Can anyone tell me what the best transmission fluid is to use? I've been told that Dextron III/Mercon was a replacement for the Ford Automatic Transmission Fluid they used, but other sources have told me that older cars should use F-Type transmission fluid. I've also been told that if the transmission is original, it should probably use F-Type, but if it's been through a modern rebuild you can use Dextron. I just acquired this transmission after my original was facing a very expensive rebuild. As far as I know, only the gaskets and seals were replaced while this latest transmission was inspected/"rebuilt". I have no idea how old the clutches or anything are. The tag is also missing on this transmission so all there is is casting numbers to identify it. This new tranny looks slightly different than my old one as well. For example, it's tailstock had no inspection opening (so we are using my old tailstock). Both have the vacuum modulators on them, but the new tranny doesn't have the aluminum vent line and the fluid line fittings are different sizes.
Basically I am wondering about what the safest fluid to use is, and for some insight/details into these two transmissions. I'll try to post pictures of the noticeable differences and casting numbers. The silver transmission is the new one. The blue is the old. I've only found one picture online of a transmission that looks like my old one and they said it was a Merc-o-matic.
At this point I'm pretty confused.
Thanks for bearing with my lengthy story lol
Thanks in advance!
Oh, and can anyone also confirm the exhaust pipe size? Is it 2"?
Thanks again in advance.
Chris, in short the safest fluid would be type F, because you really don't know the history of the trans. I suggest you closely look at the governor while you have things on the bench, they can get sticky or rusty from sitting and your car won't shift. You didn't get into details about the new trans, but I hope you're confident in it's condition, as now is the time to go through it if it's suspect. JMO Bob C
My information is the 62 used a 1/34 inch exhaust system. The manifold/pipe connection was made with a gasket, not a doughnut.
Thanks for the reply Bob, I guess I should have given a bit more detail regarding the new transmission.
Basically I was looking at a pretty expensive rebuild on mine and I was searching for a rebuilt one and found another T-Bird owner, a very kind retired fellow. He told me that he took this transmission from one of his donor cars which was driving great 3 or so years ago before he started parting it out. When I told him I was interested in the transmission he said he'd have his neighbor friend, who had previous and extensive experience with these transmissions, to disassemble, clean, inspect and re-assemble the transmission with all new gaskets and seals. He also told me they did bench tests with air pressure to check and make sure everything was working properly. I am pretty confident that everything is fine with the transmission, he seemed very honest and genuine and at 81 years old I don't see how he'd benefit from ripping me off with an elaborate lie so my worries with that are relatively tame. Of course IT IS 50 years old and who knows whats been changed in it over the years so I'm worried about putting the wrong fluid in it and being in the hole with another transmission. I take it that no matter what fluid I put in, it's going to be a risk, because it could've had F-Type... or Dextron... and if I put the opposite in it, I'll screw it up. Now worse case scenario, is it that big of a deal to put a different fluid in a pretty much dry transmission? Or will it just change the shifting characteristics?
And about the exhaust, I was told it was 1 3/4 but I saw on Jim Wulfs T bird Garage site that his exhaust for the M-Car was 2". I'm assuming this has to do with it being 3 deuces. The exhaust is a whole other basket case. Someone had changed it at some point in time and the shift level on the tranny hits the exhaust when it tries to go into the low position. Basically I have to re-do the exhaust but I'm thinking of a temporary solution for the time being so I can just move the exhaust over an inch or so so that I can go into Low Gear.
I must say, my bird is pretty rough but I like to think that I saved it from abandonment and many more years of abuse!
To answer your 2 questions, You won't screw anything up using type F. Drain your converter if you haven't done it yet and you'll be OK. I know Jim Wulf, and in fact he was my source for the exhaust info. You're right about the 2 inch being used with the M code engine only in 62. Hope that helps, Bob C
Your original trans is the correct trans of the period (58/60). In 1961, FORD went with a major redesign on it's trans and went with a DUAL-RANGE with a modulator valve in lieu of the SINGLE-RANGE TV linkage used to that point.
FORD went to the DUAL-RANGE TRANS (CRUISE-O-MATIC) in the 1958 model run. The FORD-O-MATIC SINGLE-RANGE TRANS was also retained for the 1958 model run for economy applications and replaced with the F/M/2 Two Speed Trans in 1959.
FORD incorporated the modulator valve on the 1961 model year.
The BIRDS came through with the larger and heavier MERC-O-MATIC MULTI-SHIFT for HD reasons.
End of Correction-
C1AP (Case Casting I.D No.) identifies the newer trans as the redesign. If both case sizes are the same (length), the newer design should be a MERC-O-MATIC as they were stronger than the FORD-O-MATIC and used for heavy/performance applications.
Rule of thumb for FORD trans fluid;
TYPE F was not introduced until the 1968 model run.
Original fluid(s) were DEXRON (very close). TYPE F can be used for retro usage but DEXRON cannot be used for an original TYPE F application unless that application has been rebuilt with non-asbestos clutch discs.
You are safe with TYPE F (if the trans has not been rebuilt) and you will notice a firmer shift.
2ND CORRECTION... :(
(I seem to remember distinctly now one of my elementary teachers stating emphatically at one point the importance of noticing key words while attempting to read... :rolleyes: )
Let me try this again...
The blue trans (C1AP) is the correct one for a 62 BIRD. The silver one is an earlier model.
(My coffee must not have cut in this morning. I thought I was in the 58-60 BIRD section... :o
End of Second Revelation...
Trans assemblies are identified by an ASSEMBLY TAG I.D. NO. If there is no attached tag (resembles carb tag), then exact application identification would be difficult. The nos. you are seeing are Casting I.D. Nos (components) and will be common to many years. I would hold onto the C1AP in case you would ever need a fresh trans. That will give you matching nos.
KULTULZ, thanks again for helping to clear this up for me. This transmission has been a bit of a nightmare but so far she's working, I've yet to take it on a long drive because I'm still working on the car and need to then get it insured (which is another nightmare as well). Only my original C1AP trans has an ID tag which is the only way I figured it was original, the other didn't have one. I also recently bought a parts car and the transmission for that didn't have a tag either but looked almost identical to my original. I should take some pictures and post them to share. Right now I have 3 transmissions to pick parts from so I guess that's a good thing!
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