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1918 Kissel Roadster- clutch grabbing issue


DBKissel

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I recently purchased a 1918 KISSEL Roadster which has a cone style clutch.  The car bucks as the clutch is released. Once moving and shifting it's OK.  The Kissel manual has suggestions which I started to follow.  The first thing I noticed [through the inspection plate on the bell housing ] is that the 2 spring loaded keepers were not adjusted evenly thus when the clutch pedal was being released and the clutch engaged , one keeper keeps force on the rim while the other starts to end it's travel and stops pressure.  As I tried to adjust the first, I broke the threaded shaft that the castle nut and cotter pin are on.  After removing the entire assemble I found the material is like bake-lite or some early version of non metallic for a bearing surface.  Upon removing the second assemble, I also broke the adjustment nut.  I'll see if my machinist thinks a PTFE piece could work.  [Any suggestions are appreciated]  I will probably skip the thread adjustment and pin it and use washers for final adjustment.   Has anyone seen this setup before and can offer even replacement parts?  Or suggestions?  Thx in advance!  [Sorry if "Keeper" is not the correct term- didn't know what else to all it]

 

 

Clutch with keeper and notes.jpg

Clutch without keeper.JPG

2nd keeper 180 deg off.JPG

Clutch bearing keeper with dim.jpg

IMG_1698.JPG

1918 Kissel Roadster.jpg

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Excellant presentation.

The lowest picture, the 'keeper?' is that a worn grove just offcenter?  The other groves are the result of earlier adjustments?  Is that the piece you spoke of making new?  That would be my approach as well.  Is it some kind of sacrificial material?  probably a call to McMaster-Carr would get you some modern material easy to machine and durable enough that you only have to do it the one time and have spare material left for the next owner.  

thats a sweetie for sure!

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Hi ojh,

 

Thx for the thoughts.  It's a worn groove.  I would guess there were no grooves when originally installed.  Then as time went on, the bearing part of the keeper would turn just out of random occasion and a new groove would begin to get worn in.  The big one is the result of it never being able to jump out of that groove so it got deeper.   Yes this is what I need to get made times 2.  Will check McMaster - thx!

Edited by DBKissel (see edit history)
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It looks like a spring-loaded clutch brake designed to slow the clutch down when it is disengaged. That would explain the sacrificial material and the worn grooves but I don't see how it would effect the grabbing issue unless it is too worn and and the clutch is spinning too fast. If that is the case, it might buck when initially engaged but I can't see why it would do so when disengaging.

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I don't know if the owner is accustomed to the function, or more specifically the "FEEL" of a typical Cone Clutch,

But from my experience, a cone clutch will be somewhat "grabby", and this can be moderated with

Neatsfoot Oil if it is Grabby,

or with Fuller's Earth if it tends to Slip - especially in high gear on an upslope (hill),

and with similar products.

 

It is not unusual for early cars to leak oil through a rear mail seal (if one even exists on that particular model).

Some cone clutches have been relined with Kevlar, and in my experience, this exacerbates to "Grabbiness", and sometimes this also happens if older asbestos lining is used.

Leather surfacing seems to work best on a cone clutch surface-

and remember that a cone clutch does typically not allow you to "slip" the engagement as much as a clutch disk.

Very often, a cone clutch will act "almost" like an ON/OFF switch

Edited by Marty Roth
typo, and additional note (see edit history)
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9 minutes ago, Grimy said:

Generally speaking, a grabby cone clutch needs neatsfoot oil--see owners manual for how to apply.  If you're new to cone clutches, you should understand that "grabby" is what they do.

 

Grimy,

 

Thanks - just saw that you responded as I was typing my response -

Good Comment !

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Yep, cone clutches are either In or Out.  Take some advice and cut a stick long enough to wedge between the seat base and the clutch pedal when the car is sitting for an extended time to keep the clutch lining from sticking tightly to the cone . Neatsfoot oil is your friend. 

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OK-  The 102 year old Instruction Manual calls for Neatsfoot Oil, but I thought that went out with flappers or the steam oil they seemed to think was great for the transmission.  I appreciate everyone's input.  I will search for the "Oil".  If anyone has a source pls advise.  Restoration Supply or ??   

Yup I'm new to cone clutches and 2 wheel mechanical breaks too.  Had no idea that was part of the charm.  Good idea to relieve the cone with stick while sitting- thx also. 

