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Re: Ultramatic
#11
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kevinpackard
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Quote:

53 Cavalier wrote:
Quote:

kevinpackard wrote:
Here's what Ross said regarding the adjustment in question:

"Just lengthen the pull rod to the carb a bit until you like the way the trans upshifts. There is a singular lack of rocket science involved. Besides, that is likely all that got changed when the carb was taken off."

Discussion can be found beginning here


Thanks KP, I had seen this post, but didn't fully review the entire conversation. I'll try setting my cross shaft to factory, if it's not already, and see what happens. Does lengthening the rod cause the transmission to shift from low to high sooner or later?

I'm not sure I feel my transmission lock up. Is it as noticeable as the shift from low to high? Maybe it is happening so close to the shift to high that I'm not noticing?


I have a non-Gear Start transmission, so I only have Low and High gears. Transitioning from Low to High while moving is not recommended. I tried it once....scared the crap out of me. High gear has two "gears": first is using the torque converter, and second is the torque converter locked into direct drive. The transition should happen around 35 mph on heavy throttle (if I remember right). Mine is a bit later than that so I need to adjust it. My transition is noticeable. It's not a hard clunk but you can definitely tell when it shifts. My brother-in-law's car is set a bit too far in the opposite direction where the direct drive kicks in very early. His is less noticeable because of that.

Posted on: 6/13 15:22
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Re: Ultramatic
#12
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I feel like it should be more noticeable if it kicks in early, as the velocity difference is much higher at low RPM's.

Shifting from Low to High while driving SHOULD be OK as long as the transmission is in adjustment AND you take your foot off that gas when you do the shift AND you are not already in DD.

Posted on: 6/13 15:40
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Re: Ultramatic
#13
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HH56
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Quote:

humanpotatohybrid wrote:
I feel like it should be more noticeable if it kicks in early, as the velocity difference is much higher at low RPM's.

Shifting from Low to High while driving SHOULD be OK as long as the transmission is in adjustment AND you take your foot off that gas when you do the shift AND you are not already in DD.


Agree. As long as you remove power while it shifts and don't try to rush things it will be tolerable. Problem with original Ultras is there is NO synchronization between low and high range. It was meant to operate in one or the other. When doing the manual shift, it is usually because you want a faster take off to keep up with traffic so too often it was done under power and shift was done quickly as the car gained speed. Using a bit of decorum and letting the car coast as you wait for the trans to do its thing defeats the whole purpose of the manual shift.

Issue becomes sometimes low would fully release before the high range clutches would begin to lock together so with nothing connected to the wheels the engine would race and then the clutches took all the load and slipped resulting in heat and wear as they tried to bring the engine back to normal speed. Other times it would be the opposite and high would lock up before low even started to be released. That usually resulted in a serious lurch and horrible strain on internal pieces as the two gears tried to work at the same time. Either situation under power could result in some interesting noises and operation.

Packard did try to bring this under better control in late 53 with the introduction of a timing kit and again in 54 with a revision to the timing kit. The kit changed a valve and spring and a small pin was used to restrict flow in a passage to better control part of the shift but this was only partially successful. The late 54 Gear Start was the first transmission from Packard designed to do a L - H - DD shift. Unfortunately it had a serious lack of actual field testing and driving before being put behind a high horsepower V8 and we all know how that worked out.

.

Posted on: 6/13 16:04
Howard
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Re: Ultramatic
#14
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53 Cavalier
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Packard Don wrote:
The longer dipstick did appear in 1954 but very late in production when the Gear-Start Ultramatic was introduced. Neither of my 1954s have it but I have a complete unit to install someday.


Don, how do the longer dipsticks connect at the transmission? Did Packard use the existing shorter dipstick tube and connect to it, or does that need to be removed and replaced?

Posted on: 6/14 12:21
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Re: Ultramatic
#15
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HH56
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Dipstick was in the pan on the 54 Gear Start and 55-6 Twin Ultras and I don't know if those pans would fit the original Ultra. Believe GS came out the drivers side and dipstick end was found near the starter motor. TUs came out the right front and was between the heater and V8 block. Finding the 54 version pan might be difficult but should be lots of TU pans around. There is a discussion from 10 years ago about possibly adding a flexible type aftermarket or maybe a brand X dipstick to the original Ultras using the stock location. Don't know if anyone ever tried doing it.

Posted on: 6/14 12:45
Howard
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Re: Ultramatic
#16
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Packard Don
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Don, how do the longer dipsticks connect at the transmission? Did Packard use the existing shorter dipstick tube and connect to it, or does that need to be removed and replaced?

No, not even close and cannot be retrofit to an earlier type. For one thing, as I recall it’s on the passenger side and for another it’s just a small tube that pushes into a hole in the transmission. I’ll check to see if I have any photos.

Posted on: 6/14 13:18
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Re: Ultramatic
#17
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53 Cavalier
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Quote:

Packard Don wrote:
Quote:
Don, how do the longer dipsticks connect at the transmission? Did Packard use the existing shorter dipstick tube and connect to it, or does that need to be removed and replaced?

No, not even close and cannot be retrofit to an earlier type. For one thing, as I recall it’s on the passenger side and for another it’s just a small tube that pushes into a hole in the transmission. I’ll check to see if I have any photos.


Thank you! I guess I better get my leak fixed up if I don't want to crawl under my car to check transmission fluid level all the time.

Posted on: 6/14 13:58
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Re: Ultramatic
#18
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I've been going over my 53 Cavalier's Ultramatic and getting all the settings back to factory specs. Most everything was pretty close, with the exception of the throttle cross shaft and throttle valve lever. (I didn't check hydraulic pressures.)

I'm trying to understand better the shift pattern as I think it is different that what I had thought.

I had thought the direct drive was the last to engage, but as I review the service manual more I don't think that's correct. I think it goes Low, then the Direct Drive kicks in around 15 mph, and then High kicks in around 30 mph depending on how much throttle is being applied. Is this correct? I'm not a transmission expert, and certainly not a 71 year old transmission, but trying to understand better how it functions.


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Posted on: 6/17 14:47
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Re: Ultramatic
#19
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kevinpackard
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Low and High gear are completely separate from each other. When in Low gear there will be no direct drive engagement at all. It is solely using the torque converter in a different ratio than High. Low gear is for steep hill climbs and not much else. High gear is all normal driving. High gear uses the torque converter until a certain speed is reached, then it goes into direct drive and stays in direct drive until the car goes below 11 mph, or until you floor the gas pedal force it back into torque converter to pass a car on the road.

The speed at which direct drive kicks in is dependent on the throttle position. On low throttle it should kick into direct drive at lower speeds....15-20mph I believe. At half and full throttle the direct drive won't kick in until 35-45mph.

This is my understanding of it. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

-Kevin

Posted on: 6/17 14:56
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Re: Ultramatic
#20
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Thanks KP, that makes complete sense.

Does the throttle valve control the direct drive, so to speak? That is, when you start out with heavier throttle the throttle valve will keep the direct drive from engaging as soon as compared with starting out with just light throttle? Similarly, if the direct drive is already engaged and you floor it the throttle valve would disengage the direct drive?

Posted on: 6/17 15:36
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