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Old 06-01-2020, 05:42 PM   #1
DBSHELTON
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Default Borg Warner OD Question

I have a Borg Warner overdrive that I bought for my Model A a good while back. Went through it, checked out the solenoids, bearings, etc. Now I can't for the life of me remember what position the lever is supposed to be in for the OD to be engaged. I don't want to make the fatal mistake of hooking it up wrong. Lever pointed towards the rear or front? Pictures attached.
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File Type: jpg B-WOD1.jpg (104.4 KB, 210 views)
File Type: jpg B-WOD2.jpg (100.0 KB, 175 views)
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Old 06-01-2020, 06:13 PM   #2
Herb Concord Ca
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

Your pictures show the lever above the pivot, my lever is below the pivot!? With mine, pivot rotates CCW to disengage and CW to engage.
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Old 06-01-2020, 06:24 PM   #3
daveymc29
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

the lever shifts it manually in and out of overdrive. It doesn't matter which way it points while installing. What is destructive is driving backwards with the overdrive engaged. I use a fail-safe lockout switch in the electrical circuit that kills the power to the solenoid if the cars transmission is in reverse. You can also put an idiot light into the electronic hook-up that will come on when the solenoid is powered. I prefer to not have to remember to look for a light, if I forget to shift the OD manually out of gear and try to back up the engine revs and the car just sits there, both the manual shift and the solenoid have to be engaged for the overdrive to engage.

How do I wire it thus? I bring the power to a switch on the shift rail that is pushed rearward when the Model A transmission is placed in reverse. That rail is the one toward the right hand side of the car. I drill a small hole into the rail cover on the tower, thread it for the switch, which costs about three or four dollars at the parts house and has a plunger that actuates it, so that pushing the plunger will break the power circuit to the solenoid. screw that switch into the hole I threaded, and wire back up to wherever I want the control switch to be located and hook it to one side of that switch. Then I run a wire to the solenoid to actuate it. I will send you pictures if you send me your email in a PM. This is how BMC wired the Laycock overdrives as used in their cars and also in Volvo.

Better yet Herb, call me, I just saw it was you. I loaned my roster to a guy driving cross country in his Model A. Dave Mc Arthur 925 820 0394

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Old 06-01-2020, 06:29 PM   #4
DBSHELTON
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

Curious. Does it matter which way I have the lever positioned?
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:29 PM   #5
Jack Shaft
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

picture one is engaged,picture two is disengaged..
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:49 PM   #6
DBSHELTON
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picture one is engaged,picture two is disengaged..
Thank you!
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:30 PM   #7
Jack Shaft
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

You can run the R10 with the kick down switch on your shifter..Daveymc29 is spot on,use a ball switch on the reverse shift rail to lock out reverse.One neat thing about it is freewheeling...
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Old 06-02-2020, 08:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

The shift rail has to be pushed back into lockout position to make a lock out switch function. If a person uses an operating switch like a truck two speed axle switch mounted to the shift lever then it's easy to shut off the system. The lock out switch would be redundant but can be used if a person wants the power to be off when driving in direct drive mode. The key thing to remember is that the overdrive must be locked out into direct drive for reverse gear action. Serious damage can result if the pawl ever engages the gear plate while in reverse gear besides the fact that it won't go forward from a stop. If the pawl is left engaged by accident then the result won't be a good one. The governor and the switch will turn the operating solenoid off as long as both are functional. Some folks run without a governor and I tend to discourage that.

If an electric overdrive is wired up with all the normal electrical features then it is a lot safer and easier to operate.

The shift lever can be operated in either direction largely depending on how the control system is set up. It can go either way as long as you know which way is direct drive and which way is overdrive.
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Old 06-02-2020, 09:41 AM   #9
mcgarrett
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

Lever on the side of the transmission should be pointing to the rear and the control cable should be pushed IN when in overdrive mode. Pulling the cable OUT disables the overdrive function.
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Old 06-02-2020, 05:42 PM   #10
rotorwrench
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

For clarification: I've heard of folks using a lever mounted behind the transmission to control the shift rail lever on the transmission. The original installation in my 1951 Mercury had the cable control mounted on the underside of the dash. Pull out on the cable for direct drive and push in for overdrive. The rail control lever on the transmission it set so it is aimed down toward the ground. It's not hard to figure that pulling the cable moves the lever forward and pushing it in moves it aft. This lever can be removed from the OD unit and installed with the lever pointing up. When this is done, the operation of the lever is in reverse of the normal position. I've seen them placed this way so that a lever and rod linkage could be used to control it for preference of the operator related to the position of the lever behind the transmission.

