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Clutch torque shaft bushings in 1951 Plymouth


Jack Bennett
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I saw a post a while ago in which the discussion was about missing bushings from the clutch torque shaft in a early 1950’s MOPAR car. I have my 1951 Plymouth Cambridge ambulatory, that is, stripped, but moving under its own power. 

Last week I wanted to move the car from the car port, where I’m working on it, and clear way to move my tractor out.

The car port is built on a incline, and it takes a bit of throttle to get a car moving to leave it.

But, this time, instead of moving when the clutch pedal was released, it went directly back to the floor with a loud crash. 
I was certain I’d broke the throw out bearing forks, or at least bent the clutch adjustment rod.

Further investigation revealed that the clutch torque tube had jumped off its ball joints, and was dangling from the linkage. I am not familiar with this set up to operate a clutch, so this was a learning opportunity.

I checked my Motors Manual and found that the transmission side clutch torque shaft bearing was missing and the tube was just hanging by its operating rods. 
So, I fabricated another bushing from a piece of 1/2” PVC pipe, and reassembled the torque shaft to the ball mounts at both ends.

The clutch now worked, but I could see that the piece of steel used as a mount for the pivot ball, on the transmission end of the tube, was flexing, and the shaft was barely staying seated on the transmission end pivot ball.

So, worn bushing may contribute to the shaft coming disconnected from its ball mounts. But, in this case, as I believe applies to all the vintage MOPAR cars using this shaft, it is the steel plate, which has two bolts holding it to the bell housing, and two bolts holding to ball mount on, losing its tensile strength, weakens, and flexes when the clutch pedal is depressed..

I fabricated a new bar to which the transmission ball mount is mounted  to the bell housing from a piece of bed rail angle iron, and the problem was solved.

Jack

Edited by Jack Bennett (see edit history)
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13 hours ago, JACK M said:

Pretty sure I have seen the bushings for these bell cranks for sale somewhere.

I think they come split so you can put them on the ball and slide the onto the tube.

They are for sale on eBay, and only cost about five dollars per set. They are no more than a two piece plastic grommet, with a recess ground out to accommodate the terminal ball joint. The previous comments imply that that wear of the grommet (sleeve/bushing/whatever) is the cause of the clutch torque shaft coming unseated from its location between the frame and the bell housing. I contend that the wear is consequential to the strap, upon which the bell housing end of the shaft is mounted, rusting, or due to age, losing its tensile strength, and flexing toward the bell housing when the clutch pedal is depressed. The flexing of this strap allows the clutch end of the torque shaft to disconnect from the ball joint, and drop the torque shaft (and tube) from its ball joint pivot points. When seen, it does appear that the bushing has been protruded from the torque tube, and wear is the obvious culprit. I say that constant flexing, age and rust deteriorate the ability of the strap, upon which the clutch side ball is mounted, to withstand the torsion applied by the pedal, and instead flexes inward toward the bell housing, and thus releasing the bushing from the torque tube, is a more probable suspect. However, the bushing are cheap, and replacement, although a pain in the posterior, is possible, and I invite anyone who disagrees to “Do it your way” (musical notes implied),

Edited by Jack Bennett (see edit history)
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57 minutes ago, c49er said:

AMS Obsolete has those split bushings.

Thanks for your comment. The bushings for the clutch torque shaft on early 1950’s MOPAR cars MUST come in two halves. Each half has a orifice ground into it which is one half the actual size of the ball joint it captures. The two halves, when assembled to capture the ball joint becomes a sleeve which encases the ball, and then when slid into the tube, becomes a joint similar to a shoulder or hip joint. Wear alone cannot be blamed for loss of a bushing from the shaft because it must be removed only after the ball is extended far enough away from the shaft to allow its removal.

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These are the split two piece bearings... original aluminum.... not the  later plastic style.

And the torque shaft bearing halves retaining spring clip that goes on the frame side of said torque shaft.

Also shown is the groove for said clip in the frame end of torque shaft..

P15 Clutch Brake Linkage (2).JPG

Clutch Torque shaft spring clip.jpg

P15 Clutch Brake Linkage (3).JPG

Edited by c49er (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, c49er said:

These are the split two piece bearings... original aluminum.... not the  later plastic style.

And the torque shaft bearing halves retaining spring clip that goes on the frame side of said torque shaft.

Also shown is the groove for said clip in the frame end of torque shaft..

P15 Clutch Brake Linkage (2).JPG

Clutch Torque shaft spring clip.jpg

Thanks for posting theses photos.  Do you happen to have a photo with the clip installed?  I'm not seeing how it should go. I don't recall seeing it either of my cars (a '51 and a '52).  Is it absolutely necessary to use it?  If yes, does anyone sell repros?

 

Thanks for any ideas.

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On 4/30/2022 at 6:51 PM, Harold said:

Thanks for posting theses photos.  Do you happen to have a photo with the clip installed?  I'm not seeing how it should go. I don't recall seeing it either of my cars (a '51 and a '52).  Is it absolutely necessary to use it?  If yes, does anyone sell repros?

 

Thanks for any ideas.

1946-48 cars used the smaller totally recessed retaining clip...1949-54 cars used a new easier clip to remove/replace with ears on it.

Edited by c49er (see edit history)
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