Your Ultimate Guide to Transmission Components

transmission gear ratio chart

Transmissions come in all shapes and sizes, however, there are some standard components which they cannot do without.

All these components work in harmony in order to allow the transmission to operate without any trouble. In this guide, we will go through what each transmission component can be used for.

Gears and Racks

The rack and gears are used to convert a rotational motion into a linear motion. The teeth of the gear, known as the pinion, engage on the rack which causes the gear to move.

These parts are found in both simple and more complex transmissions. Examples of their application include stairlifts which use the motion engage by these parts in order to get the chair up and down the stairs and steering mechanism in cars or other wheeled vehicles; in this case, the motion of the gears allow the wheels to turn in the direction chosen by the driver.

V and Wedge Belts

V belts and wedge belts prevent alignment and slipping problems; the main difference between before parts is their shape.

It is the shape of the V belt itself which stops the slipping whereas the wedge belt stops slippage by wedging into the groove.

Wedge belts are also generally used with heavier loads than V belts.

Taper Bushes

Also known as taper lock bushes, taper bushes are used with sprockets, V and wedge pulleys and are essential to the coupling process. This part’s main function is to connect 2 rotating pieces together so that the motion is carried through to the object they are powering. Taper bushes are often found in gearboxes and are used to set the gear ratio.

V & Wedge Pulleys

Like all pulleys, the V & Wedge pulleys are used to support the movement or change of direction of a cable or belt. In the case of a wedge pulley, the cable fits into the grooves whereas, in the case of a V pulley, the cable fits around it.

These types of pulleys are relatively common and can be found in appliances such as vacuum cleaners, belt sanders and bandsaws.

Roller Chains

Roller chains are a series of cylindrical rollers that are held together by side links. Their role is to power the transmission by turning around the sprocket.

Roller chains are found in all kinds of common appliances such as bicycles, cars and motorbikes.

Chain Sprockets

Chain sprockets are a toothed gear around which a roller chain will turn. Their primary function is to change rotational energy into linear energy; as such they are used together with roller chains and are very commonly used in the transport industry.


The hub is the central part of the wheel which connects it to the axle.

In a transmission, this part is used to connect the wheel to the shaft.

Therefore, this part is commonly used in pretty much every device which requires a transmission.

Key Steel

Key steel is used in order to drive couplings, therefore playing an essential role in connecting 2 parts together.

It is quick and easy to maintain, so that is why it is commonly used in the marine and chemical industries.


Couplings are devices which connect 2 moving parts together and are used to keep shafts connected together.

These are essential parts to transmission and are most notably found in car gearboxes.

Timing belts

The timing belt synchronises the movement of all the parts of the transmission and thus found in most mechanically driven appliances.

For example, washing machines and vacuum cleaners have a timing belt.

Universal joints

Universal joints are used to connect rigid rods together. They are used in car transmissions to connect the gearbox to the engine.

Drivelock Bushes

Drivelock bushes are used to lock the transmission into place, they are commonly found on transmissions that require lever.

Canal locks and wells are fitted with drivelock bushes.


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