A person can run into all sorts of modifications on these old cars.
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:41 PM   #11
Doug Linden
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

Tom Endy has an excellent write up on the Borg-Warner overdrive. It explains the operation very well.
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:48 PM   #12
DBSHELTON
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

The reason my lever is up is when the OD is not engaged the lever is against a stop that is cast into the housing. If I turn it over, it won't work correctly.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:30 AM   #13
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

It depends on the casting, not all are the same plus, that little stop can be removed if folks want to use it that way. I would just leave it the way it was supposed to be and use a cable to operate it. Much less work that way.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:41 AM   #14
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

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It depends on the casting, not all are the same plus, that little stop can be removed if folks want to use it that way. I would just leave it the way it was supposed to be and use a cable to operate it. Much less work that way.

That is the plan. I will set it up to pull out to engage OD. That makes more sense to me anyway.
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Old 08-25-2020, 05:35 AM   #15
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

When I got this OD I took it apart, cleaned and painted everything, and then reassembled it according to all of the info available. Now I am wondering if I install the overdrive and something is wrong with it, will I be able to drive the car with the OD locked out until I have a chance to repair it?
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Old 08-26-2020, 12:45 PM   #16
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

daveymc29, do you have a part number for that switch?
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Old 08-26-2020, 01:06 PM   #17
rotorwrench
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

My Pop didn't trust the overdrive to function correctly in my old hand me down 1951 Merc so he pulled the cable into lockout then he disconnected the cable mount from the dash and wired it up under the dash so that no one would mess with it. We drove the car for years that way until I finally overhauled the transmission and replaced the electrical harness.

It should function just just fine in lock out mode since the sun gear is locked in with the planetary pinion cage. The planetary gears don't rotate independently in that mode so drive is direct to the rear axle.
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Old 08-26-2020, 11:11 PM   #18
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daveymc29, do you have a part number for that switch?
Sorry, no. I told the nice lady at the parts counter what I wanted and she handed it to me. Went home and installed it, tested as I thought it would, so I put it all together. I have done this on about five and possible six O/D's. Works well for me. I'm sure most parts houses have a selection of switches. I asked for one that would interrupt the circuit when the plunger is pushed into the switch and the circuit will be restored as soon as the plunger is allowed to push itself out of the switch body. (shifting the tanny into reverse pushes the plunger into the switch body, killing the circuit to the solenoid. Neutral or an gear other than reverse doesn't affect the circuit. My power source runs from the fuse directly to that switch, then on to the on/off control to the solenoid, thereby insuring there won't be a memory lapse of other reason for the solenoid to be powered when the tranny is in reverse, Works for me and Austin Healey, Triumph, Jaguar and Volvo that I am aware of. Probably on any vehicle with a Laycock de Normanville O/D.
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Old 08-26-2020, 11:39 PM   #19
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

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Originally Posted by daveymc29 View Post
Sorry, no. I told the nice lady at the parts counter what I wanted and she handed it to me. Went home and installed it, tested as I thought it would, so I put it all together. I have done this on about five and possible six O/D's. Works well for me. I'm sure most parts houses have a selection of switches. I asked for one that would interrupt the circuit when the plunger is pushed into the switch and the circuit will be restored as soon as the plunger is allowed to push itself out of the switch body. (shifting the tranny into reverse pushes the plunger into the switch body, killing the circuit to the solenoid. Neutral or an gear other than reverse doesn't affect the circuit. My power source runs from the fuse directly to that switch, then on to the on/off control to the solenoid, thereby insuring there won't be a memory lapse of other reason for the solenoid to be powered when the tranny is in reverse, Works for me and Austin Healey, Triumph, Jaguar and Volvo that I am aware of. Probably on any vehicle with a Laycock de Normanville O/D.
Ya ever do a Goggle search for "Tranny"... Don't if you haven't yet.
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Old 08-27-2020, 05:06 AM   #20
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Default Re: Borg Warner OD Question

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