Morgan Wright

1918 E-49 clutch job

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On the right is the clutch from the spare engine, after taking the clutch apart and cleaning each disc, and re-assembling it.

 

On the left is the clutch from the complete car, as it came out of the car, before taking it apart.

 

 

 

 

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I put the clutch from the parts car back together after cleaning it, because the pads were not worn at all. They were the same thickness as new ones. The shop manual says to reline it when a drive disc with 2 pads is less than 5/16 thick total, which is .316 inch...... these were around .43 inch.

 

I think the parts car was restored long ago......everything is painted. There is paint where there should not be any paint, dead giveaway that somebody restored it with a paint brush. So whoever restored it probably relined the clutch and drove it to car shows long ago. Then the car got old again and was abandoned in a wheat field and rotted away to a parts car. So the clutch is not worn at all even though the car is nothing but a heap of parts.

 

The clutch from the complete car, which was never restored, is worn. It looks like the pads were replaced at least once, because whoever redid the clutch put the discs in all wrong, and then it was driven until it wore down again. So I'm going to put new pads on this one, thanks to Hugh and his copping new pads and rivets for a group of us.

 

Tonight I'm taking apart the clutch from the complete car. I'm drinking wine and feeling fine and might make a mistake, so if you don't hear from me again it means the spring shot out and hit me in the head and I'm off with David Buick and Billy Crapo riding ghost Buicks in the sky.

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The facings are worn, but not down to the rivets, the driven discs are all good except one really messed up one. It's the last one near the flywheel plate, I think it's messed up because they put all the driven discs in backwards. It has to be tossed.

 

 

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Morgan,

   That driven disc is toast.  

I learned this trick putting the clutch in my car.  You have to line all the clutch tabs up and use a pilot shaft or you will never be able to stab the transmission.  Assemble the clutch in close order but it can be loose.  There are 3 holes that you can use to compress the clutch assembly.   It requires three 5/16 fully threaded bolts and 3 nuts.  The bolts need to be about 1 1/2" long.   I had also used a big screw clamp when I took it apart, but that won't work when you go to do the install.    The 3 holes are shown with arrows on my photo.  Using those 3 bolt holes and 5/16 bolts makes it really easy to line everything up if you just maintain a little tension on the friction plates.  The bolts and nuts come out easy too when you are done. 

You must also use a clutch alignment tool to install the clutch.  Having another transmission input shaft is always nice, but I had a generic clutch pilot tool that fit the 3/4" pilot bearing and I was able to use a 22 mm deep socket to do the rest.  

 

One more note:
After I soaked all the parts in Vinegar, I wiped them with Ospho and then I wiped them dry before the Ospho left a lot of residual.  I think that provides a good coating.  For the plates that have the liners and rivets, I did paint those just with VHT Epoxy which is a multipurpose primer/topcoat.  Then I installed the new lining material.

Hugh

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Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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I'm gonna put the assembled clutch on the flywheel tomorrow, wish me luck.

 

I used 5/8 inch wood dowels to keep the tabs aligned when I assembled it. I cut them 2  3/8 inch long so I could remove them. I measured, 5/8 is a little bit bigger than the 3 flywheel bolts, so if they align on the dowels they should slide onto those bolts. To compress the spring I used a single bolt through the hub, a 3/4 inch bolt 8 inches long with a nut, and a big washer with 3/4 inside diameter. I'll install the tranny later, after I clean it up inside and out, grease it all up. I see what you mean about having to throw out the clutch with those 3 bolts so get the tranny shaft to line up. I'll probably do that trick if it doesn't slide in.

 

During the winter I will rebuild the other clutch with those facings and rivets. Good to have a spare.

 

I long for the days I used to be strong enough to pick up a tranny and stab it in the clutch. Sometimes tranny on the shoulder with one hand, head down, stick it in, other hand puts a couple nuts on. Now I'm lucky if I'm strong enough to raise cane

Edited by Morgan Wright (see edit history)

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Here I have the bolts you told me about, with wing nuts, and I'm using a chopstick as a feeler gauge to make the hub dead center.

 

 

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This tells me the tabs on the drive discs are supposed to point toward the spring plate, but the tabs on the driven discs are not shown.

 

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Morgan, 

    Originally the tabs on the driven discs pointed forward, and the tabs on the drive (friction) discs pointed to the rear.   Also the first driven disc is different from the other driven discs.  Is that true on your early clutches?   Hugh

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I just installed the cleaned-out and assembled clutch from the spare car to the complete car, using all the old linings because they are full thickness and look solid. The discs are exactly like you say, drive plate tabs point rearward to the spring plate, driven disc tabs point forward towards the flywheel. I didn't assemble the clutch pack on the flywheel, I pre-assembled it and centered the hub during assembly. After I bolted it on, it was still centered, so I'm ready for the transmission in the spring. All closed down now for the winter, the snow is deep enough to abandon the place. Winter started around November 7, and it has snowed 8 times already in November, with 26 inches total. We have 4 seasons in the Adirondacks of upstate NY.....almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction.

 

I see no difference between the first driven disc and the others in the clutch from the spare car. In the clutch I just took out of the complete car, they look the same but the first driven disc is totally ruined, all the tabs are bent more than Elizabeth Warren doing yoga in Great Bend, Kansas.