 

It only grabs when starting out from a dead stop as the clutch is released.

 

/Doug Kissel

 

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49 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

It looks like a spring-loaded clutch brake designed to slow the clutch down when it is disengaged. That would explain the sacrificial material and the worn grooves but I don't see how it would effect the grabbing issue unless it is too worn and and the clutch is spinning too fast. If that is the case, it might buck when initially engaged but I can't see why it would do so when disengaging.

I think your onto something here with the braking concept.  I couldn't really see the value of the design feature.  Thx

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Even available through Walmart

 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Herman-Survivors-Neatsfoot-Oil-8-oz/458724316

 

Herman Survivors Neatsfoot Oil 8 oz

Average Rating:(5.0)starsout of5stars1 ratings, based on1reviews
Write a review
Walmart # 555645217
$5.76 
 
976280a0-0e5e-4436-8e1c-9ed15ed57bfd_1.65483626f047f5485e7c268e43604054.jpeg?odnWidth=undefined&odnHeight=undefined&odnBg=ffffff
 
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Thanks everyone for thec contributions to my issue.  I'm going to run out to Walmart & grab some.  This could be a very happy ending, since I was already prepared to pull the TX and get a new clutch lining done [after trying adjustments of the cone springs], if that didn't work. 

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There is an adjustment for the cone clutch I found in the shop manual for my '21 Chevy.Your Kissel has the same adjuster setup. When adjusted and softened up.it works quite well. If you're too liberal with the neatsfoot oil.and the clutch slips,apply Fuller's Earth to absorb the excess. It helps to be chemist to keep these old gals running !

Jim

490 clutch adjustment.jpg

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About 90% of the problems people have with cone clutches is a result of wear rather than design...the lining is certainly important and I wouldn't use anything but leather but it is also very important that whatever the clutch slides on, usually a bushing in the center that fits over the end of the crankshaft, be in good condition. If is is worn the clutch can tip slightly and  it will not engage smoothly no matter what you use for a lining. The Silver Ghost RR had a cone clutch and I've never heard any of the common complaints about it...but it was exceptionally well made. Dynamic balancing wasn't available in 1918 but they did balance clutches statically. If it is in balance, with a good fitting central bushing, it will come out and in perfectly straight.

 

I can see from your photos that you have little spring-loaded plungers to push the facing material out a tiny bit. Those were there to prevent grabbing so it would be a good idea to replace the springs with new ones that have a known spring rate. The amount they push out is not as critical as the requirement that they all be the same. Cone clutches are fine but, like many things on old cars, require adjustments that the vast majority of modern mechanics have never seen.

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1 hour ago, J.H.Boland said:

There is an adjustment for the cone clutch I found in the shop manual for my '21 Chevy.Your Kissel has the same adjuster setup. When adjusted and softened up.it works quite well. If you're too liberal with the neatsfoot oil.and the clutch slips,apply Fuller's Earth to absorb the excess. It helps to be chemist to keep these old gals running !

Jim

490 clutch adjustment.jpg

 Thx so much, this is much better explanation of how it works.  Here's the Kissel version. 1423270519_PagesfromInst_1916_100.6Kissel_Page_2.thumb.jpg.7fa12b0d43fbe70911ff28b1e06fbb1e.jpg1131571880_PagesfromInst_1916_100.6Kissel_Page_1.thumb.jpg.b89565017abb5eaf51731cfcec06e358.jpg a   

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6 minutes ago, DBKissel said:

 Thx so much, this is much better explanation of how it works.  Here's the Kissel version. 1423270519_PagesfromInst_1916_100.6Kissel_Page_2.thumb.jpg.7fa12b0d43fbe70911ff28b1e06fbb1e.jpg1131571880_PagesfromInst_1916_100.6Kissel_Page_1.thumb.jpg.b89565017abb5eaf51731cfcec06e358.jpg a   

 

Sounds like the Kissel manual was written by an engineer ! The Chevy manual was written for simple folk (like me) who had likely just traded in Ol' Dobbin . "Turn the steering wheel to the left and the car will go left. This also applies when backing up."

