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Fordomatic... Transmission question...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HeX, Apr 9, 2004.

  1. HeX
    Joined: Sep 29, 2002
    Posts: 384

    HeX
    Member

    I have a '55 ford country sedan with the stock engine (272)/ tranny (stock 2 speed fordomatic)... Finally got most of the bugs worked out of the engine... BUT the tranny won't quite cooperate...

    First it wouldn't pull up hill... adjusted the line pressure and now it pulls fine...

    Then it wouldn't go into first, even when I manually put it into low it would start in second... took the governor out, cleaned it and like magic it goes into first...

    NOW the problem is that it won't shift... The only way to go into first is to manually put it into first, and the only way to go through the gears is to start out in low and then manually shift the column into drive... ANY suggestions...

    I'm thinking that maybe there is just some junk in the valve bodies... My plan is to drain and fill the tranny fluid a few times and just drive it as is hoping that the shit that's built up will break itself loose...

    Anyone have any different/ better ideas?

    Thanks,

    Tim
     
  2. I also have one of those POS-O-matics. Is your throttle valve lever adjusted correctly? That affects the shift as it does similarly in a more modern trans with the vacuum modulator. It sounds like you could use a good flushing out, as several of your problems are being fixed by cleaning. Your idea of draining and filling with fresh fluid to clean it out good and repeat a few times is only a few bucks and mostly labor, so it can't hurt.

    I hate that trans with the starting out in second gear. It is a three speed by the way, but has only two shift lever positions, L and D.
     
  3. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 25,737

    porknbeaner
    Member

    I guess before I did the clean fluid thing several times I would get the valve body out and give it a good soaking. Won't take anymore time than the tranny fluid changing and will cost you less in the long run.
    Just a thought.
     
  4. HeX
    Joined: Sep 29, 2002
    Posts: 384

    HeX
    Member

    Thanks.

    It's a 3 speed? I thought it was a 2 speed... even the chilton's calls it a 2 speed... Can you give me a little more info...? In druve it starts in 2nd and then should shift into 3rd? So the only time it would ever be in first is by manually shifting it into low to start out?

    Tim
     
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  5. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 25,737

    porknbeaner
    Member

    If I recall the old owners manual said that you put it in low for pulling a grade or pulling a trailer.
    You should be able to put it in drive and pull away from a stop no problem. Perhaps a little sluggish, but back then autos were for family cars not hotrods.
    You actually paid more for that luxery. Imagine that.
     
  6. HeX
    Joined: Sep 29, 2002
    Posts: 384

    HeX
    Member

    I have heard the same... however, the chilton's got me convinced that it is only a 2 speed... I had heard that 1st was only used going up grade or hauling... It starts in 2nd fine but really doesn't shift into 3rd... I have never had it over 35, could that be the reason it hasn't shifted into 3rd? I hope to get it out on the road this weekend as opposed to just driving around the lot where the shop is... When would you expect it to shift up?

    Tim
     
  7. HeX
    Joined: Sep 29, 2002
    Posts: 384

    HeX
    Member

  8. japchris
    Joined: Apr 21, 2001
    Posts: 127

    japchris
    Member

    With my T's Clunk-o-matic, if you floor it from a standing start it kicksdown into first with a slight moments hesitation (thats if I choose not to manually shift it down) and pulls away in first then automatically go up to two and three. Normal driving it will pull away in second and change up to third at an approx min speed of 13-18mph and max of 55-70mph, depends on tyre size/axle ratio.
    Whilst driving at under 30mph in second it should kickdown into first when you boot it, but again reemphasize 38Chevy454's comments about correct adjustment on that kickdown rod.
    Best you find a quite piece of road and give it a good "testing" !
     
  9. HeX
    Joined: Sep 29, 2002
    Posts: 384

    HeX
    Member

    japchris, THANKS! That diagram that you sent me did the trick in terms of getting it back on the road... And I figure you're right... I need to check the kick-down and just tweak it a little... At least it's running now... the rest will come over time... MAYBE...

    Thanks again.

    Tim
     
  10. lowsquire
    Joined: Feb 21, 2002
    Posts: 2,519

    lowsquire
    Member

    ford-o-matics are a two speed auto.
    just wanted to clarify that.
    two speed.
    if its three forward gears its somethin else.
     
