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Would you attempt to rebuild/repair a FOM?

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: Would you attempt to rebuild/repair a FOM?

    Good afternoon,

    The 6 cylinder FOM my Lark leaks badly after sitting for 15+ years, I figure the seals dried out but it will work after adding a quart or two of ATF. I have a V8 FOM in the garage that came with a 259 as a throw in that may or may not be any good, the previous owner said a tranny shop told him it wasn't repairable maybe because it was a FOM.

    I can read a shop manual with the best of them and I have rebuilt engines, brake systems and standard transmissions etc. but I have never attempted an automatic transmission.

    Any advice? everything is difficult until you realize it isn't
    \"I\'m getting nowhere as fast as I can\"
    The Replacements.

  • #2
    Sounds like the 6 cyl FOM only needs to be resealed. The V8 FOM is different, mostly the valve body that allows it to start out in 2nd gear. Six cyl units have first gear start.
    There are other differences too, but what I'm getting to is, rebuild the one that you know works and is the right one for the engine.
    sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
    1950 Champion Convertible
    1950 Champion 4Dr
    1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
    1957 Thunderbird

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    • #3
      What is a FOM? From your post I'm guessing it's some kind of automatic transmission? Ford -o-Matic? I've rebuilt Ford C4 and C6's, and GM Powerglide, Turbo 350 and now a 4L60. None are particularly difficult, but some require some special tools. I've been able to get by with tools I made when needed. So far the Powerglide was most difficult, only due to not having correct tools.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jeff T. View Post
        Good afternoon,
        I can read a shop manual with the best of them and I have rebuilt engines, brake systems and standard transmissions etc. but I have never attempted an automatic transmission.
        Any advice?
        The torque converter is different
        64 GT Hawk (K7)
        1970 Avanti (R3)

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        • #5
          I used to rebuild automatics as a side business & always thought the powerglide was the easiest to mess with (fewer parts)....although I have to qualify that by saying this applies to aluminum case powerglides.....

          Depending on how many miles your lark has on it will influence how deep you should go into the tranny. If it ran good before & not a ton of miles, just re-seal it.
          Mike Sal

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bensherb View Post
            What is a FOM? From your post I'm guessing it's some kind of automatic transmission? Ford -o-Matic? I've rebuilt Ford C4 and C6's, and GM Powerglide, Turbo 350 and now a 4L60. None are particularly difficult, but some require some special tools. I've been able to get by with tools I made when needed. So far the Powerglide was most difficult, only due to not having correct tools.
            FOM in this case is the Borg Warner Flight O Matic for the Studebaker Application. It is known as a Borg Warner Model 8 and is different than the Ford O Matic. Most shops will work on a Flight O Matic but not work on the Detroit Gear Studebaker Automatic Transmission built 1950-1955.

            Bob Miles

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            • #7
              Jeff: The Flight O matic is not a terribly difficult transmission. It is best to have the proper tools if you plan to rebuild one. It is also necessary to have a step by step manual if you have never done one before. There are some special clearances to watch and adjustments to make. You did not say what year your Lark was. from 1956 to 1961 the 6 cylinder units were the same as the V8 units except for the valve body. 1962 that changed. If you have a 1963/64 you have an aluminum case unit called the model 35. a nice transmission but totally different than the cast iron case.
              Here is my web page should you want more information. copy and paste in your browser or go to Studebaker Venders and look under Studebaker Restorations.

              http://www.studebakervendors.com/jensen/index.htm

              Ted

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              • #8
                Hello Jeff- I was in a somewhat similar position to you some time ago and decided to recondition my Flightomatic as a learning experience. It is relatively simple piece of work if you wish to simply re seal everything. I took lots of photos, wrote a blog for others to follow and included a few technical tips to help with disassembly, sans the factory tools. I listed a number of technical manuals that are available online but the studebaker shop manual is very good indeed. I might strongly suggest you replace the input shaft bushing and center support bearing if none other. Ask for a repair kit for a 'Small case type 8 Warner automatic Transmission'. It's all in the Blog.
                http://studebakerflightomatic.blogspot.com
                Steve

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                • #9
                  Yes, referring to an automatic transmission as a “FOM” could lead to confusion. In our Studebaker world, that means Flightomatic. To Ford people it means Fordomatic. And, to American Motors people, it means Flashomatic!

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                  • #10
                    I'm still waiting to try it out, so take it with a grain of salt. BUT, my Golden Hawk came with a Ford-o-matic, and I was fortunate to find the correct Studebaker version IN MY HOME AREA, days after posting. Being a "frustrated mechanical engineer' (ie: I push paper and keyboards all day at work!), I decided if I could completely rebuild every piece of a Model-A Ford (EVERY piece...) and restore antique pocketwatches, I could rebuild a FLight-o-Matic. As it turns out, I rebuilt BOTH units; the only difference between them is my Golden Hawk tranny has the heavy duty (wider) band, plus the cooling ports to connect to the transmission. I rebuilt them side by side, so I could always "look at how it WAS" (in addition to hundreds of photos along the way!). Two rebuild kits from Dave Edwards, w/ new bushings and gaskets, and it was "simply" painstakingly slow and cautious work. And, as much like a surgical ward as you can make it! (working for 3M Medical-Surgical, I literally did the job using surgical drapes, was a bit humorous...). My uncle was a mechanic in WWII and for the rest of his life. WHen we worked on dad's old cars together, I recall him saying THE key thing about doing a transmission is CLEANLINESS EXCEEDS GODLINESS, and if you read the shop manual carefully, great; go back and read it again before TOUCHING anything. Understand the whole job. With that, I found it the most fun thing I've done on my car. I filled it with Dexron (I know, debate about Type F or Dexron; its what I chose), and tried to "roll it around" and turn the gears by hand once in a while, but everything was lubed good before it sat. Now that it is MOUNTED on the chassis, I'm itching to prove I did it right! :-) But sure was fun. Good luck if you decide to do it yourself! Just go SLOW, and be CLEAN (and then clean again). :-)
                    PS: there are several very good descriptions on the Stude Tech tips area and such, some guys on here sent me great help too. REALLY helps to cross-reference the instructions written by different people, and emphasizing different things. BUT, that Shop Manual does a darn good job of it, have to say.
                    Last edited by bsrosell; 08-13-2018, 04:49 PM.

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