C A

1948 Dodge Transmission Question

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You might want to consider changing the name of your post to something more descriptive like “automatic transmission for 48 Dodge question “

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C A,

 

Welcome to the AACA Discussion Forum. I have edited your topic to make it more likely that you will receive an answer to your question. 

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The only transmission Dodge offered in 1948 was a standard column shift 3 speed.

It was coupled to a "Fluid Coupling" driven by the crankshaft.

It looks similar to a torque converter on a newer car but did not multipy engine torque. Just a fluid coupling called "Fluid Drive".

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On 11/4/2018 at 12:42 PM, stvaughn said:

You might want to consider changing the name of your post to something more descriptive like “automatic transmission for 48 Dodge question “

Thank you. 

I am considering buying a 48, but was hoping an option to change it to a type of automatic was possible. 

c49r just said 3 spd standard only. 50 yrs ago I had a 54 with a trans that could take off from stop in high, or use clutch & shift thru the gears. But I don’t know if there is any way to change one. 

Appreciate all info.  

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With the fluid drive coupling like used in a 1948 dodge you can  take off  in 3rd  ( but very slowly) but you still have a standard 3 speed trans.

Certain 1953 and 54 Dodge and Dlymouth cars did have a actual torque converter with a 3 speed transmission and acceleration from a dead stop was a good improvement over the old Fluid Drive couplings.

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In a 48 model,  if at a stop sign on an incline and having the car in third gear will it hold its position on that incline or do you need to be pressing on the brake & clutch ?

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12 hours ago, C A said:

In a 48 model,  if at a stop sign on an incline and having the car in third gear will it hold its position on that incline or do you need to be pressing on the brake & clutch ?

You would need to hold the car with the breake on a incline.

You soon would find out taking off in 3rd gear is not a smart thing to do with Fluid Drive in a 1948 dodge.

It's slow and hard on the engine as you are putting too much a load on it.

2nd gear take offs probably OK on the flats. .

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I think you would do well to state exactly what it is that concerns you about the transmission in a 48 Dodge. Do you know how to drive a manual trans? Does the complexity of the Fluid Drive scare you? To answer the original question, no. Can a later trans be adapted? Yes, but it isn't easy or cheap. Is Fluid Drive easy to operate. Yes. It is a bit odd, but fairly intuitive. My memories of a long gone 47 Dodge with Gyromatic was that it was a 4 speed manual. Two ranges in lo and two in high. Starting in high was a bit sluggish but you actually started in third and shifted into high by easing off of the gas. You only used the clutch to engage a gear or to shift from low range to high. You could start the car, put it in high range, let out the clutch and drive all day long without ever touching the clutch pedal again unless you needed to back up

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Dodge never had the "Gryro-Matic 4 speed hydraulically operated 2 range tranmission till 1949... a whole different ball game compared to the 3 speed with FD Dodge used thru 1948.

There has been a ton of info on these Mopar Couplings here on this site...

A few names for some of the 1941 thru 1954 Mopar cars...I have worked on or owned most of these...

,Hydraulically operated

Vaca-Matic

Simpli-Matic

Hydraulically Operated

Presto-Matic

Fluid-Torque Drive

Fluid -Matic

Hy-Drive

Tip-Toe Shift and more!

The OP needs to buy a car with an automatic. putting one in a 1948 D24 Dodge won't happen.

 

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2 hours ago, c49er said:

 

Dodge never had the "Gryro-Matic 4 speed hydraulically operated 2 range tranmission till 1949... a whole different ball game compared to the 3 speed with FD Dodge used thru 1948.

.

 

I mis typed. It was a 49 Dodge, not a 47

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Ok, folks, I DO APPRECIATE your info & input. 

I have driven standards throughout my life, but can’t decide if I want to go back to a std again, so wanted to research the options. 

         How about Air Conditioning in a 48 coupe. 

Would that engine work with the aftermarket addons with big radiators that people put in STREETROD’s with 350 engines. 

Just wondering if those old engines could adapt to an AC compressor - probably NOT. 

 

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4 hours ago, TerryB said:

Wasn’t the Hy-Drive a one year Plymouth trans that was not quite fluid drive and not quite Power-Flite?

It was just a slightly modified gear ratio 3 speed with a air cooled torque converter fed with engine oil that wasn't the most reliable invention MoPar put out! 

1953-54

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From the tone of your questions I get the impression you would be a lot happier with a slightly newer car. One that came with auto trans and air conditioning. One from the late fifties, that also has V8 engine and 12V electrics (anticipating your next 2 questions).

 

It would be possible to install air and an auto trans in a 48 Dodge given infinite money but I don't know why anyone would bother. Fluid Drive may not be the greatest auto trans in the world but it does work well within its limitations. The difference is not worth the thousands it would cost to do the conversion if you ask me.

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Seems like there are some good options in cars from about 1950 to 1957 that would be better choices.  1956 Dodge and Plymouth are good looking cars and if your budget allows, the Chrysler and DeSoto from this era.  If you are not brand limited, the Powerglide Chevy from the early fifties are nice too.  The Chrysler products post WWII era are well built cars but seem to have quirks in the trans and braking areas that can make them a challenge at times to maintain.

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Yes, TerryB I agree with you - I 1st pursued a 50 Chevy with power glide but it sold  before I could contact him. I used to ride in those when I was in Jr High.

Thanks a lot

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To clarify, Fluid Drive was standard on American Dodges in the late 40s. This was a device that allowed slippage like a torque converter, and it was matched to a 3 speed manual trans. You could drive around like an automatic except you have to use the clutch pedal to put it in gear, and the trans does not shift itself. But, you could leave it in second and drive around town in traffic all day or shift into high on the hiway. They will take off from a stop in high gear but very sluggish.

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