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Old February 12th, 2009, 06:44 PM   #1
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Rebuilding a 1955 Hydramatic

Hi Guys, I'm 16 and the shop i took my transmission to hasn't had a chance to look at my transmission after 7 months of it being there so I'm going to pick it up monday, unfortuneatly I'm out of money to pay people to do it for me so This is a project i'm gonna have to do my self. are there any good resources online for this sort of thing? I have my 55 olds shop manual, along with a 55 pontiac transmission rebuild guide which i think is almost identical to mine.... any pointers?

Thanks
Robert
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Old February 12th, 2009, 08:28 PM   #2
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........ I have my 55 olds shop manual, along with a 55 Pontiac transmission rebuild guide ........
Shop manual is an excellent start. There are some special tools but there are workarounds.

If you order the rebuild set/parts, from your local warehouse, the counter guys advice, can prove invaluable.

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Old February 13th, 2009, 04:23 AM   #3
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About the only place you are going to be able to get parts for that transmission is Fatsco Transmissions. If you plan on disassembling the transmission you need a VERY CLEAN place to do it. You will also need a large area to set the different parts out on as you disassemble it. Have you ever disassembled an automatic transmission before? If not I suggest you get help from someone who has.
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Old February 13th, 2009, 08:09 AM   #4
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Take pictures as you dis-assemble the transmssion this along with the manuals will help you put the transmission back together. Good luck
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Old February 18th, 2009, 01:35 PM   #5
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Hi Thanks guys,
I've never touched a transmission beyond replaceing the odd oil pan gasket.... this is a first for me.... Also... do i need an inch-pound torque wrench? Also how do i know i have the bands adjusted right? I have a manual but i dosen't say much about that.... Unfortuneatly I don't have anyone that can give me hands on help... i can call the shop if i have any questions the guy said and i can get a guy to come look at it before i put the pans on but thats it....

Robert
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Old February 18th, 2009, 02:58 PM   #6
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Hi Thanks guys,
I've never touched a transmission beyond replaceing the odd oil pan gasket.... this is a first for me.... Also... do i need an inch-pound torque wrench? Also how do i know i have the bands adjusted right? I have a manual but i dosen't say much about that.... Unfortuneatly I don't have anyone that can give me hands on help... i can call the shop if i have any questions the guy said and i can get a guy to come look at it before i put the pans on but thats it....

Robert
Check here: http://www.autotran.us/

David Edwards sells the rebuild kits at reasonable prices and loans out various tools needed for the hydramatic. Good luck
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Old February 18th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #7
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Unfortuneatly I don't have anyone that can give me hands on help
If you have never done anything more than replace a pan gasket and you don't have anyone to help you through it, then I suggest you don't rebuild it yourself. An automatic transmission is the most complex part of an automobile. If you put a clutch pack in backwards or misadjust a band you could completely fry the transmission.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #8
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Hi Thanks for the link.... as much as i'd like to get a pro to do it the cash isn't there so i have no choice I have to
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Old February 18th, 2009, 07:09 PM   #9
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Not that I know a lot but I have been fooling with cars a long time. I do pretty decent for a shadetree. I would not attempt to rebuild this transmission. First off, the thing is cast iron and weighs several hundred pounds. It will take a good transmission jack and at least two of you to get it out and back in. That is all I would attempt to do. As Olds64 said, this is the most complex part of the car. If you screw it up, you are out the part and all your work and then it will probably cost more to fix it than it would today. We all understand limited funds and most of us still are on limited funds. Otherwise we would all have a stable of Oldsmobiles and a showbarn to put them in. I think coldwar had a good idea about getting a used transmission. There a lot of years that will fit.

Good luck and keep us up to date as to how you are doing.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 03:23 AM   #10
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Hi I tried to find a transmission thatwould fit to no avail... I have 2 huyro-m's and i plan to make one out of 2... i bought a transmission jack, engine stans and transmission stand before the money died so i have everything and i really want to try to do this.....
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Old February 19th, 2009, 04:18 PM   #11
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If you are set on rebuilding the transmission just make sure you have a place that is CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. Did, I mention that you had to make sure the work area was clean? I can't stress this enough.

You should also take plenty of pictures. Finally, don't rush yourself. If you are trying to disassemble a clutch pack and can't get it apart then leave it for at least an hour and come back to it later. Even if you don't have money you should have all the time in the world to rebuild it.

