Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2016


This thesis describes the conceptual operation of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and develops a model of a CVT system. The purpose is to form a framework for understanding how CVTs work, what factors go into their design, why they are used on almost all modern snowmobiles, and how they can be tuned for better performance. By developing a model using rigid body analysis, computer modeling, and a list of structured equations, a CVT can be tuned more efficiently. The model is used to calculate values difficult or tedious to evaluate by hand with visual aide for clearer understanding of the motion. By combing the model results with a series of equations, that prescribe the dynamics of the CVT a methodological framework is developed that can be used to tune a snowmobile to save time, money, and tune more efficiently.