FordomaticIn 1948, Ford realized it was late in introducing a fully automatic transmission to its automobile lineup. Ford Engineering Vice President Harold Youngren, recently hired away from Borg-Warner, recommended that Ford license and build a transmission using a design he was working on at his previous employer. Ford and Borg-Warner signed a contract in 1948 which entered B-W into a supply agreement wherein they would build half of Ford's transmissions for five years, with the other half either being built by Ford or by a different supplier. Because of this agreement, Ford licensed the design themselves and broke ground immediately on an assembly plant to build the remaining transmissions. The new plant, called Fairfax Transmission Plant, was dedicated in 1950. The original Ford-O-Matic accomplished two things that Ford's two previous automatic transmissions failed to do. Through the use of an integrated torque converter and planetary gearset, Ford's automatic shifted smooth without an interruption in torque from the engine. The other was the shifting pattern, revised from PNDLR to PRNDL, which served to reduce "shift shock" when changing gears and reduce "torque shock" when trying to rock a stuck car back and forth. The original Ford-O-Matic, while capable of three forward speeds, started out in second and shifted to third, with first only being used when selecting L on the gear shift column. The Ford-O-Matic was manufactured from 1951 until it was replaced by the C4 in 1964.
MX/FXIn the mid-1950's, cars began to grow in size, and in response to heavier vehicles, more powerful engines were being developed. The original Ford-O-Matic was used as a template when developing the next automatic transmissions for Ford; in fact, many of the gear sets are interchangeable. The new transmissions arrived for model year 1958 which coincided with the release of Ford's new FE and MEL engines. Although marketed as Cruise-O-Matic, the new transmissions were known internally as the MX (larger) and the FX (smaller). They were a three-speed design using a Ravigneaux planetary gearset like the original, but moved the pump from the rear to the front of the transmission, while also using a different valve body so the transmission would start in first gear as opposed to second. The MX was built in the Livonia Transmission Plant in Livonia, Michigan and was placed behind the more powerful engines in Mercury, Lincoln, and a select Ford models. The smaller FX was built alongside the Ford-O-Matic at the Fairfax Transmission Plant and was put in midrange Ford and Mercury models. Because the original Ford-O-Matic started in second rather than first, it was marketed as a two-speed after the new three-speed transmissions were introduced. Production continued until it was replaced by the C4 in 1964 and application was for smaller Ford and Mercury vehicles....
Fordomatic two-speedThe Fordomatic two-speed transmission was introduced in 1959. A simplified version of the Cruise-O-Matic, it combined a torque connector and a compound planetary gear set. A front unit (multiple-disc) clutch provided high gear, a front band on the clutch drum provided low gear, and a band on the rear unit internal gear drum provided reverse. This transmission was offered on Ford, Mercury, Edsel, Falcon, Comet and Meteor cars with differences in the torque converter, valve bodies and clutch plates to accommodate differing engine torques.
Although the FMX was phased out in the United States in 1979 in favor of Ford's then-revolutionary Automatic OverDrive (AOD) transmission, the FMX was sold for another two years for use in V8 Ford Falcons built in Australia. The FMX ceased production when Ford Australia phased out the V8 engine.
- Gear ratios
- First: 2.40:1
- Second: 1.47:1
- Third: 1.00:1
- Reverse: 2.00:1