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HD Flightomatic; not EXACTLY the same as 57 Golden Hawk AS2-7A; what is it?

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: HD Flightomatic; not EXACTLY the same as 57 Golden Hawk AS2-7A; what is it?

    Hi, my 57 Golden Hawk came with a Ford-o-matic installed in it. One of the first things I did 7 years ago was advertise here for the correct AS2-7A, and was fortunate to get a response from someone ONLY 45 MINUTES AWAY that had an extra Golden Hawk engine/tranny unit, and willing to sell me the transmission.

    The key identifying tag was inconclusive, but SOME "reddish-gold?" paint was left on it and it appeared from that and the cooling lines (see original photo as received) that it was indeed the correct AS2-7A pictured in the '57 Shop manual supplement. It DID have some brazing around the cap/dipstick that was strange, but.. who knows why some things happen? Later, rebuilding it, I also confirmed it did have the correct wider band, the correct control valve markings, the correct "relocated" pressure control hole in the sandwiched "plate", as pictured in the '57 Supplement, the correct green and white springs... All looked correct and I proceeded with the rebuild.

    Only recently, as I consider starting plumbing, including the transmission to radiator.... long after rebuilding, and looking at the "oil return holes" and the photo of the AS2-7A "change" in oil return flow in the manual for the Golden Hawk, did I notice a couple of key differences from "the" AS2-7A.

    1. I did NOT have the oil return hole at the corner of the INNER block as shown in the Shop Manual, nor the associated tube to bathe the band in the cooled return flow. Instead, it appeared (see photos) that I had TWO return holes, but in opposite corners, without tubes. (I never was looking at this aspect when rebuilding, so never blew air threw them to see where they 'went', or indeed if they ARE plumbed, but sure appear so and are inside the gasket area, not covered up).

    2. trying to figure out the 'flow', I noticed that the "return" fitting on my transmission dumps directly into the pan; not into any "channels" that would route it to those two holes APPARENTLY for fluid return. My return fitting is directly under the filler cap as the original AS2-7A, but slightly higher, and my casting is minus some 'bulges' where the AS2-7A fitting is. I can only assume in the actual AS2-7A, those bulges are for directing the fluid to that corner hole and tube...

    3. likewise, my transmission has an extra "threaded hole" (and very proper original looking screw plugging it) the AS2-7A does NOT have, located directly under the band adjustment. I thought 'ah ha!', maybe THAT should be the return, but unscrewing the bolt, it seems to be a 'through' hole with no purpose, and I can see it from my "empty casting" photos I took years ago. (have NO idea what it is for!?)

    4. as mentioned, there is brazing around the filler cap; were there any different models of HD Stude transmissions that would have had any different "filler cap" arrangement, and some mechanic might have taken the 'later" HD transmission, modified (added) the return line under the cap and brazed an 'older' cap fitting to match (fit?) the Golden Hawk AS2-7A it was replacing? Impossible for me to tell what the brazing is for; but I can't think of any damage there except a crack for some unexplained reason that was simply 'brazed up'.

    Never having seen ANY other Stude (or other Borg-Warner) transmissions than these the Ford-o-matic my car had, and "my ~AS2-7A" (or at least Heavy Duty oil cooled) I purchased, is it possible the AS2-7A 'return cooling tube' was determined of little value, and later units simply had the return from the radiator cooler dump in the pan under the filler cap, as mine is?

    If so, I don't know what either the two "holes" (appearing the same but TWO vs one, and opposite corners) in the casting are for; the front cooling fitting is ONLY for the pump to send fluid to the radiator, isn't it? If those two large holes are NOT for fluid flow, ... don't know what they ARE for. NOT in the Ford-o-matic, and the DO have 'bulges' that appear there is some internal plumbing purpose.

    Anyone recognize this tranny? Has all the right characteristics of an AS2-7A that I can find recorded, except for the cooling return (and that extra hole/bolt under the band adjustment bolt)
    Attached Files

  • #2
    OK, no responses; does anyone have any photos of THEIR Flightomatics from when you were rebuilding, that show the dipstick side? My Ford-o-matic housing may not be representative. Another possibility I thought of last night was maybe the Golden Hawk 'donor' car for my HD tranny suffered the 'crack' in the internal housing support I read about recently (when misaligned bellhousing?), and IF so, all the 'correct internals' got transferred to a standard Studebaker Flightomatic housing? (and because it had cooling, rebuilder could have drilled and tapped the 'return' line in roughly the same spot on the 'standard' housing.. retaining most of the benefits of cooling and more importantly for him, saving work by just "hooking up" existing coolant lines again? :-) Regardless, if no tranny experts are seeing this or no answers, some photos of YOUR transmission (without cooling lines, or later than '57 Flightomatics) would still be helpful. THanks!


    • #3
      I don't know if this helps-
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      • #4
        I can't prove it either, but there is a very good chance you are correct, that may be a Standard Flight-O-Matic Case.

