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Dynaflow reliability


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11 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

I cannot speak for any other year but for the '56,  I believe the weak link is not the Dynaflow, but rather the fine spline driveshaft.  So user beware of stomping it in low gear.

 

Since I'd be hard pressed to find another one, it might be a good excuse to turn my Buick into a Jaguar. 

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"Did he break the transmission? You betcha. Several times.  But then he had a lead foot and a couple BRASS ones.  He learned to take it out , tear it down and back in in a day. Long one.  He was 19 at the time."

 

Can relate to that, Ben. Mine was a '54 Super and my right foot spent way too much time against the floorboard and L to D shifts were deadly for the Dynaflow. Like your brother I got pretty good at removing and replacing (4 or 5 times - memory is getting a bit hazy...) and junk yard transmissions were only $25 in 64-66 so the cost wasn't too high. Finally solved the problem by buying a '55 transmission, and linkage for the kick-down, and installing in the '54. With the dual stator acceleration in D was acceptable for a lead foot like me. Drafted in Jun '66 and while I was gone my folks sold the Super - still miss it today.?

 

My take on reliability is that the early Dynaflows (49-54) are not as forgiving when abused as those from '55 on and from '58 to '63 are every bit as reliable and perform as well as 3 or 4 speed automatics in other marques. Drive yours and enjoy (I too vote for a high idle causing your lurch into L or R - Old Tank's advice to make sure your brake is firmly pressed when shifting will minimize this problem).

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"Did he break the transmission? You betcha. Several times.  But then he had a lead foot and a couple BRASS ones.  He learned to take it out , tear it down and back in in a day. Long one.  He was 19 at the time."

 

Can relate to that, Ben. Mine was a '54 Super and my right foot spent way too much time against the floorboard and L to D shifts were deadly for the Dynaflow. Like your brother I got pretty good at removing and replacing (4 or 5 times - memory is getting a bit hazy...) and junk yard transmissions were only $25 in 64-66 so the cost wasn't too high. Finally solved the problem by buying a '55 transmission, and linkage for the kick-down, and installing in the '54. With the dual stator acceleration in D was acceptable for a lead foot like me. Drafted in Jun '66 and while I was gone my folks sold the Super - still miss it today.?

 

My take on reliability is that the early Dynaflows (49-54) are not as forgiving when abused as those from '55 on and from '58 to '63 are every bit as reliable and perform as well as 3 or 4 speed automatics in other marques. Drive yours and enjoy (I too vote for a high idle causing your lurch into L or R - Old Tank's advice to make sure your brake is firmly pressed when shifting will minimize this problem).

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Beemon, you should be ashamed of yourself picking on cars with smaller engines, turbos, and gazillion-speed automatics . . . with your BIG Nailhead Buick.  Do THEY know how to et their turbos spooled up and how to turn off the traction control?

 

Watch out for those earlier K-car Turbo II Mopars.  They came with a 3000rpm stall speed converter, from the factory.  Quite surprising!  Ask me how I know . . .

 

NTX5467

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

A truly a shocking transmission - agonizingly slow off the mark (not counting if you have to wrench the lever into "low" and then wrench it back into drive with a clunk - so much for having an automatic). Not everyone that likes classic late 50's Buick styling  wants to have their driving enjoyment diluted with this miserable mechanical monstrosity. GM should have been ashamed of themselves for persisting with development of this rubbish before pulling the plug in '63. You cant polish a turd - swop it out.

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59 minutes ago, alfamaniacs said:

A truly a shocking transmission - agonizingly slow off the mark (not counting if you have to wrench the lever into "low" and then wrench it back into drive with a clunk - so much for having an automatic). Not everyone that likes classic late 50's Buick styling  wants to have their driving enjoyment diluted with this miserable mechanical monstrosity. GM should have been ashamed of themselves for persisting with development of this rubbish before pulling the plug in '63. You cant polish a turd - swop it out.

:angry:

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2 hours ago, alfamaniacs said:

A truly a shocking transmission - agonizingly slow off the mark (not counting if you have to wrench the lever into "low" and then wrench it back into drive with a clunk - so much for having an automatic). Not everyone that likes classic late 50's Buick styling  wants to have their driving enjoyment diluted with this miserable mechanical monstrosity. GM should have been ashamed of themselves for persisting with development of this rubbish before pulling the plug in '63. You cant polish a turd - swop it out.

