Reading the thread on clutch adjustment made me wonder....How many of you use and like the original Ford clutch? Has anyone tried one of the newer clutches, not liked it and gone back to the original Ford clutch?
I use and like the original. I think that it can probably tolerate far more abuse (slipping) than a lined clutch. Mine has never needed adjustment.
Free neutral is no problem using conventional 10W-30 with ATF added.
My engine is stock, but my car has 3:1 final drive and no auxiliary, both of which require more of the clutch, in my opinion.
All my Ts have stock clutches. I consider them to be part of the Model T driving experience.
I like the original steel clutches. They can't wear out and leave you stranded. No problem with a free neutral if they are adjusted properly.
You do need to be sure the clutch hub is in good shape regardless of which kind of clutches you use. If the hub is all notched from 100,000 miles of driving then maybe a new one is needed. At the very least you need to file away any sharp spots or depressions that might cause a disc to hang up.
The new clutch springs are a good thing as recommended in the other thread. While you are ordering new stuff get some new band springs too.
I use stock steel clutches in both my Ts. With 26 brake drums a free neutral is easy.
I started the earlier "trans/clutch" adjustment thread. After pulling the engine and inspecting the badly notched brake drum and finding half of the Jackrabbit discs worn out, along with 3 of the 9 outer discs cracked, I`m going back to the stock clutch discs. Today I took apart another pre`25 trans and plan to use the brake drum and orig stock clutches which are in pretty good condition.Also found the "new" clutch spring was about half the size of the one in this trans--so will use it, too. If you followed my earlier "trans/clutch" thread and the responses there, its apparent that all of the "free nuetral" discs are VERY sensitive to clutch slipping, and will quickly wear out. I`m going back to Henrys origional design and hope NOT to have to pull the engine AGAIN to fix unnessary clutch problems. Many Thanks for this convincing thread and for the earlier input from you experts. This is avery useful forum! Paul
I prefer to use the original style clutches. My 13 is a hand cranker and it has a good neutral. Ditto for my brothers 25 touring.
One thing to watch out for with the new clutch springs is that I think they are really made for the modern clutches and they have a higher spring rate than the original. That increases the pressure on the pedal needed to release the clutch. I have had good success with using original springs but they must be checked and within the recommended specifications.
Just so everyone knows, the Watts clutch is not lined, the discs are solid fiber construction. Its the best clutch around in my opinion and I have used them all. You get a free neutral, a soft engagement and no grooved brake drum lugs. Since they are not lined, there is no chance of separating. On the downside you need a stronger spring, now available from all parts suppliers, and you need to grind a specified amount off each of the three pins of the push ring since the clutch pack is thicker. (All this is explained in the instructions.) I am pretty much of an original parts type of guy, but this is one improvement I heartily endorse. I believe R.V. Anderson sells a complete set up, ie the fiber discs, a strong spring and a machined push ring.
I still have the stock clutches in mine, drove about 3000 miles this summer and have had no problem. Keith B
I have stock clutches in all 3 of my T's and like them just fine. I run 30W detergent oil in them and they don't creep if the hand brake is set. However, I often jack up a rear wheel to start them when its really cold as it makes cranking a bit easier. I tried multi grade oil which made crank starting when cold a lot easier but I found that it took a lot longer to clean up the oil on the garage floor than it did to jack up a wheel!
you guys are using the wrong lined clutch. The one Langs sells is great. It uses the th400 plates. I have one in my TT Cab and abuse the truck with heavy loads all the time. Its been in about 9 years and has never been adjusted. The hub is cnc machined and heat treatred. Its a great clutch that will go for years. We have several in my club and we all love it.
I use stock discs in all my T's, never ever a problem, no slipping and plenty nuetral.
Choose good, original discs, not too warped, not cracked, good lugs, lightly grit blast them, use a good spring, install them in a good drum with unscored lugs, (very important), adjust them properly (seems to be the biggest hurdle) and forget about them for decades.
Also, when shifting into high, let off the throttle first and let the engine speed match the speed of the car before engaging the clutch. Some folks just let back on the clutch pedal with the engine still racing from winding out low gear. That's very abusive to any clutch disc and will severly wear out the lugs in the drum. That kind of abuse is part of what gives original clutch discs a bad reputation.
Like sooo many T accessories, lined clutch discs are change for change's sake.
I have installed the Watts clutch as supplied by RV Anderson (heavier spring and machined push ring), and am very satisfied with the results. The transmission shifts very smooth, and I find the car picks up the load much easier - I don't need to let up on the throttle as much as I needed to do with the standard clutch pack.
Like Jerry says, do yourself a favor and let off the throttle as you shift. The clutch is only one of many parts between the engine and the tires. Just because the clutch doesn't slip does not mean everything is fine for full power shifts.
Long term you can make your T much more reliable by treating it with care.
Royce, that's a cool picture! I like to see T's at work from "back in the day".
I still let up on the throttle to shift (I've heard that some folks let up on the spark instead), only now I don't need to do it as much as before (with the old motor). That could be due to many variables since the new motor is a fresh rebuild, and not necessarily due to the Watts clutch, I guess. Anyway, your advice is very good and will be followed.
Just a followup to this thread---Took my `24 out for a drive today---after several adjustments, the trans is working fine. Free Nuetral is no problem using the origional clutch discs. Car is running really fine and I don`t expect to worry anymore about high gear and slipping clutches. Many thanks for your input! Paul