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 DETROIT, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Rockwell International Corporation's Automotive business has extended its transmission family to include four new direct drive 10-speed models, dubbed the "Direct 10." The models will be available through all major North American truck OEMs in January 1994.
 The new models, with torque ratings of 1,150, 1,250, 1,350 and 1,450 lb-ft, offer a "solution to customers' desire for outstanding fuel economy with excellent driveability performance," according to Frank A. Palmeri, director of Sales and Marketing for Rockwell's Transmission business.
 At the Rockwell press briefing held in conjunction with the SAE Truck & Bus Exposition here, Palmeri said the Direct 10 represents a long-awaited solution to customers' desire for maximized fuel economy, without compromising startability and maneuverability performance.
 "Matching our new Direct 10 with Rockwell's fast ratio tandem drive axles, such as 2.80 or 2.93, can produce tangible fuel savings when compared to overdrive transmissions and equivalent drivetrain ratios," Palmeri said.
 "The Direct 10 is an especially good match with the latest high- torque 10- and 11-liter engine designs. Fleets seeking optimal fuel efficiency in a lightweight powertrain should consider the Direct 10 as a means of lowering overall operating costs," he added.
 Benefits of Rockwell's Direct 10
 The Direct 10 models offer North American truck operators a number of competitive advantages:
 -- The 15.02 and 11.14 first and second gears are the deepest of any direct 10-speed in the industry. Startability is excellent, even with ratios as fast as 2.80, for driver comfort and reduced drivetrain wear.
 -- The 16.71 reverse gear is 11 percent deeper than in competitive models, for smooth, controlled reversing speed, which helps drivers avoid trailer and driveline damage while backing.
 -- Operating in the direct drive top gear at cruise speed eliminates energy efficiency losses prevalent with overdrive transmissions. Also, the countershafts of the Direct 10 turn slower than typical overdrives, for reduced lube churning losses and operating temperatures.
 -- Operation in top cruise gear is noticeably quieter than in top gear of an overdrive transmission because there are no active gear meshes to transmit harmonic vibrations.
 -- An installed weight advantage of up to 24 pounds vs. competitive direct 10-speeds, and up to 32 pounds vs. competitive overdrive 10-speed models.
 -- Acquisition cost is generally lower, since the Direct 10 does not require the "X" shift bar housing normally spec'ed on overdrive transmissions.
 "The time is right for a lightweight direct drive 10-speed transmission that complements the fuel efficiency of today's lower displacement engines," emphasized Palmeri.
 "Our Type II fuel economy tests have shown up to 1.9 percent fuel efficiency advantage for the direct drive vs. overdrive transmission setup," Palmeri said. "This stems from the fact that torque is routed straight through the transmission in direct range, vs.; passing at right angles through active gear meshes in an overdrive. Bearing losses in top gear, as well as lube churning losses, are also reduced for optimal power flow to the driving wheels."
 To complement the Direct 10's fuel efficiency, Rockwell is preparing to launch in early 1994, in collaboration with a major OEM, a unique shift knob that incorporates the cruise control "set" and "resume" switches in the top of the knob. The knob should make it easier for the driver to stay in cruise control more often, helping increase operating efficiency.
 Also announced at the press briefing was the January '94 availability of a new 10-speed overdrive transmission model with a torque rating of 1,650 lb-ft. As with the other five 10-speed overdrive models, the gearbox features a deep 11.19:1 first gear and .74:1 overdrive, with an overall ratio of 15.02 for increased startability and low-speed maneuverability with today's fast drivetrain gearing.
 Incorporating Popular Features and Benefits
 Joe R. Allen, chief engineer, noted that the Direct 10 employs a number of features and benefits found in the company's entire lineup of 9-, 10- and 13-speed transmissions, including: wider gears, larger diameter mainshafts, tapered roller bearings, a patented soft-molded shift knob, and less required lubricant.
 Additionally, the Direct 10 transmissions will be included in the company's Advanced Lube Program. Truck operators can now have their transmissions filled at the OEM's factory with an approved synthetic lubricant, and then run to 250,000 miles without a lube drain. "Truck operators taking advantage of the Advanced Lube Program are finding their transmissions are running cooler, with more reliable seal performance than with petroleum lubes," Allen said.
 Transmission Line-up Supported in the Field
 Rockwell's Direct 10 carries a 5-year/500,000-mile warranty when an approved petroleum lubricant is used, or 5-year/750,000-mile warranty when an approved synthetic lubricant is used exclusively. Both options include coverage for parts and labor and are free of charge to the end- user. (For complete warranty details, see Warranty Certificate SP-9260.)
 Effective with the models' introduction, individual parts and parts kits for the Direct 10 will be stocked at Rockwell's distribution centers in Florence, Ky., and Brampton, Ontario, and at most of the OEMs' parts distribution centers and dealer locations.
 Truck operators interested in more details on Rockwell's entire line of transmissions should call the company's ROKFAX info-on-demand service. By dialing 1-800-FONOROK (366-0765), and entering the extension ROK (765) and fax number at the prompt, requested information will be immediately faxed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
 The Direct 10 is a member of the industry's most complete drivetrain, Drivetrain Plus(TM) by Rockwell.
 Rockwell's On-Highway Products supplies vehicle manufacturers around the world with the industry's most complete drivetrain -- Drivetrain Plus. Rockwell components includes axles -- steer, drive and trailer; brakes -- cam, wedge, air disc and automatic slack adjusters; clutches; transmissions; driveshafts and universal joints; transfer cases; on- board, electronic management systems; vehicle control systems; and aftermarket parts.
 The company also supplies heavy-duty truck plastic hood assemblies.
 Rockwell International (NYSE: ROK) is a multi-industry company applying advanced technology to a wide range of products in its electronics, aerospace, automotive and graphics businesses.
 -0- 11/4/93
 /CONTACT: D. Mike Pennington of Rockwell Automotive, 313-435-1933/

CO: Rockwell International Corporation ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT

ML -- DE016 -- 0756 11/04/93 13:08 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 4, 1993

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