Where would a person obtain a Watts clutch?
Dave Huson in Colorado or R.V. Anderson in the east
I am currently out of Watts Clutches but RV also sells them. 716-267-3526
Late last year, or early this year, R.V. had bought the rights from Watts to make the clutches. He needed a pre 26 clutch disc set which I had and he traded me a 26-27 set for them. He told me that he was in the process of having them made. I don't know anything later.
I have a brand new set complete with round cross section spring. I will sell it for $75 complete with shipping included. Frank Harris Long Beach, CA
I'm still interested Frank, sorry for not having mailed back - got discouraged by the high cost for a bank cheque here ($50]. Might work with another paymenyt method
I can use Mexican Pesos sent in a soft envelope but mailing over seas is more costly than just U.S. to U.S. I will check the cost of mailing to Sweden. I have friends whoe's children are now living there and they may have clues as to a technique for getting around the issues. I can ship the package for $5.00 U.S. funds within the States.
Shipping is $59.00 U.S. plus value and duty on your end and the cost of the part. The exchange rate is now 6.3 to one. That makes the cost of the part about two and a half times the asking price. I would take up stamp collecting as a hobby if I were you. ;~)
That'll be fine, I'll bite. I found an address on White pages.com at Pepper Tree lane - could that be yours? (I have a problem with my hotmail, can't send??)
The Watts is no longer being made due to Mr. Watts' retirement. A major factor in the decision was that the price of the material had more than tripled and would require the retail price of a clutch to approach $300.
Terry is correct: I am now making them but from a different material. Since the material is new, I must test them thoroughly using at least several testers, and receive their reports before I will release any for sale.
If anyone is interested in being a tester, please PM me at email@example.com
700 Pepper Tree Lane Long Beach, California 90815 - U.S.A.
My friends say they send money to Sweden at a flat rate of $40.00 per transaction. One penny or $500,000,000.
I was looking for a Watts clutch set with instructions.
Payment sent to you through your Paypal-equipped son, thanks Bill
Looks like I might us a Jack Rabbit clutch.
I wonder why you think you want to install a different clutch? The original Ford design provides excellent service, with a perfect neutral, if adjusted properly.
I think a lot of newbies to the T hobby read the catalogs from part suppliers and get the impression that these aftermarket clutches solve some inherent problem that needs to be fixed. This is a false idea, the factory Ford clutch is the best you can have, particularly if you are just learning to drive a Model T.
The Watts / Jacked up / turbo fail clutches burn out easily if misadjusted or driven with poor technique. The Ford clutch can take all kinds of abuse and still work well.
It's not apart yet. I was just looking ahead. I just might have grooves in the drums. It's a 26 Fordor. It should have clip for the plates to slid on. I always had a hard time getting a free neutral. Maybe she will need more than expected since it's 87 years old. What possibly could be wore out?
I stock new parts including the Jack Rabbitt/Turbo/and even the original type clutch plates. I also have lots of used transmission pieces if needed. I also rebuild transmissions quite often for customers, so I have knowledge in this area. Feel free to call me at 320-293-1953 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am up near St Cloud and always willing to help.
Have you made any attempt to adjust the clutch properly? The Ford service manual gives you a simple procedure. Often the link between the clutch pedal and the clutch arm is worn in the clevis or the pin, those parts can be replaced to allow proper adjustment. As a "crutch" to compensate for excessively worn parts I have fabricated longer than stock L - pin to allow proper clutch disengagement.
Also, if the oil you use is too thick you won't have a good neutral. Generally 5W-30 provides good service if ambient temperature is from 50 degrees F to 110 degrees F in my experience.
Grooves in the drum or drum shoes has no noticeable effect on operation, despite reports to the contrary. However the grooved parts can break off, so they are not something you want to leave in the engine. If yours has damaged parts when you overhaul it, replace the damaged parts with good ones.
One trick I use when disassembling a Model T clutch is to keep all the clutch disks in order. I never have a hard time with finding free neutral once reassembled. I individually clean each disk with a steel wire wheel removing all the crud and burnt oil. Once Assembly begins I put them in the same order as they came out. I also dribble oil on the surface of each disk as they are stacked in to the brake drum. I figure each disk is "mated" or used to each other and seated. I then set the spring to the 2" height and rarely have to adjust from there once the engine is running.
