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Gearing: The Right Angle

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Top 5 Causes of Backlash, Plus a Caveat

Perceived backlash in a Spiroid gear set or gear box can usually be narrowed down to a handful of causes. The following list represents the top 5 most common causes of perceived backlash in Spiroid's right angle gear sets & gearboxes. For clarity, we've included reference images (both loose gears & gearbox) that correspond to each number (1 through 5).

Both Loose Gears & Gearbox



1.  AXIAL PINION MOVEMENT

While not technically considered backlash, pinion movement in the axial direction creates 'lost motion' which is often perceived as gear backlash.

2.  IMPROPER SHIMMING

Too little shimming behind the face gear will cause the gear/pinion mesh to be sloppy, thus causing backlash. Additionally, if a Spiroid pinion is being used, too little shimming behind pinion will also enable undesirable axial pinion movement.

3.  HOUSING DESIGN OR MANUFACTURING ERROR

Errors in housing design and/or production may induce mounting or center distance error which can be revealed as backlash.

4.  PINION AND/OR GEAR DEFLECTION

Occasionally, and particularly in scenarios where the pinion is cantilevered, deflection can occur. This deflection can create separation that will cause backlash.

5.  RADIAL MOVEMENT OF THE PINION AND/OR GEAR

Improper design or specification of bearing and bearing surfaces can cause radial movement in either the face gear or the pinion. This radial movement can cause backlash.

Gearbox Cut Away