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Old 04-09-2011, 02:29 PM   #1
rustyhealey
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Default 1963 Galaxie C6 transmission not engaging

I have a 1963 Galaxie 500 with a 390 and a C6 transmission. The motor is a C6ME-A, so I assume the transmission to be of a similar (1966) vintage.

I park on a slight hill, facing down. This morning, I put the car into a forward gear, hit the throttle and only rolled downhill Ė did not pull forward under power. I put the car into Park, and it stayed put on the hill. I put it into Reverse, and it rolled forward downhill. I put it into a forward gear, and it rolled forward downhill. In every position of the shifter except Park, it felt as if I was in Neutral.

I followed the shift linkage and it all appeared to be moving correctly. I crawled under the car and was able to move the shifter arm on the side of the transmission by hand, and felt a notch for each gear position. It was not a crisp feel as I turned the arm, but there were vague notches. Eventually, I put the shifter into reverse (using the column) and gave it a quick burst of throttle, and Reverse engaged abruptly and I got it back to its parking spot.

Iíve had the car only two weeks, and up until now have had no troubles with the transmission. Itís been somewhat difficult to find gears, but once I find them, it seems to shift normally. The fluid level is good.

The car was sitting up for a few years before I found it for sale.

Any ideas on what may be up?

I'd like to pull the pan and swap the filter. Anyone know the correct part number for the filter kit?

Thanks!

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Old 04-09-2011, 06:35 PM   #2
Fordgasser1
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Default Re: 1963 Galaxie C6 transmission not engaging

Could be a gummed up valve body..I've had a few Ford trannies that had a similar issue..If it's been sitting awhile,you might need to drop the pan and pull the VB down and clean it out..Be careful of checkball positions!

Cool red Galaxie..Here's mine..
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:43 PM   #3
railroad
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Default Re: 1963 Galaxie C6 transmission not engaging

c-6 did not appear until 1967, probably a cruise o matic, similar to later model c-4. Sounds like low fluid level, I know you said it was OK. Are you checking it on level ground idling in park, warm? Do not disasemble or remove the valve body. Ok to pull the pan, change filter gasket and fluid. You will not be changing but about 3 quarts or less than half of capacity. You can find a drain plug on the torque converter for about another 2 quarts. Use type F or FA fluid. If you are low on fluid and do not see any leaks, the modulator valve may be sucking fluid out of the trans. It goes to the intake side of the engine and gets burned. The mod valve is on the rear passenger side of the case (center section of the trans) will have a steel vacuum line connected with a rubber hose. I think it screws into the trans and will have a plunger pin on the trans side. Still think you are low on fluid. That may be why reving picked up enough for pressure to build and move. If fluid level and change does not get you moving, I have used Lucas trans additive in old trans to get a few more miles out of them.

good luck,
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:52 PM   #4
MeanGene427
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Default Re: 1963 Galaxie C6 transmission not engaging

Nice looking car, I had a yellar one like that about 30 yrs ago. The C6 came out in '66, not '67, but got upgraded with a new valve body in '67 that changed it to a "standard" PRND21 pattern instead of the PRNDD1 "green dot" setup that carried over from the earlier cast iron cruiso to the '66 C6 cruiso- yes, the C6 and C4 were also called Cruise-O-Matic by Ford, the newer trannies referred to as "SelectShift Cruis-O-Matic", even though the earlier trans is usually generally ID'd as a cruiso
I'd sure try dropping the pan, cleaning it out and servicing the filter, with draining the converter too, and if you see an improvement, do it again as soon as the fluid changes color if it keeps improving. If the fluid is dirty and the filter clogged, it will usually get slightly better when warm and the fluid can flow better, pretty good sign. You do probably still have the early trans, you can tell them apart pretty easy, if it has a one-piece cast aluminum case, it's a C6, if it has a cast iron main case with a bolt-on bellhousing, it's the early trans. The pans are also shaped differently, find a diagram of pan gasket shapes and you'll see the difference

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/FRM-FT1037A/

http://macsautoparts.com/search.asp?...sket&x=15&y=14
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Old 04-10-2011, 04:49 PM   #5
rustyhealey
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Default Re: 1963 Galaxie C6 transmission not engaging

I got into the transmission today and took some pictures to help me help you help me along. I first checked the fluid level with the car idling, on level ground. It is just below the "full" mark on the dipstick.

