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AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION COMPONENTS

Torque converter See Figures 5 and 6 The front section is called the torque converter. In replacing the traditional clutch, it performs three functions:

It acts as a hydraulic clutch (fluid coupling), allowing the engine to idle even with the transmission in gear. It allows the transmission to shift from gear to gear smoothly, without requiring that the driver close the throttle during the shift. It multiplies engine torque making the transmission more responsive and reducing the amount of shifting required.

The torque converter is a metal case that is shaped like a sphere that has been flattened on opposite sides and is bolted to the rear of the engine s crankshaft. !enerally, the entire metal case rotates at engine speed and serves as the engine s flywheel. The case contains three sets of blades. "ne set is attached directly to the case forming the impeller or pump. #nother set is directly connected to the output shaft, and forms the turbine. The third set (stator) is mounted on a hub which, in turn, is mounted on a stationary shaft through a one$way clutch. %ollers are wedged into slots, preventing backward rotation. &hen the rollers are not in the slots, the stator turns in the same direction as the impeller. The pump, which is driven by the converter hub at engine speed, keeps the torque converter full of transmission fluid at all times. 'luid flows continuously through the unit to provide cooling. # fluid coupling will only transmit the torque the engine develops( it cannot increase the torque. This is one )ob of the torque converter. The impeller drive member is driven at engine speed by the engine s crankshaft and pumps fluid, to its center, which is flung outward by centrifugal force as it turns. *ince the outer edge of the converter spins faster than the center, the fluid gains speed. 'luid is directed toward the turbine driven member by curved impeller blades, causing the turbine to rotate in the same direction as the impeller. The turbine blades are curved in the opposite direction of the impeller blades. In flowing through the pump and turbine, the fluid flows in two separate directions. It flows through the turbine blades, and it spins with the engine. The stator, whose blades are stationary when the vehicle is being accelerated at low speeds, converts one type of flow into another. Instead of allowing the fluid to flow straight back into the pump, the stator s curved blades turn the fluid almost +,- toward the direction of rotation of the engine. Thus the fluid does not flow as fast toward the pump, but is already spinning when the pump picks it up. This has the effect of allowing the pump to turn much faster than the turbine. This difference in speed may be compared to the difference in speed between the smaller and larger gears in any gear train. The result is that engine power output is higher, and engine torque is multiplied.

#s the speed of the turbine increases, the fluid spins faster and faster in the direction of engine rotation. Therefore, the ability of the stator to redirect the fluid flow is reduced. .nder cruising conditions, the stator is eventually forced to rotate on its one$way clutch and the torque converter begins to behave almost like a solid shaft, with the pump and turbine speeds being almost equal. In the late /, s, 0hrysler 0orporation introduced an automatic transmission, featuring what is called a 1lock$up1 clutch in the transmission s torque converter. The lock$up is a fully automatic clutch that engages only when the transmission shifts into top gear or when needed based on a predetermined demand factor. The lock$up clutch is activated by a piston. &hen engaged, the lock$up clutch gives the benefits of a manual transmission, eliminating torque converter slippage. In the engaged position, engine torque is delivered mechanically, rather than hydrodynamically (through fluid). This gives improved fuel economy and cooler transmission operating temperatures. In the early 2, s, 'ord introduced what is known as the #utomatic "verdrive Transmission (#"T). 3ssentially, this transmission uses a lock$up torque converter, by offering an additional refinement. The transmission is a four$speed unit, with fourth gear as an overdrive (,.4/:5). Torque is transmitted via a full mechanical lock$up from the engine, completely bypassing the torque converter and eliminating hydraulic slippage. In third gear (5:5 ratio), engine power follows a 1split$torque1 path, in which there is a 4,6 lock$up. *i7ty percent of the power is transmitted through solid connections and 8,6 of the engine power is delivered through the torque converter. Throughout the +, s, *ubaru introduced an 3lectronic 0ontinuously 9ariable Transmission (309T) and :onda introduced their version (09T). This transmission uses a metal belt and two variable$diameter pulleys to keep smooth, uninterrupted range of gearing. *i;e of the pulleys is controlled through the use of hydraulics. This unit produces a miles per gallon closer to a manual transmission, while attaining a smoother shift than an automatic transmission.
Figure 5 The torque converter housing is rotated by the engine crankshaft and turns the impeller. The impeller spins the turbine, which gives motion to the turbine (output) shaft to drive the gears.

