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Old 02-18-2020, 05:22 AM   #21
KULTULZ
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Question Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmsfrr View Post

My biggest concern is why it seems to only have two functioning forward gears instead of three with a 2nd gear start as I've been told it 'should' be. I asked the transmission shop that did the rebuild the same question and they told me it's really just a 2 speed. So where did the other gear go???

Shifting manually or driving it has two forward speeds and shifts only once. I initially thought the shifter might be out of position relative to the transmission and it may not reach the actual Lo gear position (since starting up from a stop seems a bit sluggish and at times squeals and shakes the car) but it lines up with the P R N D L letters just fine. I'll double check that adjustment too.
The FORD-O-MATIC is a 3S SINGLE RANGE TRANS with a 2nd gear start, If you want a 1st gear start, you have to put the selector in L or floor the throttle at take-off.

Small Case is a FORD-O-MATIC. Mid-Case is a MERC-O-MATIC designed for the heavier MERC and FORD performance applications of the period.

The CRUISE-O-MATIC/MERC-O-MATIC was introduced in 1958 whereas it was a DUAL RANGE, normally starting in 1st although the driver could choose a second gear start,

The ONLY 2-SPEED TRANS (FM/2)was introduced in 1959 for economy applications and was replaced by the C4.

I cannot understand on this late date how the confusion continues.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:11 PM   #22
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

my first 55 Ford with Fordomatic trans was 2 speed (only shifted once if started off in D ), If started off in L Shifted to D then shifted back to L then shifted back to D it shifted 2 times. There was what a Ford mechanic told me, was an intermitten range that had to be manually shifted. What i know is it worked that way when I was red light dragging. Would run damn near as fast in L as it did in D. I'd call that a 3 speed trans. They did away with in when they went to Crusamatic, My 60 Fordamatic when I tried it, it liked to have put me on the dash. Live and learn

Last edited by grumppyoldman; 02-18-2020 at 12:15 PM. Reason: make change to wording
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:42 PM   #23
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

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Originally Posted by KULTULZ View Post
. . .
I cannot understand on this late date how the confusion continues.
Manually shifting it to the L position on the shifter does eliminate the occasional squealing and shaking when starting off but does not seem to select a lower gear. It starts off at the same rate and shifts once when returning the shifter to the D position.

Here's what I suspect may be going on (but prefer not to think too hard about)
For some reason the transmission isn't able to actually shift into first gear and still starts off in 2nd. The transmission shop may(?) not have done the rebuild work correctly and isn't wanting to have to redo their work.
Their story is *It's a 2 speed*, so that I'll just go away.

I will continue to examine and readjust the shifter and kick-down linkages
and keep my fingers crossed.
.

Last edited by dmsfrr; 02-18-2020 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:18 PM   #24
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Post Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

I remember your saying it had a 239/256 (?) in it when bought. And you found a 292 to replace it. Is the TRANS the one that came with the car?

Need the TRANS ID when you can.

The POWERGLIDE is a 2S, the FM is a 3S. It had the 2nd gear start for fuel economy.
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Old 02-19-2020, 12:11 AM   #25
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmsfrr View Post
My biggest concern is why it seems to only have two functioning forward gears instead of three with a 2nd gear start as I've been told it 'should' be. I asked the transmission shop that did the rebuild the same question and they told me it's really just a 2 speed. So where did the other gear go???
The Ford-O-Matic has always been a THREE-speed transmission. If you select "DRIVE", it shifts directly into intermediate, then shifts to high gear at the appropriate speed. You can select "LOW", start driving, then manually pop it up into "DRIVE" and it will shift into intermediate, then to high gear at the appropriate speed. Additionally, the trans will automatically shift into "LOW" if you select "DRIVE" and stomp the accellerator to the floor, then it will run thru all three gears. If you are on the highway, in "DRIVE" and you want to pass a slow poke, you can stomp the accellerator to the floor and the transmission will automatically downshift, then resume shifting to high again at the appropriate speed.

Where my concern is, lies in the fact that you are using a '57 and later intake manifold (which only properly fits on the 272/292 heads), and I am wondering if the guy who did the ill-advised swap, carried along the proper Ford-O-Matic passing gear linkage with it.

