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Automatic Transmission System

Automatic Transmission System

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Published by Mamesh Mathankar

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Published by: Mamesh Mathankar on Oct 07, 2011
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Automatic transmission system

Automatic transmission system shifts the gears without assistance from the driver. They start the car moving in first and then shift into higher gears as the car speed increases and engine load decreases. The shifts are produced by hydraulic pressure acting through the transmission fluid. The control system takes into account the engine load and in general produce changes up when the engine load is light and changes down when the engine load is heavy. The main components that make up an automatic transmission include:

The Torque Converter: This acts like a clutch to allow the vehicle to

come to a stop in gear while the engine is still running.

Planetary Gear Sets: They are the mechanical systems that provide

the various forward gear ratios as well as reverse.

The Hydraulic System: It uses a special transmission fluid sent under

pressure to control the transmission


Automatic transmission system

2.1 INTRODUCTION: On transmissions, automatic the torque

converter takes the place of the clutch found on standard shift vehicles. It is there to allow the engine to continue running when the vehicle comes to a stop.

2.2 CONSTRUCTION: A torque converter is a large doughnut shaped device that is mounted between the engine and the transmission. As shown in the fig.1, there are four components inside the very strong housing of the torque converter: • • • • Impeller or pump (driving element) Turbine (driven element) Stator (reaction member) The one way clutch


The pump has many curved vanes. This is shown in fig. the vanes are curved to reverse the direction of flow. The fluid then enters the blades of the turbine. has to change direction before it exits the center of the turbine. a vacuum is created that draws more fluid in at the center. The pump inside the torque converter is a type of centrifugal pump. It is this directional change that causes the turbine to spin.Automatic transmission system The housing of the torque converter is bolted to the flywheel of the engine. which enters the turbine from the outside. so it also turns at the same speed as the engine. which form passages for the fluid to flow through. fluid is flung to the outside due to centrifugal force. To get maximum force on the turbine vanes when the moving fluid strikes them. The turbine is inside the housing and is connected directly to the input shaft of the transmission providing power to move the vehicle. along with an inner ring. The stator is mounted on a one-way clutch so that it can spin freely in one direction but not in the other. it would slow the engine down. Its job is to redirect the fluid returning from the turbine before it hits the pump 3 . the fluid. The stator resides in the very center of the torque converter. 2. 2. If the fluid were allowed to hit the pump. Since the blades of the turbine are curved. so it turns at whatever speed the engine is running at. The fluid exits the turbine moving opposite the direction that the pump (and engine) is turning.3 WORKING: As the pump spins. wasting power. The pump of the torque converter is attached to the housing. As fluid is flung to the outside.

Because of the one-way clutch. 2. the fluid exit the turbine in the same direction as the pump is turning. The efficiency can be increased. causing the stator to freewheel on its one-way clutch so it doesn't hinder the fluid moving through it. the fluid actually strikes the back sides of the stator blades.5 TORQUE CONVERTER EFFICIENCY: It is seen that the efficiency of the torque converter is reasonably good at only narrow range of turbine speeds. so the stator is not needed. All three now elements begin to turn at approximately the same speed. 2.Automatic transmission system again.6 THE LOCKUP IN TORQUE CONVERTER (DIRECT DRIVE): 4 . At these speeds. by substituting a direct drive for the torque converter at higher speeds. the stator cannot spin with the fluid (it can spin only in the opposite direction). forcing the fluid to change direction as it hits the stator blades. The fall-off of efficiency at low speed end of the range can be tolerated because those speeds are used for short periods. But the fall-off of efficiency at high speeds cannot be tolerated and must be circumvented.4 FLUID COUPLING PHASE: As the speed of the turbine catches up with the pump. 2. The stator has a very aggressive blade design that almost completely reverses the direction of the fluid.

in effect bypassing the torque converter and giving a direct drive. It remains this way until the vehicle slows below 50 kph. there is always a little slippage. This metal pin locks the turbine to the pump. To increase efficiency and mileage. It works like this. 5 . at which point the clutch piston disengages and the torque converter kicks in again. the highly pressurized transmission fluid is channeled through the transmission shaft and activates a clutch piston. most modern automatic transmissions also have something called a lockup clutch. As the two speed of the car reaches 50 to 60 kph. running from about 2-8%.Automatic transmission system Because the only connection between two sides of a torque converter is a fluid connection.

