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Old 09-23-2019, 09:08 AM   #1
delco1946
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Default Just rebuilt transmission

Morning all, I just had my 1955 fordomatic rebuilt and have about 100 miles on it. It has very firm shifts now which I don’t like but it seems(?) to be getting softer. They reused the original plates which were in good shape and rebuilt the torque converter. They recommended tracter oil (5 or 10 weight) which seemed good - they seemed to know their stuff and didn’t recommend type f ( I’m not asking about oil so let’s not side tangent into that ). I am curious as to when others’ shift into 3rd? It used to shift into 3rd around 25 mph, rarely downshifted into 1st. Now it won’t shift into 3rd until 40 to 45 mph if I’m even feathering the gas. Did I just get used to an old sickly transmission? Is this a better range? It’s certainly louder and will result in worse miles due to higher rpms but I’d prolly get better acceleration/control. When Does yours shift? Also, I’m a little concerned about what feels like a hesitation/slip when starting from a stop light ( in 2nd). It takes a couple seconds for it to feel as responsive as it used to unless you gas it and force it to down shift. Is this a band adjustment? I go back in a couple hundred miles for a free check/ adjustment so I want to know what to ask for.
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Old 09-23-2019, 01:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Just rebuilt transmission

the old fordos always started in 2nd, never in 1st unless you floored it from a stand still. The best thing to begin with on adjustments is to be sure you have a baseline for linkage. The shop manual will indicate how to line up the holes at the carb linkage assembly on the intake manifold. Once lined up (with a dowel rod or sometimes the right diameter screwdriver shaft) you can then make an initial setting on your kickdown linkage. This rod that goes to the springloaded arm on the side of your transmission is length specific for sure. Adjustments to make the rod longer will mean you shift earlier. Adjustments to make the rod shorter means you shift later. The springloaded lever basically manages the load to the gears...

40-45 mph upshift to 3rd does seem a little late unless you are really flooring it (and of course you say you are feathering it and all). As I recall back when I ran a fordo each day, it was basically the 25-35 range that I had upshifts to 3rd and that was what I liked anyway.


did the shop put the transmission back in for you or did you do that yourself? I would think that the adjustment on the linkage is the place to begin if they rebuilt the transmission correctly.

the firmer shifts may be because of the fluid they recommended, not sure about that and don't want to get into the trans fluid debate, but of course.... the fluid you use makes a dramatic difference because that fluid controls the friction between plates.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Just rebuilt transmission

The shop did everything, and considering the price I paid I will be asking them to be doing the adjustments. I’m just trying to get an idea of what other fordomatics do in case I’m biased from my old transmission. I know the start in second, it’s still does that but does feel like it takes a couple seconds to solidly engage ( which is not enjoyable).
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:12 PM   #4
Daves55Sedan
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Default Re: Just rebuilt transmission

Tractor oil, 5 or 10W ???
Fordomatics should use Merc/Dexron automatic transmission fluid. Check fluid level at the dipstick while engine is RUNNING and gear shift lever is in neutral.
I completely agree that the old brass clutch plates can be re-used if still in good condition. They will probably long outlast the composite discs found in modern rebuild kits.
Transmission should shift from intermediate into 3rd at around 27mph if passing gear link is adjusted properly AND there are no fluid pressure problems.
The 1956 Fordomatic shop manual (not the car shop manual) gives excellent detail in adjusting the passing gear link. This adjustment is critical in obtaining proper shifting.
Once that adjustment has been corrected, the delay in downshifting at stop signs will disappear also.
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Just rebuilt transmission

Delco,
The adjustment procedure pictures can be found in the thread I started here, https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=267376. I'm actually installing a tachometer for this exact reason to see at what RPM my fordomatic is shifting from 2nd to 3rd but based on feel I'd say i'm close to the 25mph mark. As you can read from my thread, when the linkage was sticking I was experiencing exactly what you are right now, late (35-40mph) and harder shifts.
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Just rebuilt transmission

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Originally Posted by bfdinardo View Post
Delco,
The adjustment procedure pictures can be found in the thread I started here, https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=267376. I'm actually installing a tachometer for this exact reason to see at what RPM my fordomatic is shifting from 2nd to 3rd but based on feel I'd say i'm close to the 25mph mark. As you can read from my thread, when the linkage was sticking I was experiencing exactly what you are right now, late (35-40mph) and harder shifts.
Use Brian’s link to make initial adjustments. Start with a baseline and go from there...it’s all conjecture until you get the rod adjusted correctly per factory spec.
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Old 09-26-2019, 04:57 AM   #7
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Exclamation Re: Just rebuilt transmission

IF one decides to do his own adjustment(s) (especially by the methods being described here) on a trans shop rebuild with warranty, most likely that warranty will be voided.

If it burns, it will be yours.
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So I suggested, ‘How about the kitchen?’

