How do I set my car's gear mesh?

The way the gears on your transmission mesh together has a definite affect upon how long the gears will last. If the mesh is too tight or too loose, the gears will become damaged very quickly. In most cars, the amount of mesh is fixed by how the gears are mounted in the transmission, but you can adjust how the gears on the clutch mesh with the large spur gears.

To adjust the mesh between the gears, you must first loosen the engine on its mounts. This will allow you to move the engine as necessary.

Next, cut a piece of regular notebook paper into a strip that's the same width as the gear, and a few inches long.

Place the strip of paper between the gears. Press the gears together with your fingers as tightly as possible. Now tighten the engine's mounting bolts.

Rotate the clutch bell to run the strip of paper out from between the gears. Your gear mesh is now set correctly.

You need to check this from time-to-time because the engine's vibrations will tend to loosen the engine's mounting bolts. If this happens, the engine will shift out of position and your gear mesh will become too loose. This will cause your gears to become damaged very quickly.

Back to main FAQ/Contact Info page