  • Haha 2

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Morgan, 

    On all three of the clutches that I have, the front clutch driven disc does not have inner bent tabs.  Like in the exploded view.  They are riveted on reinforced pads.  I looked these up in the big parts book and it is part number 37808.  The rivetted on plate side is toward the front.    I don't know if it was the accident or unsticking the engine that unraveled the driven disc in your clutch.  Seeing that there is no rust where the tabs are bent would indicate recent damage.  I also wanted to mention that one of the benefits of the new clutch facings is that they do not "unravel at the seam" so to speak.  I know your clutch is all together, but Larry has had an old lining failure, and mine were starting to give it up (photos below).  The cage that holds all your clutch plates as an assembly is also slightly different on your model, but this looks like an improved disc.   You were kind enough to send me a driven disc, and I would like to extend the offer and send you this one, but only if you are going to use it and not just keep it as a spare, so let me know. 

Hugh  

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Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)

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My picture parts books for 1918 says 36153 only, and 5 per car, no mention of 37808, but my master parts book for 1931 retroactively says the 1918 car needs 1 of the 37808 discs.... I guess that part is something they came up with after 1918, when they saw that everybody's front-most disc was being torn to shreds like mine was. And the one of mine that was ripped up was definitely the front one. And it didn't happen recently because the tab that broke off was wedged into the facing of the back plate and left a deep groove in the driven disc next to it, where it ground itself in, years ago.

 

So yeah, I need that disc for sure. I'll grab the clutch back out the car, and stick your 37808 disc in it. Send it to me at 7272 Barkersville Rd, Middle Grove, NY 12850. Thanks a lot!

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Deep groove ground by the tab that broke off the front-most driven disc.......this is a pic of the back-most driven disc.

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Of the 5 driven discs in this clutch, one is destroyed and one has the groove, but the other 3 are fine and they are not pitted with rust like the pitted one you have. It never sat outside in the rain like yours. I can send you one of these in exchange for the one you are sending me.

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Morgan, 

      It does look like they made an upgrade early in the life cycle of the clutch.  The front clutch piece with the studs is also a little different but serves the same purpose as well.

Sounds like time to do another clutch disc exchange.  We both know that in this hobby the only one that makes any money is the UPS man.    Hugh

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In my opinion, and I'm not an engineer, the flaw in this clutch design is that the hub is free to move forwards and backwards, and is not held in place by a central bearing against the middle of the flywheel. If the driver slams on the brakes, the hub can move forward, and then when he hits the gas, the hub might not be engaging all 5 of the driven discs, depending on how far forward the hub moved when he slammed on the brakes. Sometimes 4 discs, maybe 3, if only 2 discs are engaged that probably is about the limit on how much torque these discs can handle. But if only the front disc it taking all the torque, then it's toast. Instead of redesigning the flywheel to have a bearing in the middle, they just made the front-most disc stronger.

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I blame it on bad drivers. The act of putting your foot on the clutch would bring the hub all the way back every time. And slamming on the brakes when the clutch is engaged, the hub could not move forward because the reverse torque of engine braking would hold the hub in place. But if the driver slams on the brakes and clutch at the same time, the hub moves forward, then the front plate takes the torque, until such time as the driver puts the clutch on again when not braking, and the hub comes back.

 

So, putting on the brakes and clutch at the same time is the problem, but who does that? Bad drivers.

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Morgan,

If you are calling that big center spider the hub, it doesnt go anywhere forward or back. it is constrained someway.

The hub wear pattern from the disc ears on my car is very localized. That tells me there is very little movement.

 

Looking at your video, yours appears the same

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Not a great design for sure.  I thought about looking to install a modern clutch.  The biggest problem is that I did not want to modify the transmission.  The input shaft to the transmission is a 1 1/2" 6 spline.  The biggest you usually find for cars is 1 1/4" in a 6 spline.  If they are 1 1/2" then they are a 10 spline and now you are into truck parts.  The OD of the clutch itself starts increasing from 9" to 11 1/2" which begins to get too big for the bell housing.  I did find a 1 1/2" 6 spline hub from Hub City. Then I wanted to find a large bore clutch that could have the spline cut out on a lathe and replace with this, and then weld it together.  You also need to add a plate to the flywheel for the clutch surface and to hold the pressure plate.  After thinking about this, it sure became a lot easier to just fix what I had and see how well it works.  

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3 hours ago, DonMicheletti said:

Morgan,

If you are calling that big center spider the hub, it doesnt go anywhere forward or back. it is constrained someway.

The hub wear pattern from the disc ears on my car is very localized. That tells me there is very little movement.

 

Maybe, but wear patterns just tells where something usually is, not where it always is. If you look at my video and go to 5:55 you will see the hub comes right out, and I don't see any sign that it rubs against the center of the flywheel. There is no bearing, and no wear pattern at the front of the hub anywhere, or the back of the center of the flywheel........I honestly don't know what keeps it in place.

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The important thing is where it is when it is working and that is what creates the wear  pattern.

 

It would be intersting to be able to test just how much it can move with the transmission in place

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The clutch spider has a washer on one end.  The washer is a 1" ID.  The transmission input shaft has a 3/4" pilot bushing extension and a 1 1/2" spline OD.  When you mate up the parts, the front of the washer is close to the pilot bushing, and the back of the washer is against the face of the input shaft spline.  This is what keeps the spider from moving front to rear.  

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Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)

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the Spider/Hub does not move.  It is held in place by a metal ring attached to the front of the Hub.  When the gearbox is installed,   the clutch shaft / input shaft  pushes against the ring preventing the hub moving backwards.  It gets very little wear as most of the time it is turning with the flywheel.  Only when the clutch is depressed, dissengaging the discs does it slow for easier gear change.  Thats why we use heavier grade oil in the gearbox to slow the hub and gears. The metal ring can be seen in the bottom photo,  at the front of the hub/spider

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Edited by ROD W (see edit history)
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