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Reverse Gears: Functions and the Evolution of New Technology


Gears are an integral component of most mechanical devices that are in use today. Gears have wide ranging functions, but they are used for transmitting motion between two shafts. Moreover, they provide torque to a device that a fast spinning small motor cannot provide. Another important feature of gears is that they give direction to the process of rotation. This article provides information about just these types of gears, specifically reverse gears.

A pair of gears, one present on the counter shaft and the other on the output shaft are used to implement the process of ‘reverse’. As opposed to forward gears that are meshed together, there is some amount of space between the reverse gears. Another point of differentiation from forward gears is that reverse gears are joined to their shafts. There is no free rotation around the shaft. There might develop a scenario when a small gear that is known as the reverse idler is slid between the two gears. The function of this gear also called the idler gear is to mesh the two gears together. This enables it to change the direction of the rotation, but it does not hamper the gear ration in any way.

The method of working of reverse gears is not as complex as it seems. When the reverse gear is selected, the gear teeth of these gears are meshed. There is absolutely no aid from the mechanism that seeks to synchronize these gears. This is one of the primary reasons why the output shaft must now move, once a reverse is selected. That mean a car must be stopped when you want to select the reverse gear. Many automobiles have a mechanism wherein the input shaft also stops spinning when reverse gears are selected. This decreases the grinding that accompanies the selection of reverse when there is an inertial spinning of the input shaft.

Car companies do not necessarily uses the same reverse technologies across all makes. Advanced technologies make possible the use of sophisticated reverse gears in modern cars. Of course, these cars come with a hefty price tag. But, more often than not a mechanism is used which stop the transmission of the input shaft. If this is not done the vehicle produces a whining sound. This is why all car manufacturers use the idler that, as aforementioned, can be inserted between the two gears. This procedure reduces the accompanying noise to a great extent and in the service manual of many companies; you can find a mention of this system as a “noise reduction system”.

A new kind of reverse technology has entered the market in the recent times, called ‘spur reverse technology’. This technology has made a few improvements to the one that have been listed above. But, it has compromised on a few aspects like, robustness, engagements, and noise. But it has found acceptability because there is limited driving that takes place in reverse.

Submitted by:

Trish Dougherty

Trish Dougherty is the author for - http://www.sterndrive.info , Get more information on reverse gears - http://www.sterndrive.info







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