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Jetaway

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Most people know that the dual coupling hydramatic that was introduced on some GM models in 1956 was called by Pontiac as Strato Flight and later Super Hydramatic, Oldsmobile as Jetaway, and Cadillac as 315 or P-315 Hydramatic.

Oldsmobile also called the Buick Super Turbine 300 for 1964+ A body F-85 and Cutlass the Jetaway hydramatic. The question is, what did Oldsmobile call Roto Hydramatic in it's sale catalogs from 1960-1964??

Don

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Don, all I've ever seen it called was simply "HydraMatic". They did make a little noise about "new 3-speed HydraMatic" in 1961.

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Don, all I've ever seen it called was simply "HydraMatic". They did make a little noise about "new 3-speed HydraMatic" in 1961.

Thanks Rocketrader, Pontiac did the same but still referred to the dual coupling as Super Hydramatic through 61-64 Star Chief-Bonneville seres. I guess Pontiac was the only division using both trans from 61-64.

Don

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Hydra-Matic... with Accel-A-Rotor Action in '61

1961%20Oldsmobile%20Full%20Line-26-27.jpg

They called it 4-S Hydra-Matic in '62. This is I think where alot of people get confused, thinking it is a 4-speed transmission. I believe 4-S stands for 4-stage. I believe it also was intended to harken back to Super Hydra-Matic.

1962%20Oldsmobile%20Full%20Line-26-27.jpg

In '63 and '64 they reverted back to Hydra-Matic. No mention of Accel-A-Rotor in '63, but it returned in '64.

Paul

Edited by Oldsfan
Had to fix image links (see edit history)

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They called it 4-S Hydra-Matic in '62. This is I think where alot of people get confused, thinking it is a 4-speed transmission. I believe 4-S stands for 4-stage. I believe it also was intended to harken back to Super Hydra-Matic.

My 1962 CSM shows four speeds in four full color cutaways for the 4-S Rotohydramatic 5 in my F-85. (Yes, I know the full size cars used the Rotohydramatic 10.) In 1961 the same trans was only showed as having three speeds. There does not appear to be any internal difference. It looks like the Accel-A-Rotor was used like the switch-pitch torque converter on the 64-67 transmissions to provide, in effect, another transmission ratio.

The 1961 CSM shows ratios of 3.6394:1 (FIVE significant digits!!!) for first, 1.5775:1 for second, and 1:1 for third.

The 1962 CSM shows 3.64:1 (apparently rounded off :D) for first, 3.03:1 for second, 1.57:1 for third, and 1:1 for fourth. The only difference between first and second is the Accel-A-Rotor. In first the stator is driven separately from the other two halves of the torus and provides torque multiplication, whereas in second the stator is locked to the driven half of the torus.

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My 1962 CSM shows four speeds in four full color cutaways for the 4-S Rotohydramatic 5 in my F-85. (Yes, I know the full size cars used the Rotohydramatic 10.) In 1961 the same trans was only showed as having three speeds. There does not appear to be any internal difference. It looks like the Accel-A-Rotor was used like the switch-pitch torque converter on the 64-67 transmissions to provide, in effect, another transmission ratio.

The 1961 CSM shows ratios of 3.6394:1 (FIVE significant digits!!!) for first, 1.5775:1 for second, and 1:1 for third.

The 1962 CSM shows 3.64:1 (apparently rounded off :D) for first, 3.03:1 for second, 1.57:1 for third, and 1:1 for fourth. The only difference between first and second is the Accel-A-Rotor. In first the stator is driven separately from the other two halves of the torus and provides torque multiplication, whereas in second the stator is locked to the driven half of the torus.

Joe, I have a book that also describes roto as being a four speed too. Problem is it dosen't say if the stator was a switch pitch or not.

Hydramatic division was really into something in designing Dual Coupling and Roto single controlled coupling Hydramatic.

Too bad the original trans that was to replace the old 1940-1956" D" type single coupling Hydramatic never made it to production because of cost. I guess they would have called it Tri-Coupling Hydramatic! If later (1961) they used Tri-coupling as a basis for Roto the trans would have looked internally like Roto with another coupling. If that was so it would have been direct drive with gear reduction in second and direct drive one to one in fourth.

FYI, Jetaway, Strato-Flight, Super Hydramatic, and P-315 were all division names for what Hydramatic Division called Controlled Coupling Hydramatic.

Paul, thanks for posting those brochures for the roto!! Much appreciated !

Don

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My '68 Cutlass has a Jetaway in it .

It is a two speed automatic , that was supposedly used until '67 . and my car is supposed to have a Powerglide in it .

The parts do not interchange , which is a pain as I always have to ask for the '67 filter kit .

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Nope. Your 68 is supposed to have a Jetaway, which was a 2-speed electrically downshifted torque converter transmission starting 1964. PowerGlide was only for Chevrolet. Buick-Olds-Pontiac used the Buick-designed Super Turbine 300 2-speed. Buick called it Super Turbine, Olds Jetaway, and Pontiac TempesTorque. Buick and Olds offered it behind small-blocks 64-69 in both full-size and intermediate carlines, Pontiac only in intermediates. Oddly enough, the A-body performance cars also got it.

