final drive with provisions for two speeds to be incorporated.
Two-Speed Final Drive The two-speed or dual-ratio final drive is used to supplement the gearing of the other drive train components and is used in vehicles with a single drive axle (fig. 5-15). The operator can select the range or speed of this axle with a button on the shifting lever of the transmission or by a lever through linkage.
The two-speed final drive doubles the number of gear ratios available for driving the vehicle under various load and road conditions. For example, a vehicle with a two-speed unit and a five-speed transmission, ten different forward speeds are available. This unit provides a gear ratio high enough to permit pulling a heavy load up steep grades and a low ratio to permit the vehicle to run at high speeds with a light load or no load.
The conventional spiral bevel pinion and ring gear drives the two-speed unit, but a planetary gear train is placed between the differential drive ring gear and the differential case. The internal gear of the planetary gear train is bolted rigidly to the bevel drive gear. A ring on which the planetary gears are pivoted is bolted to the differential case. A member, consisting of the sun gear and a dog clutch, slides on one of the axle shafts and is controlled through a button or lever accessible to the operator.
When in high range, the sun gear meshes with the internal teeth on the ring carrying the planetary gears and disengages the dog clutch from the left bearing adjusting ring, which is rigidly held in the differential carrier. In this position, the planetary gear train is locked together. There is no relative motion between the differential case and the gears in the planetary drive train. The differential case is driven directly by the differential ring gear, the same as in the conventional single fixed gear final drive.
When shifted into low range, the sun gear is slid out of mesh with the ring carrying the planetary gears. The dog clutch makes a rigid connection with the left bearing adjusting ring. Because the sun gear is integral with the dog clutch, it is also locked to the bearing adjusting rings and remains stationary. The internal gear rotates the planetary gears around the stationary sun gear, and the differential case is driven by the ring on which the planetary gears are pivoted. This action produces the gear reduction, or low speed, of the axle.
The rear wheels of a vehicle do not always turn at the same speed. When the vehicle is turning or when tire diameters differ slightly, the rear wheels must rotate at different speeds.
If there were a solid connection between each axle and the differential case, the tires would tend to slide, squeal, and wear whenever the operator turned the steering wheel of the vehicle. A differential is designed to prevent this problem (fig. 5-16).
When a vehicle is driving straight ahead, the ring gear, the differential case, the differential pinion gears, and the differential side gears turn as a unit. The two differential pinion gears do NOT rotate on the pinion shaft, because they exert equal force on the side gears. As a result, the side gears turn at the same speed as the ring gear, causing both rear wheels to turn at the same speed.
When the vehicle begins to round a curve, the differential pinion gears rotate on the pinion shaft. This occurs because the pinion gears must walk around the slower turning differential side gear. Therefore, the pinion gears carry additional rotary motion to the faster turning outer wheel on the turn.
Differential speed is considered to be 100 percent. The rotating action of the pinion gears carries 90 percent of this speed to the slowing mover inner wheel and sends 110 percent of the speed to the faster rotating outer wheel. This action allows the vehicle to make the turn without sliding or squealing the wheels.
The conventional differential delivers the same amount of torque to each rear wheel when both wheels have equal traction. When one wheel has less traction than the other, for example, when one wheel slips on ice, the other wheel cannot deliver torque. All turning effort goes to the slipping wheel. To provide good even traction even though one wheel is slipping, a limited slip differential is used in many vehicles. It is very similar to the standard unit but has some means of preventing wheel spin and loss of traction. The standard differential delivers maximum torque to the wheel with minimum traction. The limited slip differential delivers maximum torque to the wheel with maximum traction. Other names for a limited slip 5-14Continue Reading