And that’s when the fight started ....
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Old 09-26-2019, 06:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: Just rebuilt transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by KULTULZ View Post
IF one decides to do his own adjustment(s) (especially by the methods being described here) on a trans shop rebuild with warranty, most likely that warranty will be voided.

If it burns, it will be yours.
I was referencing the idea that the FORD factory manual should be used to make initial adjustments... all of that information is pretty standard stuff for anyone who knows mid-50s Fords.

Automatic transmissions shift on line pressure, we all know that. That pressure is controlled by the adjustment rod that is fastened to the carburetor linkage. Failing to establish Ford's initial adjustment for that rod means that the OP is rolling the dice on shifting, shift points, etc.

If the shop re-installed the transmission and made the initial adjustments then the car ought to be taken straight back to them and the work performed correctly.

If the OP re-installed the transmission then it is up to him to make sure the linkage is adjusted properly before driving. I would be concerned about any transmission shop that did not advise the owner of such things before handing the transmission back. Back in the day before "plug and play" computer controlled units and before the vacuum modulators the fluid pressure was controlled by mechanical linkage. It is assumed that the shop referenced would know that critical information.

However, we are on the internet, things can be cryptic, questions posed with very little backstory, and so... "could someone please pass the popcorn?"

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Old 09-26-2019, 06:39 AM   #9
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Post Re: Just rebuilt transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Rod Reverend View Post

I was referencing the idea that the FORD factory manual should be used to make initial adjustments... all of that information is pretty standard stuff for anyone who knows mid-50s Fords.

Automatic transmissions shift on line pressure, we all know that. That pressure is controlled by the adjustment rod that is fastened to the carburetor linkage. Failing to establish Ford's initial adjustment for that rod means that the OP is rolling the dice on shifting, shift points, etc.

If the shop re-installed the transmission and made the initial adjustments then the car ought to be taken straight back to them and the work performed correctly.

If the OP re-installed the transmission then it is up to him to make sure the linkage is adjusted properly before driving. I would be concerned about any transmission shop that did not advise the owner of such things before handing the transmission back. Back in the day before "plug and play" computer controlled units and before the vacuum modulators the fluid pressure was controlled by mechanical linkage. It is assumed that the shop referenced would know that critical information.

However, we are on the internet, things can be cryptic, questions posed with very little backstory, and so... "could someone please pass the popcorn?"

Exactly what I am trying to get across. A shop rebuilt the trans in their shop (in chassis yet). If the trans is disturbed in any manner, the warranty will be void if caught by the shop.

Too many recommendations of attempting TV ADJ by linkage alone. The trans (as with an AOD) MAY BURN.

Even if the fluid is changed, it may void the warranty.

It needs to be returned to the shop for shift problems and once out of warranty can it be fooled with without additional cost..
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So, I asked the wife, ‘Where would you want to go for our anniversary?’

It so warmed my heart to see her face melt in sweet appreciation ...

‘Somewhere I haven’t been in a long time!’ she said.

So I suggested, ‘How about the kitchen?’

And that’s when the fight started ....
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:01 AM   #10
delco1946
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Default Re: Just rebuilt transmission

Yup they said no to type F and recommended and used tractor oil 5 or 10 wt. Not sure how invasive I should be with them, I left them my manual but they didn’t look at it for making adjustments. it’s not like they’re rebuilding a bunch of fordomatics that often but On the flip side considering they’ve rebuilt thousands of transmissions they probably know a thing or two.

Last edited by delco1946; 09-24-2019 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:26 AM   #11
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Default Re: Just rebuilt transmission

Ugh now I’m wondering if I should have been more vocal vs deferring to their experience. I hate being in this position :/
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:43 AM   #12
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Cool Re: Just rebuilt transmission

... whew ...

How many experienced re-builders will still be around with fifties trans tech knowledge? It would have to be a specialty shop I would think.

As for motor oil, that was thirties/forties tech.

They re-used the clutch plates. Did they charge you for a complete overhaul set?
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So, I asked the wife, ‘Where would you want to go for our anniversary?’

It so warmed my heart to see her face melt in sweet appreciation ...

‘Somewhere I haven’t been in a long time!’ she said.

So I suggested, ‘How about the kitchen?’

And that’s when the fight started ....
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:26 PM   #13
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Default Re: Just rebuilt transmission

Well he was certainly old enough i'd say, and transmissions are their bread and butter. Not sure what you mean by overhaul set but they charged labor for a rebuild ( took it apart piece by piece due due the X cross-member underneath). The alternative was pulling the engine out to the tranny out in one piece.

They rebuilt the torque converter, put new seals, some smaller parts (springs?), etc. They said it was in pretty good shape generally, but replaced the rear band which was chewed up/damaged and had to fashion a new one due to parts availability. (I also gave them a MACs catalog just in case but i doubt they saw that either *rolls eyes*).

