Classic Hydramatic Rebuild and Resurrection Service
Classic HydramaticRebuild and Resurrection Service


We occasionally get this question about early Hydramatic (pre Turbo Hydramatic).  What fluid should be used?  When we return your transmission we include 12 quarts of high quality (name brand) DEXRON III – regardless if it is a JetAway or a 1941 Olds.  Wiki has an interesting piece on the evolution of Hydramatic fluids, so if you would like to learn more, we have provided a link below. 


Did you know that some shops back in the day used engine oil for trans fluid?  That is why you will see some transmission that appear dark and sludge filled internally.  And this is one reason GM started developing a better fluid and started using a red dye fluid to determine what the fill was. 


Why do we recommend DEXRON III? 

  • This fluid will perform very well in any early Hydramatic application
  • DEXRON III has great anti-oxidation qualities which means you will change the fluid less often
  • It performs well in cold temperatures as well as hot temperatures
  • Rubber seal integrity is maintained so seals last longer
  • Great detergent value to keeps things clean


Can you start using DEXRON III instead of older versions of DEXRON?  Probably.  Using DEXRON III is not going to fix a broken transmission.  And, because DEXRON III may clean out the debris keeping things working, it is possible that a fluid change might cause transmission issues to get worse.  But keep in mind that a rebuild will correct everything and provide years of service.  Starting to use DEXRON III can help older seals regain some elasticity. Remember, drain the coupler and pan for best results.  And, as before, if you have questions, drop us a note via email.


History of DEXRON


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