Figure 6 *ectional view of operations of a typical 1lock$up1 clutch and torque converter

Torque converter clutch control See Figures 7 and 8 Electrical and vacuum controls The torque converter clutch should apply when the engine has reached near normal operating temperature in order to handle the slight e7tra load and when the vehicle speed is high enough to allow the operation of the clutch to be smooth and the vehicle to be free of engine pulses. &hen the converter clutch is coupled to the engine, the engine pulses can be felt through the vehicle in the same manner as if equipped with a clutch and standard transmission. 3ngine condition, engine load and engine speed determine the severity of the pulsation. The converter clutch should release when torque multiplication is needed in the converter, when coming to a stop, or when the mechanical connection would affect e7haust emissions during a coasting condition. The typical electrical control components consist of the brake release switch, the low vacuum switch and the governor switch. *ome vehicle models have a thermal vacuum switch, a relay valve and a delay valve. <iesel engines use a high vacuum switch in addition to certain above listed components. These various components control the flow of current to the apply valve solenoid. =y controlling the current flow, these components activate or deactivate the solenoid, which in turn engages or disengages the transmission converter clutch, depending upon the driving conditions as mentioned previously. The components have the two basic circuits, electrical and vacuum.

Figure 7 .sing electrical and vacuum controls to operate the torque converter clutch.

Figure 8 Typical diesel engine vacuum and electrical schematic for the torque converter clutch.

Electrical current flow #ll of the components in the electrical circuit must be closed or grounded before the solenoid can open the hydraulic circuit to engage the converter clutch. The circuit begins at the fuse panel and flows to the brake switch and as long as the brake pedal is not depressed, the current will flow to the low vacuum switch on the gasoline engines and to the high vacuum switch on the diesel engines. These two switches open or close the circuit path to the solenoid, dependent upon the engine or pump vacuum. If the low vacuum switch is closed (high vacuum switch on diesel engines), the current continues to flow to the transmission case connector, into the solenoid and to the governor pressure switch. &hen the vehicle speed is appro7imately >?$?, mph (?4$2, kph) , the governor switch grounds to activate the solenoid. The solenoid, in turn, opens a hydraulic circuit to the converter clutch assembly, engaging the unit.

It should be noted that e7ternal vacuum controls include the thermal vacuum valve, the relay valve, the delay valve, the low vacuum switch and a high vacuum switch (used on diesel engines). @eep in mind that all of the electrical or vacuum components may not be used on all engines at the same time. acuum flow The vacuum relay valve works with the thermal vacuum valve to keep engine vacuum from reaching the low vacuum valve switch at low engine temperatures. This action prevents the clutch from engaging while the engine is still warming up. The delay valve slows the response of the low vacuum switch to changes in engine vacuum. This action prevents the low vacuum switch from causing the converter clutch to engage and disengage too rapidly. The low vacuum switch deactivates the converter clutch when engine vacuum drops to a specific low level during moderate acceleration )ust before a part$throttle transmission downshift. The low vacuum switch also deactivates the clutch while the vehicle is coasting because it receives no vacuum from its ported vacuum source. The high vacuum switch, when on diesel engines, deactivates the converter clutch while the vehicle is coasting. The low vacuum switch on the diesel models deactivates the converter clutch only during moderate acceleration, )ust prior to a part$throttle downshift. =ecause the diesel engine s vacuum source is a rotary pump, rather than taken from a carburetor port, diesel models require both the high and the low vacuum switch to achieve the same results as the low vacuum switch on the gasoline models. Com!uter controlled converter clutch See Figure 9 &ith the use of microcomputers governing the engine fuel and spark delivery, most manufacturers change the converter clutch electronic control to provide the grounding circuit for the solenoid valve through the microcomputer, rather than the governor pressure switch. *ensors are used in place of the formerly used switches and send signals back to the microcomputer to indicate if the engine is in its proper mode to accept the mechanical lock$up of the converter clutch. Aormally a coolant sensor, a throttle position sensor, an engine vacuum sensor and a vehicle speed sensor are used to signal the microcomputer when the converter clutch can be applied. *hould a sensor indicate the need for the converter clutch to be deactivated, the grounding circuit to the transmission solenoid valve would be interrupted and the converter clutch would be released.

