Login  /  Register  
  Home  -  Forum  -  Classifieds  -  Photos  -  Links     

  << Previous Topic | Next Topic >>Return to Index  

Cruise-O-Matic question

July 31 2011 at 10:47 AM

  (Login Cosmo_63)
Members

Why is a lack of 3rd gear such a common trouble on a Cruise-O-Matic? After reading about a C6 swap into my Galaxie it seems most people do the swap because of that exact problem. Mine, for example, only shifts into third after about ten minutes of driving when it's had plenty of time to warm up.
This is just out of curiosity as I have no intentions of rebuilding mine after I replace it with my C6. I just want to know why this is so common...

Michael Stanford (San Marcos, TX)
1963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 500XL - 390 / Cruise-O-Matic (Project of ten years and going)
2004 Ford Ranger Edge - 2wd truck that gets treated like it's 4wd
2011 Jayco Jay Flight 22FB (Home sweet home!)

 
 Respond to this message   
AuthorReply
galaxiex
(Login galaxiex)
Members

Re: Cruise-O-Matic question

July 31 2011, 1:38 PM 

Usual cause of "lazy" 3rd on a hi-mileage Cruise-o is the seals in the Hi drum get hard and shrink.

Trans warms up and the oil flows a bit easier so the worn/hard/shrunk seals "sorta" seal better with the warm oil.

3rd clutches could be worn too.

Another possible cause is a sticky governor, but then the 1-2 shift would be late also.

Yet another possible cause is poor vacuum signal to the modulator, but again, the 1-2 shift would be late also.

In the trans biz we say the trans is "tired" and needs an overhaul.

There can be a whole host of other problems in those trans.... worn rings and damaged parts where the rings seal.

Auto trans function is dependant on hydraulic circuits being tight/no leaks. With mileage things wear/loosen up and problems occur.


 
 Respond to this message   

Dr. Mabuse
(Login FE4RD)
Members

Technically a C6 is also a "Cruise-O-Matic"...

July 31 2011, 2:14 PM 


 
 Respond to this message   
Anonymous
(Login 391locker)
Members

Re: Technically a C6 is also a "Cruise-O-Matic"...

July 31 2011, 4:28 PM 

It's also called "dual range", which to me is made to sound like there are a different set of gear ratios available. Some rednecks talk about "passing gear" as if theres an "extra" gear for that.

 
 Respond to this message   
galaxiex
(Login galaxiex)
Members

Re: Technically a C6 is also a "Cruise-O-Matic"...

July 31 2011, 5:45 PM 

Correct... Ford called many trannys "Cruise-O-Matic".

...but in the trans industry, the 67 and older, cast iron case trans (NOT the FMX) became known as the Cruise-O-Matic.

Many cars (pre-68) had "Cruise-O-Matic" on the shift quadrant and Ford used that name in their advertising.

There are actually several variations of the pre-68 cast iron "Cruise-O-Matic".... Small, Medium, and Large case to name 3...

"Dual Range" is a tag Ford added as well... and usually means (in Ford speak) that the trans is capable of starting off in 2nd gear, for winter driving.

Later they also used the tag "Select Shift". This was used to describe the C6 (and others) from 66 on.

So you could have a.... "Select Shift C6 Cruise-O-Matic" .... but everyone just calls it a "C6".

The older cast iron trans was commonly called a.... "Dual Range Cruise-O-Matic"... but it just got shortened to Cruise-O-Matic.... or often just.... "Dual Range"

More confusion.... not all (older) trannys were called "Dual Range" but were called Cruise-O-Matic....(Ford-O-Matic, Merc-O-Matic)

Basically it breaks down like this....

Ford built, cast iron case trans, in at least 3 versions, small, medium and large case, up to 67 get called "Cruise-O-Matic and/or "Dual Range"

1964 saw the introduction of the C4 and it became known as that... even tho Ford called it a "Cruise-O-Matic"

1966 came the C6 and it became known as that... again, even tho Ford called it a "Cruise-O-Matic"

1968 (and some late 67's) came the FMX... basically a slightly modified "small case Cruise-O-Matic" but everyone just called it the FMX.