She want to drag in neutral, with park brake on. I replaced all linkage form pedal to arm. Also cams on arm shaft inside of hogs head. Adjusted with the book. Pedal does not return to neutral from low. Tighten low band just a tad, then she drags down. Release park brake, then she wants to leave with me.
I drove it some, where I pull the clutch pedal up with my foot, then go to hi.
Sounds like the band springs are shot, or the bands are not riveted properly to the band linings. Either way your bands are dragging - this is not a clutch problem.
Dan: "...Also cams on arm shaft inside of hogs head..."
This might be a clue. I had similar symptoms to yours with my '26 Touring after a complete engine and transmission overhaul — could never adjust the low linkage to give a satisfactory free neutral, but put a few thousand miles on it anyway.
Last fall I tore things down to replace a cracked low-speed drum (possibly a result of all those miles with Kevlar bands and poor free neutral). The young fellow helping me, who had just put new cams in his own hogshead, looked closely at my cams and asked if they were installed incorrectly. He was absolutely right — I had mixed up the new low speed cam with the new reverse cam during the overhaul (this from the fellow I was supposed to be Model T mentoring!)
The low speed cam is intended to allow some fore-and-aft movement of the pedal before any sideways movement takes place. This allows the linkage to disengage the clutch BEFORE the low band starts to tighten up.
If you replaced all of your cams recently, there is a good chance the low-speed cam and one other are mixed up, leading to your difficulties adjusting for a free neutral. Note on the Langs catalog excerpt below the two different pedal support cam part #s.
I ordered and replaced just the low speed cams. When I rebuilt the motor, everything was out of the car. The bands & drums looked good. I did not pull the clutch plates. Didn't think I needed to. I was only working on the motor. Maybe I should have went through the trans being it was out.
OK then, that's probably not it.
Still, it's possible that the wrong cam was shipped and installed. Suggest you compare the installed cam to the catalog illustration #3442 and ensure that your setup permits a few inches of low pedal movement fore-and-aft before sideways movement commences.
It looked just like the one I took out. I still have the old one. I saved all old parts from my T. I have fore and aft movement before sideways.
For those who have not seen the different discs used here is a picture I took a few years back when I was repairing two transmissions at the same time. As you can see the Watts set up still uses some of the original Ford discs.
Ford large clutch discs has a tendency to notch the soft cast iron in the narrow (09-25) brake drums & this damage can sometimes hinder the movements of the discs, giving a less free neutral than before.
The main reason for choosing the Watts clutch would be to reduce this risk for damage since the softer Watts clutch material is in contact with the lugs. Dissimilar materials in the clutch can also perhaps reduce the risk for the pack clinging together(?) - might also give a freer neutral. A stronger clutch spring is recommended, since it's less forgiving to slipping - it'll wear out fast if any slipping is allowed.
I disagree based on my experience Roger. The clutch hub that was in my '15 was horribly disfigured - the transmission was also shot, along with the engine, likely because someone never bothered to check the oil very often. In any case the transmission was perfectly silent, and the clutch worked flawlessly even with all the worn and rotten parts.
On the other hand most T transmissions that come from running cars are not in this sort of bad shape. The clutch hub in my '12 was like new.
My '17 runabout sat in a garage from 1926 until 1951 with the crank handle chained to the front axle and padlocked. When my dad cut the chain the crank could be turned over easily, even with 26 year old oil. Last week I was able to relive the discovery with both people who were there, Dad and his old friend Bob Johnson. Here's Bob telling the story as he looks at my '17 runabout:
The Ford clutch gives a perfectly free "neutral". Any suggestion that an improvement in neutral quality is due to any aftermarket clutch is fantasy.
Roger Karlson is RIGHT: Steel disk will eventually destroy the lugs on the brake drums. A Watts Clutch will never hurt the brake drum. Even the shoes on a 26 brake drum will eventually be destroyed. I pull many shoes out of the 26 brakes drums that look like what is left below.
Its your transmission use what you want. Cast iron transmission drums are soft! If you just stop and think, every time you step on your low pedal the steel disks are slamming into the brake drum lugs one way and when you put on the brake the drum is slamming into the lugs another way.
I always have a pile of brake drums that have been destroyed by using steal disks. If anyone want some come by they are free.
