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1963 Mercury / Ford Cruise O Matic Medium Case Transmission Rebuild

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rprice76, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    All -

    I'm at the point in my 1963 Mercury Monterey Project that I'm getting ready to do a rebuild of the old Cruise-O-Matic Medium Case transmission. When I embarked on contemplating this rebuild I was shocked at the LACK of information. People always focus on engines - rarely on transmissions.

    So here is some background in case some of you are interested:

    In 1963 Ford Mercury used the Borg-Warner transmission. This particular transmission is from a 1965 T-Bird as identified by the warranty stamp: PCEBJ 39468. The Case stamps are C5MP 7006 A and DIF 24.

    The Medium Case Transmission is interchangeable with all parts for all years. They are not interchangeable with FMX (later Cruise-o-matic) or the Small Case transmissions. The Medium Case is NOT a C4 nor a C6 - just to get this out of the way.

    Reason for the rebuild: Owner was NOT a car guy and had no common sence. Suposedly "burned up" the transmission by driving it without changing or adding fluid.

    Parts can be found:
    Makco Transmission Parts LLC (sales@makcotransmissionparts.com).

    Parts for rebuild:
    106006C - Master Kit CI Medium Case 1955-1971
    106034 Bushing Small (Med Case pump)
    106064 Bushing CI Small / Med case
    106034B Bushing Small / Med Case rear pump
    A106010C Filter CI Medium Case 1955-1971

    Bands will be sent in for rebuild as exchange only is available.

    STEP 1: Pulling the Transmission
    If your transmission is already out - you are ahead of the game. Pulling a transmission is best done with a car lift, transmission lift, and a second set of hands. However - I did this with some common wrenches, two ramps, two jacks, and two standard jack stands.

    Get the car as high as possible.

    Disconnect shift linkage and downshift linkage
    Disconnect vacuum modulator on rear of transmission
    Remove dipstick tube: WARNING fluid will drain - over 10qts be prepared!
    Remove coolant lines (front passenger side rear passenger side): WARNING fluid will drain everywhere from these and for quite a long time!
    Remove Drive shaft -- removal from car is required on 63 Monterey
    Disconnect exhaust - both sides and drop down (can remove for better clearance.
    Remove Speedometer Cable
    Disconnect parking brake pivot assembly from cross member.
    Support transmission with a jack and disconnect cross member and remove cross member from car. I used a 1ft x 1ft square of plywood to distribute pressure from any single point on the bottom of the pan.
    Support engine with a jack.

    **NOTE**
    At this point the jacks are supporting the rear combined weight of engine and transmission - DO NOT REMOVE THEM ENTIRELY!

    Using a combination of the jacks tilt engine and transmission down about 20 degrees down.

    Remove four bolts that connect the transmission to the bell housing. Once removed the transmission will be free.

    Wiggle transmission gently from side to side while pulling on tail shaft.

    Transmission will come free --- gently lower and remove from jack and pull out from under car.

    **NOTE

    I am still on the rebuild phase. Others have suggested I remove the bell housing and converter from the engine - sources conflict on whether this is necessary. Some people recommend it for ease of mind - others state disaster will occur if you do not remove it - and still others say it is unnecessary work if proper care is taken on reinstalling the transmission. I will cover how I approach this later.

    Pictures are of the transmission removed and of the data tag.

    For those of you who wish to add advice / resources please do so. It took me a few weeks of research to find everything I needed.

    Hopefully I will be able to post a lot of pictures of the rebuild process. My co-worker is pretty gung-ho on getting this done - I may have to slow him down so I can take copious pics.

    Enjoy! :D
     

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  2. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    Some more pics - I removed the tail shaft just to see what I am working with. Five bolts and its off.
     

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  3. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 670

    big M
    Member

    Those are not too bad to rebuild, but definitely inspect the area on the case where the low/reverse servo mounts, as they can crack there. Some cracks can be pinned, though.

    ---John
     
  4. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    Thanks for the tip big M - we will determinately check. I asked the owner if he ever shifted hard from drive to reverse or vice versa - and he said no. Consider the source though.....
     
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  5. wraymen
    Joined: Jan 13, 2011
    Posts: 110

    wraymen
    Member

    very interested, I believe this is what is in my wagon. Is the shift patern low-drive-second-neutral? I believe the bands can be adjusted externally. I haven't tore into it yet so don't know too much about it.
     
  6. lunchboxscuff
    Joined: Nov 25, 2007
    Posts: 72

    lunchboxscuff
    Member
    from Ojai,ca

    Looking forward to seeing more on this thread! Love the info so far!
     
  7. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 5,173

    tommyd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from South Indy

    Looks like someone has been inside that trans already. The gasket for the tailshaft looks like a modern Transgo item.
     
