Watts clutch

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Watts clutch
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By brass car guy on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 12:29 am:

Any input pro or con? Just curious good or bad?

p/s still need an original tatty 2 man top


brasscarguy


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Kramer on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 08:25 am:

I have had a Watts clutch in my 13 touring since 1988.It cranks over easier than the original clutch package & has caused no problems.
Scott


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 08:30 am:

RV Anderson is trying out a new material for Watts clutches, the source for the original material dried out or turned too expensive.
Haven't heard any results of the testing?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 09:54 am:

You'll get a lot of opinions pro and con.
Some say they are unnecessary and cause breakdowns. Others say they give a free neutral, soft engagement and protect the brake drum lugs.
I have them in three cars and fall into the second camp. There has been a lot of discussion on this subject. You might try the search function.
One thing. Don't throw all the aftermarket clutches in the same basket. There are significant differences.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 10:14 am:

The original Ford clutch design gives a perfect neutral if the mechanic follows the instructions on how to properly adjust it. Drum wear is caused by letting the oil get low or by failing to change the oil before it has failed.

If the car has been run low on oil, or the oil has gone for tens of thousands of miles without being changed, the clutch hub and plates become severely worn, along with everything else in the engine and transmission. This is not a design problem, it is negligent abuse causing failure.

There's no better clutch than the original Ford clutch for a brand new Model T owner. The original clutch design can withstand lots of abuse from an inexperienced driver without failing, even if misadjusted.

On the other hand lined clutches like the Watts / Turbo Fail / Jacked Up clutch can fail in a minute or two if driven improperly or misadjusted. I see no advantages, only disadvantages.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 11:09 am:

Here is a link to discussions about the Watts clutch just last year.

http://www.mtfca.com/cgi-bin/discus/search.cgi

To summarize, Royce and some others love the original Ford clutch. Those of us who have used Watts clutches love them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 11:13 am:

In my earlier post I said there are significant differences in the aftermarket clutches.
The turbo or Jack rabbit clutches are lined steel clutches designed to work with the Ford outer clutch discs, ie those that engage the lugs of the brake drum. The Watts clutch is 100% fiber designed to work with the inner Ford clutches, the ones that engage the disc drum.
Pros of a lined clutch. Fast direct engagement, free neutral, easy cranking.
Cons of a lined clutch. If adjusted for a slower engagement, the lining may separate. Fewer outer Ford clutch discs tend to cause grooves in the brake drum lugs.
Pros of a Watts clutch. Being fiber, will not groove the brake drum lugs, medium engagement , free neutral, easy cranking.
Cons of a Watts clutch. May deteriorate if coupled with a high performance engine.
My preference, Watts, then Ford, lined clutches last.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 11:53 am:

Totally disagree with the statement that a Watts or any other kind of non - Ford clutch gives any improvement in cranking or neutral or engagement. That is simply false advertising by the folks who sell those things. If you choose to believe it you've never driven or cranked a Model T with the clutch adjusted properly.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 01:05 pm:

Brass Car Guy:

In my opinion a Watts Clutch is far, far superior to the all steel disks. I constantly read where guys are advising new guys to jack up their rear wheel to start. If you have a Watts Clutch you will never have to do that. Also you will not be destroying your BRAKE DRUM ( What does a new one cost now ) Ask anyone that does a lot od transmissions what the percentage of brake drums are destroyed by using all steel disks.

destroyed brake drums

almost every transmission I do for someone has broken steel disks which does not help neutral.
In fact a few weeks back I took 6 broken steel disks out of a guys transmission.

broken steel disks

I get amused at guys who say they will never have trouble with destroyed brake lugs because they have steel shoes. I take broken steel shoes and or shoes so rough that the disks can't slide on them. No wonder some have to jack up the rear wheel.

destroyed shoes
RV Anderson manufactures SUPER T parts. When he tests his new material it will also be SUPER.

Do not use the Jack Rabbit Disks (Turbo 400}
since they still have the steel disks that strike the lugs on the brake drum and there are only 6 steel disks they will destroy the brake drum even faster.

If you plan to drive your T only once a month or less across town to an ice cream parlor then It won't make and difference what disks you use. But if you plan to drive your T a lot and or go on long trips I recommend the Watts disks. It your T and your choice. I would not criticize what ever is your choice.