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42 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

About 90% of the problems people have with cone clutches is a result of wear rather than design...the lining is certainly important and I wouldn't use anything but leather but it is also very important that whatever the clutch slides on, usually a bushing in the center that fits over the end of the crankshaft, be in good condition. If is is worn the clutch can tip slightly and  it will not engage smoothly no matter what you use for a lining. The Silver Ghost RR had a cone clutch and I've never heard any of the common complaints about it...but it was exceptionally well made. Dynamic balancing wasn't available in 1918 but they did balance clutches statically. If it is in balance, with a good fitting central bushing, it will come out and in perfectly straight.

 

I can see from your photos that you have little spring-loaded plungers to push the facing material out a tiny bit. Those were there to prevent grabbing so it would be a good idea to replace the springs with new ones that have a known spring rate. The amount they push out is not as critical as the requirement that they all be the same. Cone clutches are fine but, like many things on old cars, require adjustments that the vast majority of modern mechanics have never seen.

Thank you also for your insight!  I hadn't considered testing and matching new springs behind the plungers, but it makes sense.  Now I have plenty of things to try before the ultimate removal of the trans to evaluate the clutch lining.  /Doug

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1 minute ago, J.H.Boland said:

 

Sounds like the Kissel manual was written by an engineer ! The Chevy manual was written for simple folk (like me) who had likely just traded in Ol' Dobbin . "Turn the steering wheel to the left and the car will go left. This also applies when backing up."

I like the simple version.  It makes more sense - yikes I was an engineer when I worked- but I only played with wires.

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As an avid hunter as well as a car guy, have you ever hunted down a neat? Fortunately they are quadrupeds....so when you bag one, you get four. In my hometown, two have recently been shot by hunters with a mental issue.............both thought the cow was a deer. One hunter was caught cutting it up in a field.......played stupid........did 90 days. The other was out in front of my house..........the weapon of choice was a 78 Monte Carlo. The local PD finished off the neat with a .38 while it was suffering. It blocked my driveway. The officer was rather upset dispatching the animal. Probably because I was doing my impression of the insane inmate from the movie The Green Mile.......I kept yelling Barb-ba-que! At the top of my voice.......he found it unnerving. I used my John Deere 790 to pick it up off the street, and hung it in the front field to dress it out and save what we could. We salvaged about 600 pounds of beef. True story.......to this day, the cop thinks I’m an assxxxe. We laugh like hell every time we have a cookout and Crown Royal makes the rounds. Some 15 years later you can still see the hole in the field where we buried what was left after the crash. And, for you Chevy guys.......no, sadly the car didn’t make it. It was a BIG animal. Every time I drive a cone clutch......this story passes through my mind..........😎

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

As an avid hunter as well as a car guy, have you ever hunted down a neat? Fortunately they are quadrupeds....so when you bag one, you get four. In my hometown, two have recently been shot by hunters with a mental issue.............both thought the cow was a deer. One hunter was caught cutting it up in a field.......played stupid........did 90 days. The other was out in front of my house..........the weapon of choice was a 78 Monte Carlo. The local PD finished off the neat with a .38 while it was suffering. It blocked my driveway. The officer was rather upset dispatching the animal. Probably because I was doing my impression of the insane inmate from the movie The Green Mile.......I kept yelling Barb-ba-que! At the top of my voice.......he found it unnerving. I used my John Deere 790 to pick it up off the street, and hung it in the front field to dress it out and save what we could. We salvaged about 600 pounds of beef. True story.......to this day, the cop thinks I’m an assxxxe. We laugh like hell every time we have a cookout and Crown Royal makes the rounds. Some 15 years later you can still see the hole in the field where we buried what was left after the crash. And, for you Chevy guys.......no, sadly the car didn’t make it. It was a BIG animal. Every time I drive a cone clutch......this story passes through my mind.........

Another shaggy cow story.....

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19 minutes ago, Grimy said:

Another shaggy cow story.....


Gary Martins was driving the Chevy, class of 84. T Boy Santos was the cop. 975 Lyon St in Ludlow Ma..........the cow shot by the Portuguese hunter was on Kendal Street on the old Fuller Farm homestead.............truth is stranger than fiction. This all taking place on a old battlefield from King Phillips War..............and the Massacre of Deerfield in 1704. It’s what got me Intrested in history..........

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33 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Gary Martins was driving the Chevy, class of 84. T Boy Santos was the cop. 975 Lyon St in Ludlow Ma..........the cow shot by the Portuguese hunter was on Kendal Street on the old Fuller Farm homestead.............truth is stranger than fiction. This all taking place on a old battlefield from King Phillips War..............and the Massacre of Deerfield in 1704. It’s what got me Intrested in history..........

