I am guessing that subject title says it all, driving our '26 Tudor in the sun today was great, right up to the 6 mile journey home when the clutches started to slip, the engine speed increased and the road speed decreased, drove it home in low, on the slight down hill roads tried to gain high, it did work until a slight up hill climb, then nothing.
I checked the fingers, pretty loose , wound them all in ( 4 full turns !!) until just moveable with the park brake in the free position, good and firm when pushed forward, took her out for a drive, seemed ok, but given another slight rise, could hear the engine speed up and road speed down again.
Q/ - is this likely that l have now gone past the wear limits of my turbo discs and winding the fingers in more will most likely not make any large improvement OR could the clutch spring be to weak ???
Any thoughts are appreciated.
PS - the engine rebuild was about 12 months ago and the car probably only has a few thousand miles on her .
Tough break, David.
I've been driving over the top of turbo discs for near 100K miles, mostly on the one of two sets, and never a single hint of a slip, except when I didn't see to it that the lever went all the way forward.
I may not be thinking straight, but shouldn't the fingers be completely free when the lever is forward?
I hope you are adjusting the three screws in the fingers. If so you have two choices, one is to turn the screws in more and the other is to tear it apart and replace clutch disk. The fingers are tight when the hand lever is forward. What have you got to loose by tightning them more?
Have you checked the link between the low pedal and the clutch lever? If it's too long, it could be keeping the clutch from completely engaging.
Those Turbo disk packs are sold with 8 disks and 9 are frequently required to get those three pegs to protrude a sufficient distance through the back plate for a positive High Speed.
One parade driven in Low Speed will scuff off enough of that disk material so High speed operation is gone, especially if the linkage is not properly adjusted to provide a positive neutral.
If the pegs are showing through the back plate, then the fingers can be adjusted. If the pegs are not visible, then it is time to remove the engine to add another Turbo disk.
David, Been there, done that! I had the same problem with my 23 this year stranding me 2 weeks before the MTFCI annual tour. The clutch/parking brake lever worked back a few notches from forward and I lost power at accellerating out of town. There was the smell of burnt transmission disks. I crawled back home in low and adjusted the disks. I drove about a month before they quit for good. Once burnt, they peel down quickly. Sorry to say, I had to pull the engine to replace them. If you need to replace them, there are some Kevlar faced T-400 discs made for drag racing. they are not that expensive since you only need 9, and they won't wear out. I've broken a number of the metal discs with my T-400 set up due to my prior poor driving habits and overslipping the clutch. Another good option is to go back to the original Ford clutch. I won't delve into that argument!
Sorry to hear you are the latest casualty. It really sucks having to pull a perfectly good engine to replace burned out clutches.
If you get rid of the turbo - watts - jacked up clutch discs and install original type Ford steel clutch disks you will have a superior neutral and no further clutch trouble. Those things are just about useless.
What type/style clutch spring did you use ?
The round wire spring, that was often sold with aftermarket clutch sets, will eventually slip off the spring retainer, leaving you with next to nothing with spring pressure.
Thanks for those thoughts, l'll do the tightening a little more, No l cant see the pins anymore, this may have been coming for a little while, my 13 has exactly the same set up and not one problem ever ! , but l believe l had placed an extra into that unit, BUT after removing the original ford discs from the 26 , the make up of ford smalls and turbo's was exactly the same height when measured with my digital micrometer, l have a feeling one more plate was required !!!!!
I'll check the arm length too while poking around in there again today.
I would have been disappointed if Royce had not got his 2 cents worth in.
He is somewhat right, it you let the T-400 clutch slip or maybe you were not paying attention, they will totally melt and go to pieces. This will happen in a very short distance. I have seen the results as a transmission was pulled apart in the parking lot of a tour after they smoked.
The bottom line, if you use the after market clutch, make sure you have a good spring and adjust them properly, if you don't and they slip, smoke occurs very quickly. The original steel are more forgiving but they do not have as free a neutral in spite of what Royce says
Next time you see me drive my car.
Thanks for your help, when my tool kit and 13 come back from the Veteran Tassie tour, l'll pull the engine and rebuild that pesky transmission, maybe a new 110 lb spring will also help.
Somebody had better tell all of my Watts that they're useless, 'cause I've never used anything else, besides installing them in customers' trannies, and not one of us has had a problem. My '23's Watts has been in use for 22 years. Every one of those original brake drums that has chewed up lugs has had them chewed up by the Ford clutch.
If you like the Ford clutch, by all means use it, but saying that the Watts is "useless" despite millions of miles' worth of trouble-free use, not a single mile of which deepens the grooves in the drums, is kinda silly.
I admire the stuff you do on Model T's. You and your brother both do great stuff.
However, week after week we see people with burned out Watts or Jack Rabbitt or Turbo clutches. The Watts or turbo or jacked up clutch might work fine for you, but it is a high failure part in the general community. This is not an opinion. It is an observation.
Royce, I can't and won't contradict your evidence, or your conclusions drawn from your own experiences. I know you're highly knowledgeable and have had a lot of experience with Ts. My own experiences with the Watts have been the opposite. Great performance, free neutral, easy on the driveline, and long wear have been the norm. When a transmission comes in, I lay out the benefits of the Watts and the customer makes up his own mind. To date, not one has ever expressed regret in having opted for it. Those that opt to retain the Ford do so because of the price (free--it came with the transmission). I refuse to recommend or to sell any item that I wouldn't put in my own car. I know that you feel the same way.
I must say that I have been speaking of only the Watts. I have no personal experience with the Turbo, and only one with the JR. That was an instance when the customer was dissatisfied with the performance and wanted to try the Watts. He went away happy.
I sincerely and humbly thank you for your kind words. Much appreciated I'm sure.
Which springs have you used, RV? Do you test old ones? How do they compare to new ones?
Your right on, I used to retail Watts Clutches and never had a dissatisfied customer. I never hear these guys talk about the large number of broken steel disks that are found when taking a T transmission apart. It sto reason that you are going to get broken disks when you damage the lugs so bad.
When installing any clutch you need to do at least three thigs.
1. File the damage from steel disks on the lugs so that the lugs are smooth. ALL used drums are already damaged (No exceptions)
2. Use a spring checker to measure the pounds on a spring. If you measure enough springs you should be able to come up with at least 110 lbs.
3. Make sure your spring is compressed to TWO INCHES when installed. This is when the clutch plate is in place. If it is not compressed to two inches then screw in the THREE TRANSMISSION FINGER SCREWS, until you reach 2 inches on all sides. It must be even!!!!
Let's not paint all replacement clutch discs with the same brush, so to speak. I have heard of many examples of burned out clutch discs. Of those examples, I can only recall trouble with Turbo 400 discs. I have never heard a complaint over Watts clutches.
Royce, have you actually heard of trouble with Watts discs in particular? I'm not asking you to be their promoter or salesman ;>)
I have used the turbo clutches in my cars from their first rebuilds, l cant complain , l generally have had a good run, my 13 has never needed any adjustment, unfortunately the 26 may be the end of a problem that started when the engine was rebuilt, so maybe l have had clutch slip all of this time without noticing it and now she said thats enough.
I'll be re installing them again and this time take way more care.
David, you said that you cannot see the pins anymore. This mease the clutch is worn which will cause your problem.
Cheers , l'll be investing in a stronger 100-110 lbs spring and new discs BUT, anyone with a 26 Tudor with a Ruxtel have a similar problem with wearing faces ????