3 The basic planetary gear set as shown in fig. Following table shows the different gear ratios possible: Input Sun (S) Planet Carrier (C) Sun (S) Output Planet Carrier (C) Ring (R) Ring (R) Stationary Ring (R) Sun (S) Planet Carrier (C) Gear Ratio 1 + R/S 1 / (1 + S/R) -R/S 6 . Each of these three components can be the input. a ring gear and two or more planet gears. Choosing which piece plays which role determines the gear ratio for the gear set. the output or can be held stationary. 3 consists of a sun gear.Automatic transmission system 3. all remaining in constant mesh. The planet gears are connected to each other through a common carrier. SIMPLE PLANETARY GEAR SET fig.

4 shows the exploded view of the compound planetary gear set.3 GEAR RATIOS: 7 .1 INTRODUCTION: The compound planetary gear set looks like a simple planetary gear set but actually behaves like two planetary gear sets combined.Automatic transmission system 4.2 CONSTRUCTION: Fig. 4. COMPOUND PLANETARY GEAR SET 4. Otherwise certain combination of tooth numbers cannot be assembled because of need of equal spacing on the planets. the sum of number of teeth on sun gear and ring gear divided by the number of planets must be a whole number. The fig. it engages the other planet. In such gear sets. The planet on the right sits lower than the planet on the left. 5 shows the planets in the planet carrier. It has one ring gear that is always the output of the transmission. The shorter gears are engaged only by the smaller sun gear. 4. Only the planet on the left engages the ring gear. The planet on the right does not engage the ring gear. but it has two sun gears and two sets of planets. The longer planets are engaged by the bigger sun gear and by the smaller planets.

with the sun as 8 . But the output direction is really the same as the input direction. The first set of planets engages the second set. the ring gear (large sun gear) is held stationary by the band. the bigger sun gear is free to spin in the opposite direction of the turbine (counterclockwise). and the ring (the larger sun gear).Automatic transmission system Consider a planetary gear set with ring gear having 72 teeth the smaller sun gear having 30 teeth and the larger sun gear having 36 teeth. the planet carrier. First Gear: In first gear. Referring to table 1. and the second set turns the ring gear.4:1.4:1 So the rotation is negative 2.72/30 = -2. the smaller sun gear is driven clockwise by the turbine in the torque converter. So the first stage consists of the sun (the smaller sun gear). Second Gear: This acts like two planetary gear sets connected to each other with a common planet carrier. but is held still by the one-way clutch (which only allows rotation in the clockwise direction) and the ring gear turns the output. this combination reverses the direction. but because that clutch is released. The first stage of the planet carrier actually uses the larger sun gear as the ring gear. The input is the small sun gear. The planet carrier tries to spin counterclockwise. For this stage. This would also cause the bigger sun gear to spin. the gear ratio is: -R/S = . and the output is the planet carrier. This is due to the two sets of planets.

At the second stage. referring to table 1 the gear ratio is: 1 + R/S = 1 + 36/30 = 2. If both sun gears turn in the same direction. an overdrive has a faster output speed than input speed. the planet carrier acts as the input for the second planetary gear set. The small sun gear 9 . to get a 1. Third Gear: Most automatic transmissions have a 1:1 ratio in third gear. so referring to table 1. Overdrive: By definition. the gear ratio is: 1 / (1 + S/R) = 1 / (1 + 36/72) = 0.67:1 To get the overall reduction for second gear. This locks the ring gear to the planets and causes everything to spin as a unit.2:1 The planet carrier turns 2.47:1 reduction. planet carrier as output. we multiply the first stage by the second. and the ring gear acts as the output. producing a 1:1 ratio. the larger sun gear (which is held stationary) acts as the sun. 2. It's a speed increase. When overdrive is engaged. a shaft that is attached to the housing of the torque converter (which is bolted to the flywheel of the engine) is connected by clutch to the planet carrier. the planet gears lockup because they can only spin in opposite directions.2 times for each rotation of the sun gear.67.2 x 0. and the ring gear fixed. All we have to do is engage the clutches that lock each of the sun gears to the turbine.Automatic transmission system input.

the only input comes from the converter housing. the sun gear fixed and the ring gear for output. So.Automatic transmission system freewheels. throttle valve. Other major components are the governor. the bigger sun gear is driven. Nothing is connected to the turbine. referring to table 1 the gear ratio is: 1 / (1 + S/R) = 1 / (1 + 36/72) = 0.67:1 Reverse: Reverse is very similar to first gear. and the larger sun gear is held by the overdrive band. 10 .1 INTRODUCTION: The hydraulic system provides the pressurized fluid to operate an automatic transmission. and the small one freewheels in the opposite direction. except that instead of the small sun gear being driven by the torque converter turbine. 5. HYDRAULIC SYSTEM 5. modulator and the valve body.0:1 So the ratio in reverse is a little less than first gear. Major components of the hydraulic system include the bands. the gear ratio is: -R/S = -72/36 = -2. referring to table 1. clutches and oil pump. With the planet carrier for input. The planet carrier is held by the reverse band to the housing.

