Thread Number: 70
1970's GM-Frigidaire washers(1/18's and Jet Action 16's)
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items --- [As an eBay Partner, eBay may compensate if you make a purchase using any link to eBay on this page]
Post# 44965   9/12/2004 at 23:08 (7,161 days old) by Tbolt25 (Kentucky)        

I am a washing machine nut, and I am very curious about these 1970's GM-Frigidaire 1/18's and Jet Action 16's, as I've NEVER had a chance to see any of these classic machines operate!I wished there was someone out there with a video of a 1/18 or a Jet Action 16 in operation and before I even discovered this web site, I used to think that Frigidaire up-and-down action washers agitated up and down at about the speed of a jackhammer!I'm also curious if the 1/18 and the Jet Action 16 had two different types of jet cone agitators. I would like all the information I could get on this type of washer, hopefully some videos of these machines in operation and some pictures of them

Post# 44966 , Reply# 1   9/12/2004 at 23:54 (7,161 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
I have a video clip of a 1-18 running. Fairly large load, full water level. The turnover is kinda slow, took it a while to get going. The filter flow is much less than I expected, kind of a dribbble, really. The drain pump flow rate is also slow, takes it a long time to get up to full spin speed
Quite an interesting machine.

Post# 44967 , Reply# 2   9/13/2004 at 00:27 (7,161 days old) by Tbolt25 (Kentucky)        
Where is this 1/18 video?

Where is this 1/18 video, I don't see any links to it or even know how to get access to it.

Post# 44984 , Reply# 3   9/13/2004 at 09:06 (7,160 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        
Did you see this?

unimatic1140's profile picture
There are pictures of a 1/18 running in the "Vintage Fun Stuff" section under the Frigidaire heading, you can acesss Vintage Fun Stuff from the home page. Here is one of the pictures

Post# 44996 , Reply# 4   9/13/2004 at 13:10 (7,160 days old) by Tbolt25 (Kentucky)        
I meant a moving video of a 1/18 running.

I meant to say I wanted a moving video of a 1/18 running, not a still picture of one, so I can hear the sounds, and watch how fast it pulsates and everything.

Post# 45000 , Reply# 5   9/13/2004 at 14:02 (7,160 days old) by PeterH770 (Marietta, GA)        

peterh770's profile picture
Unimatic: Do you still have the vid of the turquaz Jet-Action you sold on eBay a while ago?

Post# 45005 , Reply# 6   9/13/2004 at 14:51 (7,160 days old) by jasonl (Cookeville, TN)        
Video of 1-18

I have video of a 73 1-18 (Tcox's) and a skinny minnie as well. Robert, maybe I can upload to your server some kind of way and we can post it on "See It Wash".

Post# 45013 , Reply# 7   9/13/2004 at 17:23 (7,160 days old) by Tbolt25 (Kentucky)        
That sounds like a good idea.

That sounds like a good idea, please do that.

Post# 45021 , Reply# 8   9/13/2004 at 18:52 (7,160 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
Hi Peter, I don't know what happened to those videos, I will have to check and see if they are on my old computer sometime, but they are not a 1/18 they are from a '65 Rollermatic
Jason, try emailing me your skinny-mini video at Lets see if I can get it via email.

Post# 45030 , Reply# 9   9/13/2004 at 20:11 (7,160 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        
up and down jackhammer

T-Bolt 25 Did you check out the see it wash section, now i believe thats a unimatic. Our local New Orleans member and friend tcox has some frigidaires, both the perforated basket and solid basket.. By the way Jason and Todd are you battened down for Ivan? I hope all is well alr2903

Post# 45043 , Reply# 10   9/13/2004 at 22:09 (7,160 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture
Art, I guess I"m missing something here with Ivan the Terrible. Heard only reference to panhandle of Fla all the way to Louisiana, wasn't sure NO was included--terrible with geography. So, Todd, pack up the washer shed in a u-haul, the kitties, and come on over to Central Texas, I mean, Houston could feel effects too. And I want y'all safe & dry, oh and also the people, not just the washers & dryers.

Post# 45045 , Reply# 11   9/13/2004 at 23:13 (7,160 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        
up and down jack hammer

Sure todd has those Frigidaires up on blocks, his laundry shed he had built is much higher than the house, like up 2 steps. He has some very nice machines, and we all hope Ivan stays away. Bob they have about driven us crazy with the path on this storm east west east west. Damn were off topic e-mail me soon bob

Post# 45059 , Reply# 12   9/14/2004 at 07:09 (7,159 days old) by westytoploader ()        

I'm hoping everybody in Louisiana stays safe and keeps their machines safe as well. I just heard on the news last night that New Orleans was starting to feel the "effects" of Ivan and saw many people boarding up windows, stocking up on supplies, etc
Hey, if it gets bad, just pack up your machines in a large U-Haul and drive to Texas...

