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Borg Warner R10 OD


OUTFXD
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Even before I got Jacquiline to a driveable state,  I wanted an OD set up.

 

I found a thread that said "the Borg Warner R10 od is a bolt on swap,  if you have the stock 3 speed".

 

I thought to myself it couldnt be that easy.  I did a quick search and different manufacturers using the R10 od.  all seemed to have the same tail assembly.

 

So I decided to ask the experts.  Is the R10 a bolt on swap?  if not, what all would be required to swap a R10 od  onto one of our transmitions? Yoke? Universal joints? Shorten Drive shaft? Do I need to be worried about getting Assimilated?

 

can I grab an R10 off any transmition or does it need to be Plymouth specific?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The transmission that you need to put an R10 in your car is a complete 3 speed with overdrive transmission out of a later Mopar.  You have to get the entire transmission because the main transmission casing is modified for the OD application.  You can't just bolt any old R10 OD unit to your stock transmission.  If you get the correct transmission it will bolt in place of your stock 3 speed tranny and will use the same length driveshaft.  You have to reroute the speedometer cable (or get a longer one), since it is farther back and on the opposite side of the transmission with an OD.  And you will need a long cable for the mechanical lockout.

 

The Mopar version of the R10 is unique in a number of ways.  First off, the tailshaft is unique because it has the emergency brake as part of it.  Secondly, only the Mopar application has the governor and relay in the transmission.  They are part of the electrical mechanism that controls when it engages and disengages. There are internal parts that are unique, and even some experienced transmission shops are not aware of the Mopar differences.  There's a whole back story about the transmission shop that rebuilt my OD unit and what they didn't understand about the Mopar implementation!

 

Once you get it working they are a hoot.  I found that around town I could just leave the car in 2nd gear with the OD engaged.  You'd get up to a certain speed, lift off the throttle a little, and the OD would engage.  Slowdown a few MPH and lift off the throttle and the OD would disengage.   Fund driving.

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I put a Plymouth R10-G in my 49 Business Coupe. There are number of things one needs to know to make it work. Wheel base of your car matters. The Overdrive came out in 1952 and is the same length as the long transmission. If your car has the short transmission like my Coupe ( and my 52 Wagon ) you have to get the drive shaft shortened. It’s easy to figure out how much by the difference in wheelbase. If you have a transmission that is the same length as the Overdrive then there is no issue. The Plymouth OD uses the same design  speedometer gear as your as your old transmission, all you have to do is swap it. I did not have to do anything special with my speedometer cable so I am not sure about that. What I did have to do was lengthen the E-brake cable. I handled that by installing it normally then got a fine thread coupler from Ace Hardware ( True Value has them as well ) and a rod to cut to length and threaded. The rod makes up the distance if you had a short transmission.

Next is the throttle switch, the relay and the wiring. Mopar used a switch on the carburetor while Ford used a switch in the floor under the gas pedal. On this site you can see many examples of linkage mounted switches. On eBay you can buy a usable switch for $6.25 don’t pay the $125 the suppliers ask. The relay can be had cheap too. The suppliers ask $125 for that too but you can use one of those little black Bosch type relays ( I bought a German made 6 volt for $8 12 volts are cheaper ) use 10 gauge wire to the solenoid.

For goodness sake don’t over pay for your Overdrive! People are asking outrageous amounts for them. I’ve seen as much as $1995! I just bought one on eBay for $250 plus $93 for shipping on a Buy it now from French Lake Auto Wrecking. So a good deal can be had if you keep your eyes pealed.

please please hook it up correctly! It was designed to be Automatic. A lot of folks take a short cut and hook it up with a toggle switch. That usually ends with broken parts. Save yourself some grief and do it right. Of all the cars that the R 10 and R 11 were put on, I think the Plymouth benefits the most.

If you need more information I will be happy to help. I am out of town right now but I’ll be back home soon.

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If you don't want to go through all the added complexity with kickdown switches and the like, you can run it safely with just the lockout cable and a switch with no ill effects.  Just be sure you understand how the R10 works and I would recommend keeping the governor in the loop.  I ran a 40 Ford / 59AB like this for years with no problems.  Last I saw the 40, it was still going exactly like I set it up.

I didn't like the "automatic" function of the kickdown and ignition interrupt so I chose to make it more manual.  Still had a kick down but I would just flip the toggle switch off, lift off the gas for a second and it would shift almost silently, reverse the procedure for the upshift.  All above 25mph because I kept the governor.

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If you go to the downloads section of this website, you can find a pdf copy of the BW R10 users guide and maintainance guide.   There is also a wiring schematic for wiring with out the throttle actuated kick down circuit.  This wiring does the kick down function with a switch that activates the relay, keeping g the governor in the loop.  I am using that style wiring hookup with no issues for 5 years.

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7 hours ago, Adam H P15 D30 said:

 

I didn't like the "automatic" function of the kickdown and ignition interrupt so I chose to make it more manual.  Still had a kick down but I would just flip the toggle switch off, lift off the gas for a second and it would shift almost silently, reverse the procedure for the upshift.  All above 25mph because I kept the governor.

