ADade

'18 Buick Clutch

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If I'm not mistaken, my 18 Buick has a leather cone clutch.  I'm about to pull the transmission for a clean-up and overhaul, and wondered if there's a better solution than leather - like kevlar maybe?  Anybody have experience with this and/or know someone who could make the conversion for me?

 

Suggestions very welcome.

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I am reasonably sure that your 1918 Buick has a multiple disc clutch.  1918 was the first year for this.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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Four cylinder or six cylinder?  Makes a difference. I think the four cylinder is still a cone clutch. 

 

I vote for leather only.  Worked for 100 years, why upgrade, or maybe down grade in performance. 

 

Leather is the only thing that I have put on my vehicles and will continue to put on my vehicles.

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Larry, 

    Thanks, I learned something today.  You are correct on the 4 cylinder being a cone clutch in 1918.  Then no 4 cylinder for three years (1919/20/21).     Hugh

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ADade,  Hi, I can answer your questions about Kevlar for a cone clutch.  Andy Wise Andy's Garage 302-245-7276

              Will be at Hershey Space C4P  49 -50

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My car is a four cylinder.  I was just under the car and it sure looks to me like a multi-disk clutch, but I've got conflicting responses here.  Is the consensus that the six cylinder cars in 18 were multi-disk and the fours were cone?

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ADade,   I,m not familiar with the 1918 four cylinder,  but all Buicks I have worked on have an inspection plate at the top of the flywheel/gearbox bell housing.   Remove the floorboards,  remove the plate and the clutch  can be easily seen..  A multi disc clutch looks very different to a cone clutch.  These photo,s are not 1918 but show the inspection plate.

SAM_0157.JPG

SAM_4139.jpg

Edited by ROD W (see edit history)
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I do know that the 6-Cylinder Buicks went to the multiple disc clutch beginning with the 1918 models.  Not sure what the fours did and when.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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4 cylinder

Up to and including 1918, the 4 cylinder was a cone clutch.  In 1919, the 4 cylinder engine and cone clutch was dropped.  In 1922 the 4 cylinder was revived and they used the majority of the 6 cylinder clutch internals, but the clutch used  1 fewer metal driven disc, and 1 fewer friction plate disc and so a slightly less thick clutch.  

 

6 cylinder

Up to and including 1917 the 6 cylinder is a cone clutch, then 1918 the multi disc is used.  

For the 1925 Standard, they used the smaller clutch mechanism from the 4 cylinder.

In 1926 the multi disc clutch style was changed.

Attached is a photo of the 2 clutch multi disc packs for this era up to 1925 - Courtesy of Larry DiBarry

1426663091_Clutches-Buick-Standardonleft-MasteronRight.thumb.JPG.720520c481be139fce0b9bd5e010eb84.JPG

1436322332_Clutches-BuickHubsStandardonleft-Masteronright.thumb.JPG.c4025d6fd590208a0a1e9df93206eb7a.JPG

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  • OK -- I removed the third floorboard and there is indeed an inspection window, but there's no cover (and no holes to affix a cover).  Here's what I see.  What's the verdict?1567537300_18Clutch.thumb.JPG.3ffce5f9589de2202103f09302d3b988.JPG

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Sure looks like a cone clutch to me.  Very similar to my 17D45.  I wrestled with the relining of my clutch last year.  There are advocates  as well as detractors for leather, kevlar and woven friction lining.  I ended up having a local restoration shop reline my clutch with woven material as they guaranteed their work.  I have to date been happy with the clutch performance.  One argument for the  woven material is that without a restoration of the engine seals, and replacement of the bearings with sealed bearings, there is a significant potential for grease and oil to get on the clutch matierial and the leather and kevlar will not perform  well with these materials on the clutch face.  As I have said, I talked with people that are happy with all of these materials.  I doubt that there is one correct material.  

 

Bob Engle

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I think Bob is right - there is more than one way that will work.  When I go through the engine and transmission on my '16 D-45 I am going to have the cone lined with the Kevlar material.  I am fully aware that these vehicles left the factory with leather on the cone.  In order to keep the clutch from grabbing Neet's Foot Oil was applied.  When it began slipping too much, Fuller's Earth Powder was applied - then it started grabbing again.  The vicious circle was again repeated and the vehicle could not be driven and enjoyed.  With the application of the oil the clutch assembly becomes a slobbery, gooey mess.  This kid says "NO Way am I going to go through that".  It comes down to the point that I am just plain lazy about this.  I ain't gonna pull the floorboards out of the car every time I want to drive it.  Sorry guys, but this is one time where modern technology tops the old fashioned work your butt off way.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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Terry,

 

Have you tried the Kevlar? Does it make the car any easier to drive?

 

I have a 1913 Studebaker with a leather-lined cone clutch. I have never used fullers earth, and it is difficult to imagine a situation in which this clutch could ever slip much. I'm with you on the neatsfoot oil. It is the only thing that makes the car driveable, and it is a godawful slimy mess, and yes I pull my floorboards up all the time to put more on.

 

I was under the impression that cone clutches lock the way they do because of the taper. If that is the case, I wonder how kevlar would make it any better?

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My 1918 Pierce 48-B-5 came to me 2.75 years ago with Kevlar on its cone clutch vs. original leather.  I was told by the previous owner that if the clutch squeaks or grabs, add ATF where one would normally add neatsfoot oil.  In over 4,000 miles in those 2.75 years (I waited 18 years for this specific car to become available, so I'm playing with it a LOT!), I've not had to do any clutch maintenance except one tightening of the spring (not fun).  The Kevlar is as smooth as silk in first, a tad grabby in reverse, and very positive on shifts in motion as is characteristic of cone clutches.  1918 was the last year of Pierce factory LEATHER cone clutch material, as for 1919-20 they used "composite" (perhaps like brake lining), still on a cone clutch.  This car has 525 cid from six cylinders and is a torque monster, but the Kevlar has held up beautifully since the car was restored >35 years ago.  I'll choose Kevlar for satisfactory performance and minimal maintenance when it's time to do this clutch.

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I'm about to do the clutch on my 1918 6 cyl. Not looking forward to having to remove the rear end to pull the torque tube back. Since I don't have a hydraulic lift, it looks like the way to do it is, remove the gas tank, block up the frame using blocks where the gas tank was, and spending the next few days lying on my back. Sounds like fun......NOT!

 

 

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Morgan.

 

You dont have to remove the tank. Take the wheels off (very easy job) and with a floor jack you can back the differential enough to get the transmision and clutch out.

 

It is a lot easier on these cars than with the Buicks with hydraulic brakes of later years.

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On my car, the gas tank is in the way, it's 2 inches behind the differential. Plus, I want to redo the gas tank anyway.

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On 9/26/2018 at 10:52 AM, ADade said:

Hi sir I was wondering if you can send me a picture of the clutch. I have a 1918 Buick 4 cylinder it has been sitting for about 7 to 10 years yes it was taken apart and sitting for about 7 to 10 years we rebuilt the engine and now I need help on how the clutch goes on. If you can help that would be extremely helpful??.

 

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