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1955 Olds 324 tranny issues

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 2short, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. 2short
    Joined: Oct 2, 2009
    Posts: 7

    2short
    Member
    from Florida

    Hey guys, im new to the HAMB so please dont flame me if im outta line or something. I got a 1955 Olds with the stock rocket 324 in it. Came with the 4speed Hydramatic Transmission but its really acting up. From what i understand they werent all that great back then and most people opt for a newer turbo 350/400 swap. My question is, does anyone know if its just a straight bolt on or if it needs and adapter plate? If so, how much would one cost? Would it just be cheaper to rebuild the hydramatic that came with it? any insight at all that you can give me would be hugely appreciated. Im new to the hot rod scene and am basically cutting my teeth on this old girl...

    thanks
     
  2. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,859

    JohnEvans
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    That is a a VERY tough trans. Ya ever hear of a B&M Hydro? Used in blown Hemi gasser etc. A Turbo whatever will not be a straight bolt in. Ya need to find a older trans guy that knows those Hydros and fix it.
     
  3. GOATROPER02
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,877

    GOATROPER02
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from OHIO

    Hi,
    If you search the classifieds under my user name youll find pics of my conversion.Real clean install
    If you need help please ph 330-720-1282 anytime up till 12:00pm EST


    Tony
     
  4. r8odecay
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 787

    r8odecay
    Member

    What do you mean by 'acting up'...several Hydro pros on here may be able to help you diagnose. They require adjustment and all that...
     
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  5. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,620

    wvenfield
    Member

    I'm not pro but I just did battle with mine. LOL

    No, your can't just bolt up a 350. You need an adapter that will run perhaps half of a rebuild.

    As noted just above, what's it doing and give us a background. Have you adjusted anything? Changed anything recently?

    It could be something simple.
     
  6. 55oldsrocket
    Joined: Jun 29, 2007
    Posts: 138

    55oldsrocket
    Member
    from Santa Ana

    your hydro is a great trans, i had one in my 55 olds rebuilt and was great. it did require adjusting the linkages correctly. more than likely thats the problem,
    im not an expert and cant tell you how to adjust them but if you buy the manual, it will help alot,

    and switching to a 350 trans, is alot of work. and just the adapter plate will cost you close to a grand. im going through that process now.
     
  7. 2short
    Joined: Oct 2, 2009
    Posts: 7

    2short
    Member
    from Florida

    Well at first it was wondering between 4th and 3rd below 40mph... it wouldnt decide which gear it liked. the guy that i bought the car from told me how to adjust the linkage and what to do. I tried every which way and finally got it somewhat working ok. Just when i thought it was drivable, i took it out for a drive around town and it started smoking a bit. I was almost home and litterally in the middle of the road with no shoulder to stop on. i got to the next light and tried to turn around the corner but the car would not move at all. i towed it back to my house and put a quart of lucas in it as advised by a mechanic friend of mine. the next day i started up and was able to back out of the drive way just fine and i was able to drive it down the block and back. i parked it. i tried again later and again was able to back out but this time it wouldnt move, i had to push it into the driveway. from everyone i talked they said it's done and needs to be rebuilt. i just need to know my options and costs, i dont have a lot of xtra money right now, just had a baby :( .... any info is greatly appreciated.
     
  8. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,458

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    So if I read your post correctly, the car will backup ok, but no forward gears. If this is correct then you have something like what happened to me. I could use reverse, but it sounded like it was binding inside. I put some new fluid in it and it has been fine since.

    My suggestion is to drain all the fluid, both pan and torus assembly. Drop the bottom pan and inspect what is in the bottom of pan. If there are filings or burnt clutch material chances are a rebuild would be possible. If the pan is pretty clean (with the exception of some filings), then clean the screen pickup and reassemble. Put new pan gasket and install 4 quarts of oil and start engine. While engine is running install remaining 8 or so quarts till the dipstick reads correct. Try the driving test and let us know what it is doing now.