I sell lots of brake drums so if you ruin your drum I can help you.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 02:23 pm:

Dave, A good friend of mine is just now installing new brake drum and steel disc in his rebuild. This car has been on the road since he bought it in 54 and has been to the artic circle and back. I do not agree that there are better clutches, better drivers yes. A big part of the people I see trying to drive a T do a lot of damage to the whole drive train by staying in low to long, slipping the bands, over revving and such. I really believe the original clutch will last much better with abuse than any other, I also agree with Royce that adjustment is critical to a free neutral. KGB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Scott Owens on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 02:52 pm:

Dave, The jack rabbit clutch is different than the TH400. The Th400 has a new hub that matches the new plates. It does use the stock steel outer plates. I think that the jack rabbit does also but I may be wrong. Cold weather will thicken up the oil and make the stock clutch drag. The newer clutches do not. Thanks for listening, Scott


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 03:27 pm:

Robert all clutches except The Watts that I am familiar with has steel disks that strike the soft cast iron brake transmission drum. I am talking to those that drive a lot, NOT the once a month ice cream crowd. IF the lug gets too rough no matter how you adjust your clutch it will not release the disks easily.

The once thing THAT CAN NOT be said is that there is any damage to the brake drum with a Watts Clutch.
I will not criticize a person no matter what disks they use. Its their car. I just wish that steel disk pushers would not criticize the Watts Clutch

picture


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 03:27 pm:

Robert all clutches except The Watts that I am familiar with has steel disks that strike the soft cast iron brake transmission drum. I am talking to those that drive a lot, NOT the once a month ice cream crowd. IF the lug gets too rough no matter how you adjust your clutch it will not release the disks easily.

The once thing THAT CAN NOT be said is that there is any damage to the brake drum with a Watts Clutch.
I will not criticize a person no matter what disks they use. Its their car. I just wish that steel disk pushers would not criticize the Watts Clutch

picture


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mikeska, Denver CO on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 03:56 pm:

I have 4 running T's and 3 of them have Watts clutches in them. When the engine comes out of the 4th for something it will get a Watts clutch. I drive my cars often and put a lot of miles on them each year. Like Dave I will recommend the Watts as it is far superior to the original Ford steel clutch. My recommendation is based on actual use of both and not on second hand rhetoric.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 04:56 pm:

No second hand rhetoric here as I now have 45k on my 24, my friend has probably more miles logged than anyone I know with the exception of Dean Yoder. KGB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 07:55 pm:

I have used all 3 types. I will start by saying all were 2ed hand when I installed them. :-) All three have there good points. I wore the T400 out (old style converted from T400 disks) good clutch but were very narrow at the contact point on the lugs, the Watts worked ok till they failed because I had oil flow problems to the clutch. The original style are in there now.
I would go with the Watts type again as I do like the fact they are easier on the lugs esp if you have a pre 26 narrow drum.
The Watts failed because
A; I got the end play at the thrust washers too tight and
B; was not getting enough oil flow into the clutch drum to cool and lubricate. I do not believe that was the disks fault I think it had to do with mismatched clutch drum and brake drum and oil not flowing in from the outside like it should have. The clutch was dry and there was almost no burnt oil when I took it apart.
The drum got real hot causing the disk to swell from the heat. I smoked that clutch, boy did that smell and what a cloud of smoke. Being used the Watts disks were somewhat compromised to start with.
The original steel disk where what I had on hand when I redid the transmission. They seem to work ok except for the cold weather, they do have a tremendous amount of drag even with 10/30 oil and leaving the parking brake handle forward.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Scott Owens on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 10:18 pm:

Mark, You had a jack rabbit not a TH400. The Th400 uses all 42 tangs on the plate and the new hub is cut to the correct angle. Its a much better clutch. Scott


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 10:28 pm:

T400 refers to Turbo400 clutch disk which is what is/was used for some time. The Turbo400 disk had the tabs trimmed off to match the grooves in the clutch drum. Jack Rabbet is the name it was sold under when you bought them, other wise they are modified Turbo400 disks you could do yourself.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren F Rollins on Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 10:29 pm:

Put me on the side of Watts clutch. If Henry had them ,he would have sold 20 million cars. The material is similar or the same as steering clutches in crawler tractors I have been told.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Craig Anderson, central Wisconsin on Monday, February 10, 2014 - 02:57 am:

This is the new 400 set now sold by Lang's.

http://www.modeltford.com/item/3329BE.aspx

(FYI only.......I have no argument in this)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Monday, February 10, 2014 - 07:42 am:

More about Watts and Turbo / Jacked up clutch failures:

Watts failures

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/167522.html?1288125409

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/166065.html?1288150804

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/167454.html


Turbo failures

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/167406.html?1288139695

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/144652.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/129390.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/155069.html


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Monday, February 10, 2014 - 07:03 pm:

All the Watts failure links is about the same case in 2010, a guy who experienced slipping when it was first mounted but it was possible to solve by adjusting the finger screws. Then he experienced grabbing when engaging the clutch - something that may just as well have been caused by worn lugs in the brake drum. No report about the final outcome.


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