Last post on Feb 25, 2002 at 8:42 PM
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Coupe, Convertible, Sedan
#122 of 131 Worst, my vote is 57 Chevy Turboglide
Feb 22, 2002 (6:34 pm)
Back then I had a 57 Chevy hardtop with biggest V8 then available. Today the style is a classic. In my two years of ownership I went through 2 rebuilds on the turboglide. Transmission shop told me the additional horsepower for the 57 V8 was tearing out the turboglide because it had undersize ball bearings that could not take the torque side loading. By 58 the bearings were changed to roller bearings and the problem was solved. That is how I remember it. Any comments?
Feb 22, 2002 (10:53 pm)
I don't think many would argue with you on the poor reliability of the '57 TurboGlide, Billy. There were engineering changes made for '58 but I recall that those transmissions also had a very poor reputation. More modifications were made in '59 but even those must not have helped this unusual design which utilized a 5-element torque converter. I believe GM gave up on this design in '61.
#124 of 131 Since I had five transmissions replaced........................
Feb 23, 2002 (12:42 pm)
.....in my 1977 Impala, my nod for worst transmission ever made would be the THM200, although in all fairness it probably was a good transmission when put into a Chevette. Had a 1984 Chevy pick-up that had transmission problems at 20K. Rebuilt later then eventually replaced. I think that was a 700R4. Out current G20 van is on its third torque converter.
When I worked in the auto repair field some years ago I use to see many Powerglides fail. My one sister, who had never owned any other car but a Buick, replaced the transmission in every one except her 1962 Special.
Been considering a new pick-up truck and the Dodge is on my list. I've heard from a number of people about how bad the Dodge truck transmissions are, however these have been either Chevy, Ford, or Toyota lovers. I have been logging the vehicles at my three local transmission repair shops for the past 10 months. I usually stop twice a week, sometimes more.
Anyway, the one truck I have NOT seen at any of these shops is a Dodge RAM. I have seen a few Dakotas. The most common truck I've seen has been the S10 and like-GMC version. Also, lots of full size GM pick-ups, followed to a much lesser degree by big Fords.
I've asked or known thirty-three Dodge RAM owners if they've had any transmission problems and only one said yes. The two transmission techs I've talked to said that the drainback valve is responsible for most of the problems in earlier Dodge transmissions and the common thing to do was to remove it completely (the valve is located in the return line and easily accessed).
Feb 23, 2002 (6:05 pm)
The only bad things I've ever heard about Dodge/Chrysler transmission is in their car line, where the general consensus is that the hard parts are made of a material comperable to Play-Doh. From what I hear, Chrysler (Dodge) makes very good trucks. It's the rest of the lineup that could use some help.
Feb 23, 2002 (11:11 pm)
Older Chrysler torqueflights also like to break the servo, I think for reverse if I remember correctly. Common problem. High engine idle, you punch that R button, and WHAM, goodbye!
#127 of 131 FWD Chrysler's are another story...........
Feb 24, 2002 (9:11 am)
.......but from what I've been told most of those problems are related to the 4-speed electronic versions used on certain V6s. I believe the 3-speed units (4-cyl and some V6s) are very durable. A friend of mine who is in the fleet management business here locally says that in the Acclaim, Spirit, Shadow, K-car variants, they were far more reliable then the GM cars and Taurus'.
#128 of 131 What year was it when GM transmission plant had the big fire?
Feb 25, 2002 (1:36 pm)
I recall that sometime back in late 50's or early 60's that a Hydramatic plant burnt and had to shut down. So a lot of Caddies and Olds cars used the Buick slug (Dynaflo?) transmissions as a substitute. Any comments?
#129 of 131 Transmission plant fire...
Feb 25, 2002 (1:39 pm)
...I think it was 1953 or '54. It was fairly early on, before a lot of the other manufacturers had their own transmission. At one point Lincolns used GM Hydramatic transmissions, and I think a few independents did, as well.
I'm guessing the non-GM makers got hit worse, since I'd presume GM would at least prioritize the Hydramatic for it's own cars first!
Feb 25, 2002 (3:32 pm)
I believe it was '53, as Andre says Oldsmobile and Cadillac used Dynaflows and Pontiac got stuck with the Powerglide.
#131 of 131 HydraMatic Plant Fire
Feb 25, 2002 (8:42 pm)
Yes, the fire was in '53, but I don't know what month. Fortunately, my Hudson Hornet of that vintage had one of the HydraMatics. An Olds Dynaflow clearly lacked the "Rocket" aura that many of us admired.