June 2014 took trip of 600 miles in 2 days. o/d worked fine. Car sat for 5 days then drove 50 miles working o.k. then o/d would not engage. Removed fuse from relay, pulled handle out. Drove 550 miles in 2 days without o/d. Then removed solenoid at home & it bench tested o.k. Replaced it with a used solenoid & it worked fine for 800 miles over 5 months. Now o/d will not engage again, just like before. Fuse on relay is o.k. Is the solenoid the problem?
My overdrive experiences all involve 1953 Fords, so my advice may or may not help you if you're driving an earlier-year Shoebox.
That said, I learned the hard way that the 1953 Ford overdrives have not one but two lubricant chambers to be filled with transmission fluid. One is the customary one we're all familiar with which is designed to fill the main gearbox. The other is a much smaller one designed to fill just the overdrive-related part of the transmission. Trouble is, these two assemblies are connected inside by a rather small orifice deep inside, so that transmission fluid can circulate back and forth between the chambers as needed.
What that means is that over many years, the overdrive part of the transmission could have gotten shorted on the proper amount of fluid during servicing, whenever the lube jockey at the service station was careless or in a hurry and figured he was all done after just checking and filling only the front portion of the transmission.
How all this could relate to you is that your transmission might be suffering from a chronic case of too little fluid reaching the overdrive part of your transmission. If so, the increased friction involved in operating your overdrive might be causing the heavy electrical current draw you're seeing.
IF any of this theory of mine applies to your problem, you might try filling your overdrive separately, and then try to operate it normally on the highway on the chance it will recover. I'm hopeful that this advice might help you, and of course there's no charge for it. After all, my friends would say that I know what my advice is worth! Good luck!
Thanks for the response mr50s. I appreciate your suggestion. Before going on the 600 mile trip I had both of the oil levels checked in the transmission & they were both o.k. I haven't had the levels checked recently but will now. I thought that maybe it was possibly an electrical problem but no idea what. Strange to me that when I took the original one off it worked o.k. on bench & when I replaced the original solenoid with a used one, it worked right away. Now, again the 2nd one has same problem as 1st, will not engage but did for 800 miles. Thanks again.
Take the cover off the solenoid and inside you will see two sets of points, just run a file or sand paper to clean them up, one set is to hold it in and the other is to put it in and out of o/d. Let us know how you make out.
Thanks Ron. I'll give your suggestion a try. As a point of further info, yesterday I put the fuse back on the relay & the overdrive started engaging again. I drove it about 20 or 30 miles & then it stopped engaging again!!! Frustrating.
Hey Dennis I have a 51 with a Borg Warner r-10 overdrive, yours is probably the same model. I have found that the O.D. is simple in it's operation but can develop little bugs that drive you crazy. Recently had a similar problem with the O.D. not engaging with the control pushed in. Found that my kick down switch (the one under the gas pedal) was sticking and not allowing the engagement. I remove the switch and cleaned it up and no more problems. Have also found that most of the issues I have had are electrical, in the wiring connections or components.
Anytime I run into something that I cannot find I go to the expert. Mac Vanpelt is located in Ohio and is my prime source for O.D. problems. If you go to his website at www.vanpeltsales.com under the tab "Flathead and Tech Books" you will find a publication titled Official Guide to Borg Warner R-10 and R-11 Overdrives. It is a straight forward guide and troubleshooting procedures. It is $15.00 well spent. You can always call Mac with questions, he is an outstanding source and a good guy. (513) 724-9485.
I haven't had the opportunity to check the fluid level again or to touch up the 2 sets of points as previously suggested but I can go to the garage & take a look at the kick down switch. Thanks to all for your advice & experience. As I can't do these physical things myself I've made arrangements to have the o/d electrical system tested this week. I'll keep you up to date on the results.