Author Topic: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.  (Read 817 times)

Offline 64\/54Cadillacking

  • Posts: 798
  • Name: C.Asaro
54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« on: April 24, 2021, 07:41:18 AM »
Hey guys,

Well now that I’ve been able to drive my 54 around finally it feels really nice to pull it out of storage and cruise around a bit, the engine is running pretty good the only issue that I have now is that while driving, the transmission takes forever to upshift to 2nd gear like around 20-30 mph, and when it does it jerks roughly.

The engine revs up way too high then it shifts into second but then it won’t shift into 3rd I believe. I tried playing around with the TV rod at the carb, and what I notice is, that the transmission won’t even shift into 2nd gear when the rod is adjusted right in the middle like how it’s supposed to be, it also doesn’t shift either when shortening the rod because the linkage gets extremely tight and the throttle hardly even opens all the way at the carburetor linkage bracket.

The only way the transmission even up shifts into 2nd is if I lengthen the TV rod all the way to max almost. The trans will shift, but very late and at high revs.

Something is definitely off here, prior to owning the 54, someone installed an Edelbrock  1406 carburetor which had to have screwed up the linkage system. I looked underneath on the side of the transmission and see the lever for both the TV rod, Clevis and Throttle lever.

I have no idea how to correctly adjust these levers. Does anyone know how to go about making adjustments without screwing something up? I have the shop manual but I still don’t completely know what to do.

The transmission fluid is full and bright red, but I still plan on draining the fluid out anyways just because I don’t know how long it’s been since it’s last been changed and what kind of trans fluid was used.

BTW I have documentation that the transmission was rebuilt around 2002, so I am sure the gears as clutches should still be ok, but it’s leaking fluid from all over.

Appreciate everyone’s help and advice.
1964 Sedan Deville (Own)
1987 Brougham D’Elegance (Sold)
1954 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special
1994 Fleetwood Bro (Sold)
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental (Own)
1979 Lincoln Mark V Cartier (Own)

Offline savemy67

  • Posts: 1364
  • Name: Christopher Winter
Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2021, 10:02:26 AM »
Hello C. Asaro,

At first glance, your trouble sounds like a mal-adjusted TV rod.  This is quite possible as the Edelbrock carb would not have come with the correct bracket for the TV rod connection at the carburetor.

Since you have the shop manual, read it while you are looking at the side of the transmission under the car.  This will help you better visualize how to adjust the linkages.

You want to consider following the shop manual procedure for checking/adjusting the shift linkage first.  Then you can adjust the TV linkage, but you will still have the issue of an incorrect bracket at the carburetor, so you may or may not be able to get proper adjustment of the TV rod at the carburetor.

You could fabricate a linkage connection for the Edelbrock, or swap the Edlebrock for a stock carburetor.  If you are a member of the CLC, check the CLC directory to locate members in your area, and see if they can recommend a shop to do the work if you are unable to do it yourself.

Respectfully submitted,

Christopher Winter
Christopher Winter
1967 Sedan DeVille hardtop

Offline Lexi

  • Posts: 2006
  • CLC Number: 28634
  • Name: C.R. Foley
Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2021, 10:36:46 AM »
54\/64Cadillacking here is a shot of my buddies '54 Cadillac carb and linkage. Just a shot in the dark, but perhaps you can get a better idea of where the linkage should sit on a running car (though with a stock carb). Can't recall if you also have an original carb, though should you go back OEM & replace the Edelbrock, this image should hejp, (which is the main reason I posted this reply). Clay/Lexi

Offline jackworstell

  • Posts: 341
  • Name: J L Worstell CLC #7558
Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2021, 10:48:40 AM »
So it won't shift into third gear at all ???

So far as the engine RPM getting too high when it shifts into second ( this is what I understand)....one
 possibility is that the band on the rear drum is adjusted too loose such that the band releases well before the rear clutch pack engages ( the two things should happen within a split second of each other )

You can try tightening the adjustment for the rear band.... a little at a time....and see
if this helps
 There are gages for doing this ( one for the internal method and one for the external method alternative )
but you may not have either of these  ???    so give it a try
without the gages....trail   and error.    A little at a time.
And keep track of how many turns it takes to get back to the original setting if
this doesn't work out.

If the unit won't go into 3rd gear at all(??)...front clutch pack may not be engaging
and there's a bunch of reason why this might happen

Jack Worstell

Offline jackworstell

  • Posts: 341
  • Name: J L Worstell CLC #7558
Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2021, 11:00:12 AM »
In my previous reply I should have said that dealing with the TV rod
issue comes first...if it can be solved at all with the different carb ??

But still it sounds like the rear band is adjusted too loose.
And maybe another issue preventing going into third gear.

Most Hydramatic manuals have good trouble shooting sections....I
recommend you get one.   If you can't find a 1954 Hydramatic manual
...then almost any manual from 1940 to 1955 will be similar.
in troubleshooting steps...even if not  a Cadillac Hydramatic manual
But of course one covering 1954 Cadillac Hydramatic would be best.

