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Old 05-27-2011, 10:33 AM   #1
Ryan
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Default Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8



I recently stumbled upon a turbo that my dad ran on his Corvette in the 1970s. The find got me thinking about the history of the turbo, so I inquisitively hit Google looking for answers. To my amazement, one of the first American production cars to r...

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Old 05-27-2011, 10:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

I had one of those in 1967 drove it till I drove by the Dodge dealer in lake city Washington (north end of Seattle) in 1968 proceeded to sell it the next day & bought a new 68 Hemi Charger off the show room floor. Both were a kick to drive.
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

I wonder how many of those Jetfire Oldsmobiles they sold. Are there many still around?

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Old 05-27-2011, 11:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

I wish mine was a Jetfire!!!
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

There was a guy that had a complete turbo set-up on evil-bay, but he wanted more for the top end than I have in my entire car...
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:36 AM   #6
joe_padavano
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

A friend of mine has dropped a Jetfire motor into his 62 Cutlass convertible. It's a cool and unusual setup, but it's a nightmare of plumbing. Keep in mind that this was before computer controls, so there is a mass of vacuum and pressure and fluid lines running around the engine - it almost looks like a 1970s smogger!

The biggest problem with the Jetfire was that Olds had the brilliant idea to run high compression to combat boost lag, then limit boost to 5 psi. They still needed fluid injection (TurboRocket fluid - a water/alcohol mix). Unfortunately, most owners didn't keep the fluid tank filled and melted their motors (blaming the turbo in the process). As a result, a large number of these cars had the original turbo units replaced with conventional 4bbls when the motor was replaced. I recently picked up a 62 Jetfire parts car that had all the original trim and fluid injection system, but a 4bbl motor.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano View Post
A friend of mine has dropped a Jetfire motor into his 62 Cutlass convertible. It's a cool and unusual setup, but it's a nightmare of plumbing. Keep in mind that this was before computer controls, so there is a mass of vacuum and pressure and fluid lines running around the engine - it almost looks like a 1970s smogger!

The biggest problem with the Jetfire was that Olds had the brilliant idea to run high compression to combat boost lag, then limit boost to 5 psi. They still needed fluid injection (TurboRocket fluid - a water/alcohol mix). Unfortunately, most owners didn't keep the fluid tank filled and melted their motors (blaming the turbo in the process). As a result, a large number of these cars had the original turbo units replaced with conventional 4bbls when the motor was replaced. I recently picked up a 62 Jetfire parts car that had all the original trim and fluid injection system, but a 4bbl motor.

Buick wanted the water/alcohol injection for their 80's turbo motors,but by then the "Safety Nazis" considered it a "fuel" that required a fuel tank,
hardlines and crash testing... Fortunately they were able to tune around
it with electronic control but the cars still came down the line with a
"power injection" lense amongst the idiot lights albeit minus the bulb
to light it up...
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

Quote:
Originally Posted by shmoozo View Post
I wonder how many of those Jetfire Oldsmobiles they sold. Are there many still around?

I have seen a production numbers from as few as 1,300 to over 10,000.

The system was fairly complicated. It had a wastegate AND an axillary boost limiting butterfly in the inlet that automatically closed under certain conditions. The ADI fluid system was tied into the butterfly. It had a set-up that monitored pressure in the ADI tank and ADI fluid delivery. Most mechanics didn't understand the systems. When something went wrong many were converted from turbo to carb. Things did wear out and fail, and it has been a very long time since all the unique aparts have been available. It would be a miricle to find one with a working turbo and full functional system.
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

A buddy of mine had one in '64 I think , we were in HS and some things are a bit foggy. That was a wild ass car for the time. Keep the r's up and get rubber out of the first 3 gears. Ran out of the turbo juice and water worked just fine. We felt like the alcohol was there to prevent freezing. It had a wild sound to it when the waste gate opened. I could hear him coming a 1/2 mile away.
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

Have one in our collection, My Dad bought it new in 62
Sitting in the barn collecting dust I'll post up a couple pictures this weekend.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro-Mac View Post
Have one in our collection, My Dad bought it new in 62
Sitting in the barn collecting dust I'll post up a couple pictures this weekend.
I can't wait!!
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro-Mac View Post
Have one in our collection, My Dad bought it new in 62
Sitting in the barn collecting dust I'll post up a couple pictures this weekend.
A few pictures of the Jetfire & F-85's
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:06 PM   #13
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

thats awesome, oh and you can let Mildred know I like pancakes
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

Pretty slick. I wasn't aware that the little olds was available that way.