To ID if you have an FMX or Cruise-O-Matic, the Cruise-O had the fill tube/dipstick attached to the pan. The FMX its in the main case.

Note the C4 and C6 could also be called "Dual Range" as well, since they are capable of starting off in 2nd gear.... but they are not commonly called that.

Special note... the early C4... 1964 to 1966 had what is called the "Green Dot" shift pattern. Where you would normally have second gear, there was a Green Dot and this was the "normal" Drive position. If you moved the gear shift to what would normally be the 3rd gear position, or the "normal"  "Drive" position on a later trans... the trans would start off in 2nd gear and shift to 3rd. Thus these were "Dual Range" transmissions.

Same thing for the first year, 1966, of the C6.

From 1967 on, Ford dropped the "Green Dot" shift patten... and the trans became the "Select Shift" because you could still manually select 2nd gear, and the trans would start off in 2nd.

Many (most?) earlier cast iron trans' also had the "Green Dot"... thus... "Dual Range"... Some has D1 (Drive 1) and D2 (Drive 2) lettering on the shift quadrant, and may or may-not have had, a Green Dot.

D1 is the Green Dot position, trans starts in 1st, shifts to 2nd, then to 3rd.

D2 (Drive 2) is the winter driving range, trans starts in 2nd and shifts to 3rd.

Shift quadrants...

P-R-N-D2-D1-1 or sometimes "L" instead of 1. This would be a "Dual Range" trans whether it is a C4, C6, or cast iron. With or without the Green Dot.

1967 and up P-R-N-D-2-1 is the normal pattern for the Select Shift trans, whether C4, C6, FMX, or (last year for it) Cruise-O-Matic..... no FMX was ever a Green Dot.

......and "some" early (1966) C6 got the Select Shift P-R-N-D-2-1 pattern but most were Green Dot types.



    
This message has been edited by galaxiex on Jul 31, 2011 10:27 PM
This message has been edited by galaxiex on Jul 31, 2011 6:42 PM
This message has been edited by galaxiex on Jul 31, 2011 6:41 PM
This message has been edited by galaxiex on Jul 31, 2011 6:32 PM
This message has been edited by galaxiex on Jul 31, 2011 6:26 PM
This message has been edited by galaxiex on Jul 31, 2011 6:24 PM
This message has been edited by galaxiex on Jul 31, 2011 6:23 PM
This message has been edited by galaxiex on Jul 31, 2011 5:49 PM


 
 Respond to this message   

(Login tomposthuma)
Members

to add to that confusion...

July 31 2011, 8:56 PM 

In case seven edits didn't make that clear enough... happy.gif Ford didn't get rid of the iron case Cruise-O-Matic when the C6 came out. It was still available behind some FE's at least into 67 so did that 67 version get the normal (by then) 1-2-D or the old green dot pattern?

The 1966 C6 was not always the green dot. That newfangled "Selectshift" was much of the marketing for Fairlane and Cyclone GT/A's. A non-Cyclone GT/Fairlane GTA car still got the green dot pattern for 66.

 
 Respond to this message   
galaxiex
(Login galaxiex)
Members

Re: to add to that confusion...

July 31 2011, 10:03 PM 

...yes... at one time I owned a 67 Custom with a 289 and the Cruise-O-Matic, D-2-1... No green dot in 67 at all... as far as I know....

... and make that 8 edits... and 2 for this post....



    
This message has been edited by galaxiex on Jul 31, 2011 10:15 PM
This message has been edited by galaxiex on Jul 31, 2011 10:08 PM


 
 Respond to this message   

Jason Engle
(Login jakengle)
Members

Re: to add to that confusion...

August 1 2011, 2:27 AM 

I thought that a 289 full-size from '67 would have a C4, not a Cruiso. I have a 'small case' cruiso that came stock in my 352-powered galaxie. With a stock rebuild and a modified valve body by Jay Broader it works pretty well. I still really dislike not being able to select between 1st and 2nd when manually shifting, but I don't know of a way to convert the trans from 'green dot' pattern to 'select shift' pattern...

[img][linked image][/img]

 
 Respond to this message   
galaxiex
(Login galaxiex)
Members

Re: to add to that confusion...