Jack Worstell


Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2021, 05:25:00 PM »
Hi, it is a 4 speed transmission. It totally sounds like a TV rod adjustment problem. As stated above it is most likely the Edelbrock carb not having the correct brackets. There is a Kent Moore gauge for setting the TV rod length correctly, it is shown in the workshop manual. Please don't mess around with the bands unless you have ruled everything else out first. On my 54 I have found half a turn of the adjuster nuts can make all the difference. Phil

Offline 64\/54Cadillacking

  • Posts: 798
  • Name: C.Asaro
Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2021, 06:46:29 PM »
Thanks guys!

I have an original Carter WCFB on the engine now so everything should line up perfectly. I took off the Edelbrock a long time ago.

I’ll have to take a look at the shift linkage as I didn’t realize that can be a problem.

I did notice while under the car, the shift linkage Clevis ( I think that’s what it’s called) looks like it can be adjusted by rotating it on the rod as it has threads. There’s a cotter pin that you have to remove in order to do this.

Another thing I noticed was the Clevis looks to be extended to furthest limit on the rod . In the shop manual it looks to be about half way is what the correct setting calls for.

Also, there’s a large screw head that I see, I am not sure what it does, but I couldn’t turn it at all. It’s on their very tightly.

BTW while adjusting the linkages, does the transmission have to be in N or D?

Here’s a picture of what I am dealing with.

The red circles is to highlight what I think I need to adjust. The large circle which is the Clevis that the shop manual describes, is all the way extended on my car. The threads in the picture is barely showing, mine shows a lot of the thread which doesn’t seem correct at all. Plus that screw, does anyone know what it does?

Thanks!

1964 Sedan Deville (Own)
1987 Brougham D’Elegance (Sold)
1954 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special
1994 Fleetwood Bro (Sold)
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental (Own)
1979 Lincoln Mark V Cartier (Own)

Offline Jon S

  • Posts: 2561
  • Name: J. Schapiro
Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2021, 10:03:17 AM »
54\/64Cadillacking here is a shot of my buddies '54 Cadillac carb and linkage. Just a shot in the dark, but perhaps you can get a better idea of where the linkage should sit on a running car (though with a stock carb). Can't recall if you also have an original carb, though should you go back OEM & replace the Edelbrock, this image should hejp, (which is the main reason I posted this reply). Clay/Lexi

Lexi - Is that how the 1954 fuel line runs from the filter to the carburetor?  Looks very strange and convoluted to me.
Jon

1958 Cadillac Sedan De Ville
1973 Lincoln Continental Coupe
1981 Corvette
2004 Mustang GT

Offline 64\/54Cadillacking

  • Posts: 798
  • Name: C.Asaro
Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2021, 03:43:21 PM »
Lexi - Is that how the 1954 fuel line runs from the filter to the carburetor?  Looks very strange and convoluted to me.

Jon,

There’s supposed to be a curved metal fuel line that routes from the fuel filter to the carb. The hose isn’t correct, but it works.
1964 Sedan Deville (Own)
1987 Brougham D’Elegance (Sold)
1954 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special
1994 Fleetwood Bro (Sold)
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental (Own)
1979 Lincoln Mark V Cartier (Own)

Offline savemy67

  • Posts: 1364
  • Name: Christopher Winter
Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2021, 05:50:58 PM »
Hello C. Asaro,

In the picture with the red circles, the large circle highlights the shift linkage adjustment clevis.  The shift linkage adjustment is independent of the the Throttle Valve (TV) adjustment, and should be done first.  The TV rod from the carburetor is not shown in the picture.  The small red circle shows the Philips clamping screw for the shift lever.

The '54 Hydra-Matic is a dual range transmission, meaning there are two (D)rive ranges.  I don't have a manual in front of me, but the gear selector on the column from left to right is (N)eutral, (D)rive left, (D)rive right, (L)ow, (R)everse, if I recall correctly.  Your manual gives the procedure for adjusting the shift linkage: disconnect the clevis, move the shift lever at the side of the transmission all the way forward, then move the lever one detent back.  This will be the (D)rive left position at the side of the transmission.  Put the gear selector on the column in the (D)rive left position, and adjust the clevis at the side of the transmission until the pin can be freely inserted into the clevis and the hole n the shift lever.

Adjusting the TV will be time consuming without the special tool.  Lengthy trial and error will be involved.  However, you may want to look closely at the TV lever's mounting on its shaft.  Even though the TV lever is clamped on the shaft, Cadillac wanted to be sure it could not work loose.  If you look closely, both the TV lever where it clamps to its shaft, and the shaft, have serrations that help keep the lever from slipping on the shaft.  The serrations are opposite the bolt side of the clamping end of the TV lever.

After loosening the clamping bolt, and spreading the clamp a small amount, check if the clamp end of the TV lever is centered about the serrations.  If so, tighten the clamping screw.  If not, remove the TV lever from its shaft, and re-orient the clamp end of the TV lever so that it is centered about the serrations.  This will be as close as you can get at the TV lever without the special tool.

The TV inside the transmission has relatively little travel.  This is why TV adjustment is so finicky.  Whether or not you re-oriented the TV lever at the side of the transmission, the next steps are described in your manual.  Be sure the TV rod is attached to the TV lever at the transmission.

