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Trans fluid back in the day.........Type "A"

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: Trans fluid back in the day.........Type "A"

    Type A Transmission Fluid

    It was first introduced for general motors car brands in the mid-50s. It was used for all automatic transmissions. Type A Transmission Fluid is the semi-automatic and ‘hydra Matic.’ All brands under the property of general motors such as Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet, Pontiac, GMC, Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, Chrysler, Dodge, Desoto, Packard, and Studebaker used GM Type “A” transmission fluids from 1949–1958.

    This was until general motors released a new product to replace type A. It was known as Type “A” suffix “A” fluid. This new fluid can stand higher temperatures caused by newly invented torque converters. Type A transmission fluid was a type F transmission fluid equivalent, which was used by ford motors and Toyota. This fluid was less smooth than type A. It was used until mid-60 until it was replaced with Dexron, Mercon.

  • #2
    Supposedly, Type "A" contained whale oil. And the whales were none too happy about that. Type "F" was introduced by Ford to make for crisper gear changes with clutch packs containing fewer discs. Now, whatever is the current incarnation of Dexron/Mercon is all that is available. There is no longer a standard for Type A.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


    • #3
      And do you know that the early trans. fluid was clear ? It had no dye in it yet.

      I bought a 1960 Lark 2dr. wagon with just over (I'll have to double check, I'm getting old!), but VERY low miles on it, as I recall, about 28,000 miles. I'm the second owner. It sat in an air conditioned building in Arizona for over 20 years. The window rubber was/is still compliant, it had the original brake shoes, lights, etc. I still have the original spare tire. Before driving the 400+ miles home, I checked the fluids.
      The trans. fluid was...clear.



      • #4
        When the first Borg Warner DG transmissions came out in the '50 Studebakers, the fluid recommended was any good quality 10W oil.
        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