  11. HeX
    Joined: Sep 29, 2002
    Posts: 384

    HeX
    Member

    Please clear this up for me... 2 speed = 1st and 2nd? Thus, low = 1st? Drive should start in 1st and then run into 2nd? ANYONE????

     
  12. japchris
    Joined: Apr 21, 2001
    Posts: 127

    japchris
    Member

    Yeah strange, although they commonly called 2 speeds, according to the '55 Ford-o-matic workshop manual I got here they have a Drive Range - Intermediate, High and Low Ratio and refer to 1, 2 and 3 shifts - a sorta two speed box and low ?
    Hex - I'll fax you the shift point performance check page shortly.
     
  13. HeX
    Joined: Sep 29, 2002
    Posts: 384

    HeX
    Member

    Thanks AGAIN!
     
  14. lowsquire
    Joined: Feb 21, 2002
    Posts: 2,519

    lowsquire
    Member

    .
     

    Attached Files:

  15. HeX
    Joined: Sep 29, 2002
    Posts: 384

    HeX
    Member

    So I'm back to square 1... 2 speed = 1st and 2nd, right?
     
  16. restorit
    Joined: Feb 12, 2003
    Posts: 778

    restorit
    Member

    In 1964, my first car was a 57 Ford Retractable Hardtop with a 312 and the Fordomatic trans. Here is how I shifted it. I manually shifted it into low and took off, and shifted it into drive. As it shifted, I pulled it back into low, chirping the tires. This held it in 2nd until I shifted manually into drive - three speeds. If you start out in drive, it will only shift once. Learned this trick from my older brother...Tom
     
  17. warbird
    Joined: Oct 4, 2003
    Posts: 463

    warbird
    Member

    Finally someone brought this up! Start in L, wind it up then pop it into D, it'll shift into second. Pull it back into L and you can hold it in second as long as you want. Once more into D and you're in third.

    If it's a '55 tranny it's a THREE-SPEED. The POS two-speed Fordo didn't come out until about '59. And it really is a POS, won't even hold up behind a mildly warmed over 292.

    That is, it's a 3-speed if it was made in the US. Obviously, from the shop-manual page posted above, OZ built Fords may be different. [​IMG]
     
  18. Let me say again that mine is a 53 and it IS a three speed. Like others said, you have to pull it into low manually, else it takes off in second. In my modified, the car is so light and the engine so worn out, it won't kick down when you floor it!!!! But I guaranfuckintee it has three distinct gears that resemble first, second and third.

    Late years may have only two speeds, I don't know, but the Ford-O-Matic (POS-O-Matic), also known as Merc-O-Matic has a cast iron case and is three speeds.
     
  19. HeX
    Joined: Sep 29, 2002
    Posts: 384

    HeX
    Member

    38chevy454 and warbird... THANKS! So, is it correct that it should shift from second into third (if starting out in "D") at between 35 and 45?

    I've never had it up above 35 since I got it running... This weekend will be the road test, let me know....

    Thanks again.

    Tim
     
  20. warbird
    Joined: Oct 4, 2003
    Posts: 463

    warbird
    Member

    If things are properly adjusted and working correctly, your upshift speed should depend on how deep you've got your foot into it. 35-45 sounds a little low for WOT.
     
  21. HeX
    Joined: Sep 29, 2002
    Posts: 384

    HeX
    Member

    Well... it FINALLY shifted... got it up to about 50 and VIOLA! I finally found the top...

    THANKS again for all the help...

    Tim
     
  22. 23 t 312
    Joined: Mar 26, 2010
    Posts: 3

    23 t 312
    Member

    anybody have a close up diagram of how a fordomatic torque converter bolts up to a 312 y block
     
  23. Dale Fairfax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,584

    Dale Fairfax
    Member

    Wrong.



