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1964 Thunderbird Transmission Fluid

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  • tharry8
    Newbie
    • Feb 27 2011
    • 9

    1964 Thunderbird Transmission Fluid

    Folks -Got a lot of great help on my oil pump question.

    What type transmission fluid goes in my 1964 Thunderbird? The original was Rotunda R016A (I am going off of memory). I read that and took it to mean Type A fluid.

    I have researched on the internet and have seen both references to Type A and Type F. My understanding is that Type A is now Mercon.

    I have no idea what fluid is currently in the system. I have read that I do not want to mix the different types.

    My first thought is to drop the pan, drain the fluid, install new filter, and replace with Mercon. But if the existing is Type F, then I could have a problem.

    Thoughts?
  • Guest

    #2
    If you have to change the fluid you have to empty the converter to.

    Comment

    • Guest

      #3
      If the trans ...

      hasn't been rebuilt stick with type F. Mike

      Comment

      • tharry8
        Newbie
        • Feb 27 2011
        • 9

        #4
        Thanks!

        Mike - Why do you say stick with Type F? Wasn't the original Type A?

        Tbirds8 - I think draining the converter is good idea since I don't know what fluid the system currently has in it. I have the shop manual and Part 7-1 section 3 discusses converter cleaning, but with the converter removed and on the bench. To remove the converter, Part 7-2 Section 3 says I first need to remove the transmission. Do you know if I can drain it adequately while it is installed, rather than removed?

        Comment

        • Guest

          #5
          Type F ...

          Do a little research. The internet is your friend (at least that's what I here). Pretty sure type F is right, but hey, I've been wrong before. If your trans has been recently rebuilt you can run Mercon as they use different lining materials and the they haven't been soaking in the same stuff for 47 yrs. Mike

          Comment

          • simplyconnected
            Administrator
            • May 26 2009
            • 8833

            #6
            Originally posted by tharry8
            ...Do you know if I can drain it adequately while it is installed, rather than removed?
            Your torque converter has a drain plug in the front. My COM has two (180* apart). Draining it is easy; pull the bell housing pan off & keep bumping the starter until you see the drain plug at the bottom, sticking through a flex plate hole.

            If you're still unsure about trans fluid, call a transmission shop. They will know what is compatable with your seals and what type gives the best shifting. After all that time, I would certainly drain the trans and change the filter. Drain the lines going through the radiator, too. I think it's a little better if you do it while the fluid is hot. - Dave
            Member, Sons of the American Revolution

            CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

            "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
            --Lee Iacocca

            From: Royal Oak, Michigan

            Comment

            • redstangbob
              Experienced
              • Feb 18 2011
              • 220

              #7
              Ford changed their fluid designation sometime after our cars were made, but made type F the backwards compatible fluid. Type F has a little more 'bite', the shifts are a little firmer. If you use Mercon in time you might find slippery shifts on that old box. Drain your converter the way simplyconnected described, if you have a long breaker bar you can turn the crank that way as well. Your dipstick tube is a big flared fitting held on with a nut, taking that out is the easiest way to drain the pan. Be careful on the trans cooler lines, if you hurt them you'll only be able to patch them in place, you'll never get a new set in unless you pull the engine (just trust me on this one) good luck, Bob C

              Comment

              • Guest

                #8
                Not to hijack this thread. I have a 64 i pulled the pan and only got about 4.5 quarts of fluid. Intent was to change filter and swap out gasket. How much fluid should i need just for pan refill? Could mine have been low? everywhere i look it says 10 quarts just for pan not including converter.

                Comment

                • redstangbob
                  Experienced
                  • Feb 18 2011
                  • 220

                  #9
                  I'm pretty sure I used 10 quarts when I overhauled my 65 COM, that included the converter that I had drained. Look it up in your shop manual to be safe.

                  Comment

                  • simplyconnected
                    Administrator
                    • May 26 2009
                    • 8833

                    #10
                    I'm with redstang... I filled my cruise-o-matic from 'dry', and it took nearly 11 quarts. I couldn't put it all in at once as air had to escape.

