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Did Oldsmobile ever offer a 4sp hydro matic

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jdecaen, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. jdecaen
    Joined: Mar 6, 2011
    Posts: 16

    jdecaen
    Member
    from Dallas, Tx

    seen a guy in the paper with this...

    " I have a 4 speed Hydro-Matic from a 1955 Olds Super 88."

    Ive never heard of such a transmission but I am relatively new to this. Can anyone confirm or refute the claim to this tranny? Does this guy not know what he is talking about?
     
  2. Rande
    Joined: Oct 16, 2004
    Posts: 349

    Rande
    Member

    A friend of mine has one in his '53.
     
  3. Black Panther
    Joined: Jan 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,544

    Black Panther
    Member
    from SoCal

    Absolutely...Olds and Cadillac both used Hydramatics that year...yes they were 4 speeds...
     
  4. Yes they made them
     
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  5. john81
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 9

    john81
    Member

    All of them where 4 sp. Put in low & they shift once at about 2 or 3 mph
     
  6. 29AVEE8
    Joined: Jun 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,384

    29AVEE8
    Member

    Yep. You won't be in first very long.
     
  7. They only put them in the cars that came with automatics..... :)
     
  8. 29AVEE8
    Joined: Jun 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,384

    29AVEE8
    Member

    The only thing more "bitchener" was a B&M Hydro-Stick. Had a friend with a '55 Chevy 210 with a 389 pontiac that was so equipped. The only automatic trans I ever liked.
     
  9. jdecaen
    Joined: Mar 6, 2011
    Posts: 16

    jdecaen
    Member
    from Dallas, Tx

    bitchener???
     
  10. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    willowbilly3
    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    I seem to remember a glitch in the NHRA rules that allowed a Chevy sedan delivery to run one. I guess it was considered a truck and they were available in GM trucks.
    Most of the time the 1-2 shift was barely noticable in a stock application but it was great for launching.
     
  11. Wagonmaster2
    Joined: Aug 18, 2010
    Posts: 335

    Wagonmaster2
    Member

    Those transmissions were available in sedan deliveries and used with GREAT success in Jr. Stock drag racing until the old cars all bit the dust as afar as NHRA was concerned. Withthat super low 1st gear they would really LEAP off of the line!!
     
  12. RidgeRunner
    Joined: Feb 9, 2007
    Posts: 836

    RidgeRunner
    Member
    from Western MA

    Got one that reportedly came out of a '53 Lincoln. Supposedly Ford had a fire in a transmision plant and worked a short term deal with GM so they could keep Lincoln production going. Been stored inside for over 40 years, super deal for a HAMBer that wants it, local pick only up after the snow and mud are gone.
     
  13. super-six
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 191

    super-six
    Member

    Lincoln used Hydra-Matics until 1955. The transmission plant fire was at the Hydra-Matic plant in 1953. There were some Cadillacs produced with Dynaflow and Pontiacs with Powerglide in 1953 due to the shortage of Hydra-Matics. Hudson, who also used Hydra-Matics, used Borg-Warner Automatic Drive in some '54 Hudsons. Automatic transmissions used by Ford Motor Company were outsourced from Borg-Warner.
     
  14. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,424

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    Even though they didn't come out till 1947, I have one in my 1946 Pontiac woodie behind a 1953 straight eight. Great transmission.
     
  15. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,886

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Also, when I was involved in keeping the Red Menace confined to Eastern Europe, our GMC deuce and a half trucks had 302 GMC sixes and four speed hydros. With a two speed brownie box behind it giving 8 froward speeds. It was a pretty bullet proof trans against GI drivers. Don't know about real bullets.
     
  16. Yes it is officially called a dual range hydro, and is commonly known as a slan pan hydro as well as 4 spd. That is the tranny that put B&M on the map.
     
  17. ECIGUY
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 111

    ECIGUY
    Member

    If memory serves me correctly the B&M Hydro Stick was based on the 4 speed hydro. Had a Corvette back then with one bolted to a 301 small block.
     
  18. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,321

    belair
    Member

    First gear is like a "granny" gear in an old truck. It is VERY steep, gets the car moving and goes into second and so forth. Fourth gear is NOT an overdrive.
     
  19. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,573

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    is that the same trans they put in 62 Cadillacs?
     
  20. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    39cent
    Member
    from socal

    I believe GM made an automatic transmissions for tanks in WW2. First hydramatic was offered in 1939 in the '40 Olds, I remember riding in my Uncle.s 41'.

    check it out http://history.gmheritagecenter.com/wiki/uploads/d/de/Olds_Exclusive_Hydra-Matic_Drive_LoRes.pdf
     
  21. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,592

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    No, different design.
     
  22. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,671

    Bigcheese327
    Member

    The "granny" first gear was due to the lack of a torque converter, wasn't it?

    -Dave
     
  23. ketama
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 2

    ketama
    Member

    Does anyone know when Cadillac went to the 4 speed Hydro-matic (I am thinking '52 or '53 but not sure)? I am wondering if I should rebuild the 3 speed in my 1949, or look around for a 4 speed (assuming it is a bolt-in item and would keep the car looking stock).
     
  24. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,321

    belair
    Member

    Yes. 1955 was the last year you could bump-start one, if I am not mistaken. I think 1955 was the last year for the really good version of the Hydromatic.
     
  25. Hudson had them from '51 through '54. You could get the HydraMatic, or what was called the "Dual-Range HydraMatic". Very good transmissions. In Hudsons with this tranny, the rear gears were 3.08. In a standard 3-speed manual with or w/o Overdrive, the rear gears were either 3.73 or 4.10. That 3.08 rear is very much in most Hudson guys' "Wanted" lists.

    A "Twin-H" 308 Six-equipped Hornet with the Dual-Range HydroMatic and the 3.08 gears will allow 110 mph easily, with effortless 80 mph cruising ability!
     
  26. Dave Downs
    Joined: Oct 25, 2005
    Posts: 862

    Dave Downs
    Member
    from S.E. Penna

    To be a smart-ass, Cadillac first used the 4-speed Hydramatic in the M5A1 'Stuart' light tank in 1942; 2 of the V-8 Caddy flatheads each with its own transmission were the motive power.
     
  27. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 5,767

    arkiehotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  28. gibraltar72
    Joined: Jan 21, 2011
    Posts: 260

    gibraltar72
    Member
    from Osseo Mi.

    Think 51 was first year at least my 51 88 tudor had one it would shift into second in the middle of an intersection.
     
  29. super-six
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 191

    super-six
    Member

    1940 was the first year for Oldsmobile with Hydra-Matic. Cadillac got it in 1941.
     
  30. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    willowbilly3
    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    Pretty sure they all had torque converters, you could bump start the older automatics because they had a rear pump.
     

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