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  • It occurred to me

    while reading all the different engines used in wwII that a bigger problem is transmissions. What plagued the early T/34 and KV tanks? What plagued German heavy tanks? IMO not so much engine power or reliability as drive train performance. I noticed the Sherman and many variants of US armor used the same style trans. Can any of our members who are a bit more in the know so to say weigh in on this? I will look up what I can but a lesson from someone who knows would help
    Thanks

  • #2
    One of the problems I recall had to do with keeping costs and manhours down, so one of the German tank transmissions began with straight-cut gears, a simpler and easier machining process. When the transmissions began failing, they were forced to adopt the more time-consuming and expensive process of machining helical gears, which greatly improved the toughness of the transmission.

    Straight-cut gear:


    Helical Gear:
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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    • #3
      I found a t-34 manual on line and the trans was mostly straight gears
      http://www.allworldwars.com/T-34%20T...0Manual.html#3

      http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/...fs/TM9-759.pdf

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...or-Getriebe.sv

      It appears the German tank is the easiest to operate but I have no firsthand knowledge just what I see in the manuals.

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      • #4
        Not sure how accurate it is, but I've heard that a small sledge hammer was kept by the driver to help him slip the transmission into gear.
        Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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        • #5
          German heavies

          The weight of the german heavy tanks killed the transmissions by the time they finished development the tanks weighed more then they were originally designed to. The panther I know it's a medium but it's a very heavy medium also suffered from added weight and a simplified drivetrain to ease production but proved to be unreliable.

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          • #6
            yeah I should mention the above transmission publication is a PnZIII

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            • #7
              As this topic appears to be spanning all the major tank producing nations (not just the Western Allies), I have moved it to the main 'Armor in World War II' forum.
              "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
              Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                One of the problems I recall had to do with keeping costs and manhours down, so one of the German tank transmissions began with straight-cut gears, a simpler and easier machining process. When the transmissions began failing, they were forced to adopt the more time-consuming and expensive process of machining helical gears, which greatly improved the toughness of the transmission.

                Straight-cut gear:


                Helical Gear:
                Excellent pics, MM, showing the difference very clearly.
                "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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                • #9
                  Straight cut gears have two big disadvantages over helical ones in a transmission:

                  They are weaker and the gear teeth can be broken easier.

                  They are much harder to mesh / shift into gear when the vehicle is at speed.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                    Straight cut gears have two big disadvantages over helical ones in a transmission:

                    They are weaker and the gear teeth can be broken easier.

                    They are much harder to mesh / shift into gear when the vehicle is at speed.
                    Crash-boxes - nothing like 'em, and nobody likes 'em.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Brumbear View Post
                      while reading all the different engines used in wwII that a bigger problem is transmissions. What plagued the early T/34 and
                      KV tanks?
                      The bane of both was metallurgy. The V-2 was an excellent engine, and while there were teething problems early on, the transmission and gearbox were most often the cause of breakdowns. The major problem was gears shattering, brought on largely by problems producing the high-tensile steel required to stand up to the punishment. This was made worse by the loss of many larger facilities, as well as shortages of essential alloys (manganese, chrome) that resulted when the Germans occupied crucial mining areas. HTH.

                      Regards
                      Scott Fraser
                      Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                      A contentedly cantankerous old fart

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                      • #12
                        Ive read where they would constuct the final drives and transmissions on German tanks, and they would fail real quick because people on the line would not tighten up bolts enough, or shove cigarette buts into oil passages or do other evil doer things to them to slow them up a bit...noone likes to be forcibly put to work making tanks!

                        Sometimes they would damage gear teeth to make sure a failure was quick!
                        ...Its one of our V-8's...Pursuit Special on methane, super hot!

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