Converting manual to automatic transmission for 1956

Joined
Aug 18, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1956
Hi there,

I recently bought a 1956 with a manual transmission, and would like to swap the manual for an automatic. Has anyone here done the manual to automatic conversion, and if so, would you be willing to share your experience and what components you used for the swap? Thanks in advance!
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1955
SJ, if your manual transmission has overdrive, and it's in good condition, you might find it preferable to an automatic, once you adapt to it. There are better transmission choices than the Fordomatic.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1956
Your best bet is to contact the TBird vendors that do restorations for parts. You will need all the gas pedal linkage for an automatic trans as well as the trans itself and the shifter. Popular conversions are a later automatic, either a Ford C-4 or and AOD (overdrive). A lot more work is involved with the AOD, the C-4 entails some adaptions. Certain C-4's and AOD's are better to use.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2016
Thunderbird Year
1957
I would try Hills Classic cars in Racine in southern Ohio, they have a large supply of used small bird parts
They would be able to assist you with directions on what you need to do
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
Amos Minter has a big supply of parts from T-Birds that are beyond recovery. Basically a T-Bird wrecking yard. I have not found a web site for him as he is old school in that way but advertises in the Early Bird in almost every issue but is happy to take calls and email- https://amosminter.com/contact/
Good luck with your project. When Done I'm sure you will find somebody will buy your old Transmission if you advertise on the 'for sale' section here.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1955
SJ, unless there is something special about your 56, you might consider trading your car for a 56/w Fordomatic. The Fordomatic cars are much more common. Start contacting Thunderbird clubs; hopefully you will generate some interest. You probably haven't owned your car long enough to become attached to it. Swapping cars, or selling yours and buying one with a Fordomatic might be less trouble (and cheaper) than converting yours. Also, you will know what you have by getting a car that's a proven driver.
 

55birdman

Active Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Thunderbird Year
1955
I’ve got the original automatic, bell housing, etc. if you’re interested as I converted mine to manual.

They were removed from my car which had ~78K miles on it at the time. the car had been off the road since the early 70's and belonged to I man I worked for then. I aquired it ~7 years agoand did the conversion. I'm in SC. where are you located?
art
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Thunderbird Year
1957
Hi there,

I recently bought a 1956 with a manual transmission, and would like to swap the manual for an automatic. Has anyone here done the manual to automatic conversion, and if so, would you be willing to share your experience and what components you used for the swap? Thanks in advance!
I have a '57 that I want to put a manual tranny into. Did you take your 3 speed stick shift out and do you want to part with it?
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2022
Thunderbird Year
1956
Hi there,

I recently bought a 1956 with a manual transmission, and would like to swap the manual for an automatic. Has anyone here done the manual to automatic conversion, and if so, would you be willing to share your experience and what components you used for the swap? Thanks in advance!
Prestige Thunderbird should also be able to help. They restore TBirds and have a lot of original parts.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1955
If you want to convert to an automatic, then install a later Ford AOD (overdrive) transmission. You and the engine will appreciate it.
 
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