     
  24. 55Brodie
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 113

    55Brodie
    Member

    55 and earlier (back to '51) Ford O's are air cooled 3 speed transmissions that start off in 2nd gear (intermediate range). Beginning in '55, if you stood on the gas from a dead stop, the tranny would drop to low gear. Of course you could always select low manually. In '56 these trannys got a steel impeller and water cooling. Starting in '58, this version morphed into the Cruise-O-Matic (aka Green Dot), a fully automatic 3 speed through the addition of a sprag clutch. In '58 the Ford-O was indeed a a 2 speed, one piece case transmission. The Cruise-O continued on eventually morphing again to the FMX. Y-Block Cruise-O's went to '62. In '61, they got a vacuum modulator and a cast aluminum bell housing. The vacuum modulator eliminated having to adjust the throttle pressure/kickdown manually. This is a fairly easy, but extremely important adjustment to the well being of your car. It controls the shift points. I suggust you get a Ford-O shop manual for your year tranny. There were different looking converters and flex -plates depending upon year.
    This same basic Borg Warner design was also used behind Studebakers and American Motors cars. The Stude sites have lots of info regarding converting these tranny to fully automatic, although I can't vouch for that.
     
  25. seamusmcgowan
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 2

    seamusmcgowan
    Member

    All Ford automatics produced before model year 1959 are 3 speeds. In 1958 the Fordomatic and Cruiseomatic were both offered as 3 speeds. The Cruisomatic provided first gear starts with minimal throttle in the right drive position, Green Dot and second gear starts like the Fordomatic in Left Drive or White Dot. The Fordomatic for 1958 was the same as the 1957 and below with a 2nd gear start in drive unless floored. The first 2 speed Fordomatics were offered in model year 1959 and they were completely new animals with aluminum cases. These fuctioned like a Powerglide and were available in small and large sizes for Falcons and Full size cars and trucks.
     
  26. Unibodyguy
    Joined: Dec 23, 2007
    Posts: 392

    Unibodyguy
    Member

    Their accually a Borg-Warner trans. used by Ford/Mercury/Studebaker, and AMC also. The radiator cooled ones are longer lasting then the early air cooled ones.

    Michael
     
  27. H3O
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Posts: 597

    H3O
    Member

    ford-o-matics are two speeds. cruise-o-matics are three speeds. start in second then shift in third.
     
  28. KULTULZ
    Joined: Apr 10, 2007
    Posts: 328

    KULTULZ
    Member

    :)

    The FORD-O-MATIC (1950-1958) was a Single-Range 3/S . First gear takeoff could only be accomplished either by selector lever in LOW or WOT takeoff.

    The redesigned FORD-O-MATIC (PX) (1959-1964) was a Two-Speed transmission. It was used for fuel economy and light car usage. It was replaced in 1964 with the C4.

    The CRUISEOMATIC (Dul Range) was a major redesign in 1958 that allowed either the normal second gear start or a normal first gear start (position of shift lever) (Green Dot)

    The MERC-O-MATIC was the equivalent of the FOM but had a larger case. It was used alongside the FOM in regards to car size and HP. The MOM Multi-Shift was the medium case COM equivalent (Dual Range).

    LINCOLN had it's own unique trans, the large case TURBO-DRIVE (Single Range). The late 1958 model run saw the release of the TWIN TURBO-DRIVE, which was a Dual Range trans. It was replaced in the 1966 model run with the C6.

    The 1968 model run saw the release of the FMX which basically took the heavier MOM Multi-Drive innards and put them into the smaller COM main case.

    Beginning in 1966, FORD went to Select-Shift on some models which gave the shifter select pattern we are used to today. 1-2-3 shifts.

    I left out a lot here, but like FORD's engine families, the trans can be confusing also. But FORD did not have a multi-line of cars like GM so everything built had to be useful to all three lines.
     
  29. jmassad
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2

    jmassad
    Member
    from Texas

    Help! I have a 1958 Mercury Monterry, Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission (which I believe is basically the Ford-O-Matic transmission). Here's my problem. I've got a transmission oil leak from what appears to look like the transmission vacuum modulator. Just looking at the part on my car, and looking at vacuum modulator pictures, that is what it looks like. I'm having a devil of a time finding a vacuum modulator for a 1958 Mercury. Since I can't find the part for my Merc, would a vacuum modulator for a Ford-O-Matic from that era work just as well? Perhaps I'll have better luck finding the Ford part? Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  30. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,458

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    You have a Merc-o-matic transmission with a vacuum modulator. Hmmm, AIR vacuum controlled throttle valves didn't start till '61, therefore you probably have a newer model transmission. You need to get some sort of ID number from the transmission. It probably is a 61 or 62 transmission.
     

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