R9 Overdrive Repair

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Kirtie
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Location: Moorhead, MN USA
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R9 Overdrive Repair

Post by Kirtie » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:51 am

I am currently going through Pearl's R9 overdrive unit after a colossal failure. Some quick facts:

*Pearl is a 1949 Packard 2272 (Super Eight Touring Sedan), with a 327 and 3-speed w/ overdrive.
*I bought the car knowing the overdrive was not functioning, and that sooner or later I would need to repair it.
*I purchased the car from a gentleman in the Cincinnati, OH area, and drove her all the way back to Moorhead, MN with only one minor incident, not overdrive-related (nearly 1,000 miles)

A brief summary of what happened:

I was driving Pearl to a little town called McLeod, ND (about an hour away) to watch the Canadian-Pacific Christmas Train roll through town when, approximately halfway there, it sounded like I drove over a stump or a concrete block- extremely loud "whump" noise, associated with a brief moment of rapid deceleration- but then it was gone, and I was able to continue driving down the road. Not wanting to stir up any more trouble by hammering on brakes, etc, I pulled my foot off the gas and let the car decelerate "naturally" in high gear (remember, the overdrive never worked, so the engine was slowing the car down). Approximately 1/8 mile later, there was a tremendous explosion of noise (think shotgun in the backseat being fired), the car went into freewheel mode, and with every spin of the drive shaft I could hear and feel a vibration/crunching sound that I can only imagine would sound like nuts and washers thrown into a blender. AWFUL.

As I was only 10 minutes from my folks' house, I gave them a buzz to come and play pilot car (actually "follow car" but you get what I mean) while I limped the poor thing in low gear, idle to a friendly parking spot indoors. This spot was approximately two miles from there the heinous breakage occurred. The entire trip took about 20 minutes, and to the last I could hear and feel this terrible grinding. I knew this was going to be expensive!

Just so I knew, when I finally reached the farm building I was going to use as an overnight shelter for the car, I tried each of the gears at a dead stop, just to make sure they pulled. (Step one in troubleshooting- know what system is broken.) They did, which led me to suspect it was the overdrive, not the transmission, that had failed. I left the car there overnight, trailered her home the next day, and got straight to work pulling the engine and transmission/overdrive.

This blog will be the story of what I found went wrong, and what I did to fix it. I'll try to be as detailed as possible. Remember- there is a learning curve for me involved here! :shock: HA
********** KIRT LIEDAHL **********

1949 Packard 2272 Super Eight Touring Sedan ("Pearl")
http://facebook.com/pearlthepackard/

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Kirtie
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Location: Moorhead, MN USA
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Re: R9 Overdrive Repair

Post by Kirtie » Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:29 pm

Step One: Pulling the Engine and Transmission

I bought, and have successfully used, a 2-ton shop crane / cherry picker from Harbor Freight, as well as a 2,000-pound engine stand.
They both have worked perfectly- both are strong enough to hold the necessary parts for long periods of time.
Attachments
IMG_0187.JPG
I pulled the engine, transmission and overdrive all at once. It came really close but it didn't touch!
IMG_0188.JPG
Pulling the engine and transmission (again, close call, but it didn't touch the chrome!)
IMG_0190.JPG
Engine, transmission, and overdrive are out! One man operation- I pushed the car out from under the assembly, moved the hoist, then pushed the car back into position in the garage.
IMG_0191.JPG
Not a scratch!
IMG_0194.JPG
The whole shabang, out of the vehicle
********** KIRT LIEDAHL **********

1949 Packard 2272 Super Eight Touring Sedan ("Pearl")
http://facebook.com/pearlthepackard/

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Kirtie
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Location: Moorhead, MN USA
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Re: R9 Overdrive Repair

Post by Kirtie » Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:46 pm

Step Two: Cleaning the Transmission/Overdrive

I set the assembly on my transmission jack, hoisted it to chair height, and hit it with Brakleen and a wire brush. The transmission and overdrive were literally caked with old oil.
This doesn't add much to the story of the rebuild, but it happened, I took pictures of it, so now I'm sharing. Ha!
Attachments
IMG_0199.JPG
I learned, later, that there was no gasket between the overdrive and the transmission- only some silicon. You can see the oil spill around the adapter plate
IMG_0200.JPG
Definitely going to be some fix-up, clean up on the governor unit..!
IMG_0201.JPG
This plate cleaned up almost like new- I guess terrible oil leaks can be a good thing...? Ha
IMG_0203.JPG
The transmission case after the first round of wire brushing
IMG_0204.JPG
The transmission case after the first round of wire brushing
IMG_0207.JPG
The transmission case after the first round of wire brushing
IMG_0208.JPG
The transmission case after the first round of wire brushing
********** KIRT LIEDAHL **********