The only one I ever owned had a sticky downshift switch that would often stick in kickdown when you set the automatic choke on a cold start, and would prevent the thing shifting out of low gear. A shot of WD-40 in the switch would help for a month or two, then it would start all over again. This was a 64 Tempest sedan daily driver.

Joe, that Accel-A-Rotor thing happened so quick you never noticed it. I'm told it was designed to occur within a few feet of the car starting to move forward. 3.64 to 3.03 is not a big drop. That (technically) 2-3 shift from 3.03 to 1.57 is quite noticeable and is the source of most griping about the Roto. One of my Starfires would occasionally stall the engine when it made that shift. You did not want it to happen if you were trying to get moving uphill.

Edited by rocketraider (see edit history)
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Yours had an electric switch on the carb like a TH400 , or is it hidden under the dash ?

I've never noticed one on my car .

And all the parts and interchange books I've ever seen say Powerguide for my year .

Transmission shops have said the same .

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Nope. Your 68 is supposed to have a Jetaway, which was a 2-speed electrically downshifted torque converter transmission starting 1964. PowerGlide was only for Chevrolet. Buick-Olds-Pontiac used the Buick-designed Super Turbine 300 2-speed. Buick called it Super Turbine, Olds Jetaway, and Pontiac TempesTorque. Buick and Olds offered it behind small-blocks 64-69 in both full-size and intermediate carlines, Pontiac only in intermediates. Oddly enough, the A-body performance cars also got it.

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Rocketrader, My recollection of the name TempesTorque was used on the 1961-1963 Tempest Transaxle automatic. The 1964 Tempest / Le Mans / LeMans-GTO automatic was called Hydramatic.

BTW that 2 speed vairable pitch Super Turbine 300 is a overlooked but great automatic that suprised many opponents at the drag strip. The vairable pitch stator would keep a large displacement Olds or Pontiac right in the engine torque curve.

I always get a laugh watching the "EXPERTS" at Barrett-Jackson call a 1964-1966 Olds 442, Pontiac GTO, Buick Grand Sport with a automatic a PowerGlide.

Don

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My '68 Cutlass has a Jetaway in it .

It is a two speed automatic , that was supposedly used until '67 . and my car is supposed to have a Powerglide in it .

The parts do not interchange , which is a pain as I always have to ask for the '67 filter kit .

This is unfortunately a common misconception. People assume that any two speed GM trans must be a Powerglide. Olds never used the Powerglide.

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This is unfortunately a common misconception. People assume that any two speed GM trans must be a Powerglide. Olds never used the Powerglide.

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Pontiac only used Powerglide in the latter part of 1953 after hydramatic plant burned down, also the first year for Olds to use a Buick trans for the same reason.

Don

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Don, I have a 1969 Chilton Professional Trades Edition shop manual that refers to the ST300 as "TempesTorque 300" for 1964-69 Tempest and 1967-69 Firebird. That was my reference. I can't remember what I've heard the 61-63 transaxle automatic called. The Chilton simply calls it "Tempest automatic" and I don't have any early-60s Pontiac service literature. Seems like I've read somewhere it was the same as Corvair PowerGlide, which would make sense since it was the same car platform.

I still believe General Motors has never been as adventurous since as they were with the initial 60s compacts. Seems like they weren't afraid to run or push the envelope back then. Or they may have just got complacent after they saw conventionally engineered cars sold better.

Frank, my Tempest was a 6-cylinder with downshift switch on the carb linkage at the engine. The 1968 Oldsmobile should have the downshift switch on the accelerator pedal. 1965-67 had a rotary switch on the carb linkage on the firewall which controlled both downshift and torque converter. 1964 was the only year Olds located the downshift switch on the carb linkage at the engine.

Unless of course, your car has had a PG put in, which would require adapters and all kinds of other adaptations to make it work.

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Seems like I've read somewhere it was the same as Corvair PowerGlide, which would make sense since it was the same car platform.

A little off-topic, but I'll never forget the first time I got under a transaxle Tempest at a wrecking yard. There was the torque converter, hanging off the back of the back of the transaxle where the Corvair engine was supposed to be. :D

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Two rope-drive Tempests showed up at the Crown Pontiac show in Greensboro a few years back and were freaking everyone out with that rope drive and transaxle. One was a 61 4-cylinder sedan, one a 63 326 coupe.

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Don, I have a 1969 Chilton Professional Trades Edition shop manual that refers to the ST300 as "TempesTorque 300" for 1964-69 Tempest and 1967-69 Firebird. That was my reference. I can't remember what I've heard the 61-63 transaxle automatic called. The Chilton simply calls it "Tempest automatic" and I don't have any early-60s Pontiac service literature. Seems like I've read somewhere it was the same as Corvair PowerGlide, which would make sense since it was the same car platform.

