As part of our ongoing coverage of Rob Farley’s NMRA Mustang Build we are onto the next project which is installation of a shifter solenoid for the Powerglide transmission. FYI: Last month we described his installation of an aluminum panel in the passenger footwell area on which to mount and organize electronics. You can see that at http://tinyurl.com/nbtpzz5.
Rob has a few reasons why he installed the shifter solenoid. The primary reason is safety; with the transmission shifted by a device, rather than by Rob, he can keep two hands on the steering wheel. Secondly, the shifter solenoid allows him to adjust shift points. In the past he had been shifting the car at different rpm’s to run different index classes. Using the shifter solenoid and the rpm switch, he can adjust shift points accordingly.
Shift solenoid and hardware kit
The bracket that the solenoid is attached to was purchased with the shifter.
Four 1/8” thick spacers were included with the kit and two had to be used on each mounting bolt to properly align the solenoid with the shifter. With the solenoid open, Rob knew where to position it so the shifter would be engaged properly into second gear. If the adjustment were off, the shifter would either not fully engage into second gear, or the solenoid would try to push the shifter into neutral – causing damage to the shifter. Notice the space between the shifter and solenoid – Rob did not need the solenoid to have constant pressure against the shifter.
Two wires lead from the solenoid – the red wire is connected to the 12 volt electrical system, while the black wire receives a signal from the rpm switch.
This is the completed installation.
When the shifter is placed into first gear, the piston on the solenoid will retract. When the selected RPM has been reached, the solenoid will be released. It’s released quickly and it is loud. Rob says to keep your hands away from the shifter to avoid injury!
Check out this cool video of the shifter solenoid in action: https://youtu.be/YQTvjLaiZJY