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Michael J. Barnes

1915 Dodge leather cone clutch

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There is a diagram in the early manual, and instructions indicate the clutch can be tightened by turning a large nut against the clutch spring. But before that, there is a clamp screw to loosen. That I cannot locate, and the manual isn’t helpful. Has anybody got experience with this? There is a lot of grease down below in that region too, which I am pretty sure should not be the case, probably because the drain hole was plugged solid, and lubricant has been accumulating (even leaking in from the tranny side, seems to me possible). Thanks, Mike, Vancouver

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I will answer my own topic for the curious. The big flat nut has flanges: to tighten it you place a screwdriver against one of the flanges and tap it around. The nut is split: it tightens on itself. So I tapped it half way round and that brought the tightening screw to the top. It feels tight already, yet not so tight I cannot turn the nut. There is very little access here. Clutch shaft is directly above, and there is only a little clearance to the tranny wall. So only at a very specific angle is it possible to place a screwdriver against the clamp screw and tighten it effectively. And the clutch can only be tightened in more or less exact one rotation increments.

 

VERY IMPORTANT: There is a drain hole under the flywheel. As soon as I scraped it clean, lots of oil began to drip out. This has probably been lubricating my clutch. I have used a 2x4 to hold the pedal down. Next I will squirt gasoline onto the leather, then neatsfoot oil or some modern equivalent. Manual says clutch pedal should never be pressed down farther than necessary. Makes sense given that only half an inch or so of clutch movement should be necessary to completely separate clutch from flywheel. Oh the Dodge brothers! Those tightenable split nuts are also their way of holding the rear wheels on the cars.

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