Thake some pics of back of intake manifold behind you carb so we can see the linkage. Do you see a rod connected from there that goes down to the passing gear lever on the trans (right where the shift lever is)? If not, you have problems. The Ford-O-Matic will not operate properly if that is not installed and not adjusted properly.
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Old 02-19-2020, 10:28 AM   #26
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

if you have a manual it shows how to adjust the linkage properly.if you do not have one that should be a priority.you also need to identify the transmission you have so any information you are given is right for the transmission you have.also as 55 said a picture of the bellcrank and linkages will be a huge help.if the car was pieced together over the years who knows what parts are (were) used
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Old 02-19-2020, 10:49 AM   #27
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

What some folks refer to as a kick down rod & lever is not quite correct. There is the gear selector lever and a throttle control lever. These transmissions use the throttle control lever to control pressures inside the transmission. Kick down will occur due to the spike in pressure when you floor it but it's not there just for kick down. Since there is no vacuum modulation like the 61 & later cars have, the shifting pressures had to be controlled through the linkage with the engine throttle control. The control mechanism behind the carb is a bit more complex than a kick down. It has to be properly adjusted to get correct shift control throughout the range of operation. As you push down on the throttle the TV valve (short for throttle valve), constantly increases transmission pressures as the throttle is opened up. The governor is set for shift points but it also has to have the correct pressure to shift properly. Too little pressure and it will slip. Slippage will kill the plates in these transmissions so adjustments have to be done a little bit at a time to adjust for a faster harsher shift down to a slower sloppier shift. You want somewhere in between when adjusting the TV rod linkage.

If the transmission has internal leaks due to bad o-ring seals, worn piston ring seals, bad servo diaphragms, or loose & leaky tubes then the transmission will have shift problems. Guys that know these transmission well have to diagnose off what the shift characteristics are. Generally the first thing they will do is a pressure test. A person needs the tech manuals for the transmission they have. There are a few shops out there that specialize in these units due to the number of T-birds and popular collector mid 50s Ford cars & trucks that have them.

The AOD is an option but the kits are expensive. These transmissions are distant relations to the old Ford-Os in that they have ravigneaux planetary units and still use a cable to control the TV valve but they have much more modern technology with the big advantage of overdrive.
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:06 PM   #28
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KULTULZ View Post
I remember your saying it had a 239/256 (?) in it when bought. And you found a 292 to replace it. Is the TRANS the one that came with the car?
Need the TRANS ID when you can. Will do.
Yes it had a '54 EBY 256 in it, with this same transmission behind it, trans has been rebuilt.
The engine is now an ECK '55 292 block w/ '58 #5752-113 heads and a '57 ECZ-B intake, '57 Holley List#1273 4bbl carburetor and '57 tach drive distributor. 1000 miles since it was rebuilt & installed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daves55Sedan View Post
. . . .
Where my concern is, lies in the fact that you are using a '57 and later intake manifold (which only properly fits on the 272/292 heads), and I am wondering if the guy who did the ill-advised swap, carried along the proper Ford-O-Matic passing gear linkage with it.

Thake some pics of back of intake manifold behind you carb so we can see the linkage. Do you see a rod connected from there that goes down to the passing gear lever on the trans (right where the shift lever is)? If not, you have problems. The Ford-O-Matic will not operate properly if that is not installed and not adjusted properly.
Yes the '57 intake it came with fit very poorly on the 256 engine, and the intake had an unauthorized leaking extra hole in it, but they're both gone now.
Photos below of the throttle linkage bellcrank with the transmission kickdown / TV rod attached.
I suspect it's the '57 version bellcrank but I'm not positive.

There is a turnbuckle sort of adjustment rod between the firewall mounted throttle lever and bellcrank on the manifold. My first impression of it, when trying to follow the kickdown / throttle control rod adjustment procedure, is that it's too long. But I'm not sure how it would make a difference.
The TV rod length is currently adjusted to 'just fit' into its hole in the bellcrank when the throttle is fully released in the 'idle' position & with the choke / fast idle off as well.
Please excuse the chipped paint on the bellcrank, it's on the to-do list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 54vicky View Post
if you have a manual it shows how to adjust the linkage properly.if you do not have one that should be a priority.you also need to identify the transmission you have so any information you are given is right for the transmission you have.also as 55 said a picture of the bellcrank and linkages will be a huge help.if the car was pieced together over the years who knows what parts are (were) used
"pieced together" - See the basic under-hood parts list above.
I do have both a '55 and '57 Shop Manual and have been valiantly (if only occasionally) attempting to follow those adjustment instructions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
... The control mechanism behind the carb is a bit more complex than a kick down. It has to be properly adjusted to get correct shift control throughout the range of operation. As you push down on the throttle the TV valve (short for throttle valve), constantly increases transmission pressures as the throttle is opened up. The governor is set for shift points but it also has to have the correct pressure to shift properly. Too little pressure and it will slip. Slippage will kill the plates in these transmissions so adjustments have to be done a little bit at a time to adjust for a faster harsher shift down to a slower sloppier shift. You want somewhere in between when adjusting the TV rod linkage.