  8. Fairlane Mike
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 389

    Fairlane Mike
    Member

    Just a suggestion; as you tear it down, note the location of the thrust washers. Make a chart if you have to.
     
  9. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    Yup. PO was clueless - suposedly bought from original owner - and the car HAD been babied. Check my original post on the car here:

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=785268

    Based on the info recieved I would not be suprised if the transmission had been totally rebuilt. The engine may NOT be original to the car - unknown. Off topic though.

    Sounds like a plan - I have found charts for where things go - but definately intend to take pics of the process.

    Again - I was shocked at how little information there is on this transmission. Most people claim they are crap and scrap them. But as I've seen in research - these were used from 55-71!? AND there are a lot of cars out there with original transmissions in them doing fine. Some with minimal maintenance. How can they be total crap if that is the case some 42 - 58 years ago!

    BTW - this is a three speed - dual range transmission. Definition:

    Positions:

    P R N D2 D1 L

    Park / Reverse / Neutral - same as others.

    D2: High Range Drive. Start in second, shift to third as normal.
    D1: Low Range Drive. Start in first, shift to second and third as normal.
    L: Low Gear - Hold in low.

    If I have that wrong please correct.

    This is different from normal three speed transmissions. The D2 was considered "economy" mode where you saved gas from jack-rabbit starts. :rolleyes: Nothing about how much extra gas you suck in the carb with the hungry FE to get it moving though.....
     
  10. mike hohnstein
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 264

    mike hohnstein
    BANNED
    from wisconsin

    Speaking of common sense, you need to ask your self how sensible it is to consider leaving the converter 'unserviced'. A torque converter will hold a good bit of debris that can and will make your rebuild process a waste of time and money. After all, the trans is cooked and probably contaminated with debris, what makes you think the torque converter is still OK?? Then there is the issue of getting the trans indexed into the converter with out causing more expensive problems during the installation process. Your verbage sounds like that of a serious individual, proper way to view a trans/converter package is as a intregal assembly, because it is. Those old Ford units do not like debris or little bits of shit anywhere, cleanliness is required. Do the job right or do it again, and again.
     
  11. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    Very very good point and best argument yet. I am a very serious individual! I work in IT Security. It's required in what I do!

    I actually appreciate input like this! I dunno if I posted this before - I've never done transmission work before - this is my first foray. Oh I've done manual clutch replacements but always shied away from autos. I never even really knew what a torque converter does before other than "convert torque."

    Now that you bring that up - very good point - and I didn't think of it! Will pull bell housing and converter this weekend - should be rather easy really from what I can find. I really had no idea until this evening (re: few minutes ago) that the torque converter is entirely hydraulic and the concept is based on fluid dynamics. You are entirely correct - if there is debris / crap in there from the tranny cook - now is the time!

    Again - thanks for the input - and thanks to wikipedia for providing little yet substantial information! :D
     
  12. Yutan Flash
    Joined: Aug 6, 2008
    Posts: 406

    Yutan Flash
    Member
    from Gretna, NE

    A lot of people are of the mindset that they have to have a C6 instead of the COM because of their age, preceived lack of durability (re. people thinking they have to set up a car for drag-racing duty vs everyday driving), parts, difficulty in finding a quality service tech, etc. I swear one of the most-frequently asked questions re. '58-'66 T-birds in the Vintage Thunderbird Club International's Forum is "how can I get rid of the Cruise-O-Matic and install a C6"? I want desparately to put together a "how-to" article on rebuilding the COM, point out the problem areas like the weak castings in '61-era cases, and how to maintain them, but I'm already knee-deep in several other projects.
     
  13. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    If you do this I will be a most ardent reader!
     
  14. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas


    Again if you have knowledge or experience / hints / tips / tricks please post!!!!
     
  15. mike hohnstein
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 264

    mike hohnstein
    BANNED
    from wisconsin

    No trick to change to a C-6, just got to find a FE C-6 case, I guess that can be a little bit of a trick. Some one makes a bell housing for a FE/C-4 too, at least they did once.
    Cruise-O's are just fine, as long as stock use gets it done for you. Not a race piece.
     
  16. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    Update:

    I havent gotten to the Torque Converter and Bell Housing yet - but we did tear the transmission down today. LOTS of pics. They are in the order of the tear down.

    Some interesting things --- the pan is FULL of crud. Burned transmission fluid and the remains of the bands. This is a good example of what NOT to do to a transmission. Also note metal in the filter. I did order new bearings for the transmission as well as the rebuild kit. I may have to have the drums turned - one is scored badly - the other toasted.