For the time it was and still is a engineering marvel.  Nothing compares to the smooth acceleration.  It never runs out of gears.  Further, not everyone is looking to launch their vehicle into the stratosphere at every stoplight. I can say this, push the peddle to the floor at 55mph, the secondary open, 325 horses come to life and color my Electra gone. It's one heck of a fluid coupling that is a marvel. Rubbish?  Depends on how one likes his vehicle to perform. 😉 

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2 hours ago, alfamaniacs said:

A truly a shocking transmission - agonizingly slow off the mark (not counting if you have to wrench the lever into "low" and then wrench it back into drive with a clunk - so much for having an automatic). Not everyone that likes classic late 50's Buick styling  wants to have their driving enjoyment diluted with this miserable mechanical monstrosity. GM should have been ashamed of themselves for persisting with development of this rubbish before pulling the plug in '63. You cant polish a turd - swop it out.

What year were you driving? '49-'53 were pretty sluggish BUT very reliable if driven correctly (L to D shifts under throttle = failure by the way). '54 was improved but the first big performance improvement was in '55. By '57/'58 Dynaflows were very efficient - not quite as quick as "geared" automatics but definitely NOT slow and like Chris said you get one on the highway and they are more than able to keep up with anything with similar weight and power through 1963 which was the last year they were Buick's transmission of choice in the big cars (to include the Rivieria).😊

Edited by Gene Brink
clarity (see edit history)
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The limit on the transmission was the engine.  My '50 Super convert was no drag car, but no slouch, either. Run it up to around 60 in L,  ease off the gas,  go to D and go. If the engine had been "warmed up" as is the one in my present '50 ,  it would have surprised a lot of folks.

 

  My brothers '56 SPECIAL convert was never out run in SW MO. Ask some of the old Police if they are still around.

 

  alfamanics, did you have one back then?

 

  Ben

Edited by Ben Bruce aka First Born (see edit history)
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People used to trash talk my '63 Riv because it had a Dynaflow and therefor had slippage. It was easy to prove that with 455 ft lbs of Torque, something has to slip. The only thing I did not like was the odd shift quadrants. R was not for race, as my friends thought.

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On 6/30/2019 at 5:47 PM, alfamaniacs said:

A truly a shocking transmission - agonizingly slow off the mark (not counting if you have to wrench the lever into "low" and then wrench it back into drive with a clunk - so much for having an automatic). Not everyone that likes classic late 50's Buick styling  wants to have their driving enjoyment diluted with this miserable mechanical monstrosity. GM should have been ashamed of themselves for persisting with development of this rubbish before pulling the plug in '63. You cant polish a turd - swop it out.

 

An old man with a Model T Ford said something like that to me when I showed up at a '64 Buick Riviera at a 1978 car show. Then it happened again when I went to a 2017 car show with my 1994 Chevy Impala SS.

 

What do they do, sow seeds for these guys for every generation?

 

Google "Truman ulcers" and get a real laugh.

 

Bernie

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, 60FlatTop said:

Google "Truman ulcers" and get a real laugh.

Now you did it Bernie.  That one post wonder will never come back now. (probably has been here before stirring dung and will return under a different user name)

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Hello at the of development the Dynaflow transmission was smoother than the then current Hydramatic ,it’s main issue was leaking fluid and slower acceleration, but it was one of the first available automatic transmissions .Buick were luxury cars and that’s what the original buyer was looking for not sports car performance. It’s easy to condemn 70 year old engineering compared to modern standards. 

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45 minutes ago, gdmn852 said:

Hello at the of development the Dynaflow transmission was smoother than the then current Hydramatic ,it’s main issue was leaking fluid and slower acceleration, but it was one of the first available automatic transmissions .Buick were luxury cars and that’s what the original buyer was looking for not sports car performance. It’s easy to condemn 70 year old engineering compared to modern standards. 

 

And to add, when the Cadillac transmission plant burned to the ground they turned to the Dynaflow.  It is no doubt meant to be for luxury cars.  

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
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I am surprised that anyone would consider the dynaflow to be a junk transmission. In 1954 my wife and I purchased a new 

Buick Century with a dynaflow transmission while stationed with the Air Force in Texas. In 1956 we pulled a 31 foot, 6000 pound trailer trailer from 

texas to Pennsylvania with the Buick. The Buick performed so well we hardly knew the trailer was on the rear. We sold the car in 1963 with 90,000 on the odometer with no transmission problems. In 1966 I purchased a 1955 Buick Special from my dad with 95,000 miles to use as a work car. I sold it in 1973 with 160,000 on the odometer. The dynaflow had never been worked on. I now have a 1955 Buick Super show car with the variable pitch dynaflow and have had no problems with the transmission. If the dynaflow is a junk transmission you can't prove it by my experience.

Fred

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