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ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Also calledFMX
Class3-speed automatic transmission
ManualsService Manual

Ford-O-Matic was the first automatic transmission used by Ford Motor Company, designed by Borg Warner Corporation. Introduced in 1950, the 3-speed Ford-O-Matic evolved into the Cruise-O-Matic in 1958 (and a 2-speed Ford-O-Matic in 1959) and the FMX in 1968. This line continued in production until 1980, when the AOD was introduced. Like Ford, variations of this same Borg Warner design were used by other automobile manufacturers as well, such as AMC, International Harvester, Studebaker, Volvo and Jaguar, each of them having the necessary unique adaptations required for the individual applications.


The original Cruise-O-Matics use a torque converter and planetary gearset, providing 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, and Mile-O-Matic in Edsel 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 Ravigneaux planetary gearset.

Although the FMX was phased out in the United States in 1980 in favour of the then-revolutionary Overdrive automatic transmission which was based on it, it was produced for another year for use in V8 Ford Falcons built in Australia. When, owing to rising gasoline prices, Ford Australia decided to phase out the very thirsty V8 engine, the FMX ceased production.

    • Gear ratios
  • First: 2.40:1
  • Second: 1.47:1
  • Third: 1.00:1
  • Reverse: 2.00:1


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".

    • Gear ratios
  • First: 2.46:1
  • Second: 1.46:1
  • Third: 1.00:1
  • Reverse: 2.20:1


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 Bordeaux Transmission Plant. The C3 was a light duty version of the C4 design.

See also

[Livonia Transmissions]