In a modern, mostly completely covered engine compartment, it is not easy to understand the arrangement of engine, gearbox and final drive. What makes it even more confusing, is that with the tranverse-mounted front engine, gearbox and final drive share a casing. Even seen from underneath it can't be clearly explained, because very often the front leg room and perhaps also a lower-engine covering is in the way. Therefore, seen above is an unhampered view, from the rear, of the complete front-wheel drive.
How it works
A clockwise-rotating engine is always, relative to the forward motion, mounted on the right in the engine compartment. Deviations from this (e.g., in Honda) suggest a different rotation direction. On the left the clutch and non-coaxial gearbox follow. Its exit ends again almost in the clutch housing in its own oil-proof area, where it distributes the torque to both axle drive shafts. Very often the right one is longer than the left one. In the above figure, the right-hand exit of the final drive is extended, whereby two equally long shafts can be used.In contrast to the drive, the suspension in the above figure is incomplete. The lower wishbones of the McPherson struts are missing. On the right even the suspension strut is removed. On the left coil spring one can recognise the swivel axis of the wheel. Its axis goes from above, through the tyre and the wheel rim, and deviates considerably from the damper axis. The above model shows a snapshot in the spring-rebound state. Normally when compressed, the axle drive shafts are more horizontally arranged. In the position shown here, one receives an idea of which diffraction angles can occur in the joints of these short shafts, particularly when the steering is turned to its maximum. 06/09