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Flightomatic Rebuild update

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  • Flightomatic Rebuild update

    A few folks had asked me to "keep them posted" on my progress with my first Flightomatic rebuild.
    Have gotten both units completely disassembled (in parallel, so I can compare wear and bushing locations, what is random depths and orientations vs what is critical to have 'exactly the same when installing the new ones!"). For those that don't recall, I got a Ford unit (per label) in my '57 Golden Hawk, and found the correct unit for my GH (w/ the oil cooler lines and wider band; otherwise identical so far to the Ford unit; both are Borg-Warner cast-iron model-8 units, most of the innards have the same part numbers stamped on them even...). I got a complete rebuild kit (including a complete set of 12 new bushings, and new bands) from Dave Edwards in Mass., and have completed installing the bushings in the Stude unit. Next job, clean and paint the housings, then thoroughly clean up all my benchtops, lay down surgical drapes (I used to work in 3M's Medical Division :-) and clean her piece by piece in my parts cleaner, complete with brand new fresh solvent. Then let air-dry (no shop towels, no lint!) and bag each piece awaiting reassembly.
    Torque Converter update: I brought my original converter to Midwest Torque Converters in Minneapolis; in about 2 weeks they cut it open, checked it out inside (all looked good), put in new bearings/seals and a new hub, and welded her back up. Original ring gear was ok as-is. Total cost $190. (compared to quote of $350 from the place in Iowa!)
    Attached Files
    Last edited by bsrosell; 12-17-2010, 08:50 AM.

  • #2
    Way to go! I love the picture with the service manual laid on the car in the background. It looks familiar to me; I went through the FOM on our 57 Wagon about 4 years ago. Everybody I checked with stressed cleanliness, and following the manual. Looks like you are on the right track. I’ve got about 56,000 miles on the unit now, with no problems, shifts like a dream. A couple of notes from my experience, the factory manual I have was not clear on setting the thrust on a short tail shaft unit and I had to think it through based on the pictures in the manual, and I had trouble sealing the governor cover finally resorting to using a small amount of silicon form-a-gasket. I also experimented with a 1st gear conversion (which won’t work on your unit as I recall), and finally returned back to 2nd gear start, I must say I like the 2nd gear start better in the wagon. Keep us posted, you can do it.
    Riverside, Ca.
    1957 Provincial X2
    1958 Transtar


    • #3
      thanks! I'm sure I'll be coming back with questions for you as I get into the re-assembly and adjustment phase. So far, most fun I've had in 10 years I think! :- )
      I'm a mechanical engineer (or 'was' 25 years ago when I graduated??) and one of my kids asked me the other day, 'engineers make things Dad, what do YOU make?" and I had to say, "I make Powerpoint presentations and lots of emails!" :-( So a lot of fun to actually get to play with these fabulous contraptions full of gears and valves and discs..... I'd love to read about the guy who first came up with anything resembling the automatic transmission! My son and I rebuilt my dad's '26 Model-T ford engine a few years ago, and that strange drive system is actually pretty similar in many ways to an automatic. That Henry, ... one odd duck, but a genius too!