But you're still drinking overly-sweet Crown Royal, an entry-level whisky.  I stopped drinking that at 25.  I gotta get you into Maker's Mark....

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42 minutes ago, Grimy said:

But you're still drinking overly-sweet Crown Royal, an entry-level whisky.  I stopped drinking that at 25.  I gotta get you into Maker's Mark....


“Everyone speaks of my drinking.......but no one ever mentions my thirst.“


W C Fields, ...........and it applies to me also.
 

George....last time I had a drink in your garage it was red wine in paper cups........among the gynecology instruments and the radio active enema jar. If you haven’t had a drink at “Uncle Georges garage and quick stop urgent medical care emporium, you haven’t lived.” 😝
 

The real funny part is all the above is true!

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Doug,

    Kissel used cone clutches on their Model 6-38 and later model 6-45 engines well into the 1920s. Yes they are very “grabby” but easy to get used to. My 1921 bites very fast when engaged just a bit but you’ll get used to it.
    On my 1918 Kissel Sedanlette, My cone clutch was relined with Kevlar using a vendor I met in Hershey. The material seems to engage the same as my original leather cone in my 1921. Fast-grab. I can’t tell you about wear, but I just didn’t want to rely on the old organic leather that was on the 1918 prior to restoration.

   When restoring my 1918, we used new nuts and new springs. Probably a good idea as spring steel relaxes thru the decades. If you have it apart, now would be the time to address this. 
   It’s up to you if you reline your cone clutch or keep the leather. In doing a complete restoration, on my 1918 Kissel Sedanlette ( only one surviving), I just didn’t want anything left old and subject to later problems.

   You take care. Ron Hausmann P.E.
   
   

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I’ve been quietly following this cone clutch problem for some time. Was this a problem someone had some years ago?  Many moons ago my father had a 1923 British Leyland 3 ton truck with a cone clutch. When we did a light resto’ to it, as it was used as a crane on our farm, he insisted that there be little or no end float in the crankshaft. When the wear was excessive the cone would ‘pull’ into the flywheel and grab....  I’ll never forget the cast alloy plate on the dash panel which read ‘ Always oil carden dies through hole in shaft’.. something to do with the universal joints apparently.  

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17 minutes ago, frededwarrds said:

I’ve been quietly following this cone clutch problem for some time. Was this a problem someone had some years ago?  Many moons ago my father had a 1923 British Leyland 3 ton truck with a cone clutch. When we did a light resto’ to it, as it was used as a crane on our farm, he insisted that there be little or no end float in the crankshaft. When the wear was excessive the cone would ‘pull’ into the flywheel and grab....  I’ll never forget the cast alloy plate on the dash panel which read ‘ Always oil carden dies through hole in shaft’.. something to do with the universal joints apparently.  

Thx Fred,  If I do have it apart, I'll be sure to check wear and runout!

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1 hour ago, ron hausmann said:

Doug,

    Kissel used cone clutches on their Model 6-38 and later model 6-45 engines well into the 1920s. Yes they are very “grabby” but easy to get used to. My 1921 bites very fast when engaged just a bit but you’ll get used to it.
    On my 1918 Kissel Sedanlette, My cone clutch was relined with Kevlar using a vendor I met in Hershey. The material seems to engage the same as my original leather cone in my 1921. Fast-grab. I can’t tell you about wear, but I just didn’t want to rely on the old organic leather that was on the 1918 prior to restoration.

   When restoring my 1918, we used new nuts and new springs. Probably a good idea as spring steel relaxes thru the decades. If you have it apart, now would be the time to address this. 
   It’s up to you if you reline your cone clutch or keep the leather. In doing a complete restoration, on my 1918 Kissel Sedanlette ( only one surviving), I just didn’t want anything left old and subject to later problems.

   You take care. Ron Hausmann P.E.
   
   

4F7AF40E-6C08-4CD7-B5A1-A58E97E905B9.jpeg

65EE9BA7-576E-4248-A406-0500902452CA.jpeg

7F82793D-4674-4DDD-8998-1799B4C317C2.jpeg

98A1651E-7DA8-4794-91E8-57AD1731B6BA.jpeg

91470AA8-E528-443E-A321-D38A46A6FB3F.jpeg

 

Pretty cars Ron- thanks for pointers.  If I have to pull everything, I'm with you on replacing all. 

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