The TV should be adjusted in Neutral, but only after you have adjusted the curb idle speed in either (D)rive position.  Do not alter the curb idle speed screw when you begin the TV rod adjustments at the carburetor.

Respectfully submitted,

Christopher Winter
Christopher Winter
1967 Sedan DeVille hardtop

Offline Finndorado

  • Posts: 82
  • CLC Number: 32798
  • Name: Mika Laaksonen
Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2021, 07:33:02 PM »
Hi C.Asaro

I am not an expert, but I had in my -73 Eldorado exactly the same issue.
I don’t know how different the transmission is, but I started to cut out possible
reasons by first replacing the vacuum modulator.
That was the reason, now it shifts just like it should.
It’s about 20 bucks and takes 5 minutes to replace, so it’s worth trying.
There will come some fluid out, but you are about to change the fluids anyway.

BR
Mika
1973 Eldorado convertible

Offline Roger Zimmermann

  • Posts: 4557
  • Switzerland
  • CLC Number: 21015
  • Name: Roger Zimmermann
Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2021, 03:29:34 AM »
Mika, there is no modulator on this type of transmission.
1956 Sedan de Ville (sold)
1956 Eldorado Biarritz
1957 Eldorado Brougham (sold)
1972 Coupe de Ville
2011 DTS
CLCMRC benefactor #101

Offline Lexi

  • Posts: 2006
  • CLC Number: 28634
  • Name: C.R. Foley
Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2021, 11:57:35 AM »
Lexi - Is that how the 1954 fuel line runs from the filter to the carburetor?  Looks very strange and convoluted to me.

Jon, yes that gas line looks added. Was probably a less convoluted steel line originally. Hope this post works as the other day I suddenly was unable to post on the Forum. Message sent to Administrator. Clay/Lexi

Offline Lexi

  • Posts: 2006
  • CLC Number: 28634
  • Name: C.R. Foley
Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2021, 11:58:33 AM »
Looks like I am back in business. Clay/Lexi

Edit: Perhaps the CLCs anti-spam filter was a bit over zealous, especially as I am an out of country poster.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 12:01:09 PM by lexi »

Offline Finndorado

  • Posts: 82
  • CLC Number: 32798
  • Name: Mika Laaksonen
Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2021, 03:26:29 PM »
Mika, there is no modulator on this type of transmission.

Ok, now I know that also 😄👍
1973 Eldorado convertible

Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2021, 03:56:42 PM »
Hi, There is a detailed step by step method shown in the Workshop Manual. Off the top of my head you first set up the carb throttle linkage with a 1/4 inch drill bit holding the linkage in place through the hole in the bracket on the firewall. When that is done you check the TV valve lever on the transmission with the TV rod disconnected, using the Kent-Moore tool [I will post photos and dimensions of this tool as soon as I find them! ], then you set up the TV rod according to the manual. After that I tend to road test it and make very slight adjustments to the TV rod until shifting is super smooth. I may have missed out some details, but it is all there in the manual. Please do not dismantle the trans, or adjsut the bands before you have eliminated all the simple adjustments first. Your transmission is a 4 speed with a second drive option that locks out out the 4th gear making it a 3 speed. 
Phil

Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2021, 04:00:01 PM »
As promised, photos with dimensions of the TV valve lever gauge. Phil

Offline 64\/54Cadillacking

  • Posts: 798
  • Name: C.Asaro
Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2021, 01:34:24 AM »
Great info everyone!!!

Tomorrow I will go back and check things over. I did get the throttle relay bracket lined up with the gauging holes correctly, and adjusted the throttle relay rod so it’s perfectly aligned as the shop manual states.

So I won’t even touch the TV rod as of now, and will strictly focus on the shift linkage Clevis and try adjusting that first and see what happens since it does look to be way off of adjustment.

I will also drain some trans fluid out and give a proper refill.

Is there anyway to obtain the Kent-More TV rod adjustment tool?

I’ll report back and let everyone know what the results are after making some adjustments. It’s definitely a trial and error sort of a job it seems like. My 54 is coming along well after so long, if I can only get the transmission to shift properly in all gears I’ll be a happy camper!!

1964 Sedan Deville (Own)
1987 Brougham D’Elegance (Sold)
1954 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special
1994 Fleetwood Bro (Sold)
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental (Own)
1979 Lincoln Mark V Cartier (Own)

Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2021, 05:14:37 PM »
You can make the tool from my photos above. They do come up on Ebay occasionally and I got mine from a guy who deals in old Kent Moore tools (his name escapes me right now). Phil

Offline Daryl Chesterman

  • Posts: 554
  • Name: Daryl Chesterman
Re: 54 Hydramatic upshifting problems.
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2021, 09:43:22 PM »
This website is a source for older Kent Moore tools.  It is unfortunate that the man is being forced to go out of business, but I guess that is life.  If you can get the part number for the TV rod adjusting tool from the Technical Service (shop) manual, you can use that number in this website to see if he has it, or you could call him.

     https://penybonttools.webs.com/

Daryl Chesterman

 

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