Figure 9 Typical computer controlled clutch.

"#draulic converter clutch Aumerous automatic transmissions rely upon hydraulic pressures to sense and determine when to apply the converter clutch assembly. This type of automatic transmission unit is considered to be a self$contained unit with only the shift linkage, throttle cable or modulator valve being e7ternal. *pecific valves, located within the valve body or oil pump housing, are caused to be moved when a sequence of events occur within the unit. 'or e7ample, to engage the converter clutch, most all automatic transmissions require the gear ratio to be in the top gear before the converter clutch control valves can be placed in operation. The governor and throttle pressures must maintain specific fluid pressures at various points within the hydraulic circuits to aid in the engagement or disengagement of the converter clutch. In addition, check valves must properly seal and move to e7haust pressured fluid at the correct time to avoid 1shudders1 or 1chuggles1 during the initial application and engagement of the converter clutch. Centrifu$al torque converter clutch See Figure 10 # torque converter was used that locks up mechanically without the use of electronics or hydraulic pressure. #t specific input shaft speeds, brake$like shoes move outward from the rim of the turbine assembly, to engage the converter housing, locking the converter unit mechanically together for a 5:5 ratio. *light slippage can occur at the low end of the rpm scale, but the greater the rpm, the tighter the lock$up. #gain, it must be mentioned, that when the converter has locked$up, the vehicle may respond in the same manner as driving with a clutch and standard transmission. This is considered normal and does not indicate converter clutch or transmission problems. @eep in mind if engines are in need of tune$ups or repairs, the lock$up 1shudder1 or 1chuggle1 feeling may be greater.

igure 10 37ploded view of the centrifugal lock$up converter.

Mechanical converter loc%&u! #nother type of converter lock$up is the 'ord Botor 0ompany s #"< #utomatic "verdrive transmission, which uses a direct drive input shaft splined to the damper assembly of the torque converter cover to the direct clutch, bypassing the torque converter reduction components. # second shaft encloses the direct drive input shaft and is coupled between the converter turbine and the reverse clutch or forward clutch, depending upon their applied phase. &ith this type of unit, when in third gear, the input shaft torque is split, >,6 hydraulic and /,6 mechanical. &hen in the overdrive or fourth gear, the input torque is completely mechanical and the transmission is locked mechanically to the engine. Overdrive units See Figure 11 &hen the need for greater fuel economy stirred the world s automakers into action, the automatic transmissionCtransa7les were among the many vehicle components that were modified to aid in this quest. Internal changes have been made and in some cases, additions of a fourth gear to provide the over direct or overdrive gear ratio. The reasoning for adding the overdrive capability is that an overdrive ratio enables the output speed of the transmissionCtransa7le to be greater than the input speed, allowing the vehicle to

maintain a given road speed with less engine speed. This results in better fuel economy and a slower running engine. The overdrive unit usually consists of an overdrive planetary gear set, a roller one$way clutch assembly and two friction clutch assemblies, one as an internal clutch pack and the second for a brake clutch pack. The overdrive carrier is splined to the turbine shaft, which in turn, is splined into the converter turbine. #nother type of overdrive assembly is a separation of the overdrive components by having them at various points along the gear train assembly and utili;ing them for other gear ranges. Instead of having a brake clutch pack, an overdrive band is used to lock the planetary sun gear. In this type of transmission, the converter cover drives the direct drive shaft clockwise at engine speed, which in turn drives the direct clutch. The direct clutch then drives the planetary carrier assembly at engine speed in a clockwise direction. The pinion gears of the planetary gear assembly 1walk around1 the stationary reverse sun gear, again in a clockwise rotation. The ring gear and output shafts are therefore driven at a faster speed by the rotation of the planetary pinions. =ecause the input is 5,,6 mechanical drive, the converter can be classified as a lock$up converter in the overdrive position.
Figure 11 37ploded and sectional views of direct drive and overdrive power flows

