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Author Topic: 69 Camaro - 3 speed manual w/overdrive (original ???)  (Read 3407 times)
cobra186
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« on: September 03, 2009, 11:24:09 PM »

I recently purchased a 69 Camaro Coupe.  The car was originally Burnished Brown w/White Interior, White Vinyl Top, X-11, A/C, Power Steering, No Console, original V8 car,  The current non-original engine is a 350.  Now to my question..... the car is a factory floor shift 3 speed manual and it has overdrive ( reverse lock out for key switch still hooked up).  I have not been able to find any literature about a 3 speed manual w/overdirve being available in the 69 Camaro.  Was this a rare/oddball factory option?   The "original" overdrive shift cable is not currently install in the car ( but I have it)  and I need help figuring out where it was originally mounted on the lower dash.  The transmission is currently in overdrive mode and is a real dog when placed in 3rd gear.  I want to reinstall the cable in the correct place to make it function correctly again.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Also... I have an original numbers matching '69 LM1 convertible.  The car has the original vin code stamped "HS" engine, T-350 trans, 12 bolt 3.07 gear, Multileaf Springs, Dual Fuel Lines, Chrome Air Cleaner Lid. The car has factory a/c, power steering, console, manual drum brakes, and manual top.  The color is Fathom Green, Ivory Interior & Top.  The lady I purchased the car from said it had " one of those ugly painted front bumper on it"  (enduro bumper ??) but she took it off and installed a chrome front bumper.  While searching through the forums before joining I saw a mention of trying to document the cars... so please let me know who/where I need to send the info from my car to.

Thanks
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william
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2009, 08:24:18 AM »

Overdrive was never an option for any 1st gen Camaro.

Too bad the bumper is gone. Good used bumpers are valuable; NOS worth thousands. The VE3 bumper used a special jack load rest with an adapter riveted to it. Still there?

Send the data to Kurt S.
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cobra186
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2009, 05:16:12 PM »

hmmm,  I have seen them in a couple other 69 Camaros over the years & have a friend that has been a classic car dealer since the 70's that says he has owned a couple of them over the years also. I wouldn't think that some owners would go to the effort of installing a 3 speed overdrive in a Camaro... to me they would have swapped in a 4 speed if their car was a 3 speed.  I hope to get my other 69 Coupe project off the lift this week and can check the date codes on the tranny.
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JohnZ
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2009, 10:14:46 PM »

hmmm,  I have seen them in a couple other 69 Camaros over the years & have a friend that has been a classic car dealer since the 70's that says he has owned a couple of them over the years also. I wouldn't think that some owners would go to the effort of installing a 3 speed overdrive in a Camaro... to me they would have swapped in a 4 speed if their car was a 3 speed.  I hope to get my other 69 Coupe project off the lift this week and can check the date codes on the tranny.

Any 3-speed w/overdrive in a 1st-Gen Camaro was installed by a previous owner - it was never available from the factory. I don't follow the big cars, but I think the availability of overdrive in a passenger car ended in the early 60's. Aftermarket overdrives (Hone, Gear Vendors, etc.) show up occasionally, but the Saginaw 3-speed with cable/electric overdrive faded away long before the first Camaro was built (I had one in a '56 Chevy 210 Delray power-pack when I was in college).
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RamAirDave
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2009, 12:37:05 AM »

but the Saginaw 3-speed with cable/electric overdrive faded away long before the first Camaro was built (I had one in a '56 Chevy 210 Delray power-pack when I was in college).

How did that work?  We got a 57 Wagon in the other day, 3 on the tree with an overdrive pull handle under the dash.  Haven't looked into it at all yet to see what it is/how it works, but was curious about it.
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JohnZ
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2009, 08:49:56 AM »

but the Saginaw 3-speed with cable/electric overdrive faded away long before the first Camaro was built (I had one in a '56 Chevy 210 Delray power-pack when I was in college).

How did that work?  We got a 57 Wagon in the other day, 3 on the tree with an overdrive pull handle under the dash.  Haven't looked into it at all yet to see what it is/how it works, but was curious about it.

Here's a brief description of how the overdrive worked; with the handle pushed in, the overdrive planetary gearset arrangement was disabled; with the handle pulled out, it was enabled.

While the manual three-speed remained the most popular transmission, Chevrolet made Warner Gear overdrive available for -ton trucks for the first time in 1955. Warner overdrive was, in effect, a two-speed planetary gearset inside the transmission tailshaft housing. Standard differential ratio with overdrive was 4.11:1 versus 3.90:1 with other transmissions. The 4.11 ratio gave an excellent launch, acceleration, and pulling power, yet the overdrive kept the engine quiet and rpm low during cruising.

The driver could upshift into overdrive at any speed above 31 mph by simply lifting his foot off the gas pedal. To downshift, he engaged a switch by flooring the accelerator. Or the unit would downshift automatically at speeds below 27 mph. Overdrive reduced engine speed by 30 percent so that at 60 mph, the engine would typically turn 2,100 rpm in overdrive as opposed to 3,000 rpm without it. Fuel savings were equivalent.

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'69 Z/28
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68Zproject
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2009, 10:53:21 AM »

I remember my grandparents had a 64 Impala that had that exact setup.  3 on the tree and then my grandpa would let up on the gas very quickly and it would shift again.
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68Z28
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2009, 12:19:52 AM »

Interesting use of a planetary gearset. Do you know if cost, complexity, or warranty caused it to go away?

Cobra,
You can send the LM1 info to me, KurtS2@gmail.com. Thanks!
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Kurt S
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JohnZ
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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2009, 10:25:07 AM »

Interesting use of a planetary gearset. Do you know if cost, complexity, or warranty caused it to go away?

Durability issues (and the resulting warranty costs) finally killed the overdrive option; drag racing and the shock loading of power-shifts ate up the planetary gearsets with great regularity. I replaced the overdrive twice in my '56, then gave up on it and installed a T-10 4-speed.

GM apparently didn't learn from that experience, as they used the Doug Nash "4+3" overdrive transmission in the early C4 Corvettes; it was more complicated, and warranty killed it in that application too.
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pdq67
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2009, 04:19:21 PM »

And fwiw, I tried to order my car w/ the 3-speed stick OD and couldn't back in Oct. '66.

One rearend that I would give my left nut to at least have the blueprints for is the '69 Couger Eliminator 2-speed hand shift rearend! Ford made like 6 or 7 cars w/ prototypes of it under them!!

It was made like a 12-bolt instead of a 9".  I want to say, "salisbury" design.

pdq67
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Jrschev
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2009, 07:47:15 PM »

Overdrive was available on the Passenger (Impala, Bel Air etc) models up until 1968 which is the last year as a factory option. I think it's demise was really due to the advancment in the Hydramatic division of GM. Automatic transmission sales skyrocketed during the mid 60s and, let's face it, were far superior than the old clunky 3 speeds. Funny how now we are back to that old system of overdrives and manual transmissions for the increased fuel mileage.
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2009, 01:52:11 PM »

I have a friend who has a 67 Chevelle with 3 on the tree and a cable operated O/D under the dash. It appears all factory installed.
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