August 1 2011, 9:35 AM 

[QUOTE]I thought that a 289 full-size from '67 would have a C4, not a Cruiso. I have a 'small case' cruiso that came stock in my 352-powered galaxie. With a stock rebuild and a modified valve body by Jay Broader it works pretty well. I still really dislike not being able to select between 1st and 2nd when manually shifting, but I don't know of a way to convert the trans from 'green dot' pattern to 'select shift' pattern...[/QUOTE]

I would have thought so too... but my 67 Custom, 289 Cruiso car, was built in Canada.... so who knows... I can verify that it was all stock, and when I rebuilt the trans, it had never been apart before.

What year is your small case Cruiso? Does it have a rear pump?

To convert from Green Dot to Selectshift can be done. In some cases, it means finding the appropriate valve body, in some cases, eg. a 1966 C6 green dot can be changed to Selectshift by using a 67-72 manual valve. Only have to change the manual valve, not the whole valve body.

Since the Small Case Cruiso was almost always a Green Dot except for 1967... the Selectshift Cruiso valve body will be kinda scarce... one year only....

I'm not sure if you could use just a different manual valve, or if you need to change the whole valve body. (I used to know this stuff... but it has been a long time....)
There is a *chance*... (depends on the year of your Cruiso) that you could use a manual valve from the FMX to convert yours to Selectshift.

If you can find a 1967 Selectshift Cruiso valve body, use the whole thing, including the manual valve, OR, compare the manual valve with yours, you may be able to change just the valve. The valve will look "almost" the same as yours, the only difference will be/should be, one of the spools/lands will be either wider or narrower.

OR, find a FMX valve body, and if your Cruiso does NOT have a rear pump, use the complete FMX valve body.

OR, there is a *possibility* that the FMX manual valve will fit your valve body and will make it function as a Selectshift.

I wish I could remember for sure if just a manual valve change will work... I'm an "old guy" and a trans rebuilder for 30+ years... but it's been a long time since I worked on modifying these things.

I did recently do some stock rebuilds on some old iron... 1954 Buick DynaFlow, 1969 small block Galaxie ragtop C4, 1972 Mustang FMX, 1965 Merc Medium Case Cruiso, 1939 HydraMatic in a Cadillac.

The shop I work in (4 rebuilders, all old guys...) no-one else wants to work on the old stuff, they give it all to me. (shrug) that's ok, I like it. happy.gif

Sad story... a few years ago there was an old time tranny shop for sale here. Had been in business since the '40's... They had "tons" of old stuff, even brand new vintage trans parts still in factory boxes. Drums, Pumps, Planetaries, Valve bodies, etc... The new owner thought all that stuff useless, so he junked it all, didn't even try to sell it to anyone. Oh well...


 
 Respond to this message   

Jason Engle
(Login jakengle)
Members

thanks for the info

August 1 2011, 11:35 AM 

you never know what you might find...I have a C6 under my bench that I will build when this one gives me trouble or when I get really sick of the shift pattern. It's unlikely that I would bother to try and mod this trans any more.

[img][linked image][/img]

 
 Respond to this message   

(Login tomposthuma)
Members

CruisO rebuild

August 1 2011, 10:26 PM 

Ahh, somebody that's worked on one.
My 61 Cruis-O is slipping like a bugger. The C6 i've got would need rebuilding too. I can't seem to find pedals and clutch linkage for less than "R Code money" so i was thinking of rebuilding the Cruis-O myself but nobody I know has ever tried. Anything to be aware of before buying a rebuild kit?

 
 Respond to this message   
galaxiex
(Login galaxiex)
Members

Re: CruisO rebuild

August 6 2011, 4:09 PM 

Not an easy task for the amateur, but can be done. Arm yourself with a shop manual and read, read, read, before tearing the trans apart. If the shop manual overhaul procedure looks over your head... find an old guy trans builder that has experience on that trans.

Buy a quality kit. TransTec or Toledo are probably most common. Get the kit that comes with clutches and steels. Probably gonna need a new front band, and maybe a rear one too. Don't forget a new filter, and not a bad idea to get a new modulator as well. Also a pump (convertor) bushing.