Good luck!
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Old February 20th, 2009, 01:43 AM   #12
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........ i really want to try to do this
Other than having a lot of parts, they are actually pretty simple. Factory manuals will guide you through the disassembly and reassembly. You will need a 100#, or so, compressor to clean/dry (do not use rags) the parts, after you clean them in solvent, and to test the parts for proper operation, per the manual, as you do the assembly.

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Originally Posted by d2_willys View Post
Check here: http://www.autotran.us/hmkits1.html

David Edwards sells the rebuild kits at reasonable prices and loans out various tools needed for the hydramatic.
And he has/can get, many of the hard parts that the others cannot.

He has been advertising in JWO for many years. If I couldn't get everything I need locally, he is the one I'd use.

The experienced (and competent) trans guy is only needed, during disassembly, to identify any hard parts that should be replaced. I know of several "hobbyists" who used the "rebuild kit" but did not fix the trans.

Having said that: Are you sure one (or both) of them need to be rebuilt?

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Old February 22nd, 2009, 04:41 PM   #13
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Hi Guys...
I dissassembles the transmission and cleaned everything with carb cleaner (valves etc) and swapped the good planet carrier into the good drum... used the new case and fastener, transplanted it all in... put the rear output back on (that already had new seals in it so i was fortuneate not to have to frig with that) and the clutches i decided not to screw with.... they looked fairly new without opening it and they worked fine before the rebuild and i don't have new clutch plates anyway) i also changes all the rings in the govener and stuff... i continued with the pump and bearing and everything went OK... i reassembled the valve body, governer and parking pawl and thats where i called it a day.... can someone tell me how to adjust the band? I do not have a tool to adjust it with either but the transmission shop in town says they can do it but i don't have a truck now so it would be nice to do it myself... please any help/workarounds?

Thanks,
Robert
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 04:43 PM   #14
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Hi Guys...
I dissassembled the transmission and cleaned everything with carb cleaner (valves etc) and swapped the good planet carrier into the good drum... used the new case and fastener, transplanted it all in... put the rear output back on (that already had new seals in it so i was fortuneate not to have to frig with that) and the clutches i decided not to screw with.... they looked fairly new without opening it and they worked fine before the rebuild and i don't have new clutch plates anyway) i also changes all the rings in the govener and stuff... i continued with the pump and bearing and everything went OK... i reassembled the valve body, governer and parking pawl and thats where i called it a day.... can someone tell me how to adjust the band? I do not have a tool to adjust it with either but the transmission shop in town says they can do it but i don't have a truck now so it would be nice to do it myself... please any help/workarounds?

Thanks,
Robert

anyone know where to get the tool if theres no workarounds?
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 08:40 PM   #15
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Hi Guys...
I dissassembled the transmission and cleaned everything with carb cleaner (valves etc) and swapped the good planet carrier into the good drum... used the new case and fastener, transplanted it all in... put the rear output back on (that already had new seals in it so i was fortuneate not to have to frig with that) and the clutches i decided not to screw with.... they looked fairly new without opening it and they worked fine before the rebuild and i don't have new clutch plates anyway) i also changes all the rings in the govener and stuff... i continued with the pump and bearing and everything went OK... i reassembled the valve body, governer and parking pawl and thats where i called it a day.... can someone tell me how to adjust the band? I do not have a tool to adjust it with either but the transmission shop in town says they can do it but i don't have a truck now so it would be nice to do it myself... please any help/workarounds?

Thanks,
Robert

anyone know where to get the tool if theres no workarounds?
This is where the manual comes in handy (if it shows all the tools for adjusting the bands). Your 55 has only one external band adjustment, so the other band will have to be adjusted internally. (For that matter, the same could be said about the external adjust band too) David Edwards loans out these tools and I would certainly check with him about renting them out.

You should adjust both bands internally as the manual recommends. Both have different gauges that should be used to adjust bands properly. I haven't had the privilege of adjusting these things yet, so I am no expert, but if you follow the manual you should be ok.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 07:08 PM   #16
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↑ What he said ↑

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Old February 24th, 2009, 09:37 AM   #17
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Any 16-year-old who tackles a HydraMatic has my everlasting respect. I know seasoned transmission guys who won't touch one. That's probably why it sat in the shop 7 months, because no one wanted to screw with it.

I've been accumulating Slim Jim parts for years against the possibility of a failure/rebuild. I've grabbed every NOS GM piece for them I could find as well as a bunch of aftermarket parts.

