J3Studio

Was Buick's MaxTrac The First Production Traction Control System?

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Posted (edited)

Was Buick's MaxTrac (1971) the first production traction control system or is there prior art?

Edited by j3studio (see edit history)

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Wikipedia has an article on it. They seem to say it was, in 1971. Cadillac put one in the El Dorado in 1979.

 

But that lot was preceded by the limited slip differential. Ferdinand Porsche had ZF design one in 1935 or so, according to Wikipedia. In the US, Studebaker-Packard called their LSD "Twin Traction" and used it first in 1956, becoming one of the first manufacturers according to Wikipedia.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, j3studio said:

Was Buick's MaxTrac (1971) the first production traction control system or is there prior art?

YES,  in the context of what you are asking.

Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)
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To my knowledge modern electronically controlled ABS was first available on GM E-body cars in 1971. That basic system is still in use today. Likewise, the 1974 ACRS (airbags) system has survived to present with the same basic architecture.

 

I remember trying to help find a 1974-76 ACRS equipped Oldsmobile for the 1997 Olds Centennial Celebration and we never could find one. Shame since Olds Engineering pioneered the system.

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A friend of mine had a 70 or 71 Continental Mark that had a Kelsey Hayes antilock system. The system was all there under the hood but had been deactivated before he got the car.  I knew two guys that ordered MaxTrac on their new company cars, 71 Electras. The salesman must not have explained the option correctly. Neither one understood what it was supposed to do. They both thought it was a positraction rear end you could turn on or off in snow not an antilock brake system on the rear wheels. The name was kind of misleading. 

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Posted (edited)

As I understand it.

 

MAX-TRAC was a traction control system that was way ahead of its time. It measured the speed of the left front wheel and compared it with the output on the transmission. If there was a difference, the ignition would short-circuit so the power on the rear wheels went down.
Because the system had lots of maintenance-problems and emission-control regulations would not allow to keep the system as unsophisticated as it was, it was dropped at all for 73.

 

Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

This discussion has combined thoughts regarding the first traction control system (original poster) with anti-lock braking systems and limited-slip differentials.  Cadillac first offered Track Master for the 1970 model year, and it was also available on that year's Eldorado.  I believe the Lincoln and Thunderbird anti-lock brake system was first offered on 1969 models.  

 

I just pulled my MaxTrac brochure picturing a 1972 Riviera.  The diagram shows a front wheel speed sensor (driver's front), a rear wheel speed sensor (at the transmission) and a miniature computer.  To quote the brochure, "The system is composed of two speed sensors, one located at the front wheel hub to gauge actual vehicle speed, and one in the transmission to monitor rear wheel speed.  A miniature computer actually compares the speeds of the front and rear wheels and, if rear wheel spin is detected, modulates the engine ignition to provide controlled power to the rear wheels."  On the rear cover, "Right now, it's available only on a Buick."

Edited by Jim Skelly
clarify MaxTrac and anti-lock brake comment (see edit history)
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9 minutes ago, Jim Skelly said:

Cadillac's version of Max Trac was called Track Master, first offered for the 1970 model year, and also available on the Eldorado that year.  I believe the Lincoln and Thunderbird anti-lock system was first offered on 1969 models.

Track Master is a form of ABS Max Trac is a devise that controls the engine.

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yes, MaxTrac controls traction, while Track Master is an early ABS system

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Posted (edited)
On ‎4‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 7:23 PM, Jim Skelly said:

Cadillac first offered Track Master for the 1970 model year, and it was also available on that year's Eldorado. 

I thought Buick also offered it that year as well, and labeled it 'AccuDrive'

 

<<EDIT-Corrected terminology from 'Accu-Ride' to AccuDrive'>>

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)

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Craig,

According to the 1971 brochure, " Buick introduced AccuDrive in 1969".  It also refers to it as "an improved version of Buick's exclusive all-road condition directional stability system".  I also saw a passing mention of it in the deluxe 1970 brochure, but not in the 1969 brochure.  Possibly it was introduced in mid-year.  Maybe the trailering guides would provide more details, and I'm sure the chassis service manuals would explain it in great detail.  

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Thanks for all the responses, folks.

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On ‎4‎/‎18‎/‎2019 at 4:56 PM, Jim Skelly said:

Craig,

According to the 1971 brochure, " Buick introduced AccuDrive in 1969".  It also refers to it as "an improved version of Buick's exclusive all-road condition directional stability system".  I also saw a passing mention of it in the deluxe 1970 brochure, but not in the 1969 brochure.  Possibly it was introduced in mid-year.  Maybe the trailering guides would provide more details, and I'm sure the chassis service manuals would explain it in great detail.  

Thanks!  I heard of it previous to 1971's MaxTrac, and it had an 'Accu-' prefix, but unsure of the exact label used.

 

Craig

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