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1950 Chrysler fluid drive


Guest bundymotor

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Guest bundymotor

I have a 1950 Chrysler Royal wih a Prestomatic transmission that will only shift into the Low Range Position on the column when the vehicle is moving forward. This cannot be performed at a stand still. The vehicle has to start off with the shifter down in the High Range Position. It will shift dorrectly and automatically from High Low to High High without any problems and once in High High with the pressure off the drive train a manual downshift on the column to the Low Range can be performed. Note that his cannot be performed at a high rate of speed, but when performed the speed of the vehicle usually determines if the transmission goes into Low High or if traveling slow enough it will just go into Low Low Range. If the latter takes place the vehicle will up shift correctly on its own to Low High when accelerating. I have tried adjusting the shifter rod linkage to the transmission and by adjustment specifications all seems to be in order - this is where it becomes frustrating. The feel of trying to shift into the Low Range Position at a standstill is that of a 3 speed on the column linkage binding up. I have checked and rechecked for sloppiness in the column and through the linkage to the shifting levers at the side of the transmission and everything looks good. Could this be an internal problem - and if so has anyone any experience with a solution to the problem?

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This is a new one on me. The only thing I can think of is worn or bent parts in the shifter mechanism at the base of the steering column but I suppose you already checked that.

In the factory repair manual under "Hard Shifting" it says

a) Improper selector rod adjustment

b)synchronizer shifting plate (or plates) damaged or broken

c)synchronizer springs improperly installed

d)broken or worn synchronizer stop rings

e)absence of gearshift rail interlock

f)remote control gearshift rod bushings out of alignment or too tight causing the rod to bind

g)improper clutch adjustment.

It then explains the cure

a) Place the transmission gears in neutral position. Loosen the lock nut on the front end of the selector rod. and tighten adjusting nut until all play is removed from the rod. Back off adjusting nut 1/2 turn to allow clearance and tighten locking nut.

b,c,d,e, can only be corrected by removing and disassembling the transmission

f) disconnect linkage at bottom of gearshift and check the lever for binding. If the lever operates exceptionally hard replace the selector rod bushings or align the burning brackets; whichever is the cause.

If you have any more questions just ask.

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A buddy of mine just dropped off a 1950 Royal. I told him I would try to get it back on the road for him.

Here is the tricky part, I do not know much about the car. Like how to shift or anything like that.

I am mechanically inclined and I know all the basic car stuff, but not much about this particular car.

It has a Spitfire engine and did run about a year ago, so I am hoping it won't be hard to get going.

Are the brakes pretty basic on these? I think it will need those.

thanks

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A buddy of mine just dropped off a 1950 Royal. I told him I would try to get it back on the road for him.

Here is the tricky part, I do not know much about the car. Like how to shift or anything like that.

I am mechanically inclined and I know all the basic car stuff, but not much about this particular car.

It has a Spitfire engine and did run about a year ago, so I am hoping it won't be hard to get going.

Are the brakes pretty basic on these? I think it will need those.

thanks

The Fluid Drive transmission is an unusual combination of manual and automatic. It requires its own driving technique which is easy to learn but hard to figure out for yourself.

If you look at the Chrysler and Dodge boards on this site, and do a search for Fluid Drive, you will find out plenty. There were a couple of threads about 2 years ago that covered the driving and maintaining of these trannies in depth.

They are a rugged, reliable transmission and not hard to fix. Generally, if the wiring is in good shape, the tranny and fluid drive unit filled with the right oil, and the right driving technique used, they work fine.

The brakes are more complicated than on other cars. The front wheels have 2 wheel cylinders for a start. Also if you do a complete brake job it is tricky to adjust the shoes correctly. Once they are lined up routine adjustments are simple but they have to be aligned right to work. When everything is hunky dory they are the best drum brakes on the market. Also, the rear brakes require a very powerful puller to get the drum off. You have to have the right puller and know what you are doing, to get the drum off without damage and without hurting yourself.

Suggest you or the owner invest in a repair manual before you begin. It will save untold time and heartaches.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest imperialdude

I own a 1950 Chrysler Imperial C49 and need to locate a parts / repair person for the fluid drive unit. Any help? Ilive in Colorado.

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Guest bundymotor

We obtained a copy of the shop manual and a publication titled "Service Information for 1946 DeSoto Tip-Toe Shift Transmission", using these we rebuilt the unit. We obtained transmission parts from Andy Bernbaum in Mass. Shift rod and relay adjustment was critical, the DeSoto book was extremely helpful in this area. Hope this helps.

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  • 3 weeks later...

If I am not mistaken my 1950 Dodge Wayfarer which had fluid drive did the same thing in cold weather. This was 1968 so I am going back a little to remember. I believe it had a hydraulic slave cylinder at the throw out yoke arm. It was bad and did not allow enough release to free the throw out bearing. The fluid drive was a standard transmission sandwiched with a torque converter between it and the block. I know my 62 international scout had this set up as well regarding the hydraulic clutch master and slave cylinder setup nd did the same thing as what you are describing and the fix was the same. Hope this helps.

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