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  • Kickdown Problems

    The work on my '59 is about finished, except for paint and the interior being redone. The one remaining problem regards the lack of a passing gear... The COM was rebuilt and everything seems to be fine.. Except when you try to kick it down into passing gear. The kickdown is not working right. I have used the search engine and looked through all the posts regarding "tranny kickdown", but have not found what I am looking for in the way of trying to determine the problem.

    The kickdown rod seems to be hooked up right. In fact, nothing was changed, that I now of, when they disconnected the tranny to take it out to overhaul it. I do not know if the kickdown was working when I got the car. I dont remember if it was ever checked out.

    Can anyone give me any ideas as to what to check for, or how to set it up to work right? My mechanic friend tried to adjust it, but never got it to where it would kick in. Same thing goes for the shop my COM was overhauled at. They have the Bird and will work on it some more to see if they can get the kickdown to kick in. So far, they have not had any luck either. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
    "It's Hip To Be Square"
    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

  • #2
    Ray:

    The kickdown rod is called the "Throttle Control Rod" in the shop manual. In the 60 shop manual it's in Part 6-2, Lubrication and Adjustments. The kickdown adjustment contols some internal transmission pressure, and tells the trans at what point to go into kickdown.

    With engine NOT running --

    You need to disconnect the Throttle Control Rod cotter pin and clevis at the top side near the carb control rod bracket.

    Then, pull the throttle rod toward the front of the engine untill it hits the internal stop. Keep it there with one hand, and rotate the clevis, either way, untill it just enters back into the bracket hole.

    Then, rotate the clevis 3 turns counterclockwise, which will lengthen the rod. Put the cotterpin back on the clevis, and that should be good for a manual setting.

    If your control rod is set properly, and you still don't get a kickdown to happen, then there might be something wrong in the internal Throttle Body.

    A more exact measurement and setting is made by using a pressure gauge connected to the schrader valve that is on the topside of the bell housing. I used a pressure gauge and checked mine last Summer.
    Last edited by bcomo; November 28th, 2008, 05:55 PM.
    Bart
    1960 Hard Top/430
    Thunderbird Registry Number 1231

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    • #3
      Kickdown Problems

      Thanks, Bart,

      I found that in the 1959 shop manual in Part 4-2, as I recall. I printed it out and what you said, which is a simpler version of what the manual said. I called Mike at the shop and read it to him. He says that part of the problem is that there is some play there from years of it being worn, but he thinks he can fix/adjust it right. If necessary, I might have to look for a replacement for that section. But he seems to think he can get it set right. Thanks for looking it up!

      Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
      '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
      "It's Hip To Be Square"
      Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

      Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

      Comment


      • #4
        Ray,

        These transmissions had no modulator valve (introduced in 1961) and everything works directly from the throttle linkage (as has been described). It all has to be in good condition BEFORE trying to adjust.

        Shift points are controlled as with the later AOD.

        Comment


        • #5
          Kickdown Problems

          Thanks for that additional information, Gary. I much appreciate it. The manager of the shop that is working on my car is pretty good. He says that he will find the problem and will get it fixed, even if we have to do some parts replacements.

          Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
          '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
          "It's Hip To Be Square"
          Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

          Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

          http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

          Comment


          • #6
            I made an adjustment and got my kickdown to work,but now the shift positions are off.When you put it in D1 it is in L.
            Just wondering in case the new owner asks.
            George 60HT-Flame Red

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            • #7
              It sounds as though you adjusted the actual selector linkage rather than the kickdown. Incorrect adjustment made the kickdown somewhat operational.

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              • #8
                Let Me Add This - - - -

                Remember.

                This car has no modulator valve. All shifting (other than range selection) is done off the actual fuel linkage and what you think is a kick-down rod is actually not. It is similiar to the throttle valve control rod on very early AOD's.

                You need the shop manual (or someone to copy the pages for you) on how to properly adjust the linkage.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Kickdown Problems

                  Thanks, Gary, for the additional information. My kickdown problems have been solved. The kickdown is working like a champ now. They also found that my automatic choke had been hooked up wrong. It was always on, apparently because it was wired up backwards. I am told it really runs like a scalded chicken now. There is a big difference before and after that fix.

                  Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                  '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                  "It's Hip To Be Square"
                  Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                  Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                  http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by YellowRose View Post


                    I am told it really runs like a scalded chicken now. There is a big difference before and after that fix.


                    ENJOY!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I wonder what's faster . . . a scaled chicken . . . or a scalded cat??

                      In reading this kickdown thread, I'm wondering how hard would it be to update these to the vacuum modulated part throttle kickdown.

                      My 65 had a cruis-o-anchor. That thing was sweet, driving around town, give it 1/4 throttle and it would drop into 2nd.

                      A C6 is still the way to go in the long run, but doing this update would sure help. Much easier on the whole drive train.
                      John Byers
                      1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by byersmtrco View Post


                        In reading this kickdown thread, I'm wondering how hard would it be to update these to the vacuum modulated part throttle kickdown.

                        My 65 had a cruis-o-anchor. That thing was sweet, driving around town, give it 1/4 throttle and it would drop into 2nd.

                        A C6 is still the way to go in the long run, but doing this update would sure help. Much easier on the whole drive train.
                        It is do-able but if one wants a correct restoration, it would not be.

                        A C6 upgrade would require removing the mechanical linkage.

                        The linkage system works fine but the trouble is few know how it works.

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                        • #13
                          A Chrysler 727 Torque-Flite operates off the same principal (the mech linkage).

                          As far as factory orig, you are correct. That would not be original (neither would a C6 - ha ha)

                          I am more interested in improving drivability and staying fairly close to stock.
                          John Byers
                          1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Great to hear the Rose is back on the street Ray. You'll be cutting up the roads in no time. Is it still driveable weather down your way?

                            Bill
                            sigpicBill
                            Thunderbird Registry 21903 & 33405

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Kickdown Problems

                              Hi Bill,

                              Oh, sure, it is driving weather most of the year here in South Central Texas. We get very few freezing days here, and seldom does it snow, though about 15-20 years or so ago, we got 14 1/2 inches of snow! That was certainly a shocker! The only times we really have to worry about is when it gets below freezing, and the roads and bridges freeze over, especially if it rains. We do not have the snow removal equipment that our members up north have. So if it snows here, everyone goes bonkers. Kids have a blast because, for many of them, it is the first time they have ever seen snow. It snowed here just north of San Antonio, a few days ago, and my grandchildren had a blast making small snowmen. In fact, two of them are still sitting in their freezer!

                              Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                              '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                              "It's Hip To Be Square"
                              Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                              Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                              http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                              Comment

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