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Thread: st 300 stator switch activation???

  1. #1
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    st 300 stator switch activation???

    I have a 1967 gs 340,with st300.my problem is I cant tell how to adjust the stator switch.it doesn't seam to activate at wot,as I am sure it should.the way the swich is seems problematic at best.has anyone had similar problems,good solutions????

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    Steve B.



    67 GS 525 Buick Stage IV
    66 GS Convertible
    65 GS HT
    63 Riv
    02 Subaru WRX Turbo
    03 Ford Cobra Convertible (Factory Supercharged)

  3. #3
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    still wont downshift!!!!!!!

    thnx much!already read that post.i did not see any resolution though!!!
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    Steve B.



    67 GS 525 Buick Stage IV
    66 GS Convertible
    65 GS HT
    63 Riv
    02 Subaru WRX Turbo
    03 Ford Cobra Convertible (Factory Supercharged)

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    The section in the manual is here: http://www.teambuick.com/reference/l...files/74-a.php


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  6. #6
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    Smile st300 switch pitch

    Hi. I read about your problem a couple of times and came up with something. One thing to remember is that the oil in the converter solidifies at about 4500 rpm. In other words, at that speed it doesn't matter what position the switch is in, the stator wont have an effect on the engine to transmission speed. They are locked up at that speed. I got this straight from Bill Trevor back in the sixties. He was a teacher at the GM training center in Burbank CA. and was the conduit to the factory for guys like "Pop" Kennedy and other Buick drag racers in So. Cal. I had a '66 Gran Sport and we ordered the car specifically for the drags. My dad was a dealer and I was being groomed to be one too.

    I did a number of things to beef the car up a bit but remain within the NHRA rules. We were limited to a 9" tire at the time. After the first time out I could see that controlling the car off the line was going to be a problem. It would really smoke the tires. Cool to watch but not good for ET's. They really had a lot of low end torque.

    I was told by Trevor to put it in drive and let it shift for its self. He said there was more pressure on the clutches when automatically shifting as opposed to shifting it myself.

    So for normal driving, the factory setup allowed for the stator to be in high angle while idleing. Then with the slightest pressure on the gas pedal, and I mean SLIGHTEST, the stator would change to low angle. (The reason the factory did this was to prevent 'creeping' at stop lites) Just the weight of your foot would change the stator position. Drive away from the stop sign and continueing to push the pedal slightly the transmission would upshift to drive. Continueing to push on the gas, at about 3/4's of the way down the stator would then switch back to high angle. Keep pushing and it would then activate the detent (kickdown) to first gear. Keeping your foot in it, the govenor would make it shift at about 4500 or so. The vaccum modulater played no role at full thottle. It's the govenor that makes it shift under full throttle operation.

    So, I got to thinking, what if I put a manual switch of some type and bypass the switch assy on the carb and throttle linkage. I could put the stator in any position I wanted. So the Monday after the drags I called Trevor and told him my idea. That's when he told me that the oil solidified at about 4500 and I wouldn't be able to use the switch pitch like another gear. I explained that that wasn't what I was trying to do. All I wanted was to come off in low angle to keep the rpm's down. Then when I had a good bite, hit the switch, the r's would jump up a thousand rpm or so, and away we'd go. He said that seemed like a good idea and I should try it and let him know how it worked. So, I did. I bypassed all the factory stuff and had complete control of the converter up to a point with a toggle switch on the dash.

    I'm telling you this because you might be wanting the transmission to do something it can't. Let's say you are going down the road, the engine is running at 4000. If at that point you switched the stator, you wouldn't feel much, if anything. But, if you are sitting still, foot on brake, trans in drive, speed up the engine it will stall around 2300. Flip the switch and the rpm will immediatly come down to around 1100 and the rear wheels will start trying to turn.

    If I understand you right, you're not getting any varible pitch action at high cruising speed just before the downshift. Is that right? If so, you can't really expect much especially if you're close to the point where it won't downshift (4500 or so).

    You can look on page 74-6 in the '67 shop manual to see the adjustments on the linkage. I needed a magnifying glass to read it, but then, I'm old. One thing that's not quite covered is, at view 'B' the two pieces of linkages are joined by a clevis. There is a rubber bushing there that the clevis pin goes through. That is a sloppy fit, and it's suppose to be. Sometimes people that don't know how that arraingement works try to 'improve" it by putting a bushing in there that makes a tight fit. Don't do that. There should be some play where the two parts come together. This is where the SLIGHT pressure comes into play. There has to be maybe a hundred thousanths or so so that the weight of your foot on the gas pedal takes up the slop. Remember what I said about the car creeping? Well this clearance is the fix. With no pressure on the gas pedal, and the micro switch adjusted correctly, the switch allows the stator to be in high angle. The moment you start to press on the pedal, you take up the slop and the switch causes the stator to go to low angle. In the dealership if we had a complaint about the car creeping at stop lights, we told the customer to keep their feet off the pedal when stopped. That usually took care of it.

    I hope this helps rather than confuse. If you wonder about anything I've said, ask and I'll try to make it more understandable.

    Later on in early 1966 Hot Rod magazine had a nice article on the Gran Sports. Of course I was all excited because Buick didn't get much press. So inside I read the article and all about the magic switch that gave them the upper edge. It was mostly about Lennie "Pop" Kennedy and Bill Trevor and how they made these Buicks run. It was a great article but you know what? I looked all through it and didn't see my name anywhere. Oh well. Probably there was a dozen guys around the country doing the same thing. After all, it was pretty obvious.

    This dosen't have anything to do with your problem but it might intrest you. Remember I said it's better to let the transmission shift itself. Well you might ask, what if I want to have it shift at a higher rpm? There is a fix. Pull the governor and drill a few holes in the flyweights. I started with four 1/4" holes in each weight. I used to carry three different govenors that were drilled differently. That way I could change the shift point for different conditions, like ambient temperature. That was a big deal because I was in the desert and some days it was near 115 degrees. I had one that made it shift around 6000. I remember that was on my Dixco aftermarket tach. Probably wasn't too accurate, but it was consistant.

    I have used the terms 'high' and 'low' to describe the stator position as controlled by the switch. What I mean is; High angle is with the vanes tilted way over. Low angle is with the vanes perpendicular to the housing. If you read about this elsewhere, you might find that I have this reversed. However, the sequence and blade position is correct. It's just one of those things I always had trouble remembering.

    By the way, if the variable pitch fails to operate at any condition, replace the blown out windshield wiper fuse.
    Last edited by Tom Barnes; 12-11-2014 at 08:05 AM. Reason: info left out

  7. #7
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    Cool

    Hi there, great article; I have a '66 Skylark convertible that I'm fitting a 425 Nailhead with a switch pitch SP 400; will all this apply to the 400 ? Down here in New Zealand there's not a lot of knowledge on the switch pitch & I'm pretty stoked finding one, & a 425 down here ! Thanks,,, great reading! Jeff

  8. #8
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    Yes, they work the same. In case you're not aware, on the side of the transmission there two wires at the electrical plug. As I remember, the horizontal one is for the stator and the vertical one is for the kickdown. If there is only one wire, it's not a variable pitch trans. Good luck, it sounds like a fun project.

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