Beware of "hard part" damage. Critical areas to look at are where the sealing rings ride in the front clutch drum. Actually anywhere there are sealing rings, look closely at the corresponding surface that the rings seal to. Deep grooves and the part is junk. "Slight" wear, and I mean very slight....if you can "barely" feel a ridge or groove, can be polished out. Look close at the aluminum insert (slang called the "flute") inside the output shaft. They are known for getting badly grooved from the rings. The insert can be changed but its not an easy job. Pulling the old out with a slide hammer is ok, but getting the new in, is risky, super easy to break the new one. Heat the output shaft and freeze the insert and assemble quickly is one way to do it. Still risky for a beginner. The sleeve is a very tight press fit. It MUST also be installed with the oil holes lined up! If yours is bad, take it to a pro (old guy) trans builder that has done it before. (The "flute" is not always bad, I'd say about 50/50). Watch/check for other worn bushings and thrust washers.

Trans-Go has a "Shift Kit" for that trans.... your trans will thank you for it, and you will love the crisp shifts.

A clean well lit work area and much care and attention to detail will ensure success. Don't be in a rush.


 
 Respond to this message   

(Login Galaxie)
Members

There is a way to manualy shift a cruise o matic.........

August 1 2011, 5:32 PM 

......I don't recommend it and I think it lead to the failure of mine.

Ed Jenkins

Ford Galaxie Club of America member #3350
1966 Galaxie 500 Convertible built in Chicago Illinois, will have a hipo 390, 780CFM 3310 holley, trick C6, Crites Aluminum radiator, California rear floor pan, and a rust free frame from the south. Work continues.

Please visit and revisit the Carb Forum athttp://network54.com/forum/88781

 
 Respond to this message   


(Login Cosmo_63)
Members

Wow

August 1 2011, 11:33 AM 

What I thought was going to be a simple response ended up being far from it. haha I'm not complaining though. I love learning about this kind of stuff as you never know when it will come in handy (even though it took me several reads to fully comprehend all of the differences stated in those 8 edits). I definitely appreciate all of the responses. I'm always reading about the various engines offered by FoMoCo in the '60s but the transmissions have always taken a backseat in my interests.

Now, after further reading I'm curious to see whether the tranny in my Galaxie is an MX or an FX. I have to admit, no matter which one it is I'm really impressed with it as it's withstood some abuse from my heavy foot and some high RPM shifting. Oddly enough, the only time it's ever showed me that it had enough was when it was in stop & go traffic for about half an hour waiting to get into a car show. Once I pulled in and parked it proceeded to puke it's guts out of the front dust cover. I had it towed home (only because I wasn't sure what had puked and I didn't want to chance it), added some tranny fluid after I discovered that the tranny was the culprit and it was like it never happened.

Michael Stanford (San Marcos, TX)
1963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 500XL - 390 / Cruise-O-Matic (Project of ten years and going)
2004 Ford Ranger Edge - 2wd truck that gets treated like it's 4wd
2011 Jayco Jay Flight 22FB (Home sweet home!)

 
 Respond to this message   
galaxiex
(Login galaxiex)
Members

Re: Wow

August 1 2011, 12:20 PM 

The FX, MX, Cruise-O-Matic and FMX trannys are considered (by Ford) to be "medium duty" transmissions, the C6 is heavy duty.

In my experience, the cast iron trannys in all variations, including the FMX are actually fairly rugged designs and will withstand considerable abuse.

They were never as popular as the C4 and C6 for performance use, probably due to weight and a somewhat lack of performance upgrades.

Trans-Go did have a High Performance "Shift Kit" for the FMX, but it is no longer available. I tried to get the "Stage-2" shift kit for the 72 Mustang FMX I recently rebuilt, and thats when I found the kit has been discontinued.

I was forced to use the "regular" "Shift Improvement Kit" as that one is still available. Not a bad kit, but the Stage-2 kit had some extra parts for hi-perf use.

A regular Shift Improvement Kit is also available for the 67 and older Cruise-O-Matic.

