You are on page 1of 22


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

Fig.1.1 cut-away

model of automatic transmission

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


On automatic transmissions, 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.
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

Fig.2.1 Torque converter
 Impeller or pump (driving element)
 Turbine (driven element)
 Stator (reaction member)
 The one way clutch


3 . The fluid exits the turbine moving opposite the direction that the pump (and engine) is turning.2 WORKING: As the pump spins. This is shown in fig. The turbine is inside the housing and is connected directly to the input shaft of the transmission providing power to move the vehicle. it would slow the engine down. It is this directional change that causes the turbine to spin. The fluid then enters the blades of the turbine.2. which enters the turbine from the outside. the stator cannot spin with the fluid (it can spin only in the opposite direction). To get maximum force on the turbine vanes when the moving fluid strikes them. wasting power. a vacuum is created that draws more fluid in at the center. The pump has many curved vanes. forcing the fluid to change direction as it hits the stator blades. the vanes are curved to reverse the direction of flow.1 If the fluid were allowed to hit the pump. which form passages for the fluid to flow through. the fluid. along with an inner ring. so it turns at whatever speed the engine is running at. so it also turns at the same speed as the engine. The stator resides in the very center of the torque converter. Its job is to redirect the fluid returning from the turbine before it hits the pump again. has to change direction before it exits the center of the turbine. As fluid is flung to the outside. The stator is mounted on a one-way clutch so that it can spin freely in one direction but not in the other. fluid is flung to the outside due to centrifugal force. Since the blades of the turbine are curved. The stator has a very aggressive blade design that almost completely reverses the direction of the fluid.The housing of the torque converter is bolted to the flywheel of the engine. Because of the one-way clutch. 2. The pump inside the torque converter is a type of centrifugal pump. The pump of the torque converter is attached to the housing.

All three now elements begin to turn at approximately the same speed. in effect bypassing the torque converter and giving a direct drive. by substituting a direct drive for the torque converter at higher speeds. The fall-off of efficiency at low speed end of the range can be tolerated because those speeds are used for short periods. the fluid exit the turbine in the same direction as the pump is turning. there is always a little slippage. This metal pin locks the turbine to the pump. The efficiency can be increased. most modern automatic transmissions also have something called a lockup clutch.4 TORQUE CONVERTER EFFICIENCY: It is seen that the efficiency of the torque converter is reasonably good at only narrow range of turbine speeds. the fluid actually strikes the back sides of the stator blades. the highly pressurized transmission fluid is channeled through the transmission shaft and activates a clutch piston. But the falloff of efficiency at high speeds cannot be tolerated and must be circumvented. running from about 2-8%. As the two speed of the car reaches 50 to 60 kph.3 FLUID COUPLING PHASE: As the speed of the turbine catches up with the pump. at which point the clutch piston disengages and the torque converter kicks in again. To increase efficiency and mileage. At these speeds. causing the stator to freewheel on its one-way clutch so it doesn't hinder the fluid moving through it. so the stator is not needed.5 THE LOCKUP IN TORQUE CONVERTER (DIRECT DRIVE): Because the only connection between two sides of a torque converter is a fluid connection. 4 . 2.2. It remains this way until the vehicle slows below 50 kph. 2. It works like this.

a ring gear and two or more planet gears. all remaining in constant mesh.3. the output or can be held stationary.4:1 5 . Choosing which piece plays which role determines the gear ratio for the gear set.3.4:1 B Planet Carrier (C) Ring (R) Sun (S) 1 / (1 + S/R) 0. Following table shows the different gear ratios possible: Input Output Stationary Calculation Gear Ratio A Sun (S) Planet Carrier (C) Ring (R) 1 + R/S 3.1 consists of a sun gear. SIMPLE PLANETARY GEAR SET Fig. The planet gears are connected to each other through a common carrier. Each of these three components can be the input.71:1 C Sun (S) Ring (R) Planet Carrier (C) -R/S -2.1 Planetary gear system The basic planetary gear set as shown in fig3.