1949 Packard 2272 Super Eight Touring Sedan ("Pearl")
http://facebook.com/pearlthepackard/

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Kirtie
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Location: Moorhead, MN USA
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Re: R9 Overdrive Repair

Post by Kirtie » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:08 pm

Step Three: Checking Out the Transmission

There are definitely some things that need attention in the transmission, which I knew before I took it apart... first, and foremost, I need to replace low gear. It's been ground to bits, and pops out of gear if not forcibly held in when taking off from a dead stop. Once I had it apart, I realized it had been put together with silicon instead of gaskets, which never bodes well...
Attachments
IMG_0211.JPG
You can see the remains of the silicon on the plate - note the lack of gasket!
IMG_0212.JPG
It's hard to tell in this picture, but the walls of the transmission and overdrie were coated in a 1/4-1/2" thick goo- not good!
IMG_0213.JPG
A first look at low gear, and the Reverse/Low Gear shift ring
IMG_0214.JPG
A closer look at low gear- it's pretty clear that's going to have to be replaced
IMG_0215.JPG
The teeth on the low gear- not a great picture but you can see the wear... it's funny it stayed in gear at all
********** KIRT LIEDAHL **********

1949 Packard 2272 Super Eight Touring Sedan ("Pearl")
http://facebook.com/pearlthepackard/

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Ozstatman
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Location: Bowral, Southern Highlands NSW, Australia

Re: R9 Overdrive Repair

Post by Ozstatman » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:48 pm

G'day Kirt,

In your third post, I refer to the third picture which is titled "This plate cleaned up almost like new- I guess terrible oil leaks can be a good thing"

I don't know how different your '49 is compared to my '41 120 but on my '41 that "plate" under the OD is the mounting plate for what Packard terms a "Support Insulator Assembly", in effect a spring and rubber mount for the OD. Do you have something that mounts between the OD and the frame?
OD mount point.JPG
OD mount point.JPG (30.17 KiB) Viewed 4451 times
Mal
Currently - '50 Packard Eight Touring Sedan
Previously - '41 120 Club Coupe(Sold October 2017) & '38 Eight Touring Sedan(Sold July 2009)
Bowral, Southern Highlands, NSW Australia

"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

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Kirtie
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Re: R9 Overdrive Repair

Post by Kirtie » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:53 pm

Step Four: Assessing the Damage to the Overdrive

In a word? Ugly. The planetary gears and the stationary gear they rotate over were almost completely destroyed. The balk ring was snapped in half, and a cog was ripped off the stationary gear at the base, where the pawl engages the overdrive via the solenoid. Other parts of the assembly were in remarkably good shape- namely the ring gear, which fits over the top of the planetary gears. How on EARTH it didn't get ruined as well, I will never know. Likewise, the freewheeling cam assembly appeared to be in great condition, though like the transmission all were immersed in this unbelievable thick paste that coated the walls of the entire case.

Truth be told, the only real damage that I could see was caused to the three above-mentioned parts- the stationary gear, the balk ring (which is part of the stationary gear assembly), and the planetary assembly.
Attachments
IMG_0216.JPG
The tail shaft and overriding clutch assembly. The pins are from the freewheeling cam- this is normal when the unit is disassembled.
IMG_0217.JPG
The freewheeling cam, exposed now that I've pulled the casing from the overdrive. Note the missing rollers- they were laying in the assembly in the previous picture.
IMG_0242.JPG
Ouch! This is one of the four planetary gears. Note how it's... not round? Also you can see where the casing has been damaged and the splines have been ground smooth. The yellow-looking bits inside are pieces of the stationary gear.
IMG_0246.JPG
The failure caused one of the pins holding the planetary gear in place to snap
IMG_0247.JPG
Another of the planetary gears... you get it- I don't need to post more of these. It IS remarkably bad, though!
IMG_0249.JPG
The ruined stationary gear. For some reason I didn't grab a picture of the broken balk ring, but c'est le vie.
IMG_0250.JPG
One final look at the inside of this poor planetary gear assembly. Talk about wrecked!
Last edited by Kirtie on Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
********** KIRT LIEDAHL **********

