Finding the Optimum Gear Ratios for your Car
by: Miroslav Ovcharik
A short gear is one with a low gear ratio, and a tall gear is one with a high gear ratio. For example, a 3.321:1 gear is shorter than a 1.902:1 gear.
In racing, you want to set up your gears so that you can use the full potential of your engine in each gear. In other words, it is not useful to have a 5-speed transmission if you’re driving on a relatively low-speed track where you never shift up to fifth gear. In this case, you could install a shorter final gear, which will have the effect of shrinking the difference between gears and allowing you to use the fifth gear. The opposite problem is when you run out of gears (reach the RPM limit in fifth gear). To allow for more top speed, you can install a taller final gear, which will have the effect of increasing the difference between your transmission’s gears. Before choosing a new final gear, you can use the Top Speed Calculator at http://www.240edge.com/performance/top-speed-calc.html to find what the top speed of your car will be with the new gear ratio. It is also possible to change the individual gears in your transmission, but this is not practical. It is usually only done by professional race teams.
Visit my website for more information about selecting proper gears:
|About The Author
I have been an automotive enthusiast throughout my life and have participated successfully in various amateur racing series. I specialize in tuning the Nissan S platform cars, particularly the US domestic market Nissan 240SX. Visit my websitewww.240edge.com, which focuses on Nissan 240SX modifications, to get information about suspension setup, quality upgrades, and general 240SX tuning.
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