Techical Discussions => Tech- - DRIVE TRAIN => Topic started by: firedome on March 31, 2008, 09:45:46 AM

Title: trannie swap... on an oldie
Post by: firedome on March 31, 2008, 09:45:46 AM
Anyone ever swapped a TorqueFlite into a PowerFlite car?

Any real reason to?  - other than the obvious - extra gear, acceleration etc?

I don't care about go-fast - but, any mechanical issues with PF?


Title: trannie swap... on an oldie
Post by: Steve on March 31, 2008, 10:55:22 AM
Wow. . .Tough one.
I believe it's all the same.  You'll have to change your shift selector.  Cable is probably the same.  Not sure on the trans mount.
What are we working on anyway?
Title: trannie swap... on an oldie
Post by: firedome on March 31, 2008, 12:16:29 PM
Nothing at the moment, but made a deal on a '58 DeSoto w PF,  not arrived here yet... the 5 FLs I've had in the past all had TF, and I'm not familiar with PF as far as how reliable they are...or whether it'd even be worth trying to convert it over... after owning a '56 Packard Ultramatic with electric actuated solenoid selectors,  it couldn't be too complicated... that tranny was a freakin' nightmare.  For TF I'd need the 5 button selector head, right.  I've never heard much of anything real bad about PF or anything,  and at my age could care less about the better acceleration of the TF...  but just wondering if they were actually reliable.  Will post pics of the new heap when it gets here if anyone's interested...
Title: trannie swap... on an oldie
Post by: Matt Aker on March 31, 2008, 12:21:31 PM
A '58 with a PF?  I thought that '57 was the last year for the two-speed, and only in 6-cyl cars.  Now I'm curious! 
Title: trannie swap... on an oldie
Post by: firedome on March 31, 2008, 01:35:16 PM
PowerFlite was still an option in '58 over the 3 spd manuals on the FireSweep (this is one a 'Sweep 4 dr hardtop), and in some Plyms and Dodges as well... the 'Sweep was a Dodge front end w/ DeS grill and body from the cowl back on a 122" wheelbase, 350 B block Fury engine standard. 361 on the bigger series - "Dome & Flite... I'm not sure, but think some '59s might have had PFlite available too...I'll have to dig out the brochures and look. Probably to keep price down, at least in theory. PF was only intro'd in '55 so they likely wanted to amortize the tooling. Final drive is 1:1 anyhow, it just takes longer to get there!.. hey guess I'll have to change my 'handle" now!!!  " firedome" kinda goes good with my tube audio "hobby"  though...
Title: trannie swap... on an oldie
Post by: Matt Aker on March 31, 2008, 01:52:05 PM
That's cool, I didn't know that.  I wonder how high the BB would wind in first gear...  I only ever drove one car with the PF tranny.  It was a '55 Plymouth Savoy with the flat-six.  It was rather surprising from a dead stop, but was a little lethargic after it hit second.
It was a NICE driver and I probably should have bought it looking back.  Dad and I test drove it in 1991.  All original black four-door with light green interior for $2500... (  I was a poor college kid who drove a '64 Land Rover or a '78 LTD to school.  This ol' Savoy ran, drove, and stopped just like it was supposed to.  Original owner too... 
The '57 Savoy I almost bought had it's original 301 and torque-flite.  It was a mess but cheap.  Shoulda' bought that one too but mom was already cranky about me having too many cars in and around the garage.
Title: trannie swap... on an oldie
Post by: Steve on March 31, 2008, 01:52:16 PM
I know they were available in 58, but not sure how they were packaged.  But I am pretty sure they were only on the 6 Cylinders.  The 2- 58 cars I had were V8.  Both had the torqueflite.
I miss my 58 wagon. . .sniff  Boy that car had some memories. . .
Title: trannie swap... on an oldie
Post by: firedome on March 31, 2008, 03:41:30 PM
The standard enigine for '58 FireSweeps was a 350, and the PowerFlite was a step up option over the 3 speed stick - I have the factory brochure and it lists all the std equipment on the back cover - PowerFlite - only on the 'Sweeps, not on the 'Dome or 'Flite... I just checked the Plymmie brochures - PowerFlite was optional on Plym for '58 and '59 as well, but doesn't specify what models...not sure about Dodge but probably on the Coronet at least...  my old high scholol buddy drove a stripper Savoy 4 dr. with 318 and PowerFlite all thru college at U of MD in the '60s (man am I OLD!) , it had belonged to his Grandma in Ridgewood NJ, and then it went to him...BTW you can pick up brochures for all the Mopar '50s to 80s models and years on eBay for pretty cheap!  - averaging around 5-8 to 20 dollars, way less than I paid for mine from literature dealers over 25 yrs ago!!!  Get 'em while you can! Every Mopar fan should have a library of original brochures & manuals for reference!!!
Title: trannie swap... on an oldie
Post by: Snotty on March 31, 2008, 08:19:29 PM
Fogel's '58 Plymouth with a 318 is a PF car.

