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1954 Chevy - Power Glide overfill concerns


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I have a 1954 Bel Air with the cast iron powerglide that was fully rebuilt 19 years ago (new planetary gears, seals, reverse lever, the works!).  I've owned the car 21 years, but recently over filled the cast iron powerglide automatic transmission for the first time. The car was cold, pushed it out of the garage and filled it without having run it and without the car in neutral.  Thinking this was my mistake.  The fluid came out of the fill-tube. I realized what I had done after dumping in my 1/2 to 3/4 of a quart. I am hoping that a powerglide expert could offer some suggestions or guide me on what to do.  I took it for a very brief drive (less than 1 mile) and heard some noise which i think may have been what is described as torque converter cavitation.  I dunno. Never heard the sound so came back home right away.  Was thinking if draining fluid and then refilling with proper quantity.  And then trying to drive.  Anyone out there know the ins and outs of this and can offer suggestions? This car is my baby, and I've seldom had problems with it, and I just don't want to make another mistake that may cost me $$. 

 

If you have never been around a cast iron PG or do not have first hand knowledge of such, please refrain from responding. (not trying to be rude, but I really am trying to avoid being mislead by an 'expert' who isn't familiar with this early GM automatic transmission.  Not looking for guesses.)

 

Thank you. Andy B.

20201031_161321.jpg.d10bdf3b3f884ac103050eedf53469b7.jpg

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You've diagnosed your problem and what you need to do.

 

Unless the PG is due for fluid and screen service, to avoid the mess of a complete fluid drain use one of those oil change suction guns to draw off the same amount you added thru the dipstick tube. Then drive the vehicle and see if the cavitation has gone away. If it has you're good; if not draw off more until the cavitation stops. Drive the car to operating temperature, then check fluid level the way you should have to begin with and correct as needed.

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Would the fluid run out if you pulled the driveline? Might be easier than a suction pump

I know, I know not an expert.

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3 hours ago, JACK M said:

Would the fluid run out if you pulled the driveline? Might be easier than a suction pump

I know, I know not an expert.

 

Torque tube, not an easy task.  

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Does a 54 have an oil cooler possibly in the radiator ? If so might be a place to remove/drain some.

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On 1/1/2021 at 8:39 PM, rocketraider said:

You've diagnosed your problem and what you need to do.

 

Unless the PG is due for fluid and screen service, 

 

Glenn

the early cast iron powerglides don't have a pan and an easily accessible screen filter. However there is a drain plug located on the bottom of the tranny.

 

4 hours ago, padgett said:

Does a 54 have an oil cooler possibly in the radiator ? If so might be a place to remove/drain some.

 

Good thought, 1950-1954 has an external cooler, considering where it is located it could be messy.

 

On 1/1/2021 at 7:47 PM, retro54 said:

I have a 1954 Bel Air with the cast iron powerglide that was fully rebuilt 19 years ago (new planetary gears, seals, reverse lever, the works!).  I've owned the car 21 years, but recently over filled the cast iron powerglide automatic transmission for the first time. The car was cold, pushed it out of the garage and filled it without having run it and without the car in neutral.  Thinking this was my mistake.  The fluid came out of the fill-tube. I realized what I had done after dumping in my 1/2 to 3/4 of a quart. I am hoping that a powerglide expert could offer some suggestions or guide me on what to do.  I took it for a very brief drive (less than 1 mile) and heard some noise which i think may have been what is described as torque converter cavitation.  I dunno. Never heard the sound so came back home right away.  Was thinking if draining fluid and then refilling with proper quantity.  And then trying to drive.  Anyone out there know the ins and outs of this and can offer suggestions? This car is my baby, and I've seldom had problems with it, and I just don't want to make another mistake that may cost me $$. 

 

If you have never been around a cast iron PG or do not have first hand knowledge of such, please refrain from responding. (not trying to be rude, but I really am trying to avoid being mislead by an 'expert' who isn't familiar with this early GM automatic transmission.  Not looking for guesses.)

 

Thank you. Andy B.

20201031_161321.jpg.d10bdf3b3f884ac103050eedf53469b7.jpg

 

Andy, where did the fluid go? When these transmissions are overfilled another problem is that it can leak from the rear seal and over fill the differential, besides thinning out the gear lube it can also leak out the axle seals and get on the rear brakes. 

By the way your 54 looks sweet!

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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I had a 51 chevy with Powerglide. You can unbolt the bottom of the dipstick tube from the transmission case and remove it. The screen is inside there and can be removed and cleaned and put back. You may need a new gasket.  In 1970  the trans in mine started slipping. I checked the screen and it was completely plugged with crap. I took the screen out and cleaned it,put it back then drained  it and put new fluid in. It worked great after that. 

Edited by misterc9 (see edit history)
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John, your colors are the kind that were used in advertising brochures to highlight the styling cues.  Reminds me of a Florida or California color scheme.  Too bright for us stodgy north easterners!

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Also learned not to wear Florida jackets in London.

In the Winter most GM execs wintered in Florida. Might be a contributing factor.

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6 hours ago, rocketraider said:

Curious what your 54's color is? Growing up, neighbors had a 54 BA sedan in same color scheme and I never knew what the color is called.

 

Retro 54's color is Pueblo Tan

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/4/2021 at 2:38 PM, rocketraider said:

Curious what your 54's color is? Growing up, neighbors had a 54 BA sedan in same color scheme and I never knew what the color is called.

The color combination is "Pueblo Tan and Shoreline Beige" per the color code and 1954 Chevrolet colors.  Mostly original paint. The car received HPOF certification at 2019 Hershey. 

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