An analytical technique for evaluating bending and Hertzian load distribution factors for spur gears has been developed which provides FEM (finite element method) accuracy at a fraction of the computational and model building effort. To establish a baseline, bending and Hertzian stress distributions for a standard. uniformly loaded spur gear are analyzed using a detailed 3D FEM model. Both infinite length and semi-infinite length (from a deformation/stress perspective) versions of the model are used to create the influence coefficients necessary for the load distribution method. The underlying methodology - a hybrid approach combining influence coefficients, matrix algebra. geometry superposition and non-dimensional scaling to closely emulate FEM results - is discussed and employed to investigate the effects of mesh misalignment and tooth profile modifications (crown. taper, etc.) on both bending and Hertzian stress distribution, Reference charts of bending and Hertzian load distribution factors are provided for tapered/misaligned gears.