4 Different Types of Gearbox Used In Vehicles [2019] | The Engineers Post

Four Different Types of Gearbox That Are Used In Modern Vehicles

types of gearbox

The word “transmission” is used for a device that is located between the clutch and the propeller shaft. It may be a gearbox, a torque converter, overdrive, fluid drive or hydraulic drive. In this post, we will describe types of gearbox in details.

Types of Gearbox

The following are four different types of gearboxes and how they are commonly used.

  • Sliding mesh gearbox
  • Constant mesh gearbox
  • Synchromesh gearbox
  • Epicyclic gearbox

Purpose of Transmission

The purpose of the transmission is to provide high torque at the time of starting, hill climbing, accelerating and pulling a load. When a vehicle is starting from rest, hill climbing, accelerating and meeting other resistance, high torque is required at the driving wheels.

Hence a device must be provided to permit the engine crankshaft to revolve a relatively high speed, while the wheels turn at slower speeds. This is enclosed in a metal box called gearbox. The vehicle speed is also changed with the help of the transmission keeping the engine speed same with a certain limit.

Sliding Mesh Gear Box

It is the simplest type of gearbox. The arrangement of gears is in a neutral position. The gear housing and bearing are not shown. The clutch gear is fixed to the clutch shaft. It remains always connected to the drive gear of the counter-shaft.

Sliding Mesh Gear Box

Three other gears like first speed, second speed and reverse speed gear are also rigidly fixed to the countershaft or also known as layshaft. Two gears mounted on the splined main shaft which can be slided by the shifter yoke when the shaft lever is operated.

The gears are connected to the corresponding gears of the countershaft. A reverse idler gear is fixed on another shaft and remain connected to the reverse gear of the countershaft.

Gear is neutral

In this position of the gear, the engine power is not transmitted to the gear axle. When the gear is in neutral the clutch gear is transmitting the power to gear on the countershaft and the countershaft further not transmitting line power to main shaft. Therefore the output of the gearbox is disconnected with input for the gearbox.

Remember that in a neutral position, just the clutch shaft gear is engaged to the countershaft gear. Other gears are free, and therefore the transmission main shaft is not rotating.

First or low-speed gear

First or low-speed gear, by operating the gear shift lever, the larger gear on the main shaft is moved along the shaft to mesh with the first gear of the countershaft.

In this, the main shaft and the clutch shaft both rotate in the same direction. Since the smaller countershaft gear is engaged with the larger main shaft gear, a gear reduction of approximately 3:1 is obtained.

That is, the clutch shaft turns three times for each revolution of the main shaft. Besides gear reduction in the differential at the rear wheels creates a higher gear ratio, about 12:1 between the wheels and the engine crankshaft.

Second speed gear

Second speed gear. By operating the gear shift lever, the larger gear of the main shaft is disengaged from the first gear of the countershaft and then the smaller gear of the main shaft meshes with the second gear of the countershaft. 

In second speed gear, the main shaft and the clutch shaft rotates in the same direction. A gear reduction of approximately 2:1 is obtained. The differential gear reduction increases this gear ratio to about 8:1.

Third top or high-speed gear

Third top or high-speed gear. By operating the crankshaft lever, the second gears of the main shaft and countershaft are disengaged, and then the second and top gear of the main shaft is forced axially against the clutch shaft gear.

The external teeth of clutch shaft gear mesh with the internal teeth in the second gear and top gear. The main shaft turns with the clutch shaft and a gear ratio of 1:1 is obtained. The differential reduction produces a gear ratio of about 4:1 between the engine crankshaft and the wheels.

Reverse Gear

Reverse gear, by operating the crankshaft lever, the larger gear of the main shaft meshes with the reverse idler gear. The reverse idler gear is always in mesh with the countershaft reverse gear.

Interposing the idler gear between the countershaft reverse gear and main shaft bigger gear, the main shaft turns in the direction opposite to that of the clutch shaft. This changes the rotation of the wheels from forward to backward so that the vehicle backs.

Constant Mesh Gear Box

In this type of gearbox, all the gears of the main shaft are in constant mesh with the corresponding gears of the countershaft (layshaft). As the figure shows sliding two dog clutches are provided on the main shaft. The one sliding dog clutch is placed in between the clutch gear and the second gear, and the other is placed in between the first gear and reverse gear. All gears are free on the splined main shaft.

Dog clutch slides on the main shaft to rotates with it.  All the gears on the countershaft are fixed with it. When the left-hand dog clutch is made to slide to the left through the gearshift lever, it meshes with the clutch gear and the top speed gear is achieved. 

When the left-hand log clutch meshes with the second gear, the second speed gear is obtained. Likewise, by sliding the right-hand dog clutch to the left and right, the first gear and reverse gear are obtained.

In this type of the gearbox, all the gears are in constant mesh, they are safe from being damaged and unpleasant grinding sound does not occur while engaging and disengaging them.

Full notes on constant mesh gearbox

Synchromesh Gear Box

The modern cars use helical gears and synchromesh devices in the gearboxes, that synchronize the rotation of gears that are about to mesh. This eliminates clashing of the gears and makes gear shifting easier.

The synchromesh gearbox is similar to the constant mesh gearbox. The synchromesh gearbox is provided with a synchromesh device by which the two gears to be engaged are first taken into frictional contact which adjusts their speed after which they are engaged easily. In most of the vehicles, the synchromesh devices are not fitted to all the gears. They are fitted only on the top gears.

Reverse gear, and in some case the first gear, do not have synchromesh devices. Because they are intended to be engaged when the vehicle is stationary. When the gear lever is moved the synchromesh cone meets with a similar cone on the pinion.

Due to friction the rotating pinion is, made to rotate at the same speed as the synchromesh unit. To give a positive drive further movement of the gear lever enables the coupling to override several springs loaded balls and the coupling engages with the dogs on the ride of the pinion.

Since both pinion and synchromesh units are moving at the same speed, this engagement is necessary before engaging the dog teeth so that the cones have a chance to bring the synchronizer and pinion to the same speed.

Synchromesh gearbox slides

Epicyclic Gear Box

In an ordinary gearing, the axes of the various gears are fixed, the motion of the gears being simply rotations about their own axes. In epicyclic gearing, at least one gear not only rotates, about its own axis but also rotates bodily about some other axis.

This type of gearbox is the most widely used automatic transmission system. In an automatic transmission system, there is only accelerator and brake will be provided. So there will not be any clutch pedal or gear lever available on the vehicle.

Construction of epicyclic gearbox: It has epicyclic gear arrangement. As the figure shows the front view and side view of the gearbox. In this gearbox, it has three gears sun gear, planet gear and ring gear. The sun gear is mounted on the sun gear shaft. The planet gear is mounted on the planet carrier and the ring gear is mounted on planet carrier shaft.

The ring gear has the internal gears which are meshes with planet gear to rotate with it. In epicyclic gearbox it arrangement of locking gear. If one gear is locked remaining two gear will be act as input and output. For example, if the sun gear is locked the ring gear and planet gear act as input and output members.

This typical arrangement will be available of locking the gear at the same time and taking the output power from anyone gear and giving the power input to any gear so such kind of arrangement will be available.

So by locking anyone gear, we can get a very different speed. The speciality of this particular epicyclic gearbox is we can achieve the wider variety of variation in the speed.

Thank you for reading

That’s it. If you have any question on types of gearbox leave a comment. Share this information with your friends. Subscribe to our newsletter by clicking below on “notify me about new posts”.

Get instant help on engineering topics Join our Facebook group.

Read more on this blog:


Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.