Had a trans shop here tell me "We can't do anything for it, you can't get parts for those things." Laid a Roto 10 Parts Requisition booklet in front of him and told him I had every piece listed in it. He went kinda pale... and then he 'fessed up that he didn't have a clue where to begin.

What's bad was his daddy could rebuild 'em in his sleep.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 10:12 AM   #18
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[quote=rocketraider;66152]Any 16-year-old who tackles a HydraMatic has my everlasting respect.


Hats off to you.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #19
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Hi Thanks guys

I guess i'll have to find the tools... but I did call the transmission shop down the road and I explained my situitation to them and they said they could adjust the bands if i brought it down to them... is this a good idea? Does the average transmission shop have the right tools and the know-how? I wanna be sure instead of broken... I'd hate to have the thing burn up on the way to the first show.... I have to fix a misake i made tonight... i put the rea band on backwards which means i gotta take the gov. gear back off and the output shaft as well... With any luck i'll get it all back together late tonight I think i'll take Coldwar's advice and put it in first
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Old February 25th, 2009, 09:12 AM   #20
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Hi Thanks guys

I guess i'll have to find the tools... but I did call the transmission shop down the road and I explained my situitation to them and they said they could adjust the bands if i brought it down to them... is this a good idea? Does the average transmission shop have the right tools and the know-how? I wanna be sure instead of broken... I'd hate to have the thing burn up on the way to the first show.... I have to fix a misake i made tonight... i put the rea band on backwards which means i gotta take the gov. gear back off and the output shaft as well... With any luck i'll get it all back together late tonight I think i'll take Coldwar's advice and put it in first
You are way too cool for a 16 year old. Reminds me of when I started working on cars, couldn't get enough books to learn from, along with seasoned mechanics. I WOULD NOT TAKE THE CAR TO YOUR TRANS SHOP unless he shows you the 3 Kent Moore tools used to adjust the hydro.

You would be better off renting the tools and doing the job yourself. Check with David Edwards for the tools. PM me with your email and I can scan my hydramatic manual and send it to you in pdf form.

Keep up the good work, you definitely have my respect.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 05:42 AM   #21
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Hi Thanks guys

I guess i'll have to find the tools... but I did call the transmission shop down the road and I explained my situitation to them and they said they could adjust the bands if i brought it down to them... is this a good idea? Does the average transmission shop have the right tools and the know-how? I wanna be sure instead of broken... I'd hate to have the thing burn up on the way to the first show.... I have to fix a misake i made tonight... i put the rea band on backwards which means i gotta take the gov. gear back off and the output shaft as well... With any luck i'll get it all back together late tonight I think i'll take Coldwar's advice and put it in first
Another possibility is to mount the trans to an engine stand so that it would be easy to rotate, then adjust the bands while out of the car. Another suggestion is to use compressed air to apply the band servos to see if the bands do apply correctly. I do this when rebuilding transmissions just to see if all is well. I would hate to see you put this heavyweight in the car, just to have to remove it again. Good luck! You can put me on your buddy list as there are fewer and fewer hydro guys around.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 02:19 PM   #22
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Hi, Thanks for all the kind complements...


Anyway the motors in (minus one engine mount bolt on the transmission that i forgot to put in and now it don't want to line up so I'll have to spend some time on that tomorrow.... Nobody here has the tool so I'll have to save up and rent one from the fellow you guys mentioned...

I'll Keep u posted.

Thanks
Robert
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Old March 5th, 2009, 06:13 AM   #23
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Hi, Thanks for all the kind complements...


Anyway the motors in (minus one engine mount bolt on the transmission that i forgot to put in and now it don't want to line up so I'll have to spend some time on that tomorrow.... Nobody here has the tool so I'll have to save up and rent one from the fellow you guys mentioned...

I'll Keep u posted.

Thanks
Robert
Robert: You made the right decision (and for a 16 yr old I appreciate it!) not letting someone just adjust the bands. Again PM me and I will scan and send you the procedure which has the KM tools listed and how to use them. I'll be glad to help you through the band adjustments. Hydros rule!!!
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Old March 5th, 2009, 07:46 PM   #24
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Let us know how it turns out. Kudos to you for tackling this project.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 07:48 AM   #25
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Hi Thanks guys.... I'm going to rent the tool in a week or so when i get the 100 deposit and then i'll be able to set up the bands. hopefully i won't kill it and with any luck i'll be able to take it for a good run out on the highway if it's a nice day.... I'll need to put my window in... (also watch for cops too lol )
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Old March 17th, 2009, 07:48 AM
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