I've owned several r10/r11s and installed them for others.  Ford, Chevy, GMC, Studebaker and Mopar.  I always install all the factory stuff, but also install an additional switch  That allows one to drop out of OD in expectation of the need, approaching a steep hill for example.

Edited by kencombs
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2 hours ago, kencombs said:

I've owned several r10/r11s and installed them for others.  Ford, Chevy, GMC, Studebaker and Mopar.  I always install all the factory stuff, but also install an additional switch  That allows one to drop out of OD in expectation of the need, approaching a steep hill for example.

I agree. The control circuit is a simple series circuit. Adding a toggle switch does the same thing to the circuit as the governor. You just have to drive smart when you anticipate the need to keep it out of OD. Proper use of the toggle switch is less stressful to the OD unit than the kickdown switch.

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You know you can do whatever you want with your car. There is no car police and I am not volunteering.

However, when I suggest that you install it as designed I do so from experience.

1952 Ford 215 cid 6 cylinder with an R 10 installed with a toggle switch.

Driving along at 50 mph triggered the toggle switch and Bam!

Now you may never in this lifetime have one fail like that, but I did.

I have had other vehicles with an R 10 that never gave a hint of trouble that were factory installations.

The last one being a 1964 International Travelall.

So from my experience I prefer to have my Automatic Overdrive installed as engineered.

I know for a fact that I am not qualified as an engineer, so I don’t pretend to know more than one.

However, your mileage may vary.

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On 10/7/2022 at 10:31 PM, Loren said:

You know you can do whatever you want with your car. There is no car police and I am not volunteering.

However, when I suggest that you install it as designed I do so from experience.

1952 Ford 215 cid 6 cylinder with an R 10 installed with a toggle switch.

Driving along at 50 mph triggered the toggle switch and Bam!

Now you may never in this lifetime have one fail like that, but I did.

I have had other vehicles with an R 10 that never gave a hint of trouble that were factory installations.

The last one being a 1964 International Travelall.

So from my experience I prefer to have my Automatic Overdrive installed as engineered.

I know for a fact that I am not qualified as an engineer, so I don’t pretend to know more than one.

 

On 10/7/2022 at 10:31 PM, Loren said:

However, your mileage may vary.

Yes, it is possible to install the toggle switch in such a way as to cause damage.  But, it is also possible not to do it that way.  It isn't the switch or the driver, it is the place in the circuit that can cause problems.  As long as the switch exactly mimics the function of the kickdown switch (minus the kickdown of course), it will function in the same way.   It will allow a shift without the necessity of applying full throttle which, IMHO, is a good thing.

 

The key is to be sure that the new switch will also cause the needed ignition interruption during the shift.   Failure to do so can cause a failure to shift or worse.  

Shifts should be managed by the cable position and  governor first, then the kickdown or aux switch.   Trying to drive the solenoid position directly is likely what caused your issue.

 

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The purpose of the ignition interruption is simply to take the load off of the gears momentarily to allow the shift to occur.  My car was already 12V when I installed my OD setup, and I made up my own electrical setup using 12V components.  For whatever reason I was never able to make my electronic ignition system perform an interrupt the way the stock ignition could, so I just deleted that part of the circuit.  With a manual switch on the shift lever I could initiate a shift in either direction and just momentarily lift off of the throttle, and it would shift immediately.  You just had to remember that if you were shifting from OD to direct the engine had to speed up as you came back on the throttle before it engaged.  This is simply a function of the OD unit because if it is engaged (mechanical cable pulled out) but not activated (generally because the low driveline speed hasn't activated the governor) the engine will freewheel any time you lift off of the throttle.  The engine will drop to idle speed instantly, and there will be no engine braking while slowing down.  It is also the reason why you should never leave the OD unit mechanically engaged when you park, because if the parking brake doesn't hold it won't matter if the car is in gear, because the OD will freewheel as you roll down the hill.

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3 hours ago, martybose said:

The purpose of the ignition interruption is simply to take the load off of the gears momentarily to allow the shift to occur.  My car was already 12V when I installed my OD setup, and I made up my own electrical setup using 12V components.  For whatever reason I was never able to make my electronic ignition system perform an interrupt the way the stock ignition could, so I just deleted that part of the circuit.  With a manual switch on the shift lever I could initiate a shift in either direction and just momentarily lift off of the throttle, and it would shift immediately.  You just had to remember that if you were shifting from OD to direct the engine had to speed up as you came back on the throttle before it engaged.  This is simply a function of the OD unit because if it is engaged (mechanical cable pulled out) but not activated (generally because the low driveline speed hasn't activated the governor) the engine will freewheel any time you lift off of the throttle.  The engine will drop to idle speed instantly, and there will be no engine braking while slowing down.  It is also the reason why you should never leave the OD unit mechanically engaged when you park, because if the parking brake doesn't hold it won't matter if the car is in gear, because the OD will freewheel as you roll down the hill.

I learned how to drive on two stroke SAABs. Free wheeling was part of how a SAAB transmission worked so the slow throttle application from freewheeling comes naturally to me.

