One Way Free Wheel Clutch 1 Sprags 2 Inner race 3 Outer race 4 Sprag and cage assembly 5 Sprag outer race 6 Sprag inner race 7 Retaining ring The LE transmission uses four freewheel clutches to perform shifting and component holding functions. The freewheel clutch, in conjunction with the damped application of the hydraulic clutches helps prevent disruption to the power output during up shifts and downshifts.
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION – GM 5L40-E DESCRIPTION AND OPERATION The freewheel clutches can perform three functions hold components stationary, drive components and freewheel allowing components to rotate without a drive output. The freewheel clutches used in the LE transmission are of the sprag type and comprise an inner and outer race and a sprag and cage assembly. The inner and outer races are pressed into their related components with which they rotate. The sprag and cage assembly is located between the inner and outer races. The sprags are located in a cage which is a spring which holds the sprags in the 'wedge' direction and maintains them in contact with the inner and outer races. Referring to the illustration, the sprags are designed so that the dimension 'Bis larger than the distance between the inner and outer race bearing surfaces. When the outer race rotates in a clockwise direction, the sprags twist and the edges across the dimension 'B' wedge between the races, providing a positive drive through each sprag to the inner race. The dimension 'A' is smaller than the distance between the inner and outer race bearing surfaces. When the outer race rotates in an anticlockwise direction, the dimension 'A' is too small to allow the sprags to wedge between the races, allowing the outer race to rotate freely. On the illustration shown, when the outer race is rotated in a clockwise direction, the sprags twist and are 'wedged' between the inner and outer races. The sprags then transfer the rotation of the outer race to the inner race, which rotates at the same speed.