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The Transaxle Era

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Old 03-31-2017, 06:27 PM
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MAGK944
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Default The Transaxle Era [Video Content]

Cool video, apologies if its a repost.


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Old 03-31-2017, 09:00 PM
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marc abrams
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Nice video, thanks for posting.
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Old 04-03-2017, 02:32 PM
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neunfünfeins
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Sure I know "why", but it's still a curiosity/oddity to me that these cars are being distinguished as 'Transaxles'. Alone, the term is too broad and ambiguous.

By definition, the 911/912/914 and practically every other Porsche sports car are also "transaxles". As is every aircooled (RWD) or watercooled (FWD) Volkswagen, and your typical oldschool riding lawnmowers.

I guess 'Front-Engine / Rear-Drive Transaxle' doesn't roll off the tongue as readily though.
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:42 PM
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Yes, I thought the same thing too. Someone here on RL explained to me "Transaxle" in German means "Drive Shaft".
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:17 PM
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There's some reference to the origin of term "transaxle" in this article on porsche.com

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Old 04-04-2017, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by marc abrams View Post
Yes, I thought the same thing too. Someone here on RL explained to me "Transaxle" in German means "Drive Shaft".
Hmm... the plot thickens.

'Driveshaft' in German is 'Antriebswelle', and 'Propshaft' is 'Kardanwelle'

According to the nifty 'The Transaxle Era' book I got from the Porsche Museum, 'Transaxle' is.. well, 'Transaxle'.

Or more explicitly:
'Front-motoren und Transaxle-Getreibe an der Hinterachse'

Literally: "Front engines and transaxle-gearboxes at the Rear axle'

Originally Posted by MAGK944 View Post
There's some reference to the origin of term "transaxle" in this article on porsche.com
Thanks, I had run across that article before and assumed that the author was either (a) a contributor to these "alternative facts", or (b) a victim of them.

A transaxle is any gearbox that combines the transmission and differential into the same unit, hence the discrepancy.

By all indications, it's being... shall we say... "repurposed" in this context to put special emphasis on the "trans"-mission of power from the front to rear of the car via a driveshaft. Whereas in other examples I gave, engines and transaxles are typically mated directly.

Seems to be more accurate they should have just called them the "Torque-tube cars".

I can accept it. Still funny though.
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Old 04-04-2017, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by neunfünfeins View Post
...Thanks, I had run across that article before and assumed that the author was either (a) a contributor to these "alternative facts", or (b) a victim of them. ...
The writers at Christophorus spreading alternative truths.....
..........nooooooooooooooo

It seems the term was probably something that somebody attached to the front engined, rear trans cars and it just stuck and now even the factory uses the term. I doubt there is any reference to a transaxle when these cars were in production. I bought one of mine new in 1986 and don't recal hearing the term used by the dealer at the time.

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Old 04-04-2017, 05:46 AM
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They did use the term in original marketing in 1977 and specifically called torque tube - Transaxle.

This ad translates to: gearbox at the back, engine at the front, transaxle in the middle.



This Transaxle video is nice, too bad it's in German..


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Old 04-04-2017, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by marc abrams View Post
Yes, I thought the same thing too. Someone here on RL explained to me "Transaxle" in German means "Drive Shaft".
Ha. That's good.

I posted an article from Hemmings which also covered the 40 year anniversary of the "transaxle era". It got similar responses as here.

If I find it again, I'll insert the link....

Found it. It's been nearly a year:
https://rennlist.com/forums/924-931-...ransaxles.html

Last edited by Scott at Team Harco; 04-04-2017 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:24 PM
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Old 04-08-2017, 08:00 AM
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I guess 'watercooled era' would have too confusing once the boxster and 996 were introduced.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by MAGK944 View Post
It seems the term was probably something that somebody attached to the front engined, rear trans cars and it just stuck and now even the factory uses the term. I doubt there is any reference to a transaxle when these cars were in production. I bought one of mine new in 1986 and don't recal hearing the term used by the dealer at the time.
I'd call that theory Plausible.

Originally Posted by Voith View Post
They did use the term in original marketing in 1977 and specifically called torque tube - Transaxle.

This ad translates to: gearbox at the back, engine at the front, transaxle in the middle.

That's a good find!
Note that they didn't simply call it a 'Transaxle' though, it was qualified with location/position of engine as well.
This might support the theory that in usage, over the years, it simply got shortened to 'Transaxle' because nobody wanted to have to say the entire mouthful.

Concerning the 'Transaxle Era', I'm still tempted to level accusations of 'Revisionist History', however.

Originally Posted by J1NX3D View Post
I guess 'watercooled era' would have too confusing once the boxster and 996 were introduced.
Good point.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:39 AM
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I bought a 87 944 brochure, it also mentioned these cars as "transaxle" I'll get the exact quote when I'm not feeling so lazy.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:56 AM
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Brochure states: Gearbox rear..Motor in front, Transaxle in between..more driving safety ..active and passive.,.
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Old 04-21-2017, 02:01 AM
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The word 'transaxle' also appears in some period 911/912/914 literature, but that doesn't make those cars any more or less worthy of being called 'Transaxles' than these, either.

Again.. the distinction I was making is when the 924/928/944/968 are referred to as 'Transaxles' in the absence of any other contextual description about the drivetrain.
If there is an example of period literature that does so, then we should consider that a finding.

The word 'transaxle' simply appearing in the literature - in the same context as all the other words like "front motor", "rear gearbox", etc. - has already been posted here, and is kind of missing the point of the discussion. Which is, how did this whole notion of these cars being singled out as 'Transaxles' - and no others - get started in the first place.

That's why it's a curiosity (to me, at least).
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