The Flash-O-Matic consists of a torque converter coupled to a three-speed dual driving range automatic transmission. The converter incorporates an impeller connected to the engine crankshaft, a turbine splined to the transmission input shaft, and a stator connected to and controlled by a free-wheel unit.
Front and rear oil pumps, are used to supply fluid to the converter, lubricate the parts and build pressure in the various oil circuits. A primary regulator valve regulates control pressure to meet all driving requirements. A manual valve, controlled by the transmission selector lever, opens combinations of oil passages to the valve and units which are required for the drive range selected.
A compound planetary gear train supplies the necessary gear combinations to provide neutral, low, intermediate, high and reverse gear ratios. Major elements include a primary sun gear, secondary sun gear, primary and secondary pinions held in a common pinion carrier, and an internal gear attached to the transmission output shaft. The selector lever has six positions: P, R, N, D2, D1 and L. In D2, the transmission starts in intermediate and automatically upshifts to direct drive. In D1, it starts in low and automatically upshifts to intermediate, then direct. In L, the transmission stays in low gear. The selector lever may be moved from D2 to D1 to L or from L to D1 to D2 at any car speed.
The various gear ratios are dependent on which gears are being held and which are driving. This phase of automatic transmission control is accomplished by clutches, bands and servos. Front and rear multiple disc clutches are used. Actuation of the front servo applies the front band to the rear clutch drum and locks the secondary sun gear to the transmission case. Actuation of the rear servo applies the rear band to the pinion carrier, locking it to the transmission case.
In Neutral position, none of the gear train members are held or driving, so there is no transfer of power. In Park, the parking pawl is engaged with external teeth on the output shaft internal gear, locking the output shaft to the transmission case.
In Drive range, D1, the front clutch couples the primary sun gear to the input shaft. The sprag clutch is engaged and holds the planetary pinion carrier. The primary sun gear drives the planetary pinion which, in turn, drives the internal gear and output shaft.
In intermediate position (second speed), the front clutch engine is slowly cranked, the distance from the lowest point to the highest will be the lift of the cam.
It is important to measure the lift of all cams in the engine to determine if any are worn, since the cams do not all wear at the same rate. Worn cams occasionally are the cause of lost power or misfiring, which is often overlooked when troubleshooting. If a check on valve lift shows that it is less than it should be, the cams can be reground on special machinery. In most cases, however, the camshaft is replaced.
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