1949 Packard 2272 Super Eight Touring Sedan ("Pearl")
http://facebook.com/pearlthepackard/

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Kirtie
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Re: R9 Overdrive Repair

Post by Kirtie » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:58 pm

Mal:

I sure do, looks like a stack of rubber Oreo cookies. I expected the plate to be corroded, but have found, to my pleasant surprise, that I really didn't have much to worry about at all regarding rusty pieces.
********** KIRT LIEDAHL **********

1949 Packard 2272 Super Eight Touring Sedan ("Pearl")
http://facebook.com/pearlthepackard/

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Kirtie
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Re: R9 Overdrive Repair

Post by Kirtie » Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:05 pm

Step 4.5: Check Out the Ring Gear Around the Planetary Assembly

I cannot explain how, but- once I removed about a half-cup full of smagma, the ring gear looks to be in remarkably good shape. It boggles the mind, seeing as everything beneath it was crunched into junk... but it sure looks OK to me!
Attachments
IMG_0254.JPG
The ring gear - remarkably undamaged
IMG_0255.JPG
I took a jeweler's screwdriver, an old toothbrush and a can of Brakleen to the inside of the ring gear- I couldn't believe how well it cleaned up!
IMG_0256.JPG
Call me crazy, but these teeth look good to me- please overlook the incomplete cleaning job at the time this was taken. :-) The point is that there isn't ONE broken tooth, and the wear on them looks nice and even all the way around... no grooves, chips, etc. Unbelievable.
********** KIRT LIEDAHL **********

1949 Packard 2272 Super Eight Touring Sedan ("Pearl")
http://facebook.com/pearlthepackard/

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Kirtie
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Location: Moorhead, MN USA
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Re: R9 Overdrive Repair

Post by Kirtie » Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:19 pm

Step Five: Begin the Repair Process

I owe much gratitude and praise to Flackmaster for helping me find "unobtanium" (I quote) that belongs in this transmission/overdrive. THANK YOU, SIR.

These pictures are of the cases and cross-member only. I cleaned them to bare metal and painted them while I was waiting for parts (among other things).
I had the cross-member professionally sandblasted- everything else was wire-brushed and putty-knifed. I painted the cross-member flat black, and the transmission case, overdrive case, and adapter plate semi-gloss black.
Why did I choose to use flat black on the CM? I have no idea. It happened though. Ha!
Attachments
IMG_0259.JPG
Transmission case, following cleanup and paint
IMG_0260.JPG
Transmission case, following cleanup and paint
IMG_0261.JPG
Transmission case, following cleanup and paint
IMG_0262.JPG
Transmission case, following cleanup and paint
IMG_0265.JPG
The cross-member following a sandblast and paint job. I couldn't believe how this turned out- I am not exaggerating when I say I cleaned a five-quart bucket of gravel, sand and dirt out of this piece before it came off the car!
IMG_0267.JPG
The front bearing cover needed almost no work at all before it was ready for paint.
IMG_0271.JPG
All the pieces, painted
********** KIRT LIEDAHL **********

1949 Packard 2272 Super Eight Touring Sedan ("Pearl")
http://facebook.com/pearlthepackard/

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Kirtie
Posts: 166
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Location: Moorhead, MN USA
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Re: R9 Overdrive Repair

Post by Kirtie » Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:42 pm

Step Six: Clean Up and Prepare the Freewheeling Cam Assembly

This was in good shape, and required only some TLC and lubrication. I followed the instructions in the Service Manual for the rubber band- though I'm hesitant about leaving it on there as the book indicates.
(A person should be able to cut that rubber band and pull it out once the assembly is in position, I think...)
Attachments
IMG_0382.JPG
This was after I just used a rag with some Brakleen- already a world of difference!
IMG_0383.JPG
I learned through another person's blog that it's a smart thing to have one-gallon freezer bags you can label: the perfect thing for little parts, plus I spray a puddle of WD40 for them to marinade in!
IMG_0384.JPG
The freewheeling cam rollers prior to cleanup
IMG_0385.JPG
The freewheeling cam rollers AFTER cleanup
IMG_0387.JPG
I tested the assembly once prior to giving everything a grease job- good thing, too! I had put one of the two springs inside in incorrectly!
IMG_0425.JPG
The final product, ready to install when the time comes
********** KIRT LIEDAHL **********

1949 Packard 2272 Super Eight Touring Sedan ("Pearl")
http://facebook.com/pearlthepackard/

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