1 From left to right: the ring gear. It has one ring gear that is always the output of the transmission.planet carrier. COMPOUND PLANETARY GEAR SET The compound planetary gear set looks like a simple planetary gear set but actually behaves like two planetary gear sets combined.1 CONSTRUCTION: Fig. 4.4. but it has two sun gears and two sets of planets.and two sun gears 6 .Table-1 Different gear ratios 4.

and 36-tooth suns OD Reverse 1. The fig.1 shows the exploded view of the compound planetary gear set.2 GEAR RATIOS : Gear Input Output Fixed Gear Ratio 1st 30-tooth sun 72-tooth ring Planet carrier 2. 4.0:1 Table-2 Gear ratios 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.4:1 30-tooth sun Planet carrier 36-tooth ring 2.2 Planet carrier: Note the two sets of planets. In such gear sets.2:1 72-tooth ring 36-tooth sun 0. Fig.4.4. 7 .0:1 Planet carrier 72-tooth ring 36-tooth sun 0. The planet on the right does not engage the ring gear. the sum of number of teeth on sun gear and ring gear divided by the number of planets must be a whole number.4.47:1 72-tooth ring 1. The shorter gears are engaged only by the smaller sun gear. it engages the other planet. Only the planet on the left engages the ring gear. Otherwise certain combination of tooth numbers cannot be assembled because of need of equal spacing on the planets.67:1 36-tooth sun 72-tooth ring Planet carrier -2.2 shows the planets in the planet carrier. The longer planets are engaged by the bigger sun gear and by the smaller planets. The planet on the right sits lower than the planet on the left.Fig.67:1 2nd Planet carrier Total 2nd 3rd 30.

The input is the small sun gear.47:1 reduction.2 x 0. to get a 1.67.4:1. the planet carrier acts as the input for the second planetary gear set. 2.2:1 The planet carrier turns 2. For this stage.4:1 So the rotation is negative 2. The planet carrier tries to spin counterclockwise. we multiply the first stage by the second. the gear ratio is: 1 / (1 + S/R) = 1 / (1 + 36/72) = 0. So the first stage consists of the sun (the smaller sun gear). The first stage of the planet carrier actually uses the larger sun gear as the ring gear. and the ring (the larger sun gear). but because that clutch is released. and the output is the planet carrier. At the second stage. But the output direction is really the same as the input direction.67:1 To get the overall reduction for second gear. the smaller sun gear is driven clockwise by the turbine in the torque converter. The first set of planets engages the second set. the larger sun gear (which is held stationary) acts as the sun. This would also cause the bigger sun gear to spin.  Second Gear: This acts like two planetary gear sets connected to each other with a common planet carrier.72/30 = -2. Referring to table 1. the gear ratio is: -R/S = . this combination reverses the direction. This is due to the two sets of planets. 8 . and the ring gear acts as the output. the bigger sun gear is free to spin in the opposite direction of the turbine (counterclockwise).2 times for each rotation of the sun gear. with the sun as input. but is held still by the one-way clutch (which only allows rotation in the clockwise direction) and the ring gear turns the output. the planet carrier. First Gear: In first gear. planet carrier as output. the ring gear (large sun gear) is held stationary by the band. and the ring gear fixed. so referring to table 1. and the second set turns the ring gear. referring to table 1 the gear ratio is: 1 + R/S = 1 + 36/30 = 2.

the bigger sun gear is driven. When overdrive is engaged. referring to table 1 the gear ratio is: 1 / (1 + S/R) = 1 / (1 + 36/72) = 0. 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.0:1 So the ratio in reverse is a little less than first gear.  Overdrive: By definition. All we have to do is engage the clutches that lock each of the sun gears to the turbine. except that instead of the small sun gear being driven by the torque converter turbine. producing a 1:1 ratio. the gear ratio is: -R/S = -72/36 = -2. and the small one freewheels in the opposite direction. and the larger sun gear is held by the overdrive band. Third Gear: Most automatic transmissions have a 1:1 ratio in third gear. the sun gear fixed and the ring gear for output. 9 . the only input comes from the converter housing. the planet gears lockup because they can only spin in opposite directions. The small sun gear freewheels. If both sun gears turn in the same direction.67:1  Reverse: Reverse is very similar to first gear. The planet carrier is held by the reverse band to the housing. This locks the ring gear to the planets and causes everything to spin as a unit. It's a speed increase. So. referring to table 1. With the planet carrier for input. Nothing is connected to the turbine. an overdrive has a faster output speed than input speed.

