The A-604 and the Recoil Flux Capacitor

42LE.jpgMaybe what's wrong with America's automotive industry is that we just don't innovate like we used to. I have an engineering degree and many years of experience, so I like to think I know jack. Chrysler's A-604 Automatic Transaxle was a great piece of engineering and there's so many insightful things said in this fine 1980 era video that it's well worth watching if you have even the slightest interest in automotive technology history.

It starts out a little complicated but don't worry, it's so clear that by the end of this short video you will have a good understanding even of what modial interaction of the magneto means. It's just that good.

And if you pay attention, you'll hear the first ever mention of the 1990s mileage enhancing breakthrough, the recoil flux capacitor. Highly recommended viewing.


  1. Here’s What I read. . . blah, blah, blah.. there’s actually such things a a Flux Capacitor, ZOMG!

    Great video and definitely worth watching the whole thing.

  2. Yeah, these old Chrysler trannies are *notorious* for busted dingle arms, which will lead to lateral sinusidal sprunging every damned time.

  3. Unfortunately automatic transmissions were the only thing the US auto industry was doing well during the 1980s. That’s about when I switched to Nissans and Toyotas, and now my cars last five times as long, get better mileage and need fewer repairs.

  4. Years ago, a friend showed me the Rockwell Automation riff on this theme called the Retro-Encabulator. I nearly suffocated from laughing so hard. I have no idea how the guy in the video was able to keep a straight face while saying this.

    And the sad thing is this: There are people to whom this sounds like so much of the gobbledygook they hear every day that they will fail to clue in to the joke.

    We call those people executive managers.

  5. I’ve never before seen the phrases “Chrysler”, “transaxle”, and “great piece of engineering” in the same sentence, much less the same context.

  6. Rules for presenting to management: a) decide on the one conclusion that you want them to reach, b) remove ALL information in your presentation that is not directly related to that conclusion (lest some manager in the room go off on a tangent and derail the entire presentation), c) state results in terms that will mean something to managers (money or time saved), and d) arrange the presentation so that the managers reach your desired conclusion without you actually stating it- because once they think it’s THEIR original idea, you couldn’t change their minds with a crowbar.

  7. I could tell this was BS because I know a lot of technical lingo and I just wasn’t recognizing any of the technobabble…but I wonder how many people with no technical background would be completely taken in?

    And yes, I can’t imagine how he kept a straight face either; I certainly couldn’t. Unless he’s an actor who had no clue, just reading the lines they gave him.

  8. Oh, I’m sorry, sir. I’m anispeptic, frasmotic, even compunctuous to have caused you such pericombobulation. I also offer the Engineer my most enthusiastic contrafribularities.

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