I have a 1963 Deville with a 429 out of a 64 and what I assume is the original hydramatic transmission that was in the car.  

The transmission has stopped allowing me to shift into reverse when the engine is running which according to the shop manual indicates that the control valve is stuck open. I can shift the car into reverse if it is off and then start it and the car will move.

All of my reading has led me to the conclusion that this transmission is complicated and problematic. I have seen a couple threads where owners are swapping this transmission out for the Turbo Hydramatic. 

I was wondering if anyone has link to a good article with the exact transmission model # and a good walk through of what extra parts adapters etc need to make everything mate up. I'm still digging around on the internet, but I just haven't found a good thorough walk through.

Pics of my beater:



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I'd also be interested to know if there is a good place to purchase a rebuilt HM transmission just so I can weight out my options. I haven't had much luck finding a place that sells the HM and I don't really trust my local shops to rebuild the one I have currently.

Not sure on the article, but my 2 cents is; that the Hydra-Matic is a good transmission.  Just remember that its over 50 years old.

Take the valve body out and wash all the passages ways out.

I do know this. If you want to put in a Turbo Hydra matic, you will need to get a different crank, trans to tranny adaptor, or a 65 and up trans. Not sure if the 65 and up will work, as I haven't heard of it being done.  The shift linkage from a 64 with a turbo trans.


My only apprehension about just cleaning the valve body is that it already had a couple of issues prior to this. The transmission was shifting hard from 1st to 2nd gear, and it is leaking from the front seal. I have fairly limited experience with transmissions. I've pulled them out and that is about the extent of it.

Most of the local shops are really expensive, and it's typically been cheaper to just replace with new rather than cut them loose to rebuild anything. Shipping in Alaska makes sending it out cost prohibitive too.

I considered getting it flushed just to see if that might free something up, and if that doesn't work I'll pull it and take it apart and see what is going on.

The Hydra-Matic TV rod has to be adjusted correctly for the transmission to shift properly. If you have hard shifts, I would start with that adjustment. If you have a shop manual, find the procedure and follow it to the letter. The Hydra-Matic is a good transmission, it will run many miles when properly adjusted and cared for. The Hydra-Matic shifts smoothly when the TV rod is properly adjusted. 

I would drain and pull the pan, remove the flywheel inspection cover. Remove the drain plug on the Torus to drain the Torus unit, get a new filter. After cleaning the valve body, install the filter with a new O-ring in the pump where the pickup tube fits. I use Amsoil Full Synthetic ATF transmission fluid in my 63, but a good quality brand of Dexron III will do. My transmission shifts much better with the Amsoil than when I used Pennzoil Dexron III fluid.

I tried to drive it down to a near by transmission shop today to have them drop the pan and give it the once over. It started shifting harder from 1st to 2nd. Hard enough that I didn't make it off my side road. I just turned around and brought it back to the house.

I'm starting to think the revers valve has been slightly stuck open for a while and now it's just full stuck open.I'll adjust the TV cable but I'm fairly certain the valve needs to come out first and be cleaned up.

I started looking for a rebuild kit for the valve. It looks like it's mostly just O rings but it would be nice to have the springs available. Any thoughts on whether it's worth worrying about. Can I just get away with buying a standard O ring index?

Fatsco Transmission should have the proper O-rings and any hard parts you would need. They may be a good source for technical advise, too. http://www.fatsco.net/?gclid=CLfB0NjYssUCFRCCaQod2aYAcw



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