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Flight-O-Matic 1956 Sky Hawk 289 4BL 10 Weight Motor Oil?

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  • Transmission: Flight-O-Matic 1956 Sky Hawk 289 4BL 10 Weight Motor Oil?

    Just getting ready to put the engine back in the Sky Hawk and pulled the torque converter and replaced the front trans seal. I drained the transmission and converter fluid and found something I was not expecting. The fluid in the trans and converter looked like motor oil (brown). As I had added about a pint to the level about a year ago, there was just a slight hint of red in the oil. I am aware that the manual calls for ATF Type A, but have been told that Dextron III is what should be currently used. The fluid did not smell as if it had been burned and the transmission was working OK when I pulled the engine. It has also always been working correctly since I owned the car (two years). I know the early DG series of Stude automatics used 10 weight motor oil, and wonder if a past owner thought this was a DG trans? Anyhow, here is my questions:

    1. Is there any problems if the trans was run with 10 weight motor oil?
    2. What should I put in it now?
    3. Is Dexron III the correct replacement for type A?

    My initial reaction is to fill the transmission with ATF and run it for a few miles and then drain and refill it with ATF again.

    Any help will be appreciated.
    Last edited by Jerry Johnson; 10-18-2013, 12:19 PM.

  • #2
    1. They are pretty tough transmissions. I wouldn't worry about it.
    2. You can use Dexron III just fine. I believe some people used Type F, since it gives a crisper shift, but it's getting hard to find.
    3. Yes.

    Your plan to flush and refill sounds good to me.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


    • #3
      A flush would be a good idea. If the trans has been operating ok then I dont see why there would be any problems. Dexron is the way to go for any trans with fiber friction discs IMO.


      • #4
        Jerry, you may want to note that if this Trans. has never been rebuilt or done in the 1990's and before, it would have Asbestos, and Copper Clutch Friction Discs. and most likely DOES, and NOT Cellulose like current stock would be.

        IMO, these old stock clutches work best with Ford Type "F" or "FA", Valvoline still makes it.
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner


        • #5
          B&M Trick Shift is a type F and works very well in the original bronze clutches, or the Alto Red Eagle (FMX) racing clutch materials. The stock replacement paper clutches should have the DexronIII fluid. I'm not familiar with the newer Dexron VI. Has anyone here used it?
          Bez Auto Alchemy

          "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln


          • #6
            Originally posted by gordr View Post
            1. They are pretty tough transmissions.
            They sure are! The Flightomatic has to be one of the best early automatics that was ever produced.....and I don't believe it ever received the credit which it truly deserved. This transmission can carry on for YEARS with little or no maintenance....and compared to some of its contemporaries, is a simple, straightforward, and rugged unit.