Again if you stop and think how could steel disks give as good a neutral when the lugs are so rough they can't even slide along the lugs. It seems like at least half the transmissions I take apart have at least one broken disks. Awhile back I took 6 broken steel disks out of one transmission. This is one of them. I even run into brake drums that the entire middle of the lugs are GONE. I have seen the lugs so bad that you could take a bunch of the disks and turn them in a circle inside the drum. Can you imagine what you are doing to the steel disk when the get caught in the notches caused by the disks themselves.
Again, its your T do what you think is right, I just hate to see anyone tell new people that steel disks are the way to go.
I have used Watts Clutches for years and many thousands of miles. I find that they offer a better neutral than the original. One of my cars has had one in it for well over twenty years. It has been driven enough that I am re-restoring it at this time. I cannot remember ever having to adjust it since it was installed. Just my .02
I have a set of Watts Clutches in my center door for 43,000 miles and have never had a bit of trouble. I did have to adjust them once many years ago.
My Coupe has 22,000 miles many in rough mountain driving and the Watts Clutches preform great. I don't ever remember adjusting them.
If guys like Steel Disks so much they can stop by I have a thousand disks and would give them some free including destroyed brake drums.
I just might drive it the way it is until the Watts clutch plates become available again.
Mike, what do you mean by:
"I then set the spring to the 2" height and rarely have to adjust from there once the engine is running."
The TH400 that Langs sells has a new heat treated hub with 42 teeth. Not like the one someone sells that he removes 30 of the teeth. The material has been engineered by Raybestos for years. It gives the best service life of any material out there. The neutral is as good as it gets. Yes new, flat plates from henry work till someone slips them and they warp. You can adjust till your fingers fall off and NEVER get your neutral back no matter how many times you are told to adjust it correctly.
"Yes new, flat plates from henry work till someone slips them and they warp." Then don't slip the clutch! If someone has a tendency of slipping the clutch they certainly do not want a turbo 400 because slipping one will leave you with burned up discs and no high gear, not just a crappy neutral as with stock discs. Either way no matter what you use it must be used and adjusted properly or something will become damaged. I have stock clutches in both of my T's. Both have all original Ford discs and have very good neutrals and shift perfectly smooth. All three clutch types are perfectly fine and all work well and give a good neutral, provided they are operated and adjusted correctly.
Royce's father's recommendation is that you keep the discs in order and facing in the same direction as you found them. When I have go thru a transmission I clean the discs with emery and Scotchbrite and keep them in order as described. Even when I have had to replace a few cracked discs I have had good results. I use 10W30 oil and I get a good neutral, but not perfectly free on a cold engine. I do keep the hand brake engaged when I park the car in the garage as when I get in I hit the starter first thing and it's more peaceful if the handbrake is engaged.
Dan, Have you been in contact with the closet MTFCA chapter in your area ???? I'm thinking that you may want to enlist the advice of a longtime T owner in your area to help determine if your "neutral" is really problematic. Chances are it is normal. On my trans restoration, I followed the suggestions of Mike Robison, Royce and Ted Dumas and have a good shifting & braking stock trans. For cold starting and ease of rolling the car around by myself, I chose to stick a aux transmission in that has a "true" neutral. It sounds like you have done all the right things so far, but perhaps disassembling and cleaning the trans could be added to your to do list. Good Luck !! W
Does anyone like to try and roll a dish into the standard ford discs?
Ted Ashman detailed it in one of his good books and it makes a great deal of sense to me that if the inner(?) disks were dished like a belville washer they they will tend to spring apart when released, allowing a free neutral and getting oil into the pack to lubricate and cool the discs.
I believe it was the original design but after a hundred years of being squashed flat of course, they don't retain this shape...
That said I have always used T400 clutches & the only failure was in a car that had been stored for a number of years. Moisture in the oil caused the lining to slough off the discs.
Ted Aschman reprinted ideas that he collected by mail, by reading books, surfing the net, whatever and where ever he could find them. It was his passion and his job.
Ted would tell anyone that the tips he collected were not necessarily good ideas, and this is certainly an extremely bad idea. Anything that you do to the clutch discs to make them not contact each other will result in a loss of surface area to move the car. Terrible idea!
The original Ford discs - I have brand new NOS ones never used - are flat. There is no issue with achieving a free neutral with the original discs if properly adjusted and not a bunch of worn out, broken, junk parts.