        So we need to study that Oil Flow Chart in the Shop Manual to find out if the return goes into a Pressurized Passage or just dumps in the Pan.
        If they do not show the H.D. Unit, we may have to consult the Zip Van Manual!

        The way it is, could lose all the pressure. Just guessing of course, without studying that Chart.

        Sorry I can't help, I have had the Flu since Dec. 24, so need to go back to bed.
        If I get a bit better, I could check the '57 GH Trans. out in the 28 Degree Shop.
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner


        • #5
          az64Stude, thanks for the photos! I can't find any differences between my HD unit and your "plain Flightomatic" EXCEPT for the two threaded holes (one the return fitting under my dipstick/cap, and the original Borg-Warner bolt under my band-adjustment bolt). So,... ? Don't know.

          StudeRich, hope you feel better soon! Two of my five have awful colds here too; seems every "end of semester" in Minnesota colleges brings the body to the point of giving in, "OK, I can get sick now FINALLY!" :-) Re: pressures,
          1. '57 manual only shows the differences in the "new" HD transmission in the '57 Golden Hawk. All the pressure pages are in the '56 manuals.

          2. regardless, the '57 supplement photo (shown in my original post) clearly shows the "return line" from the cooler dumping into 'atmosphere', above the band. I also finally found a view of my MANY shots of tearing apart/rebuilding the HD tranny that shows part of the original gasket partially covering the large holes. (below)

          Makes me wonder if those two big holes are for something else structural? Shucks, if only it had occurred to me to WATCH as I blew out all the holes after solvent tank soak, what blew out where. ;-) Regardless, since the pump pushes the fluid to the radiator and back into the "return" hole into my pan, seems worst case (no pun intended!) is that my return fluid doesn't dump ONTO the band, but is still continuously cooled... and either way no pressure changes for tranny. OR, so it appears to me. If only I had been able to drive the car (not running when purchased) or talk to last owner (died; sons sold off estate; drove it into the large storage shed with 50 other cars years before and it 'sat').

          Oh, occurred to me that because the unit is cast iron, the "cap retainer" bayonet had to be brazed onto every unit originally (right?). Mine appears ... not a NEAT factory job, but it looks not TOO different from az64Stude's photo; a little heavier factory brazing (or re-braze if cracked) would explain that area; not much else does to me.

          I'm not too worried about it not being the AS2-7A housing, IF that is all this is; yeah, I like everything "original", but as Rich keeps reminding me, there IS a limit to perfectionism :-) And I DID confirm all the internals, several pieces with unique markings, ARE all per anything I've found in Service Bulletins or the Shop Manual for the 1957 AS2-7A, even output shaft oil holes and such. The torque converter is from my Fordomatic and rebuilt to whatever Midwest Torque Converter does (new bearings only I assume?), AND marked BB, so I guess I won't be shifting at the exact speeds as a correctly matched tranny/convertor, but not a big concern to me. Still curious if anyone has other ideas on this thing. If those two holes ARE for some flow, wonder if a different year/model (cab?) had different gasket that was notched to NOT partially cover them then.... Oh well.

          (PS StudeRich; it is -6F in St.Paul today, and I ran out to my shop yesterday afternoon to check that 'extra bolt hole'; was pleasantly surprised it was still 25F INSIDE the shop. 6" insulated walls help, even with 1" gaps under garage door from doggone heaving concrete..)
          Attached Files
          Last edited by bsrosell; 12-26-2017, 01:07 PM.


          • #6
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            Last edited by (S); 12-26-2017, 02:24 PM.


            • #7
              Originally posted by (S) View Post
              [ATTACH=CONFIG]69292[/ATTACH] 57 G Hawk auto trans..
              thanks; I'm confused, where is the return line connection for the cooling line for this case then? NOT in the lower corner under dipstick cover as the '57 Supplement shows it...

              (and with the hundreds of Stude Flightomatics you've seen, do you recognize that bolt under the band adjuster on my unit? Seems it is directly in line with the adjusting screw of the drum (I forget which component; just looking at my photos) in front of it BUT that has a lock nut on it. But could have changed the design in later years? Had the same bolt in it as the other bolts (for pressure checks) on both this and the Ford-o-matic, so APPEARS to be original, but for what I have no idea :-)
              Last edited by bsrosell; 12-26-2017, 01:31 PM.


              • #8
                Note: I put wrong picture up. I fixed it now.


                • #9
                  Thanks, that matches the '57 Shop supplement exactly, so no 'mid-year changes'.... Since that lower fitting appears to go directly to the tube directly flow onto the tranny band, I COULD have done the same, for function. But I certainly don't have the 57 GH housing. Funny how the tag color even appears to be the correct color(?)... but subtle differences. Wonder what this one was for.... Again, oh well. Thanks for the photos guys! Happy New Year to all!