I have a transmission that was attached to a engine made in January 1916. Unfortunately, missing are the the clutch disks, driving plate assembly, etc. See picture.
According to the Transmission book, a transmission built before April 1916 should have 13 large disks, 13 small disks, and one thick distance plate which goes in first. Since I do not have them, but do have a set of later disks (12 small, 13 large) I was wondering if the distance plate must be used or if I can substitute the later set.
If I must use the early set with the distance plate, I would be interested in buying a set if anyone has them.
I would stay with the 13 small and 13 large with the distance plate. The housing is machined to fit the 27 pcs. I am under the understanding that the distance goes on last against the pressure plate. If you put in the 13 small and 13 large and start with a large disc you end up with a small disc on top. The instructions for the later models require a large disc on the bottom and it specifies not to have a small disc on top. I believe that the distance plate serves two purposes, a substantial final disc and provides the correct required distance for the clutch fingers. A conventional additional large disc on top may work but it may not provide enough travel for the clutch fingers. The whole assembly does get somewhat confusing, there are different clutch housings, different clutch fingers, different size clutch finger pins and different shaped discs, some are hex and some are round with the same part number. The hex discs and the round discs are not interchangeable in all the different clutch housings. All the large vendors advertise one size fits all 09 - 27 however this is not accurate. I called the tech at Langs regarding the distance plate for a 15 and he wasn't aware of it. I went to Bakersfield swap meet 3 years ago and visited a vendor selling transmission parts and inquired about the distance plate and he had no knowledge of it. He had several 5 gallon pails of clutch discs that I started to investigate and fortunately I managed to find one only in the bunch, so they are not that plentyfull. If you start mixing different parts you could run in to trouble. Try to find the 13 small and 13 large and distance plate because that is what the housing was designed for.
The distance plate is the first disk to be installed. It keeps the "thin" disk from going under the lugs in the brake drum.
The distance (thick) plate goes to the flywheel side of the stack. If not the smaller discs can jam up and render tranny bad.
I,ve had several pre engine#650000(canadian)that list the distance plate, 12 small and 13 large, in pieces, never really taken any notice of the old set-up, always replaced with a Watts clutch.
Jack Putman and Jack Daron on correct the Thick disk goes on FIRST.
Forgot to say,don't use the three clutch washers in this set up.
Jack and Dave have it, I just ran through all my disks to rebuild my 21 transmission. In this I found one small plate that was .120 thick while all the rest were .070. Dumbfounded I asked a builder about this and he explained the thick disk takes the place of the three washers in the later transmission. Needless to say, I have one. I considered using it because when the fingers are adjusted to the proper spring tension of 2" it slips and has to be adjusted tighter by 1 turn on each adjuster. I thought this might prevent this. Any advice pro or con for this?
Just because you have a '16, doesn't mean you have the original transmission that came in it. If it is a true '16 or earlier brake drum, it will have a flanged bushing pressed into it. The first disc that goes in as I recall is the thick distance place followed by the usual 13 big discs, and the 12 small ones. The early brake drum does not use the three washers. I hope I didn't upset you, but I don't think anyone is making the flanged brake drum bushing, which essentially takes the place of the 3 washers. I recently rebuilt an early transmission, which was in such nice condition, I put it all back together just the way it was, but I did use the modern turbo discs, which is a vast improvement over the originals.
One important item not mentioned above are the two measurements that are taken before the transmission is buttoned up. The spring must be 2" and the space between the front of the clutch actuator and the backing plate must be 13/16". You can see the exact location of these measurements in the Service Essentials.
If you put in the incorrect number of plate you cannot get this measurement correct and the pedals will not work when the transmission is installed in the chassis. You cannot get these two measurements correct by just adjusting the three screws, as you increase one the other changes. Don't ask how I know.....
In the 15 - mid 16 there are 13 small and 13 large. I don't have any clear literature on the subject. I disassembled two 15 units and the distance plate was the last disc to go in so I followed suite, perhaps this is incorrect. Using the rational not to have a small disc on top as the later units specify, when the 13 small and 13 large discs are installed and you start with a large disc a small disc ends on top. It seemed reasonable at the time that the small disc may require additional support hence the distance plate. In reviewing Floyd Clymer's 1955 publication "Henry's Wonderful Model T", there is an exploded view of an early transmission that indicates the distance plate in the middle of the clutch assembly??? If somebody could post a clear exploded view it would be appreciated with the 13 small and 13 large and the distance plate. I may have to disassemble my transmission and reconfigure the clutch discs because I have the distance plate on the top of the stack ie touching the pressure plate. If this is incorrect I will have to redo it.
That is incorrect. You need to take it back apart to assemble it properly.
Here is the text from a 1917 book "The Ford Motor Car" by Harold P Manly. I've assembled my clutches this way and they always work perfectly.
I have a few of the thick distance plates if you need one,Bob
I am soliciting for some history:
When was the distance plate discontinued?
When did the clutch assembly configuration change from starting with a small disc to starting with a large disc?
When did the 13 small and 13 large clutch discs change to 13 large and 12 small discs?
Were the clutch housings different for the different arrangements?
David, the change was in april 1916, according to the encyclopedia: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/S-T.htm#tran1
"In April 1916 the (brake)drum was modified to eliminate the T-3330 (T-729) disk spacer plate. The number of small clutch plates was reduced to twelve."
David, For your part of the world, the Canadian parts books list 13x13 plates + distance plate for C engines up to 65000.
Thank you Roger and Kerry that helps the understanding. With 15- -16 transmission parts in pails and trying to reassemble said units this makes it a little bit easier. Thanks David
I think I discovered the error of my ways. I had two 5 gallon pails of transmission parts and a small stack of flywheels. When redoing my inventory I had an early 15. late 15, late 16. 23 and 26 all in pails. In all the parts there was one distance plate assuming for the 15s. I managed to seek out a second distance plate that will be proper for the 15s but not required on the late (December) 16. This has been a learning experience. Extra care is required at transition times. Thanks again for the great assistance.
Bob - I am in need of a distance plate. I have sent you a private message.