2" is the resting compressed length of the clutch pressure plate spring. It is measured while the clutch is in the high gear position and the measurement is taken from mating surface to mating surface of the spring.
Re the issue whether the Ford discs came dished or not.
Most all the used discs I've seen had two types of wear patters. One is the inside and outside of the disc surface showed wear. The other is the center showed wear. What else would explain the wear patterns other than dishing?
Richard, The stock Ford plates warp in normal use. They get hot, turn the oil to carbon between them and then stick. So you get warped plate than have different wear patterns. As much as I love my Fords not all of Henrys ideas were perfect. Thats why so mare of the things on the T didnt make it to the A or later. So we see lots of different things changed to make them faster, safer and to last longer.
Who still wants to use two piece valves? Henry did make over 15 million of them so why do you want to change any of his idea,s? Its your car so why let some one bully you to make it there car? Scott
If you drive your car correctly, and the clutch is adjusted correctly, the discs should be no hotter than anything else in the transmission. The plates do not warp in normal use!
If you slip the high speed clutch, or let the pedal come back into high without allowing the engine rpms to drop first, or have a weak clutch spring, or don't have the clutch adjusted properly then yes, you will burn up the clutch discs whether they be original or some aftermarket scheme.
Jerry, In a perfect world you are correct. I know a few guys that still have the babbitt thrust in the rear axle and have been driving them for years. And we live in the mountains. But folks today think with todays thoughs. T,s in the day were driven at around 25 miles an hour. Everyone today wants to go 40-50. So what was ok then is overlooked today. The TH400 is a great clutch. Big time engineers have worked out the material and they will live in a harsh world. So if you are rebuilding its a nice way to go. It does what it claims and then some. Thats all Iam saying and I will always put one in when a motor is out. Thanks for being so polite, Scott
The stock plates normally do not warp in use. Normally I pull them out and they look perfect and are flat. I suspect only if the engine has been run low on oil is there any warping. I also suspect if the driver slipped the clutch a lot through poor driving technique it also could cause warping.
This is the only way I can think of that some engines have transmissions in such good shape and others are so messed up hardly anything is usable, from drums to clutch plates to crankshaft. Think about this and treat your car accordingly.
For some reason, parts of this discussion reminded me of my days of working in a bike shop as a kid in the '50's. I guess maybe the original Ford factory clutch assembly with the flat steel discs reminded me of the many "New Departure" coaster brakes on the old balloon tire bicycles (Schwinn was the best). Believe it or not, New Departure was a division of General Motors at that time. Anyway, the discs in that bicycle coaster brake assembly was very much like a Ford clutch. Every other disc rotated with the coaster brake hub, and the discs in between were stationary with the axle. Pedaling backwards applied the brake by forcing the pack of discs together and the resulting friction provided the brake action. Very similar in action to the Ford clutch principle, and for what it's worth, those coaster brake discs were all flat and worked very reliably. And I also can't help thinking that there is probably nobody any harder on a piece of equipment (like a bike) than the average kid!
New Departure coaster brakes were the best. Morrow also made an excellent coaster brake.
Ted - Probably the second most popular back in those days (at least in the Chicago area) was Bendix, but I don't think I ever worked on one as I didn't know much about them because as I remember, Bendix was much different than New Departure and I was afraid to take one apart for fear I would screw it up!
However, we're getting away from the subject; I was just comparing the similar action of the ND bicycle coaster brake to the Model T clutch,........harold
I'm glad you have found a product you have had good luck with and are satisfied with. I have done the same so, perhaps you can understand my point of view.
BTW, "Folks of today, thinking with today's thoughts" is becoming ever more troubling to me, but let's keep it to Model T's :>)
As to your thanking me for my politeness, I always try to be polite here, but sometimes, when I'm also trying to be emphatic, it may come across as something different.
Jerry, I do understand you point of view and have no problem with you running what ever you like. Its the bashing of products that have a place. In Royce,s world everyone drives with the utmost care and love of there T. But we see all the burned, cracked and warped plates that come out of our loved cars. So for some the TH400 is a good product. Hop up your motor and you will need one of these as you are the type to push things to the limit. But to keep telling everyone that to never use one or that you need to improve your skills and set your car up correctly because you dont want a certain product in your car is wrong. And to jump at every chance to do so makes people wonder about you. We have a good forum, good vendors and great folks in the T world. To try and beat up on the vendors that help us out with parts that we need or products to improve things will leave us fending for youselfs. Let the customer make up there own mind and enjoy the ride. Scott
Scott -- Amen.