2 FUNCTIONS OF THE HYDRAULIC SYSTEM: The effective operation of an automatic transmission relies upon a hydraulic control system to actuate the gear changes relative to vehicle’s road speed and acceleration pedal demands with engine delivering power. Directs pressurized fluid to the bands and clutches. The system performs the following functions. and cooler tank.3 TRANSMISSION FLUID: Trasmission fluid serves a number of purposes including: • • • Shift control. This is not unlike the human circulatory system where even a few minutes of operation when there is a lack of pressure can be harmful or even fatal to the life of the transmission. torque converter.Automatic transmission system 5. In fact. 5. every aspect of a transmission's functions is dependant on a constant supply of fluid under pressure. which uses oil primarily for lubrication. A typical transmission has an average of ten litres of fluid between the transmission. most of the components of a transmission are constantly submerged in 11 . Unlike the engine. General lubrication Transmission cooling. Lubricates the internal parts. • • • Supplies fluid to the torque converter.

The hydraulic 12 . 6. Fluid passing through this chamber is cooled and then returned to the transmission through the other steel tube. PARTS OF THE HYDRAULIC SYSTEM 6. The clutches connect different members to be driven and the bands hold the required member stationary. lots of things have to be connected and disconnected. The friction surfaces on these parts are designed to operate properly only when they are submerged in oil.Automatic transmission system fluid including the clutch packs and bands.1 INTRODUCTION: For the change of gears. The hydraulic system controls which clutches and bands are energized at any given moment.4 COOLING THE TRANSMISSION FLUID: In order to keep the transmission at normal operating temperature. 5. a portion of the fluid is sent through one of two steel tubes to a special chamber that is submerged in the radiator.

2 CLUTCHES: A clutch consists of alternating disks that fit inside a clutch drum. One end of the band is anchored against the transmission case while the other end is connected to a servo. At 13 . 7 shows the band and its servo. As shown in fig. half of the disks are steel and have splines that lock on the inside of the drum.Automatic transmission system system receives information from the governor and throttle cable or vacuum modulator. 6. There is a piston inside the drum that is activated by oil pressure at the appropriate time to squeeze the clutch pack together so that the two components become locked and turn as one. 6. 6. The other half have a friction material bonded to their surface and have splines on the inside edge that lock onto one of the gears. Fig.3 BANDS: A band is a steel strap with friction material bonded to the inside surface.

6. Since the torque converter housing is directly connected to the engine crankshaft. The gear pump is responsible for producing all the oil pressure that is required in the transmission. To overcome these 14 . Therefore the fluid pressure generated by the pump.Automatic transmission system the appropriate time hydraulic oil is sent to the servo under pressure to tighten the band around the drum to stop it from turning. thus locking that part of the gear train to the casing. as required. under pressure to the pressure regulator. The oil is then sent. the valve body and the rest of the components.5 PRESSURE REGULATOR: The pump’s output pressure will increase roughly in proportion to the engine’s speed. However.4 OIL PUMP: The automatic transmission systems use a gear pump. the pressure necessary to actuate the various valves and to energise the clutch and band servo pistons will vary under different work conditions. is unlikely to suit the many operating requirements. 6. The oil enters the pump through a filter that is located at the bottom of the transmission oil pan and travels up a pickup tube directly to the oil pump. The oil pump is mounted to the front of the transmission case and is directly connected to a flange on the torque converter housing. the pump will produce pressure whenever the engine is running as long as there is a sufficient amount of transmission fluid available.

which feeds back to the pump intake. more oil pressure is allowed past the governor to act on the shift valves that are in the valve body which then signal the appropriate shifts. It accomplishes this using centrifugal force to spin a pair of weights against pull-back springs.6 GOVERNOR: The governor tells the transmission how fast the car is moving. more fluid is passed back to the suction intake of the pump. causing the exhaust port to be uncovered. As the weights pull further out against the springs.Automatic transmission system difficulties. thus regulating the fluid pressure. a pressure regulating valve is used which automatically adjusts the pump’s output pressure to match the working requirements at any one time. 6.7 THROTTLE CABLE AND VACUUM MODULATOR: Vehicle speed is not the only thing that controls when a transmission should shift. The pressure regulating valve is normally a spring-loaded spool type valve. As pump pressure builds up with rising engine speed. 6. which opposes the line pressure. To enable the line pressure to be varied to suit the operating conditions. the load that the engine is under is also important. Hence as the pump output pressure tends to rise. a throttle pressure is introduced to the spring end of the plunger. The more 15 . The governor is connected to the output shaft and regulates hydraulic pressure based on vehicle speed. line pressure is conveyed to the rear face of the plunger and will progressively move the plunger forward against a control spring.

