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  #1  
Old 07-23-2008, 02:03 AM
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Default Slow Get Up And Go

My Bird is about to come out of the shop after some extensive work on it. Fixed or added to it, were an electric fuel pump (added-fuel pressure is now 4+psi) complete front end re-do, new steel brake line (old one was leaking in two places), re-built power steering pump and new power steering lines, replaced the power steering pulley. It was warped, rebuilt starter, (spring broke), distributer was off one notch and put back in place. It was determined that the rubber between the two pieces of the harmonic balancer has dried and allowed the two sections to slip some. Therefore, my timing marks are off. It was re-timed with a vacuum meter and new timing marks made. Timing is now said to be spot on.

My mechanic is not happy with the slow get up and go when taking off from a dead start, though it runs like a jack rabbit once you get up and running. Even when you go to drive it up onto the ramp on the lift, it will die on you due to lack of power. We can get around that by increasing the idle, but then you have to get it to high to stop this. It has been recommended that the nut on the back side of the vacuum advance where the hose goes on, be taken off and one of the washers inside with that spring be removed. This might cause the vacuum advance to kick in faster and stop this.

I am also being told that this Bird starts out in second gear when in D1 most every time you put it in gear into D1. He says this is not right, and is not good. Bart tells me it should be starting in first, (I knew that, of course) shifting to 2nd around 14-20pmh, and into 3rd about 40mph. Mine starts in 2nd instead of 1st in D1 and lacks the power that one should have in 1st. Only occasionally has he been able to get it to slip into 1st gear when starting up. He is going to see if it is a matter of an external adjustment on the throttle hardware at the carb, or the transmission. His concern is that it might be an internal problem in the COM.

He told me if it is, he can do a rebuild on it for about $1,000 including parts and labor, but parts might be hard to come by. I then asked him about putting a C6 in and if they were readily available around here. He said they are, and that would be a much better tranny to put in rather than doing the rebuild on the COM. He also said since it was made up into the mid to late 90's, that parts are not a problem. And it is only a few hundred bucks more and will last forever.

He also mentioned a number of things that would have to be fixed or adjusted underneath to make a C6 fit onto this '59 352 engine. He gave me a quote of about $1,300 for a C6, labor included. To me, if I should end up having to redo the tranny, it makes sense to put a C6 in because it is a much better tranny from what ya'll and everyone I talk to have to say about a C6. The shop I am having my work done at is a transmission specialty shop that also does general repair work.

I am going to take my Bird to another shop run by a man who is also very good at working on old cars like mine and knows his trannys inside and out. Bart recommends him, and I certainly trust Barts input. I am going to see what he has to say about this problem before I throw any money into a tranny. I would appreciate your comments. I want to get this slow take off problem fixed once and for all. It has been like this since I have had the car. We got the rough idle problem fixed (new spark plug wires) the cutting out and lack of get up and go at higher speeds (the distributer being off a notch caused that). Once it was put back in place, it runs well at high speeds. Now we have this lack of power at low speed problem to fix.

If it were determined that my tranny is at fault, which C6 model should I get? I did some searching on our forums and though C6's have been talked about a lot, I dont find much there. I googled it and found quite a lot of information. If I understand it, I need a Stage or Level III, which amongst other engines, is for a 352. What else will have to be done underneath to mate a C6 to my 352? I would like to have the steps that one will have to go through to do this, (should I have to), so that I know my tranny guy (whoever it turns out to be) will know what needs to be fixed, replaced or adjusted underneath..

Sorry for the long post. I know a lot of you have excellent experiences with C6's.
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Last edited by YellowRose : 07-23-2008 at 02:26 AM. Reason: Wording
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2008, 04:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YellowRose View Post
I am also being told that this Bird starts out in second gear when in D1 most every time you put it in gear into D1. He says this is not right, and is not good. Bart tells me it should be starting in first, (I knew that, of course) shifting to 2nd around 14-20pmh, and into 3rd about 40mph. Mine starts in 2nd instead of 1st in D1 and lacks the power that one should have in 1st. Only occasionally has he been able to get it to slip into 1st gear when starting up.
My car starts in 2:nd if I just put the lever on D1, so in order to get her start in 1:st, I need to place the gear-lever carefully next or very close to the L, without going over the edge. Then, she starts in 1:st, and change to 2:nd in about 15 mph.
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2008, 06:09 AM
KULTULZ
 
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First off, one can come close to setting the timing with a vacuum gauge, but that balancer needs to be rebuilt and indexed. If the marks were off, how could one possibly install a distributor correctly? The only method to find correct TDC and mark the balancer in a case such as this is with a piston stop.

Have the balancer rebuilt to ascertain correct timing events. Then you will be able to check distributor advance, both mechanical and vacuum. It may need to be rebuilt also.

The trans (this being a Multi-Drive MERC-O-MATIC) (Medium Case) will also cause low end power loss as it only has second gear start (It is a dual range and should have either by driver option).

I would not put a C6 into it (IMO). The MERC-O-MATIC is more than able to control the BIRD. It needs to be diagnosed as to why only second gear start. It may be as simple as linkage adjustment and/or up to overhaul.

Both of these sound like the source of no low end power. The 352 should fly.