If the transmission has internal leaks due to bad o-ring seals, worn piston ring seals, bad servo diaphragms, or loose & leaky tubes then the transmission will have shift problems. ...
This is sounding like I need to lengthen the TV rod slightly to increase the pressure, to hopefully avoid the slipping when starting off from a stop that it's experiencing. I have been manually shifting it most of the time to help avoid that misbehavior.

The transmission was rebuilt before I reinstalled it and the engine. Using Mercon transmission fluid recommended by the rebuilder.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg throttle bellcrank, left side.jpg (84.1 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg throttle bellcrank, right side.jpg (84.4 KB, 17 views)

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Old 02-19-2020, 05:11 PM   #29
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

Quote:
This is sounding like I need to lengthen the TV rod slightly to increase the pressure, to hopefully avoid the slipping when starting off from a stop that it's experiencing. I have been manually shifting it most of the time to help avoid that misbehavior.

The transmission was rebuilt before I reinstalled it and the engine. Using Mercon transmission fluid recommended by the rebuilder.
The linkage(s) at the intake manifold are 1957. You say the car came with a 256 and the trans came with the car? Before you start anything, you are going to have to ID the trans and go from there.

When all is assembled correctly, proper TV pressure is going to have to be set with a pressure gauge.
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:50 PM   #30
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

There is a procedure to set the down shift rod spelt out in the Fordo manual and in Motor's books. It is not in the regular shop manual.


The linkage set up looks like the 57 linkage. I have the same on my 56 Bird
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Old 02-19-2020, 10:22 PM   #31
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

I haven't had a Fordo since 1968, so I'm trying to remember what I've read more recently. But isn't there a kind of "slip joint" in the bellcrank, and a spring that controls it? And you push that down, put a 1/4" rod or screwdriver thru a couple holes, and then set the rod? Greenbird56 (either here or at yblocksforever) had a good post about that some time back, but I'm not so good with the search function on either site. Just trying to jog someone who knows.

Not to say a pressure gauge isn't the final answer.
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Old 02-19-2020, 10:45 PM   #32
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

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Originally Posted by miker98038 View Post
... But isn't there a kind of "slip joint" in the bellcrank, and a spring that controls it? And you push that down, put a 1/4" rod or screwdriver thru a couple holes, and then set the rod? ...
Yes there is. I've done that adjustment procedure a couple times now and it doesn't seem to help. But I haven't given up on it yet and will tackle it again, adding a bit of length to the TV rod.
.

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Old 02-20-2020, 12:27 AM   #33
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

Okay, so now getting some better info. You do now have the old 256 motor swapped out with a 292 and have the '57 & later intake manifold and carburetor complete with the '57 style carb linkage and kickdown mechanism to some degree. And we go from there.
And excuse me for using confusing terminology. I thought we all knew that the kickdown is really a fluid pressure control, but us hillbillies down here use the term "kickdown". As far as the 2-spd/3-spd confusion, it's just a matter of terminology. The small case Ford-O-matic is a 3-speed, single range trans, while the Cruise-O is a 3-speed, dual range. They are ALL three speed. But a lot of us old hillbillies call the Ford-O a 2-spd, but that's actually wrong. It only shifts ONCE in "Drive".
Now dmsfrr, I have two '55's with Ford-O-Matics. The adjustment procedure for the "kickdown rod" is NOT located in the car shop manual. You need the Ford-O-Matic shop manual for the adjustment procedure. I have had the 1956 Ford-O-Matic shop manual since 1973. In the '56 Manual, you would look at page 20 and 21 and there's a good illustration of your linkage on pg 21.
It looks to me like you have the clevis unscrewed way too much, meaning the "kickdown" lever at the transmission is rotated down too far.
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:54 AM   #34
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

The small Ford-O 2-speed is easily distinguishable by its small size and aluminum case. They were made for the Falcons and the Comet as well as other light duty applications that hit the streets in 1960. The 140 was a doggy little bugger so the 2-speed was all it needed to drag grandma to the grocery once a week.

