oakhurst

1915 Studebaker Clutch issues

Recommended Posts

When releasing the clutch in first gear, car starts to roll normally, then upon full release of clutch, car leaps about 2 feet.

I understand this is a leather faced "cone" clutch.  Bought the neatsfoot oil but not sure how to apply it.  I understand there is somebody in Orange, CA who has redone the leather for another owner.  Any help?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let us know how you make out, Mr. Oakhurst.

Not only will we root for your success with the Studebaker,

but providing more details on your findings will 

help out the next guy with a similar need.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is typical of cone clutches. Some of them had spring loaded devices under the leather to push it out in spots allowing a more gradual take up of the clutch. The neat's foot oil may help soften the leather. You need to find some way to get it into the clutch and let the leather soak it up. There may be holes for this purpose in the clutch housing, I don't know. Maybe some of the real old timers will chime in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was told thirty odd years ago that a cone clutch should not be eased out or slipped as we do with a disc clutch.  I was told to speed the engine up slightly, close the throttle,  engage the clutch smoothly and then open the throttle again.  I only drove one cone clutch car, and that only for ten miles in town and fifty miles on the highway.  After the first two or three starts I seemed to get in step with the car and most starts were smooth and both owner and auto seemed happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Tinindian -

 

Having driven extensively with our (former) 1912 Oakland and 1914 Buick B-37, you don't gradually slip a cone clutch. 

Get it to where it starts to engage and let it out all the way with out serious acceleration for the moment, then accelerate as it becomes fully engaged.

 

It won't take too long for you to become comfortable with the procedure, and then it will become second nature.

 

You may not really need the Neatsfoot Oil, but in any case don't overdo it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THanks, lots of good info.  I will keep the forum informed of what we find.  Waiting for a call back from Bob Knaak.  Yes, trans is in the rear axle.  Need to get if off the lift and out on the road to learn more.  Weather is iffy now so it may be a few days. Finally verified the VIN and got it legal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

This is a different vehicle, but in the video the owner talks about how he shifts with the cone clutch, so you may find it interesting.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My hearing is pretty well shot, so I can't make out the detail of the conversation.  But do you have a clutch brake?  In my cone-clutch 1918 Pierce (clutch relined with Kevlar, rather than leather, when restored, so ATF rather than neatsfoot oil is the right lubricant for Kevlar), there is a clutch brake consisting of two pads which slow/stop the clutch when the clutch pedal is FULLY depressed.  The technique is to depress the clutch FULLY **ONLY** when shifting at a stopped position into 1st or reverse.  (Actually, on the 4-speed Pierce, I use 1st only when starting on a grade or desiring to go at crawl speed.  So I fully depress the clutch pedal and engage the clutch brake at a stop sign, for example, going into 2nd gear.)  While moving, depress the clutch part-way while up- or down-shifting so as NOT to engage the clutch brake.  Check your Owner's Manual for adjustment of the clutch brake, if equipped.

 

Another issue is to periodically lubricate the cross shaft, seen in this video, by means of any oil holes / oil cups / grease cups / grease fittings provided.  I find that I need to pull the floor boards and lube the cross shaft about every 500 miles.  If you find your cross shaft dry or sticky, initially try penetrating oil or 5W30; once it's freed up, use SAE 30.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Afterthought:  IF you overdo the neatsfoot oil, prop the clutch pedal in the fully depressed position for an hour or so, and the excess will be squeezed out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you do not use neetsfoot oil occasionally the leather will dry out and fly apart, it happened last year to a friend of mines 1918 studebaker. If you apply too much oil depressing the clutch will not squeeze out the excess because the clutch will be released. I read somewhere a product called mothers earth can be used on leather clutches if they are slipping from being oil soaked due to leakage or ???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The product used to soak up excess neatsfoot oil is FULLERS Earth, similar to talcum powder. You may not need it but neatsfoot oil (often called saddler's oil these days) is a must.  

 

I have driven my cone-clutch 1912 KisselKar many thousands of miles and thousands of shifts -- I relined the clutch with saddle leather during the initial restoration and it has not worn out yet. 

 

I agree with with the suggestions above to 1) check for spring-loaded fingers bumping out the leather lining in a number of spots to help with a gradual engagement (they are often adjustable to take up wear), 2) engage the clutch sooner than later, and 3) overhaul (or install) the clutch brake. I had to design and build a clutch brake for my car and it is a great improvement. 

 

If your leather lining is worn/tattered it can be replaced in the home shop fairly easily and at moderate cost. 

 

One of the great pleasures of driving these slow-revving engines with big flywheels is driving without using the clutch -- use it only to get going or stopped and just match the revs for all moving shifts. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 1915 Buick has a cone clutch Yes, basically they are in or out. Neatsfoot oil if they are grabby, talcum powder if they slip. And yes. The early Studebakers had a Transaxle. Worked on several in the past. Dandy Dave!

Edited by Dandy Dave (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As mentioned earlier, the Kevlar lining is a great option. We had a Pierce relined this year and the engagement

is very smooth. The lining was done by a gentleman from Delaware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Dave Gray said:

As mentioned earlier, the Kevlar lining is a great option. We had a Pierce relined this year and the engagement

is very smooth. The lining was done by a gentleman from Delaware.

 

I vote for leather on all of my cone clutch vehicles.  Lasted 100 years, I do not think I will last longer than the reline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...