A global model of mechanical transmissions is introduced which deals with most of the possible interactions between gears, shafts, and hydrodynamic journal bearings. A specific element for wide-faced gears with nonlinear time-varying mesh stiffness and tooth shape deviations is combined with shaft finite elements, whereas the bearing contributions are introduced based on the direct solution of Reynolds' equation. Because of the large bearing clearances, particular attention has been paid to the definition of the degrees-of-freedom and their datum. Solutions are derived by combining a time step integration scheme, a Newton–Raphson method, and a normal contact algorithm in such a way that the contact conditions in the bearings and on the gear teeth are simultaneously dealt with. A series of comparisons with the experimental results obtained on a test rig are given which prove that the proposed model is sound. Finally, a number of results are presented which show that parameters often discarded in global models such as the location of the oil inlet area, the oil temperature in the bearings, the clearance/elastic couplings interactions, etc. can be influential on static and dynamic tooth loading.