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Rocketrader, My 1969 Factory Pontiac service manual refers to Pontiac's version of super turbine as Hydramatic only. While my 1962 Factory service manual refers Tempest automatic transaxle as TempesTorque, and full size cars ( Catalina- Grand Prix ) as just hydramatic (3 speed) or ( Star Chief- Bonneville ) as Super-Hydramatic (4speed). The reason I asked the question what Roto was called is because I have noticed many people refer roto as Jetaway. Even some inexperienced Pontiac people sometimes refer Roto as Jetaway.

Don

Edited by helfen (see edit history)

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Don, I have a 1969 Chilton Professional Trades Edition shop manual that refers to the ST300 as "TempesTorque 300" for 1964-69 Tempest and 1967-69 Firebird. That was my reference. I can't remember what I've heard the 61-63 transaxle automatic called. The Chilton simply calls it "Tempest automatic" and I don't have any early-60s Pontiac service literature. Seems like I've read somewhere it was the same as Corvair PowerGlide, which would make sense since it was the same car platform.

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Rocketrader, My 1969 Factory Pontiac service manual refers to Pontiac's version of super turbine as Hdramatic only. While my 1962 Factory service manual refers Tempest automatic transaxle as TempesTorque, and full size cars ( Catalina- Grand Prix ) as just hydramatic (3 speed) or ( Star Chief- Bonneville ) as Super-Hydramatic (4speed). The reason I asked the question what Roto was called is because I have noticed many people refer roto as Jetaway. Even some inexperienced Pontiac people sometimes refer Roto as Jetaway.

Don

Sure a lot of confusion over the fact it is obvious the Advertising Department, Engineering, and Tech Pubs Departments were not always in lock step about what something would be called. Advertising departments will always choose that which they think will be easiest for consumers to remember forever, or at least until they buy.

Engineering Departments always have an Engineering designation for everything, but may also have a common name they apply and pass on to Tech Pubs, which may alternately refer to both the Engineering number and the common name.

Now to "Jetaway." There were two entirely different transmissions to which the name "Jetaway" was given by the Advertising Department. But what difference does it make? None, because the service manuals for a car equipped with a so called "Jetaway" transmission will have both its common name and Engineering Designation.

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I've got my "Roto Hydra-Matic Principles of Operation" book out today for a totally unrelated reason. One of the techs here at work started reading it aloud...

"The Roto Hydra-Matic transmission is a fully automatic transmission, with three gear speeds plus a torque multiplying fluid coupling, which give the equivalent ratio coverage of a four speed transmission, but with only two gear ratio changes."

So sayeth the Service Department at Detroit Transmission Division of General Motors Corporation, January 1962.

Paul

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As Jim says, it sure leads to confusion. Pauls manual says conflicting statements. One which is true, roto is a three speed unit with torque multiplying capability. The other portion of that statement (false) says only two gear ratio changes.

The only trans I know of that has two gear changes and has multiplication high and low for both is Super Turbine 300 or as Olds says Jetaway-not to be confused with older 4speed Jetaway.

There was great potential for controled coupling hydramatic transmissions. Too bad it wasn't allowed to be built as originally designed.

Don

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The only trans I know of that has two gear changes and has multiplication high and low for both is Super Turbine 300 or as Olds says Jetaway-not to be confused with older 4speed Jetaway.

Don,

Better count again. The ST300 has two gear sets, but only one ratio change (the change from the first gear ratio to the second gear ratio). Paul's manual is correct.

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I guess were not counting from park/neutral to low to second to third.

Don

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I guess were not counting from park/neutral to low to second to third.

Don

Again, the brochure is exactly correct. The 4-S trans only has "two gear ratio changes" while upshifting, low-to-second, and second-to-third. No one counts park-to-first as a gear ratio change. The ST300 only has one gear ratio change. A 200-4R has three gear ratio changes.

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Again, the brochure is exactly correct. The 4-S trans only has "two gear ratio changes" while upshifting, low-to-second, and second-to-third. No one counts park-to-first as a gear ratio change. The ST300 only has one gear ratio change. A 200-4R has three gear ratio changes.

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Joe, I'm sorry and I understand what you are saying. Please forgive me.

Don

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I first knew of this transmission as the Controlled Coupling Hydramatic.


My dad had several Oldsmobiles (2 - 1957's, a 1958, and a 1960) with this transmission in them.

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On 1/1/2011 at 9:33 AM, Guest said:

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Pontiac only used Powerglide in the latter part of 1953 after hydramatic plant burned down, also the first year for Olds to use a Buick trans for the same reason.

Don

all my GM history books show that just over 17,000 1953 pontiacs were built with the power glide trans due to the hydra-matic shortage, and that cadillac adapted the buick dyna-flow trans, but that oldsmobile had hydra-matics in their inventory to almost handle the orders for the automatic transmission option, very few 1953 oldsmobiles with the buick dyna-flow. 

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