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how low can you run a Powerglide (on fluid) without damaging it?
Posted by: rnch ()
Date: April 03, 2012 01:40PM

It seems like my LM powerglide leaks a LOT less if the fluid level is just barely showing on the tip of the dip stick when checked hot.

It seems to shift the same at this fluid level or topped off to the "full" mark.

Am i doing a long term harm/damage driving it at the "just on the tip of the stick" fluid level?

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Re: how low can you run a Powerglide (on fluid) without damaging it?
Posted by: Mike Stillwell ()
Date: April 03, 2012 02:03PM

My gut says that changing a burnt up PG is a lot more of a pain than fixing one that leaks. I wouldn't feel comfortable running it that low, but I'm not sure if you will kill it or not running below that levels recommended by the distick.

Mike
YS-117

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Re: how low can you run a Powerglide (on fluid) without damaging it?
Posted by: stitch ()
Date: April 03, 2012 03:25PM

Is the dipstick from 'just under the sheath' to the tip 22" ?

"If you can't fix it with a Hammer, you have an Electrical problem."
Stitch...
Schertz, Texas.
(Smallish town/burg 17 mi. NE of San Antonio)

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Re: how low can you run a Powerglide (on fluid) without damaging it?
Posted by: gmgmtl ()
Date: April 03, 2012 03:44PM

If the modulator has a rupture the engine vacuum will draw fluid, and may cause the low dipstick level. This will eventually cause the engine to put out gray smoke. Pull of modulator hose and check for fluid.
GMoore

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Re: how low can you run a Powerglide (on fluid) without damaging it?
Posted by: corventure Dave ()
Date: April 03, 2012 03:55PM

I have found that the Powerglide will tell you when it is really low on fluid... it simply wont go into drive or while driving,will suck up air and feel like it has suddenly shifted into neutral... especially in a turn. It is best to keep the fluid at the operating level, so I would check yours often until you have resolved the leakage issue. It does not sound like you have done any damage.

Corventure Dave

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Re: how low can you run a Powerglide (on fluid) without damaging it?
Posted by: Brizo ()
Date: April 03, 2012 08:55PM

You cant really hurt a PG running low on fluid, unless its so low the pump cant get fluid to the bushings,and if its that low, it wont move anyway. Running in neutral for a long time with no fluid or an empty converter could damage it.

Dan Brizendine,
'64 8door Greenbrier 140 PG. "In beautiful Wanamaker Indiana...with one stop light and 5 pizza shops"

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Re: how low can you run a Powerglide (on fluid) without damaging it?
Posted by: Lucia Humes ()
Date: April 03, 2012 09:59PM

My 64 Corvair Monza was slow to shift into 2nd when cold. I put on a new modulator and that helped a lot but still slow to shift when cold.A friend suggested I add Trans X , a transmission fluid additive and I did and now Ralphie Corvair shifts like new! Worth a try.

Ralphie Corvair

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Re: how low can you run a Powerglide (on fluid) without damaging it?
Posted by: CoCoCo ()
Date: April 07, 2012 01:59AM

While I also say you should keep it topped off (messy though), I've literally run one for 150 miles leaking so bad that, by the time I got to about 75 miles, it would no longer shift into high. Talk about a slow freeway ride!

Anyway, problem turned out to be the attaching bolts were loose, letting the tranny get cocked off and leaking out the seam between the housings.
Easy enough to dive under there and at least check for loose bolts with a wrench or socket. Cheap fix if that turns out to be the issue.

But as bad as mine was, it ran just fine for years after that episode. Evidently no ill effects from running low on fluid.

Paul

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