and cooler tank. 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.  Lubricates the internal parts. torque converter. clutches and oil pump.2 TRANSMISSION FLUID: Transmission fluid serves a number of purposes including:  Shift control.  Supplies fluid to the torque converter.5. which uses oil primarily for lubrication. Other major components are the governor. The system performs the following functions. most of the components 10 .Major components of the hydraulic system include the bands.  General lubrication  Transmission cooling. modulator and the valve body. throttle valve. 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. A typical transmission has an average of ten litres of fluid between the transmission. HYDRAULIC SYSTEM The hydraulic system provides the pressurized fluid to operate an automatic transmission. Unlike the engine.  Directs pressurized fluid to the bands and clutches. every aspect of a transmission's functions is dependant on a constant supply of fluid under pressure. In fact. 5.

of a transmission are constantly submerged in fluid including the clutch packs and bands. 11 . The friction surfaces on these parts are designed to operate properly only when they are submerged in oil. 5. Fluid passing through this chamber is cooled and then returned to the transmission through the other steel tube.3 COOLING THE TRANSMISSION FLUID: In order to keep the transmission at normal operating temperature. a portion of the fluid is sent through one of two steel tubes to a special chamber that is submerged in the radiator.

6. PARTS OF THE HYDRAULIC SYSTEM For the change of gears.1 Clutch A clutch consists of alternating disks that fit inside a clutch drum.1 half of the disks are steel and have splines that lock on the inside of the drum.1 CLUTCHES: Fig. The hydraulic system controls which clutches and bands are energized at any given moment. 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. The small sun gear freewheels. As shown in fig. lots of things have to be connected and disconnected. 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. and the 12 . The hydraulic system receives information from the governor and throttle cable or vacuum modulator. when overdrive is engaged. In this transmission. The clutches connect different members to be driven and the bands hold the required member stationary.6. 6. 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.6.

6.steel bands that wrap around sections of the gear train and connect to the housing.literally.6. One end of the band is anchored against the transmission case while the other end is connected to a servo.The metal rod is connected to the piston which actuates the band.2 BANDS: Fig.2 shows the band and its servo. Nothing is connected to the turbine. Fig.2 Band A band is a steel strap with friction material bonded to the inside surface.They are actuated by hydraulic cylinder inside the case of transmission. thus locking that part of the gear train to the casing. At the appropriate time hydraulic oil is sent to the servo under pressure to tighten the band around the drum to stop it from turning. the only input comes from the converter housing.larger sun gear is held by the overdrive band. The band in a transmission are. 13 . 6.

the valve body and the rest of the components.3 Gear pump from an automatic transmission mounted to the front of the transmission case and is directly connected to a flange on the torque converter housing. under pressure to the pressure regulator. as required.6.3 THE PUMP: The automatic transmission systems use a gear pump. The gear pump is responsible for producing all the oil pressure that is required in the transmission. The oil is then sent. The oil pum is Fig. 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 pump will produce pressure whenever the engine is running as long as there is a sufficient amount of transmission fluid available. Since the torque converter housing is directly connected to the engine crankshaft. 14 .6.

a throttle pressure is introduced to the spring end of the plunger.4 PRESSURE REGULATOR: The pump’s output pressure will increase roughly in proportion to the engine’s speed. 15 . However. Hence as the pump output pressure tends to rise. the pressure necessary to actuate the various valves and to energise the clutch and band servo pistons will vary under different work conditions. which opposes the line pressure. a pressure regulating valve is used which automatically adjusts the pump’s output pressure to match the working requirements at any one time. To enable the line pressure to be varied to suit the operating conditions. is unlikely to suit the many operating requirements. causing the exhaust port to be uncovered. As pump pressure builds up with rising engine speed. thus regulating the fluid pressure. more fluid is passed back to the suction intake of the pump. Therefore the fluid pressure generated by the pump. which feeds back to the pump intake. To overcome these difficulties. The pressure regulating valve is normally a spring-loaded spool type valve.6. line pressure is conveyed to the rear face of the plunger and will progressively move the plunger forward against a control spring.

the load that the engine is under is also important. As the weights pull further out against the springs.6. the longer the transmission will hold a gear before shifting to the next one.6 THROTTLE CABLE AND VACUUM MODULATOR: Vehicle speed is not the only thing that controls when a transmission should shift.5 GOVERNOR: Fig. The more loads you place on the engine.4 The governor The governor tells the transmission how fast the car is moving. The governor is connected to the output shaft and regulates hydraulic pressure based on vehicle speed. 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. 16 .6. It accomplishes this using centrifugal force to spin a pair of weights against pull-back springs. 6.