Post# 45072 , Reply# 13   9/14/2004 at 10:35 (7,159 days old) by PeterH770 (Marietta, GA)        
videos found

peterh770's profile picture
I had the video clips on my computer. I have sent them to Robert to add to the site.

Post# 45073 , Reply# 14   9/14/2004 at 10:43 (7,159 days old) by tcox6912 ()        
Saving Washers from Ivan

Hi guys! The machines are about as high and as safe as I can get them. My house would flood before the laundry studio would ever take on water. Hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. We will most likely head to Houston as it stands now. Bob, I will chat with you via cell phone. Thanks, guys, for your concern ... hadn't had a hurricane scare like this in a few years! Take care. Todd

Post# 45109 , Reply# 15   9/14/2004 at 18:07 (7,159 days old) by westytoploader ()        

Todd, if you do plan on going to Houston, email me sometime. I live about 50 miles from there. Also, any other Louisiana people going to Houston as well?

Post# 45115 , Reply# 16   9/14/2004 at 19:34 (7,159 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        
See It Wash

unimatic1140's profile picture
I added those rollermatic videos that Peter sent (thanks Peter) as well as the Frigidaire Skinny-Mini video that JasonL took to the See It Wash section, which can be reached from our home page. Be sure to right click and save these videos to your hard drive before you view them as the video server seems really sluggish lately, I'm averaging about 8-12KB/sec which is unusually slow.

Post# 45129 , Reply# 17   9/14/2004 at 22:58 (7,159 days old) by tbolt25 (Kentucky)        
agitation like a jackhammer

And all these years I thought that GM-Frigidaire washers agitated up-and-down about like the speed of a jackhammer vibrating up and down!

Post# 45143 , Reply# 18   9/15/2004 at 07:37 (7,158 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture
Well tbolt25, the pulsamatic frigidaires, sold during 55, 56, and 57 model years, did pulsate a nerly 600 ppm or so. It did sound like a jackhammer, one of the many reasons why my howling laugh resonated from the basement to the attic of robert's house in Minnie, 2001.

Post# 45175 , Reply# 19   9/15/2004 at 20:26 (7,158 days old) by westytoploader ()        

LOVE the Rollermatic videos! Great turnover in the rinse, but I was surprised that the tub didn't take off like the Unimatic when the spin started. Would I like to find one of these; WOW!
Robert, how long ago did you have this machine, and was it a Rapidry model?

Post# 45176 , Reply# 20   9/15/2004 at 20:51 (7,158 days old) by 48bencix (Sacramento CA)        

So, I have a dumb question. Are the 1-18's rollermatic's and if not what was the mechanism in these washers?

Post# 45179 , Reply# 21   9/15/2004 at 21:53 (7,158 days old) by jmirawm (Barling Arkansas)        
The command module agitator ??

The agitator in the rollermatic looks very similar to the Command module of the Apollo spacecraft. Those missions ran from 1962 to 1973. What a glorious time it was to be growing up.

Post# 45183 , Reply# 22   9/15/2004 at 22:25 (7,158 days old) by westytoploader ()        

"The filter flow is much less than I expected, kind of a dribble, really. The drain pump flow rate is also slow, takes it a long time to get up to full spin speed."
A GE Filter-Flo from the 1980's has the strongest recirculation flow I've seen; is the 1-18 weak compared to that? And yes, I watched the Rollermatic videos and it seemed 5 times slower than the Unimatic to reach full spin, which really surprised me. I wonder if GM Frigidaires just don't have strong pumps?

Post# 45188 , Reply# 23   9/16/2004 at 00:31 (7,158 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        
Frigidaire Pumps

gansky1's profile picture
The 1-18 is a variation of the Rollermatic mechanism used in the 60's solid tub machines. Probably to make more room for the larger, perforated tub, the motor was mounted differently and a belt used to transfer power to the shaft that drives the rollers & pump
Typically the Frigidaires have "average" pumping capability for draining, the unimatic pumps were a little weaker than later models but since the pump was operating anytime the motor was running at full speed, there was plenty of time to pump away the water in the outer tub. The additional weight of the water at the beginning of the spin cycles in solid tub machines also provided some ballast in the critical balancing stages of spin. It doesn't take too many RPM's to throw the water from a solid tub, the Frigidaires were usually fairly quick to get the water into the outer tub. Other solid tub washers, like the Maytag AMP were comparatively very slow.
The 1-18's have a strong drain pump in them, in part because the two speed models started the spin-drain in low speed and then switched to high speed after a couple of minutes. The 1-18 recirculation was a lower flow rate, the lint filters were meager at best anyway, quickly clogged with even a moderately linty load. My Westinghouse top-loader is the same way, filter pan is constantly clogged, but sometimes it's only about the beauty, style and drama rather than actual function ;-)