The further the gas pedal is pressed.Automatic transmission system loads you place on the engine. The Throttle Cable simply monitors the position of the accelerator pedal through a cable that runs from the gas pedal to the throttle valve in the valve body. It contains a maze of channels and passages that direct hydraulic fluid to the numerous valves which then activate the appropriate clutch pack or band servo to smoothly shift to the appropriate gear for each driving situation. VALVE BODY 7. the more pressure is put on the throttle valve. Engine vacuum reacts very accurately to engine load with high vacuum produced when the engine is under light load and diminishing down to zero vacuum when the engine is under a heavy load. Each works in a different way to monitor engine load. The throttle valve and modulator serve the purpose of monitoring engine load. The vacuum modulator is attached to the outside of the transmission case and has a shaft which passes through the case and attaches to the throttle valve in the valve body. 7. the longer the transmission will hold a gear before shifting to the next one. Each of the 16 .1 INTRODUCTION: The valve body is the brain of the automatic transmission. A transmission will use one or the other but generally not both of these devices.

7. The valve body of the transmission contains several shift valves. If the car accelerates gently. 8 supply hydraulic pressure to the clutches and bands to engage each gear. as shown in fig. The shift valve determines when to shift from one gear to the next.Automatic transmission system many valves in the valve body has a specific purpose and is named for that function. 17 . For example the 1-2 shift valve activates the 1st gear to 2nd gear upshift. If the gear shift lever is moved in the 1st gear or 2nd gear position. The shift valve will delay a shift if the car is accelerating quickly.3 SHIFT VALVES: Shift valves. the up-shift and down-shift are inhibited by the manual valve.2 THE MANUAL VALVE: The manual valve is directly connected to the gear shift handle and covers and uncovers various passages depending on what position the gear shift is placed in. and the throttle valve on the other. The shift valve is pressurized with fluid from the governor on one side. 7. the shift will occur at a lower speed.

8. This forces the shift valve over until the first gear circuit is closed. This means that the pressure from the governor has to be higher (and therefore the vehicle speed has to be faster) before the shift valve moves over far enough to engage second gear. the pressure from the governor builds. the 2-to-3 shift valve will take over. the throttle valve applies more pressure against the shift valve.Automatic transmission system When the car accelerates gently. Each shift valve responds to a particular pressure range. When the car accelerates quickly. as car speed increases. the throttle valve does not apply much pressure against the shift valve. and the second gear circuit opens. because the pressure from the governor is high enough to trigger that valve. so when the car is going faster. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES 18 . Since the car is accelerating at light throttle.

9. especially in heavy traffic by eliminating the need to operate the clutch pedal and gear lever for starting from rest and changing gear. 2. because gear changes will occur at the theoretically correct moment in terms of road speed and throttle opening. Fuel economy of cars with automatic transmission is not very good.Automatic transmission system 8. 3. It minimizes driver fatigue. also. CONCLUSION 19 . Progress can be smoother under normal driving conditions. 8. 2.1 ADVANTAGES: 1.2 DISADVANTAGES: 1. both hands can remain on the steering wheel. Cars with automatic transmission are costlier than those having manual transmission. It contributes to safer driving because the concentration of the driver is not disturbed by the need to change gear.

• Automatic transmission system shifts the gears automatically. depending upon both. can successfully replace the clutch and the manual transmission gear box. • However in cases like. REFERENCES 20 . • The planetary gear set gives the required gear ratios and the hydraulic system controls the planetary gear set. though the load on the engine maybe nil or the engine maybe acting as a brake. descending hills. speed of vehicle and load on the engine. the human element has to be retained in control. when it is desirable to employ a lower gear.Automatic transmission system • The automatic transmission with its torque converter and planetary gear set.

“Automotive Automatic Transmissions”. www.familycar. 4. Heinz Heisler. First Published 1998..Automatic transmission system 1. www.com 6.edmunds. Sixth Edition. William H. John Fenton. “Handbook of Automotive Powertrains and Chassis Design”.com 5. Professional Engineering Publishing Ltd.com 21 .howstuffworks.. Crouse & Donald L. 2. Tata McGraw Hill Publishing Co. Second Edition 2002. “Advanced Vehicle Technology”. www. Butterworth-Heinemann Publishers. 3. 1996. Anglin.

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