One or two of the Borg Warner specialists use parts between the models to build a stronger transmission with a bit more longevity. They may recommend any sort of ATF but I will add this. Ford developed Type F fluid in 1967 for all of their transmissions up through the FMX series. The only exception is the C6 that came out in 1966. You can likely get away without using type F but it is a good fluid to use on the old transmissions that still contain the bronze & steel clutch packs. It helps them engage better without slippage. Use it or not but if it slips, a change to Type F might help that since that is what it was for. If it is a band slipping then it won't help with that.

Valves can get sticky in the valve body so conditioners can also be used to help them work
better until the unit fully warms up. These old transmissions can be cold blooded but they usually work the best when fully warmed up. I would do a pressure test on it per the transmission manual for the unit you have. This will tell you whether it has enough to work or not if nothing else. If there is an internal leak, it won't fix itself.

If you haven't seen this then it may be a good read.
http://forums.y-blocksforever.com/Topic117674.aspx

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Old 02-20-2020, 01:08 PM   #35
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

without being there I have a feeling you may not have the proper springs on there.I am not familiar with the 57 bell crank.I may have the spring info somewhere(number of coils etc)as to the pressure gauge you need a protractor in conjunction with it.the transmission shop may or may not have it.if they did you would need to take the car to them.they have probably built it right but they can not do anything about the linkage unless they have it.I am going to suggest something that may work if the spring(springs)is wrong.it will require you placing a 1 /4 or 5/16 bolt and nut and clamp that slide in the spot I show on linkage thus limiting the slide.this is a simple thing and can be reversed easily by removing.I neglected to say try driving it and see if it takes off the way it should(SECOND GEAR)if so then I will try to find the info on springs
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Old 02-20-2020, 05:54 PM   #36
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daves55Sedan View Post
... You have a typical small-case two speed Ford-O-Matic. They were commonly used for Ford full-sized cars V8 and 6-cyl applications beginning in 1951.
The 1951 thru 1954 Ford-O-Matic's had a cast-iron rear extension housing. From '55 on up, they had an aluminum rear extension housing.
'51 thru '56 had air-cooled converters. '57 and later (with V8) had water-cooled converters, ...
This one has the cast iron air-cooled bellhousing, a cast iron main case and an aluminum rear housing. So it "shouldn't" be the '54 version. (photos in previous replies above)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daves55Sedan View Post
... I have two '55's with Ford-O-Matics. The adjustment procedure for the "kickdown rod" is NOT located in the car shop manual. You need the Ford-O-Matic shop manual for the adjustment procedure. I have had the 1956 Ford-O-Matic shop manual since 1973. In the '56 Manual, you would look at page 20 and 21 and there's a good illustration of your linkage on pg 21. ...
You're right I didn't find it in the '55 shop manual and don't have the '56 version. But I did find the adjustment procedure on page 2-89 in the '57 Shop Manual. That's what I'm hoping will do it.

Tinkering with it today but I have other plans tomorrow and the weather is supposed to go bad Saturday and Sunday. So a test drive may have to wait until next week.

In the meantime, if it's raining or snowing, more jackstands are here now and I'll try getting the car high enough to have a look at the ID plate on the transmission.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 54vicky View Post
... I may have the spring info somewhere(number of coils etc)as to the pressure gauge you need a protractor in conjunction with it.the transmission shop may or may not have it.if they did you would need to take the car to them.they have probably built it right but they can not do anything about the linkage unless they have it. ...
They had the car for a couple days a few months ago, said they made some adjustments
(but no difference I could notice) and that they were really busy.
.

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Old 02-21-2020, 01:28 AM   #37
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Unhappy Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmsfrr View Post

You're right I didn't find it in the '55 shop manual and don't have the '56 version. But I did find the adjustment procedure on page 2-89 in the '57 Shop Manual. That's what I'm hoping will do it.