There's nothing wrong with those, and they'll last as long as any auto trans - longer perhaps due to the less shifting they do over their lifetime.   The final drive is still 1:1 so you will gain nothing with a TF except for the middle gear.  So, is this work worth it to you?  That's the bottom line.
Title: trannie swap... on an oldie
Post by: Stitcherbob on March 31, 2008, 08:34:37 PM
My 55 NewYorker vert has the Powerflite....everything I've read on these cars says great things about that trans. It was a real performer compared to the other makes and except for Studebaker's Borg Warner 3 spd (which got better economy because it locked up 1 to 1 and bypassed the torque convertor) it had everything going for it ....until more gears and lighter aluminum cases came out.

Title: trannie swap... on an oldie
Post by: Stitcherbob on March 31, 2008, 09:06:51 PM
Here's what Special Interest Autos said about the Powerflite:

"Strong as a bull, Smooth as whipped cream"...
"Although Chrysler had pioneered semi-automatic transmissions with Fluid Drive in 1939-40, by the early 50's the unit was obsolete only because it was not fully automatic and was costing Chrysler dearly in sales. In 1951 Chrysler had 2 semi-automatic transmissions. Fluid-Matic was a 4 speed semi-auto mated to a Fluid Drive coupling which had no torque multiplication. The new Fluid-Torque Drive, designed to go with the new hemi V8, was a 4 speed semi-auto coupled to a torque converter. It had all the advantages of modern fully auto trans because it had good torque multiplication factor and was durable, but you still needed a clutch to get from neutral to drive to reverse. Therefore, in 1953 Chrysler began phasing in Powerflite, a torque converter with a 2 speed planetary gearbox. It had an overall torque multiplication ratio of 4.47:1, the highest in the industry at the time. This was made possible by a high torque converter starting ratio of 2.6:1 and a 1.72 starting gear ratio provided by the planetary trans. Powerflite provided an uninterrupted flow of power during acceleration. So much so that there was really no advantage in using the low range. Powerflite did not have the jerkiness of GM's Hydramatics, and it could not be damaged when the car was started by pushing. While it was late coming, it was arguably the best automatic of it's time, and with something like 100 fewer moving parts than competitive automatics it was perhaps the most reliable. But it's performance at lower speeds was still not quite up to Fluid Torque Drive.
If you just left it in Drive it would start in Low and shift to Drive at about 25 MPH. But if you opted to go to Low you could stay there all the way up to 65 MPH. Or you could kick down to Low using the accelerator, or downshift manually using the selector lever. Powerflite was as versatile as it was rugged and reliable. But the position of the shift lever changed every year for the first 3 years it was offered. In 1954  the lever selector was mounted on the steering column, much like Hydramatic, only you didn't have to go through a forward range to reach reverse. In 1955 the lever was mounted on the dash on the right side and in 1956 pushbutton controls were mounted on the left hand side of the dash.

Title: trannie swap... on an oldie
Post by: firedome on April 01, 2008, 04:46:34 AM
Great article Bob - I sorta remember reading that once - I got SIA back
when. Confirms my general impression... we had neighbors with a 55
'Dome with PF back when I was a little shaver, and they had that tank
for years without any problems... later traded on a silver '60
'Flite.... Anyhow, seems to be no reason to do a TorqueFlite transplant
on this 'Sweep.   I have a couple pics if someone could load
'em... Leaburn/Mobby? I'm truly a reee-tard when it comes to 'puters.

Brochure research shows PowerFlite to be available on '58/59 'Sweep
only, for '60 available ALL models, '61 don't know... Plymouth: PF on
all '57/58/59 Plymmie models AND all engines except '59 top engine -
Golden Commando. Don't have a '60 Plm brochure. For '61 PF was avail
for 6 cyl &  318 engine only... not sure '62 or later... Dodge
- '58 avail on Coronet 6 and V8... '59 avail on Royal and Coronet 6 and
V8...'60 avail on Dart and Phoenix 6 & 318-V8, '61 avail on
Dart/Phoenix 6 & 318...Chrysler - PowerFlite on 55/56 only? not
avail '57/58/59...