Classic Chevy Transmission Identification

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Classic Chevrolet cars and trucks were equipped with the two-speed Powerglide -- and three-speed Turboglide -- automatic transmissions. The vehicles also offered two versions of the three-speed manual. Chevrolet produced more than 17 million Powerglides. The Turboglides matched the large, V-8 engines that entered production in 1957.

Powerglide

  • The aluminum-cased, two-speed Powerglide weighed less than 100 lbs. It matched the small-block Chevy engines of the 1960s. Chevy developed cast-iron versions -- in 1950 -- to transmit power to the wheels from the automaker's in-line, 216.5 and 235-cubic inch, six-cylinder engines. The Powerglide had no oil pan, and "Powerglide" was stamped on the passenger side case. The Chevy Bel Air, Malibu, Chevelle, Nova, Corvette and pickups featured the Powerglide.

Turboglide

  • Chevy created the Turboglide for the automaker's V-8 engines. It featured a die-cast aluminum case. Chevy designed it to handle the torque created by the 283 V-8 and the 348 V-8; both were equipped with the Rochester fuel injection system. The three-speed Turboglide differed from the Powerglide in that its twin turbines operated the planetary gears. A torque converter controlled the planetary gears on the Powerglide.

Manuals

  • The all-purpose, three-speed manual with overdrive was standard equipment on most Chevys; the three-speed, Synchro-Mesh manual was an option. The Synchro-Mesh version had high torque capacity to handle the stress of the 348 V-8.

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  • Photo Credit chevrolet image by Eduard Shelesnjak from Fotolia.com
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