Post# 45218 , Reply# 24   9/16/2004 at 20:40 (7,157 days old) by petebldg9 ()        
Jet Cone Agitator

My grandparents had the machine shown in Robert's 9/13 post. Only the tub and agitator were visible in the post, so I don't know if it is the exact model. They had it in the '70s. I think this specific agitator was called a "Jet Cone". To say it ran at jackhammer speed is a bit too fast. I do remember the lint filter dribbling with water - it was definitely not a fast flow
What was interesting is the dispenser under the cap. It was a removable plastic unit of about 10 inches, which fit in the center of the agitator. The top portion consisted of a funnel which emptied into the bottom cup. A spring was attached to the bottom. My grandmother never used it because she said it didn't work well. However, she let me pour her Dash into it a few times. Some bubbles formed very gradually in the wash water. Looking back, I'm not sure this was meant for detergent. It would have had to rely on the bouncing action to dispense the powder into the water - which, because of its design, didn't seem very easy (especially with the intense steam in the machine)
Robert, or anyone else with one of these machines, what was the intended use of the dispenser

Post# 45220 , Reply# 25   9/16/2004 at 20:57 (7,157 days old) by jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        

jetcone's profile picture
That dispenser cup inside the jetcone agitator was for Liquid bleach only, if you read the manuals
IF you bought the additional rinse dispenser you threw out your agitator cap and put that on top of the bleach dispenser
So when loading you first unscrewed and removed the rinse dispenser , the bleach cup , then you poured your liquid or powder detergent down the center post for maximum instant dispersion at agitate, then you filled your bleach cup to the markings in the side and carefully put that back in the center post, then you locked the rinse dispenser ontop, flicked the lid off of that and added your diluted rinse softener and locked the lid back down. It was sort of like loading a "big washer bomb" that would attack the clothes at the right moment thru the entire wash & rinse cycles
Very dramatic and very effective. I love the 1-18's they were amazing machines all the way around. They had the BEST snubbing ever invented in the industry hands down! Too bad their inventor was such a snit and refused to tell his story of development of that machine but that is his problem not ours
jetcone who does not proo

Post# 45222 , Reply# 26   9/16/2004 at 21:01 (7,157 days old) by tcox6912 ()        
jet cone agitator ... detergent dispenser

The detergent cup is one of my favorite parts of the Frigidaire machines ... the up and down action quickly forces water to mix into the cup of detergent and then it is distributed through the tub. This is what really kicks up the suds!!! Somewhere along the line, the cup to my mom's got lost ... she would just pour her powdered detergent down the middle of the agitator anyway ... not quite as fun.

Post# 45499 , Reply# 27   9/21/2004 at 00:16 (7,153 days old) by pturo (Syracuse, New York)        
MY 1-18

I have a poppy red 1-18 that does drain on two speeds, as mentioned above. I would agree that the lint filter gets clogged rather easily, but if it were perfectly clear, it would not be doing it's job, would it? The lint filter is a bitch to clean, so I purchased another for when I have to do several loads, and take the other one up to the kitchen to clean with a toothpick. All said, I love the machine!! Big, noisy,classy, sexy, and plenty of muscle, how many things can you say that about?

Post# 45595 , Reply# 28   9/22/2004 at 15:48 (7,151 days old) by partycycle ()        

1970, I-18 single speed (more on that later). My late Mom was “challenged” with regard to clothes washing. I came home and saw I-18 running. Cautiously lifted the lid. To my surprise there was a loaf of “Wonder” bread bouncing up/down a top the full load! Proceeded with caution as I inquired to my Mom as to why she was machine washing this? Weeks passed as I tried to figure this out. Also, was this a cycle that I was not aware of. Turns out that she had just returned from the grocery. Rushing, struggling with arm full of bags closed the lid and started I-18 enroot to the kitchen. That is when the loaf of “Wonder” bread must have fallen in.

Back to single speed. That machine had variable water level. However, with just one speed agitation. It was impossible to use level lower than “normal”. The I-18 would walk out of the mud room into the backyard. Next year my family moved. New 1971, I-18 had 2 speeds. Much better. Now it was possible to use smaller load setting and gentle agitation successfully. I-18 stopped walking about and performed like non other. Those were terrific washers.

Learned a secret when washing men’s dress shirts. Button the shirt up completely and then button the cuffs of each sleeve to the front of the shirt. Otherwise the shirts and other items came out in an enormous knot.

Also learned another trick due to washer / dryer immense capacity. When washing fitted bed sheets. Before placing in tumble dryer. Fold fitted sheet in half; 2 corners into one another then clip with clothes pin. Place 2 more clothes pins between the 2 clipped corners. Numerous fitted sheets and other small items dried successfully. No annoying surprises of t-shirts/socks not dried that had gotten into corners of fitted sheets.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy