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1954 engine & trans questions
Quite a regular
Joined:
2012/8/1 4:55
From Wayne, MI
Posts: 35
Is the 1954 359ci a 9-main bearing? And what all is special and unique about it?

I recall that the 1954 ultramatic trans is unique? I do not recall how it is unique. But is it especially fragile, or difficult to service, if required? (Parts,etc)

Thanks, all!
Jmg

Posted on: 2019/8/13 3:38
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96 Celica GT Conv
15 Jeep Wrangler
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Re: 1954 engine & trans questions
Home away from home
Joined:
2015/1/16 9:43
From sw, pa
Posts: 1258
Yes the 359 is a 9 main bearing engine. When new they came with an aluminum head, but these deteriorated with time and many engines have been fitted with a cast iron head now.
It was rated at 212 hp with an 8.7 to 1 compression ratio.

There was also introduced during the 1954 year a version of the Ultramatic called a GearStart. It differed from the original that you had two drive (High) selections on the quadrant. In one selection it worked the same as the old Ultramatic had starting in high and then the clutch locking up the convertor when it got up to speed.
But for quicker get a ways, you could select the range and it would start off in low, shift to high then the clutch would lockup the convertor when it got up to speed. It would also downshift to low automatically if called upon. It is pretty similar to the 1955 version.
Not to sure they had to many problems with the Gearstart, most of the problems in 1955 were from the transmission not being able to handle the additional hp of the new V-8 engine.

Posted on: 2019/8/13 6:11
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Re: 1954 engine & trans questions
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Joined:
2006/4/17 11:22
From North Aurora, IL
Posts: 9236
The GearStart's were used near the end of '54 production run regardless of model. So if you had a late car, it probably had a GearStart, otherwise, it would have been a standard Ultramatic.

Posted on: 2019/8/13 14:58
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1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan | Project Blog

"While it's nice to be important, it's important to be nice."

"Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end."
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Re: 1954 engine & trans questions
Quite a regular
Joined:
2012/8/1 4:55
From Wayne, MI
Posts: 35
Good info. thanks!

Sitting in the car, how would I know if it was originally the gearstart ultramatic? Different selector indicator?

Posted on: 2019/8/14 6:55
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96 Celica GT Conv
15 Jeep Wrangler
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Re: 1954 engine & trans questions
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Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15975
The regular Ultras have 5 quadrant positions. P, N, H, L, R and the Gear Starts have 6 positions with the 6th being a dot next to H. On the engine side, Gear Starts have a long filler tube and dipstick that comes up next to the starter motor.

Posted on: 2019/8/14 7:22
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