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  #4  
Old 07-23-2008, 06:10 AM
KULTULZ
 
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Red face

Forgot. Also measure for timing chain stretch. You may have a couple of problems here.
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2008, 10:02 AM
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Lightbulb

I like the cruise-o-matic as well. There should be a D1, D2, and L setting on ur column. Did u install a new dentent plate & shift lever yet? It may just need a linkage adjustment.
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2008, 11:43 AM
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Default Slow Get Up And Go

Thanks for all the good suggestions so far. Much appreciated! Yes, the detent plate is one of Alexander's, the shift lever and collar have also been replaced. There is a D2,D1 & L on my column. I use D1.

Kultulz I really appreciate your input, though I don't understand all of it. Okay on the timing chain possibly having stretched over the years. I dont know what a piston stop is. They took out the spark plug on #1, and hand cranked the engine around with a rachet until they hit TDC on the exhaust stroke (If I have this right) on piston #1, using a dowel to check for TDC. They found the rotor was pointing to the wrong position, off one plug and re-seated it. Okay on having the balancer rebuilt and indexed. I will look into that.

This next part about the Cruise-O-Matic I have being a Multi-Drive Merc-O-Matic Medium Case with only second gear start I do not understand. I gather you are saying that ALL COM's are actually MERC-O-MATIC's and they only came with second gear start.? If that is the case, then I gather I am trying to get to first gear in a tranny that does not have it in D1! I'm confused. Others tell me their COM has a first gear in it in D1.

Thanks for the information on the C6. I can save myself some headaches by getting it adapted to my Bird and also some money by just getting this COM fixed. I do hope it is just a linkage adjustment problem. I really appreciate the help, though I do not understand it all yet.
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2008, 12:17 PM
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Default Slow Get Up And Go

Kultulz, I just had a long time local tranny guy, who has worked on COM's, C4's, C6's, and other Ford trannys for most of his life confirm what you said. He said, as you did, that Cruise-O-Matics, Merc-O-Matics, Ford-O-Matics did not have a low gear in D1. Only in Low. So if I am trying to get it to go into first gear in D1 I am trying to make it do something it can't. He said if I have been able to get it to go into first, and it does, it is probably because I hit Low first and it slid over into it. So I am trying to fix a problem of getting it to go into first gear in the D1 position when it cant. He said if I need more power to put it up on the ramp of a lift, or up the incline of my driveway and into the garage, put it in Low. He also said what you did about lack of power. I probably dont have a tranny problem, but other problems that need to be looked at.

Thanks again for your input! Much appreciated!
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  #8  
Old 07-23-2008, 02:04 PM
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Exclamation

Now I really need to drive my '60 T-Bird!!

I would swear that my T-Bird & my fathers 1959 Ford Galaxie (352cid & cruise-o-matic) only took off in 2nd gear when I placed the shifter in "D2". This was before and after they were overhauled.

Now I was also told since my 1960 T-Bird has the 430cid Lincoln motor, it had a very similar (but BEAFIER internals) cruise-o-matic. So there are at least 2 different cruise-o-matics right there FoMoCo had to have made back in the Late '50's- early '60's.....

What gives?
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  #9  
Old 07-23-2008, 03:50 PM
KULTULZ
 
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This is confusing, so let me start all over.

The FORD-O-MATIC was introduced in 1951. It was a Single Range transmission in that it only had a first gear start when put in LOW or full throttle in DRIVE. There were two selector positions, D and L.

In 1958, FORD redesigned the trans, making it a Dual Range, i.e. it will give either a 1st gear start in D1 (Green Dot) or 2nd gear start in D2. This redesign was marketed as the CRUISE-O-MATIC. MERCURY (and LINCOLN) used a larger case (for more strength) referred to as the MERC-O-MATIC. This transmission was also used on HI-PO FORDS, which your gentlemen's BIRDS were deemed by FOMOCO.

Now, the 1958/ CRUISE-O-MATIC (the FORD-O-MATIC was also used in 1958) has a first gear start in D1. It has a second gear start in D2 (this was an option for economy or slippery road conditions).

There was also a third model named the TURBO-DRIVE/TWIN TURBO-DRIVE which was LINC specific. You BIRD should go through three forward gears in D1 start. If not, there is a malfunction.

Your BIRDS transmission up and down shifting is contolled by throttle linkage (akin to the AOD). Linkage adjustment is critical. The modulator valve was not introduced until 1961.

BTW- Finding TDC with only a dowel is close but no cigar. There is no way you can determine true TDC without a piston stop with the cylinder head on the engine (off too for that matter).

A PISTON STOP is a tool inserted into the spark plug hole (#1 in this instance). The engine is rotated by hand until #1 piston hits the stop. You then mark the balancer. You rotate the engine in the opposite direction until it hits the stop again. You mark this position on the balancer (at timing pointer). The mid-distance of these two marks is TDC on #1 cylinder (taking into consideration the timing chain is in good condition).

So it sounds to me as a timing problem and no LOW combined giving you poor take-off performance.
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  #10  
Old 07-23-2008, 03:59 PM
KULTULZ
 
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OK...I see now what may have confused you...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders Myrberg View Post

My car starts in 2:nd if I just put the lever on D1, so in order to get her start in 1:st, I need to place the gear-lever carefully next or very close to the L, without going over the edge. Then, she starts in 1:st, and change to 2:nd in about 15 mph.
The below statement in this post was directed at both you and this gentleman-

Quote:
Originally Posted by KULTULZ View Post

The trans (this being a Multi-Drive MERC-O-MATIC) (Medium Case) will also cause low end power loss as it only has second gear start (It is a dual range and should have either by driver option).
YOUR BIRD should have a 1st gear start in D1 and only a 2nd gear start in D2.

Just ask if this does not make sense and I will try again...
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