I have used Watts clutches in many T's and driven many thousands of miles with them. I've never had one fail, and they seldom need adjusting after the initial break-in period. The only T owner I know of who had a problem with a Watts clutch (it was slipping) had an OHV engine with tons of power, maybe too much for that clutch, maybe with too soft a spring. He went back to the stock Ford clutch and lived happily ever after. I'm very happy with Watts clutches and will continue using them.
I have heard horror stories about the T-400 clutches ruining brake drums, so I have not used them. I have a great deal of respect for some of the guys who have reported their experience regarding that issue and will not refute their claims. But I recently rebuilt an engine and transmission for a customer, and that car has a Jack Rabbit clutch, which I understand is based upon the T-400. The car is a '24, with shoes on the lugs like a '26-7, and there was no damage from the clutch discs. So I put it back together the way it was.
There is more than one way to skin a cat, and more than one way to build a Model T. I do what I'm comfortable with and let others do the same. The forum is for sharing information, not giving lectures. For the most part, we do pretty well here.
Sorry, I didn't have time to read the whole thread, but I have a few sets of modern clutches that I have removed from T transmissions in favor of the Original Ford clutches because the originals work so much nicer when all the other trans parts are properly rebuilt and function correctly...
If anyone wants to buy any used "modern clutches", I would be happy to sell them for 1/2 of catalog price... Send me an email because I occasionally go months without looking at the forum.
Actually the problem with the Jacked up / Turbo Fail and Watts clutches is that they cannot withstand even a little bit of abuse or mis - adjustment. The novice Model T owner / driver is much more likely to have a failure with one of those clutches. I've seen several of these type clutches failed from a novice owner on his first Model T tour.
The original Ford clutch design is very robust and can withstand an incredible amount of abuse if one is vigilant at keeping the engine filled with oil. I have never seen a Model T with its original clutch failed to the point the car was not operable.
Royce, You are SO WRONG about the TH400 clutch. I have used it in my TT Truck and put heavy loads on it for several years. And I do push my T and work the clutch hard. I put one in a 27 Touring and the guy had the pedal out of adjustment for over 2 years. All you had to do was barely touch the pedal and it was in neutral. We readjusted the pedal and its been in service for better than ten years. We live in the mountains and the touring has lots of family in it all the time. Now I will say I have not used the watts clutch, jack rabbit or any of the others so I can not tell you anything about them. But the Raybestoes company has rooms full of engineers and the plates Iam running are the ones that are put in heavy duty One Ton trucks. There is no better material on the market. I have also used these plates in 3400 horsepower drag boats and the service life is as good as it gets. So please Royce rethink what you say about the TH400 clutch. Scott
Here's a novel idea. How about a list of pros and cons for each clutch without the salesmanship.
Here's my take, please add more
Cheap, forgiving, most surface engagement
Free neutral difficult, chews up brake drum lugs
Lined clutches, ie Jack Rabbit, Turbo
Free neutral, no slippage
Lining can separate, chews up brake drum lugs
Free neutral, does not chew up brake drum lugs,
Requires stronger spring and modified push ring
Richard, So what makes you think that the TH400 lining will separate? I have used them for over 28 years in the racing world and never had one separate. The TH400 is different than the jack rabbit. The guy who does the jack rabbit removes 30 of the teeth and leaves only 12. 6 on the power side and 6 on the coast side. Also the Ford hub has straight sided slots and the TH400 plate has angled teeth. So its not fair to group the two together. Ian not trying to challenge you, just asking. Scott
Robert, like you I ran a lined clutch (Jack Rabbit) for years without a problem. I spoke with Dave at Chaffins and recall a few posts on this website where people experienced separation of the lining if the clutch were adjusted for a soft engagement, like a Ford clutch.
I haven't seen or heard anything positive or negative on the difference between hubs and teeth on the turbo and Jack Rabbit clutches. I was focusing on the type of material used. Of the two, it appears the TH400 is the better engineered product.