Who has had a Hydramatic fail?

Hienkel429Hienkel429 Posts: 150Member
Just curious about the circumstances, mileage and details of the failure.  

I am considering getting my single-range rebuilt but am coming up short with local places.  I have a lead on a place in New Jersey and Louisiana, but the more reading I am doing I am really curious if this is even necessary.  The original trans was mated with a new engine but the previous owner never got it started.  If the trans was bad, why would they mate it with a replacement engine.  Anyways, I'm thinking the trans is fine.  Just wish there was away of bench testing it.  

Thanks all, 



  • atcatc Posts: 20Member
    edited September 2021
    I'm not a transmission mechanic but I have a dual-range Hydramatic in my Hornet. It sat dry for many years in a barn. I believe the car was parked because the throttle (kickdown) lever was broken off. When it came time to start the car, we fixed the kickdown, filled it with fluid, and installed it. It shifted through all gears and has been running great ever since (we were sweating bullets though!).
    I drove the car all the way up to see Gus Souza near Chicago. I wanted him to go for a ride and see if it needed any work. He said it shifts great, don't touch it.
    I do routine band adjustments, TV rod adjustments (to keep the shift points), and check the fluid frequently to make sure there's nothing bad in it. Your mileage may vary, but it's the only way I know of to test it and they strike me as fairly bulletbroof.
  • Hienkel429Hienkel429 Posts: 150Member

    I'm kind of in the same boat.  Instead of dry, my trans was overfilled with at least twice the amount of fluid.  I'm hoping to hear other experiences so I can make a decision to "roll-the-dice" or not. 

  • atcatc Posts: 20Member
    Oh and you probably already knew this, but I think the transmission fluid level has to be checked engine running after shifting through the gears a few times. Fluid from the trans pan is pumped forward into the torus housing after start, making the dipstick level drop. At least that's how my service manual says to do it.
  • Ol racerOl racer Posts: 2,579Senior Contributor
    Ive had good luck over the yrs by noticing if the fluid is burnt, smells, and/or if any debris in pan. If nothing obvious, clean the mesh filter and take a chance. They are strong & bullet proof propelling old military vehicles.... Parts are available, but nobody rebuilds them around here so when go bad, I machined Adaptors to install late model GM Turbo 350 trans. 

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