I would like to get my hands on info about the liquid injection system. I have an engine that I am probably going to have to spray and have my tentative design but it would be good to have that info for comparison.

Pretty damned slick.

Quote:
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I recently stumbled upon a turbo that my dad ran on his Corvette in the 1970s. The find got me thinking about the history of the turbo, so I inquisitively hit Google looking for answers. To my amazement, one of the first American production cars to r...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

Cool little cars like the turbo Corvair Monzas, every town in America probably had one of each but NOT many were sold.
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:13 PM   #16
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

Back in the early 60's, my best friend's dad bought one new...an automatic. It was the best of both worlds. My buddy & I could give the thing a real workout & not have to foot the maintenance bills. I remember driving it & feeling that strange rush of the turbo-charger...a very odd feeling for the time. I never did understand the turbo fluid thing...now I know. And get this...when he traded it in, it was on a new '65 442! Oh, the humanity!
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:58 PM   #17
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

I have one in my shop that belongs to my son. We bought it in '94 and it was rescued from a salvage yard in '71 in Wyoming. A buddy bought it then and I bought it in '94. The car is on a rotisserie and will be air bagged with a 2x2 bbl intake rather than the turbo unit. Many of the turbos were removed by the dealers because they were unreliable. This car ended up in the salvage yard with less than 40,000 miles on it. When I tore down the engine it had a burned piston and the top ring had broken and bounced around from one cylinder to another.
More info here:
http://www.442.com/oldsfaq/ofjet.htm
http://oldsjetfire.com/

Production


1962: 3,765 1963: 5,842
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:02 PM   #18
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

I have a brand new never been fired one that's been sitting in my garage since around 1970. It is what I think is the early version because the intake manifold has a cast in ridge for the pressure box to seat against. All lines and linkage run through grommets to prevent pressure loss. The former president of the OCOA has a 62 that just pressurizes the carb which is the later version I'm sure. The bell housing and transmissions, both auto and standard, were unique to the all aluminum 215 engine. GM, in their infinite wisdom, sold all the inventory, tooling, and machines to Rover which still uses that engine to this day. It's increased from the original 3.5L to near 5.0 but is still the same basic engine. It's rumored GM tried to buy it back but Rover said no. The 215 was so light and strong that it was used in home built planes and was supposed to be ultra smooth when compared to a Franklin or Lycoming. Mine was destined for a Pete and Paul (plane) to replace the standard Model A engine but cancer took my brother so I'll never sell it but pass it on to one of his two boys if they show an interest.
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:54 AM   #19
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

Quote:
Originally Posted by coilover View Post
I have a brand new never been fired one that's been sitting in my garage since around 1970. It is what I think is the early version because the intake manifold has a cast in ridge for the pressure box to seat against. All lines and linkage run through grommets to prevent pressure loss.
The Turbo engines were only available '62 and '63. What you are describing is a 2bbl intake manifold and the air cleaner sits down and seals over the intake in the ridge you are describing. I believe yours to be a 155 HP version which is the base '61 engine. Still a very nice little engine.
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:47 AM   #20
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Default Re: Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8

Quote:
Originally Posted by coilover View Post
The former president of the OCOA has a 62 that just pressurizes the carb which is the later version I'm sure.

The bell housing and transmissions, both auto and standard, were unique to the all aluminum 215 engine.

It's rumored GM tried to buy it back but Rover said no.
All the Jetfires(both years) were draw through, no blow throughs.

The cast iron V-6 of the same era is related and had the same flywheel housing pattern.

When GM asked about buying the engine back, Rover gave them an offer they could refuse.
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