    One other thing is the TV rod. This is the rod coming from the accelerator linkage and going to lever on left side of transmission. Verify the with the accelerator linkage at idle that the TV lever at transmission is all the way to the back, and with WOT the lever is all the way forward. If not adjust TV rod till this alignment is accomplished.

    These transmissions are tough critters, almost to the point of immortality. But they too need proper maintenance.
     
  9. 2short
    Joined: Oct 2, 2009
    Posts: 7

    2short
    Member
    from Florida

    Is there somewhere the describes how the linkage should be set... im so frustrated trying to get it set up. Also what is the total amount of fluid that the transmission should have? I know when i got home and checked it, it was about a quart and a half low... from what you are sayin seems like that is nothing compared to what is actually in the tranny....
     
  10. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,458

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Will get the info for you tonight out of motors manual. Should be around 12Qts IIRC. I will scan the linkage and instructions and post. DON'T GET DISCOURAGED, IT IS NOT THAT COMPLICATED! Just ask WVENFIELD! Helped him out and was very happy in the end.
     
  11. r8odecay
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 787

    r8odecay
    Member

    Several Hydro books available on ebay, but things like band adjustments change year to year, so get the one that covers your model specific. The shop manual for your car should have the procedures, very well laid out and quite specific. Nothing better than good reference material.

    Roughly 11 quarts total, including the torus. the trans does not have a 'torque converter' it has a fluid drive coupling called a torus. on the outside edge of the torus is another drain plug and therein hides about 4 quarts or so IIRC....

    Hope this helps.
     
  12. turbostude
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 344

    turbostude
    Member
    from minnesota

    In good adjustment, mine still likes to be hand shifted off the line. An old trick is to add coins to the spring holding closed the valve which opens to shift out of first. I found a special little tool for adjusting the bands. The 53' shop manual can be had used and is very comprehensive in the transmission department.[​IMG]
     
  13. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,620

    wvenfield
    Member

    My MOTORS manual called for 9.5 quarts in my 56 Hydro. After all was said and done I wouldn't have called that perfectly accurate.

    I have noticed that if I'm even a little low, it will slip 3-4. It has to be full. I would do as d2 Willys says. Make sure to do as he notes and not try and fill it all the way up before running it.

    Make sure the linkage isn't on taut anywhere. That is start with the tranny. The lever should be full back. (which it will be with no linkage attached). The linkage needs to just snap in place. No movement of the linkage or lever to get it in place.

    From there, unless you have some non factory set up, the linkage to the carb almost has to be right if you connect at idle settings. Again, remove the linkage and allow the carb to be at rest. Adjust the linkage so it simply pops in place loosely. You should be able to feel a wee bit of slop both ways.

    Now on the linkage to the tranny at the fulcrum, there are two nuts. Back the bottom one off a couple turns. There needs to be play there also.

    Then make sure the throttle linkage is correct. A bit of movement on the pedal before everything moves. Your carb should be full throttle near pedal to the floor here.

    I just looked up in the MOTORS manual. It calls for 11 quarts in the 55-56 Olds.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
  14. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,402

    DrJ
    Member

    '56 is a totally different transmission from a '55

     
  15. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,458

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Yes the 56 Jetaway (DC hydro) is different compared to 55 dual range hydro, but in 56, the Olds 88's (not super 88 or 98) came standard with the dual range hydro, with the Jetaway as an option. Same thing with Pontiac. Chieftains were equipped with dual range hydros, but the other models came standard with Jetaway/Stratoflight DC hydros.

    The 56 dual range hydros were slightly different, with better clutch assemblies and some other stuff. But from a fluid capacity should be the same (but not the same as DC hydros).
     
  16. 2short
    Joined: Oct 2, 2009
    Posts: 7

    2short
    Member
    from Florida


    That would be awesome. I have the shop manual but its very overwhelming when it comes to the tranny section... most of it i dont really understand....
     
  17. painkiller
    Joined: Feb 10, 2005
    Posts: 122

    painkiller
    Member
    from Detroit

    Sorry for the hijack, but does anyone in the Phoenix area rebuild these?
     
