Author Topic: Transmission locked-up  (Read 359 times)

Offline 1940CaddyMan

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  • Name: Dave Fisher
Transmission locked-up
« on: June 18, 2017, 02:56:09 PM »
I have a 1940 Cadillac Fleetwood that I cannot get out of gear.  It just will not shift.  It acts like it is in neutral but runs but cannot exceed 30 mph.  I was lucky to nurse it home when I took it out today.  I do not see anything that is loose underneath the car.  Can anyone give me a suggestion on how to get out of gear to get it fixed or know of a transmission shop near Columbus, OH that might work on it?  Thanks much.

Offline bcroe

  • Posts: 1947
Transmission locked-up
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2017, 05:11:48 PM »
Stick or Hydro?  Bruce Roe

Offline Jay Friedman

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Re: Transmission locked-up
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2017, 06:25:02 PM »
I'm assuming it's a manual transmission because Hydra-matic wasn't introduced until '41.  Your transmission is most likely locked up because it somehow got itself into 2 gears at once.  You can fix it yourself.

You must get under the car.  You'll see there are 2 rods which come down from the steering column which connect through rubber grommets to the 2 shift levers on the transmission.  A large clip holds the rubber grommet to each of the 2 shift levers on the transmission.  Pull out the 2 clips either by hand or with a pair of pliers.  You can now remove the 2 rods and their grommets from the 2 shift levers on the transmission. 

The 2 levers on the transmission move up and down.  They kind of lock in 3 different positions: 1. all the way the up; 2. in the middle; 3. and all the way down.  Move both levers to the middle position.  Now re-install the 2 grommets and the rods back on the 2 shift levers on the transmission.  Your transmission should now function normally. 

This used to happen to the manual transmission on my '49 if I went quickly from reverse to first gear.  I'd have to get under the car and fix it like this.  If the problem persists email me privately at jaysfriedman@yahoo.com or call me at 404-633-7418 to discuss it further.

Jay
1949 Cadillac 6107 Club Coupe
1932 Ford V8 Phaeton (restored, not a rod).  Sold
Decatur, Georgia
CLC # 3210
"If it won't work, get a bigger hammer."

Offline 1940CaddyMan

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Re: Transmission locked-up
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2017, 08:57:04 PM »
Bruce,

It is a three-on-the-tree manual. 

Jay,

I will check out your response and give it a shot.  Thank you for responding!  I will email or call if I have any problems.  Thanks again!

Dave

Online Steve Passmore

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  • Name: Steve Passmore
Re: Transmission locked-up
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 01:43:23 AM »
I have a 1940 Cadillac Fleetwood that I cannot get out of gear.  It just will not shift.  It acts like it is in neutral but runs but cannot exceed 30 mph.  I was lucky to nurse it home when I took it out today.  I do not see anything that is loose underneath the car.  Can anyone give me a suggestion on how to get out of gear to get it fixed or know of a transmission shop near Columbus, OH that might work on it?  Thanks much.

I'm a little confused Dave. You say "It acts like it's in nutural but will not exceed 30mph??"  In nutural it would not move at all so is it stuck in one gear?   It's a common problem if the levers on the bottom of the coluum are mis-ajusted or the rubbers joints are worn out but the symptoms then are usually the car gets stuck in two gears and will not move at all.
Steve

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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  • Name: Bruce Reynolds
Re: Transmission locked-up
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2017, 02:42:35 AM »
If it won't exceed 30 MPH, then it would appear to be in low gear.

Sounds like the linkage is jamming.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'55 Buick Special Post Coupe (LHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing RHH
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Offline Jay Friedman

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Re: Transmission locked-up
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2017, 06:58:17 AM »
Bruce and Steve, you are right.  I was confusing this situation with another common one where the car is stuck in 2 gears at once and can't move at all.  It seems in this case the trans is stuck in 1st gear only and it does sound like something is wrong with the linkage.  It may be that my "fix" will help or maybe not.  Let's see what Dave reports next.
1949 Cadillac 6107 Club Coupe
1932 Ford V8 Phaeton (restored, not a rod).  Sold
Decatur, Georgia
CLC # 3210
"If it won't work, get a bigger hammer."

