Types of Car Transmission (Part 3)

( Continued from previous articles )

Types of Automatic Car Transmission by Brand

In the previous article we have discussed how the basics of automatic gearbox transmission system work. Next time I will mention the technologies of automatic transmission on cars that have been developed by various brands in the world. Various developments have been done by these brands. So it could be different with that I have explained before.

  • Honda Automatic Transmission

    The car manufacturer Honda has developed automatic transmission technology since 1960s. While other Japanese car manufacturers are busy pursuing contracts with patent holders over Borg Warner’s automatic transmission, Honda actually took the initiative to develop its own automatic transmission system. The reason is because the automatic transmission system at that time is too large and less efficient to be applied to Honda cars that are designed smaller than the cars of the United States manufacturer. As a result they managed to develop a typical automatic transmission system by Honda, and given the title Hondamatic .

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    Hondamatic 4-Acceleration

    Unlike the automatic gear transmission systems in general that use planetary gears, Hondamatic uses a gear system with a parallel shaft axis as in manual transmission systems. Each gear ratio is controlled by a coupling system that is separate from one another. And the clutch is controlled by hydraulic system.

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    Modern Hondamatic

    Currently, Honda has developed Hondamatic transmission system that will used for ATV vehicles ( All Terrain Vehicles ) Honda brand. This transmission system uses the principle of hydromechanical continuously variable transmission, which uses a hydraulic pump Swash-Plate and an Adjustable Swash-Plate hydraulic motor.

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    Honda ATV with Hondamatic Transmission

    Swash-Plate Pump is a pump with multiple pistons, arranged parallel to the axis of the drive shaft. Hydraulic swash-plate on this system becomes the independent variable that determines the system transmission ratio. The beveled hydraulic side of the swash-plate can vary the angle of its inclination according to the generated hydraulic pressure as well as the road faced. This hydraulic motor is connected to the wheel drive shaft, so the change of slope angle swash-plate causes a change in the speed of the rotation of the shaft.

    The development of the Hondamatic transmission system for cars continues to this day. Since the introduction of the hondamatic system with the H2 code to the world in 1973 on Civic, Accord, and Prelude cars, the hondamatic system for cars continues to be developed. The latest hondamatic development for Honda cars coded H6 was introduced in 2010 using Continuously Variable Transmission technology with 6-speed forward and 1-reverse, and applied to the 2013 Honda Accord.
    ( Resources )

  • Aisin Automatic Transmission

    Aisin is one of the automotive manufacturers that focus on producing car transmission systems. Various famous car brands use a transmission system manufactured by Aisin. Well-known brands such as Toyota, Mazda, Jeep, Volvo, Peugeot, until Alfa Romeo consistently use Aisin transmission. Market data in 2005, Aisin succeeded in mastering the market share of the car transmission system by 16.4% by producing 4.9 million units of transmission system and has exceeded General Motors.

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    Alfa Romeo Brera Using Aisin Automatic Transmission AWTF-80 SC

    Aisin first produced automatic transmission in 1969 after working with other manufacturers of transmission systems BorgWarner. The automatic transmission system produced by Aisin uses the basic principle of planetary gearset as I have described in previous article. As one example of the latest automatic transmission system developed by Aisin is AWTF-80 SC type. This type of transmission is used in luxury cars like Alfa Romeo (159, Brera, Spider), Cadillac BLS, Citroën (C6, DS5), Fiat Croma, Ford (Fusion, Mondeo), Land Rover (FreeLander 2, Range Rover Evoque) , Mazda (CX-7, CX-9), Opel (Zafira, Insignia), Peugeot (508, 607), Renault (Espace, Vel Satis), and Volvo (V60, S80, CX70, CX90).

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    Aisin AWTF-80 SC Transmission System

    Aisin AWTF-80 SC transmission is designed for transversal type car engines that can generate torque of 440 N·m (324.5 ft·lbf). The transversal engine is a machine with a crankshaft position perpendicular to the main axis of the car, this position is very common in cars with front-wheel drive.

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    Aisin AWTF-80 SC Specification

    Aisin AWTF-80 SC design team makes this transmission has 6 levels of acceleration that has the same transmission block size as the manual system. This transmission combines a 5th planetary gear transmission system with a Ravigneaux gear system that features two different sized sun gears. Switching between gear ratios is governed by the clutch-to-clutch clutch system. The clutch-to-clutch clutch system eliminates the function of the steel bands used to lock the gears in stationary positions, because of the use of a second frictional clutch to lock the first friction clutch that is locking the gear in a certain position.

    This clutch-to-clutch system setup is performed by a sophisticated Transmission Control Module (TCM) system. In Aisin AWTF-80 SC transmission, TCM is located within the transmission system block, so no complicated cabling system is required outside the transmission system. This transmission system requires 8 liters of hydraulic oil for its operation.
    ( Resources )

  • General Motors Automatic Transimission

    General Motors (GM) became the first automaker to use the automatic gearbox transmission system in the world. The first car produced by GM with automatic transmission was Oldsmobiles in 1939 and marketed a year later. Since then the automatic transmission system developed by GM continues to grow. And here are the automatic transmission technologies:

    • Hydramatic (1940-1970). Being the first automated transmission system developed by GM. This transmission uses three sets of planetary gears, two fluid-coupling (not torque converter), as well as two hydraulic pumps. Hydramatic has 4-speed forward and 1-speed back.

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      Hydramatic Transmission

      Further development of hydramatic systems is used in various brands of GM cars, including Flightpitch, Dynaflow, and Dual Path Turbine Drive for Buick, Powerglide for Chevrolet, Turboglide for Chevrolet V8, and Roto-Hydramatic for Oldsmobiles.

    • Turbo-Hydramatic (1970-1990s). Turbo-Hydramatic (TH) is a development of the Hydramatic system. GM’s change is to replace the fluid-coupling with torque-converter.

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      Turbo-Hydramatic Transmission

      Turbo-Hydramatic transmission is not only used by GM cars only, but also other famous car brands such as Ferrari 400, Jaguar XJ-12, Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, and Nissan Prince Royal.

    • Electronic-Hydramatic (1990-present). GM’s last automatic transmission system is Electronic-Hydramatic (EH). One of the EH transmissions is the 4L30-E type produced by the GM’s transmission division in Strasbourg, France. One of the cars that use this type of transmission is the BMW 325i in 1992-1995.

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      Electronic-Hydramatic Transmission Type 4L30-E

      The electronic control system of the 4L30-E type has advanced facilities such as the system’s adaptive capability to the driver’s driving style, hydraulic temperature and hydraulic oil compensation, over-speed machine protection, extreme high temperature protection, and more.

    ( Source 1, 2)


  1. Ravigneaux Planetary Transmission
  2. Description Automatic Gearbox
  3. Basic Mechanical Power Transmission
  4. Mechanical Power Transmission Fundamentals