The !lanetar# $ear'o( See Figures 12, 13 and 14 The rear section of the transmission is the gearbo7, containing the gear train and valve body to shift the gears. The ability of the torque converter to multiply engine torque is limited, so the unit tends to be more efficient when the turbine is rotating at relatively high speeds. # planetary gearbo7 is used to carry the power output from the turbine to the driveshaft to make the most efficient use of the converter. Dlanetary gears function very similarly to conventional transmission gears. Their construction is different in that three elements make up one gear system, and in that the three elements are different from one another. The three elements are:

#n outer gear that is shaped like a hoop, with teeth cut into the inner surface. # sun gear mounted on a shaft and located at the very center of the outer gear. # set of three planet gears, held by pins in a ring$like planet carrier and meshing with both the sun gear and the outer gear.

3ither the outer gear or the sun gear may be held stationary, providing more than one possible torque multiplication factor for each set of gears. If all three gears are forced to rotate at the same speed, the gear set forms, in effect, a solid shaft. =ands and clutches are used to hold various portions of the gear$sets to the transmission case or to the shaft on which they are mounted.
Figure 12 Dlanetary gears are similar to manual transmission gears, but are composed of three parts.

Figure 13 Dlanetary gears in ma7imum reduction (low). The ring gear is held and a lower gear ratio is obtained.

Figure 14 Dlanetary gears in the minimum reduction (<rive). The ring gear is allowed to revolve, providing a higher gear ratio.

Shiftin$ $ears See Figures 15 and 16 *hifting is accomplished by changing the portion of each planetary gear set that is held to the transmission case or shaft.

# valve body contains small hydraulic pistons and cylinders. 'luid enters the cylinder under pressure and forces the pistons to move to engage the bands or clutches. The hydraulic fluid used to operate the valve body comes from the main transmission oil pump. This fluid is channeled to the various pistons through the shift valves. There is generally a manual shift valve that is operated by the transmission selector lever and an automatic shift valve for each automatic upshift the transmission provides. Two$speed automatics have a low$high shift valve( while three$speeds will have a 5$E shift valve, and a E$> shift valve( whereas four$speeds have a 5$E shift valve, a E$> shift valve, and a >$8 shift valve. Two pressures affect the operation of these valves. "ne (governor pressure) is determined by vehicle speed, while the other (modulator pressure) is determined by intake manifold vacuum or throttle position. !overnor pressure rises with an increase in vehicle speed, and modulator pressure rises as the throttle is opened wider. =y responding to these two pressures, the shift valves cause the upshift points to be delayed with increased throttle opening to make the best use of the engine s power output. If the accelerator is pushed further to the floor the upshift will be delayed longer, (the vehicle will stay in gear). The transmission modulator also governs line pressure, used to actuate the servos. In this way, the clutches and bands will be actuated with a force matching the torque output of the engine. Bost transmissions also make use of an au7iliary circuit for downshifting. This circuit may be actuated by the throttle linkage or the vacuum line that actuates the modulator or by a cable or solenoid. It applies pressure to a special downshift surface on the shift valve or valves, to shift back to low gear as vehicle speed decreases.
Figure 15 *ervos, operated by pressure, are used to apply or release the bands, either holding the ring gear or allowing it to rotate.

Figure 16 The valve body, containing the shift valves, is normally located at the bottom of the transmission. The shift valves (there are many more than shown) are operated by hydraulic pressure.

Transa(les &hen the transmission and the drive a7le are combined in one unit, it is called a 1transa7le.1 The transa7le is bolted to the engine and has the advantage of being an e7tremely rigid unit of engine and driveline components. The complete engine transa7le unit may be located at the front of the vehicle (front wheel drive) or at the rear of the vehicle (rear wheel drive). The power flow through the transmission section of the transa7le is the same as through a conventional transmission