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Freewheeling was necessary on the two stroke SAABs because the oil was in the fuel. If you went down hill with your foot off the throttle ( not the proper way to drive a SAAB. The accepted method is WOT all the time…unless you chicken out ) the engine would starve for lubrication. An added benefit was avoiding skids in slick road conditions. The company retained freewheeling well after they stopped making two strokes ( 1967 the last year ) clear into the last 96 model in 1980, because the public expected it. Even the early 99 models had freewheeling. One neat thing about it is that if when you shift you let the rpm drop 1000 rpm, you can up shift or down without using the clutch. We always used freewheeling in off road racing to save the ring and pinion. Having it allowed the driver to down shift on entering a turn while he used the brakes to steer the car around the corner ( its a front drive thing ) then as the straight appears you could hammer down the throttle because you were already in the right gear, all without using the clutch. Done right and the car leaps forward exiting the turn. 
 

Martybose has identified the one thing that worries me about Plymouth Overdrive. Parking on a slant.

A fellow I knew was going on a date, so he washed his Plymouth then went in to shower and shave but when he came out the car was gone!

The parking brake did not hold and he found the car upside down in the middle of an intersection two blocks away.

Automatic transmissions have “Sprag Clutches” too and all modern ones have a “Parking Pawl” to prevent the car from rolling while in park.

So when I park the Plymouth I am really careful about it. Using the “Overdrive” cable with the car in low gear and an extra tug on the hand brake are all part of the drill.

If there’s a curb, I use that too. If you like your car as much as I do there are no short cuts.

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On 10/9/2022 at 9:41 AM, martybose said:

The purpose of the ignition interruption is simply to take the load off of the gears momentarily to allow the shift to occur. 

True.  But there is  a little more to it than that.  If the solenoid is extended by a manual switch with power applied it can damage the part the pawl engages.  That's why manual switches should also do the interruption thing.  Not hard to install one correctly.  Not an issue when retracting the pawl as it just won't move until forward torque is no longer present.

 

edit:  that was poorly worded  'with power applied' sorta sound like I meant electric power, of course I meant engine torque applied.

Edited by kencombs
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On 10/5/2022 at 8:03 PM, OUTFXD said:

Even before I got Jacquiline to a driveable state,  I wanted an OD set up.

 

I'm not sure what car Jacqueline is, the tranny/overdrive will bolt in place of a standard 3 speed transmission in a standard wheelbase car. The shorter wheelbase cars, like the concord got a 3 speed transmission "without" the tailshaft. You'll have to shorten the driveshaft to "bolt in" a overdrive transmission, and that's assuming there's not a crossmember interference issue. 

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47 minutes ago, Roadtractor said:

I'm not sure what car Jacqueline is, the tranny/overdrive will bolt in place of a standard 3 speed transmission in a standard wheelbase car. The shorter wheelbase cars, like the concord got a 3 speed transmission "without" the tailshaft. You'll have to shorten the driveshaft to "bolt in" a overdrive transmission, and that's assuming there's not a crossmember interference issue. 

It's also very close to the same as a gyromatic. Dad and I swapped an OD into a 51 dodge with no driveshaft mods

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On 10/9/2022 at 7:55 PM, Loren said:

Freewheeling was necessary on the two stroke SAABs because the oil was in the fuel. If you went down hill with your foot off the throttle ( not the proper way to drive a SAAB. The accepted method is WOT all the time…unless you chicken out ) the engine would starve for lubrication. An added benefit was avoiding skids in slick road conditions. The company retained freewheeling well after they stopped making two strokes ( 1967 the last year ) clear into the last 96 model in 1980, because the public expected it. Even the early 99 models had freewheeling. One neat thing about it is that if when you shift you let the rpm drop 1000 rpm, you can up shift or down without using the clutch. We always used freewheeling in off road racing to save the ring and pinion. Having it allowed the driver to down shift on entering a turn while he used the brakes to steer the car around the corner ( its a front drive thing ) then as the straight appears you could hammer down the throttle because you were already in the right gear, all without using the clutch. Done right and the car leaps forward exiting the turn. 
 

Martybose has identified the one thing that worries me about Plymouth Overdrive. Parking on a slant.

A fellow I knew was going on a date, so he washed his Plymouth then went in to shower and shave but when he came out the car was gone!

The parking brake did not hold and he found the car upside down in the middle of an intersection two blocks away.

Automatic transmissions have “Sprag Clutches” too and all modern ones have a “Parking Pawl” to prevent the car from rolling while in park.

So when I park the Plymouth I am really careful about it. Using the “Overdrive” cable with the car in low gear and an extra tug on the hand brake are all part of the drill.

If there’s a curb, I use that too. If you like your car as much as I do there are no short cuts.

I use a wheel chuck here in San Francisco with the 5000 pound Desoto Suburban. Every time. One reason is to not allow the thing to roll back with the OD engaged, the other is so that I do not have to curb my wheels which is a PITA in parallel parking. Although once a meter reader gave me a ticket for not curbing my wheels and I had to go to court. The judge admonished the meter reader that in California by law a chock is acceptable in place of curbing your wheels.

 

James

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