When I first started building trannys over 30 years ago... I didn't like the cast iron transmissions... now I find that they can actually perform quite well, and as said, they are fairly rugged. Not the easiest trans to successfully overhaul, and they can be a bit finicky at times, and they do need more care on assembly compared to say, a C6. But all in all, If I had a car with one of the cast iron trannys, and I wanted to keep it more-or-less original, I would not be afraid to use the cast iron trans for street performance use.

OTOH.... if all out performance is desired, no concern of originality, or even just to upgrade to a more "modern" trans, the C6 would be my choice.

My 66 FE Galaxie came with the Green Dot C6 and I changed the valve body to the Selectshift, also installed E4OD wider ratio planetary gear set. (gear set change is major work for a minor change/improvement in ratios, not worth the trouble and expense on a street car, unless you are a trans guy and have access to the parts and can also do some minor machining)

I also modified the console shift quadrant to show D-2-1 and modified/welded the shifter detent plate so there is a positive stop for the "D" position.

 

Edit; On the issue of your trans puking oil out the front (I assume it puked the oil out), Ford uses a front seal that, when it gets hot/overheated can do just that... puke out about 2-3 quarts of oil and then the leak stops... trans cools off, refill with oil and all seems fine...

The issue is the seal material and the type of trans oil used.

Even to this day, the material that Ford specs for the front seal on many of their trannys can cause that to happen, esp after a long hot drive on the hi-way. Stop for gas and the oil pukes out. Refill and carry on, no apparent other problem. The issue is the silicone rubber Ford uses for the front seal, combined with using trans oil OTHER THAN what Ford specifies.

See, Ford spec oil uses an additive package that has a *small* amount of "seal sweller additives" where most other oils on the market use a much greater amount of seal swellers. This is not a problem when the seals are made with the newer "Vamac" or Viton type materials. But the "older" silicone seal don't like too much seal sweller additive, esp when they get hot. The seal gets soft, swells with the heat and leaks, then cools off and returns to "normal". Thus the mysterious "oil puke" and then it stops leaking. No apparent damage. I have seen this issue many times, and it is difficult to comprehend how it can leak so much, and then be fine. Difficult to explain to the customer. wink.gif

Not all Ford present day trannys use silicone front seals, and for *some* trannys there is an aftermarket upgrade Viton seal avaiable. Most older Ford trannys are stuck with the silicone seal up to around mid-late '90's

It used to be easy to ID the silicone seal, the material was orange in color, but now they make it in black and they look identical to the newer Viton or Vamac seals. Impossible to tell the difference just by looking. Some seals are still made in orange tho....



    
This message has been edited by galaxiex on Aug 1, 2011 8:39 PM
This message has been edited by galaxiex on Aug 1, 2011 1:10 PM
This message has been edited by galaxiex on Aug 1, 2011 12:58 PM
This message has been edited by galaxiex on Aug 1, 2011 12:48 PM
This message has been edited by galaxiex on Aug 1, 2011 12:45 PM


 
 Respond to this message   


(Login Cosmo_63)
Members

Interesting...

August 1 2011, 7:33 PM 

The seal that was installed just before I put the 390 back in my Galaxie was orange so that likely was the problem. Plus, I've been using the cheap transmission fluid just to hold it over until I get the new tranny in so I doubt it liked that much.

Thanks again for the valuable info. I'm likely to print up your responses now just to have for future reference.

Michael Stanford (San Marcos, TX)
1963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 500XL - 390 / Cruise-O-Matic (Project of ten years and going)
2004 Ford Ranger Edge - 2wd truck that gets treated like it's 4wd
2011 Jayco Jay Flight 22FB (Home sweet home!)

 
 Respond to this message   

(Login DEames)
Members

Here's how to manual shift a non-select shift cruisomatic;

August 3 2011, 5:27 PM 

Start in manual low, shift to 2nd and when 2nd engages, rake it back to low gear and you can hold 2nd and when you upshift to 2nd it will grab 3rd gear but be aware that if you back throttle back and coast after using low gear to hold 2nd it'll hit low pretty hard at about 20 mph.
-Dave

 
 Respond to this message   
Current Topic - Cruise-O-Matic question
  << Previous Topic | Next Topic >>Return to Index