    Another note - there is a tube that connects one of the pumps / valves to the rear assembly through the case. This must be removed to pull the guts out. Took a while of searching with a flashlight to find out what was causing the problem. Parts are going to a washer tomorrow. Will definitely be sending the bands in to be rebuilt. Didn't take the clutch pack apart yet either.
     

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  17. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    Second set of pics
     

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  18. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    Next....
     

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  19. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    Last Pic.

    Sorry the quality diminished as we lost light. We're doing this at my co-workers place as he's done these before. The tear down was a lot simpler than I had anticipated with the only real hang ups being the speedometer drive gear retainer clip. Trying to get that off without breaking the speedometer gear was a challenge. We did chip it - but did not break it. The other being the tube mentioned earlier. I took a pic of it specifically (think it's on the second set).

    What is sad is the evidence that this was a rebuild. The rebuild was a good one - all new seals and rings. Great care had been taken - and then it was burned up.
     
  20. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    And the pic - sorry I forgot to add it.

    Does anyone know if you can turn the drums? I know I've had it done on Model T's before (closest thing to this I've worked on to date).
     

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  21. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    I had to stay late at work today while my co-worker got off early. He sent these in a little while ago - the case and tail shaft are now clean.
     

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  22. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    Progress is slow. Co-worker got bored and painted the case while we're waiting for the new bands to arrive (had to send my old in to be relined).

    Couple pics:
     

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  23. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    Sorry for the delay folks. Time has been spent on non car things and waiting for parts to arrive.

    Last Monday I sent my bands to Thunderbird Headquarters as cores. On Friday the new bands arrived. MUCH more material on these. The drums are going to be cleaned at a machinist. I think the plan is to get them on a lathe and just polish them smooth as best as possible.

    I worked to get the bell housing and torque converter off - but the bolts are a tad tight. I got two off -- four remain. I think I need a bigger wrench. :rolleyes:

    The plan is to start getting the transmission back together sometime this week or next weekend, pull the TC and bell housing and get them cleaned up - and hopefully get the car back on the road soon.
     

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  24. Fairlane Mike
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 389

    Fairlane Mike
    Member

    The "D2" is actually a winter weather, slick driving mode; a second gear start kills off torque and helps prevent wheel spinning. Almost all owner's manuals recommend it. Works by the way in ALL vehicles, regardless of size! I have used it to my advantage in driving a heavy truck! And for the record, the cast-iron Cruise-Os and Ford-Os are good transmissions; the usual distractors are the Bow-Tie fanatics; ignore 'em!!
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  25. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    Interesting note - never head of that of the dual range transmissions.

    Bow tie / chevy?
     
  26. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 922

    s55mercury66
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from SW Wyoming

    White dot for snow, green dot for go!
     
  27. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    Thats cool - will have to remember that!
     
  28. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    So yesterday was "rebuild day."



    That didn't last long.


    After getting the clutch packs apart more of the story began to emerge.

    There had to have been a reason for the other rebuild right?

    Yup.

    At some point one of the internal bushings let go and to say things got dicey inside was an understatement. Its kind of hard to tell for sure if it was the bearing, or someone leaving a part out. The forward clutch hub had gotten ground pretty good against the internal spring backing plate.

    Also I'd say about 3/4 of the non-steel clutch disks had their material burned off. They were black, and gritty and one side or the other just polished clean.

    We took a break and discussed and here is what we think happened.

    Original transmission bearing took a dive some time back. Much metal grinding and noise. Original owner took in to rebuild.

    Rebuild mechanic did a 1/2 way job. Replaced bearings, some bushings, seals, and clutches, but not the bands. Probably did not clean out all the metal either.

    Signs of severe scoring on the drums lead me to think bits of metal got in there pretty good.

    Finally previous owner got a hold of it, ran it hard, put it away wet, and eventually ran it dry cooking the clutches and bands.

    So we put things on hold. We want to be sure this is done right. I'm scrounging for MX / FMX rebuild materials (manuals / info from people who have etc) and making certain we have all the information we need to do this right.
     
  29. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 670

    big M
    Member

    Not sure of your location, but I have plenty of core transmissions here. Replacing all the damaged hard parts would be ultra expensive.

    ---John
     
  30. rprice76
    Joined: Jun 4, 2011
    Posts: 410

    rprice76
    Member
    from Palominas

    Most of the damage, aside from the drums, appears to have been from "surfaces touching that should not touch due to previously failed bushings." I don't have the parts in front of me, but two are non-thrust bearing areas.

    The clutches and bands are the most damaged, and I have new replacements for all. The clutch packs may have been reversed when installed by the PO. That coupled with bad maintenance seems to have caused the worst damage.

    I did find the attached and also ordered a PDF version of he original maintenance manual.

    I don't have a source as I can't find where I found it. Its an FMX / MX diagram but they are very very similar from what I can tell.
     

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