|" Tricks For Ford-O-Matic Power Shifting For Speed
This last month I read an article in Street Rodder Magazine ( Transmission Options by Doc Frohmander Y-NOTTA Y-BLOCK part 7, Sept. 1999 issue Page 206). On page 208 of this article there is a section called Ford-O-Matics. I own a 1959 Ford Country Sedan Station Wagon and I had been trying to figure out how to manually power shift my car for speed when I needed it. The following has been quoted from this article.
FORD-O-MATICS by Doc Frohmander
These transmissions are often maligned, but in their day, they were quite solid and serviceable units. They were what I call "stealth three-speeds". Nearly lost in history is the Ford-O shift trick that allowed you to make use of all three gears. The Ford-O had only two: "low" and "drive". The only way you got low was to manually shift into it. If you started out in drive, you got second gear and a single shift to third. So the trick was to start out in low, wind it up to were you wanted second, and manually upshift to the drive position. Unfortunately, if you stopped there, you got third when the trans wanted to shift-usually a lot lower rpm than you wanted. So to stay in second, you simply upshifted to drive from first and immediately dropped it back into low. The trans would react by shifting to second and staying there until you again shifted into drive. There-three speeds, and once you got the idea it was simple to do.
The Ford-O remains a usable trans and will support a reasonable healthy Y-block if it is in good shape. Another option: Use an adapter kit made by Flat-O Products that allows you to use a C4 transmission. Obviously, the C4 is the premium option; able to handle some serious strong drag engines in beefed form and easily handle everything a Y-block can produce. I personally have never seen this kit, but am told that it is a complete kit of parts that adapts the C4 with little fuss. The obvious advantages are the C4's strength, lightness and shift. (end)
Some other tricks that I have found with experimentation :
(1) Start in low. (2) Up-Shift into drive for second. (3) Down shift immediately into low to stay in second.
(4) Up-Shift into drive for third. (5) Down shift back into low if you need to go back to second for pick up.
(6) Up-Shift into drive which will put you in third again when slowing back down so as not to bang the
trans in first while coming to a stop.
(7) Once stopped you then can drop her back into low and start over again.
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