Engine Timing Gear Drives
Gear drives are used to connect the crankshaft to the camshaft, which allows for control, of the engines valves. Using a gear drive instead of a chain or belt drive is common in high powered vehicles and in heavy duty vehicles. Using a set of gears will provide more reliability and resistance to wear because the gears can transfer high amounts of power and torque produced by this part of the engine more efficiently. The typical timing gear drive available on most vehicles will include four drives; one on the camshaft, one on the crankshaft, and the other two in the middle to transfer the momentum from the two larger drives.
Over the years, gear drives have been replaced by belt drives and chain drives because they are cheaper to produce and are much quieter when in operation. Both of these alternatives to the gear dives lack the durability and ability to maintain perfect timing even after years of use. This setup has the ability to maintain perfect timing because there is no places that stretching or wear can occur which is what throws off the timing on the other two methods listed. The gears are made out of high grade steel which is what helps to protect them from wear and deformation. This material is costly to produce which is why most gear drives setups will cost at least double to that of a belt or chain drive setup.
The performance advantage of using a gear drive is easily seen when the engine is ran at higher speeds. Although slim, the power gains when using a gear drive are about 0.5% of the engines total power that it is able to produce. This power gain is especially noticeable when the engine is near it’s redline which is why gear drives are used allot in performance vehicle that spend more time at that engine speed than the average vehicle. Most gear drive setups can easily be installed on a stock engine without interfering with the original timing cover. Using a gear drive over time is extremely beneficial because it will need very little maintenance over its lifespan which will save the vehicles owner from costly repair bills that may be encountered when working on that part of the engine.
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