Tinkering with it today but I have other plans tomorrow and the weather is supposed to go bad Saturday and Sunday. So a test drive may have to wait until next week.

In the meantime, if it's raining or snowing, more jackstands are here now and I'll try getting the car high enough to have a look at the ID plate on the transmission.

They had the car for a couple days a few months ago, said they made some adjustments (but no difference I could notice) and that they were really busy.
If the rebuild shop was not able to adjust the linkages properly, it is because of a reason(s), (or they were incompetent and/or uncaring)..

If you keep fiddling with it by trying this and trying that, eventually the trans will burn, especially its being air cooled.

When it shakes and vibrates @ take-off, it is telling you something.


CHANCES ARE ... Get 'em Johnny Rivers ...

The shop could not get the pressure set correctly as the car has the wrong linkages and could not arrive at the correct geometry. Either realizing or not realizing, they got it close (hand grenades) and drove her out.

Why a volume shop does not offer services on an older car. No TECH INFO and no easy parts source.

PASS CAR and BIRD linkages are not the same.
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:16 PM   #38
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KULTULZ View Post
... If you keep fiddling with it by trying this and trying that, eventually the trans will burn, especially its being air cooled. ...
No immediate danger. I haven't even started it in 2 months, let alone driven it.

I re-read the adjustment instructions and they say to adjust the TV rod to 'just fit' into its hole in the bellcrank then remove it and increase the TV rod length by 3 counterclockwise turns of the adjustment, then reattach it. Test drive and if slippage is still evident increase the TV rod length by 1/2 turn.

That jives with what rotorwrench said earlier about a shorter TV rod lessening the pressure and causing slipping, and adjusting it longer increases the pressure reducing slipping but creating a harsher shift. (and finding a good compromise between the two)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
... The control mechanism behind the carb is a bit more complex than a kick down. It has to be properly adjusted to get correct shift control throughout the range of operation. As you push down on the throttle the TV valve (short for throttle valve), constantly increases transmission pressures as the throttle is opened up. The governor is set for shift points but it also has to have the correct pressure to shift properly. Too little pressure and it will slip. Slippage will kill the plates in these transmissions so adjustments have to be done a little bit at a time to adjust for a faster harsher shift down to a slower sloppier shift. You want somewhere in between when adjusting the TV rod linkage. ...
I double checked TV rod adjustment yesterday and found the 3 'extra' turns hadn't been added (oops) so that got reset. Hopefully that will take care of the slipping when starting off from a stop.
No test drive til next week, with rain or snow over the weekend.
.
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Old 02-24-2020, 09:40 PM   #39
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

According to this link the ID letters 'should' be PMB-C, printed in red paint on the left side of the ID tag.
https://www.ctci.org/fordomatic-tran...dentification/

But the paint on the tag is missing, washed off at the transmission shop. Someone who shall remain nameless didn't take a photo of it first.
There are some remaining numbers & letters on the tag if they're helpful. 19-1872S2
I've found some info online that may(?) be helpful once I can review it. But may not be looking at the best websites for this transmission.
Just in case these tag photos designate something meaningful I'm including them below.

photo 3 - During several internet searches I haven't come across another Fordomatic transmission image that matches the passenger side of the main case this one has.
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File Type: jpg trans tag L.jpg (45.8 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg trans tag r.jpg (54.3 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg transmission copy.jpg (50.3 KB, 9 views)

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Old 02-25-2020, 05:16 AM   #40
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Default Re: '54 / '55 Fordomatic ID ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmsfrr View Post
This one has the cast iron air-cooled bellhousing, a cast iron main case and an aluminum rear housing. So it "shouldn't" be the '54 version.
Then, it is probably the original '55 Ford-O-Matic, or it could be a '56 which is identical to the '55, but it is definitely not a '57, because those had water-cooled converter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmsfrr View Post
You're right I didn't find it in the '55 shop manual and don't have the '56 version. But I did find the adjustment procedure on page 2-89 in the '57 Shop Manual.
If I didn't mention it in my 2-19 post, there is MORE THAN ONE shop manual. The CAR shop manual covers all cars, wagons and Thunderbird, but DOES NOT cover the Ford-O-Matic transmission or trucks.
There is a SEPARATE Ford-O-Matic shop manual that covers the passing gear adjustment completely for all vehicles of that year.
There is a separate shop manual for trucks.
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