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  • Transmission / Overdrive: 51 Land Cruiser AutomaticTransmission fluid

    The transmission in my 51 Land Cruiser was completely overhauled before I purchased the car, and it operates fine. My question concerns the fluid. I did not realize that when it was overhauled, the fluid that was put in the transmission was ATF1. In my routine maintenance tasks, I checked the transmission fluid in low based on the information I had available. However, I used Type F fluid to bring the fluid level up to the full mark. Will the combination of the Type F fluid and the ATF1 in the transmission cause me problems? The amount of fluid added was approx. 1 quart. Comments and/or suggestions. Thanks. MHS56

  • #2
    You most likely have a Detroit Gear transmission and as far as I know, ATF was the recommended fluid also understand that ATF and Type F should never be mixed. If it were me, I would drain the tranny including the converter and refill with Dexron III which is a far better fluid. If your tranny doesn't leak, you could also step up to synthetic and the difference in operation is much improved not to mention heat transfer as these units are air cooled...

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    • #3
      I don't know if the Detroit Gear and the Borg Warner transmissions are one and the same or not. The reason I used Type F was , according to the manuals I have, it was the recommended fluid after they quit using the old 10W motor oil type. However, with all the information and mis-information going around, One never knows. Also, I was under the impression that ATF1 WAS a synthetic fluid. Again, not sure. Thanks for your input. MHS 56

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mhs56 View Post
        I don't know if the Detroit Gear and the Borg Warner transmissions are one and the same or not. The reason I used Type F was , according to the manuals I have, it was the recommended fluid after they quit using the old 10W motor oil type. However, with all the information and mis-information going around, One never knows. Also, I was under the impression that ATF1 WAS a synthetic fluid. Again, not sure. Thanks for your input. MHS 56
        No the DG trans and the later BWs are completely different designs, However, I am unsure of your ATF1 designation for the proper fluid. You may have meant Type A, which was "the" fluid in the 50's. Although it's not a good idea to mix fluids, Type F is sometimes used in place of the no longer available Type A, which has evolved to various Dexron formulations. Since it was overhauled-do you know or can you find out, who did it? They would be the ones to contact as to the proper fluid to use. During rebuilds with todays available parts, original parts are often substituted with more modern ones, and thus a change in fluid from original manufacturers specs. If not I wouldn't panic over a small amount of type F added, even if the rest is Dexron III. If it worries you, simply drain it all, including the converter and start over. It appears that there is conflicting information on whether to use Type F for the DG or Dexron I, II, III replacing the original Type A. If you can't contact the builder you'll have to choose for yourself.

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        • #5
          Thanks for your insight. I did find receipt for the transmission job but it was dated March of 2003 .Additionally, I also found a receipt for some other repairs that listed 8 quarts of Trans fluid in 2005, but the fluid type was not listed. Based on my own poor memory (I don't remember what I had for breakfast), I'm afraid I will not have much success, especially with the second oil installation. Even though there is a long time period from the overhaul until now, the car has only been driven less than 2000 miles in that period, mostly to shows. I'll probably have the transmission oil changed so it will be the same and not mixed. However, in my reading about transmission fluids, there does not seem to be any consensus of the best type/brand to use in that transmission. ( Dextron good/bad; ATF1 good/bad; synthetic vs regular, Type F good/bad etc.)You were correct in that I used Type F in place of Type A. I do know an old time transmission man in the area that put new seals in my 1956 Fordomatic (had the parts n the shelf), so will ask him for a recommendation. Thanks again for you comments and assistance. MHS56

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          • #6
            Whatever ATF1 is, it is NOT the recommended Fluid for your Detroit Gear 3 Band, "Studebaker Automatic Drive" Trans.

            Most of us prefer the Type "F" or "FA" for Fords which are the closest Type to your Trans.

            Dexron III can also be used, after the complete drain and fill of both the torque Converter AND the Trans. Case, just keep a Can or two in the trunk to remember what you have.

            Valvoline still makes the Type "F" and any Parts Store can order it, if not in stock.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #7
              I wondered too what ATF1 is, so I googled it, and the info is below. Not sure if only Pentosin makes it, but that was the main hits that I got. This says its a fully synthetic fluid. Never having had a Studebaker 3-band tranny, I'm not gong to comment on applicability. However, if I did have one I would stick to what the Studebaker community has found works well over the years. Just my opinion, however, yours and others' may differ.

              Pentosin ATF 1 is a fully synthetic high performance Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) for life-time application in automatic gear boxes. Pentosin ATF 1 is formulated by means of the best commercially available synthetic base oils and additive components. A high performance shear stable VI-Improver plus modern antiwear chemistry and friction modifiers guarantee a sound stable friction performance in modern automatic transmissions equipped with an electronically controlled converter clutch.
              • Prevents lime formation
              • Does not foam
              • Protects against corrosion and cavitation
              • Manufactured to the exact spects of DIN, ASTM, DBL
              Paul
              Winston-Salem, NC
              Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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              • #8
                The DG200 in your '51 Land Cruiser was manufactured by Borg Warner. 1951 was the second year it was offered in a Studebaker. I've used nothing but Dexron in all my DG200's with satisfying service for over forty years.
                "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

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

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                • #9
                  I talked to my "old" transmission man today. He said he's worked on several of the Studebaker transmissions, and he always used Type F. I have over a case of it in the garage. He also said basically the same as the other comments; either change it all out, or run it if it isn't causing problems. I haven't made up my mind, but I do have a 200 mile trip in a couple of weeks to a show, and I won't get it changed before then, so will run it and see what happens. I told my transmission man that I'd be in touch if it started acting up and he said he would take care of it. Thanks for all your comments, suggestions and insight. These forums are a tremendous resource. Thanks again. MHS56

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