  18. 2short
    Joined: Oct 2, 2009
    Posts: 7

    2short
    Member
    from Florida

    Never got that from ya....did you send?
     
  19. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 4,856

    chopolds
    Member
    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    Don't ditch it!
    Even great transmissions (or engines, or rears, or ANYTHING) sometimes need adjustments or rebuilding.
    This is a great transmission. GM even sold it to Rolls Royce, to use in their cars!
     
  20. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,458

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Been busy, will scan tonight and PM back to you. sorry for the delay.
     
  21. r8odecay
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 787

    r8odecay
    Member


    Do you mind terribly posting it here as well?
     
  22. flatoz
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 2,873

    flatoz
    Member

  23. Sir Woosh
    Joined: Dec 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,278

    Sir Woosh
    Member

    Recently replaced the 324 in one of my 55 Oldsmobiles and figured it would be a good time to freshen up the trans. Was simply told that if it's working right, not leaking, and the fluid is red, leave it alone even though it's over half a century old and nearly 100K old. Put some new external seals on and all is fine. Found out about another that went over 300K without work and was still on the road, but lost track after that.

    As for it's tough nature? It's been used by the military and in large buses and other commercial vehicles. Mine has no problems chirping tires through the gears which is why they did away with it. The demand was high to bring about the slushmatic slim jims to drive Miss Daisy.

    The original shop manual for your 55 explains it the adjustments so that even I could get it close, then had a more experianced friend tweek it.

    Best of luck with it! ! ! ! ! ! !
     
  24. Verminator
    Joined: Mar 27, 2007
    Posts: 768

    Verminator
    Member

    My brother's 56 Olds 88 was slipping so bad, it needed to be done. Instead, he did the 700R4 conversion and is happy as you could be (for spending $2K ) Car only has the 2bbl carb, but really woke up off the line and cruises 80 on the highway comfortably.
     
  25. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,458

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Here is the procedure and illustration for the hydramatic TV linkage

    55oldshydro.JPG

    or go to my picture album CAR STUFF
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
  26. 2short
    Joined: Oct 2, 2009
    Posts: 7

    2short
    Member
    from Florida

    Well i got it up on a lift and im pretty possitive the tranny is F*@#ed. The fluid smells horribly burnt and it will NOT move forward at all....
     
  27. 2short
    Joined: Oct 2, 2009
    Posts: 7

    2short
    Member
    from Florida

    Found a 54 hydramatic for sale locally... anyone know if it will bolt right up to my 55?
     
  28. norbyrattler
    Joined: Dec 7, 2006
    Posts: 160

    norbyrattler
    BANNED
    from Colorado

    Along the same lines, can anyone lead me to a thread or expert, who can explain the internal, external balance issues on these motors? I want to put a B&M slant pan on a 303 blown motor, I have a 324 I could use as well, is there any issue? Thanks Norb
     
  29. 2Hep
    Joined: Mar 3, 2005
    Posts: 476

    2Hep
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I had a Jetaway in my '56 Olds with a 324. I didn't like it. I switched to a 700R4 Tanson conversion. That was nice, it was a clean bolt in (what they do is switch the bellhousing bolts on the tranny and reweld a new bolt ring on and a spacer for the flywheel ..etc) That was nice. Then I went and found a '55 Hydra, had it pro-refreshened and is industructable, like it was when it was new. Really you can't hurt them (the early Hydras...1955 being the best year for Oldsmobile) Seals dry up, screens get clogged, easy stuff you can do yourself, in terms of maintance. Did you pull the cover and inspect the fluid? Take it to a trans shop (in the car, as in drive it there) and they can adjust it while up in the air with the motor running.
     
  30. 2Hep
    Joined: Mar 3, 2005
    Posts: 476

    2Hep
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yup, it will bolt up, infact any oldsmobile/caddy tranny from 1949-1956 will bolt up to engine, possibly the olds trannies from 49-58 should work.
     

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