                    When your trans is full, it's nearly full to the top. The bottom pan is just a cover, not like your engine's oil pan. If you pull the driveshaft out, trans fluid will come pouring out. The level needs to be well above that.

                    I hope yours wasn't run for long on five quarts because the trans makes lots of heat as it transfers power. Trans oil is cooled in the bottom section of your radiator, then returned to the transmission.

                    While you're under there, check your rear end. Most cars go to their grave with original gear oil. Not mine... Those gears also make lots of heat especially on long trips or while hauling. When it's hot, I change gear lube (90W). If you can, look at your drained gear oil in the sun. - Dave
                    Member, Sons of the American Revolution

                    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                    --Lee Iacocca

                    From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                    Comment

                    • KULTULZ

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Lazybird

                      Not to hijack this thread. I have a 64 i pulled the pan and only got about 4.5 quarts of fluid. Intent was to change filter and swap out gasket. How much fluid should i need just for pan refill? Could mine have been low? everywhere i look it says 10 quarts just for pan not including converter.
                      This is normal for just a simple service. After changing the filter and installing the pan, start with 4qt and add as necessary to reach stick full mark. Drive until trans comes to operating temp and recheck fluid level.

                      If also draining convertor, cooling lines or a complete overhaul, of course it will take more fluid. There is no definite fill amount as case, pan, convertor size and cooling lines may differ from one line to another.

                      Comment

                      • ricksta56
                        Apprentice
                        • Jun 27 2022
                        • 91

                        #12
                        Hi Folks been awhile for me not here, but we are snowed in now and I been looking ahead to the spring. this thread is old but its the closest to what I'm looking into, simply folks with experience servicing the 66 transmission.
                        which I'm sure I'll be doing this spring. hopefully with the help of a trans shop. I did order the filter and gasket kit. ATP automotive part # B-41. are there any mechanical adjustments to look into?
                        Last edited by ricksta56; February 28, 2023, 09:11 AM.

                        Comment

                        • jopizz
                          Super-Experienced


                          • Nov 23 2009
                          • 8469

                          #13
                          Rick,

                          If you have the C6 transmission which is what you should have in your '66 that is not the correct kit. You need the B38 kit.

                          John
                          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                          Thunderbird Registry #36223
                          jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

                          https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                          Comment

                          • ricksta56
                            Apprentice
                            • Jun 27 2022
                            • 91

                            #14
                            Hi John,
                            I was wondering about that kit. Also spoke with a friend who has transmission experience and he recommends a different gasket, not cork. Cork came with the B41. He also mentioned something about bronze clutch plates. We haven't attempted the job yet but I'm guessing you'd recommend doing the fluid change. I'm also expecting the seals to be leaking etc. The car sat for some 35 years. last fall when we pulled the fuel tank, I broke the rusted trans fluid cooling lines as they were very weak at the bracket about 4 qtrs. of fluid splashed onto the floor, kitty litter does works...
                            B41 so much for eBay specs.
                            OK, C6, B38. hike.

                            Just looked on eBay they list the B38 for the 427ci
                            I thought I had the 390.
                            I know those are motor sizes and not trans sizes but I'll check again the filters and gaskets look very different for sure.

                            Added C6 to search line and B38 kit appears what do you know...
                            Last edited by ricksta56; March 8, 2023, 03:53 AM.

                            Comment

                            • jopizz
                              Super-Experienced


                              • Nov 23 2009
                              • 8469

                              #15
                              You can't always trust Ebay. You are better off checking Autozone or Advance Auto Parts. They both list the correct kit. Even Rock Auto and NAPA list both kits as being correct for '66 even though to my knowledge and according to the Ford parts book all Thunderbirds had the C6 that year. Engine size has nothing to do with what transmission Ford used. All 390 engines used cruise-o-matic transmissions until 1965 when the C6 came out. Some 1965 Thunderbirds did come with the C6 although all the ones I've had had the cruise-o-matic.

                              John
                              John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                              Thunderbird Registry #36223
                              jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

                              https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                              Comment

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