I don't have the bill in front of me regarding specifics.
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:21 AM   #14
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Default Re: Just rebuilt transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by delco1946 View Post
Well he was certainly old enough i'd say, and transmissions are their bread and butter. Not sure what you mean by overhaul set but they charged labor for a rebuild ( took it apart piece by piece due due the X cross-member underneath). The alternative was pulling the engine out to the tranny out in one piece.

They rebuilt the torque converter, put new seals, some smaller parts (springs?), etc. They said it was in pretty good shape generally, but replaced the rear band which was chewed up/damaged and had to fashion a new one due to parts availability. (I also gave them a MACs catalog just in case but i doubt they saw that either *rolls eyes*).

I don't have the bill in front of me regarding specifics.
the cross member is bolted in this allows removal of trans.not sure how they thought they had to remove piece by piece.the advice on throttle rod adjustment is the way it was (is) done.the old saying B.S.baffles brains I think applies here on their part.good luck
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:55 AM   #15
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Post Re: Just rebuilt transmission

The OP has a BIRD. No removable cross-member. Usually, the engine/trans is pulled as an assembly. It can be done in chassis, but requires breaking the trans down and removing it in sections. If he got the TC out, thay should have been able to put the main case on the bench.

Anyways, it seems the only out is to take it back and have them attempt to adjust the shift points.

I would ask them the name and classification of the ATF explaining you need that for top-off or repair on a road trip. Don't ask them how and why.
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So, I asked the wife, ‘Where would you want to go for our anniversary?’

It so warmed my heart to see her face melt in sweet appreciation ...

‘Somewhere I haven’t been in a long time!’ she said.

So I suggested, ‘How about the kitchen?’

And that’s when the fight started ....
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:29 PM   #16
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Default Re: Just rebuilt transmission

and I guess if folks really think that they made a mistake by using "tractor oil" versus dexron/mercron, i could always have it changed and bring a new pan with a drain to simplify this in the future. It sounded like they considered the two pretty similar or at least both work well.
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Old 09-24-2019, 05:20 PM   #17
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Unhappy Re: Just rebuilt transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by delco1946 View Post

...and I guess if folks really think that they made a mistake by using "tractor oil" versus dexron/mercron, i could always have it changed and bring a new pan with a drain to simplify this in the future. It sounded like they considered the two pretty similar or at least both work well.
I have no idea of why the trans fill. Even TYPE A was called for in this time period (DEXRON III is the superscession)

If you decide to use DEXRON, you will have to fully drain the convertor and main case and then partially fill (until convertor fills) and then go to a flush procedure. What comes out has to be entirely clean ATF.

What warranty did they give you?

Hate to hear crap like this.
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So, I asked the wife, ‘Where would you want to go for our anniversary?’

It so warmed my heart to see her face melt in sweet appreciation ...

‘Somewhere I haven’t been in a long time!’ she said.

So I suggested, ‘How about the kitchen?’

And that’s when the fight started ....
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:07 PM   #18
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Default Re: Just rebuilt transmission

12 month warranty.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:16 PM   #19
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Default Re: Just rebuilt transmission

The throttle control valve that accompanies the gear selector is what controls the pressure in the transmission. The Borg Warner single range and early dual range transmission designs runs entirely from fluid pressure. The gear selector is just that. The TV rod is everything else. It's better if a person uses a pressure gauge to adjust it by the book but it can be adjusted by trial and error if a person doesn't get carried away. Mark where you started and start adjusting it. A stall test to check the band for slippage is not a bad idea either but the pressure tests will get it working like it should.

Ford Type F oil was developed to insure positive shifts in the Ford/Borg Warner design transmissions with metal on metal clutch plates so they wouldn't slip when the pressure is lowered. It's a balance between a positive but livable shift and a harsh shift. The Type F was developed in the later 60s when the use a whale oil was no longer in vogue. Type A GM fluid from the early 1950s is not available in its original form (no whale oil). Modern Dexron/Mercon fluid is designed to work with clutch packs that have steels with composite plates like all modern transmissions have. The modern fluids have conditioners and other additives that type F doesn't.

If you use Dexron/Mercon just make sure the that you don't let the clutch packs slip for any length of time if they are still bronze & steel type plates or it will ruin them quickly.

Some folks say don't run type F! Drag racers have been running it for years in all sorts of different transmissions to get more positive shifts but that's what you want when you drag race.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:31 PM   #20
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Default Re: Just rebuilt transmission

Rotorwrench and others- any idea then if old fashioned tractor ( does that mean transmission or hydraulic?)fluid is ok then? I doubt my plates are slipping currently as I feel firm shifts. I’m ready to have a heart attack. Also makes me wish I had a drain plug.

How on earth do I have any control of the clutch packs slipping if I use dextron for any length of time?? They’re the original plates.

Last edited by delco1946; 09-24-2019 at 07:50 PM.
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