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. A transmission will use one or the other but generally not both of these devices.The throttle valve and modulator serve the purpose of monitoring engine load. 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. 17 . Each works in a different way to monitor engine load. The further the gas pedal is pressed. 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. the more pressure is put on the throttle valve.

as shown in fig. Each of the many valves in the valve body has a specific purpose and is named for that function. The shift valve is pressurized with fluid from the governor on one side. When the car accelerates gently. and the throttle valve on the other. as car speed increases. The shift valve determines when to shift from one gear to the next. The shift valve will delay a shift if the car is accelerating quickly. 7. 18 .7. the throttle valve does not apply much pressure against the shift valve. If the car accelerates gently. 7. For example the 1-2 shift valve activates the 1st gear to 2nd gear up-shift. the pressure from the governor builds. the up-shift and down-shift are inhibited by the manual valve. The valve body of the transmission contains several shift valves. This forces the shift valve over until the first gear circuit is closed. and the second gear circuit opens. the shift will occur at a lower speed. 8 supply hydraulic pressure to the clutches and bands to engage each gear.1 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. Since the car is accelerating at light throttle.2 SHIFT VALVES: Shift valves. VALVE BODY: The valve body is the brain of the automatic transmission. 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. If the gear shift lever is moved in the 1st gear or 2nd gear position.

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. 19 .7. as car speed increases. the throttle valve applies more pressure against the shift valve. the 2-to-3 shift valve will take over. the pressure from the governor builds. the throttle valve does not apply much pressure against the shift valve. and the second gear circuit opens. so when the car is going faster. Each shift valve responds to a particular pressure range. When the car accelerates quickly. Since the car is accelerating at light throttle. because the pressure from the governor is high enough to trigger that valve.1 Simple shift circuit When the car accelerates gently.Fig. This forces the shift valve over until the first gear circuit is closed.

8. especially in heavy traffic by eliminating the need to operate the clutch pedal and gear lever for starting from rest and changing gear. 2. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES: 8. Cars with automatic transmission are costlier than those having manual transmission. 2. 20 .2 DISADVANTAGES: 1. It contributes to safer driving because the concentration of the driver is not disturbed by the need to change gear. Fuel economy of cars with automatic transmission is not very good. 3. Progress can be smoother under normal driving conditions. also.1 ADVANTAGES: 1. It minimizes driver fatigue. both hands can remain on the steering wheel. 8. because gear changes will occur at the theoretically correct moment in terms of road speed and throttle opening.

 Automatic transmission system shifts the gears automatically.  The planetary gear set gives the required gear ratios and the hydraulic system controls the planetary gear set.9. So it is very necessary to reduce it’s weight for improving overall car performance. CONCLUSION:  The automatic transmission with its torque converter and planetary gear set. can successfully replace the clutch and the manual transmission gear box. but each hydraulic circuit is controlled by an electric solenoid. the human element has to be retained in control.  However in cases like. FUTURE SCOPE  Electronically controlled transmissions. descending hills. which appear on some newer cars. depending upon both. 10. speed of vehicle and load on the engine. when it is desirable to employ a lower gear. This simplifies the plumbing on the transmission and allows for more advanced control schemes. though the load on the engine maybe nil or the engine maybe acting as a brake. still use hydraulics to actuate the clutches and bands. Now a days some company’s engineers keenly work on fiber or plastic body and some parts of transmission system.  However automatic transmission system is very heavy. 21 .

3. www.kirapal singh “automatic transmission”.11. www. “Automotive Automatic Transmissions”. Tata McGraw Hill Publishing Co.howstuffworks. John Fenton. Dr.edmunds. “Handbook of Automotive Powertrains and Chassis Design”. 2. Heinz Heisler. Professional Engineering Publishing Ltd. Crouse & Donald L.. William H. Sixth Edition.familycar. 4. Butterworth-Heinemann 7. 1996.REFERENCES 1. First Published 6. Second Edition 2002. Anglin. 5. “Advanced Vehicle Technology”..edition 2006 22 .