Based on the pan shape, and the fact that the transmission and bellhousing is one unit, I believe it to be a C6. Is that correct?






The filter itself was actually quite clean. In the pan there were some metal shavings and flecks, but nothing all that terrible. The fluid that came out was also red and new looking. I did not drain the torque converter - not sure how to.

The mechanism on the outside driver's side which shifts the transmission between gears could be moved by hand (once I first moved out of Park with the column shifter). I did that, and saw inside that the rod moved along with it. I believe by that, that the mechanical action of shifting between gears is working.

In the picture below, what is the function of the rod shown going vertically towards the top of the shot? It is not connected to anything on the outside of the case, and had a 45 degree range of motion. It does seem to move some bits inside the transmission.






I did not see anything inside that looked amiss, loose or broken. It all looked clean and orderly to my untrained eye.

Are there connections I need to be checking for on the outside of the transmission? I know there is a large vacuum line coming from the area of the transmission and terminating near the carbs which is currently not connected to anything (and has been that way since I've had it).






So far, I've only pulled the pan and filter. Is there anything else that I can/should to do while I'm in here?

Thanks everyone for your help!
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:09 PM   #6
railroad
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Default Re: 1963 Galaxie C6 transmission not engaging

The other linkage is the kick down or passing gear. It is usually hooked up to the carb by a metal tube. When the accelerator is pressed enough the movement causes the trans to downshift to the next lower gear, depending on the speed. Trans does look to be a C-6, one piece alum case and c7 on casting. Trans is super clean on the inside. The missing vacuum line is for the modulator valve. It helps determine shift points, regulated by manifold vacuum. Should not prevent trans taking a gear. You can adjust the band on the trans while you are under there. I doubt it will fix the problem, but the adj is on the passenger side. It is a square headed bolt with a locknut on it. Loosen the lock nut about 3 turns. Tighten the square headed adjuster up snug, spec is 120 inch lbs or 10 ft lbs, just snug it up. Back it out 1 and half turns, holding it in place while retightening the lock nut. The only thing you are doing that will help is a new filter. Someone with more knowledge may jump in. If you run out of options try a full bottle of lucas. I think low pressure, due to bad pump or internal leak is the problem.

good luck,

Last edited by railroad; 04-12-2011 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:40 PM   #7
Francisco Plumbero
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Default Re: 1963 Galaxie C6 transmission not engaging

Not sure why the kick down and vac are inoperable, could there be a manual valve body in this trans? Wouldn't he have to hand select the gears with that in there? My C6 does a whole lot of nothing without the vac hooked up and it has no passing acceleration without the kick down.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:19 PM   #8
potshot
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Default Re: 1963 Galaxie C6 transmission not engaging

check to see if the manual valve is moving with the shift lever. The manual valve is just below the park rod, and slides back and forth in the valve body. If it is connected, then I would put the filter and pan back on, fill it up, and see if it is making line pressure. If you have a gauge, hook it up to the 1/8" pipe plug just above the manual lever. Or, just pull a cooler line and start the engine. If it's got line pressure, and you have no engagement in D or R, I would suspect a stripped spline in the torque converter. If it has no line pressure, pull it and look at the pump.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:18 AM   #9
oldguard
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Default Re: 1963 Galaxie C6 transmission not engaging

If it's a vlave body gumming problem, try Sea Foam Trans Tune. It is not a sealer or mircale fix it but a true cleaner, we sale it and have had lots of folks come back and tell of greatness! There are multiple pistons and check balls and they must work in order, if one or more is gummed up it may not move. And yes, for the final answer, the pressure check method is the ultimate teest before doing the pull. If it has pressure it may require the valve body to be dropped and cleaned and the cool thing about a C6 is you can test all the clutch pacs with compressed air without removing the trans. Good luck.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:41 AM   #10
R Pope
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Default Re: 1963 Galaxie C6 transmission not engaging

First, hook up the kickdown and vacuum modulator. The trans will not live long without them.
The all-neutral problem is probably caused by the pump losing prime due to wear, or just not able to overcome all the pressure leaks that have developed. Lots of old C6's do that, get lazy in the mornings. I had one do that every morning for years! Once it kicked in, it worked fine. A trick is to fill it a quart over full.
A buddy had a pickup that he had to drive a half a mile or more in reverse before it would go ahead. He didn't live in town so no cops saw him doing it, they have no sense of humour!
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