Don’t laugh. There are a lot, and I mean A LOT of people who have no clue how a manual transmission actually works. And we’re not judging them for it. After all, it’s not like most hot rodders build their own transmissions, whether automatic or manual. Hell, most hot rodders are more about overall assembly, not actual components like engines, transmissions, rearends, etc. And again, there is nothing wrong with that. But, whether you are going to put together a manual transmission or not, here is a look at the fundamentals of how they work inside.
Now keep in mind that there are variations that will change how the shift forks are actuated and all that, but the basics are the same for most rear-wheel drive manual transmissions. We’ve got two videos below that are going to make it WAY easier to show you than it would be to explain it in words. So we’re going to let you check them out, absorb them, and then come up with questions. If you have any, we’ll make sure the guys at American Powertrain answer them for you so you can get all the real deal transmission info you need.
In this first video, you’ll see all the inner workings of a typical manual transmission, as demonstrated with automated graphics. It covers the basics well, and gives you a real look at how things are moving in there.
In this second video you’ll see an actual transmission being used for the demonstration. In particular, this is a late model Toyota 5 speed truck trans. It’s a good representation of a late model transmission and how it works, so check it out.