Bud Tierney

Dry Clutch Replacing Wet lutch 1936 6Cyl

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Rummaging around in memory (Two Piece Brake Pedal???) remembered clutch went bad on that 36 6cyl...'

Local  ex hot rodder who owned local wrecking yard,, where we bought our parts and an occasional car, sympathized, but didn't want to replace wet clutch, instead advised he'd often wondered if dry clutch could be fitted...  we said 'be our guest'...

He did, in fact, fit a dry clutch, I assume out of his wrecking yard inventory, but swore he'd never do another, giving specific reasons I can't recall now except that fitting washers for spacing was extremely frustrating, if that makes sense....the dry clutch worked well as long as car ran....

Was fitting a dry clutch highly unusual, or was this often done as cars aged???

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I can't speak to what might have been done due to lack of understanding, but as I read my owners manual, it does not appear to maintain, or even to properly rebuild the Hudson wet clutch, a series of circular corks running in an oil-based mixture.

 

The clutch in my 1915 Hudson SIX-40 was likely rebuilt around 1952-1957 by Fred Long, but may or may not have been redone again as he drove this car a great many miles. It still functions as designed, and has taken us on several major tours. A year ago, after displaying at the Hilton Head Concourse we enjoyed a week-long AACA/HCCA Reliability Tour in the Savannah, Georgia and coastal South Carolina area, and in mid-2018 we expect to be cruising the Finger Lakes/ Geneva area of Upstate New York. A (much) older restoration, our '15 Hudson runs beautifully, cork wet clutch and all.

 

I cannot imagine any reason to modify this fine and smooth engaging arrangement, so long as cork trees and oil exist.

1915 Hudson 5 Savannah Gregory Neck.jpg

1915 Hudson 3 Savannah.jpg

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I can't recall why we let Ted try to fit a dry clutch, but I would guess it was a combination of $$$ for new Hudson parts and Ted's offer of no expense to us to let him play with it...

You have to remember that these were just worn out old cars, not nice units, and that we were chronically short of $$$ in those days, keeping them going with baling wire and friction tape...duct tape would've been a luxury if we'd known it existed...not that things've improved that much in that department...

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You would have to also change the flywheel for a dry clutch to work, the oil clutch flywheels are very thin to dissipate heat. They were and are very good clutches but you do need to check and change the oil every few years. Hudson vendors carry the oil as well as the club store. Many owners use type F automatic transmission fluid. It only takes a few ounces.

DSCN5521.JPG

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Honestly can't recall if Ted said anything about having to replace flywheel...he did have a machine shop of sorts, so could've machined new bolt circles in a replecement, and he did build at least one neat Hot Rod type everyone called  "a Ted Lee Special"., out of inventory...

On the light flywheel question: I always assumed Hudson used the light flywheel to boost performance of their 3x5---don't know if light flywheels used on other Hudson or any other stock engines...hot rodders were always shaving their flywheels...

Don't recall any feeling of reduced performance, as if a heavier flywheel had been adapted, not that  we drove this to its performance limits---in those days We were mainly interested in babying it along to keep it going with a minimum of expense...longest trips it took were 60+ mile distances between towns (southern NM)...

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