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Type "F" fluid VS ATF 1

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: Type "F" fluid VS ATF 1

    My 1951 Land Cruiser had the transmission overhauled before I bought the car. It operates fine. However, as I went through the previous owners files, I find that the transmission was drained twice. The first time was the overhaul and the mechanic said he used 9 quarts of ATF 1 in the transmission. 5 years later (very few miles), the transmission was drained again to change the rear seal. The mechanic put in 8 quarts of fluid, but did not say what kind and it was. A different garage that did the work. I am unable to contact the parties involved to see if they remember what they did (doubtful after 15 years). In the mean time, before I read he background, I added a pint of Type "F" fluid, which I have for a 1956 Ford transmission. Now I need to add more fluid because the car has set for a period and the fluid drainage has "overfilled" the transmission and it leaked.
    1) Are the Type "F" and ATF 1 compatible? 2) Do I need to take the pan off and change the entire contents of the transmission? 3) If I do, what pitfalls do I need to watch out for and what fluid should I use--"F", Mercon/Dextron, ATF 1? Thanks for any assitance/guidance you can offer.

  • #2
    There's no telling what concoction of ATF your car has, given the 15 year history since rebuild. ATF seems to be in a continuous state of change. The good news, as far as I know, changes are always backwards compatible, and types are compatible. There are no strict no-nos for mixing ATFs of various vintage or type. Type F has always, supposedly, provided better initial grip and firmer shifts. But it won't make or break a transmission one way or the other.

    Best thing you can do for your Studebaker transmission is to drive the car more often.


    • #3
      Originally posted by JoeHall View Post
      Best thing you can do for your Studebaker transmission is to drive the car more often.
      Totally agree with Joe.
      FWIW, I've used nothing but Dexron/Mercon in both my DG200s for nearly fifty years. And, if that results in a softer shift I haven't detected it.

      But, if you are going to do a complete flush and fill, remember the DG transmissions have a drain plug on the torque convertor as well; could be why the first refill used nine quarts and the second only took eight.

      Brad Johnson,
      SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
      '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight. '53 Commander Starlight
      '56 Sky Hawk in process


      • #4
        In addition to draining the Torque Converter (2 Drain Plugs 180 apart).
        You do not have to drop the Pan, unless you want to clean it and the Filter Screen, it has it's own Drain Plug also!

        Use the Type "F" Ford Type or if not available, the Dexron/Mercon will work almost as well, but do a complete drain and staying with one type is always the best plan even though no harm should be done. Always leave a Qt. in the Trunk to remember which one to use.
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner
        SDC Member Since 1967


        • #5
          Thanks very much for your helpful responses. I agree that I should drive the vehicle more, but bad weather doesn't help in that endeavor, especially since my garage is in the lower part of the yard without a driveway. I'll probably use my type "F" so I only have to worry about 1 fluid. So far it has been available locally. Thanks again for your comments. STAY WELL.


          • #6
            I will second what Rich said and add one thing. Carefully check the fluid level following the proper directions for a DG transmission.
            Gary L.
            Wappinger, NY

            SDC member since 1968
            Studebaker enthusiast much longer


            • #7
              I got the correct information before I checked the transmission the first time, years ago, and it was almost a quart low. I suspect that was because the second mechanic that worked on it wasn't familiar with the proper checking procedure. Also suspect that is why the first overhaul took 9 quarts to fill, and the second one only 8 quarts. Thanks to all for your advice and counsel. That's why the Forum is so valuable. Also, thanks to the administrators that keep it running.