give up on that solenoid yet. Can you tell us about your bench test? What exactly did you do?
    Have you taken it apart?
     
  12. Dannyboy51
    Joined: Jun 25, 2015
    Posts: 43

    Dannyboy51

    Grounded the case and put + from battery terminal to #4 terminal on solenoid. I talked with 5th ace garage again and it sounds like I may not have installed the solenoid correctly. They said the pin has a flat spot and that it should be inserted at 12oclock then rotated clockwise until the holes line up. He even suggested actuating the pin while installing and making sure it pulls the du gear out before bolting it. He suggested that if done properly you shouldn't have to hole the solenoid up there. It will stay in place. Mine didn't do that. I love honk the rod is stuck. Gonna try to reinstall next.
     
  13. Dannyboy51
    Joined: Jun 25, 2015
    Posts: 43

    Dannyboy51

    PS. I hate Siri and her auto correct.
     
  14. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,774

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    If it didn't work for the bench test, it won't work in the transmission either, but the install advice is right anyway.
    As far as Siri's autocorrect goes, you can edit your post and correct the corrections.
     
  15. EBW
    Joined: Oct 16, 2011
    Posts: 540

    EBW
    Member

    I know it's been a while... Any updates Dannyboy ? I will be working on mine shortly and curious what you ended up doing.
     
  16. Dannyboy51
    Joined: Jun 25, 2015
    Posts: 43

    Dannyboy51

    I replaced and rewired everything twice and still had problems. at the end of it I have concluded that my solenoid is in fact bad and not engaging properly. I have to buy a new one and chase down some sketchy wiring done by the previous owner to diagnose. Let me know if you have any questions when doing yours. I have a pretty good understanding of how they work now that I've taken mine apart about 4 times.
     
  17. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,868

    dan c
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    a great help to me was "thunder road flathead guide" by bill sinclair. he shows about 3 different ways to get it working and how you can run a 6v solenoid on 12v. in my case, i bought a 12v solenoid from 5th ave. also shows how to wire up a mopar headlight relay (about $25) in place of the ford overdrive relay.
     
  18. EBW
    Joined: Oct 16, 2011
    Posts: 540

    EBW
    Member

    That was one of my concerns... I am planning on going 12 volt and curious if it would still work. Flathead with the stock OD transmission is my build at the moment.
     
  19. U-235
    Joined: Dec 18, 2010
    Posts: 452

    U-235
    Member

    My perfectly stock overdrive in my 51 w/6 cylinder works just like it did when new. Pull out the handle for under for around town...push it in at about 30 in second or high, let up on the gas, and it drops into overdrive. When it comes time to pass, press down on the accelerator and it drops into "under". When you let up, it kicks back into overdrive. If your in town and in "overdrive", when you let up on the gas, you will be free-wheeling. To get back into "under" (for town driving), you will have to come to a complete stop be fore you can pull the handle out. All those modifications that guys use with toggle switches and such, I don't know how they work. My complete set-up will be available, as I'm going with a SBC (shutter) and 5 speed.
     
  20. 1pickup
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 799

    1pickup
    Member

    I think if it were me, I'd probably not post pics of stolen MTE (material transport equipment) that I had ripped off from the federal government (USPS) on a public forum. There may be prison & fines in your future. But, like I said, "if it were me."
     
  21. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,774

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    Oh crap, I hope the milk crate police never visit my place!
     
  22. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,774

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    Everybody has their own style of driving, but I like the OD enabled for in-town driving and relaxed cruising. You only need the clutch to get rolling and then you can do clutchless shifts into second and third and then an automatic shift into overdrive for the highway.
    My favorite way is to engage second-over which can get the car up to about 45-50 mph in town, only that requires using the clutch to shift from second-over to third-over. NBD.
    When slowing down you can freewheel, coasting to a nearly complete stop before you have to pedal the clutch again. The freewheeling also helps with downshifting to that non-synchro first gear.

    Personally, I never mess with the handle while in motion because that can cause some problems if you're not careful.
     
    overspray likes this.
  23. overspray
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 1,226

    overspray
    Member

  24. Hotrodder3031
    Joined: Nov 9, 2015
    Posts: 14

    Hotrodder3031
    Member

    Hi
    can you see if I could buy the O/D solenoid for your friend? it is in the box with the gears thank you
     
  25. frosty-49
    Joined: Oct 13, 2014
    Posts: 118

    frosty-49
    Member

    Fix that OD. You will love it
     

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