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abbott detroit transmission oil

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hello everyone, I have a customer who has a customer who has a 1913 abbott Detroit.  he tells me the car has a wet clutch.  is it a conventional style transmission, other than the wet clutch, and what would the gear oil be?

I don't seem to be able to dig up much information on the car, abbott Detroit doesn't seem to have made cars for very long.

thanks - terry

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I have used automatic transmission fluid in wet clutches in motorcycles and it worked great. The clutch did not stick,it worked more freely than with the recommended motor oil. And the ATF is good for the chains as well as the clutches.

 

I know nothing about an Abbot - Detroit, or even if the clutch lube is separate from the engine and trans. I just put this out for your information.

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Interesting.  I have a 1912 Abbott-Detroit.  It has a 50 hp Continental engine and it uses a (dry) multi disc clutch.  

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thanks keene, that's good to know, I thought it was strange to have a wet clutch.  maybe its wet by accident, like the seal is out of the engine or transmission.

 

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classiccardatabase.com lists 1913 as "multiple disc, dry plate"  If the case doesn't have a fill & drain plug, it needs a seal and washing.

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Thinking about this a little more----IF you find that the clutch is a WET clutch I think you would be safe starting with say a 30W non detergent oil.  I have an '11 Chalmers that uses a wet clutch and over the years have tried various oils.

I can look next week when I get home what I've used.  Too many years ago, too many trials and errors and a terrible memory!

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4 hours ago, Keene Brewer said:

I think you would be safe starting with say a 30W non detergent oil. 

What is 30W oil? SAE 30? After a small number of uses it will be about SAE 60, then 90. It will turn to sludge. Please don't use non-detergent oil. It oxidises quickly and turns to sludge.

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thanks for everyone's replies.  I will pass this on, but I will try to talk to the owner, and see the car.   if its a regular 3 or 4 speed sliding gear trans., would it likely use the 600w steam cylinder oil that is recommended for a few of the old cars?

 

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It really depends on whether any modifications were done to the car. My Buick uses a wet clutch with the trans and clutch sharing the lubrication. 600W oil is recommended. However, through the years some people have blocked the hole that allows the oil to flow from clutch to trans and run automatic transmission fluid in the clutch area and 600W in the trans area.

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OK, checked and I am using a 30w oil in my wet clutch on the Chalmers and have been since I rebuilt everything in 1997. I have not had any problems and we have toured that car extensively.  Looking at the factory recommendations from 1911, on this model the engine, transmission and clutch all used the same oil although they were separate chambers.  Realizing each car is different and may require different oils for different parts i.e., engine,transmission, clutch, differential etc.  On this particular car, fluids can seep from the clutch chamber to the transmission and vise versa so using the same lubricate is mandatory.   With all that said about this particular application I think your Abbott is probably a dry clutch.  Do you know if the Abbott is a 34-40 or 44-50 model?   Mine is a model 44 -7 passenger.  Do you know what the make of the transmission is?

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I have a late 1910 / early 11 Model 30 Abbott with a continental engine. This car uses a wet clutch built in unit with the transmission, All the discs, drive and driven are steel with four pressure springs. The owners handbook states " To lubricate the clutch, use a pint of cylinder oil" also " Do not use kerosene in the clutch case" . I use the same in the transmission and one end of the clutch hub rides on a pilot on one of the transmission shafts so there probably is some seepage there. It drags when cold but after a little bit it works okay. Some period literature I have of the time (Motor Age) has technical articles about the model 30 and states that it uses an "F & S clutch", however I do not know what those letters stand for. I had some pics from when it was apart showing the disc assembly pressure plate and bronze throw out also the rebuilt universal that is between the engine and the transmission.

 

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thanks very much for everyones replies, I really appreciate it.   here's and update - I just found out the car is a 1917.  that's the problem with relaying messages through two different guys, I shouldn't have posted until I talked to the guy actually working on it! 

if there's anybody that wants to update the info now that I know the year for sure, im all ears.

- terry

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When you said "F&S clutch" the first thing that came to mind was German manufacturer Fichtel & Sachs. They were in business from 1895 making bicycle ball bearings and components, and are still a major supplier of clutches. I don't know if they made auto clutches in 1911 but they certainly did in the 1920s. But, somehow I don't see an American car using a German clutch, unless it was made in the US under license.

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Rusty,

My digging around brought up the same name that you mention with regard to F & S, however I agree with you about being doubtful that Abbott used a German made clutch. One of those things we will probably never know. So much stuff for so many makers was made by small shops all over.

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Posted (edited)

I'm going to throw in one more tip for those of you with oil bath, multi plate clutches. I got this from an old Indian mechanic named Charlie Mahoney who did this mod on his 1937 Indian 4 and rode it for 30 or 40 years.

 

What he did was, to drill a hole in the tab on every second plate. Then insert a short piece of neoprene rubber O ring. The neoprene is heat proof and oil proof. It acts as a spring to push the plates apart. This prevents the plates from sticking together, a common problem with this type clutch especially when cold and especially if you use thick oil.

 

 

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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