Offline Jay Friedman

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Re: Transmission locked-up
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2017, 07:56:01 AM »
We still haven't resolved whether the car is in neutral, in which case the motor will run but the car can't move, or whether it is stuck in first gear, in which case if you press the starter button the car will move as the starter motor turns.  Dave, please clarify.

Let's assume the transmission is stuck in 1st gear.  I just remembered another possibility.  Sometimes, even though you step on the clutch pedal, the clutch driven disc does not disengage from the flywheel and/or the clutch pressure plate, making it very difficult to shift the transmission in or out of gear.  In my experience, this is particularly true of clutch assemblies made by the Long Manufacturing Company which most Cadillacs of the 1940s are equipped with (as are most Ford products of that era).  It usually happens when the car has not been run for a while and the weather is humid.  When the driven disc sticks to the flywheel or pressure plate like that as if it were glued, try the following.

Drive the car at 20 mph or so, stepping repeatedly on the clutch pedal at the same time.  An even better way is to tow the car with another vehicle with the motor off, stepping repeatedly on the clutch pedal at the same time.  This will force the clutch components to break loose.  This once happened to a friend's '39 LaSalle.



1949 Cadillac 6107 Club Coupe
1932 Ford V8 Phaeton (restored, not a rod).  Sold
Decatur, Georgia
CLC # 3210
"If it won't work, get a bigger hammer."

Offline 1940CaddyMan

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Re: Transmission locked-up
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2017, 10:58:59 AM »
Thanks everyone for the inputs.  Perhaps I did not explain myself very well and by the responses it shows I did not.  When I rolled up to a stop sign yesterday, I stopped and started to downshift into 1st gear.  The shifter would not budge.  It is in the neutral position on the column (as if it is in neutral) but it is locked up.  It will not move in the typical H pattern for 1-2-3 or R.  It acts as if it is in the neutral position.  I killed the engine and got it restarted.  I was able to get the car moving either in 2nd or 3rd gear.  I could not shift on the column.  I was able to nurse it back home (about one mile) not exceeding 30 mph (I did not push it any faster either).  I immediately pulled into my garage and parked it. I cannot put into reverse or move from what looks like the neutral position from there. 

I hope this helps and can give some others some insight as to my problem.  Thank you so much for your thoughts!  It is appreciated very much!  I can be reached at 614-937-6149 to discuss further.

Dave

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 6590
Re: Transmission locked-up
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2017, 11:36:20 AM »
Is there something in the linkage that can go over center?    I have a fuzzy memory of a friends 3 on the tree doing something like that.  In his case it was something worn and if you shifted a little too quick one link would go over center and bind up.   Fixing it was a 2 man job, someone had to wiggle the shift lever while someone else poked at the linkage with specially designed coat hanger he had made for just such occasions. 
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
75 Eldo rusty but trusty
80 Eldo Diesel
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline Jay Friedman

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Re: Transmission locked-up
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2017, 12:50:09 PM »
I believe the fix I mentioned earlier will work.  That is: You must get under the car.  You'll see there are 2 rods which come down from the steering column which connect through rubber grommets to the 2 shift levers on the transmission.  A large clip holds the rubber grommet to each of the 2 shift levers on the transmission.  Pull out the 2 clips either by hand or with a pair of pliers.  You can now remove the 2 rods and their grommets from the 2 shift levers on the transmission. 

The 2 levers on the transmission move up and down.  They kind of lock in 3 different positions: 1. all the way the up; 2. in the middle; 3. and all the way down.  Move both levers to the middle position.  Now re-install the 2 grommets and the rods back on the 2 shift levers on the transmission and put on the clips.  Hopefully, your transmission will now function normally.  Let us know what happens.

Jay
1949 Cadillac 6107 Club Coupe
1932 Ford V8 Phaeton (restored, not a rod).  Sold
Decatur, Georgia
CLC # 3210
"If it won't work, get a bigger hammer."

Offline 1940CaddyMan

  • Posts: 6
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  • Name: Dave Fisher
Re: Transmission locked-up
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2017, 06:40:26 PM »
Well, we had success!  I took Jay's advice and got a big hammer!  Seriously, thank you so much for everyone's inputs and advice.  I was able to move the lever's around enough to free the shifter so it now can be engaged to the various gears.  I have not taken it out for a spin yet due to the downpour we are having in the area.  Hopefully, tomorrow the drive test will be fine.  Again, thank you to all!

Dave