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CATEGORIES (articles) > Transmission > Automatic Gearboxes > Fords Cruise-O-Matic Auto Box

Fords Cruise-O-Matic Auto Box

Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company

Ford-O-Matic was the first automatic transmission from Ford Motor Company. First introduced in 1950, the Ford-O-Matic evolved into the Cruise-O-Matic in 1958 and the FMX in 1968. This line continued in production until 1980, when the AOD was introduced.


The original Cruise-O-Matics used a torque converter and planetary gearsets, giving three forward speeds plus reverse. In some applications, Ford offered a dual-range option allowing the driver to start in either first gear or second gear.

Ford dropped the "Cruise-O-Matic" tradename during the 1970s; in the 1950s and early 1960s promoting the automatic transmission as a feature was a standard practice among automakers as they were relatively new. By the late 1970s most cars had automatics as standard equipment and there was no reason to especially call attention to them. The transmissions were marketed as the Merc-O-Matic when installed in Mercury vehicles.


The original versions, known internally as MX (larger) and FX (smaller); the MX was built in the Livonia Transmission Plant in Livonia, Michigan and the FX was built in the Fairfax Transmission Plant near Cincinnati, Ohio


An improved version called FMX, which used stronger MX-type rotating parts in the smaller FX case; introduced in 1968 and built until 1982 at the Fairfax plant, which closed when the FMX was balanced out. The FMX used a Ravineaux planetary gearset.


Main article: Ford C4 transmission

The C-4 medium-duty model, introduced in 1964 at the Sharonville Transmission Plant, built specifically for this model. The C4 took its name from Ford part number naming convention: the prefix for parts first designed in any year used a letter for the decade (C for the 1960s) and a number for the year, thus all the parts in this new transmission had the first two characters "C4". The C4 remained in production until the early 1980s and was replaced by the C5, which was a C4 with a lock-up clutch in the torque converter. The C5 was phased out in the late 1980s. The C4 (and the later C3 and C6) used a Simpson planetary gearset, named for Ford engineer Howard Simpson. The dual range gearset with full manual shifting capability was standard on the C4, and for a period it was marketed as the "SelectShift Cruise-O-Matic".


Main article: Ford C6 transmission

The heavy-duty C-6, built at the Livonia plant beginning in 1966. Later versions of the C6 were built at the Sharonville Plant until the model was discontinued in 1996. The C6 design was a larger and improved version of the C4. Also, there were many specialty versions of the C6 built for heavy duty factory tugs, airport transporters and even a model for ice rink Zambonis.


The light duty C3, introduced in the 1970s and built in France at the Bourdeaux Transmission Plant. The C3 was a light duty version of the C4 design.

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CATEGORIES (articles) > Transmission > Automatic Gearboxes > Fords Cruise-O-Matic Auto Box

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