Visit Our Friendly Website
Ads by Adsterra

How manual gearboxes work

Internal-combustion engines run at high speeds,
So a reduction in gearing is necessary to transmit power to the drive wheels,
Which turn much more slowly.

The gearbox provides a selection of gears for different driving conditions,
Standing start, climbing a hill, or cruising on level surfaces.
The lower the gear, the slower the road wheels turn concerning the engine speed.

The constant-mesh gearbox

The gearbox is the second stage in the transmission system,
After the clutch. It is usually bolted to the rear of the engine,
With the clutch between them.

Modern cars with manual transmissions have four or five forward speeds,
And one reverse, as well as a neutral position.

Synchromesh disengaged

Synchromesh disengaged

The gear turns freely on a bush,
Rotated by a meshing gear on the layshaft.
The synchromesh unit, Splined the main shaft, rests nearby.

Synchromesh engaged

Synchromesh engaged

The fork moves the synchromesh towards the selected gear.
Friction surfaces synchronize the shaft speeds,
And synchromesh and gear lock together.

The gear lever, operated by the driver,
It is connected to a series of selector rods on the top or side of the gearbox.
The selector rods lie parallel with shafts carrying the gears.

The most popular design is the constant-mesh gearbox. It has three shafts.
The input shaft, the layshaft, and the main shaft,
Which run in bearings in the gearbox casing.

There is also a shaft on which the reverse-gear idler pinion rotates.

The engine drives the input shaft, which drives the layshaft.
The layshaft rotates the gears on the main shaft,
But these rotate freely until they are locked appropriating the synchromesh device,
Which is splined to the shaft?

It is the synchromesh device which is operated by the driver,
Through a selector rod with a fork on it which moves the,
Synchromesh to engage the gear.

The baulk ring, a delaying device in the synchromesh,
It is the final refinement in the modern gearbox.
It prevents the engagement of gear until the shaft speeds are synchronized.

On some cars, an additional gear, called overdrive, is fitted. It is higher than top gear and so gives economic driving at cruising speeds.

Constant-mesh four-speed gearbox

Constant-mesh four-speed gearbox

The gears are selected by a system of rods and levers operated by the gear lever.
Drive is transmitted through the input shaft to the layshaft and then to the mainshaft,
Except in direct drive – top gear – when the input shaft and the,
Mainshaft are locked together.

How gear ratios work

Synchronizing the gears

The synchromesh device is a ring with teeth on the inside,
That is mounted on a toothed hub which is splined to the shaft.

When the driver selects a gear, matching cone-shaped friction
Surfaces on the hub and the gear transmit drive,
From the turning gear through the hub to the shaft,
Synchronizing the speeds of the two shafts.

With further movement of the gear lever,
The ring moves along the hub for a short distance,
Until its teeth mesh with beveled dog teeth on the side of the gear,
So that splined hub and gear are locked together.

Modern designs also include a baulk ring, Interposed between the friction surfaces.
The baulk ring also has dog teeth; it is made of softer metal and
Is a looser fit on the shaft than the hub.

The baulk ring must be located precisely on the side of the hub,
Through lugs or ‘fingers’, before its teeth will line up with those on the ring.

In the time it takes to locate itself, The speeds of the shafts have been synchronized, So that the driver cannot make any teeth clash,
And the synchromesh is said to be ‘unbeatable’.

Also read

How car heating and ventilation systems work

What are Main Components of Gear Box?

Learn more about Air Filter

Ekster EU


  1. um67Zffdz December 17, 2019 Reply
    • The EngineerAuthor December 17, 2019 Reply
  2. claudiaradke February 14, 2020 Reply

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *